Sunday, November 16, 2008

SA Half Marathon

I ran the SA Half Marathon today. I was happy overall, not with my time, but rather with my energy levels. God gave me strength and endurance, throughout the course. It was cool to see different shirts--one of them said, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30-31. Another one had the classic, "I can do all things through Christ the Lord who strengthens me." Phillipains 4:13. On a sign posted, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1.

As encouraging as reading the shirts/signs, my favourite part were the little kids that would stand in line, with their hand out to high five you! There were a group of three kids that caught my attention. A little girl (probably about 3 1/2 years old), a little boy (about 5), and an older girl (maybe 6 1/2) all cheering you on! The children will probably never know how encouraging they were, and they themselves looked like they were having so much fun! :)

God provided me with a fantastic morning of strength, endurance, and encouragement! I must say, it was awkward not going to church! We even go on vacation!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mac HS

After a long two weeks, God has enabled me to be teaching in the classroom again! I will be teaching HS Algebra 1 at Mac HS for the 2008-2009 academia year! Yay! :) Jumping in mid-year is a challenge, but I am up for it. This position was given to me, denied to me, fought for, and then re-offered! As Churchill says, "When you're going through hell, keep going!" I look forward to sharing how God uses me for his glory throughout this school year!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I love students

I love students, and they love me back! One of our speakers at church this past Sunday made that statement, and it hit me hard--I realized why I love teaching so much! My love for teaching is not because I'm good at it, or because I know the subject matter; my love for teaching is based on the love that I have for the students! When you love the students, they will love you back.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And they were glorifying God!

Galatians 1:24 (New American Standard Bible)

And they were glorifying God because of me.

Wow, that's a powerful statement! I want to be able to say that! Looking back at my post a few weeks ago, Andy can say that about Red! It's because of me, he came to true freedom!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm bored!

During the candidate week at The Mission Society we participated in a ropes course. The events were fun, and I enjoyed the team building exercises, although, at one point, I was sitting around waiting for other people to make some decisions. I found myself completely bored, wanting to move on, better things awaited us, and I could hardly stand it!

I was vocal, I stated that I was bored, but when my part came along, I gladly helped out and added my piece, although, I really just wanted to move on. Two big observations about myself; one, I was vocal, and two, I have this need to be doing something, pretty much all the time.

Ethiopian Food

One of the nights of missionary candidate week, we took a trip to a local Ethiopian Restaurant--Queen of Sheba. We did not know where we were going, other than to eat an international meal. We were told upon arrival of one caveat, we could not speak English, nor could English be spoken to us! This was by far one of my favourite experiences I had all week.

To order our food we could act like animals and point--to find out what type of meat it was, we could make faces, but under no circumstances could we speak English. I did cheat so that I could drink some sweet tea, but seeing a bunch of adults trying to figure out what to eat and choosing the most random of items (the menu was give to us in another language), was quite difficult, and absolutely hilarious!

The food was excellent. Ethiopian food is served on one big platter, "sponge" bread at the bottom, each persons meat order on top of the bread. We would take a piece of sponge bread and meat, and then eat off of the platter, each of us trying each others special dish! And yes, we ate with our hands! =)

At the end of the meal we celebrated Jennifer's birthday with a coffee ceremony. We were brought coffee beans to smell, before the coffee was brewed. The coffee was served in tiny--maybe 2 oz. cups, with popcorn. In Ethiopia coffee is typically served at breakfast. Popcorn or nuts are given with the coffee, because people do not want to eat a heavy meal, before manual labor. I did eat a little bit of popcorn and coffee--even though I do not care for either, it was a cultural experience that I enjoyed.

Real worship!

While I was in Atlanta, GA, for The Mission Society candidate week, I had some fantastic opportunities to try and experience new ways/things. Among them, my favourite had to be going to a refugee church--Celebration Fellowship.

Our group arrived at church a few minutes late and took some seats in the back of the school auditorium, where the church meets. Immediatly we were welcomed and became active participants of the service. Sitting next to me was a Thai man and his family. As I would sing in English, he would sing his praises in Thai. In front of me were some Bhutanese, and behind me were some Asian people. I was surrounded, right here in America, by a wealth of different nationalities and each of them were praising God in their heart language, and in their own way.

A Bhutanese man, who was sitting a couple rows in front of me started singing, in his native language, in his chair. He continued to sing, making his way up to the stage area, his three year old son following, where he began to lead the worship in song and praise. After this man and his son had left, another black woman, walked up to the stage to lead songs of praise and worship. A father came up to the stage, playing the guitar, his young daughters singing. No one ever questioned if they were good enough, or if they belonged on the stage, people responded to Christ, without fear of rejection, without wondering if they would be accepted! The praise and worship was amazing, heartfelt, they glorified and exalted God, showing their loyalty and admiration to Jesus Christ!

Our sermon was preached in three different languages--thus we received three sermons over one text. I loved worshiping with people in Thai, Bhutanese, Swahili, English, and other various languages!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another book donation!

I will be receiving my 2nd book donation shortly! Yay! :) Neighbors and friends from church are the best! =)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Get busy living, or get busy dying!

My headphones broke about a month ago. They are still under warranty and I am waiting on a replacement set. In the meantime, I run on the treadmill and use the Nike+. I am also training for the San Antonio half marathon. Today was a 14 mile run. Due to my lack of headphones, I chose to watch Shawshank Redemption while running. Perfect movie to watch!

What struck me interesting was in the past, my favourite part of the movie was when Andy Defresne had escaped, his moment of glory, the first taste of freedom in 19 years. That is no longer my favourite part.

I am now most excited at the very end when Red rejoins with his comrade Andy. Red was not just free from prision, he was redeemed--set free! Red made a conscience choice to get busy living! Another character in the movie, Brooks chose to get busy dying, and later committed suicide. It was through Andy, that Red had the hope, the dream, the vision, to get busy living! I want to be like Andy, the person that shares the hope, the dream, the vision, of living for Jesus Christ!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Book Donation

I received my first book donation today! And as always, perfect timing from God. I finished my last book, on Thursday afternoon, and Saturday evening a friend brought "Basic Christianity" by John Stott for me to read. =) Yay for blessings!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Help, I’m taking Pre Calculus!

One of my students, from four years ago, texts me every morning to say, “Good morning!” Occasionally I will respond, although, not every day. On Thursday morning, I happened to respond with a “How’s math?” Her response, “Bad.” My reply, “Call me, tonight.” Her response, “Okay, I will :).” Come later that evening, she had not called, but I know she is a smart girl and it can be hard to take the initiative, especially when you need help with something.

I called her and asked if she was busy, and if she had time to work on her math. She dropped what she was doing, and over the phone we discussed her math problems. I was pleasantly surprised at what she remembered from my math class and future math classes. In speaking with her, I discovered it was not the math that she did not understand; rather it was the steps and the process. Once she realized that it was a bunch of algebra in one big package, she was excited and well on her way!

It makes me wonder how often we miss a step in the process and God is saying, “Silly, girl!” Maybe we were too hurried, or too busy. It also makes me wonder how often we really do know what to do and how to do it, but we are so caught up with what we do not know that we are not moving on. I often tell my kids, “Don’t tell me what you cannot do, show me what you can do!” Are we not moving on because we cannot, or is it because we are not asking for help, when it is directly in front of our face? Once my former student got past that sticky step in the problem, she was golden! God showed me through this situation that I am still connecting with these students and He can and will use me, even if it is not in the way I “planned.”

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pythagoras and other fun people...

Monday afternoon I had the opportunity to meet with my friends, Derek and Claire, and their daughter Noelia, to discuss their upcoming trip to Bolivia. This was a great time of encouragement and excitement for me. This family will be joining a ministry in Bolivia with Food for the Hungry. Derek and Claire are 99% pledged fund raised for the next three years! I had the pleasure of learning about the different trainings they have gone to and will be going to, as well as the the joy of spending time with people I love most dearly.

Today was another Habitat build day! I spent the morning and afternoon on the roof. I helped measure, draw chalk lines, shingle, and hold down stuff so people could nail. The less vibration the better. And YES, we used Geometry! Pythagorean triples--3, 4, 5 triangles, and 6, 8, 10 triangles were used to make straight lines on the roof! See, isn't math cool? I used it on the roof today. Who would've ever thunk? You never know when those classes come into use.

God continues to show me his faithfullness. I should start substitute teaching next Monday. Yay for a job! :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

HFH and Piedras Negras

On Friday morning I went out to work at the Habitat House for a couple hours, before I went to lunch with a good friend. Chuck and I worked on some roof decking. Mom made a comment to another worker about me going up on the roof. "Faith's just in her natural habitat, literally. When I was pregnant with her, I was on the roof."

Saturday morning, I woke up extra early, went running, and then left for Piedras Negras, Mexico, with five other men at the church. Our job: Install AC ducts. Token young person and female: myself. Person up in the rafters: myself.

We first took wire and pieces of wood to make "trapezes". Once up on the "scaffolding," Rick and I took the wire and looped it through a rafter. Myself on one side, Rick on another side about 2 feet away from me. Once looped around the rafter, we placed the bottom of the wire, Mexican proper, belly button height high, through a piece of wood, and then looped that to create the "trapeze."

I am thankful for the opportunity I had to go bouldering (rock climbing without ropes) at Austin Rock gym over labor day weekend. I learned how to trust my body. As I was climbing up the ladders and onto our "scaffolding" I remembered some of the ways that I was able to move and maneuver my body while climbing, thus it played a role in my ability to help out in Mexico. You never know when a day of fun will come into use! :)

In Piedras Negras I ate the smallest tacos I have ever had, drove past the largest brewery ever--Corona is building it, helped move furniture, made AC vents, helped hang the vents (as told above), cut pieces of tape, and picked up quite a bit of trash. Oh and I went through the shortest border lines I have ever seen or been through!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Evacuee Shelter

This morning between 4AM-11:30AM I worked the Special Needs Hurricane Evacuee Shelter at First Presbyterian Church. For the first few hours I made a puzzle, played with some dominoes, and made myself available. Between 8AM--11:30AM I took care of some organizational needs, and created a rules poster (8x)! It was a neat opportunity and I might take the chance to go volunteer at the shelter later this week.

One of the men, who wears a size 15 shoes, was without shoes. God is so good. He provided a pair of shoes for this man, through a member of the congregation!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Where do you serve?

On Friday, I was given the opportunity to serve either at the Habitat House, or with the shelter down at the church, for people evacuating Galveston due to Hurricane Ike. I chose to go down and work the Habitat House. A group of four of us, Tammi, Steve, Eric, and myself worked on roof decking together. We also did some blocking. Other people worked on installing windows, and siding.

I enjoyed working at the Habitat House, especially with the group of people I was with. We made a positive and encouraging team, making sure to say things such as "good job", "high-five", and "way to go" as we were working with one another! Everybody likes encouragement along the way! I don't know which would have been the "better" choice, but it looks like I might have another opportunity to work the shelter on Monday, if people are still evacuated.

Funny, but true story. As I was climbing down the ladder, off of the roof, at the end of the day, I hit my knee! I have a pretty bruise now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


My cousin, Arnie Chycoski passed away at 1:20 PST, September 10, near Olympia Washington. I had the honour of visiting the Fairmont Empress hotel with Arn-man when I was visiting Sher and Arnie a few years back. It's one thing to go to a hotel, it's another to go to a hotel and hear stories about playing in different areas at the Fairmont Empress. I was blessed by his generosity on many different occasions. I specifically remember walking around Victoria, and Arnie dropping money into peoples cases, as we were enjoying the music. I have loved Victoria since my vacation with Arn-man! I love you too, Sher! be blessed!


I went bowling with a good friend on Sunday night. What struck me as incredibly uncanny was the pure fact as my friend and I would encourage and lift up one another, those around us were doing so as well. Our "neighbors" became much more fun to be around, and their comments to one another were wholesome and appropriate, rather than tearing down!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Habitat House

Yesterday, I went down to the Habitat House my Mom's church is building. I have never been to Day 1 of a Habitat build. I helped put up the house frame, helped place the trusses on the roof, and I helped measure where the trusses would be going up today. This gives me the opportunity to both meet new people, and learn something about home building/repair.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

DEX Report

DEX stands for Discipleship Experience. It is a mission trip for University students, to join a team of young adults, venture all over the world for cross-cultural experiences, with the purpose of spreading the gospel, and stretching their understanding of the world. Countless lives have been touched by the love and faithfulness of Christ.

When these students sign up for the trip, they do not know where they are going to be going or what they will be doing. The young adults simply sign up for an eight week (two month) mission trip, trusting all will work out, both financially and in the place chosen for them. Our church supported five people going to India.

During tonight's presentation I was reminded of some great times I had in Indonesia and East Timor. I had forgotten about some of the healings and the miracles God worked in and through the people. I laughed when the young men talked about always eating with their right hand (I know you clean yourself after using the squatty potty using your left hand!) My heart went out for a girl that was so passionately nicknamed "Devil girl." She was prayed over, demon's left, God entered, and she became "Angel girl!"

I was not surprised, rather joyful, when one of the students shared a story about an older man who had kept his distance for days, but right before the group left, he opened up a little, allowing one of the young men to pray for him, and his shoulder was later healed. This was an eye opening experience for both the student and the older man. The student was scared to pray for healing--what if it doesn't work, what could happen to me, is this really God calling me to pray for healing?...the questions go on... This young man chose obedience to Jesus Christ, showing a true faith, rooted in love, to Godhead--God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The older man experienced God's healing power. In the book of Mark, after a healing, people would tell of the great things God has done. I expect nothing less out of this man!

These University aged students are forever changed, not only in their view of world cultures, but in relationships, and God's power and might! Amen! :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Loaves and Fishes

For the past couple weeks I have heard the pastor talk about Loaves and Fishes. Loaves and Fishes is a program our church sponsors, where once a month, the homeless come into the church, and are fed a fresh, warm, meal. The food is provided by members of the church, and then it is served.

I had also read about serving at Loaves and Fishes in the bulletin. I've gone before. I knew I wanted to go, but I was making no action or thoughts towards actually participating in Loaves and Fishes this month. After church, my friend asked me to join her in serving! Spur of the moment decision, "Yes, I would like to do that!" I invited another friend to come, and she came too! So there were three of us girls from Soulhouse! Clearly, God had been working on me for a couple weeks at that point. (Soulhouse is the young adults group at my church.)

I spent most of my time serving water and lemonade to the guests. The people are very kind and appreciative--please, thank you, we appreciate you serving us, etc. And I was glad to be a part of this outreach! I have also noticed that I am now seeing some of these people in contemporary worship!

While at Loaves and Fishes, I noticed two younger people, that looked to be about my age. In talking with them, I found at that they were new to San Antonio and have been coming to the church for a couple weeks. And they are already serving in such a fashion! Awesome!

We had a young adults fajita party, right after Loaves and Fishes, so I invited them to come, and would you know, they came and joined us! God is bringing new people into our young adults group, and we love it! Yay for Jesus!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jesus Christ is Lord

As I was driving down the road, facing the I-10, I looked up onto the interstate and noticed a semi that read,
It took me a full 45-60 seconds before I understood what was being said. Those were never words used at my house. It is sad that a statement like that has to be made! When I finally "got it," my reaction was to laugh; laugh out of ignorance to societies ways, and I was busting!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yodalis Florentino

For almost 10 years now I have been praying off and on about sponsoring a child in another country. My parents sponsor a couple different people through World Vision, but each time I went online to look at the commitment, it just did not seem to be the right thing to do at that time.

I have been reading in the Church bulletin, and in the weekly mailer that sponsors were needed for children in the Dominican Republic (DR), through Food for the Hungry. The sponsorship had been paid, all you need to do is write them back and forth. This had been pegging away at my heart for a good three weeks.

Today, Phyllis came to Sunday school and made an announcement about these kids in the DR that needed sponsors, to be pen pals. Financial obligations were taken care of! Don't you love it when God speaks to you, and then since you fail to do anything about it, he places the opportunity right in front of you, so then and there, you can make a decision!

I am now the writing sponsor of Yodalis Florentino. His birthday is the 13 October 1995 and he loves mathematics! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Top 2 Prayer Requests

So...I have two prayer requests right now

1. I need a job for the fall! I would like to continue to teach HS Math.
2. I am training for the SA Half Marathon and I have been experiencing quite a bit of pain in my hip. I am running 28-30 miles per week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yo habla un pequito Espanol!

As I entered LAX (airport in Los Angeles, CA) I noticed an older Mexican gentleman that looked quite lost and confused. He spoke a few words to me, and I immediately responded, "Yo habla un pequito Espanol!" This brought a huge smile to his face! He gave me all his paperwork so that I could get his boarding pass, luggage, and anything else needed. I was able to do this for him and as it turns out, I had the joy of sitting next to him on my flight home. Wahoo!

You did what?

Towards the end of the academia year, I started helping a student with his UIL forms so that he could play basketball as a fifth year senior. At the end of the year he was told that his request was denied. My advise, fight for it! I told him to appeal the decision and he chose to do so after seeking the advise of others as well.

For the past couple months I have been praying for my student, the decision that is to be made, and for his heart and "sole" (he is a basketball player! =) We would text back and forth a little bit, he shared with me that he was scared, and really was looking forward to playing Varsity Basketball once again.

The night before his court date I was able to call him and pray with him. I cannot say he won his case, nor that everything went perfectly, but this young man knows that God is good, and that he is loved, most dearly by T. Yes, he calls me T. =) So to any teacher out there, it's not impossible to pray for a student, and you may have the opportunity to pray with a student someday!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Blessings in Dating

I went out on a fantastic date this past Thursday! The young man picked me up at the airport and took me out to a restaurant. I only ate 1/2 of the sandwich, and it was conveniently cut in half. When we were ready to leave, the server asked me if I wanted a to-go box, hesitantly I said, "Yes, please." When asked why I hesitated, my answer was simple, "I doubt I will actually eat this other half." I took the sandwich to-go. As we walked back to the car, I saw a woman that I was able to give the sandwich to. So, my sandwich was able to bless another person! I didn't even say God Bless You or something like that, I simply said I want you to have this. The woman was very gracious.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

God in the Salon

I'm vacationing with my family in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada, visiting the extended family. This past week I had time to go have a manicure. As I sat down, with my IPOD and Dad's book, "What's so Great about Christianity" by Dinesh D'Souza, the girl asked me to place my hands in the water and then said, "Oh, are you Christain!?" I replied, "Yes." She had noticed my two rings and the book that I was reading.

This spurred further conversation. Shelby, my estetician, had come home from a Christian Camp the previous weekend. She asked me about faith, and readily told me about the experiences and what she had learned at the camp. Through further conversation I learned that she wanted a teen study bible, but was not able to find one in the city.

I was able to go to and order her a NIV Teen Study Bible and the Revolve Magazine Bible. I am honoured to share the gift of Gods word with Shelby! I also learned that she is the only believer in the family. My prayer for Shelby is that she is a light in her family, and they come to know Jesus Christ through Shelby's example. God is good!