Tuesday, January 31, 2006


In German birth control pills are called "anti-baby pills"
Tonya and I found that really funny, but Cecilia couldn't understand why.
Tonya's aunt is a midwife so she "delivers babies"
The German equivalent doesn't quite translate, but apparently the term delivery is really funny.
On the board announcing dinner today Ryan wrote "Moussaka. Mousse. Lekker ding!"
I was like "Um, I don't think you want to say that Ryan." It got changed to "Lekker eten!" and then to "Mmm Lekker!" to keep with the "m" theme.

Monday, January 30, 2006


If I were still at school today would be a day that I would be found in the racquetball court.
Instead, I am about to cut Joost's hair. Maybe Cecilia's too.
Look out!

Sunday, January 29, 2006


How is it that the phone will be silent all afternoon for my reception shift, but just as soon as I go to pee it rings?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

mag ik een dutje doen?

The sun is shining! It's a beautiful day. I think I should go take pictures. Except for the fact that it's cold and I'm feeling wimpy regarding weather. Also, everyone is busy and I'd much rather go for a walk with someone than alone. Today at least. Maybe I'll convince Tina to go with me...

Tonight I'm going to see Mozart's Requium with Marco, and I think Christina, and I don't know who else, but it should be sweet. Since it's Mozart's 250th anniversary there are loads of Mozart concerts everywhere, and I'm pretty sure this one's free. sweet!

If you have ever heard of or seen the movie Sandlot please post a comment so Freek will stop mocking me. Also, feel free to send me the dvd so we can watch it because it was not to be found at the market today.

This morning Dave and I were looking for line dancing online...like they teach you the steps in words. That's not a very good way to learn line dancing. Also, I don't really want to learn because it's not extremely fun, compared to other kinds of dancing. But our western ho-down night will be lame without any line dancing, so if you have any tips, let us know.

Also, Nynke and I are going to take salsa/swing/something-I-forgot dance lessons in April I think (if all works out) and we might need male partners. So if you're male, live in or near Amsterdam, aren't scary, we know you, and you want to learn how to dance, let us know. haha.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

daily life

This morning as I was walking my bike to work Matthieu cycled past, and then stopped *what a gentleman!* and walked with me until we decided it'd be more time efficient for him to tow me. Thanks Matthieu!
Also, my bike has been fixed, which took very little time, so thanks Freek!
The way back from work this afternoon Matthieu was in a hurry because the motivation of seeing his girlfriend was great. I normally cycle quite quickly, so I thought I could race him home. Sometimes I am not so smart. Considering the fact that yesterday my bike chain fell off when I didn't feel like I was going that fast probably should have made me hesitate before cycling full speed racing against a man in love. Well, I am not 100% positive he's in love, but probably he is, and it sounds better anyways.
But no worries, my bike is still fine and I discovered how out of shape I really am. Also, Matthieu was sweet enough to slow down for me. Oh, and we (all of us at the Willem who hear about her frequently) finally got to meet his girlfriend today. So that was nice.
No one showed up to my Bible discussion tonight. I was a little bit bummed because I was going to share something cool that God's been teaching me lately, but I'll just use it for my next one. And also, this meant that I got to go to the movie discussion at home, and it was on one of my favourite movies (Catch Me if you Can) so that was pleasant to watch and discuss. The discussion was really good actually...yeah.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

gevaarlijke fiets

to all who may be concerned
I arrived home safely

I was cycling to home group tonight and at the Tropenmusuem my chain randomly decided to fall off. Ordinarily this isn't such a big deal, but (as previously discovered) there is a metal contraption surrounding the chain making it very difficult to fix. Hopefully Freek wasn't planning on doing anything important tomorrow...
So I walked the rest of the way to home group, which wasn't very far, but I didn't quite know how I was going to get back.
Praise the Lord, Jeroen decided to tow me. I sat on my bike and held onto him as he drove his scooter. It was slightly awkward, but we figured out how to make it work and were very careful. I tested my hand break and it still works (thanks for fixing it Freek).
We were very close to home when a cop pulled up next to us. We weren't sure if she wanted to stop us or not, but we decided it'd be a good idea to stop anyways because she was looking at us. Jeroen was able to convince her that we were being very careful and safe and this was a much better option than me walking home through the city alone at night. Woohoo!
Thanks so much Jeroen!
So, the end of that adventure, I'm going to bed because I have to walk to morning shift tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

low season

we currently have 7 guests.
which means while severely understaffed we have more staff than guests.
very strange.
ps i wanna go on vacation
to visit my bro
and leticia

Monday, January 23, 2006

everybody wants to wear prosthetic foreheads on their real heads

(please excuse the bad grammar in the title. it's just a funny song. and i think i might have quoted it wrong. so marco, correct me.)
long day...
I was sleeper last night, so I've been here since yesterday evening. I woke up this morning to begin working again. Ewout walked in and then Joa went to sleep in the BDR, so good thing I'd just gotten up. But I didn't work cafe because I knew they wouldn't need me, and I was just CS. Which is nice because after CS we had school (which was fun...emergency training. Now I officially know what to do when the fire alarm goes off. and also in practice they let me die. sadness) and then we are having dinner and then I'm going to Nynke's to watch figure skating *yay*! and then finally I will make it back home only to wake up early to go to 6am prayer meeting. oi.
And tomorrow I can find out election results! woohoo!

oh yeah...keep praying for Tom...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

election day!

Canadians, go vote!

Tonight Paul was chatting in the cafe and I overheard him saying this:

I've never been to a bar in Amsterdam. Everywhere else I travel I'm always in bars, but here my life is in the Shelter.
My life is chaos--this is the only place that brings me peace.
This is my shelter. Aye, shelter from the storm.

Prayer works! keep it up!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

a lovely springlike day

Today was a nice day. Tina and I went for a walk in Westerpark and we walked along the water and then these people were taking pictures of us and following us with the camera as we walked past. I mean, I play a game where I try to get in as many tourist pictures as possible, but this was a little strange.
Anyways, we were hoping to find horses. Random, perhaps, but that was our goal. And we almost succeeded! We followed our noses and found...ponies! And sheep and goats and cows and rabbits and chickens. It was a petting zoo for kids! So we entered and manoevred around all the little tykes and pet all the animals and probably we had more fun than they did.
When we're finally able to visit Tina's house in Germany we're going to go horsebackriding. I'm so excited!
Then we made pizza and had a wonderfully unhealthy dinner, and Dave's bro John joined us. And then we got into a "discussion" with Ryan. It reminded me of jr high when BethL and I would fight, haha. I hate when you can't debate with people because they are so stuck on the fact that they are right and they don't even listen to what anyone else has to say. I'm not saying that they're always wrong, because often there is a lot of truth in what they have to say, but when I disagree with part of it I am wrong and that's only based on one person's opinion. So opinion is not fact. And on that note, I will continue to listen to music, even if someone else thinks all music except for hymns are of the devil.
In a little while there's going to be another open mic night. I'm glad Marco came back to do it. And hopefully Mark will freestyle and my camera won't die while videotaping. That would be sweet. Maybe Tina John and I will do something? Perhaps the subtitle act will even come for s visit...we're going to add French to the mix some time...
And then Nynke and I are going to find something fun to do, probably before my shift is over because Matthieu is nice and said he'd let me off early! score!

Friday, January 20, 2006

2am cooking spree

mmm, lekker! Tina and I just made peanut butter cookies which were deemed a success by all those who were awake to taste them (except Maurice who ,for some mysterious reason, refused to even try a nibble). Thanks for the recipe mom! No wonder the kids at school would trade anything in their lunches for one of your cookies...haha, I learned from the best.
Ok, now I'm off to bed and hopefully I'll have my equilibrium in the morning, unlike today.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

our resident scots

Gotta love working morning shift and saying "goodnight, sleep well" to guests just coming in. Gotta love Jimmy and Paul.
Jimmy...praise God he's got a good job that he enjoys and is paying off debts and getting his life back together. But it is still my prayer that he grows in his relationship with God. That instead of seeing him as someone who throws down blessings and curses at a whim he sees God as a Saviour, wanting to rescue and free Jimmy from the traps and bondage he's stuck in.

Paul...he loves his toys. Last time he was here he had some camera/planner/mp3 player/who knows whatever other type of technology thing and now he got a hands free head set for his phone and a new laptop with over 3000 songs on it. Yesterday he said "I'm done buying toys; I've got everything now." He just walked in and said, "I'm buying a motorcycle." haha.
Seriously though, one of these days he's going to realize that these toys don't satisfy...he keeps collecting more and more, and he's still not happy. Going through woman after woman doesn't make him happy. The things of this world are unsatisfying and it's going to hit him one day that all this is meaningless. I pray that when that day comes he'll fall into the arms of the one who can (and longs to!) satisfy his desires and heal his brokenness.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

random thoughts

Tuesday small group endures the curse of the empty fridge, which requires the attenders to either fast or be creative. Bread, cheese, muesli, and wrinkly fruit is the fare. and my favourite delight...yoghurt. Today I found an apple that appeared to still be fairl fresh, and I happily cut it up and proceeded to pour the watery/milky substance formerly known as yoghurt on top. After the initial shock wore off, I saw that the expiry date was 20-12-05. Grossness! I sneaked into the other small group and borrowed their yoghurt which had expired much more recently (January 9th).

On another note, if anyone is planning on going to some part of the Netherlands that actually gets winter and the canals freeze, consider this a self-invitation. I have wanted to skate on a canal since gr 5 when Shawna VanDyke (sorry, I don't remember your new last name) gave me Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates for my birthday. So help make a girl's childhood dream come true...and also you'll have the chance to laugh because I'm not used to having an extra decimeter sticking out in front of my skates and I look like a fool. haha.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

and the story continues

Wow, God is at work in Tom's life!
Yesterday for cleaner time I typed out three passages of Scripture and gave one to each cleaner to read silently and think about. *if you wanna read them, I'm not typing them out so go get a bible or head to biblegateway.com* I picked Romans 8:1-8 for Tom, and I wanted to write out more, but his was already the longest passage and I decided to trust that he would be thirsty enough to read the rest sometime. I gave Ivan Philippians 4:4-9 and Diego got Jeremiah 29:11-14a. I helped him find it in a Spanish Bible, and then everyone began reading. There was actually silence *miracle* and Sara and I were praying and reading also. Anyways, Tom read his passage and then reached for a Bible, found Romans 8 and kept reading! The other guys were ready to share, but I was not going to break that silence until Tom was done. He was reading the footnotes and everything. Then I asked Diego to readhis verses to us in English and we talked about how cool it is that we just need to call on the Lord and he will listen and answer, and he wants good things for us...yadda yadda yadda.
Then Ivan read his passage and we talked about how good it is for us to think about pure, noble, lovely, etc. things. Then he asked what "transcends" means and we talked about this incredible peace that come down on us when our innerds *hehe* are in turmoil and it's beyond comprehension, but it's real. And we also talked about what's the solution to being anxious? Through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and then we get this transcendent peace...
Ok, then Tom read his verses and immediately after he said "What strikes me here is that it's a choice. You can choose the path that leads to death or the one to life. And it's not literal death, like you die right away, because everyone dies at some point." Whoa dang! So we got to talking about how you can choose death, this downward spiral, or you can choose life, which is thinking of those pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy things, and choosing this path God has for us full of hope and future. Then Ivan said, "but if you choose the death path that means that after this life you go to hell." and I said, "yeah, the path you choose on earth doesn't suddenly change to the opposite one after you die. If you're in a pattern of death your whole life, that's not going to change after death. And if you're trying to live life rather than live death, if you're followinig what God has for you, then you're on the path to heaven. You need to accept this gift of forgiveness, of a hope, of a future, of peace that transcends all understanding." and even though Ivan was being sarcastic, it was great that he said that. Then he did the whole "well, I'm going to hell, Jesus doesn't love me anymore cuz I was late this morning" thing, and then Tom joined in with, "You think you were bad, what about me? I quit!" and I got them to stop talking and prayed *quoting the verses about how nothing can separate us from the love of God* and it was so encouraging to have a good cleaner time after the huge spiritual battles of the day before.
And I know Tom (and all of them really) has huge battles to overcome, but seeing that he's started taking those steps...it's exciting. So please keep him in your prayers. In his own words he was "blind, but now I'm beginning to see." Ja.
And please pray for Ivan too...he's teetering on the brink of insanity, and once he lets go of this control over himself, he's either going to fall into the loving arms of God, or into insanity. Pray that it's the former, and that we can be there to help him, or other Christians at least. Pray that he is able to begin to trust people...his past has taught him that no one can be trusted and the only way to deal with the pain is to be in control of himself, and his mind is always churning and working and it's unhealthy...anyways, prayers for the cleaners are always welcome.

Sidenote, does anyone else read Lamentations? In the Bible discussion the other night everyone looked at me like I had 2 heads because I started quoting it and got us to read part of it. A bunch of them said they'd never read it before. Whyever not? It's a good book.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Praise the Lord!

Ok, so if you haven't read my post before this one, read it first.

Tom came back...the realities of sleeping in the street in the winter in Amsterdam made him realize how good he has it at the Shelter. But seriously, we had a really great conversation, and he was able to share a bunch of the stuff going on in him right now and I prayed for him for a while and man, the Lord is good! Tom'll be here for a week more and he needs prayer so much...I don't know if he's actually possessed by a demon but it's like Satan is whispering in his ear and also sometimes his voice gets this creepy raspiness when he's cursing Christians, and he needs to be set free. But he came back to the light! and he admitted that he sees in us good things which are good things in general but he thinks they must be because we believe in the Bible and try to live it out. Amen! Living out the truth of the Word...what blessings God pours out on those around us!
Also tonight we had no one scheduled for Bible discussion due to lack of staff so Christina, Ryan and I along with a couple YWAMers and 3 guests/cleaner had one anyways. We sang a couple songs (thanks Jon) and then for our introduction I asked everyone to share their name, where they're from, and their best (or worst) scar story. Oh man, God totally used that! From miraculous healings and near death experiences we talked about how those scars remind us of God and his grace and protection. We also talked about Jesus and his scars which were for us...yeah, the discussion went on for quite a while and God was totally blessing us and giving us the right words, and we had a couple people fluent in Spanish to translate for the guests/cleaner and it was just good.


Yesterday morning God brought a verse to my mind...a fragment of a verse actually. "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment..." and so I made a mental note to be extra conscious of that. But I didn't bother to look up where the verse was found because it was 7:30 am and I had to get to work.
And then in school yesterday afternoon Miriam had us read Romans 12:1-8. We each read a couple verses out loud until we'd read the passage twice and then we were to read it silently on our own to see what verse popped out at us...well, verse 3 is the verse God had given me in the morning, so coincidence? I think not. So anyways, Christina and I teamed up to share our verses and pray together. Her verse was 2, talking about testing and approving God's will...we had a cool conversation about that which I won't get into, but yeah, it was good. And then we talked about my verse and about serving and how sometimes it's so hard to serve some people because they don't appreciate it or they expect it or whatever. Or how do you serve someone who leers at you lecherously...what's the balance? like super good service or running away? ok, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but they are common, awkward situations to deal with. Anyways, it was just cool how God was using that Scripture again.
Then...ok God was showing me a bunch of things yesterday. so let's skip to today, shall we? this is going to be long enough anyways...
I was training Matthieu for morning cafe (shift from 7:45 to 1:15) and was also CS (shift from 9:45-15:00). So Matthieu could possibly be the faster learner I've ever trained in the cafe...as in he was doing things before I told him. mooi. So I went to do cleaner time, and we read Romans 12:9-21, basically doing the same thing I did in school yesterday, only with different verses. When Tom read his passage his tone was so mocking, but still subtle...it turned my stomach. And then Ivan commented how wonderfully Tom read it and how it made the passage meant so much to him due to how it was read, and the sarcasm...ugh, grossness. But Ivan also commented on verse 16 where it says "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position." and the footnote that says "or willing to do menial work" and was like "Hey, that's us! that's what we do" and made this cool connection to cleaning. sweet, right? yeah, but then when I asked them to read it again silently Tom kept saying in this weird voice "you will heap burning coals on his head" and then he and Ivan started talking and laughing while poor Diego is trying to reread the passage seriously. After about 7 attempts to get the guys to be quiet, they finally shut up for less than 30 seconds. Then they started talking to Diego, but his English isn't very good and he couldn't understand them. Anyways, when we got back to the topic Tom shared his verse, and we talked about real situations where we do something good or nice back to someone who has been mean or rude or whatever to us and how that makes the person feel worse. We talked about what the world would look like if people and governments repaid evil with good instead of evil with evil. Then Ivan started apologizing to Diego because Diego was always nice to him even when Ivan was mean to him, but Ivan didn't really mean it because he loves Diego and blah blah blah and Diego didn't understand what he was saying and then Ivan was kissing Diego's hand and it was so weird. Tom was also going off about something. He and Ivan were full of this subtle mockery and it was disgusting. I was thinking of verse 12 "be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" so I just prayed and gave them their bed lists and sent them out for a smoke. But this has been a good lesson...I need to serve these guys (and others)who sometimes make my life difficult and test my patience and really just love them with Christ's supernatural love.
Freek and Matthieu prayed with me in the kitchen, and then we continued to work there, unloading the groceries and stuff, so it was a while before I was able to check on the cleaners. I found Tom slouching on a random bed spouting off and at the end of our very brief conversation in which he told me "absolutely nothing" he quit and walked out. Which is sort of good because he was negative and bringing the team down, but it's also really sad because he desperately needs Jesus and this was the only source of light in his life...and there's certainly a lot of darkness. So please keep praying for him wherever he is!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

good day

so. I think there was something I was going to say. what was it?
I forgot because I'm talking to Leticia and that is making me happy.
Oh yes, other things that made me happy today...
Got a package from Peter! Very surprised, and the poster looks good on our (Tina's and my) wall.
Also I got my Christmas package from Mel the other day...over halfway through the first book and enjoying it, and everyone's jealous of my way cool socks.
Also today...finally got to hang with Tina! It had been way too long since we'd had a chance to talk. so we hit up Bagels and Beans and then walked for an hour looking for a needle. We finally found on in (get this) a sewing store. Who'da thunk it? And we listened to the first two Corrie Ten Boom cds I got for Christmas except they're both faulty and don't play the last 10 minutes or so, which is awkward when they're in a concentration camp and you're on the edge of your seat waiting to find out if they'll be ok or who will die next or whatever and then the cd just stops producing noise. Well, good noise at least. so yeah, jammer. But it's interesting to listen to it with Tina...I think it would be hard to hear stuff like that knowing that it was my country who was responsible for so much death...but it's not like there's anything that can be done about it now. I love the message of mercy and forgiveness...how they pray for the gestapo and witnessed to them. It's truly beautiful.
Ok well, Neal thinks my posts are lame cuz they aren't like his so I'm gonna stop writing this one now. maybe sometime I'll write an obscure poem or something. but until then, this will have to do...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

everything's changing everywhere i look around

Congratulations and best wishes to Erin and Jesse! (Erin was my roomie last year. They're getting married in September which means that I'll be home and able to go! likely.)
Life has been crazy lately. Old people going, new people coming. Ooh, we have 2 new staff members from France which is good for a couple of reasons: 1. we desperately need staff to speak to our French guests and 2. the chances of me learning French have increased dramatically. We're pretty sure that we got the only Christian guy in France, and he's a keeper indeed. Quite the gentleman. haha, there's your first shout out Matthieu. Also, Sara's really cool cuz her English accent sounds very American, yet her French is completely fluent. I thought she was lying to me at first when she said she's from Marseilles. But she was telling the truth, except actually her parents are American which explains the accent thing. And then we have Christina who is such a blessing with her outgoing personality and her fire for the Lord and seeing others saved. woohoo! It's so great to have fresh workers, but we still need more *hint hint* so those of you at home, think about volunteering for a while, and those of you who can't, pray that we get enough volunteers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

highlights and lowlights...not in my hair

moments from the past few days...
high: working with Rala for her last shift
low: being frustrated with no shows
high: meeting the adelei (sp, sorry) family
low: attack of the sore throat...i sound like a mute radio announcer
high: goodbye party...
high: dat is gevaarlijk
low: freezing in the cold (this was potentially a high, as an adventure such as cycling on stars should be, but the whole getting lost thing while the canals have frozen over wasn't so much fun)
low: my alarm not going off yesterday morning and Tina (bless her) waking me up right when I was supposed to get to work. This is the first time I've ever been late for a shift...and hopefully the last. However, Harmen had everything under control so it wasn't too big of a deal.
high: Callum shouting my name repeatedly as soon as he saw me, running to me and latching onto my legs. If you ever want to be cheered up, this little guy is a great remedy.
low: not going out for Turkish pizza
high: going out with Elke (and her treating me!)
high: singing the houseplant song with Magda
high: open mic night...
high: Callum climbing into my lap and snuggling
high: Bob Marley and U2
high: tea party
high: watching videos from the past few months
low: waking up early (but it was worth it)
high: the sweet sunrise!
low: sugary pastry (the healthy juice was lekker though)
high: Ben's camera
high: holding Joa
low: saying goodbye at the airport...but I did run away funny
high: knowing I'll see Rala again
high: bagels and beans with Nynke and Elke
low: saying goodbye to Eva and Elke
high: eating ramen with chopsticks

Monday, January 02, 2006


There are a number of Italian guests staying here right now, and they were all crowding around reception before going out for the day. They found the guest book, and one of them began to write a comment in it. Another opened his pocket Italian/English dictionary and proceeded to ask me a question.
"Do you have a bath?"
"Excuse me?"
"Can you give me a bath?"
"Umm, we have showers..."
*I look at the word he's pointing to in his dictionary*
"Oh, berth!" *still confused*
"Yes, berth. Can I have one? Do you have one for dog?"
*another girl pipes in* "A bed and house for dog"
"Oh! Now I understand. No, sorry, we don't have those."
and then he wrote a piece of the conversation in the guest book, ending with "No problem, you are very nice!" haha.

I started looking through the guest book and liked this snippet of a note "Amsterdam is scary...we won't be back! But this place is cool!"
and this one..."The best thing ever happened to me, I fell in love with Sion, the toilet cleaner...:) Unfortunately you didn't approve of that which I find a bit disappointing..."
"Thanks to the earplugs it's been a wonderful night. We'll see you next time."
"In Internet everything is FALSE!!! It saids FREE DRUGS!! It is not true!!" haha...our website says "Drug Free"
"Just stopped by and
I stayed for dinner
The chicken was spicy
Until it met Sour Cream
And the love flowed through
Tabacco Smoke Speech
of Scottland and Brazil."

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Happy Birthday Rala!
gotta love having practically the whole world celebrate with you.

My New Year's Resolution for 2006 is to be friends with Elke.