Friday, June 30, 2006

My identity as Abba's child is not an abstraction or tap dance into religiosity. It is the core truth of my existence. Living in the wisdom of accepted tenderness profoundly affects my perception of reality, the way I respond to people and their life situations...Whenever I allow anything but tenderness and compassion to dictate my responses to life--be it self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others, carping criticism, frustration at others' blindness, a sense of spiritual superiority, a gnawing hunger of vindication--I am alienated from my true self. My identity as Abba's child becomes ambiguous, tentative, and confused...The way of tenderness...seeks to see with penetrating clarity. The compassion of God in our hearts opens our eyes to the unique worth of each person. The other is "ourself"; and we must love him in his sin as we were loved in our sin.
~Brennan Manning, "Abba's Child"

Monday, June 26, 2006

gone fishing

This afternoon I decided to go fishing with Ben.
We cycled all around town and ended up at Harald's where he served us a very lekker dinner. (and I did not get food poisoning!) Then I borrowed a non-fishy heineken poncho/towel and a 7 meter long pole from Harald and we walked down to the canal.
Let it be known that while I enjoy fishing, I am most definitely not a pro.
My first hook is still in a tree.
I accidentally let my first 2 or 3 fish go before reaching the surface.
So when I felt a tug and Harald and Ben said "pull up" I did. The poor fish flew into the tree and then smashed into the cement before flopping back into the water (which all happened much to fast to get a picture to prove I'd caught anything) and I felt pretty bad for the poor thing, and for Harald's pole which kept getting caught. But it was set free, and re-baited (is that a word?) and then my little fish (named Schaatje) was found floating sideways in the water! Sad story. I did not want to be a fish killer, but I thought I might as well get a picture with the little fellow, so I got the net. And it rebooted some life into Schaatje! He started swimming a bit, which made me happy, but not so long later he started floating sideways and then upside down. Sad story, but now at least I have a picture of him...
Then I caught an eel. It was gross and nasty and I refused to touch him. His name is Oscar because it's an ugly name (ie, Oscar the grouch) for an ugly fishy thing. Ben was very excited that I caught an eel, cuz he's never caught one before, but it was extremely difficult to release him because he was so slippery and writhing. Grossness! But happier that I caught an eel and not just a tiny flying (however accidental the flying part) fish.
Ben caught a couple of normal fish, and then I wanted to try to fish with his pole. Cast it out fine the first couple times, and then (of course) it got stuck in the tree. So now there are 2 hooks (thankfully cheap lures or whatever they're called) in the tree. But at least there are some funny stories to tell.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm excited about prayer!

So recently I've been really desiring to pray more and when school on Monday was on prayer and missions, I was very excited. I'm even going back today on my day off, haha. Anyway, our teacher mentioned a book called "Red Moon Rising" (which I want, and by the way my birthday is coming up, haha) and lent it to me. I have to give it back today, but I'm almost done it anyways. But yeah, it's got me even more excited.
Then last night Sarah and I went on an adventure, camping by the lake. And as we were there there were two people fighting with each other. So of course we started to pray. We were afraid the girl was going to be raped, and boy did we pray! It was so awesome and powerful...and sad at the same time. They were running away from God. As we covered the field in prayer they got on their bike and went away, but we could still hear them and see their bike light. So we just prayed even more, for I don't know how long, but they can't outrun God. I feel like this is a very unexciting rendition of our intense time of prayer, but it's really early in the morning and we just got back, so I'll write more of my thoughts on prayer after I catch some zzz's.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


This morning I was chatting with the cleaners before giving them their morning chores. As I was going back inside Michael called out, "Meghan! Meghan! First, first, can I kill myself first and then make my beds?"
"Sorry Michael, it doesn't work that way too well." Haha, I don't know, we all thought it was funny.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I was driving north of Amsterdam with Susana and Maarten tonight and discovered a cute Dutch custom. When students pass their final exams in high school they hang a backpack on a Dutch flag on their houses.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

heaven on earth?

Today I experienced the best of both worlds...I'm enjoying my time here in this beautiful city, and able to go to a lake (reminiscent of summers at home) at the same time. I'm a little sunburnt, but it is so worth it. I went swimming! It has been too long since I've done that, and in a lake (instead of the ocean) is so leuk! Of course, we swam to the other side and back (while leaving our bikes and things unattended...perhaps not the smartest thing to do, but praise the Lord no one touched our stuff) and we also made a synchro routine. Beautiful. I think Christina got it on video, so I'll post it on my photo blog soon.
There were some teen guys jumping off the bridge next to our spot on the shore and so we thought that would be a wonderful idea. Until Anne went around to take pictures from in the water and was standing. So we discovered that it was shallow. I jumped anyways...trying to do some sort of shallow jump/canon ball/whatever wouldn't make me die. It was quite thrilling, even if the water was only up to my chest. So I suppose that it's not quite the same as home, but close enough to make me really extremely happy.
I've also decided that if I'm ever blessed enough to own a house I would LOVE for it to be on a lake or a river (preferably a lake that freezes in winter and can be a skating rink as well). Hmm, too bad Uncle Glenn and Aunt Leona sold their house a decade too early, haha.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Barry's farewell letter

as translated by Matthieu:

To the Shelter team,

I leave this hostel and its really kind staff members with joy because of the sympathy they showed me, of all the presents and especially the positive words and prayers. All these things can only bring me to a really deep joy. In the other side, I am also sad because I would like to stay longer with you. It was a great pleasure for me to work among you during these 31 days.

I leave this place with only one regret: that I couldn't communicate with peoples as I wished because of the language problem.

The experience I have acquired is bigger than the service (work) I have done. My knowledge of the Bible had also become huge in comparing to how it was before I came here. This helps me to the Christianity differently.

I will remember the word "thank you" which was always said to me before or after my work when I only do what I have to do.

I can't leave you without asking forgiveness to everyone which I may hurt and says that it wasn't by purpose that I did it.

I say to you a big "THANK YOU" for everything you have done and have been for me and the others during my stay here. I encourage you to keep on going and do more and more.

May God bless you, Amen


Thursday, June 08, 2006

i cycle quickly

Today I passed a ferrari on my bicycle.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

the sun is shining!

Today we said goodbye to Jimmy and Barry. They were great cleaners and a lot of fun to hang out with. We had some good conversations. I am so thankful for what God has done and is continuing to do in Jimmy's life's so cool! And now Jimmy has Canada on his list of future destinations, and it definitely wasn't there before. So who knows? Maybe I'll see him again!
The other night we had a line dancing outreach in the cafe. It was quite fun, and while some guests (boys mostly, haha) decided to watch and laugh, a number of others (male and female) joined in and had a lot of fun. Becky also shared her testimony and it was really good. So I'll be posting some pictures and videos on my other blog soon.
Also, finally, we have sunshine again! Today at least. That is very exciting, and while it's not exactly warm, it's definitely not cold either. 15 degrees is decent. I know to everyone at home that's not the June weather you're experiencing, but I am pleased because it is so much nicer than what it's been like here recently.
I've been thinking lately of all the things I still need to do before I leave. You know, all those museums I could have gone to all year, but always put it off since "hey, I'm here for a year, there's plenty of time still." And now I'm realizing that the "plenty of time" has dwindled. I guess I'll just have to plan my days with a lot more structure than usual.
For those of you who don't know yet, I'll be flying home on July 13. It's a little sooner than originally planned, but my school is starting a little sooner than originally planned, haha. But it will be nice to be home for a few weeks to readjust a bit, and I am thankful. God really worked a miracle with the flights (also thanks to my mom for not giving up) and so that's super cool. So now, not only do I need to plan my life for my last few weeks in Amsterdam, I also need to figure out how I'm going to see all my friends in Ontario and New York in 2 weeks, haha. Oh well, I'm not worrying about that...I'm sure something will work out somehow.
We have a lot of new staff here...they're pretty cool. It's funny to realize that we'll be leaving at the same time, or me even sooner! It's good to see all the gaps being filled (we finally have enough staff...for the first time since I've been here!) and it's also nice to know that when I leave I won't be leaving a huge hole that will be difficult to fill.