Where to begin? My life has been perfectly insane the past four weeks, ever since I last posted. I wish I had photos to share it all, because my words certainly won't do a justice. Some highlights:
1. Congregate. For those of you not in the know, my department at work was responsible for planning and hosting a three-day conference (called Congregate) for approx. 150 people, mainly representatives from World Relief's U.S. partners and major donors. It was incredible, the largest conference World Relief has hosted in quite some time (I think at least 3-5 years) and certainly the only large-scale event I've ever played a major role in coordinating.
2. Pastor Oscar Muriu, from Nairobi Chapel in Kenya. He spoke at Congregate about the importance of "practicing the disciplines of silence, presence, encouragement & affirmation, and listening", especially in cross-cultural settings. As an American/Westerner, I am not good at keeping my opinion to myself, waiting to hear what another person has to say, or reserving judgment when I disagree with someone/something. I tend to value tasks and the clock over close relationships. I also come from a position of power and privilege, simply because I am American. These things aren't all necessarily bad but, if I really want to be effective in my work, I must learn to put the interests of others before my own.
3. 1995 Ford Escort, 2-door hatchback, manual transmission. I did it! I bit the bullet and bought a car. She's magenta, still nameless (any suggestions) and, apparently, excellent on gas, to the tune of 35mpg. Bam! Pictures coming soon. :)
4. Pumpkin Bread. Gluten-free. Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (substitute brown rice flour for white flour, add walnuts & raisins, and use coconut milk instead of shortening...amazing).
I was hoping for some deeper thoughts than these, but it's been a long week and I'm grasping for words. More soon...