Saturday, October 28, 2006
The entire drama team performing "the machine".
Garapan Square is made up of small shops and restaurants. Every Thursday night is Market night.
The skit "the bus" and the street marketers.
This skit is called "the bus" and it starts off with Grant on the very right and Jesus on the left. Grant first picks up Jesus and Jesus starts off riding in the passenger's seat. But throughout the skit Grant picks up a number of friends and Jesus slowly starts getting placed in the back seat until eventually Jesus is left standing outside the bus. The skit is about how sometimes life gets busy and our relationship with Christ gets put on hold. It just reminds me how important it is to keep christ number one in our lives.
Realizing how much Christ loved us enough to die a painful death for our sins on that cross. It is only through Him that we may find peace and comfort.
The Saipan SDA Drama Team performed and captivated the street marketers at our local street market in Garapan. Garapan Square reminds me very much of our Downtown Redlands Street Market night. This is probably the most happening place on the island. The drama team performed a number of skits all attempting to introduce Jesus, Creation, and the Resurrection of Christ. We prayed before the performance hoping that many would be touched by the performance. Needless to say we had a great response from the audience.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
For the first four weeks in Saipan I was house sitting for Drs Ken and Crystal Pierson. They were kind enough to let me stay in their home while they were on vacation. But now that the Pierson's have returned I have moved into my own little already furnished apartment. As you can imagine, it has been quite a busy week for me moving all of my stuff. My apartment is about 15 minutes from the clinic located in a village called Chalan Lau Lau. . . Although my apartment isn't anything like my laguna niguel apartment it is still cozy and warm. Plus you can't beat the $270 rent per month=) Currently I am living without any telephone or internet connection. Getting service on the island usually takes a lot longer than on the mainland. In fact, everything here takes longer to get. I've been praying for alot of patience.
Monday, October 23, 2006
From Left to Right: Me, Missy, Brit, Judy, and Crystal
A pregnant puffer fish
Missy is feeding the fish a veggie dog =) Suckers!
On Sunday our dive instructors and The Pierson's took us to Obyan Beach for our first open water dive! We did a beach entry and descended 40 ft. It was such an amazing feeling! It was quite an adrenaline rush. In fact, I got so excited and used up my air alittle faster than normal. I had to resurface a bit earlier than the rest. A couple of my dive buddies saw a 4ft black tip shark, but thankfully I didn't see it cause I would have freaked! We have 3 more open dives with our instructors before we are officially certified. Enjoy=)
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Judy's giving us instructions for the diving exercises
Practicing our skills under water
Me, Brittany, and Missy getting ready to dive
Us at Sugar Dock
Group Picture with Judy our instructor
It feels strange the first time. The mask. The awkward gear, a bit heavy. You ease into the water and your face slips below the surface. Inhale; the air comes with a reassuring hiss, and for the first time, you breathe underwater. In moments, you forget the mask. The equipment transforms to light, and you're free like you've never experienced before. With that first underwater breath, the door opens to a different world. Not a world apart, but different nonetheless. Go through that door. Your life will never be the same.
Today was our first day for scuba diving instruction. It was 9 am and we headed out to Sugar dock to meet our instructors, Judy and Dennis. We prayed all week that the weather would let up and it did! For the first half of the day we had calm waters and the sun was out. We learned how to set up and take down our scuba gear. We learned how to snorkel and how to breathe with our scuba gear. We performed diving exercises such as taking off our masks completely off our faces under water and putting them back on without coming up for air while breathing through our regulator. We learned how to share our air with our buddy in case we run out of our own air. I had so much fun. Next week we continue a couple of more exercises and then we'll be ready for our first open dive of 60 ft. I'll take pics underwater of all the coral, fish . . . I'm excited to share my experience with you.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Dr. Oakley doing the honors of cutting his cake.
Dr. Reedstrom expressing the clinic's appreciation and gratitude for Dr. Oakley's 8 years of service at SDA Dental Clinic
A picture with all the girls who seem to have a crush on him!
We had a farewell party for our periodontist, Dr. Oakley. He's such a warm and genuine person. I'm sad that he's leaving because I was just getting use to working with him and watching him open flaps during perio surgery. Dr. Oakley served 8 years at our clinic and is now heading back to California to pursue bigger dreams of owning his own perio practice. He always tells me that he only thought he would stay just one year . . . and it turned out to be eight years. Everyone's thinking i'll stay longer than a year. I guess we'll see. Anyways, we wish him well and continued success.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Visiting the SDA Church on Tinian Island for Sabbath
Our whatever pose
Sacrificing Grant, the only male student missionary.
One of the Atomic bomb sites.
Hafa Adai! Hafa Adai means "hello" in the native language Chamorro.
I think you will be happy to hear that everything is going well out here. Other than work, I have been keeping very busy with projects. I am finalizing my lesson plans to go out and teach good oral health care and proper brushing to third graders in the public schools around the island during my days off. Please pray for me! I love kids but sometimes I feel like I have a hard time relating to them. In fact, sometimes they intimidate me. I know, it sounds silly. Maybe its because I haven't really had a lot of contact with kids while growing up. Hopefully the kids won't find me boring. That would be my worst fear. lol
October is National Dental Hygiene month and I have been asked to write two articles for the local Saipan Tribune Newspaper on bad breath and oral cancer. So I am trying to finish my article on bad breath by tommorrow afternoon for publishing.
As for chior, we have been practicing 2-3 times a week preparing for our upcoming christmas concert and our trip to an island called Rota in December. I never thought I would enjoy singing as much but I do=) I use to be shy about singing even at church. I'd have this soft voice but now I'm starting to project more. Its like I'm finding my real voice from within. We don't want our christmas concert to be boring so we are incorporating "moves" into our concert. Yikes, I think memorizing all those songs are hard enough. Now i've got to move. I just want to stand there=)
I joined the beach volleyball league and our team played its first game last week. So far we won our first game! I'm so lucky that my team members are tall. Rain or shine the volleyball league is on and I look forward to it twice a week.
September through December is rainy season on the island and the water has been rough. Unfortunately we haven't been able to scuba dive yet, but we are hoping that it will clear up alittle by this Sunday. We just bought our diving gear and are ready to go. I'm excited to start exploring under water, but I am not so excited about seeing sharks. My diving instructors keep reassuring us that they won't bother us. So we'll see how that goes.
So as you can see, I am just keeping myself busy. These are pictures of me hanging out with the student missionaries. We took a 40 minute ferry boat ride to another Island called Tinian and attended Church there. The atomic bomb that was used against Japan in WWII was hidden on this island and you can see the site covered with glass. The B52's took off from the air fields here. And in that one picture we are sacrificing Grant, the only male missionary here. haha
Monday, October 09, 2006
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Last week during mid week prayer session I was able to share my personal testimony about how I found God and how He has changed my heart and blessed my life. I talked about how I continually tried to control my destiny and how I kept failing. But the moment that I cried out to God and let Him lead me . . . slowly but surely did He start answering my prayers and restoring my life. Listening to His voice from within me has helped me discover what His will is for me. My favorite bible verse is "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" -Matt 11:11:28 Through all my moments of hardships God was there to carry me through it all. I used this video during my testimony to illustrate just a small glimpse of how God loves us and how he will carry us through anything that we go through. This video is about a father, Dick and his love for his son, Rick. They are known as Team Hoyt and have inspired thousands. Because of tragedy at birth Rick can't talk or walk. Dick and his wife wanted a normal life for their son. They put him in public school. Rick learned how to write his thoughts using a special computer. When he was 15 he communicated to his dad that he wanted to participate in a five mile benefit run. Dick was not a runner but he agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair. For the first time Rick didn't feel handicapped. So together they run. Together they compete in marathons. Together they compete in triathlons. Together they treeked 3,770 miles across america. I just wanted to share this video clip with you. I hope that you find it inspiring as much as I have.
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Sunday, October 08, 2006
The participants received a free medical analysis of their results
The Northern Marina College student nurses gave free blood pressure checks.
The only two RDH's on the island giving free dental screenings
The SM's taking a lunch break
The Saipan SDA Church sponsored a project called New Start for the community of Saipan. The project was held at a community center in a village called Kagman. The church members, dental clinic staff, and the student missionaries arrived on Sunday at 7 in the morning to set up. There were about 10 different stations that focused on whole person care. The stations ranged from free medical, dental, eye, cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, weight management, and spiritual checks. Since 80 % of the community of Saipan uses tobacco and betal nut chews, we focused alot on tobacco cessation. Overall, we were able to service about 100 people. So we praise God for the turn out and are looking forward to holding this event as often as we can. I personally felt blessed today and have realized how great a need for dental and medical care there is out here. Access to care and resources are limited. So many of these people need medical and dental care but can't afford it. Some came in tears telling me about their toothaches and how they can't afford to have their kids have cleanings or dental exams. Please pray for the community of Saipan and for our church to find ways to service them.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Journey to the Cross- Station 6
36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."
43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"- Matthew 26:36-46
This scene reveals the sorrow in Jesus' heart that night. He prayed to his Father that he would not have to go to the cross if there were another way. He prayed the hardest prayer "yet not as I will, but as your will." When Jesus said "May this cup be taken from me," he was referring to the difficult thing his father was asking him to bear. Yet Jesus chose to drink the cup, even if it was painful.
"Yet not as I will, but as you will." This was probably the hardest prayer that I have ever made. I thought I always knew what was best for me. I wanted to control everything in my life. But I have learned that sometimes the desires and dreams of my heart are not necessarily what is best for me. And I have realized that things change and plans fail for a reason. For I am certain that I know God knows what is best for me. So here I am . . . letting God lead me. And He has taken me to some where I never thought I would be. He is faithful to His promises and has restored the joy in my heart. So think about some of the things in your life that you desire. Also think about some of the things God is calling you to give up and to let Him take care of. Talk to God about them and watch how God will open doors. His plans for us are more than we could ever imagine. Praying for you always.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Journey to the Cross- Station 5
Displayed on the wall the scripture read:
21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled,* and he exclaimed, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!" 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean.23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table.*24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, "Who's he talking about?"25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, "Lord, who is it?" 26 Jesus responded, "It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl." And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot.27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, "Hurry and do what you're going to do."28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant.29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor.30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.- John 13: 21-30
Have you ever thought about what it means to be a true believer? Think of all the miracles which took place before the eyes of Judas. He witnessed the casting out of demons, the giving of sight to the blind (even a man born blind—John 9), and the raising of the dead ( John 11). He was there when Jesus stilled the storm (see Luke 8:22-25) and when He walked on the sea (John 6:19-21). He took part in the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-14) and then of the 4,000 (Matthew 15:29-39). Each of the other disciples grew in their faith at each new manifestation of our Lord’s power, love, mercy, and holiness. Not so with Judas. You would think that after everything that he had witnessed he would believe.
In studying more about this passage, Jesus tells his disciples what is going to happen ahead of time, so that when these things take place they will remember He told them beforehand and believe him as the Messiah. While Jeus is indirectly exposing Judas as an unbeliever here, His emphasis is on believing, believing in Him. Although these words seem to be directed to his believing disciples I can't help but wonder if this is not atleast one last appeal to Judas to believe. Think of the heart break he must have been feeling at the betrayal of one of his own disciples. He knew his disciples would soon face confusion and fear. Think about his sorrow and compassion for them.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Journey to the Cross-Station 4
14. Then one of the Twelve-the one called Judas Iscariot-went to the cheif priests 15. and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins." -Matthew 26:14-15
Judas was one of Jesus' closest friends, one of the 12 disciples who had been with him for three years. He agreed to betray Jeus for thirty silver coins. How could Judas betray his friend for money? Displayed on the floor at station 4 were 30 coins. As I picked up those gold coins in my hands, I really felt overwhelmed with sadness. How many times in my life have I traded Jesus over material things. I believe that all these things that we possess money, a great career, fancy cars, expensive jewelry doesn't really matter. Because in the end, you won't be able to take any of that with you.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Journey to the Cross-Station 3
1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus' honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate* with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar* of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus' feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 "That perfume was worth a year's wages.* It should have been sold and the money given to the poor." 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples' money, he often stole some for himself.
7 Jesus replied, "Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."- John 12: 1-8
Mary was moved by the Holy Spirit and poured out expensive perfume onto Jesus' feet as an act of worship. I think Mary's act of worship was pure, passionate, real, expensive, extravagent. And it touched the heart of Jesus. Jesus knew he was headed to the cross, and Mary's act of Worship was a blessing to him. This verse really made me think about what worship means to me as well as to God. I think that this verse has taken my daily devotionals to another level by knowing how truly God delights in our praise and worship. We are called to live every moment of our lives in fragrant worship of Jesus. Think about finding a way to pour out your love to Jesus, extravegently.