Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I apologize for being lame.

Sorry. I haven't updated like I said I would.

I know I'm lame. I apologize. I'll try to catch you up with what's been going on since my last REAL entry paragraph by paragraph.

First: A Bit About Benny
Benny was a guy in a group about three weeks ago and he was... amazing. On the first night I wasn't quite sure what to make of him, but each morning Benny came in with a huge smile and such a joyful spirit it was hard not to like him. He was constantly praising the Lord for his many blessings and recognized God's presence in all people and situations. He was truly a blessing to us this summer. When he left, he gave all of us interns and Steve a parting gift for us to always remember him by. Whenever I wear the bracelet he gave me, I will forever remember him, his lovable charm, and joy for life.

Second: Neat Nina and Beautiful Break
Two weeks ago, Carl and Robin's church came. They were such an awesome group with some fantastic folks in it. I was lucky enough, though, to mostly work with Nina all week. Nina was one of the adult leaders, but we instantly bonded and although we were working with a fairly frustrating project, we were definitely in it together. It was awesome to work with her and get to know her in the three days I was on the work site. I was definitely sad to see her go.

As for break, it was... interesting at times, a divine blessing at others. First, Rindi and I got massages from a nail salon in Wal-Mart (where we got our pedicures in the beginning of the summer.) It was... definitely not the best massage I've ever received and I left there bruised and EXTREMELY sore. (and not in a good way) After that, though, we went to the Strand and had a really awesome dinner and lovely conversation at Yaga's. (barbequed, bacon-wrapped shrimp! Mmm!) We then headed back to Central to help Will with worship and then got Jack-in-the-box Iced Coffees and went to the beach. It was lovely and VERY relaxing.

The next day we toured two historic homes: Moody Mansion and Bishop's Palace. Bishop's Palace was... incredible. Seriously. Rindi and I were trying to come up with ideas on how to buy it before the tour was even over. It's a gorgeous house. Moody Mansion was also neat and had a bit more history behind it as the Moody family has been a very influential part of Galveston's history. Therefore, definitely two great things to have done on a day off. Also on that day, we went to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch and I had the BEST crab cakes of my LIFE. I cannot even describe it's awesomeness... but it was a divine blessing. Later that night we also went and saw the Hangover as our one last "hurrah" before work might begin again.

Home Sweet Home:
Last week Living Water came (hooray!) as did two other great groups. It was fantastic to see my brother and a few other friendly faces that I've missed worshipping with these past couple of days. It was especially cool to see how much everyone seemed to adore Timothy and even though he has been the youngest one here all summer, he definitely fit in and was included in things. Also, last week is work REALLY started on Second Christian and it was so awesome that my church home got to be a part of rebuilding the church building for my church family here. What an awesome thing to be a part of the body of Christ! Also, Nancy (another long term volunteer) joined our staff. I adore her already and I'm absolutely thrilled that she's here. Also, she's from Rocheport so we both instantly bonded over fond memories of Abigails. Yum!

Going into the home stretch...
This is our last full week in Galveston as next week Rindi, Robin, Nancy, Dwight, and I head out to Indianapolis to get ready for General Assembly. Joel, Will, and Carl will head out on Saturday. So far this week's groups have been INCREDIBLE and it's been lovely working with them. I'm looking forward to an awesome rest of the week. On Friday, all the groups will be taking the day off, though, so us interns are joining one of our groups on an outing to Schlitterbahn (a waterpark) so that should be neat. In the evening we're also going on a tour of Galveston with Rose Marie, who is Pastor William's wife. She's an incredible lady and I'm really looking forward to spending that time with her. :)

I still haven't quite figured out what all God was trying to show me and say to me this summer, but I do know that one of the most amazing things that has come out of this journey has been my strengthened connection to the denomination. I feel like I now not only know amazing Disciples in Kansas City, but all over the nation. It's so cool to recognize how we are all connected, to meet some fantastic people I would not have met otherwise, and to make some new connections that I might be able to see again sometime later in life. Again, how awesome is it to be a part of the Body of Christ!? Super awesome.

However, I am starting to freak out about returning home as I feel like there's a lot of stuff that's not in order. I have to figure out how to move everything back home and how to do all my laundry, etc. I have to find a job of some sort if I'm going to have any source of income this next year. AND I have to figure out what I'm going to do for my senior project so I can start meeting with Youngblood within my first few weeks of school. I know that God is Good (all the time), but it certainly is frustrating to not know the details of what might be in the plans for the next year (especially when time is coming closer and closer.)

But anyway, I hope this was a good enough update. I'll try to update again before I leave for General Assembly, but I can't make much promises. :)

Love you all!

Friday, July 3, 2009


I will update! Soon!

As you may have guessed, things have just been INCREDIBLY busy and they're just about to get busier. I promise to update either tonight or tomorrow though... mmkay? Okay!

<3 Beth

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mission Work

So it's confession time:

I, Bethany J, have never been on a mission trip.

Now this may seem strange as I like Jesus and helping people and hanging out with church folks... but I'm totally fer reals... I've never been on a mission trip.

So it's been kind of a strange experience... having never gone on a mission trip and now having my entire summer be one long mission trip.

It's been really good, though. When I applied for this internship I applied with the knowledge that I am called to serve the "least of these" but in a more administrative way as that's the best way to use my gifts. I knew, though, that to better serve the least of these I needed to know what it is like to be in the "thick of it" working with and for the least of these.

So it's been kind of amazing and eye-opening. Oftentimes we white liberals tend to think we know what's best for others when really we have no clue. Once we start serving the least of these, though, and getting into the thick of things we understand much better what the needs of the community are and how to best serve and work with the communities that we wish to help. It's been very neat.

Anyway, that's what's been on my mind lately. I hope all is well and the summer is going fantastically. I feel like this summer is just flying by... I can't helieve I've been gone for four weeks already! Holy cow!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Yesterday I learned how to mud drywall.

When hearing about the process folks kept on describing it as "tedious" and "boring." Therefore, when given the opportunity to do it yesterday, I was somewhat hesitant. It was obvious, though, that if I did not start mudding with a few people then I would have very little to do... so I said "okay."

When I finally learned how to do it and started in... I loved it. Absolutely LOVED it.

To me it was so relaxing and it's great project for me, the perfectionist. I found that when I was mudding time would fly by... to where I even missed the time for us to go to lunch and we were a bit late.

It's so cool because when I found out that I got this job, I started to panic a bit because I didn't know how to do ANY construction. I also know that I'm not the strongest of folks and so it might be difficult for me to do some of the work.

What's neat though is to come here and find out that everyone can lend a helping hand. If you don't have the strongest muscles, it's okay... there are other jobs that suit your skill set. We can all be the hands and feet of Christ we just have to discover what gifts we have and can use to do God's work.

Cool thing, eh?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So I have to say that being in this internship has helped to refresh my spiritual life quite a bit and has given me many thoughts to mull over.

I've been thinking about what it means to fight the good fight and how God can and does give us rest when the fight makes us weak and weary.

I've also been thinking about blessings and where we find them. Today one of the groups shared that they found a lizard while clearing out brush from a backyard and noted that they really saw God in that situation. Generally when thinking about blessings, somone might think of a new baby, or a raise or promotion at work, or an undeserved gift... but how awesome it is that we can also find blessings in finding a lizard in a pile of debris and weeds?

I've been thinking about how God talks to us... in the crashing, roaring ocean and in a still small voice. What a challenge it is to us that we are called to listen to both and to be attentive to God. And what a blessing it is that we have the opportunity to have a personal relationship with our creator.

I've also found myself thinking about Rob Bell's Nooma video, "Kickball." I know what things I want in life, but I'm wondering if God is saying "Yes" or "Not right now" or "No." How hard it is to discern that sometimes.

I've also been thinking about all of you. How I miss you and wish you were here to experience just a small taste of what's going on here. There's incredible work being done and such amazing people have stepped up to do it. I wish you could all meet the incredible long-term volunteers here doing work, and all of the short-term volunteers, and all of my awesome intern homies, and Carl (my boss) and his wife (and my second mom while I'm away from my own :( ), Robin.

But as you all cannot be here with me, I thank God that I have not only the opportunity to be here all summer... but also to tell the story. To let you all know of what the church is doing to relieve some of the pain in the world. It's a beautiful story.

Anyway, as I'm exhausted and my head is full I'm going to go listen to some music and crash. Thank you all for your prayers. I have felt surrounded by your love since I've left Kansas City. :)

<3 Beth

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Plea for Help

So here in Galveston there are two DOC churches... one is Central Christian Church (the one we're staying at and helping to rebuild) and the other is Second Christian Church.

Today's story is about Second Christian.

Second Christian Church is a small African American church here in Galveston. I worshiped with them today and I cannot even tell you how wonderful it was and how beautiful the people there are.

When Hurricane Ike hit, their building took on 5 feet of water and it basically destroyed everything within the building. Unlike Central Christian Church, who only took on one foot of water, Second Christian has NO insurance to cover this kind of disaster. Therefore, they have NO money.

Since Hurricane Ike, they've been worshiping in the fellowship hall of Central Christian and have spent that time trying to get their own homes back in shape. The pastor this morning even told all of us that after Ike hit, he didn't even want to try to fix the building until each member of the church was able to move back into their homes. He thought it was most important to have the church family all reuinted before fixing the church building.

This summer we'll have approximately 200 volunteers come through willing to do work, but we don't have the funds to fix this church.

Therefore, this is my plea to all of you: If you can help, PLEASE DO. Helping can happen in a lot of ways. It can happen by you donating money, or telling someone you know who might be willing to donate to this cause about this issue. Another thing you can do is donate your skills. For example, if you're an electrician, a plumber, or someone who fixes foundations... we could use you. Or, if you know someone who knows these things and would be willing to donate their time... that would also be fantastic.

I'm not certain what all the needs are quite yet as Carl's still getting that all together. But please, you have the resources, help. This chuch is so ready to move back home.

As for other things, tonight two more groups come in so I'm sure I'll be busy. :) Also, tomorrow two more long-term volunteers will be joining us for the rest of the summer so that'll be neat too.

So yes. I'm off for now. I hope you all are having lovely days!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


There have been many thoughts in my mind this past week.

I've been examining the concept of "home"... what does it mean? Where does it exist?
I've also been thinking about the idea of "family"... what does it mean? Where does it exist?

It's been an interesting week.

It was the first week of having groups here to start the rebuilding process. We had four different groups and we were worried that it might be difficult to be a community within those four groups. However, we discovered quickly that we had four super awesome groups this week and the idea of being "one body" was not difficult to accomplish.

Me, and my work partner, Joel, were on the worksite this week and the other two interns working here, Rindi and Will, were in hospitality. On the worksite I was mainly working inside the air-conditioned church helping to put up endless amounts of drywall. At the beginning of the week I knew NOTHING about putting up drywall... but now that this week is over I feel like I know enough to where I could even teach someone else if needed. That's a pretty cool thing... something to certainly be proud of.

We also heard stories this week of people who attend the church, walking in for a bible study on Wednesday and almost becoming moved to tears to see the work we had done inside this week. Their church finally has some walls outside their sanctuary and they voiced that they felt extremely blessed.

It is obvious to me that many people in Galveston are finding new hope from us being here. We've had several people just walking by the church stop and say "thank you"... we've had people watch us from their porches as we load stuff in and start working on a house nearby... and we've had those we're directly assisting be speechless when attempting to express their graditude.

In my mind, if nothing else, we're not only rebuilding churches and homes... but giving people a fresh sense of hope. Hope that the younger generations of this world have not forgotten what it means to serve others. Hope that folks from all over the world have not forgotten about them and the tragic reality they face within rebuilding their homes. Hope that someday their homes will be in good enough shape so they can fully return to living a "normal" life.

That's a beautiful thing.

Also wonderful this week is the amount of compliments I have received... especially from the groups that came. I sometimes forget that I have been called. In the midst of all the craziness this week... the frustrations and the hurt feelings... God still called me to this place. To hear the thank yous and the "I really appreciated when you did ______" was so encouraging and gave me just the right boost to know that I was on the right track.

I hope that those feelings and reminders continue for the rest of the summer... I think I need them.

Oh, and today Robin treated Rindi and I to pedicures. Oh em gee. So good.

I think that's about it for now, though. Talk to you all later!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


This is mostly just a quick apology because we don't have wifi yet in Galveston. Luckily, the church computer is available for us to use but we have to take turns.

Therefore, I won't really update now, but I promise I will later. I just wanted to let you all know that I didn't forget about this. :)

I'll update as soon as I can!

Loff to you and you and you and you.

Friday, May 29, 2009


I don't really know what to say about this past week.

I will say that when it began I was quite nervous. Due to situations and circumstances I found myself wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into. I think a lot of my fellow interns were feeling that way as well.

Luckily, though, we were all in it together and bonded quickly. Let me tell you right now that every single intern serving this summer is incredible. If you have the opportunity to visit any of the places they'll be working, you'll be blessed. Actually, about half of them left today and it's been very sad around here since then. We really became a small family in the time we were all together. However, I am glad that about half of them I will get to see again at General Assembly. :)

Besides that it's been a week of growth. Honestly, this is one of the best training sessions I have ever been to. They recognized the talents we already had and focused more on building and less on "starting at the beginning." Although the week started out feeling as if it was going to be difficult, it ended with me adoring every single person - including those I started off the week feeling very put off by.

I recognized more of who I am, what my strengths are, where my weaknesses lie and I tried to discern more on where I might be feeling called to.

Let me also tell you that I felt the most affirmed I have felt in a very long time in the past two days. Not only by my peers at training but by the leadership team. It's a great feeling to know that I have shown myself to be a good, capable leader in just a week.

As for specific things we did this week... there were a few things worth mentioning.

First of all, we had two work days where we did they type of work that most of us will be doing at our sites. We completely organized the tool sheds and moved boxes full of stuff into the church. The next day we built a stand for an air conditioner that would be hurricane proof. (The church we'll be working in - Central Christian Church - had their air conditioner go out this week so it needed to be replaced and put on top of some sort of stand.) We each played a part in the construction of the stand and it will be a beautiful reminder of the summer of all of the amazing people I met this week.

I, along with the other interns, also got the opportunity this week to go to one of the homes we'll be working on this summer. It is a home owned by the Love family and we actually got to meet Marion Love, the father of the family. He told us that when they were told to evacuate they assumed that they wouldn't be hit too bad so left the majority of their stuff in their home... including their second car. Unfortunately, though, thier part of town was hit worse than any other and his house was underneath about 5 feet of water. Everything was destroyed including the car that they left. It was heartbreaking to walk through the home - to see it empty and to see it in such shambles. I could not imagine that happening to my home. I realized the amount of memories that the family has in that space and how I'm sure it was devastating for them to return and deal with the reality of being homeless. It was difficult for me to walk through the home... to see his son's room and notice the sports curtains on the windows. I don't know, I think it's just such an awful reality to deal with and it makes me incredibly proud to know that we might be able to help out just enough to get them moved back home faster.

Also, we've had much time at the beach. Well, at least a little time at the beach. Wednesday night we all loaded up and went out to eat and then walked across the street to the beach. It was so much fun. There was laughter, great conversation, and an amazing sense of unity among all of us. I think after that night the mood totally changed, too, and we started seeing each person as the wonderful people they are, regardless of earlier opinions.

Basically, it's just been an incredible week and I'm almost sad to start in on the real work. Hah!

Oh, and we went to the beach tonight. (Well, those of us left, anyway.) It was a great time again and such a calming thing. I think the four of us staying around this summer will be spending a lot of time at the beach because it's such a great stress reliever for all of us.

Alright well I'm out of here, but I'll be posting pictures up on Facebook tonight.

Love to you and you and you and you! :)

<3 Beth

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Made It!

So here I am, sitting on a bed at the Texas City Mission Site.

It was a long drive, three of us squished in the backseat of a Ford F-150, but I survived!

Let me catch you up a bit...

So yesterday I left KC at 7 a.m. after meeting Carl (my boss for the next couple of months), Will, and Joel (two of the interns working at the Texas City/Galveston worksite with me.) We then traveled to Wichita to pick up Robin (Carl's wife) and start driving towards Galveston.

On the road we stopped at Arby's to eat, make a couple of rest stops, and stopped at a gas station called Buc-Ees... which, by the way, is probably the king of all gas stations. It was kind of like a gourmet food store/souvenir shop/restaurant/bathroom/gas station inside. If you want to get a feel for the "Buc-Ees experience" you should go to www.buc-ees.com :) The one I went to was one of the newer ones in Madisonville.

After our long ride in the car, though, we decided to retire early and slept at an Econo Lodge in a smaller town about two hours away from Texas City. It was an... interesting stay. Lets just put it this way: I went into the bathroom this morning to take a shower and was met with a massive cockroach "leg up" in the shower. Disgusting.

Anyway, this morning we drove the rest of the way to Texas City so we could get here just in time for worship. It's a pretty adorable church, and the sanctuary is a REALLY neat space so I think I'll enjoy my time here. :) Also, this is the church where all the mission groups will be housed so it's good to get acquainted with the building before they all start arriving next week.

Today we've just kind of been hanging out. The rest of the DHM interns arrived here around 4:30 so we've just been chatting a bit and enjoying some good down time. We'll also have a bit of training tonight but that won't be until after dinner so... there's not much else to say!

I miss you all already, though. I hope I can make it through this summer without a breakdown. Hahaha.

Loff to you and you and you and you. :)

<3 Beth

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dinkin' Flicka

Galveston Countdown: 5 days!!!!

(Yes, that deserved 4 exclamation points.)

So yeah, I've got my steel toed boots, this blog, shorts, a swimsuit, and excitement... so I'm feeling pretty good to go. Also, I found out that I will be living approximately 3 blocks from the beach and I find that news to be incredibly encouraging... :)

Oh, and apparently... there are 5 Starbucks's in Galveston. I also find that to be incredibly encouraging... :) Although, not a very good sign for my wallet. :(

Anyway, I think I'm about ready to launch this so I shall post the link to my Facebook site and you can easily find the link there FOR EV ER. Well, maybe not forever... but a while.

So yep. See ya on the flip side. I'll try to start updating this regularly once I arrive! :)

<3 Beth

Friday, May 8, 2009

The End and a Beginning

Hey y'all.

Well, it's almost here... just two weeks away from being in Galveston and embarking on a summer journey full of, as the e-mail said, "Great joy and abundant frustration."

I feel excited, but not at all prepared. You know the feeling. There just never seems to be enough time before starting something new. Luckily, though, God always seems to take care of it.

I didn't feel prepared for Copenhagen last year, either. I remember waking up at 4:30 a.m., getting dressed, and walking into the bathroom (crying) and feeling as if I was about to throw up. I have never been so nervous that I became physically ill... but I was really close at that point. I started freaking myself out: I won't know anyone, I won't see my family and friends for 6 weeks, and I'll be in a foreign country where I don't speak the language or know the culture.

But God took care of me. I needed to go, and I knew that. So I collected myself, came out of the bathroom, and said, "I'm ready, dad."

I jumped. I explored the infinite abyss. I followed the path that God had laid before me.

So this summer, although I feel equally as unprepared... I'm ready to jump. To explore the infinite abyss. To follow the path that God has put before me.

Hopefully it will be a grand adventure.

... I think it will be.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Testing, testing 1-2-3


Last summer I went to Copenhagen. It was splendid and wonderful and amazing.

This summer I will be interning in Galveston, TX doing diaster relief with Disciples Home Missions.

Last summer I made a blog called bethisindenmark.

This summer I decided not to make a blog called bethisingalveston.

You may be wondering why. After all the "bethisin____" has been a common blog or e-mail title for me whenever I go some place for a long time.

This time, though, I realized that (more than likely) me going places is never going to end. And therefore, instead of creating a NEW blog every time I go some place new... I'll just start this one up again! See? So every time I travel, you can just check here for all the latest traveling updates. Sweet, eh?

Also, I think more people these days are on blogger and it's a bit easier to use to comment and such so I'm excited to see how it works out. Hopefully it works out swell. :)

Get excited... Beth's Blog is startin' up again!

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