Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oli otya!

Oli otya! (That's Ugandan for "Hello!")

For the last week or so, I have not been able to access my blog. When I came onto the Blogger homepage, I entered my email and password as usual, only to find myself on a page telling me I had to have a Google account, and to get one I had to enter my email and password, but when I did, it told me it was invalid and I had to have a Google account! It was all very confusalating, and slightly frustrating, but when I tried again today - expecting I would not be able to blog ever again - I got in, just like I always had! Hmm... I dunno.

BUT I am back now, and I am stoooooooked to say that I am going to Uganda ... TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am so ridiuclously excited. Needless to say, I am having a VERY difficult time trying to study for the 4 tests I need to take tomorrow morning (as they would've been the end of this week). As if I could think about anything but Africa at the moment! I'm pretty sure I am not going to do well on the tests, but I couldn't care less, to tell the truth.

It feels very surreal - and I imagine it may very well feel that way even after I come back - but I know it's gonna be an amaaaaaaaaazing experience, and I am filled with bubbling over with joyful anticipation.

I would greatly appreciate your prayers - for our team (10 including me) and our health, safety, etc., and for the people we will encounter over there.

I look forward to telling you all about it!
Thanks and see ya in 2 weeks!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Life is Beautiful

God is so creative!
All photos taken by yours truly - except the squirrel which was taken by my Dad.

Have a beautiful day everyone :)

Song Saturday - 1234

At the moment, I'm loving me a bit o' Feist. She is absolutely amazing.
So, have a listen to her wonderful, wonderful song, 1234. Enjoy :)

1234 by Feist

Friday, September 18, 2009


Home again, home again, jiggity-jig!

Yes, I am home from my school retreat. It was epicly epic.
I had an absolute blast and I am very sorry that it was my last school camp, although I am not sorry it is my last year at school. We played wild games, had fantastic chapels, had mad DPS (Dance Party Seshes), ate delish food, and swam in a ridiculously freezing lake, among other things.

I've discovered that I don't appreciate my school-mates half as much at school as I do at the retreat. You see, at the retreat, alot of the walls break down, alot of the masks come off. It becomes "us" as opposed to "me and them". For some reason, screaming your heads off, nearly freezing to death, eating waaaaaaaay too much sugar, and galavanting about in the dark seem to be part of the recipe to bringing students together. I love watching people coming together, making friends, working as a team. It is sheerly fantastical.

At retreat, we were placed in teams. There were 6 teams - each a different colour, Orange being the best (and, no, Orange being my team does not make me biased! P.S. We were called "The Creamsicles" ...yeeeeeeeah! :) - and these teams were used as the basis for competition over everything between who can yell the loudest to who can blow the biggest bubblegum bubble. I found the point system quite hilarious though. Arm wrestling competition? 20, 000 points. I dunno, I just thought it was pretty funny. Not 20, but 20 thousand! Anyway...

Well, I'm about to fall asleep (though it couldn't possibly be because us Gr. 12s stayed up 'til 3am playing Wii, eating junk and watching Napoleon Dynamite, could it?) so I'm gonna stop because I'm pretty sure you get the point that I loved it and it was awesome, but I just want to say (or shout) one more thing:

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IS THE BEST GAME EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! (Yes, the triple exclamation strikes again!!!) The M.I. we played at the retreat was completely different than Malagash M.I. (which sounds like a certain Hawaiian-shirt-wearing investigator) and in my opinion way more awesomer. The aim was to take a golfball from one end of the field to the other and drop it into your team's bucket without being caught by a spotlight. There were various obstacles (picnic tables, canoes, bins) throughout the field to hide behind. It was ah-mazing. Never have I hit the ground so many times! Run, run - DROP! Run! DROP! Run, run, run - DIIIIIVE! Hide. Run, run - DROP! BOOOOOK IT! Intense, huh? My knees are bruised and my wrist is aching - but it was SO worth it. I got 5 golfballs in! Oh baby, F-I-V-E! I was very proud of myself, aha. Oh man, at one point, I got inside one of the overturned (empty) garbage cans and started walking up the hill with it over my head! The spotlighters said it was very funny, but I was still out. Sad, but true. I've decided my next birthday party is gonna be a game of Mission Impossible because it is the bomb-diggity-bomb.

Anyway... you can probably tell I'm tired because I'm rambling and using phrases like "oh baby/man" and "the bomb-diggity-bomb" so I will let you and myself go now.

Go watch Napoleon Dynamite, GOSH!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

See ya Saturday!

No Tuesday Think today sorry - in fact, not much of a post at all!
Just wanted to quickly let you know I've got my school retreat (gr. 7-12 camp) from Wednesday-Friday and it's gonna be a blaaaaaaaaast! Will tell you all about it on Saturday, I guess. Woot :)
Also, just wanted to say good luck, bon voyage and I'm praying for you to any of my NCC friends who are reading this and who are going to Fiji in a day or two. Love you, have fun!
Smileo! Jx

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday Supper

Last night I went to a local event called the Sunday Supper. This is a dinner held every Sunday night at a church in my city for the homeless and disadvantaged. It's not a "soup kitchen", it's a proper sit-down meal where the visitors are waited on by the volunteers. The Sunday Supper started as a Christmas party - 27 years ago, I think, and has been going on every Sunday since then: "the longest Christmas party in the world", as it was described to me by my lovely friend Alli (I mentioned her in my post on Saturday about the song Times) who I went with, and who has been working there for many years. I had been to the Sunday Supper once quite a while ago (with my youth group) and had really enjoyed it and had wanted to go back, so I was excited to go back yesterday. There were a good number of volunteers there - I'd say 30 plus, many of whom I knew from camp this summer and was thrilled to see again - and that was great because there were probably a couple hundred guests at the supper! My main role throughout the evening was serving juice, as well as cutting up pies and fruit for the dessert at the beginning. We all worked together to serve the meal - which was beef stew and pizza last night - and clean up at the end. It was wonderful to get to chat with the guests - and even just to share a smile and a "Hi! How are you?" with them. These are lovely people who have tough lots in life - due to a miriad of different circumstances - and it is up to us to make life as easy for them as we can. The Sunday Supper is just one practical way that the "lucky" people in my community are blessing those who aren't so fortunate. I was very encouraged by the time I spent there last night and I am looking forward to attending more regularly - hopefully I'll be back next week!
Blessings to you all x
P.S. I am watching House right now and it is wonderful. I'm hooked!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lessons and Missions

Well, I said yesterday in my ridiculously long post about camp, that I would share some of the lessons I learnt working at camp and tell you about my upcoming Uganda trip, and since I don't have much else to do right now (oh, how I love weekends!), I thought I'd do just that.

Firstly, lessons from camp. Some of these sound tres cliche, I know, but they are true. And the truth is not overrated (Big Fat Liar reference, ahaha!) so here they are:

(P.S. There's a fair few, so bear with me...)

Lessons from Scotian Glen:
  • God will always be there to help - it's just up to us to ask for His help.
  • Nothing is ever too hard with God's help.
  • We need challenges and difficulties in order to grow and learn.
  • If it was always easy, we would never get to learn how to handle hard times and gain useful life experience.
  • Life would be really boring if it were always easy!
  • The logical solution to a problem is not always the best one.
  • Influence is a powerful, and potentially very dangerous, thing.
  • I have a much greater influence than I realise.
  • It's the little things that really count.
  • Know when to stop - there is a time to just give up.
  • Pick your battles, only do what matters.
  • Watch your words - what you mean and what you say can be completely different. Be careful! (see The Tuesday Think - Words)
  • Never make assumptions or cast judgements.
  • First impressions are (almost) always wrong.
  • Make every effort to go "the extra mile" - it's the extra care you take that makes the difference.
  • When you think you're at the end of your rope and can't do anything more, you're wrong. You can press on and do some of your best work when you decide to persevere.
  • Don't take anything too seriously. It's better to laugh it off than to let it get you down.
  • Just have fun! If you can't enjoy what you're doing at all, then it's probably not worth doing.
  • Look on the bright side!
  • Always put other first. (When you live for others it all makes sense.)
  • Patience! Patience is the key. Even though it's brutally hard at times, it's always worth it.
  • Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love is all that ultimately matters.
So, there you go. Those are just some of the things that being at camp for 6 weeks (plus Malagash) taught me. Yes, they're all simple things that I already knew, but you can never be reminded of basic truths and principles like these too often.

Now, UGANDA! I depart in a mere 18 days! Ahhhhhhhhhh! :)
I am going to Uganda on a missions trip with a group of 10 people from my church. We're going to the Watoto Children's Village, which is a home for children who have been orphaned, mainly due to AIDS, as well as to civil war, etc. Watoto is just outside of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. We'll be there until 12 October and the main goal for our trip is to help build a classroom for the Watoto school, which we're building thanks to the $23,000 we raised. (Yes, we raised a whackload of money. It costs $17,000 to build the classroom, so who knows what the rest will do... God is amazing!)
We'll also be interacting with the children of Watoto and their "housemothers". You see, Watoto is an orphanage, but not in the traditional sense. At Watoto, kids are placed in homes, in "families" with 7 other brothers and sisters, all orphans, like themselves, and under the care of a "mother". The kids are provided with all that they need, including an education at the school of Watoto. Watoto has given hope, joy, love and life to thousands of kids since it began in 1994. It's going strong as ever: there are several villages, a new "Baby Watoto" and more villages are being created in Northern Uganda, where they will be rescuing child soldiers.
You may have heard of, or even seen, the Watoto Children's Choir. This is a group of Watoto kids who tour the world singing about Jesus, and telling the good news of how He saved them. I have seen them perform twice now, and they are amazing. I am so priviledged to get to go to their homeland and help expand the Village.
Hey, if you want to know any more about Watoto, or see some pictures or anything, here is the website: http://www.watoto.com/

So, now you know what I'll be doing for the first two weeks of October (and also what I'm doing with the money I earned working at camp all summer!) It's gonna be epic. I'd just ask that you keep this mission trip in your prayers. That'd be awesome, ta!

Well, good night everyone!
Jord :)


As I've said before, I love writing poems.
Here's a lighthearted, children's poem I wrote recently that I hope you will enjoy.


Lisa is my bestest friend
She comes over every day
We laugh, we cry, we scream and shout
We play and play and play

Lisa is my bestest friend
She always shares she toys
She's kind, polite, and oh-so-good
Except when teasing boys

Lisa is my bestest friend
She can't wait 'til next week
'Cuz it's my birthday party then
But into the room she'll sneak

Lisa is my bestest friend
But no-one else has met her
You see she is invisible
But that makes her even better!

Song Saturday - Times

I only ever did one "Song Saturday", but if you remember that, you'll know it's just where I share a song that I'm loving at the moment - and where you can share a song you're currently enjoying! Musical magic :)

So, today's song is a beautiful, beautiful song called Times. It is by a modern Christian band called Tenth Avenue North. I'm really loving these guys lately - they do great contemporary worship, so if you like Times, I'm sure you'd enjoy listening to their other stuff too.

Times is a song which starts off with the prayer of a person to God: "...I long to feel you, I feel this need for you..." It's simply the cry of their heart, it's raw and sweet.
The next section of the song is God's response to them, His child: "...My love is over, it's underneath, it's inside, it's in between..." It's a reassurance that He's there for us through everything, every "time" in our lives - when we're happy, hurting, whatever. He's always there, and He always love us passionately and deeply, and He will never change.

It's gorgeous, I love it. I first heard it at Malagash this summer, actually. It was performed by two of the most amazing, beautiful people I know - Allison and Matt. Alli sang the prayer, and Matt represented God and sang the answer. It was amazing, I had goosebumps.

So, here it is: Times by Tenth Avenue North

I hope you enjoy Times as much as I have been.
Now, go ahead, return the favour - share a song you love with me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm Baaa-ack!

*pushing through crowds of screaming fans*
Thank you, thank you! Yes, I'm very happy to be back! I know, it's been a long time, but I'm sure I can make a successful comeback and continue blazing my bedazzled trail to super stardom! Oh, flowers? You're too kind! Okay, okay! Enough with the flowers-- ooh! Ferrari?! For meeeeeee?! AWESOME!!! (Yes, a Ferrari does merit the heinous crime of the dreaded triple exclamation!!!)

Alright, enough o' that. Yes, I have returned. But, no, it won't involve Ferraris. Or flowers, for that matter. Although I do like both flowers and Ferraris (the latter more so than the former, obviously.) But, we digress.
I am back at long last after finishing the school year and the summer (again, I much prefer the latter.) Wow, what an incredibly eventful summer it was! So crazmazing (which is my new word - a combination of crazy and amazing.) So, without further ado, allow me to tell you a bit about the aforementioned beaut of a summer holiday!

So, from 24 June - 7 August (with one week off in between) I worked as a camp counsellor at a summer camp, a few hours from where I live. (There was a week of training, 4 "Holiday Camps" and one "Moms & Tots Camp".)
This camp is called Scotian Glen and is run by the Salvation Army as a place that kids (ages 7-12) from underprivileged homes (i.e. public housing areas) around the Maritimes can go to camp - for free - and have an absolute blast in a safe and loving environment, as well as learn about Jesus. I was with the 11-12 year old girls.
I'm not gonna lie, camp was difficult. The kids (the boys in particular) were tough. But you couldn't blame them, knowing the situations and backgrounds they're coming from. Most of these kids live in violent and messed-up places. Most of them don't have two parents. Many of them have parents who are alcoholics, drug addicts, or in prison. Some of them don't have parents. Some of these kids have been abused, or neglected. Many of them have ADD, ADHD or other issues. And even the kids who come from relatively easy homes, still have problems - because, let's face it, we all do.
All of these kids rarely get the chance just to be kids, so one of the major aims of camp was to just enable and encourage these kids just to be kids and enjoy themselves! Camp gave them a chance to get to relax, make friends, and so much more, all in a place run by young people (i.e. myself and the other staff) who they knew they could trust.
Kids love having fun (pretty sure everyone does, actually! I sure do!) So ... Camp! Was! FUN! We played mad games, swam, made crafts, sang songs, watched movies, ate delicious food at crazy themed meals, learned Bible stories... It was wonderful. I can't even describe how much fun I had, let alone how much the kids must've had.
But as fun as it was, it was, at times, brutally hard. Especially at bed time. Oh. My. Goodness. The days are pretty much okay, since there is stuff to do, but at night. No. No. No. How come kids who are so tired fight sleeping so hard? I will never understand. Actually, I'd prefer not to think about the night times. Let's just focus on the fun.
But, yeah, camp was intensely intense. Intense to the max. But we had a great team of staff and we pulled through wonderfully, with only minor hiccups along the way - such as one of the guy counsellors having his fingers - the same ones - broken TWICE whilst breaking up fights between kids. And alot of sickness (no H1N1, though, thankfully!) including my brutal ear infection which was no fun. At all. But I survived - we all did - because God is awesome.
Yep, God is ridiculously amazing. I can't even express how ridiculously amazing He is. Without Him, there is no way on earth we could've done what we did. He chose exactly the right team of people to work at the camp - the 18 counsellors, the kitchen staff, the maintenance, the directors - and gave us all that we needed - strength, patience, love, courage, hope, compassion, grace, etc. He is so good, and the 6 weeks I spent at Scotian Glen really reinforced that for me. I learnt SOOOO much at Scotian Glen, and I hope to share some of these valubale lessons with you over the coming days.

But that was not all I did this summer! As soon as I finished working at Scotian Glen, I was off to another camp! This time I went to the beautiful Malgash Bible Camp (again, a few hours from my place) with my beautiful family for Family Camp. This week was SO RELAXING! Ahaha... It was filled with chillin' at the beach, games, worship - ooh, and watching a meteor shower! We lay on the beach one night and I saw about 30 meteors in just over an hour! It was epic!!! (Again, a meteor shower is an exception to the !!! rule.)

But wait! There's more! At the end of that week, I was asked back to be a volunteer counsellor at the next camp, which was Jr. High Camp. That was another INCREDIBLE week. I'd say maybe the highlight of my summer? While Scotian Glen was great, Malagash is a much better camp in my opinion, so I enjoyed getting to be there again greatly. I will talk about this week another time probably because this is getting looooooooong and you are getting boooooooored, and I STILL have more to say!
Then I came back AGAIN to Malagash to work in the kitchen (something different this time!) for the next camp, Sr. High Camp (I could've gone as a camper but I didn't because I hadn't been planning to come back and it cost a fair bit as well). It was fun to work in the kitchen, which I hadn't done before. We pretty much washed dishes, set tables, and served food. Hard work, but it was good because we had a good team and good music to help. The best part of this week was probably the lovely "Coffee House" we had one night where some amazing local musicians graced us with their beautiful mmmusical prowess :)

Well, that was my summer! I also spent a few days with my family on Prince Edward Island, which was loverly too.

So, I've gone back to school now - it's my laaaaast year (finally!) and I'm kinda stoked about that. Also, it's school camp next week which is good because I am suffering from camp withdrawal! It'll be different to not be running the camp, though!

And in other news, today marks the anniversary of 9/11. To my American friends, I am praying for you and your nation today, as you - and the world - remember and reflect upon the tragedy that happened on this day, 8 years ago.

Oooookay, I think I've written enough for one day. I didn't intend to share all that but now I have, so that's that, I guess.
Much love (and the last few rays of summer sunshine) to you all.

P.S. My new profile picture is a snap I took of my dog at the beach last week! Enjoy :)
P.P.S. I am going to Uganda in just 19 DAYS! I will tell you all about that soon!