Sunday, June 28, 2009

We found an apartment!

Stephen Cerrillo and me:)
Ryan and I took a quick 36 hour road  trip to Storm Lake to move some boxes to Ryan's office and to do a lil house hunting. We checked out a few different places to rent, and narrowed it down to a cozy apartment in a really nice neighborhood, like five minutes away from everything in town. It was so well kept, and the outside is absolutely adorable! the grass looked great and theres a little rock pond trickling in the neighbors yard. It is in a really good part of town as well, and the price is so rocking awesome. It's definitely a Godthing!:) It is a two bedroom apartment (so we'll have room for guests!!!) and has a big kitchen with a nice sized bathroom, dining room, living room, and a great yard to play catch in:). its so cozy, and I could just imagine how nice it'll be to have such a cute little place with my man. 

We stayed overnight with some friends I have not seen in eight years-The Cerrillos. They were the youth leaders in our church in Jacksonville, but also are family's really good friends. we used to refer to the boys as "our brothers."I'm soooo excited that they'll be so close by to us, I'm definitely planning on some trips up to visit with the Cerrillos. I got to introduce them to Ryan, and we were both so blessed to see them.

I'm getting really excited to get married and get started with the youth work in Iowa. We had lunch with some of the people in the church, and they kept emphasizing how much they were looking forward to us being there-definitely is so much easier to want to go somewhere where you are wanted:). I can't wait to see whats next. In two weeks, I'll be heading down to SC for my third bridal shower (yay!)-i can't wait to go home.:)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Soccer Camp

It's the first week of camps!!! Soccer camp is the first of five this summer with Moody Church. It has been an incredible week of soccer fun, teaching kids the Bible, and coaching their skills, in soccer and life! The Chicago Eagles have been a great group of people-I've had a blast with them. They're students from different colleges all over the world that raised support to do mission trips and soccer summer camps all over Chicago and Brazil. The Moody Church people are the helpers and the Eagles are the coaches. They placed me in the position as a Coach for one of the World Cup teams, Team Mexico, which is a team of 4-6 year old boys and girls. During the rest of the time, I work with the 4-6 year old girls:). Its been fun and I am known at camp as "Coach Princess Peach." (We each pick a coach name that is not really our own). 

It has been soooo hot the past few days that we brought in a Fire truck to water down the kids each day. Needless to say, they've LOVED that-we have too.

 Tomorrow we have family day and playoffs. Team Mexico is pumped-we've got a great cheer and great team spirit. Can't wait! 

Friday, June 12, 2009

Storm Lake, Iowa-Home for the next two years

"There's no way, Ryan. No way I'm moving out here to Iowa."

That was my reaction as we drove through 8 hours worth of farmland, country, and more farmland. I saw only pigs, cows, and horses, and something was missing. People! I had never felt more and more like a city girl as we drove through hundreds of miles of nothing but "fresh" air (smelled more like cow poo) and crops and fields. Ryan laughed at me the whole time, reminding me of all the dangerous and difficult places I have been to overseas and here in the States- yet, Iowa's farmland of more pigs than people, made me more uncomfortable than I have ever been in my life.

As we neared Storm Lake, a quaint little town of about 10,000 people showed up. The Lake sorta appeared out of nowhere, because we went from nothing but farmland, to a pretty blue lake and green surrounding it. We met up with the search committee, church, and town, and through the weekend of being there, God was tugging on our hearts. We left Storm Lake with our hearts burdened by the need of the church and people at Storm lake.

God is the only one who could ever have changed my heart and attitude about living out in the middle of nothing. DEfinitely was not my ideal of a place to live or work, but the past few weeks God pressed it on our hearts to go. The ministry aspect of this place will definitely be the most challenging place I have ever been, because of the circumstance of the church, people, and the dynamics of the town, but I'm really curious about how God will use us there. I'm pumped, because Ryan and I will have the opportunity to work in ministry together for the first two years of our marriage! We will be sending our prayer newsletters to send out to our friends and family as we make our way out there. Keep us in prayer-we will definitely be needing it:).

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Lola

This is my Lola, my grandmother. She was the only Lola we knew, and the only one that we had memories with. She lived in the Philippines, which explains why I have only three memories with my Lola. 
The first one was when I was 10. That's when I met her, and fell in love with her and my Lolo (grandpa). I was a tomboy, slid down her high banister, and snuck out on the balcony/roof of her house to shoot the neighborhood boys with my slingshot. She had pictures of my when I was little, and fed me lots of delicious food. I remember that.
The second memory I have of her was when I was 14.  My Lolo died, and we went home to be with the family. She was so strong for her family. The family, although losing Lolo, was mourning, the family was so happy to be together, that we have great memories of conversations and times of laughter with them, even during Lolo's funeral. She showed so much love, and support for her family and was so strong for them the next few years. I remember that.
The third memory I have of Lola, was from this past spring break. She was hospitable, oh so hospitable. She opened up her home for over twenty of my friends, to have two meals at her home. We had a great time again, laughing together as a family, loving Lola, and seeing her smile. She was so strong, and still so amazing...not to mention how adorable she was! She hosted so many missionaries that came to the Philippines in the past many years. My hope is that she came to know the Lord through that...we don't know. But I remember her heart. and Her smile. Her yellow dress that she loved so much. I remember that.

Today, my Lola, my only Lola, passed away. My three memories of her will always stick to me-they're the only ones I've got of her. I loved her so much, even in the few memories I had with her. She loved her family so much, was an example of how to love a family, and gave me three memories I never want to forget. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where to next, Lord?

Ryan and I have been spending alot of time in prayer, asking God where He wants us next.
Our time in Chicago might be over in less than a couple months-but we're still asking the question, "Where, Lord?" We have a few different options...quite different opportunities for ministry, and all in quite different parts of the world. Which one we are led to, we do not know yet. But guess what? 
I'm so excited. I'm really excited about where God may place us. Whether it is outside of our comfort zone, or right where our strengths are, I look forward to where it may be. 

Monya, Sophia, and Anya

Monya, Sophia, and Anya
asking for prayer this week for them...