Saturday, June 28, 2014

Learning as We Go

Having spent a week now in South Asia, I have noticed a few things and maybe even learned a few other things.
  1. Someone really needs to turn down the temperature over here.
  2. Traffic, both vehicle and human, does not follow the traditional western rules, but that doesn't make it chaotic. It allows for constant negotiation between everyone sharing the roadways for a more efficient use of the limited space.
  3. Riding in auto rickshaws is a fun experience, but the drivers need to learn to use the meter as intended.
  4. The most fun mode of transport is walking. That's when I get to be part of the negotiations. I'd do it more if not for number 1.
  5. The monsoon rains make traffic very interesting.
  6. I miss seeing people smile more often. Thankfully, my colleagues make up for the general populace.
  7. Shopping is not so bad once you actually are able to find your objective.
  8. Riding the metro is the best form of vehicle travel. It's safe, reliable, and consistent; no haggling necessary. It really does amuse me how much people will press toward the doors of train without necessity as if they need to get off quickly, but how slowly they actually walk.
  9. Lines are optional.
  10. I love the challenge of finding my way around a completely new place and of remaining aware of my surroundings.
  11. Much heat is very tiring.
  12. There are too many different kinds of curry, and most of them aren't really that good.
  13. Apparently, spices go in everything, including our drinks. Like, why can't we just have some things plain? Not everything needs all the flavors.
  14. I never expected myself to like the taste of air fresheners. But I  never expected my dessert to taste like one either.
  15. Some Indian food is really good. And roti with everything is the way to go.
  16. I never thought I'd actually look forward to taking cold showers.
  17. Truly realizing that every person you see is an image-bearer of God is a lot different when you are traveling.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Orientation Day 1:

Monday of Orientation at IJM may well end up being my favorite. At least at this point the others will have a lot to live up to. 

On Monday we heard from IJM founder and president, Gary Haugen about the spiritual foundations of IJM. In my view it was more if a glimpse of the organizations heart. That heart is reflected in IJM's vision and mode of conduct. It is a spiritual heart directed toward the glory of God and the spreading of the Gospel. 

In this IJM relies on the Word of God first and last to receive its mission. Most beautiful is the commitment to prayer on an individual and corporate level to infuse every workday with the knowledge of the end of worship of our Creator and King. 

It was awesome to see how this builds the vision around the core mission of IJM which is to protect the world's poor from everyday violence and injustice. The commitment to focus on that one thing while being open to addressing the immortal soul and partnering with others who can carry other aspects of the Gospel alongside this important work. 

And as Gary reminded us, God cares just as much about how we do as what we do. And this is why IJM is committed to Christian and professional excellence in the manner as well as the goals. 

Additionally, I appreciated IJM's commitment to the spiritual growth of its own staff on the same level as those helped. 

Needless to say, I have never felt the passion for IJM's work stronger than I have today. I see God removing able fears and reservations about his call to this internship. If you are inspired as well, you can be a part of IJM's important work. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring my work with IJM by following the "Give" link at and choosing my name from the dropdown menu of interns on the donation page. 

Some other interesting notes on the day. I visited the headquarters of the influential and somewhat infamous Council on Foreign Relations.

I also used my knowledge of DC's event processes to secure a spot at the Mediterranean Leadership Award Gala Reception where Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma was supposed to be presented with an award. The senator never showed up but I fulfilled my real mission by filling up on the free food. :) 

Here's to what God brings next. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Internship Update: Getting Oriented in DC

Back in January I let you all know about my exciting internship opportunity in South Asia to work with International Justice Mission and their communications team in combatting modern slavery. Time has flown by since then. Many of you supported and are supporting my work with your money and prayers for which I am continually grateful. I hope to continue to connect with you all and share various aspects of my work on this blog. 

The first step to beginning my internship is spending a week of orientation with IJM staff and interns in Washington DC. I will be here in DC for the next week and will try to provide updates as the week progresses. 

My view of Dulles Airport as I wrote this post at 3 AM.

Here I will learn much more about IJM's mission and processes as well as to make personal connections with those who will be joining me in the fight for justice and spreading the gospel of freedom around the world. 

"I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."
- Amos 5:21-24