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Monday, August 30, 2004

It all started with...

Last night I was doing a lot of thinking while I was driving... I have a lot of time to think when I drive the Krispy Kreme truck... and I was wondering when my interest in missions really started to grow.

My home church has been casually involved in missions. We are Baptist, so naturally when have 7 or 8 missionaries that we support with monthly checks. They come and visit so often, and growing up, I didn't really know a whole lot about them. The summer before my 8th grade year, we took a trip to Tepic Mexico. That was really the first time I traveled far away from home with only church people. I would say that was the beginning of my infatuation with travel, but not my passion for missions.

When I moved to Texas was really when it started to well up inside of me and really start to change my outlook on life. I started seeing things differently. WisdomWorks was supporting a bible translation project alongside Wycliffe. I started to see that there was more to this thing then cars, clothes, and money. I always knew that people needed help, but I think that I really started to get a sense of perspective on how much help they really needed.

I started to dream up ways I could serve, I've always been interested in Youth Ministry. For a long time I wanted to be a Youth Pastor, and thought that was the only way a young man could serve, the only direction to be taken. Its been a few years since I started to think differently about that, and my views on Youth Ministry have matured quite a bit. I had a vision of a nightclub-eque youth ministry that had many different facets. A coffee shop, a music store, a show venue, a chill out place... and I wrote a list of things I would need to do to prepare myself to lead a ministry like that.

One of the things that I put on the list was "Go on a short term mission trip in the next 18 months." At the time, I had recently got the Audio A Worldwide CD, and had tracks from that bouncing around in my head. The whole CD has an overlying theme of missions, "go and be", "get dirty", even the title track says... "We're gonna take it worldwide."

This summer marked the end of that 18 month window. Some could say, now you can cross of that item on your list and focus on the next thing. No way... In preparation for the missions trip... I really grew a heart for missions. Many of the friends I had in Texas were missions minded and the church I was attending has an amazing missions department. IBC Bridges International

So what exactly started it all? I'm not entirely sure. But I am glad that God has me in the position he does now.

International Teams Update: My application is in official process and currently in the reference checking phase. I was hoping to go to training in September, but this is looking less and less like it will happen. On my end, work is about to step up my hours, and on IT end, I don't think it will be processed in time. That is ok... no matter when I leave for Russia... I still go for 12 months.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Russian 101

So, I started my class today. Man, it was awesome! The teacher is this super cool young lady names Svetlana, and she has been teaching Russian, and English as a second Language to Russians for about 5 years. She has taught Department of Defense personell, and is certified by some crazy government agency to teach all these high level people... but she is so young! Its crazy! Also in our class is a student from Russia named Larissa (she likes Laura), appearently, the college will not let her take the test and receive credit, they actually want her to attend class. She has offered open tutoring for free a few hours everyday before class... awesome!!

Its a good class, everyone in there seems pretty cool, and I think it will go very well.

The only snag I have hit in the process is that my book for the class is like 70 bucks, and then there is a 40 dollar workbook also... so... poop on that... I don't have 120 bucks to fork over for books.

"Nachalo" Text book (book one) ISBN 0-07-230966-0 (74.06 on Amazon, it has a diff ISBN)
"Nachalo" Workbook and Laboratory Manual ISBN 0-07-230951-2 (39.06 on Amazon)

If anyone wants to buy these for me, e-mail me... and I will give you my shipping address... thanks.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Work... wow...

So, I was without work for a brief period of time after I got back from Russia... I had just moved back to AZ, and didn't get anything together before I left. Well, I prayed hard about it, and God provided it.

I now have two jobs, and... since my birthday, the date of the last post, I have not had a full day off from both jobs. I had 29 hours off... Friday night into Saturday... but I had neither Friday, nor Saturday completely off.

It was easy to thank God for my jobs when I got them both, literally a day within each other... and the first week, it was easy to be pumped about going into either one... Thank You Lord for this job... but even after one week of hard hours and strange sleep schedules, it is easy for me to start to become bitter about going into work. Last night, I worked 11pm to 6:30am and I was tired... I realized about halfway through the night, I hadn't really stopped to thank my creator for where I was. Earning money to pay the bills, I need to be thankful for what I have.

As I sit here and write this, I am at my other job, from 1pm - 6pm today, and its back to the other job tonight at 11pm... I am thankful, I think now I need to ask for strength to get through some of the rough days.

School starts tomorrow, I only have one class. Russian 101. :)

I am super excited. I know, you wish you could take Russian with me, well... YOU CAN!! My class is nowhere near capacity... I think there is only like 15 people in it. So, go sign up... Pima Community College Mondays/Wednesdays 5-7pm at the Northwest Campus... Do it.

Well... The hosts of "La Houra de Poder" just showed up here at the station and I need to get the studio ready for thier show. Have a good week. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Friday the 13th.

So... Today is my 21st birthday...

in lieu of gifts please send cash directly to my paypal account... djjube1@hotmail.com


Twice I can remember when my my birthday has been on the 13th... I think it happens every five years or something like that... but twice I can remember it raining on my birhtday and being friday... creepy.

I got the rough ballpark figure for my monies needed for a 12 month internship in Russia.

- 1500 a month (x12)
- 3000 start up costs (airfare, admin costs, visa, ect)

so I am looking at needing to raise $21,000 dollars before I can go back. I know that is a lot of money, and it is easy to have sticker shock. But, there is a quote coming to my mind...

God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply.
-Hudson Taylor (a great missionary to China)

As I finish the application process, I ask for prayer. This will be a huge undertaking... it will be the biggest thing I have ever done, and will require more committment to God then anything I have ever experienced.

As I celebrate my 21st... I look ahead to the next five years with great anticipation for what God is going to do with me, and through me. I am excited about the great possiblities. At the same time, its easy for me to look ahead and to Russia... but God has things for me to do here and now also. Thank You Jesus a great year.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Spiritual Gifts

So... I have been wondering the last week or so what my spiritual gifts were. The question is on my International Teams Application.

I had an idea, but wanted to double check what I thought. So... I did at kodachrome.org

Here are my top six, out of like... 13 or 15 gifts listed.

I thought it was kind of interesting... so I thought I would share... what are your spiritual gifts??

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


This is a sunset outside of Moscow. Local time when this picture was taken was about 11pm.

Today was a good day. I was contacted by International Teams, I now officially have the ball rolling on the application process of becoming a missionary. The program I will be applying for is a 12 month internship. I would be in Moscow working with the same people that brought us to Moscow last month, and put on the sports camp that we Americans helped with.

This place will have the most up to date information on where that stands in the coming weeks, so please continue to pray for me.

Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring the good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

God is truly moving in amazing ways in my life.

Stay tuned for the adventure.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Then there was a DJ...

... This is part 3 of Up the River... so if you have not read the first two parts... read them in order first... then go ahead and come back to this post.

... I slept, but I didn't sleep much... the bench/chairs at that airport were not very comfortable... I was kinda laying out, but since there were these metal armrests every couple chairs, you could not lay flat, you had to bed your knees around them... yeah... it was not really that fun. I got up around 6am, and moved to a different spot in the airport... one that was closer to the door I thought that people would come in if they were looking for me...

Around 8am... I think... the times are really fuzzy on exactly when... most of the night is just this long uncomfortable blur... I got woken up by an airport security guard, I had no clue what he was telling me, so I just sat up and prayed that is was "You can't sleep here." I got up and went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth... people in the bathroom were giving me the strangest looks... I mean... I have seen some pretty crazy stuff in airport bathrooms... In Vegas I saw two guys helping each other put makeup on, businessmen shaving... Why did all those people look at me funny for brushing my teeth?

I went back to my... area... there are like 100 chairs in the area I was sleeping in before, and someone had taken my old seat... so I moved about half a section down. I was sitting there... and I decided that I needed to make a journal entry about what had happened up to this point. I will tell you now, that I am not using that entry for reference, because I was so tired when I wrote it that most of it does not make any sense to me in the least. As I was writing furiously, I didn't even notice my sweatshirt that was on my knee fell to the floor.

When this happened... This old Russian Grandma started yelling at me... I was so confused... I said outloud in English, I don't understand Russian... She was making hand motions... and the guy next to her was saying... your shirt! your shirt! Then this guy behind me said... She is telling you to pick up your sweatshirt so it does not get dirty.

I turned to him... and said... YOU SPEAK ENGLISH????

Up to this point, no one had spoken good English, there were some people who spoke broken English, but not good English... We started a conversation, and I explained to him the situation I was in. After explaining for a few minutes, he was going over all the details with me, trying to help me figure something out. When he learned I had no money, he asked me if I wanted some water. Truth is, I hadn't had any water since I had gotten off the plane. He went and got me a water and a snikers bar... that was the best breakfast ever. He called the Hotel Russia again and talked to them for me, sure enough... no one was there that I knew. Then he asked me, if I could call anyone back in the States and get some contact information. This guy was from St. Petersburg, and had a cell phone... do you know what the charges would be to make that call? I don't even want to know.

I called my house. I'm not sure what time it was here, but since we are exact opposites on the time zones... like 11 hours off... and it was now nearing noon... it was late... My step mom Amy answered, and I explained super quick what happened, and what I needed. She sprang into action and asked me if I could call back, or if there was a way she could call me... I asked the guy, and he said we would call back...

While we were waiting to call back, Me and Kostya, had some good conversation. We talked about a lot of things. It turns out, that he a dentist for his 9 to 5, Monday through Friday job... but... on the weekends, he is an International DJ. He was in Moscow because he had done a show in the Ukraine and was transferring flights here, and his flight out was super delayed. He was actually trying to get on another flight, and the airlines were giving him the run around.

When I called back the third time, I asked Amy to call my cell phone and check my voicemail... I thought my phone was going to work, so I was hoping there were messages... bingo!! I had 5 voicemails!

When I was writing the number down, Kostya said... that is a local number! And right when I hung up, he grabbed the phone and began dialing... he waited for it to ring and then handed back to me... The person answered in Russian... all I could say was... Hi, this is Chris Warren.

The person on the other end of the phone was Stacey Shopp. She is a missionary who has been in Russia almost 10 years, 5 in Moscow. She was my rescue squad! Her and Ilya. Ilya helped me sort through all of my lost baggage mess when they arrived to pick me up. He is a great guy, really funny...

While I was waiting for them to show up, they were at the other airport, on the other side of the city... Kostya and I talked some more, I watched his stuff while he went to argue with the people at the ticket counter, and he returned with a couple of beers. He offered one to me, and I politely declined. Although... looking back... I probably could have used it.

In my first 24 hours in Moscow, I saw some of the best of Russia, and some of the worst. I prayed more in those hours spend sitting at the airport then I had in the month leading up to the trip. I really needed that prep time. God had a purpose for me to be stuck there, away from my team, with no money, no cell phone, no ride, no clue. What is was will probably never be crystal clear until we are all singing His praise together in Heaven, but... I have a few ideas of what it could be.

-- thanks for reading all of that... I never expected to make the first story this long, but as I wrote the details just started flooding my mind. I was experiencing it all over again. Praise God for what He does.

Kostya is probably an angel. I sure felt like he was when I was there with him.