:: i love you ::

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

G6 -- Russians serving in Athens!

Our Team
I will be running the team blog for our Athens trip this upcoming week, so I will probably be on hiatus from my own. Below is an excerpt from the first entry. Check it out, www.g6russia.blogspot.com. Oh, and we like comments!

Step One: Bring a team together!

Ok, so if you are planning a short term missions trip, this isn't actually the first step. But, for our team, this is the first step of our journey to Athens, Greece.

International Teams: Russia is officially active!

Each member of this team has a unique story of how and why they are involved in this trip. God has given us His provision in finances and time. The Russian's visas were approved on Friday.

[...read more from this blog]


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Spoke too soon...

:: Market Bombing ::
** POST UPDATE 23-08-06 2240 ** Here is a CNN.com update on the bombing. **

So, I sent an email home to my mom yesterday, and while I was writing the draft of the email, I had written, "Don't worry about me, all the terrorists are in London and Lebanon."

After I completed the letter, I decided to delete that sentace from the email, and instead just left: "I've been away at camp, but I am fine."

Indeed it is good that I removed the sentance about terrorists. Just hours after sending the message, I was on CNN.com and found breaking news of a market bombing that killed 10... Right here in Moscow. Terrorism was now being considered at the time that I read the artice, it seemed they were leaning more towards oragnized crime. Three people have now confessed to the bombing and are in custody.

Syomin said Tikhomirov and Kostyrev had agreed to carry out a bomb attack at the market “because there [were] too many people of Asian backgrounds, whom they intensely disliked.”

Now, tonight, again with CNN I am reading about breaking news that has killed 170+ people. A Russian ariliner enroute to St. Petersburg has crashed in the Ukraine [here is a map], there are expected to be no survivors. They are ruling out terrorism, and instead blaming poor weather, and old equipment. The plane was though to be carrying 45 children/teens.

I don't have a response to this. I'm still shocked. This is the 3rd air crash this year involving soviet-era aircraft (2 Russian airlines, one Armenian airliner). In every crash, all passangers and crew have been lost.

I am lost for words.

Articles: CNN.com bombing report
MosNews.com bombing confession
MosNews.com bombing report
CNN.com airliner report
Anti-Terror rally in Moscow today.
Interfax.com airliner blurb.
Interfax.com: 45 children, teens.
Update on the bombing from CNN.com

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Natisk wrap up

Get this video and more at MySpace.com

We just go back from Natisk on Sunday, and things still haven't slowed down. We left the camp ground a little after 10:30am, but we didn't walk in the door of the apartment until 9:30pm... Yesterday and today have consisted of laid back mornings, but have had lunch meetings, and today we have a team meeting, sort of a camp de-briefing. On the way home, I started to come down with a cold. Today it is in full swing. Sore chest, and hacking up the junk. I am drinking a lot of tea to try and keep my coughing and mucus to a minimum.

Enough about me... The camp was incredible! Some of you already know, but there were a lot of unknowns going into this camp. Up until they actually arrived, no one knew how many kids would actually be coming. We changed camp ground locations several times. Some of the couselors were in flux with work. Well... all of those things came to rest once we were actually at camp. There were 25 couselors, which we called producers (in keeping with our MTV programming) and 31 kids (VJs). We did the camp pretty far from Moscow, outside of the city of Tver. The campground was great, this place called Gloria, I think it was run by some charismatics, so we didn't bother them with our loud rap music. The food was actually pretty decent, for camp food, and the facilities were on par with most American camp facilities of simliar size.

The kids and the staff team really bought into the theme of the camp. As they arrived, the producers were doing an improptu dance for them as they exited the bus. That dance really set the tone for the camp, and for the most part it was high energy. We showed short clips during the morning discussion sessions, and DJ Elf (a producer/artist here in Moscow) did a song or two most mornings. There were smaller group discussions most mornings after the large group meetings, and at night our small groups got together to discuss more important life questions.

We did crazy games in the mid-morning before lunch, and there was always a presentation to prepare for before the night 'spectacle,' which usually was planned and arranged by each small group. The first night, the couselors put on a number of skits/songs... Brad and I did a SNL skit with Jim Carry and Will Farrell, the one where Will is in a hot tub, and Jim is a lifeguard who is a bit over-zealous. We did it in English with very minimal translation, and the kids still thought it was hilarious. And Brad... I saved your life man... Because, it wasn't your time yet!

Communication was less of a barrier at this camp then the other two we have done this summer. There were a lot more English speaking kids, as well as most of the leadership team.

One thing is certain. We did not plan on this camp being a Christian camp. In the past we have had to be very careful about our titles because we worked with the public school system to invite kids to our camp. This year, we took only kids who have been coming to our club meetings. There were a few others, some guys came from an orpahage outside Moscow (Man, could they dance and play football!). Our lessons and topics were geared to make kids think for themselves, and were not overtly Christian. But, God had his own plans in the midst of our planning. We had three kids make serious decisions to chage their lives and accept Jesus in their hearts and lives.

One girl explained to the leaders why she was making this decision, and explained that no one has ever explained Jesus to her before. No one has ever told her that God loves her. She said that she knew something was different about the leaders at the camp, and after one of the leaders took her aside and talked with her, she knew that it was it.

Overall, this was the best camp all summer. It was also the most emotionally draining camp we have done yet. I think it was truly God's timing to keep me from getting sick at camp, now I just need to get better before Greece next week!

Pictures uploaded soon. :)

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Natisk Summer Camp 2006


I leave in just a few hours for our Natisk Summer camp... and I still need to pack.

But! I wanted to let you know that I sent out a new eList update.

If you have been following the blog, there isn't much new info in it, but you can still view it here!

Ok, I need to make sure I have clean underwear... oh, and pray that my shorts dry in time too! We don't have a dryer, just a litte 8" fan!

See you next Sunday, the 20th!


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Who is that kid anyway?

I realized that I don't really ever do these... 'Get to know me surveys,' so, I wanted to do one...

I stole it from Stacy and Monique. Thanks guys.

1. FIRST NAME? Christopher
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope, but, my middle name is the same as one of my cousins.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I've been close a few times since I have been in Russia... The most recent was when I was watching End of The Spear last Monday. But, I haven't all out cried in a while.
6. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yep, I just never told everyone about them. ... No... haha.
7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Nope. I don't think I would get along with me.
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yep. A real one too.
9. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Sarcasm is not part of my vocabulary.
10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? I am still complete.
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Yeah, but, it has to be a huge jump... Maybe over a river where your head dunks under at the bottom, that would be sweet!
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Have you seen my guns? Sheesh. I could bend steel.
15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Standard vanilla. I like regular chocolate too. But, none of this mint crap!
16. SHOE SIZE? 10 1/2 US, 44 here in Russia... I have no idea what the numbers measure.
17. RED OR PINK? This must have been written by a woman. Black.
18. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My butt. It just isn't as firm as when I was a boy. haha.
19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My little brothers.
20. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? 13 August 1983; Tucson, AZ
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Linkin Park is on my computer.
24 IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Black, because it is the most useful.
25. FAVORITE SMELL? Armpit. Lately though... The Metro has been growing on me.
26. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED WITH ON THE PHONE? Brad (another IT intern) to talk about dinner and a guy who will be staying with us tonight.
27. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU MEET? Their nationality. Then, probably the eyes.
28. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Yes. But, if I told you, I would have to kill you where you stand.
29. FAVORITE DRINK? Smirnoff Triple Black.
30. FAVORITE SPORT? European Soccer, seriously, those guys are good.
31. HAIR COLOR? Brown.
32. EYE COLOR? Brown.
33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, I have not made contact.
34. FAVORITE FOOD? Fat, greasy, cheeseburgers.
35. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Happy ending, scary movies are... Stupid!
36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? In the theater? Pirates 2 in ENGLISH!!
37. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black. I'm naked underneath.
38. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer in Moscow.
39. HUGS OR KISSES? ... Both?
41. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Russka by Edward Rutherford, I just finished Tom Clancy's Special-Ops: State of Siege.
42. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? No mouse pad required.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Electric guitars and girls signing.
45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Samara, Russia... Its about 1,000 km East of Moscow.

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Monday, August 07, 2006


Israel Lebanon Conflict
:: IDF Strikes ::
This is what I have been pondering lately.

→ What exatcly did God do during creation? Well obviously, He created, but here is one specific question... [from PJ's Blog]

→ What is happening in Sri Lanka that everyone is so upset about? [via CNN.com]

→ Being culturly relevant, and what does that mean anyway? [releveantmagazine.com]

→ Greece. [Previous post here]

→ Eden (not the garden), congrats friends. [Matt's newest addition]

→ Where did Steve and Josh go? [SCP.com]

→ Man, I need some more podcasts, what are you listening to? [leave me a comment below.]

→ Way to go Landis, you really make winning look good. [via CNN.com]

But, this is what I think about most lately...

→ Israel and Lebanon. [wikipedia recap here]

→ Its on the front page of any news website that you will go too. [pictures on bbc.co.uk]

→ President Bush hasn't even called the Israeli Prime Minister. [via CNN.com, but, I can't find the article again... very strange.]

→ The UN could take 'a few days' to come to a decision about a proposed cease fire. [way to be Condy.]

→ Almost 900,000 people have been displaced. 700 Lebanese Civilians have been killed. 2,700 have been wounded. 95 Israeli's have been killed, about half are civilians. The IDF claims to have killed 'approxitmatley 400' Hezbollah fighters, which Hezbollah fiercley disputes. [stats updated via wikipedia]

→ How do you live life with bombs dropping around you? You don't live life, you try your best to survive. ['life on hold' via bbc.co.uk]

I can't sleep. Becuase I am thinking too much.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Rusa 2006 -- in video form!

**POST UPDATE: 07AUG2006@0217**
Actually, it looks like everything will load swimmingly. Cheers!**

**POST UPDATE: 07AUG2006@0210**
I finished getting the pictures of Ruza together, but I think my webalbum will run out of room before the upload is complete. View what uploads here.**

So I one upped myself this time. I was going through the pictures and really didn't feel like editing 250 captions. I mean. I will, and I will upload them on Picasa soon. But, I stumbled upon this nifty (and free) program from Micro$oft, so I used it. Its called Photo Story 3 (Windows only, sorry friends).

So, I threw some of the photos from Rusa together, set them to fun music, uploaded to YouTube, and here you go.

Let me know what you think... Feedback is always appreciated.

I'm in Moscow until Saturday morning, then we leave for the Natisk (Moscow kids) Camp for about a week.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Back in Moscow

Metro Fun
:: Chris, Anton, and Yulia ::
**POST UPDATE: 07AUG2006@0217**
Actually, it looks like everything will load swimmingly. Cheers!**

**POST UPDATE: 07AUG2006@0210**
I finished getting the pictures of Ruza together, but I think my webalbum will run out of room before the upload is complete. View what uploads here.**

Brad and I left for Rusa last Saturday, and we got back late Thursday night. We took Anton to camp with us this week, and a girl from Paridigma (Yulia) also ended up joining us at the camp this past week. It was a pretty good camp, I think it was hard on Yulia, she was put in charge of all the girls over 10 years of age. The camp was run by a small church in Rusa, very cool people.

We went to dinner and a movie (in English!!) tonight with Anton and Yulia here in Moscow. We ate at a TGI Friday's and saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 in English on New Arbat Street tonight, we had a great time out. Its late, and I'm tired... But I promise that tomorrow morning I will finish up the captions and have the batch loaded up. I will post an update then. :P

I uploaded a small sampling of the pics from Rusa, and a few from tonight here on Flickr.

I will upload a whole batch (about 250 shots) onto my Picasa Web Album, as soon as I get all of the captions edited.

Thanks for the comments about Israel and Lebanon. It has been hard for me to be out of the loop (literally, with no power at a tent camp) all week, knowing that this is going on. I will write more response later too.

--Stacy, I'm glad you are back safe and enjoying your new job. Nice jorb eh!

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