Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Future?

I’m officially home and battling the traces of jet lag by typing this in the middle of the night. I pray that it turns out more cohesive than scattered. This is a verse that helped bring clarity/peace yesterday, as I was reflecting upon the trip. Proverbs19:21 Many are the plans in man’s heart, But it is the Lords purpose that prevails.

Before leaving, I had various passions and plans about my future. Sometimes, the thought of the future was overwhelming unclear. At one moment, my mind would be on the orphans in Africa and Cambodia… and then at the next moment, think of the direction of the American church. Or maybe I would think of the disconnectedness of families, and then ponder what factors prevent people from embracing community and each other... Since, coming home from “The Race” I’ve been told that I’m different, distance, distracted, disinterested, and even delusional. With the truth of all these words surrounding me, I wondered... “Where do I go from here?” I have a passion to see… The care of the orphans and widows The satisfaction of the hungry The provision of the provision The sight of the blind The sound of the deaf The inclusion of the outcast The courage of the afraid The joy of the depressed The fullness of the broken The comfort of the forgotten The giving of the rich The illumination of the dark The restoration of the guilty The life of the dead The counsel of the elders The wisdom of the ignorant The unity of the divided The humility of the prideful The enlightenment of the confused The reconciliation of the family The repentance of the stubborn The fluidity of the rigid The freedom of the captives… To say the least, all of these passions and thoughts were more than overwhelming and equally intimidating. It seemed that everywhere I turned, I was asked… “What’s your plan?” “What are you going to do now?” “What’s the future look like?” And every time I would think, “That is the worst question to ask an introspective person…” I’m constantly living in my mind and to ask a question that is unanswerable will only lead to disillusionment and a cognitive stupor. But according to the masses, it seemed that I should have a plan or a direction, yet I had none. I would express my passions but that’s not direction that’s a mechanism for movement. So here I was with all the fuel for life with out a direction. In contrast to the expression “up the creek without a paddle”, I was “up the creek without a map.” I knew life would take me somewhere, but I had no idea where. So before going to the Pacific Rim, I had applied to a mission’s organization and was planning on partnering with them possibly with two year’s of service, yet the night before leaving I received and email saying that I had not yet been accepted, because I had not received medical clearance. So here I was trying to create direction for my life… mainly to satisfy the question of what I’m doing with my life, yet sometimes felling pressured to choose this venue of missions. I enjoy living in foreign countries, learning from cultures, eating weird foods, having a conversation without words only smiles, speaking a new language, and even walking everywhere I go. The thing is that I enjoy so many things in life, but it doesn’t mean that I am should follow my passions. Of course God has given me passions, but He has given me these passions so that I can enjoy and honor Him. The outcome is enjoying Him. My desire is not to fulfill my passions, but to enjoy Him. Whether I am eating weird foods, hiking through the forest, fishing with my dad, singing songs of praise, holding an orphan, or even hugging my mother, I am fulfilling something I enjoy, yet I desire to be able to enjoy Him and praise Him in/for these things. If my purpose in living is enjoying and being satisfied in Him then, no matter what I do or where I am I should be satisfied. I should be content to live with what I am given and that much more appreciative of its origin. So here I am after returning from the Pacific Rim realizing that my true calling and passion may not be missions, but it is honoring/worshiping Him in whatever I do, and seeing others doing or coming to do the same. My passion is to see Him magnified not only in my life but also in the lives of all. May God help me realize/live that my life is not just about a job or position. It is to be satisfied and loyal to Him whether I am in a supermarket isle, behind a desk at work, on a run with a friend, or serving in a foreign country. By now some of you may still be wondering… “So what’s your plan?” And with a slight chuckle, I say, “Only God knows…” He does know and whatever I do He will give me the grace I need to Honor Him. I have a heart for missions foreign and domestic. I long to see people changed by the gospel… forever grateful for His grace and forever satisfied in Him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Worth it...

So... I'm on my way home. Honestly, I enjoyed my time in BA. (playing with children, teaching university students, landscaping, and even some painting...quite an array of activities) However, from the first day I usually woke up to a new aliment.

Literally, my body seemed to be falling apart. My first morning, I awoke to a swelling in my nose which turned into and abscess and swelled a fourth of my face... and then it was on to a possible spider bite (still not sure). It started out as a little bite and gradually grew up to about 4in. in diameter. So with a swollen face and leg, I could be humored no more (I thought) until a car gently backed up over me as if to say "tag your it". So by the last day in hope of a bright beginning, I darted to the bathroom with a little help from "Montezuma". I could only laugh at myself, because this was the icing on the cake...(figuratively)

This is all to say that a little sickness adds flavor to life. Luckily, my taste buds are weird, so that I can dine at the table and enjoy. Through it all God was/is right with me...dining at the table... laughing...enjoying... satisfied...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

School of Hope

School of Hope from Brandon Headrick on Vimeo.

Over the past three days, we've spent our mornings painting, learning sign language, and playing with these children. They have blessed our hearts and welcomed our friendship and service. The photos in the video show a performance of gratitude. The children were able to show there gifts and talents, yet this is something that does not happen much here because most children/people with disabilities are looked at with little respect or compassion. Our prayer is that the school will be able to continue its work at raising the children so that they will one day know the love of the Father.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Agriculture Learning Center (Photos)

After the Tsunami, BA encountered a lot of difficulties with reconstruction. Yesterday, we witnessed one of these struggles first hand. The first portion of our day we learned about how the massive wipeout of resources resulted in a change of life.

The Tsunami itself removed a lot of topsoil and altered the soil ph/content. Which in turn made crops harder to grow and flooding more prevalent. With these changes, farmers have faced many challenges, yet these challenges have allowed natives to learn more about the actual science of agriculture through the help of partnering NGO's.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some kind of Zombie

Ache (Day 1) from Brandon Headrick on Vimeo.

Well after 64 hours of travel, we have arrived. My teammates described me as delusional and I will actually agree. By yesterday afternoon, I was a zombie, my feet were swollen (cankles), my sinus cavity had 0% moisture (felt like it would crack), and my whole body was beginning to itch from not taking a shower in three days. So… to say the least, I am happy to have arrived, toured the city, taken a shower, and slept 10 hours.

To recap our arrival…

We spent our first two hours in orientation and then proceeded to take a tour of the city. BA is a city that was destroyed (when I say destroyed I actually mean it…it’s not a hyperbole) by a tsunami at the end of 2004. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed or left homeless from the massive wave. Over the last fours years, hundreds of NGO’s have been able to help rebuild the city and help bring hope back to the people. However, the city is still recovering and still lives in fear.

After our orientation, we took a short tour of the city to see some of the remnants that still remain. Our first stop was a barge that still sits in the middle of town as a reminder of the tragedy. As we left the barge and walked along the shore, I couldn’t imagine a wave with such force, a wave that crushed buildings and swept barges upon the shore. It reminded me of how small or helpless I am. Sometimes, my ego seems to not realize how weak my mind and body are against such forces. A since of invincibility would only last but a glance at the sight of a wave that massive. And as I thought, I realized this is how enormous and breathtaking God is. So as I regain my oxygen supply, join me in prayer for BA that the kingdom will come here on Earth as it is in heaven.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

(Day 1) Re-schedule

Take Shower
Cinnamon Roll & Coffee
Drive to Atl Airport
Arrive @ Atl Airport
Board Plane to Washington D.C.
Arrive @ D.C. Airport
Arrive @ Gate C4
Announcement (Plane has mechanical problems)
Talk to University Sociology Professor about Global Issues
Announcement (Flight Canceled)
Wait at C20 for rescheduling
Listen to people behind me complain
Leave C20 because of a shift change
Arrive at Main Entrance to Reschedule
Talk to Customer Service
Reschedule flight for next day at 9am ($15 food voucher)
Return to confirm a rescheduled Singapore flight (not confirmed but given $100 voucher)
Leave Airport to stay with Alicia's (a teammate) Family (one hour from airport)
Buy dinner as Cosco
Arrive at Alicia's House
Eat Dinner
Prepare Oatmeal Cookies
Play Pingpong
Bake Cookies

Only about 1/4 of the events that occured today did we expect. By now, we should be in the air on our way to Tokyo, however, we're working on a completely different schedule. It's definantly not ours, yet we're confident that the events of today are divine and will only lead us to His will.