The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Training Station

I am now officially a fully trained Individual Volunteer! Despite the fact that there is no possible way to prepare anyone for mission, particularly in a foreign field (a little Coldplay shout out there...), I have at least completed the training program for the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (or UMVIM.  Official Methodist Motto: We Sure Like Acronyms). 

One of the things we were encouraged to do during the training was to keep a blog.  Check. 

I went to New York for the four days of training half excited and half scared out of my tiny mind.  In many ways, I am frightened of Christians.  I usually feel like a kid about to be stuffed into a metaphorical locker for being and thinking things that are different (it's happened to me enough times that it's a legitimate fear).  After the first intro session Thursday night, I went up to my room and cried.  And panicked. 

I tried calling a few people, but no one answered.  I tried getting on the Internet to at least distract myself, but I couldn't get the wifi to work.  It was just me.

How frightening to be alone with the Living God.

You who have been standing in that brand of panic shoes are probably smiling to yourselves at this moment.  For you know, as I do now, that God. Comes. Through. 

The next day, Friday, was perhaps one of the best days of my life.  I am so inspired by this great cloud of awesome - people spending their lives to make the world better; people spending their lives to support and nurture fledgling missionaries like me; people united in purpose and love. 

I needn't have worried about being rejected, if ever you are in need of a room full of fire-breathing radicals, a room full of missionaries is the place to be!  It was such a healing thing for me to be able to share my faith journey, all of it, the unvarnished, un-edited whole, and still be welcomed enthusiastically. 

So! This is really happening!

Now I know what your first questions is going to be: where are you going?

And I'll tell you: I don't know. The UMVIM people are still working on a placement for me.  Hopefully I will know more soon.  Until then, I will remain itchy with patience. 

Sin embargo (as they say in Spanish), this does NOT mean that there is nothing you can do!  For one thing, please pray (and if you do not pray, then send positive thoughts into the universe on my behalf) that the right placement will present itself, and soon!  And then, think about joining with me in this thing.  At the bottom of this blog, I've put a link to the Advance.  The Advance is the giving arm of the United Methodist Church, and they have set up an account especially for me.  Make sure you put my name (use Jill, not Liz, for purposes of my bank account) in the In Honor Of box and 100% of your gift will go to me (it's also 100% tax deductible, if you care). 

That's about it for now, we'll talk again soon.


Maeve's Momma October 20, 2010 at 2:06:00 PM MDT  

Glad you found some kindred spirits :)

Mrs. Wallace October 20, 2010 at 2:31:00 PM MDT  

What a good describtion of the overwhelming alone, panicky feeling! I had that a number of time before (I even threw up once I was so panicked!) I left, on the plane, and while I was in India. And you're right...God does come through in such wonderfully unexpected ways. I'm so excited for you as you follow God's calling and the passion He's placed in your heart. I'm excited to see what God does in and through you. Love you and I'm soooo proud of you!!

Sabba and Nanny October 20, 2010 at 2:53:00 PM MDT  

You follow in some big footsteps. Great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers, as well as great grandmother and grandfather, not to mention great mother and father, all of whom were/are involved in Tikkun Olam, whether "officially" or unofficially. Insofar as we have any place to say we're proud of you, we're proud of you, as you take this great, next step of faith. Ganbatte, which is Japanese, loosely translated: give it all you've got!

Marissa October 28, 2010 at 12:16:00 PM MDT  

Is that pronounced ummm-vimm? Or is it U-M-V-I-M? These are important things to know.

I'm glad to hear that the Methodists are making it so I can more easily stalk you on the internet.

Also, I'm glad to read again about God's faithfulness in showing up when we feel the most alone. That's good news. :-)

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.


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