Monday, July 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I will post later to tell you about my trip and getting started here in Germany, but here are some pictures to show you a little of my new life.

This is my home! Above are pictures of the exterior, hallway, and bedroom with all the windows! Below are two of the views from my apartment.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bye United States!

Just got a plane ticket! Tomorrow at 1:50pm I will be heading to Germany... I can't believe this is actually here! And I have an apartment...with some furniture! Actually, there are so many great things happening today that I can't even slow my mind down enough to type them. So, I will finish packing and squaring away details and write some more later. It will probably be from the other side of the Atlantic ;) Please pray for the rest of the BFA new staff who are also raising support and looking to get to BFA within the next few weeks.

By the way, I don't know who that excited woman is, but my camera is packed and that's pretty similar to how my face has looked all day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wowsers Bowser!

If the events of a week could be predicted by how the preceding Sunday goes, I would say that this week will be great. The past two weeks have followed the suit of their respective Sundays. Two weeks ago was the fun part of the roller coaster. Last week was the part of the ride after a fun drop when you hit the bottom and it turns into a dark tunnel at the same time, leaving your brain rattling in your skull. I say it's time to come back up and into the light.

It's only 1:30pm, but already today I've had face-to-face conversations with ALL of the people who were unreachable last week who are involved in the getting-me-to-Germany process. Three people handed me checks at church! I saw an old friend from high school who is doing missions in Sudan! I got to hear the stories from the Uganda Mission Team! And there is still a lot of day left! Still another church service, dinner with friends, a motorcycle ride, and some planned quality one-on-one talk time.

Today is good. And last night I learned that I really like the game Rock Band. Hopefully tomorrow will be even better because hopefully there will be plane tickets involved :)

I'm so excited I need to bake something...and watch some more Scrubs and Lost in German. Dr. Cox talks way too fast for me to understand his tirades on Scrubs, and if I didn't know the story of Lost in English, I would probably be...lost. But German TV is definitely a more fun way to study than just reading the dictionary.

And, I found some new quality German music to add to my collection, Massiv. He uses the word ghetto a lot. I like it. And, if anyone is interested, Kandern has a city website.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Break in Stride

Sometimes a girl just needs to go on a date. And today was that day. As EXCITED as I am about going to Germany, today I needed a little break from thinking...! Dinner and a movie were deemed necessary. So, me and my bottle of orange juice (a.k.a. Mr. Minute Maid...Mr. Dole wasn't available) went to see The Dark Knight. Good movie; a bit long. But Christian Bale (one of my top 5 actors) all buffed up, talking in his deep voice, taking punches like they're fluffy clouds attacking, riding a motorcycle, stitching his own wounds...poor Mr. Minute Maid didn't stand a chance. He's just too little and sweet. My man Christian, however, certainly has come a long way since Newsies.

It was nice to not think for 3 hours. I'm not a dinner and movie kinda girl, but that was good.

By the way, this is my new favorite picker-upper. When I need a chuckle, this is where I turn. It is full of great lines like "toughness and victory will be yours. Master the two-finger jab and you will defeat anyone."

Watch out, boys, I've been practicing. I also now know how to defend myself from an uzi. This treausred piece of literature is going to Germany with me; so if you will be in Germany as well, I highly recommend coming over and studying LIGHTNING JU-JITSU. You never know when someone wearing a sport jacket with a bazooka slung around his back might put you in a full-nelson.

Hey Everyone, I got Skype today. I haven't used it yet though; so, if you have it as well and would like to show me the ropes my contact name is SarahHaymond

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

God made me laugh

The past few days have been ones of fighting for me. Fighting being sick. Fighting friends. Fighting frustration. Fighting the urge to just lay on the floor and feel pathetic.

In college, I used to sit in my dresser when I was sad...apparently...because Ashley, my former roomie, has mutiple pictures of me sitting in that drawer and calls them "sad sarah." Haha, I'm silly. If I still had a dresser big enough I would be tempted to sit in it.
So after I fought myself earlier to go running (more like bounce-walking), I came in exhausted and opened the Bible to 1 Corinthians. And God made me laugh.

"24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

So I will continue to fight. I don't like it- it's hard and lonely. But I will fight to run in such a way that I may obtain an imperishable crown, being disciplined and preaching to others along the way. I will put on my fighting gear and continually train myself in the Word everyday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Yes, last week was pretty sugar and spice, and yesterday was a great way to wrap up the week. I went to Bloomington for Leslie & Eric's wedding. I love Christ-centered weddings; I cry everytime...not ugly cry...just eyes welled up. Leslie is one of my good friends from high school who is an absolute rock. Every ounce of her being exudes Christ- even when she's grumpy she loves. Everytime I spend time with her, I leave encouraged. And I couldn't be happier that Eric married her, because he is an incredible man of God. So yay! for solid foundations in marriage! I remember about a year ago talking with her about her wanting to be married and maybe on the mission field and deciding that singleness would not stop her from following God. And how awesome to see that she obeyed Him by going into her ministry, and He's blessed her with Eric to minister with. I love it!

Then after the wedding, I went to Church of the Good Shepherd carnival thing. I don't know what it's called :) And I got to meet Jake & Amanda's son Peter! Absolutely precious. I visited the church once this past winter. So I remembered a few faces and names but not a whole lot of details about anyone. It was interesting what people remembered of me from both there and at the wedding (because I'd also met a few of those people that same weekend I visited Good Shepherd).

The bridesmaids knew me as "Faceplant Girl who is a lady." The two stories they remembered about me were that I busted my face and that a married man once asked me out and my response was "no thanks, I'm a lady."

Lane remembered me as the girl who likes motorcycles and thought I was going to hit him when I jokingly balled a fist.

Abram remembered me as a rock climbing instructor.

Kara remembered me as the girl Jake was trying to marry off. Which, by the way, I guess he's put on hold since the whole Germany thing.

I don't consider any of those to be major things in my life...but apparently the most memorable.

And final fun thing of the week, I got to step out of my 5-speed truck in my skirt and heels and trudge through the mud to go help someone with a stalled car. There is just such a nice balance between it all. Some of the guys in my mechanic class last semester gave me a little crap the first night of class when I showed up in my Civic looking girly and afraid to get dirty. The next week when I looked the same but drove my truck and let oil run down my arms and got scratched up by the engine block, they didn't pick on me anymore.

So, all in all, a great week. I hope this stomach virus I have now isn't indicative of how the next week will be.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Clarity of Conscience

This is the conviction stick I've been beaten with over the last few days:

"As for myself, I do not care if I am judged by any human court. I do not even judge myself. I know of no wrong I have done, but this does not make me right before the Lord. The Lord is the One who judges." 1 Cor 4.3-4

I wish I had this clarity of conscience. I cannot even fathom in my depraved mind right now being able to say "I know of no wrong I have done." I want that though! It would be so freeing. So, the first step toward that for me is reconciling some relationships. In the past few weeks, I've tried to contact a few people with whom I have strained relationships. I don't know if they are "fixable" or not, but I have to humbly try.

To balance those out though, I've spent a lot of time cementing some solid friendships before I leave. Starbucks time with Jenna, Jenn, Micah, Dana, Amanda, Molly, Marie, Carly, Matthew & Caitlyn. Wow, for not being a coffee drinker, I sure have spent a lot of time at Starbucks this week. I don't like that "hanging out" time seems to revolve around food or beverage; I much prefer walks, bike rides....anything active really. Walks with Nate and Alissa. Motorcycle time with Brian. Driving lesson with Amanda (now she could steal a Viper if she needed to). More food with Kelly, Emily, and Korie. And some quality phone time with my new BFA friends- which has also been great building foundations for those friendships.

My sister and I gave our parents a family portrait session for their 30th anniversary. So, we did that this week too. The kids were so cute. Here are a couple pre-shoot photos:
1. Baron with his slick hair
2. Anna waving her hand so fast that it blurred!
3. Ben the Roly Poly
4. Allie: Are you really taking another picture?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Week of Blessings

I can already tell that this is going to be a week of blessing, encouragement, sugar and spice and everything nice. Ok, maybe not that romantic, but I think it will be a great one! It started with CFC yesterday morning. I had a table about Germany set up in the hall again and got to meet some great people who are excited about my going to BFA. Then the party went well last night! My mom wins all kinds of awards for cooking and decorating. I would rather pull teeth from a small child than plan a party. So, she took care of it, and it was wonderful. My favorite foods and my favorite people. The pledges from yesterday at CFC and the party have put me somewhere around 75% of my needed support! And hopefully people sent stuff to Janz last week and will continue this week that will get me to 100! Oh, I'm just so excited to see God bring it and make me feel like a fool for stressing.

I talked to Michelle Young today, who serves at BFA as the Maugenhard dorm mom, and she gave me some tips on packing: "You will probably have a furnished apartment, and whatever else you need we can come up with. So don't take anything except clothes, books, medicine, and rain gear." AMAZING! She is a hero of mine, and I can't wait to hang out with that whole family. When I first told her that I'd be coming to BFA, she informed me that I will be spending Thanksgiving and any other "family times" with them in the dorm, and that those Maugenhard boys are going to end up being my 30 little brothers.

Yes, this week will be good. Last week was tough. Even my friend Nate told me that my blog seemed like it was full of frustrated undertones. (Is that how you said it, Nate? I hope I'm not misinterpreting your interpretation of my honesty). This week I will work on happier honesty :)

Please pray that I will be able to connect with the CFC finance team this week and get a motion going to help support me. And for God to move in the hearts of individuals to give the last bit needed. Because, again, how stinkin cool would it be to be at 100% by early next week?!?! (After the last support update saying 46%) OH I really want to go. My heart hurts in a good way :) Janz Team has a policy of letting missionaries head to the field once they have 80% of their support raised, but CFC requires 100% before boarding the plane. I'm glad that they require that because I would probably get to Germany, get into the groove of life chillin at the Eis Cafe and decide that I could make 80% work just so I wouldn't have to keep at that type of ministry. So, it's going to stink when I want to buy that plane ticket at 80%, but it will be good once I'm there with 100%.

FUNNY THINGS: For anyone that was at my party, I feel the need to explain that when I get embarrassed (say by a room full of people singing to me) I can't breathe very well. And that is why it took me about 10 tries to blow out my 23 candles.

Also, today I got carded at the library. The "circulation supervisor," as her name tag boasted, came up to the nice lady who was scanning my items and said, "I don't think that's the same person. Look how chubby her face is here." Haha. Then she asked for my ID in case I was trying to steal the chubby girls' access to the free public library and keep the Panic at the Disco CD I was borrowing. Good thing I know I'm not of an unhealthy weight. People are funny.

The Master Party Planner, Mom

Saturday, July 5, 2008

23rd Birthday Picture

Me with my nieces and nephews:
Ben, Baron, Anna, Allie
(For happier pictures of the kiddos, check out my sister's blog)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Another praise

I just made the "Answered Prayers" section a few days ago but just realized that I forgot a big one! My teeth are still holdin on!! Woohoo! For my new BFA friends who didn't know me a few months ago, here's the story: I love teeth. I worked in the orthodontic field for the last three years. I don't think I've ever gotten a job or date without mention of my smile. This past November, my very generous boss paid for a VNA nurse to come to the office and give all his employees flu shots. I've never had a flu shot before, but since he already took care of it, I stepped up to get stuck. I'm told that I got the shot, said thanks, turned around, and faceplanted. I don't remember that though. I remember waking up with my boss smashing something into my mouth and wondering to myself- since I couldn't talk- if I didn't have lips or a tongue; something definitely didn't feel right. One of my front teeth came all the way out, two were pushed back into the palette of my mouth, and the lips were just a mess. My superhero boss and coworkers got an oral surgeon on the phone to talk them through what to do. Everything was back in place (or pretty darn close) and braces were put on me before the ambulance got there. So, now you understand why it's a praise that my teeth are still in. Several stitches, 2 fractured jaws, 2 weeks of liquid diet, 3 root canals, 7 months of braces, and 1 numb lower lip later, I'm happy to have a smile that is mostly mine.

Vacations and Faith

Do you ever have the thought, "why are the people I need most going on vacation when I need them most?!" It's a very self-centered thought of which I am guilty. The missions man at church is gone until July 21st. The two women in the personnel office at BFA who know about my housing are out until July 10th. (Where and with whom I am living are still up in the air as far as I well as if there are any furnishings in the apartment/house/shanty/hut :) And the woman who provides weekly support updates is vacationing until July 7th. I just realized about 5 minutes ago that my target departure date is in 11 days and I don't know where I'm living or if I'm even remotely close to being able to buy plane tickets yet. Thus, God is forcing me to let go of plans and trust that no details have slipped His mind. And when He wants me there, He can get me there.

As of last week, I was at 50ish% support level. (CFC, my sending church, requires 100% to board the plane). But, I spoke with several people at CFC last week as well as a few at my other church, Resurgence. So, even though that 50% is a huge amount to me (about $1400/month more), it's not to God. And there are many people that's it's not huge to either. I really want to be on that plane in 11 days, and I know that it is possible. I mean, one fabulously wealthy person could write one check and take care of it. (If you, by the way, are fabulously wealthy and would like to be that person, feel free to email me at and we will make arrangements. :)

I've listed the blogs of many of the friends I made in Canada a few weeks ago who I will be working with at BFA this fall. Check out their sites, and read their stories if you get a chance. Wonderful people who also need prayer, support, and encourangement.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

God is faithful

"God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor. 1:9

I just started on 1 Corinthians today and was already reminded that where God leads He provides.

I cracked open the German books today! I told myself that once I stopped working I would be a studying machine. I've been off of work and back from orientation for over a week, and I just now got the courage to find out how much I've forgotten. Viel. A lot. I studied / watched old episodes of So You Think You Can Dance for a couple hours today and probably will for another 2 tonight. Actually, German is the only thing on my list that doesn't make my stomach tie in knots. The things I need to do are as follows: study German (not too bad but definitely not an attention holder), make phone calls (to people I don't know well asking if they would like to help support my ministry), pack (where to start?!), plan my birthday/going away/support team party (I couldn't care less about decorations, and I really get uncomfortable at the thought of having to entertain people). So, studying German was the obvious choice.

Praise. Today I came to a point where I really just wanted to lay on the floor and let myself feel overwhelmed by everything going on, but I knew if I did that then I would be letting Satan grab my foot so he could keep me on that floor and not doing any of the aforementioned things. And even though I knew that I shouldn't, I'm a weak woman...and I did... and about 10 seconds later one of my new BFA friends called and got me up off the floor. I'm so thankful that God uses friends and family to encourage me at just the right time. And I'm thankful for Viki calling when she did because I probably would've layed there for a long time (and not studied any German).

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Seal it for thy courts above

I love the song Come Thou Fount. I especially love singing it with a group of people who grew up singing hymns because they know how to do it right! You get the 80-year old men who aren't afraid to sing harmonies, and it just melts me. The last time I was in Germany, the only music I took along were a few praise and worship CDs. Considering I normally don't even listen to a whole song before I change it when I'm driving, much less a whole album, I expected myself to get really tired of "church music." But something incredible happened. Instead of having ridiculous songs about milkshakes and snappin yo fingers stuck in my head, it was all about God. It was awesome! I tell this because I've been glad to be singing "tune my heart to sing thy grace" over and over today.

Also today was Psalm 145.
"The Lord upholds all who fail, and He raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." vv.14-16

As I read, I thought, "I'm a failure who is bowing down. My eyes and everyone's around me are looking to God

....interruption...someone just called to ask if they could support me financially. Thanks God!

ok, so...My eyes and everyone around me are looking to God to provide financially for Germany (very cool that that happened mid-typing-praying for it, by the way) because there is no way I can come up with $70,000 for the next 2 years! But, I know He will provide in due season. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks even! He opens his hand and satisfies. I love it.

This past weekend, I got to speak with several people at CFC about what God is doing in my life as well as at BFA. And today, I went back to visit my former work, Dr. Randall Brown Orthodontics, whom I highly recommend for your orthdontic care :), and told my story some more. And then some phone calls and emails and lots of pouring out of details and praying. So, tomorrow Emily and I are going to Holiday World to have some much needed relaxation and girl time.

Along with Come Thou Fount and Psalm 145, I've also really been burdened to pray for my new Janz Team family that I met in Canada 2 weeks ago. (Janz Team is my sending mission agency who handles all the paperwork and money.) I really want us single folk to been grounded in our significance in Christ and the married couples to be strengthened and closer than ever through the support raising process. I cannot understand what it's like to go through this as a husband feeling the need to provide for his family or a wife finding the boundary between trusting him in that while also actively raising funds. But, I do know how lonely it is for a single person to get rid of all your stuff, ask complete strangers for help and then not be able to share those feelings with anyone who is in it with you. It's really tough. So, I don't know if anyone is reading this yet, but if you're reading this and going through that, be encouraged that you're not alone. You can call me if you just need someone to listen. I've already done that to a couple people (special thanks to Susan).