Thursday, July 28, 2005

A New Sister

Just a praise...

I met a Russian girl who is studying in Nice for 5 years. We were doing our outreaches on the beach Promenade these last couple of weeks. We have a drama set to the Skillet song "Locked in a Cage" (or something like that) that is awesome and then I danced on the hip hop team to the remix of "Stomp". Another girl did interpretive dancing to a Christian song that was very beautiful. While all of these outreaches draw a crowd, the other 25 team members are initiating conversations with the bystanders. It has been very effective in building friendships, meeting people, etc.

I can not initiate convos until the end because we dance every 8-10 minutes or so. This is my favorite type of evangelism, so I was kind of bummed at times watching all the great interactions. So, I prayed last Tuesday that I would be able to have 1 conversation at the very end of the night.

Once the night ended and most people left, I saw a girl on a bike. I hesitated to talk to her, but as she geared up to drive away, I ran up to her and started talking. She spoke some English as I asked her about her life. I shared the Gospel in English, but she seemed to want to hear it in French. I asked her if she saw the drama (thinking that she would understand the non-verbal Gospel) and she said no. She just stopped for the crowd. I got her e-mail and invited her to the drama/dance on Thursday, but she said she had to work till midnight and couldn't come. Thursday rolls around and she shows up to the drama! I realized with language that I misunderstood her and she works AT midnight. Before I noticed the language mistake I made, I thought she left so I went about my business. Because I wasn't with her, one of our Chinese-French-speaking students saw her and shared with her for 2 hours! In the middle of all this, I realized that if I had known she was still there, I never would have left her side. It was neat to see how God moves things to work out His will.

At the end of the night, I was feeling sad for other reasons and I sat down next to the two girls. My Chinese team member said, "Good news, Katie, she has just asked God to be in her life." It is also neat to see that after my Russian friend left, my team member and I just cried because we both needed the encouragement that night AND we had a new sister in the Lord!

Both of our friendships with her are solid and she has already come to one of our team family dinners. Please pray for solid discipleship and a good church for her (those are hard to come by). This has been an answer to my prayers because I had asked God to allow me to meet one girl here in Nice that I can keep in contact with and build a friendship. I was starting to doubt Him with 1 week left but He is faithful in His timing. He gave me more than I even asked or imagined.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Sorry it has been awhile since my last post--I have literally run non-stop for weeks. I have barely had enough time to process all that I am feeling and going through. Some neat experiences have happened and I have felt like an emotional roller coaster here sometimes.

First off, we took a trip a few weeks ago on our day off and it was great. We took a train to Ventimiglia, Italy and spent half the day at the market. We jumped on a train to head back to Nice and stopped off in Monaco/Monte-Carlo. It was beautiful! I went with the group that spent the majority of the time in the castle area and gardens (surprise, surprise ;P). I enjoyed the people that I was with and had only a few minor frustrations. Overall, I was impressed with the fact that it is okay to want things to be beautiful and royal--there is no shame in that as long as it brings glory to God and benefit to others. My thoughts were of Esther in the Bible. I think that is why she is my favorite...

After a hard week with the students here (meaning in my own heart toward them), we took a mid-project break to Cinque Terre, Italy. For anyone that knows me, this has been my dream since I drooled over Quincy's pictures 5 years ago. It was INCREDIBLE! I delighted in God's creation and it was even more beautiful than I imagined. Our team worshiped at a cross perched on the hill and you could hear our singing down all over the town. We reflected and hiked around a bit. I spent the day seeing all five towns and walking around. Did I mention that I got my foot x-rayed and I DO have a stress fracture? Well, that had an impact on my ability to participate which led to frustration. I got left a few times--three to be exact--and yes, I cried. I realized how much I like to be included and that I have to get that from God. There is NO way people can satisfy that all the time; they can't.

A crazy but funny story from the end of my trip...
I was bent on going kayaking in the ocean while in the Cinque Terre. Like, bent. Everyone knew it and so the last day (I had one hour to squeeze it in) before our train left, I went to get a kayak. It was so awesome--waves crashing, paddling against them, I even caught air a few times. I felt strong, adventurous, and excited. When it was time to paddle in, there was no one to help pull me in. Normally that would not be a problem, but the waves were so powerful that I could not "beach" myself. So, I asked an Italian dude to help and he said sure. He was pulling empty kayaks in, and when he was done, he walked away. I got his attention again, and he laughed as he walked on. So, I was a little peeved by this time. I did my best to "beach" myself again. I put my paddle down and then the waves pulled me back out without a paddle. In a rush, I tried to step out while the water was still shallow. My flipflop caught the edge and my body stepped out before my feet.

I fell on my hip and I hit a bunch of rocks (I have a black/purple/red bruise the size of a grapefruit to show for it). As I was sitting in the water, the Italian guy started laughing at me--hysterically. He thought it was the funniest thing. I admit, I said some choice words to him because he said he "couldn't understand English" and that is why he wouldn't help. I marched to the kayak place and almost beat him over the head with my paddle (it DID cross my mind, I confess). I was so humiliated that I was crying--I know, it is like daily--by the time I reached the older Italian guys who ran the business. I explained what happened and they dragged the young dude in, chewed him out in Italian, waited for him to apologize (they insisted that we wait until it was "from his heart"), he kissed my cheek "from his heart", and the older men gave me my hour for free if I promised to give their business a good name.

After that experience, I had 30 minutes to clean up before our 5 hour train ride home. Good times, good times...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Nice is Nice

So, I have been in Nice for a few weeks now, but I haven't had a moment to even write about it. I was thrust immediately into my role as "student staff" (which is funny because I am neither a "student" or CCC "staff"). This has been interesting to figure out how to balance my time with students and still go to meetings, etc. I feel lazy sometimes when I decide to rest instead of go to the beach or shopping, but if I don't, I will be a grump.

I had my 27th birthday here last Saturday and that was fun. In all honesty, the surprise birthday party that I had in May with my church was like my "real" birthday. This day, July 2, just made it official that I am one year older. I feel like I am 18 on the inside no matter what I see in the mirror. Ahh! ;P I celebrated by going to get my first official crepe in France. It was filled with chocolate/hazlenut creme--called Nutella--and was drippy good. I called it my "birthday crepe" and when you say it in French, it sounds mysteriously like "birthday crap". Hmmm....

We are going to visit a village in Italy and Monaco tomorrow for our day off. It is an optional excursion for the team and then I will try to lay out on the beach in Cannes for my day off on Saturday. I have had an interesting time with my feet here and have not been able to find the remedy in France. Apparently, French people do not have flat feet and they have never heard of a little term called "arch support". My mom has to Fed Ex the solution to me.

I will most likely get my foot x-rayed next week sometime, so please pray for healing.Our team needs prayer too because we are having a lot of difficulty. A stomach bug has hit about 8 people, one girl is having seizures and can't explain why, we've got nightmares, foot trouble, my teeth are starting to hurt, bags stolen, 3 deaths of close friends and family of our team--and all in 2 weeks! We need fighting for. We have about 50 people on our team...please pray.