Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Money, Money, Money

I realized today that I forgot to write about some fun and amazing things that happened on base with regards to the money students still need to go on outreach. So, here it goes:

On Thursday night Maria wrote the amounts that students still needed to go on outreach. Then she had all the students and staff pray about whether or not we were supposed to give money to one of the people and how much. It was cool to see the students step up and give about $6000 total. After each pledge was made, we changed the students' totals on the board. One student came to me because she had received a lot more than she needed and was trying to figure out who God wanted to give it to. I prayed with her and she came to a decision. The girl she had decided to give the money to was not in the room when we changed her amount owed. It went from about $1900 to $221! I was getting really anxious to see the girl come back. I watched her as she looked at her new total in disbelief. It was priceless!

There were still a lot of students who needed money even after so much was given. Maria initiated another giving time at base worship on Friday morning. Kelli needed over $2000 for her outreach and really doubted that God was going to make it happen. This time I got to be the one who read the little slips of paper with people's pledges on them. Someone gave Kelli $200 and then I read one that said- "I want to pay for Kelli's outreach." So awesome! It was with much excitement that I wrote PAID! next to Kelli's name. She totally started crying.

Another really cool thing happened. There is a hippie family in town with a five-year-old son and an infant son. They came to worship and during the giving time, the little boy (whose name is Collie Love), came up to me and put $6 in my hand. It totally reminded me of the story in the Bible about the widow who gave her last mite. $6 is a much bigger deal when it comes from a family whose only place of residence is the local beach. Powerful.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My weekend at a glance

This weekend has been very chill so far. Last night we finally had our team dinner, which was postponed when we had to take our "cook" to the emergensy room. For more details, see last posting. It was a very fun time with my team. Our team is random, loud and quite hilarious. Some of the students from the Nepal team told me that during their team meetings, they sometimes just sit and wonder what we might be doing. Our team's rambuctious, free-spirited nature is fun except when I am trying to maintain some kind of order. For the dinner, I didn't even try to make them settle down and just enjoyed the ride.

On Thursday, our team had a little photo shoot and Abbey followed us around and took pictures. I thought it was pretty fun but the students' reactions varied. Some could have posed all day and some were over it after the first 10 pictures. I wanted to take a lot because the odds of getting a picture where 12 people all look good are pretty slim. I have posted the shots on my website, if you want to check them out- www.ywamconnect.com/sites/hightower

Back to last night-after our team family dinner, I hung out with Abbey and Bethany. We created a MySpace for Abbey that is pretty stinkin' funny. Almost all of it is a big joke. And today she had all these messages from crazy weird men. The best included a picture of one of the crazy men stretching awkwardly in tight biker shorts. So funny! I don't see how a guy like tha can stay single.

I ended my evening watching the movie, Brokedown Palace. It is about two girls getting wrongly imprisoned in Thailand. It was cool to watch knowing I would be going there in only two weeks. My friends I watched it with had already been to Thailand so they told me which sights in the movie I would get to see in real life.

Then we watched this DVD that this random old guy, Jerry gave Matt. It was of him doing all these weird karate-like moves and using medieval weapons resembling pitch forks and giant butter knives. This stuff was PRICELESS!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Back to the Emergency Room

Well friends, in case the meaning behind this title eluded you, I visited the Emergency Room again today. The joys of being a leader! Actually it was not too bad. Francis, our Swiss team member, cut his foot and it got infected. It was looking pretty gruesome and was bloated like the foot of a 600=lb man, which he is not. For some reason, Maui is a breeding ground for staph infections. There are very few people on staff who have not had one or the boils that often accompany staph. Luckily my mom has told me that I am not boil people. I hope that holds true because these things get pretty gnarly.

Anyway, enough about boil people and back to Francis- so, he was supposed to cook dinner for our team tonight and we were going to have a bonding family-style dinner. His alarmingly swollen foot put a stop to that and Matt, our student-Eric, and I took him to the emergency room. It was not a dire emergency but since he is Swiss, his insurance only works at the emergency room.

The emergency room is painful and fascinating. I always wonder exactly why people are in there but you can't just ask everyone who comes in. We met a nice Christian college kid and his mom. The guy had some severely swollen tonsils. We also met a strange man who seemed high and homeless. He had clearly had a rough night and a rough life. He showed us scars from knife wounds and told us stories of being shot. He looked like he had been in a fight but said he cut his head after having a seizure.

Francis got treated, got a perscription and will need to go back in a few days. Apparently he has cellulitis, probably caused by staph. The whole process took four hours but it wasn't too bad with Eric and Matt to talk to. It was especially good for me to get more time to talk with Eric. I spend most of my time with the girls on my team so I haven't been able to get to know my guys as well.

Now I am about to go to sleep. When I came home, all the junk on my bed had been cleared away and there was an encouraging note on my pillow from my team. Not too shabby! It was a much better ending than when we brought poor Emily home with a broken ankle and she puked all over the place as Matt carried her into the living room.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Handful of Cheerios

This weekend has been really good. I have done stuff but also relaxed a bit. I went running and walking a few times. It is harder to motivate myself without Amy to take me to the gym. I am trying, though. On Friday night, I watched Dave Chappelle's Block Party with Bethany and my student, Kelli.

On Saturday I had coffee with Matt so we could talk about our team. Then Abbey and I went tanning in front of Mama's Fish House- this super-expensive restaurant I will probably never eat at. The beach there is really nice even though the weather wasn't. It would be cloudy and windy one minute and painfully scorching hot the next minute. Maui has a lot of this bipolar weather.

At night I went over to my friend, Kristy's place. She cooked me dinner and we hung out. It was nice to be in a non-YWAM house. After that we went down the street to her parents' house for ice cream. Kristy had been watching their dog, Rascal and when we brought her over, Kristy's mom asked, "Did you feed her?" Kristy told her that she had given her a handful of cheerios. Kristy's mom was appalled and asked, "And now you are giving her dessert?" It seemed weird to me that she would care so much about the dog eating dinner vs. dessert. Then we realized that Kristy's mom was talking about me and not the dog. She thought Kristy was talking about me and that Kristy had only given me a handful of cheerios for dinner. Pretty funny.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

And then there were 10

I definitely feel that there is never a dull moment here. Just about every day I have to confront someone on something or make a big decision about something. It is intense. Sometimes I wish all I had to do was disciple my girls. For you non-Christians, that is teaching and helping people to mature in their faith.

I have never really been discipled myself until now. Our school director, Maria, pushes us out all the time. She definitely makes me get out of my comfort zone. I really enjoy pouring into my girls. It is hard work but a lot of fun. This seems like something that comes natural to me, which makes it even better.

One of my girls will not be coming on outreach. She broke her ankle last Sunday at a hotel pool. This resulted in me and Matt staying in the emergency room until 2:30 am. It really felt like we were her parents. Some people say co-leading a DTS is like a marriage without the sex. THat is probably fairly accurate. So, we as a staff have decided that primarily because of the broken ankle but also for other reasons that she will not come to Bangladesh. It has been a hard decision but every day something seems to happen to confirm it. She flies home on Monday. I am going to miss her but I really think this is for the best.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Falling and Bawling

This week has been just plain crazy! There are so many things that happened that I won't be able to write them all down. I will try to hit some of the high and low points.

I, along with my fellow DTS staffers, decided to fast this week and pray together for the students at times we would normally be chowing down. I decided I would fast for a week. My friend, Abbey, advised against this since before this, my longest fast was 24 hours. I am stubborn and since I would be drinking juice in addition to water, I would be fine. The first two days weren't too bad. I had a constant headache and my sense of smell was heightened. Going to Costco was slightly painful with the smell of pizza permeating the entire store and samples at the end of each aisle.

Amy, my best friend here, left to go home for a wedding this past Sunday and I won't get to see her again until I see her in Bangladesh three months from now. She is so important to me and there were definitely some tears when she left. Little did I know, that was just the start of the large amount of crying I did this week.

On Monday, we had our staff meeting that we have every other Monday. These meetings have become hard for me to take. As DTS staff, we don't get much time to ourselves and one of our times off is Monday afternoons. The ending times of these meetings vary greatly and it is hard for me not to think of my free afternoon slipping away as the meeting goes longer and longer.

Before the meeting started, our fearless DTS school leader, Maria announced that we, along with our students would be reading through the New Testament on Wednesday into the night, therefore taking away the usual night off for staff and students. This was too much for my emotional, food-deprived body to handle. Also earlier that day we had a meeting to talk about who on our team would be going on outreach and who wouldn't. I really don't want to tell anyone that they're not ready and can't go. So, after my night off is stripped from me, my right eye starts tearing up. It is everything I have not to start bawling during our staff meeting. Unfortunately the seating for the meeting is a big circle of chairs so all my friends can see my very obvious "about to have a breakdown" look. Our base director had me and my fellow DTS staffers come in the middle and the rest of the staff prayed for us. It was so good. We really needed it and I bawled.

After the meeting, I just wanted to run to my room so I could finally cry in private for the two hours I had till I had to be at night lecture. But Maria stopped us and made us meet again. That fact alone almost made me lose it. I don't even remember what she was talking about and then she said a few magic words- "Liz, take the night off." This made me bawl the hardest. I was just so exhausted.

Then on Wednesday-Day 3 of my fasting, we were doing the dreaded all-day New Testament reading. It wasn't actually as bad as I thought. We only got through the gospels but it was cool to see the disciples' different points of view and how it all fit together. In the morning, I had drank plenty of juice and water but I felt weird. I went to the bathroom and as I was locking the door, I got a head rush. Then I felt like I had a full dream and I found myself sitting on the floor with my back against the door and my head hurt slightly like I had hit it. I didn't know how long I was out but none of the students said anything when I came out so it musn't have been too long or loud. I decided at that point to break my fast for health reasons. Pretty weird.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A summary of my time in Colorado

I have been back from visiting my brother in Colorado for about a week but I haven't had much blogging time. Here's what happened:

I had a few goals in mind:
-obviously to spend time with my brother and his wife
-to go shopping at a mall since we have such a limited selection of stores here
-play disc golf
-go to Sonic (for some unknown reason they do not exist here)
-watch cable tv

Thankfully I got to reach all of my goals and also got to play laser tag and ride go-karts. I also got to eat at Pei Wei, eat lots of fresh berries and have my sister-in-law's delicious homeade lasagna. I took pictures of me wearing Andrew's army gear. The army has changed their camo to this graph/ pixilated looking stuff. It is pretty cool. There was some good quality time with my brother. I thought I was going to get really upset since this was the last time I was going to see him for at least 14 months and he'll be in Iraq for a year of it.

When I left we hugged and told each other, "I love you." I took a set of his dog tags that I am going to keep with me as a reminder to pray for him and Shella. I feel like I am suppressing my emotions about this whole situation but I don't know how to fix this. Hopefully I don't freak out in Bangladesh.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mainland is Good

I am writing this from Colorado! Yay! I am hanging out with Andrew and Shella and watching cable. Does it get any better than this? We went to a mall and played disc golf already- two of my main goals. The flights went better than any I have been on in a long time.

My first flight was overnight to Phoenix. I was a bit nervous because I normally try to get a window seat so I can at least lean against the window and sleep. I even brought the pillow from my bed for maximum sleeping. Now that I had an aisle seat, I was afraid I'd have to lay my head down on a stranger's lap in order to get the much needed sleep. The plane was getting really full but the two seats next to me remained empty. I tried not to get my hopes up. Then they closed the door and I knew that my wildest dreams had come true. I had three seats to myself despite almost every other seat being occupied. And then I found a brand-new US magazine (trashy celebrity gossip) in the seat pocket in front of me. I thanked God for these wonderful blessings.

I slept until Phoenix and then then barely had to wait at all for my next flight to Denver, which I slept through as well. Sa-weet! Then we went to a mall in Denver. We were thinking of eating at Cheesecake Factory and I noticed a Toni and Guy salon across from it. After a double take, I realized that one of the hairdressers was Michael Berman, a guy I did my DTS with in Maui. I knew he lived in Colorado and did hair but I had no idea where. How random is that! I had a short convo with him and let him resume his haircut.
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