Saturday, April 28, 2007

$30,000 later...

Today I experienced a very different church fundraiser than I had ever been a part of. Growing up in youth group I helped with many a spaghetti dinner, bake sale, yard sale, or auction to raise money to go on our mission trips. Yet this church wide auction at San Marino took fund raising to the next level! For approximately the last 3 months I have been on the auction committee--a group that worked tirelessly to a create a fiesta themed live and silent auction and catered dinner. I was amazed at the talents and knowledge of the people on the committee--San Marino definitely knows how to throw a party! Here are some pictures of the event...

These are some of our youth helping to decorate the fellowship hall and tables by folding napkins.
This is Cami--one of the youth I know best, before the auction started. Many of the youth were our servers for the night--they were dressed up in a uniform of black pants, white shirts, and brightly colored sashes.

Don and Karen Berns (our new associate pastor) are on the church patio for the silent auction. Items included theme park tickets, dinner with Baby Oh (which made $100's!), and a spa package among other things. It was hard to win anything--people kept being out bid.
One of my favorite auction committee members--Bob--went all out in dressing festively for the occasion! I'm not sure I'll recognize him on Sunday mornings in his suit.
And one of the biggest items of the night was a live auction item--a ride with Jeff O'Grady (our senior pastor) on his motorcycle. Jeff surprised everyone by riding his motorcycle to kick off the live auction part. Here he is clad in his leather. The item that was most popular was having dinner with Jeff and his wife Lynn in the church manse. That went for $1500--and another couple wanted it so badly that they volunteerily gave another $1500. $3000 to eat with the pastor--wow...

The night was super successful. The auction raised $30,000 to benefit the youth! How exciting!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April 16, 2007

Watching the news channels Monday afternoon in the Houston airport was very surreal as I listened the shocking news of the VA Tech shooting. I pray right now for healing of the victims in the hospital, for peace and comfort for friends and families of the victims as well as the for the students, faculty, and staff at VA Tech.

I'm not sure what else to say--but thought I'd share this link to a cartoon "Together We Are All Hokies":

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A restful weekend in TX

This weekend I traveled to Houston, TX for what I can only describe as a vacation. I went to Houston last November for a Houston Presbyterian Cursillo weekend. The experience in November was absolutely life changing as I learned and was shown at how much God loves me. Not only did I come away with that new understanding but I also came away with new friends. Robin and I were matched up as prayer partners and despite not spending a lot of time together during the weekend I left the weekend knowing that we had a powerful connection. We've stayed in touch since November and she has become an amazing friend, mentor, and family to me. This weekend I got to spend time with her family--her husband, Rusty, and their 3 daughters, Alyssa, Sarah, and Bethany. After the past few stressful weeks I needed these two days of rest, laughes, and catching up. Here's a picture of Robin and I:I also had the chance to see another friend from my November Cursillo weekend--Bob Williamson and his wife Louise. Bob has taken special care of us Fuller folks that have been to Houston Cursillos--he even told Becca and I that he considers us his grandkids! Bob has a heart of gold and I love spending time with him.
Finally I had to post the next picture. We were in a tiny local restaurant in Texas and I was amazed to see crosses on the wall! At this point--I knew I wasn't in LA anymore!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Blessing

I began this school year in need of a low stress, minimum hour, high paying, conveniently located job. Those are a lot of requirements but thankfully one fell into my lap very quickly. I spent the last 6 months working the front desk of a private practice psychiatrist's office. My bosses--Tom and Nori Beck were absolutely wonderful to work with--so nice, patient, and just plain fun. I also learned something about psychiatry too...different types of meds, how to score tests, and the symptoms of different psychiatric diseaPost Options ses. I am by no means any expert--but it was fun to learn a little behind the scenes knowledge. The Becks are moving to Tennessee and thus ending their private practice and ending my job. This past Thursday we had a celebration for them--celebrating them, their success, and their upcoming move. I won't miss working so often but I will miss seeing the Becks. Here's a picture of me with the Becks and Denise (another part time assistant) and Denise's dog Daisy.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Life Together

Moving into my apartment last fall I saw many blank walls to fill. Being the poor grad students that we are, my roommate had the great idea to create art for our apartment rather than buy art. Today I had a painting party for my 3 closest friends. I gave them each a blank canvas, paint brushes, and several types of paint and told them to create whatever they wanted. Little did I know just how creative they would get!!!

Becca 's painting has our profiles . To capture the lines of our faces we had to do some pretty interesting lighting tricks...
Sophie's painting involved us placing our hand or foot in paint and stepping on her canvas.
And Sarah's painting is made up completely of words--words that describe our friendship. I painted a butterfly on my canvas with the Greek word for transformation above it. The four paintings now proudly hang on my bedroom wall and when I see them I am reminded of a word off of Sarah's painting, "Life Together."

Junior High Mission Trip

On April 1st San Marino Community Church's junior high group headed to downtown Los Angeles for a mission trip. It was a tiny group--only 4 junior highers and 3 adult chaperons. We partnered with Center for Student Missions (LA). CSM gave us a tour guide who led us around LA to different ministry sites.

Looking back I would have to describe the trip as a learning experience for me. In one sense, there was much to take in as we saw extreme poverty and extreme wealth in the matter of seconds in LA. It was even more of a learning experience for me as I learned how messy ministry can be... Balancing kids, volunteers, and trip logistics is hard! There are lots of decisions to be made, group dynamics to watch, and responsibilities to hold. Praise God for His grace as I do ministry--because I am sure not perfect!

Here are a few pictures of some of the ministry sites we worked at. Wei Wei and Sarah are sorting food at the LA Regional Food Bank.
One morning we had to walk around the financial district of downtown LA and find a homeless person to take to breakfast. My group enjoyed chatting with Robert at McDonalds.
Another stop was serving dinner at the Midnight Mission in Skid Row. It was quite an efficient system as thousands of people were fed that night in a few hours.
Part of our trip was to experience some of the diversity of LA in taste. We went to Thai, Nicaraguan, and Armenian restaurants. This plate of food is Nicaraguan--complete with fried bananas--yum!
And finally, the kids picked up on the word "selah," a word in the Psalm we studied those few days. Selah is the Hebrew word for pause. One morning they wrote it on their palms so they would remember to "selah" and look around the world around them.
It's pretty crazy how much you actually learn when you do "selah"....

Friday, April 06, 2007

You want to come to my house?

April 1-4 I chaperoned a junior high mission trip with my church. The mission trip was only 20 minutes away--to downtown LA. I have lots of pictures and thoughts to write, but for now I wanted to post a poem that was read to us during the trip. The poem was written by a 10 year old girl who lives in Skid Row.

"My favorite sport is handball. You know what it is? You get a ball and hit it on the wall. If it touches down, you're out. You have have to get in line again and wait and wait until it is your turn.

Favorite subject? What is a subject? Oh my favorite subject is about planets because I know where the planets are. And lots of stuff.

Me, I am in my mother's world. I like my mother and father the same. But I like my dad a little more, because he takes me to buy more stuff and because he's nice to me. My mom is nice too but when we don't do well in school and my mom hits us my dad says why do you hit them? If you hit them they'll become more dumb.

You want to come to my house? Tell me before you want to come. I got to clean up.

My favorite color is red, blue, or purple. Tell you one word or you want more? Blue-hat red.

I was writing this poem but something happened. The police came because a man put a gun at my sister. My brother called the police. You didn't tell me. You want to come to my house?"

--Girl, Age 10