Sunday, January 27, 2008


i have great news! a couple months ago i went to a meeting of our missions team at dfcc (World Wide Outreach) to present an idea. i proposed that my trip to ecuador be a church-sponsored trip. not in the sense that i want the church to front the money. but in the sense that i would like dfcc to be my sending agent for this short-term trip. this is what that means:

  • i would be sent out as a missionary to ecuador from this church, not through a different missionary agency like the one i went through to go to peru.
  • the church would be a forwarding agent for funds...meaning any money intended to support me (provided by myself or anyone wishing to contribute) goes to the church with a little note saying "amy-ecuador" and dfcc deposits the money into an account from which i can withdraw in ecuador. i then provide an account of all the money withdrawn to dfcc, specifying for what purpose said money was withdrawn creating financial accountability between me and church and financial accountability between church and contributor. also, tax write-offs.
  • the church would provide prayer support for me and my ministry in ecuador, as it would be considered a sort of "overseas ministry" of dfcc.
  • the church (or specifically the elders and/or missions team or specific person from either said group) would act as an emergency contact, provider of overseas health insurance, and communications liason between me and the local church body, as i would be expected to communicate regularly with the local body in downey about my ministry and life experiences in ecuador (my plan is to use all kinds of media to do this, blog posts, e-mails, pictures, videos).
if it sounds like kind of a big job, that's because it is. it's what a missionary agency does. that's why our church has not done this...there are entire agencies set up to do it. but it's totally beneficial. see, (and this is my opinion) right now if you were to go to the church (elders/leaders) and say, "i think i'd like to be a missionary." or "i'd like to do a short-term mission trip, but i'd like to go independently, not with a group." our answer is an emphatic, genuine, "that's awesome! good luck with all your plans! we'll be praying for you and your ministry. let us know how it goes for you." this is not a bad or discouraging answer. but an answer we could give (which would be super awesome) could be, "that's awesome! where would you like to go? and for how long? here's a list of missionaries we know in these different countries that would love to have you. this is the bank that you need to open an account with. this is the type of visa you need to have. these are the papers you need to fill out in order to get this type of visa. this is how much money you need to raise. this is how we can help you with that. we will commit to praying for your trip and helping you get there. you need to commit to acting as an ambassador of God and of this church to the place you are going. and to providing financial accountability to us as we will be acting as your sending agent/forwarding agent. and to providing us with regular updates of what's happening in your ministry."

do you see the difference? i really think we are in a place to do this. we have put a lot of priority in missions over the years, and i think this is the next step. it is obviously beneficial to me (even though it means a lot of work, since this trip will lay the groundwork for many trips to come), but it is beneficial to anyone in this church with a desire to try their hand at ministry in a foreign country in the future. and it is beneficial to this church because it will add a new dimension to our short-term missions program and it will establish a process for sending out independent, short-term missionaries.

so that was my proposal to wwo in november, and wwo recommended the proposal to the elders in december, and the elders have approved the proposal which means it's going to happen! and i'm very excited. from this point on, i am going to try my best to document the process that i go through, and i may be coming to my blogging friends from time to time with questions about the best way to transfer media files of different sizes, or the best kind of video camera to buy in a certain price range...or i may ask you to take a survey on what kinds of things interest you/don't interest you about foreign culture/missions work/the ways in which missionaries communicate and what kinds of things they should communicate back home. and i will greatly appreciate your input because i trust you and because your opinions matter. except know who you are.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

it's not so bad

james says we should consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds (james 1:2). he probably knows what he's talking about, considering he lived in a time and a place when being a cristian was pretty scandalous, and on the rise to becoming the most offensive crime. but even though not all of us will be killed or even ridiculed for our faith, i guess james is talking about any kind of trial...even the situations that are only mildly frustrating. because even those situations can develop perseverance and maturity in a person. james also says that if we lack wisdom, we should ask for it. and that when we ask, we should believe and not doubt, and the Lord will give us wisdom because He gives generously to everyone without finding fault (james 1:5-6).

you know, i can recall not too long ago asking for wisdom. it's funny how silly i am. i guess somewhere in my mind, i thought the wisdom would just appear in my brain and my heart. that i wouldn't have to experience anything to gain it. but isn't that what wisdom is? the accumulated knowledge and insight we have as a result of what we've gone through and learned? or what we've seen other people go through? opposed to being a downer, i'm just going to be joyful, keep going, and look forward to the wisdom i will have gained from this experience in the end. birthday was awesome. i went to be with my family and i spent a couple days at my mom and dad's house. my mom made awesome food, my family gave me awesome gifts (thanks for the good advice you gave my mom, andrew). layton and holly picked out the cards they wanted to give me, which was also awesome. did you guys know layton is reading at almost a 3rd grade level? he's in kindergarten! olivia is standing up and moving around and discovering all kinds of new things. and holly...holly is super fun to hang out with. she's so smart.

anyway, now i'm 26.

Friday, January 18, 2008

consulate schmonsulate

well, your encouragement has been really appreciated, and has really helped me to and that's exactly what i needed considering the call to the consulate was totally fruitless.

i went to church monday morning and asked davíd to call for me (since when i had called before it was very difficult to understand the woman who answered because her accent was so heavy). i wanted to make sure my questions got asked correctly, understood correctly and that the answers were understood as well. so he called and asked a couple of questions and whoever was on the other end suggested it might be easier to just e-mail the information on visas to davíd. he gave his e-mail address and hung up. that was monday. we're still waiting for that e-mail.

i think the most frustrating part of this whole process for me is the dependency that i need to have on other people, and the waiting to hear what they decide. i don't like to be dependent. i guess dependency on Him is something God wants me to learn and respect. well fine. but i don't have to like it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

it's all overwhelming. and i feel alone.

i'd like to ask for your prayers...

you may (or may not) remember i am planning a six-month trip to ecuador for this year to work as a missionary with the iberoamerican christian church in el recreo, the same church i have gone to on short-term missions trips the last three summers.

for a trip longer than three months, a religious worker visa is ideal because it is good for up to a year and renewable. the problem is that in order to be approved for this visa, i need to have a) a letter from marcelo puentes, pastor of the church, requesting that i be admitted to ecuador. b) a copy of the decree issued by the ecuadorian government authorizing said church to operate in ecuador. c) a copy of the document authenticated by the ministry of foreign affairs that states that marcelo is the legal representative of the church. d) a copy of the bylaws of the church in ecuador. e) an affidavit from the church, assuming the responsibility for expenses incurred by me as result of abandoning the country or deportation. (awesome). f) a guarantee from the church to support me financially during my stay in Ecuador.....

and those are just the things i need to get from marcelo...there's a list just as long of things that i need to do here (doctors certificates, police certificates, affidavits...i don't even know what an affidavit is...)

the point is...the church has been working on achieving their legal status in ecuador for the last few years, and i am not even sure if they have it yet, and if they do have it, who knows if they actually have all the documents i need (or if they'd be able to get them to me in time to process the application for the visa) i have a phone appointment with the ecuador consulate on monday morning to find out if there is any way to be granted this visa without some of the required documents.

blah blah blah other boring, government words, blah blah...please pray that the issue of my visa will not be a problem. that if it doesn't work out to get a religious worker visa, i can find another (legal) option.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

i'm sleepy

so i got this new external hard drive for christmas (thanks mom and dad) and i plugged it in and installed everything it told me to. and when i open up the external hard drive there are all these folders in it (autorun, wd_mac_tools, wd_windows_tools, setup) and all kinds of folders and stuff in those folders. and i don't know what they are for. is there more stuff i need to do before i can store stuff on there? or can i just start creating new folders and put my stuff in them already? help me to know, my technologically-adept friends. thank you.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

i can has ipod?

and i can has capshun?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

mom, dad...i'd really love to have an ipod for my birthday

well, i'd like to say that i took care of the problem and left a note from the Geek Squad on Barajas' door. but, the morrison lazy gene allowed me to comfortably do nothing and wait it out while they figured it out on their own. either way, we have got The Wireless on heritage circle again.

in other news, i am proud to announce that this christmas i successfully influenced my young niece in what i consider to be a wonderful way. and i am looking forward to her carrying on my tradition for years to come.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Barajas, can you reboot your modem, please?

and speaking of pirating The Wireless...

the Coffee Bean on Firestone is close enough to connect you to the DUSD case anyone else was wondering :-)

can't post comments on blogs or publish new blog posts...those sites are blocked. along with pretty much any type of social-networking site/instant messenger. but you can view everything on google reader and you can e-mail. and skype still works.

and there's a TV, right john? haha!