Monday, December 27, 2010

Late December Update

Friends and loved ones,

December has been a very successful month for me, both personally AND toward Japan. It has been a time of reconnecting with estranged friends and family. My dear friends Lance, Amy, and Kelsey returned home in early Dec. after a three month absence. At the same time, I've had the wonderful privilege of reconnecting with my cousin Jacob after a decade of radio silence.

It was so brilliant to see my cousin after a decade and realize the ways we've grown together over a great distance. I've always felt like I didn't know my extended family, since I have always been the younger cousin, but speaking now as adults is incredibly rewarding. Last summer, I had my brother's wedding AND a reunion to see my relatives again, and the more of them I meet, the more connected I feel to my family and the big picture. I want my life to involve more connectedness from now on...

God has also blessed me this month with friends who are both supportive and generous, even though it's the holiday season and (let's face it), who REALLY feels generous this time of year? Only by faith. I've been  overwhelmed by friends who've stepped forward to help. So far, about $1200 has been raised toward Japan.

But not all gifts are financial. Just this Christmas, my loving/wonderful girlfriend, Alysondra, gave me some (MUCH NEEDED) new shoes to wear, which will no longer make me look like a homeless man. Even more, I have a camera to take with me now, thanks to the generous contribution of Mark and Stacy Hennings.. to one, to all, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am incredibly psyched coming off this month to see what God will do in January. I am meeting with the elders from Grace Chapel and Rosemont Alliance in the coming weeks, and the number of people who have chosen to support me keeps increasing. Praise Jesus.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Early December Update...

Hello friends,

As I sit on my sofa with a cold watching old episodes of the office I am drawn my thoughts on Japan, and I feel an update is in order.

I know this is reminiscent of my last post, but, as my mind drifts back to it from time to time, I STILL find myself inspired by Bicycle. Part of this is because fund raising isn't exactly going as planned. Being a first timer, I am overcoming a large amount of challenges all at once. Contacting people, being tactful, planning events that are FUN. My friend group is mostly those who just graduated from or are still in college, it's not an easy fit for them to give monetarily (as it never is for me, either). It's taking some out of the box thinking. All in all, I've probably raised around $1000... five more to go... I feel like I'm chasing little bicycle parts all over town. But this is the world in which I live.

On the plus side, I've got a super-fun Christmas Party/fundraiser coming up on Dec. 17. It should be a big shindig, with live music and a raffle.. I'm hoping that will bring in $500. Every little bit counts.. And it will be fun. Which is the whole point. And yes, I love ugly sweaters.

So, the biggest thing I need at this point is just for people to stay tuned.. and show up to my Christmas party. The fact that you're connected with me right now means the world. If you're interested in seeing Bicycle, there will be a few more showings coming up this month, and I'll be sending out invitations soon. In the meantime, much love muchachos..