Monday, August 29, 2005

"A first time for everything"

First off, I want to thank you all for your prayers. Especially those for my safety. God listens to you and hears you. And he answers, too. Just not in the way we might expect.

Yesterday, I got my first ambulance ride ever. I also met a lot of really nice people who do their jobs well.

Some context: I'm staying with my big brother, Jeffrey, at his apartment in Palo Alto. I flew in on Saturday afternoon and leave for Venezuela tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. Jeffrey and I decided to go camping and so after church yesterday we gathered up some gear and drove up to a the ridge west of here called Skyline Divide. We parked a the well-used trailhead with a dozen other cars and started hiking. We both wanted to see the formation called Castle Rock, so we went that way first and at this famous rock climbing spot, I slipped and fell. We had been walking, not climbing, but that didn't change the ten feet of open air below me.

As soon as I was in the air, good things started happening. I landed relatively softly for being upside down and Jeffrey was right beside me to help immediately. There was a medical student climbing about thirty feet away and he not only saw the whole thing happen but was there in a flash to help. There were many cell phones within shouting distance and the California Department of Forestry fire station with their EMTs was a mere 3 miles down the road. In less than 15 minutes we had stopped the bleeding on my head and there were about six trained professionals sliding a body board under me just in case I had any back or neck injury. Not long after that, an ambulance arrived and all my new friends helped carry me to it. I was conscious and alert for all of this and answered so many questions that I was "conscious times four". We figure that means I answered the same questions consistently four times.

So, in summary, I am bumped, bruised, scratched, stitched, and still alive enough to leave tomorrow. My flight leaves in the morning for Dallas and then on to Caracas. I'll stay the night in Caracas with most of the 13 other YWAMers, then fly to Merida on wednesday morning. From there we'll have one day to get ready and then the lecture phase begins.

Please keep praying. It's powerful stuff.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Three, two, one..

Preparing to leave now fills my waking moments. Errands, just starting to pack, and last-chance lunch dates are the order of the day. My grandpa is driving up from Seattle to have dinner with us tonight and it'd be real great to finish a couple college applications before taking off.

ETD: Saturday 11:25am from Bellingham.

Check out the "My Pictures" link on the right. I've posted some pictures from Alaska and there'll be more new ones as time goes on.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Fire and Soda

"Immaculate Conception"
"Incinerator Plant"

What ties these together? They are both Pepsi customers in NW Washington with a vending machine on their property. And as I built a customer profile for each of them it struck me as ..disconcerting.. to have them listed next to each other.

I've been working full-time under my dad this past week in an effort to squeeze out funds for the trip. It's been a trick to balance working, preparing to leave, and seeing my friends off. So much of a trick that there have been more than a few late nights and some early mornings trying to fit it all in. I'll only be working a day or two in this coming week in an effort to put everything to sorts before my departure.

The best part about having some friends that are leaving earlier than myself is that as we say "goodbye" there have been some amazing conversations and reflective prayer. This has been preparing me for Venezuela more than all my research, planning, and running around put together.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On your marks, get set...

I'm moving down my list of what needs to happen in these next three weeks.. now I can cross out "~start a blog".

Hopefully, this will become a way to communicate with my many friends and family back home in Bellingham, WA, USA as I travel south to Venezuela for these next months.

Looking forward to sharing with you,
-Brian