Reading and Wrestling

I write to get things figured out.

The blog gets silent when things feel…unfigured…unsettled…generally, un-.  It gets silent when life gets crazy.  It gets silent when my home internet goes down, and stays silent when months pass and the internet still doesn’t work.

So may this serve as my apology for being generally absent.  After being convicted of my desire to keep things private until they are neat and tidy, I’m here to take a baby step into the vulnerable place of wrestling publicly.

Seven months into life in the Philippines, I feel no closer to conclusion on the matter of what to do with privilege than when I came.  I see my privilege more than I did living in the U.S., but I’m not sure how much more I actually possess.  During International Week, I read If the World Were a Village, a kid-sized view into the inequality in the world.  We discussed how unfair life is and how much we have- clean water, food, shelter, education, etc.

Around the same time, I was finishing Playing God by Andy Crouch.  It’s an excellent book for anyone in any sort of leadership- leading kids in a classroom or leading adults in a job or leading a family or the other forms of “leadership” we have.  I read slowly, reflecting a lot on the power I have, the temptations we all face, and the ways I am called to bear God’s image faithfully.  Crouch addresses injustice and privilege as they relate to our use of power.

Then today, I happened across this post On Being Rich by a missionary in Burundi.   While he is in a very different part of the world than I am, his words about our richness and the warning of Christ in the midst of wealth struck me.

Where does this leave me?  I’m not really sure.  I’m loving the much simpler life I live here.  I’m quite sure that I haven’t fully mapped my own footprint here and wonder if I ever will be able to do so.  And I long to follow Jesus in the little ways as well as the big, even when I’m not totally sure what that looks like.

(If this were my kids’ writing, I’m sure we would have a conversation about the organization of this post.  But…it’s not figured out, and I’m going to leave it for now.  Ok?)

Greetings from Manila!

Hello from Manila!

I arrived last (Saturday) night after 14 hours in the air, three meals in the air, one and a half movies (I fell asleep part way through the second), and 3 Reader’s Digests (thanks, Mom!) Everything went smoothly, I picked up my luggage, and Rich and Marla met me at the shiny Manila airport. (It was built since I was last here.)

Rich is the OC/Philippine Challenge team leader, and he has helped me to get everything in order to come. He and his wife, Marla, offered to let me stay with them for a bit to get adjusted, and I crashed last night after face-timing the fam to let them know I’d arrived safely.

This morning, we went to church and out to Dominos (yes, pizza!) afterward. We’ll leave soon to take one of their sons to Faith Academy (FA) to leave for camp, and I’ll get a tour.

It’s a little crazy to be here after so many years of praying, hoping, and preparing. I am very grateful for a few days to get on this schedule, adjust to the heat and humidity (so far, so good!), and get some help in finding the grocery store, etc. The teacher in me can’t wait to get started on planning, putting my room together, etc. but I’m really trying to enjoy these moments now.

Love to all!

Countdown: By the Numbers

As of today, May 21, 2013, there are approximately…

1 newsletter to write stateside. After that, it’s here from there…let me know if you want to be on the list to get updates via snail mail or email.

2 months left in the US.

4 Sundays left to be at church.

5 books to read in preparation for this move.

a whole bunch of thank you notes to write- so many amazing, encouraging people are in my life!!

19 days left of school.  Yikes!! There’s a lot left to teach- onward we go!  Drop by Team 211 if you want to see peeps learning ’til the last bell rings!

$500/month of support left to raise!  Woo hoo!  If you want to be a part, go to and include my name- Angela Olson- as the missionary.  Let me know if you plan to give monthly.

Whew!  Craziness- here we go!