26 July 2009

the church has left the building

last month i had the opportunity to travel to stellenbosch, south africa (a small university town outside of capetown). it was my first venture outside of southeast asia in nearly a year & my time away was full of joy, learning, cold weather & weeks without rice!.

[just chillin' with some penguins]

in may i started a master's program of international development through eastern university, a school in pennsylvania. it is a hybrid program (which sounds like a graduate program of the future!) which means that i have three week of intensive courses in person & then take the rest of the courses online.

[the faculty of theology building where we studied. pretty posh, eh?]

i learned a lot from the course material over the three weeks (i took the theology of poverty, leadership & empowerment, economic development, community development & social enteprenuership, planning & marketing), but i learned the most from my classmates & professors during the times we had to eat, drink (stellenbosh is wine country...think the napa valley of south africa!), talk, laugh, sing, & pray together.

[the wonderful 1st year international development women]

the program is full of people from all over the world who are working with all kinds of organizations (like the International Justice Mission, World Vision, The Warehouse, Iris Ministries, Invision Global Network, etc) & doing amazing things in their communities. they are people who realize that they cannot look at a world full of poverty, suffering & hopelessness & do nothing.

[the entire group of students studying international development, organization leadership & economic development]

they are the global body of Christ & i glimpsed the kingdom of God in their midst. i was privileged to be among them.

i was also able to do a bit of sightseeing around the capetown area...

[cape point, where the atlantic & indian oceans meet. the different color swirls in the water are because the two oceans are different temperatures]

[a long way from home!]

[the capetown harbour]

[this guy played on an old oil tin & was a really great guitar player]

[sleepy seal]


[i spent 8 hours in doha, qatar, but didn't see much except on the shuttle ride to the plane]

on my way back to cambodia, i met up with daniel in bangkok, thailand for a short visit. more to come about that next time...