On our block: The neighbors haven’t stopped with the illegal fireworks since several
days before the 4th of July. I’ve never seen them from this close before. These
fireworks are mesmerizing to stare at and pretty but in a louder, more explosive
way than I’m used to.
At our house: It’s hot! The two kids from the family that lives downstairs let Kimmy
and me try out their new Slip-n-slide in the backyard with them. It was both wetter
and shorter than I thought it would be, but still fun.
The blue teddy bear I brought from home has been in a different person’s sleeping
bag every time I return to our bedroom. I am still not completely sure who the
In our team: We are getting more into the rhythm of what our weeks will be like
for the rest of this summer. We all come home from our sites at different times, but
then we get to gather around the dining table, talk about how our days were, and eat
home-cooked foods together, sometimes without utensils, and sometimes without
thumbs. Then we play games, entertain the idea of collectively writing a romance
novel, and sleep early so we can pray the following morning.
My favorite thing about this team is that we regularly pray and confess together, and
in the same way that none of us is afraid to be weird or quirky, none of us is afraid
to be honest about feelings of disappointment, weakness, or callousness. I am more
able to recognize and trust that God is real and near to us because we are learning
how to be real with each other and with God.
Me! Learning about poor people and broken systems was, at first, just heavy
and frustrating. But it also makes me more aware of the problems behind the
more visible problems, and allows me to see people for more than the current
circumstances I see them in. I really want this to carry over into post-BAyUP life!
allyson jue lam 7.4.11 11PM
Monday, June 27, 2011
Hello! Things have been so great.
things I have learned:
One of the biggest things I’ve learned this past week was how much I have to learn. I guess that is fitting since it’s still the beginning of the summer. This summer we’re going to be learning a lot about how to be in the city and live among the poor—to love them not necessarily by what we do but how we live. Sometimes I look back on the places I’ve volunteered or my experience being a daycamp counselor and I think that I know how to love the poor, but I’m realizing more now that it’s more just that I know how to do things or take on responsibilities that I think serve the poor. I hope that this summer I grow my heart for the people I get to know, and that I can love with not just service projects or leadership opportunities but by living in community with the poor.
Sex-trafficking is really complicated. Whether or not it’s okay is a no-brainer for most Americans, but now learning not just girls’ stories but also about the current laws and the ballot initiative process, and how well intentioned volunteers often exploit more than serve is frustrating.
Another thing I’m seeing is how obviously all this stuff we’re learning about is framed by what Jesus’s purpose on earth was. When Pastor Mike McBride spoke, he was saying how Jesus became the very lowest so that he could raise up even the poorest and most overlooked, and nobody would be beyond his reach. I’m excited to learn that seeking justice is a part of this biggest picture, and I think I’ll come back to this truth over and over again when I start to feel hopeless or disappointed or something like that.
Also I’m learning how much I love this technology fast. People are so much more real and wonderful when in real life and not on gchat (or on facebook, dad!). Also, when we’re not taking out our phones to text all the time, we trust that we’re real present with each other. And because everybody on this team is so….. free to be themselves, we find very creative ways to have fun. We spent a couple hours trying to help each other to do flips and headstands and somersaults one night. Another day we played Jenga, where each person had to remove the entire bottom row of Jenga pieces (it’s possible, you just have to be swift and anybody can do it if you believe in yourself) and losers fed each other dinner. I miss home and you all but I’m glad I have this team, and I feel really at home with them.
For dinner tonight I’m in charge! It cost $11.40 for the eleven of us!!!!!!!!! YAH! We will be eating wraps and it will be full of colorful vegetables and no mushrooms.
I crave sun-dried tomato and basil wheat thins.
Biking actually works! I can’t believe it either. Thank you for praying!
– Allyson Jue Lam. 9:26AM 6/27/11