Monday, December 15, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
What Is Kiva?
We Let You Loan to the Working Poor
Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.
The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.
Kiva partners with existing expert microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified entrepreneurs. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva, our partners upload their entrepreneur profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them. When you do, not only do you get a unique experience connecting to a specific entrepreneur on the other side of the planet, but our microfinance partners can do more of what they do, more efficiently.
Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle, and what effect it has on the people and institutions lending it, borrowing it, and managing it along the way. To do this, we are using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and are waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
- The people. I love spending time with this group! They all have great hearts for Jesus and for the world!
- Practicing my language skills. It gives me a chance to keep up with the Spanish language (previously I had been neglecting my Spanish studies for a couple years). Also, I've found that learning a new language and teaching a new language are two very different things. I have had to focus much harder to understand how to best teach others a new language.
- The excitement of watching others learn. Last night, I sat with a group of 5 children as they asked questions in Spanish and answered them in complete Spanish sentences! Wow!
- The focus on missions. This group doesn't simply want to learn another language for the sake of learning another language--they want to learn another language so that they can minister to others!
- The focus on prayer for the nations. Each week, I've been wearing a different soccer jersey from countries around the world, and then we spend time at the end of class praying for that country. I have the kids show me on a map where the country is located, we spend some time identifying the needs of that country, and then we pray for them. So far we have asked God to reign in Ecuador, Paraguay, India, Brazil, Mexico, and China. I was touched last night to hear an eight year old girl pray that Christians in China would be able to go to church and that the pastors there would be let out of jail. God heard those prayers!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
- going to a lot of youth sporting events
- teaching a Spanish class (more on this later)
- dealing with some drama in the youth group (of the teenage girl variety...my favorite!)
- not sleeping enough
- trying to keep up with my new house
- leading an awesome student leadership team
- spending lots of time with my girl
- preparing for a long trip overseas (more on this later, as well)
- not blogging
Saturday, September 20, 2008
My Dream Life
I have many goals and dreams that I would like to accomplish in my life. Some of them may seem unrealistic, but it never hurts to dream. In this paper I will talk about what I would like to do in the rest of my life.
I plan on attending Penn High School next year [check]. I will go there for four years [check], and I want to do many things there. I want to play wide receiver in football for all four years I'm at Penn [check...also DB]. By the time I am a senior, I would like to be a starter on the varsity team [by junior year, check]. I also want to win a state championship in football while I am at Penn [check], which isn't uncommon for Penn football! Also, I want to play basketball at Penn for all four years I am there [check]. By the time I am a junior or senior, I want to be starting on the varsity basketball team at either point guard or shooting guard [shooting guard, check]. I also want to get straight A's for every year that I am at Penn [check], and I want to earn my high school diploma [check]. During high school I will get a job to save up some money for when I am an adult [haha, nope].
I want to go to a big college like the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, or Purdue University [nope]. I don't know exactly what college I want to go to, but I want it to be in this part of the country [check]. It doesn't necessarily have to be in Indiana, though. I would like to earn a full-ride basketball scholarship [college was pretty darn close to free] to whatever college I attend because basketball is my favorite sport [that changed], and it is the sport that I am the best at [also changed]. I want to attend college for four years [check] and major in business managing or something similar to that [nope]. While in college I would find a job close to the campus so that I could save up more money for after I graduate [check].
After I graduate I will be in no debt [check] because I got a full-ride scholarship to college. I would move to a large condominium on the Atlantic Ocean in Miami, Florida [From this point on, life gets ridiculous]. There I would work for a year or so as a waiter or something to save up enough money to start my own business. I don't really know what kind of business I will start, though. It would start off small but within a year would grown and become famous nationwide. I would be making millions and millions of dollars a year. Eventually my company would go worldwide.
While living in Miami I would meet a woman, preferably with blonde hair and blue eyes, but I'm not that picky. She would be smart, good looking, and a very nice person. We would date for a couple of years and then we would get engaged. After about another year we would get married. I'd let her plan our wedding and everything because I don't really care as long as we just get married. All our family and friends would come, though.
We would buy a huge ten-story house right on the Atlantic Ocean in Miami. In our house, there would be a gym with four full-court basketball courts. There would also be a full workout gym and an inside and outside olympic size pool. Also, there would be an elevator so we didn't have to walk ten flights of stairs. We would also have our own private beach out by the ocean.
After a few years of being married we would decide to have kids. We would have four kids. First, we would have two boys. Then we would have two girls. I don't have any idea what I would name my kids. I guess I would let my wife decide that. All four of my kids would be very smart. They would also be very talented at many sports.
I would have several cars. First, I would buy a Ford Mustang convertible. Next, I would get a red Porsche. Then I would buy a new bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle for my wife. After that I would get myself a black Mercedes Benz. Next, I would get a big Lincoln Navigator. Also, I would buy a while Ferrari. Then I would get a red Jaguar. I would also have two stretch limousines for special occasions. One would be white, and the other one would be black.
I would take my family on a lot of vacations. We would go to Hawaii for at least two weeks every year. I'd also take my family to Jamaica, the Bahamas, Australia, Paris, Cancun, Switzerland, England, and we would travel to nearly every state across the United States. We would also take cruises all over the world because I would own my own cruise ship. Also, we would frequently go to San Francisco, California because I would own a huge condominium there right on the Pacific Ocean.
I would try my best not to spoil my kids even though I would have enough money to do so. My wife and I would teach our kids Christian morals and values, and we would take our kids to church every week. I would never let them drink alcohol, smoke, do drugs, or anything like that. Since my kids would be very smart they would all go to Harvard and graduate there. When I am about 55 I would retire and turn my business over to my two sons. When I was retired I would buy a Cadillac, and my wife and I would travel all over the world for the rest of our lives. I would want to die at about age eighty because I would not want to be so old that I could not take care of myself and would have to go to a nursing home.
This is my dream life. Like I said earlier, these goals and dreams may seem very unrealistic, but the higher goals you set for yourself the more you will accomplish in life.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
GREETINGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IN THE MATCHLESS NAME OF THE LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
SIR,PLEASE PRAY FOR THE ORISSA BECAUSE THIS TIME ALL THE RSS,BAJARANG DAL AND BISPAHINDU PARISADA BEATING CHRISTIAN PEOPLE AND BREAKING THE CHURCHES AND ALSO BURNING THE CHURCHES IN ORISSA STATE.
THE NOCSLET SHOOTED TO LAKHAMONAND PUJARI BUT THE ORISSA RSS AND BAJARANG DAL AND BISPAHINDUPARISAD MADE STRIK IN ORISSA STATE AND BURNT ALL THE CHURCHES AND HOUSES OF THE CHRISTIAN PEOPLE THEY THINKING CHRISTIAN PEOPLE KILLED HIM.
IN GAJAPATHI DISTRICT THEY WENT SOME VILLAGES AND BROKEN THE CHURCHES AND BURNED THE CHURCHES ALSO BURNED THE HOUSES OF CHRISTIAN PEOPLE.
ANY HOW THEY NOT ATTACKED US NEITHER BURNED OUR CHURCH OR HOUSES,BY THE GRACE OF GOD NOW WE ARE VERY FINE AND DOING THE GOD'S WORK IN OUR AREA WHERE THE GOSPEL IS NOT REACHED THERE WE REACHING CHRIST.
PERSECUTION IS GOING ON IN ORISSA ALSO THE GOD'S WORK GOING ON IN ORISSA STATE. PLEASE PRAY FOR ORISSA AND FOR OUR MINISTRY TO BE GROW.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
- walked several blocks from our hotel in Lower Manhattan to the subway station
- rode the subway downtown to Madison Square
- took the train for the nearly two-hour trip from Downtown Manhattan to Long Island
- rode the bus from the Ronkonkoma train station to the Long Island Airport
- flew in an airplane from Long Island to Chicago
- rode in a car back to my new home at 809 33rd St.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
- Andrew just became a dad. Read his thoughts on fatherhood here.
- My buddy Eric just started blogging. He calls me a girl here.
- Ted's blog used to inspire many of us to rethink the way we live. He hasn't blogged since October 25, 2007. For the love, Teddy!
- Danielle is just a boring old mom. Just kidding...she's a boring old mom who happens to have some great thoughts on life. She talks about wanting more from life here.
- Kyle consistently offers deep thoughts and insights on life from his travels and experiences.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
- slept in a little this morning
- watched ESPN analysts babble on and on about Brett Favre and MLB trades on SportsCenter (and loved every minute of it)
- played guitar
- played piano (a new hobby I've recently picked up and am enjoying)
- started boxing up my stuff for the big move in two weeks!
- Read a few more chapters in this book...
All in all, it's shaping up to be a great day off!!!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
- Spending a day touring Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Spending time in Villarrica with the kids at Alyssa's school
- Spending the night in a Paraguayan host home with Lucas and his family
- Being reminded of my love for the Spanish language (and foreign languages in general) and getting numerous chances to practice speaking Spanish
- Teaching the kids at the church in Villarrica how to play futbol americano (and then running around for the next few hours as the kids tried to tackle me!)
- Enjoying a worship service with the believers in Kapi'i (the Gospel just reached this rural village about a year ago)
- Uniting our hearts in worship and fellowship with the SIM missionaries at the retreat
- Late night talks and royal rumble wrestling matches with the MKs
- Horseback riding outside of San Bernardino
- Hanging out with a really cool team from St. Mark
- Staying overnight in Brazil and seeing the Itaipu Dam (one of the seven wonders of the modern world) and the Iguacu Falls
- Soft toilet paper
- Being able to flush my toilet paper
- Hot showers
- Water pressure
- Regular bowel movements (TMI, I know...)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
- Edward Norton never lets me down, and he does a great job playing the role of Bruce Banner in this movie.
- Some classic fight scenes involving grenade launchers, tanks, and a couple (that's right...there are TWO) green monstrosities known as "Hulks."
- A cameo from another Marvel Comic character (I won't spoil the surprise if you haven't seen the movie yet). The combining of the storylines for these two comic book heros could make for an epic movie in the future.
- There was very little resolution at the end of the movie. Clearly a shameless ploy for Marvel Comics to continue making sequel after sequel after sequel. I'll still go see the ensuing sequels, of course, but a little closure on this particular storyline would have been nice.
- Unlike Ironman, this movie lacked much originality. Nothing surprised me...I could have probably guessed the entire plot from the beginning.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I arrived at St. Mark this morning to find out that we were broken into last night. Some punks smashed one of the windows at the church and proceeded to run off with a TV, video camera, brand spankin' new iMac computer, and the church safe--which luckily was almost completely empty at the time of the break-in. The whole situation left me pondering some things about life...
What possesses someone to take something that's not theirs? How can someone who steals feel like anything less than a complete and utterly pathetic fraud when they make a living off taking things that aren't theirs from other people. And maybe the biggest question of all: WHO STEALS FROM A CHURCH?!?!?
When I was in India, I had $100 stolen out of my wallet. I almost didn't even care about the money (whoever took it most likely needed it more than me), but it left a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach...I felt used and defrauded. That same feeling crept into my stomach today as I walked around the church making a list of all the stolen items. There aren't a whole lot of things in life that I can say I really hate, but stealing is certainly one of those things...
Friday, June 6, 2008
- For great insights on life and ministry, check out Derry's blog.
- If you want your head to explode from lots of big words and great thoughts on church, religion, and philosophy, check out my brother Dave's blog.
- For endless hours of laughter watching funny videos and reading about old men car clubs, check out my buddy Seth's blog.
- To get the skinny on life as an intern in St. Mark Student Ministries, check out Dani's blog.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
So I've always been a pretty globally-minded kind of guy, but my blog only recently decided to hit the international stage. In the past couple weeks I have experienced a worldwide boom in blog readership. Thanks to Google Analytics, I'm able to track the countries, states, and even cities where people are reading this blog. Here's a list of the countries where people have visited my blog, in order from most blog hits to least:
- United States (duh)
- United Kingdom
- Mauritius (island off the eastern coast of Madagascar...I had to look it up, too)
- Costa Rica
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
handing-out-full-fledged graduation ceremony. Basically, it was the real deal. My pessimistic thought for the day was that middle schools have started holding these ceremonies because so many kids (40% was the statistic I heard today) will never graduate high school. For many of them, today is their graduation day--their one and only graduation day.