Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Seasons Changing In Michigan

What an amazing summer! This really has been one of the best summers of my life. There were many new experiences and amazing opportunities. The big thing that happened for me this summer though, was that I reconnected with Christ in a very new and different way.

I have really "grown up" a lot while being away from home. I am certain part of it comes from being away and, somewhat, fending for yourself. I am learning to do things alone....not constantly being surrounded by friends like at Huntington. I do, however, find myself searching out people to do things with. That is a good thing though because typically I just wait until people ask me to do things. This is an improvment!!I was, however, blessed to have my family come for a visit a few weeks ago. Mom, Nana, and Aunt Pat all came up for a lovely weekend of showing them around Ann Arbor and Saline. It was great to see them....I missed them so much!! Also, I had the honor of having four awesome friends visit me over labor day weekend. It was so good to see them, catch up on life, and have some pretty funny moments together!! Yay for good friends :)

Along the ministry side of things, life is going excellent!! I just began teaching junior high Sunday school. It was incredibly fun and awesome!! There are two sets of twins and a set of quadruplets!!! How insane is that!! It was really fun to get to know them and welcome the new 7th graders into the class! I was truly blessed by them in even the first day!

We also got moved into our new space! That really is a blessing! The new youth center is really cool and is still a work in progress....but theres furniture, carpet, and some AWESOME CUSHIONS!!!! I may have helped Emily pick out the cushions at Ikea! What an odd but awesome store. It really takes time to figure out that place and we spent a large amount of time there!!

This has been a very busy but very rewarding last few weeks. I have gotten to see friends and family as well as deepening my relationship with Christ and with those here in Michigan. God certainly works in His own timing and ways!! But I love that He does!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


What an amazing and chaotic last few weeks! I have failed in my updates but this will suffice. I will give a VERY SHORT upate and then if something strikes your fancy feel free to email me and ask more about it. I'd love to talk more about what has been going on, but I dont want to bore everyone else!

So as many of you know I went with the youth to Tennessee for a short term mission trip. It was quite the experience but one that I feel was very valuable!! Coming back was crazy because I was hit with lonliness head on. God provided many people and devotions that got me through that and I am happy to report that I feel much closer to God because of that time!

I was able to lead the Senior High group two weeks ago and took them to glow in the dark Putt Putt. It was a pretty awesome time! Emily, my mentor, definitely let me be in charge which was really exciting but also scary in some ways. I really did enjoy it though!

One thing that I did not anticipate was being very sad to say goodbye to the seniors who I got to know this summer and who are moving away to college. It was a difficult thing, but I am happy that I got to know them and have learned that this is the reality of youth ministry!

This past week Emily was on vacation so I had to "step up" in some ways. That was exciting for me to do, but I really wanted to give her a giant hug when I saw her on Friday!! I'm glad she could take some time off though! It was just incredibly quiet in the office, which was a change I didn't enjoy!!

Things are good and time is speeding along. This has been a journey for me in so many ways! I never imagined that I'd be doing and experiencing all of these things, however I am looking forward to all my upcoming experiences! As I said before, if you're at all curious about anything feel free to email me or facebook me!! I'd love to fill you in :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome JULY.....MICHIGAN Style!!!!

Before I begin this post, I have an announcement....Dan, one of the youth, lost his job at the dollar movies (sad day for sure!) and he wanted a shout out in my blog. So Dan, It stinks about your job, and I hope you find one soon :) Thanks for being welcoming AND I'm ready to learn the art of 9 Square!!!!!

Okay, SO!

It is July already! I cannot believe how fast time flies! I am finally getting used to the daily "routine" of the office and can somewhat work on things without having to be told what to do every step of the way. I really love the day to day workings of being involved in youth ministry. I am learning to actually enjoy making phone calls and talking with people. Recently I was given the task of planning the July 28th W.O.W. (Wild Outreach/Outta Here Wednesday). I decided that Glow in the Dark Putt Putt would be a fun event to do, so I had to make all the phone calls for it. I was very nervous, but I made the call and talked to the boss about staying open later for our group. He was very kind and helpful and we have most of the arrangements made! I was very excited!

Also, last week we went Lazer Tagging as a youth group! It was really a great time (who knew community could be built by shooting imaginary lazers at one another haha). I had the chance to meet some youth I didn't know before, not to mention getting to know those ones who I had met even more! Emily, my Prime mentor, had given me the job of talking with the people in charge and getting everything arranged. It was a really fun assignment!! I had called, so when I walked to the counter the man asked "Are you Megan?". I had to stop and realize that he was asking for me. He then asked what 8- one topping pizzas we wanted and I froze haha. It all ended up being fine in the end!

Along with being a fun time with the youth, last week was also a fun time with friends and my host family. I went to see two movies this week with my host family. The first was the new Adam Sandler movie "Grownups". It was really good! I really loved seeing it !! The other was more of an indie film and was in this old beautifully decorated theater downtown Ann Arbor. I wanted to take 100 pictures! It was quite an outing!!! On Saturday, I was blessed to have my friends from Huntington, Jessica and Amy, come for a visit. We went to downtown Ann Arbor and walked all around the campus of the University of Michigan! What a beautiful and giant place! My feet were sore by the end of our adventure.....it sure is a lot different than Huntington!!! It was so good to see them and spend time with some old friends!!

There have been a few very interesting things that I have done in the past few days. One such thing that happened to me was that I walked into work one day and found a beanie baby of Scooby Doo on my desk with a note that said "You are a Scooby Dooby Doo kinda girl". It made me laugh and I really like having Scooby on my desk :) The second thing that I did was that Emily informed me that the Ann Arbor Salvation Army was having a 50% off sale on clothing. I was intrigued so I took off by myself for Ann Arbor to find this store. What a find!! I got some pretty cool T-Shirts to take along with me to Tennessee, as well as a pair of Doc Martins work boots in great shape! I was pretty excited and spent way too long in that store :) It was a fun adventure though and I enjoyed it greatly!

Sunday was the 4th of July. It was sad because this was the first year since Ireland that I had not seen any fireworks :( It was more difficult than I expected to be away from Nappanee and friends and family for the holiday! We did grill out but ate inside because it was very hot outside! I heard many BOOMS but didnt see one firework....well minus a few ground ones neighbors lit.

On Saturday I will be leaving for 10 days for a mission trip to Tennessee. We will be doing work for people who could use some help. I am looking forward to the trip, as are the youth and other adults! It should be an excellent time of fellowship, service, as well as a great opportunity to love God's people. I just ask that you would pray for our trip! Pray that the small loose ends would come together nicely and that all of us would have safe travels there and back! There are a significant number of people attending (32 students and 16 adults). Also pray that this is a rewarding time for those in Tennessee as well as for the students and adults! I can't wait to update you on this!!! I will have to put in an intermission so you can grab a snack or a drink and then read the rest because that will be a hefty one :)

Hope you are all having a great summer! Enjoy and thanks for reading!!!

Much Love!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

What an amazing journey the last few weeks have been! It's hard to believe that I have officially lived in Michigan for over a month now! It has been so hard to be away from family and friends, but the ends will justify the means, I am positive.

While I am certain I will probably leave out some things that have happened, I will try my best to give you a run down of the things that have occurred in the past weeks. For starters, I have finally been able to successfully navigate my way around Saline and Ann Arbor. That is good! Ha! I have been going around to various graduation parties and getting to know those who have graduated this past year much better. That has been a good thing! I feel as though knowing the graduating seniors actually gives me some advantage in getting a feel for the rest of the group. I dont know if it will prove true, its just a theory ha.

I had the opportunity to have dinner with a family from our church recently. It was lovely! It was fun to sit down and talk with people and hear their story. They were an elderly couple and thier son. The place we ate was very nice! We even went out for an ice cream treat after. They were genuine. That is one of my favorite qualities in people! That was a good night!

We also have dedicated the new building, even though we have not gotten to move in yet. It will be a great move and an awesome transition for Emily and the youth group. I just hope I'm still around to see it.

Not exactly related to PRIME but still exciting nonetheless is the fact that I had the great honor of being a bridesmaid in my dear friend Laura (Groth) Oswalt's wedding. It was so much fun and great to be a part of her special day! I was so glad to see so many wonderful HU girls again as well as meet some pretty awesome new friends!!! It was a fantastic weekend!!! It also allowed me some time at home. I was able to catch up with my family and spend some much needed time with Mom :)

This past week I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the Saline Community VBS with Leanne. That was really fun and it allowed me to meet some great kids! I helped out with the golfing day and also with the Wild Wet Wacky Water Day. I managed to stay pretty dry though....so I was quite happy!

Wednesday night was another crazy weather night! We had Mountain T.O.P. training which had taken a majority of the week to finalize and plan. That night everything was set up and ready to go. We went through several aspects of the training just fine and without a hitch. However, just as we were transitioning, we had to take cover immediately. ANOTHER TORNADO!! I could not believe it. It was very interesting to watch Emily handle the situation and it was helpful to see her keep the youth calm by not acting too dramatic about it. I feel as though I learn lots from her in situations such as these! Luckily we, yet again, were just fine. The tornado did touch down just a few miles from where we were having training though! It is amazing to me that we all were lucky yet again!

Thursday was a much needed day of recovery. Luckily I had a great friend come and spend the day with me! Cassie, from Huntington, came and we were able to just relax and laugh....A LOT!!! I had such a good time with her! We saw some interesting sights as we ventured into Ann Arbor and spent some time on the University of Michigan campus. It was a glorious time!!!

Finally I concluded this week with a nice concert. My host family had extra tickets to a Chris Tomlin/Toby Mac concert, so I was able to invite Emily and Leanne. It was a fun time being able to get to know them away from the office. I really enjoyed hearing Chris Tomlin live!!! I was in seventh heaven!

This morning we had the car wash for our Mountain T.O.P. trip. I had a nice time meeting all the students that I had not yet met, as well as getting to know others better. One bad thing was the major sunburn that went along with the lovely carwash!!! It isn't so bad though and I did have an excellent time!!

I PROMISE to update more often because there is too much going on to update only randomly. Life in Michigan is swell and I have learned to love every moment here!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Camp In's and Car Wash Flyers

Blessed. That is the only way I can think to describe how I've felt the last few weeks. To begin with, I have been blessed to have an excellent Prime Mentor and to be able to work with an excellent Children's Minister while in Michigan. These ladies have so much love for God and for proclaiming His name that I am truly blessed to be able to work alongside them!

I have also been blessed in that I had the opportunity to see a friend from Huntington who is doing his PRIME not too far from me. In fact its only a ten minute drive, so I am very happy to have a friend nearby. We ventured into Ann Arbor for a little disc golf last week. We also got the chance to hit up the dollar movie theatre (which turned out to be a great success because one of the youth I work with works there and let us in for free as well as providing us with some snacks). He assured me that it was all legal....I'm hoping he was right in this assumption!! But I'm not complaining...I do like my movie theater popcorn!

Also this week I found my way to the Saline Public Library and spent several hours working on homework for PRIME. It really shocked me that I was working ahead on something not due until December. This working ahead thing is new to me.....as my HU buddies know all to well :)

Another reason why I feel so blessed this week is because God protected us from the bad weather that plagued the Ann Arbor area last weekend. There were numerous tornadoes all around us! In fact, one touched down and did a lot of damage about 20 miles from where I'm living. Pray for those effected by this tornado in Dundee. Especially pray for the person who was the Valedictorian. Their school was demolished hours before graduation and sadly their father was killed in this tornado.

The family I am living with had quite the interesting experience during these tornadoes! We were worried that they might come during the night...SO...we all camped out in the basement. It was quite the excitement. There were two mattresses, 5 sleeping bags with 5 people, and 2 large dogs. After we put the dogs away, we were able to all get comfy and I'm not sure how, but I ended up in the middle. To my left were the parents and to my right were the kids and I was right in the middle. It was really a lot of fun as we were all tired and giggly.

So to update you on the youth group, since that is why I'm here after all! Right now everyone is busy preparing for the big Mountain T.O.P. trip which will be happening July 10 to the 18th. We are going to be working in Tennessee to aid them in whatever way possible. Everyone seems to be really excited for this opportunity! Also, the church has been expanding and we are currently anxiously awaiting the new youth facility to be complete. Please pray that this will be a reality soon. There have been some major disappointments with this project and it was supposed to have been done by now. The new youth area will be in the new basement, therefore we are experiencing some flooding with the rains and it has greatly delayed the project! Lately, my job has been to make many various flyers. I have really enjoyed this job and I love picking out the best clip art and making everything piece together just right. I guess it's my creative side coming out!

One job that I was recently assigned was to make flyers for the youth car wash (June 26th...if you're in Michigan and you need your car washed haha). I was able to grab a few youth to help me hang them up around town. This gave me the chance to get to know three youth more, which was excellent. We had fun going around Saline and hanging up flyers everywhere we went. This was a lot of fun for me and I was able to get them pizza for helping out. It was nice to have the chance to talk with them.

As I leave you, I just want to share with you a thought I had from my devotions. I read Luke 1:37-38 (which is Mary's reaction to what the angel tells her about God selecting her to carry His Son) "For nothing is impossible with God. Mary responded, 'I am the Lord's servant and I am willing to accept whatever He wants. May everything you have said come true'. And then the angel left".

This meant a lot to me. The fact that Mary realized that she was in fact a servant of God and then went so far as to say "I am willing to accept whatever He wants" really made me think about my level of dedication to Christ. My desire for myself is that I stop trying to pray that God's will becomes my own and instead that I pray for my will to align with what God wants from me. As I walk alongside Him, I hope that I can be a servant to Him and be willing for whatever it is that He wants from me!

So, that is what has been going on in good ol' Michigan. It has been quite an adventure so far and I'm sure will continue to be in the future. I am so happy that I am here and that I have the chance to work with such awesome individuals. While I miss home and the familiarity that goes along with it, I am really enjoying Michigan and the joys and challenges that go alongside it. Leanne, the Children's ministry leader that I work with told me the other day, "I feel like you've been here forever". The funny thing is, I feel the same way (and I'm so happy I do!!!).

Love You all and thanks for reading this :) I do so appreciate knowing people care about what I'm up to!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Week 1 is Already Over! My How Time Flies!!

What a week!!! This has been one of the most chaotic, amazing, and challenging weeks I've went through in quite some time (and that includes the week I spent 3 nights in the after hours study lounge)!! In the near-future I hope to update more with less to write than less with more to write. But enough of that!

When God shows up, He shows up BIG! Working at the church this week has really been great!! I work with Emily, my prime mentor who has been very helpful in the transition process! She is awesome -- though I would expect nothing less since she graduated from Huntington!! I also work with Leanne who is so funny and reminds me of so many people from home bundled into one person. It's fascinating. These ladies have been fantastic!

So Good News!! I can navigate my way around Saline with little to no problem and I am getting much better at stumbling around Ann Arbor as well. I currently use my GPS more as an affirmation of being correct in the direction I am heading rather than a crutch to go from one location to another. It's a small step but I'm quite proud of it!!

I have made some good connections with the youth as well. Last week I led a name-game which proved to be lots of fun for me and for them. That was very helpful and I feel as though I remember most of their names which is a blessing! I also bribed them with a prize for anyone who adds me as a facebook friend by tomorrow. So far about six of them have which makes me happy! I also went to a morning meeting that the senior high does before school....at 6:45 am! I was glad to see them come out and really excited that they wanted to continue it throughout the summer....just at a later time, which is fine by me!

It was at this morning meeting that I felt convicted by God to spend more time with Him. He has been teaching me that working for Him does not mean that I will spend less one-on-one time with Him, but instead I will need to spend more! As a result I have just finished reading 1st Peter and am on to 2nd Peter. What a book! I strongly encourage you to read through it!

At the church I have had the chance to meet many people so far! All have been very welcoming and kind! I also have had the chance to use my Microsoft Publisher skills (thanks Ryan ha) to create calendars for June for both junior and senior high that details upcoming activities. I made my first phone call to book a location today and while I was a bit nervous I thought it went alright overall. I am learning that I do not like to make phone calls, however I'm going to just have to toughen up and do it. I also anticipate that it will become more natural and easy with time.

While things really are great, they're not always easy! I might as well share the hard times with the good! The most difficult challenge for me so far has been the idea of not having people around who are my own age! This has resulted in strange feelings of lonliness and feeling as though I'm all alone. One reason it is so hard for me is because I am used to living in Huntington and having friends down the hall or at least in close proximity. I've heard this town does not have many people of my age group nor does the church I attend. While it is difficult, it will all be alright! I'm sure I will find someone to hang out with eventually :)

As far as the family I am living with goes....things are great! I have watched several movies with them and have learned the wonderful game of "I take". While I had beginners luck the first time, I failed miserably the second and will have to brush up my skills before next time. They are lovely people who have welcomed me into thier home so kindly!! I am so incredibly blessed to live with them and have the chance to grow closer to them. Also thier dogs are so fun! The St. Bernard, Schroeder, is so funny and has recently chased his tail and become more comfortable with me. He now brings me his toys and wants me to play with him. Of course I say yes to this...he's a big dog, I'm not telling him no! The other dog, Marcy, is a Bernese and honestly the sweetest thing ever! If I were to buy a dog that is what I would buy!!!

There is about a million other things I could write about but I'll spare your time and just conclude with a few random things I've done during week 1 in Saline:
Whirleyball, Seen a giant tennis ball, rode in a convertible, drove through downtown Ann Arbor, watched Avatar, Galaxy Quest, and Benjamin Button, made my bed everyday!, learned the game "I take", saw the University of Michigan (the law library is beautiful!), found the best cup of coffee in the world, learned to love the patio in the sun, AND I have grown to love God more and to love His people more. What more could I ask for?!?

All in all week one was a success!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pure Michigan & Whirley Ball

PURE MICHIGAN: Thats what the sign said as I crossed the line into the great state of Michigan. I have made it here safe and sound thanks to my family and a sweet GPS! I've been here less than 48 hours and already have had some awesome experiences.

I have been so blessed in being able to live with a kind and sweet family. They are lovely people who have opened not only thier home but thier lives. I am very grateful!!!

I was introduced to the game Whirley Ball tonight. Basically, you sit in a bumper car and you have a ball that you're trying to get to hit the "net". Its like basketball in bumper cars bascially. It was so much fun!! We had an excellent time! While I spent most of my time spinning around trying to figure out how to drive the bumper car, it really was a good time!! I quite enjoyed myself!

I think what made it the most special for me, however, was a simple act of kindness that meant the world to me. After the game was over and we were back at the church one of the junior high ladies came over to say goodbye. Without hesitation she reached out and hugged me and said "You're one of us now".

With that, my heart is now in Saline. And there it shall remain for the next 7 months.