Saturday, January 28, 2006

Short-term Missions

can short-term missions sometimes do more harm than good?  according to the author of a prelude article i read, YES!  that article hit me really hard since I was a veteran of two mission trips.  one strong argument was that the money spent on sending people to third-world countries to build fences could be instead used to hire local people to build fences and more.  i really understood that, because during my philippines mission trips several years ago, we did build a fence for a local church.  in retrospect, the money i spent to fly there could have been donated to the church, and the church could have used that money to hire local workers to build more fences, or maybe even add walls to their church building.  i began to see the authors argument…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/28 at 11:20 PM
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Q & A on Dreadlocks

Q.  How do you wash your hair?  Or do you wash at all?

A.  I can buy dread shampoo, and I used to.  But now I use non-fragrance bar soap.  I’m specific about non-fragrance because fragrance will stay in your hair.  That results in scalp itch, and that’s no good.  I can never use conditioner, because that would mess with my dreadlock tangles.  Instead, my dreadwax actually conditions my hair for me.  So when I was my hair, I just lather up the soap in my hands and rub it all over my scalp.  When I’m done, I just rinse it off.  I have to rinse for a long time because I don’t want any soap residue.  That would cause scalp itch as well.  After that, I whip my dreads around to get the water out, then I wrap it in a towel for several minutes before letting it down to air dry.  When I have my hair down, it’s usually cause I’m letting it dry out.  I don’t want to tie it up when it’s wet because then my dreads would get musty-smelling.  Yuck…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/28 at 10:20 AM
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Freelance Business

so i’m looking into the freelance graphic design market here in Grand Rapids.  i see a lot of opportunities in the city, and i want to take advantage of that.  just recently i was at several restaurants looking at their menus.  i noticed how bland they looked even though the restaurants were fairly classy.  in hong kong, restaurants paid a lot of attention to menu design.  restaurants here deserve better ones as well.  and that’s just one example!  i could go on and on…  what i see is an open market that has space for freelance graphic designers like myself. 

there’s just one slight problem…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/27 at 03:14 PM
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Suitemates Return!

notice how their beds and desks are covered in newspaper by pranksters.

austin and ben just returned from uganda after a long 20+ hour plane trip.  both are covered in lots of facial hair and look very tired.  now i won’t be so lonely since ian’s in chicago!  they tell me that the trip was very touching and experiencing poverty first-hand has changed their perspectives.  austin tells me about how he almost broke down when they visited an orphanage filled with kids who were HIV-positive. 

that reminds me of my mission trip to cambodia a while ago where we visited an orphanage filled with kids between the ages of 1 to 18.  the sad part about that orphanage is that those kids will never be adopted because of corruption in the adoption system.  they will stay in the orphanage until they are old enough to live by temselves.  they work together as a self-sustaining community with plantations for food.

some pictures from the cambodia trip follow…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/26 at 10:01 PM
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Interim Break is Here!

aaah, wonderful holiday :-)  i’m so glad that we have a break between interim and spring semester.  there is a ton of tiny tasks that needs completing and they accumulate over interim.  meanwhile, interim is so busy that there isn’t time to finish them.  now’s the time to do it all!  time to get my driver’s permit, textbooks, finish scholarship applications, and clean up my room.  speaking of my room, it’s empty at the moment.  in fact, my entire suite is empty.  my roommate just left for chicago to see his brother at moody bible college and my suitemates are still in africa.  my suitemates are bound to return at any time though, so i must make good use of the time i have with myself.  it’s nice to have some peace and quiet.  this will be a good time to reconnect with myself and my inner spirit (sounds so new age, i know).  no noise (almost everyone has left for interim break), no visitors… just me, myself, and i.


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/26 at 08:14 PM
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Beware of Church Shopping

this seems like such an important topic here at Calvin College.  we’re surrounded by approximately 700 churches.  that’s right, 700!  Grand Rapids has the most churches per capita in America (i’m pretty sure about that one, but still, i may be wrong).  it’s really easy to spend each week going from church to church with a group of friends.  but is that really what Sundays are all about?


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/25 at 09:20 PM
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Eugene Peterson, Author of The Message Bible

so some of u may know about the january series at calvin college.  it’s basically a series of talks by influential people from all over the world.  well, one of the speakers calvin invited was Eugene Peterson.  he’s the guy who wrote The Message Bible.  i know several people back home in hong kong who read that translation.  although i missed his january series talk, i was there for the open forum with Eugene Peterson held in the Calvin Theological Seminary.  it was really neat hearing him talk about topics ranging from Blockbuster DVD membership cards to the intended usage of The Message Bible.  the man had some pretty remarkable insights, and my roommate, ian, wrote down plenty of quotes.  i’ll include some of them…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/25 at 08:11 PM
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Young Life

so some of u guys may know what young life is.  for those of u who don’t, here’s a quick summary: “Young life is a non-profit organization dedicated to making an impact on kids’ lives and preparing them for the future.”  for us leaders, we call it relational youth ministry.  what that means is i’ll visit a local high school (in my case, Forest Hill Northern) to build friendships with freshman there.  through these friendships, i’ll mentor them, guide them, have fun with them, hang out with them, cry with them, whatever.  all this is in hopes that they may know Jesus Christ as Lord, and if they already do, then my purpose would be to help them on their walk of faith. 

so the technical description may not be thrilling, and that’s because words don’t do it justice.  young life ROCKS MY SOCKS OFF DUDE!  it’s the only place where i can break out all the slang i want, cuz that’s what we can do when we hang around younger kids.


me:  “yo, wassup dawg!  how’s my homeboy doin’?”
young 9th grader i’ve never met before:  “hey!  i’m doing…”
me cutting in: “that’s SWEET bro!  yo, let’s go chillax sometime and pop some donuts.”
wide-eyed 9th grader:  “uh, when?”


and the conversation goes on and on.  trust me, its fun.  amazing how much u can convey using slang and body language.  but u know what’s the hardest part?  remembering names.  so that’s why i take pics of the kids!  then i go home and study the pictures and put names to faces.

speaking of pictures…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/25 at 01:02 AM
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Friday, January 20, 2006


some friends and i (specifically sarah, heidi, babs, and my roommate ian) go downtown to have some sushi at a local japanese sushi bar.  well, it was ian’s first time having sushi, so i decided to educate him on the etiquette of sushi-eating.  coming from hong kong, which is very near to japan (hong kong’s in china for those of u who don’t know.  i thought it was in japan as well before i went there), japanese food is very popular.  so i do know a lil bit.  anyway, ian treated his tastebuds to sashimi sushi (raw salmon), tuna sushi, and white tuna sushi.  surprisingly, he enjoyed it!  not everyone reacts the same way to raw food that has a weird texture.

my second time coming here.

see how flash washes everything out?  oh, i must say that downtown grand rapids is a very charming place, especially when it’s snowing.  there are some pictures here.  those pics are from an outing with our floor and our sister floor (3rd veenstra) during the summer.

oh, i met babs during the trip.  she was our wonderful driver and oh so nice.  driving in the snow is difficult, and she CRASHED her car…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/20 at 11:46 PM
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Variety Night

i’ll start off with a bang!  so i’m new to this blog, but im gonna bring in a lot of new stuff as well.  over time, i hope to improve this blog with new elements, but for the time being, photos will do.  so here goes!  my hall, beets-veenstra, had a variety night yesterday.  it’s pretty much a talent show with the usual guitar minstrel and piano virtuoso… EXCEPT there was a harpist.  yes, a full-size harp entertained us.  check it out for yourself!

katie with her harp that has no name.  yet.

pretty sweet eh?  (yeah, i’m canadian.  if u keep on reading this blog, you’ll discover my other nationalities.  the first to email me with my other nationalities gets a free congratulations email… that’s right, a FREE congratulations email!)

and now, more photos…


Posted by Nehe555 on 01/20 at 11:17 PM
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