S’Wonderful – Frank Sinatra (another fun little game)

February 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm (Uncategorized)

I promise that I don’t have a ton of time on my hands, but i heard of this little idea and had to try it out too. Here are the rules, and have fun with it!

1. Put your MP3 player, iTunes, Zune, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4.Tag at least 10 friends
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6.Have Fun!

Collapse – Saosin

Summer Wind – Michael Buble

The Truth – Relient K

Call to Worship – Vicky Beeching

Runnin’ – PJ Morton Band

By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Son of a Gun – Search The City

How do I breathe? – Mario

Signs – Bloc Party

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
New – Bethany Dillion

In Christ – Big Daddy Weave

Can you feel it? – David Crowder Band

Whirlwind – Dispatch

My Brightness – Charlie Hall

Tired and Unispired – My American Heart       …..LOL

Prelude 12/21 – AFI    NICE!

Opposite Way – Leeland

Sweetest Mystery – Eddie Kirkland

Futures – Jimmy Eat World

I need you – Jars of Clay   hahahaha

Disgusting Mistakes with Goodbyes – Emery     HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

S’Wonderful- Frank Sinatra


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Rwanda: World Relief Recap #3

February 28, 2009 at 7:56 pm (Uncategorized)

Day 5…Wednesday. Today was intended to be a day at World Relief Headquarters. We were to spend half of the day shadowing our buddies, and then the other half was spent helping them to reorganize and consolidate their office space. So I spent most of the morning with my Buddy Celestin Gatera (post on him coming next!) learning about his job, sitting in on some of his conference calls, and asking a lot of questions to help me understand what it all entails. We both have such different jobs and we both had a blast getting to know what each other did and how were each serving the kingdom in our own, unique ways. I then had some time to help out with the big move before lunch. In about 2 hours we moved just about everyone’s offices to their new locations. It was such a blessing to WR because had we not been there, they would’ve had to hire people to move them and they didn’t have the money to do so, so thank God for the energy of our team ☺

After lunch I was treated to a surprise from my buddy. Gatera, as he likes to be called, arranged for him and I to visit a local music school so I could see what the music education scene looked like in Rwanda. We drove into town to a house that had been transformed into a school. Here, about 50 kids show up after school for singing, piano, guitar, theory, and percussion lessons, as well as for some focused instruction on some native Rwanda instruments such as the “Inanga”. After a tour from the director of the school (which had a few practice rooms and even a traditional dance room fit with a mirror), I sat down with all the faculty and played along with some of their original compositions. It was fun and interesting as they don’t like to do music in traditional “4”. A friend of mine videoed this and I hope to post it sometime soon. Then I got to sit in for part of a piano/theory lesson and the director showed me the methods they use. The school uses the Alfred piano method and they were missing all the upper levels. All the books were made from photo copies and were bound with plastic. I mean to find out what levels they still need so that I can have them sent out so the kids can learn past level 3.

After that, Gatera and I needed to head back to World Relief so we bid adieu and were on our way. I was so glad to have visited that school. Just being able to see the need for education and how much better we have it educationally in the U.S. was very humbling. It makes me regret the days last year where the other teachers and myself would sit around grumbling about how we couldn’t do what we wanted in our classrooms because of our budgets…talk about a new perspective. When we got back, Gatera had some meetings to attend and we had some business of our own to tend to. It was Natalie Bingham’s birthday so a few of us went with Myan Greene (the other liaison between WR and McLean) to a near-by coffee shop called Bourbon. We had heard a lot about this place and were curious what it would be like to see a Rwandan Coffee shop. Needless to say when we walked in, we felt like we we’re back in the states because it was a just fancy, more upscale version of starbucks ☺ We enjoyed a quick break, some iced mochas and even ran into some American volunteers from Living water that were also from the D.C. area that had been to Frontline, and even knew our friend Matt Walkley! SUCH a small world. After that we headed back to our guest house because we had a lot of work and debriefing to do before our big prayer retreat the next day. Thus ends Day 5…

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Rwanda: World Relief Recap #2

February 23, 2009 at 3:51 pm (Rwanda)

Myself and Natalie Burns, another member of our team, started monday morning very early because we decided that we wanted to run while we were in Africa.  We’re both training for the Marine Coprs Historic Half marathon in May so we knew we had to keep training while we were away.  I have to say, that my early morning runs became one of my most favorite parts of the trip.  Kigali sits well above 5000 ft so you feel it in the lungs, but running through the city as it wakes up with a beautiful sunrise in the background was such a breath-taking experience (no pun intended).  I also felt like i was in “Cool Runnings” part 2 :).

Monday’s task was to spend the day at World Relief where they taught us about the organization, our partnership, the logistics of church mobilization, culture demographics, the micro-finance programs, and many other things.  They branded it as “World Relief University” and taught it like a college class which was actually kind of fun.  It might have been even more fun for them to pretend that they were professors and deans, which didn’t bother me at all cause i could see in their faces how different and fun it was for them to conduct.  Throughout the day of “classes” i could feel my perspectives on missions and understanding culture turning completely around.  We asked some tough questions in regards to Transformational development and the challenges within, what cross-cultural Christianity looks like, how to balance descriptions versus interpretations of cultures, how to work with volunteers in community ministry, and many more!  I’m really thankful for that day and the things that I learned.  It was also the first day i got to hang out with my World Relief “buddy” which i will write a whole post on him soon.

Tuesday was a day for us to spend out in the field with some of the field projects WR was overseeing.  My group traveled about 45 min outside of town to a small rural village called Masaka where WR was building large bio-level water filters for families that needed clean water.  We spent the morning separating fine-grain sand and small rocks, and cleaning them.  Once we had separated all the materials and bagged them up, we would load up into the land cruisers and install a filter in someone’s home.  I got to help install one filter in a home and it was so filling to see the family light up with joy at the thought of clean water finally being part of daily life.  Below is a picture of Jillian, our MBC liason to World Relief, helping to install the filter in the home.


Once we were finished with filters, we had a little down time until the land cruisers were to pick us up so we walked around and took some pictures AND encountered one of the craziest things i’ve ever been a part of.  Here’s a good story. On our walk, we crossed a large open field and noticed 4 little kids playing soccer with a beat up old ball.  There were three of us at the time and we thought the kids would think it was super cool if the strange white people stopped and played soccer with them.  So we did and had fun for about 3 minutes or so.  I forgot to mention that this field was right next to a large rural school building.  At that three minute mark, i looked over at the school, just in time to see the huge entry gates swing open and see about 300+ kids sprinting out to play with us.  Talk about a rush.  It instantly became a game keep away from the Muzungu’s (Rwandan term for white people) and it was a blast.  Allan even kicked the ball right into one kids face, which knocked him off his feet and the kid got right back up like nothing happened so he could keep playing!  I wish we would’ve gotten a picture of it all, but it happened so fast, what could we do.  Anyway, you’ll just have to take our word for it. Soon the Land Cruisers showed up and rescued us form the mass of kids (which was super hard to navigate as you can imagine).  We drove back to town for our evening debrief and prayer time and rested up from a day of manual labor.  Thus ends day 4.

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“nathan needs”

February 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm (Uncategorized)

So i heard about this idea the other day and thought i’d try it out and it’s pretty funny.  The idea is that you google “[your first name] needs” (include the quotes) and then post the top ten things that goggle says you need…  anyway, here’s a laugh for y’all, as well as the ten things that “i need” 🙂

  1. Nathan Needs some huggies
  2. Nathan Needs full assistance for all his personal needs
  3. Nathan Needs ritalin
  4. Nathan Needs Facebook
  5. Nathan Needs hernia surgery
  6. Nathan Needs some sleep
  7. Nathan Needs foster care
  8. Nathan Needs to shave
  9. Nathan Needs to be famous yesterday
  10. Nathan Needs a digital piano

Try it out with YOUR name and send me your results…fun times 🙂

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Rwanda: World Relief Recap #1

February 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm (Rwanda)

When people have been asking me about this trip the first thing that I tell them is that it was a very different kind of mission trip.  In fact, it felt more like a business trip in nature.  Thats not a bad thing because the point of the trip was to travel out to World Relief’s Rwanda Headquarters to conduct several staff trainings, receive training from their staff as well, and to serve and encourage the workers who have a very tough job to conduct in a country that is still amid reconciliation.  World Relief is committed to building up and empowering the local church in order to reach those who do not yet know Christ (the country claims it is 90-95% christian) and those who are still working through reconstruction, economic trouble, and health related issues (most of the population).  It’s an amazing organization with an incredible staff comprised of both Americans and native Rwandans.  Many of which are genocide survivors with incredible and heart-wrenching stories of escape and loss.  Here is their Rwanda Home page.  So that was our mission and expectation and we received well more then that.  Here is our/their story from the past 2 weeks:

We (14 team members) met at MBC at 6:00 AM EST Friday morning to head to Dulles Airport.  Surrounded by TONS of people who came out to send us off, we prayed for our travel and trip and were well on our way.  The flights were long as to be expected and we experienced 2 interesting things on the way.  1.) my hardest landing EVER (which was kind of fun) and my first aborted landing (there was a cow on the runway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; one of our connecting points).  I’ve never been thrown back into my seat like that before.  We arrived in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday afternoon at about 12:30 PM.  We were picked up by 3 large Land Rovers from World relief which would serve as our transportation for the trip.  Those trucks are huge and super cool because the exhaust has a snorkel to the roof so that it can tread deep water…sweet!

We were taken to the guest house we were going to stay and eat in for the trip, which was a christian mission called Moucecore.  We paired up for rooms which had two small beds in them and 2 bathrooms for everyone to share; I shared a room with my friend Scott Clattenburg of Frontline Arlington.  The bathrooms consisted of a small sink, a small toilet, and a shower that sometimes worked and rarely had heated water…not complaining, just sharing :).  We were all very tired and jet lagged due to the 7 hour time difference but still had a briefing session that night, in which we were all guilty of bobbing heads and slipping in and out of consciesness.  Some how we made it through and got to bed early that night.

In the morning, we were split up into three groups to visit three local churchs to see what church in Rwanda was like.  Every group had a different experience.  My group attended a church that seemed very similar to the church we have in America.  There was a full worship team (with a young kid behind the drum-set who was pretty awesome!) a choir, pastors and an organized service order, alog with about 600 in attendace.  It was all done in Kiyarwandan (Rwanda’s native language) so we were each provided with a translator for the entire service….which was 4 hours long.  Before the service we got to sit down with the pastor and hear how the church was reaching out to all genreations and even other religions in the area.  The service was really great too.  The preaching was right on and it just seemed like the church “got it”.  They preached the word and peoples need for the gospel and we saw about 30 people get saved throughout the multiple alter calls during the service.  The music was cool and they even did a Kinyarwandan version of “Trading my Sorrows”…complete with the dance :).  They also had banner wavers which was new for me. There was also a section of about 150 kids and they were so well behaved for the entire service…this is evidence of the community, which will be discussed in a later post.

After church, we met for a late lunch (i’ll tell you about the food later) and visited World Reliefs headquarters, which was a 15 minute walk from our guest house.  The evening was spent finalizing some the next few days training sessions and getting a little more rest as we we’re all still very tired and still adjusting…the going out was SO much harder then the coming back.  That takes us to the end of Day 2 and this post. Check back for more soon as there is TONS more to be shared!


**I promise that there was so much more in these days that i’m writting about, this blog would just explode if i hit them all, and you probably wouldn’t want to read it either 🙂

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So Much To Say

February 19, 2009 at 10:58 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m glad to report that I’m safely back in the US after a different, but AMAZING trip to Rwanda.  I have a ton to share about the trip, including LOTS of pix and will do so with a series of Blog posts over the next few days so as not to throw too much at you to quickly.  Thanks again so much for all the prayer and support you all contributed towards the trip.  God used us in some incredible ways and taught us even more through this trip.  Keep checking back and I’ll fill you in on the big points of our trip.  In the meantime, i’m going to get a double cheese burger and take a long shower…because i have missed them both 🙂  Love you all!


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Rwanda or Bust!

February 6, 2009 at 7:42 am (Uncategorized)

So it’s 2:30 AM and i’m in the middle of finishing packing for my Mission trip to Rwanda.  At 6:30 (in 4 hours…) we’re meeting at the church to pray and head off to Dulles where we’ll spend the next day and a half flying to Africa.  I’m both excited and trying to not make any pre-trip expectations.  Again, the purpose of this trip is first and foremost to train and encourage the World Relief Staff in Rwanda.  We are also going to learn more about our church’s partnership with the organization, to learn from the staff there and to help equip the organization to continue to build up the local church.  While we are away we would love your prayer support for the following things:

  • That God would keep us safe and healthy.
  • That God would begin working in and preparing our hearts for all that He will teach us in Rwanda.
  • That the LORD would be in our relationships with our WR prayer partners and with one another and that He would be honored in those relationships.
  • That the LORD would use us as servant leaders to encourage, strengthen and care for the World Relief Staff in Rwanda.
  • That God would break our hearts for the needs of people around the world.

If you want to keep up on how things are going while we are away, you can check our blog out at:


I can not wait to see how the Lord works in the lives of the people we are going to serve and even more so how he is going to rock our worlds in terms of what we learn from the World Relief Staff.  We’ll do a recap when i get back.  Love and miss you all!


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