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Friday, November 30, 2007

Time flies

Wow! Time flies so quickly! It's hard to believe that we have one full week of class left and less than two weeks left until graduation! Where had time gone? Thanksgiving break was really nice. I actually ended up being able to catch a slightly earlier flight home from Minneapolis last week. I got off the plane and was walking between terminals with another student who had been on the flight and saw that there was a flight to BWI at 10:25 instead of my original one at 12:55. I hemmed and hawed about it because I knew it would probably be an inconvenience to my family since they were coming to pick me up. I chatted with my mom about it and, as they were boarding, I asked the desk attendant. She told me that all they had were first class seats, and I said that probably wouldn't work since I was on a student's budget. She had me hold on for a minute and then say that she could do it for $100, the normal price to change flights! :) I ended up telling my mom I was taking it and ran to the ATM to get the money (their credit card machine wasn't working). It was such a nice treat to have the opportunity to fly first class! And then, when I got to BWI, my family had brought my best friend, Holly, with them to the airport! :) We got to have lunch and roam around the Arundel Mills Mall for a bit because my luggage wasn't able to make the earlier flight so we had to go back to the airport for it. The rest of break was very much a blur. I spent Sunday at church and cantata rehearsal practice. Monday, I drove up and had lunch with former co-workers from WeatherBug in Germantown (turns out their under a hiring freeze) and then met up one-on-one with several friends in the College Park area. Tuesday was spent helping my mom by running errands for her trip to CA and then at Bible study with a trip to Donut Connection (it's a So. MD thing). I helped out by taking over mom's daycare on Wednesday so she wouldn't have to close. Thankfully, I only had one of the babies, who slept most of the day, and 3 others. I got to take Holly to dinner for her birthday and then the college/career Sunday School had a bonfire that night which was exciting. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, watching the Macy's parade with my family and then having dinner at a friend's house. We had lots of laughs watching a video from one of their boys' school play. Friday found me and my sister Black Friday shopping and then collapsing and going to the airport to pick mom up. Before I knew it, it was Saturday and I was driving back up to the airport for my own flight back to the Springs. Ever since I got back things have been going at warp speed. We had a surprise shower for our resident supervisor, Elena, the day after we got back. She was so surprised. :) One of the biggest treats of this week was taking my roommates up to my practicum in the Office of the Chairman. Since Dr. Dobson was off on his annual Christmas shopping trip, my supervisor Paul took us in to see Dr.'s office. We each had the chance to sit at his desk. Paul told us all about the office and pointed out some of the quirks, like toy trucks, jelly beans, and a gumball machine for kids. It was a pretty awesome experience. He also showed us around the boardroom where the Board of Directors or heads of ministries meet with Mr. Daly or Dr. Dobson. We have our ski trip this Saturday where I think I might attempt to snowboard. Skis and I didn't really get along before so why not try something new? We have one more week of classes and then graduation is December 11th. My mom, dad, and sister will be coming to Colorado to celebrate with me and then we'll fly back on the 12th. Josh unfortunately has final exams that week. I still can't believe that it's almost the end of November and soon December will begin. The time here seems to have gone too fast. I can't wait to share much of what I have learned with people back home. It seems like it was only yesterday that I moved in with these 3 awesome women and now we're going to be scattering to our corners of the country again. I pray that God will allow us to stay in each other's lives for a long time to come. It's going to be hard coming home, knowing that there are only 87 other people in the world who shared this very unique experience with you. But I hope God will bless the friendships we have formed here and that they will help bolster our faith and courage as we share what we have learned. I hope this update finds you well. I will be back in Maryland on the 12th of December and will be preoccupied for about a week with stuff for the cantata, but I would love to have the chance to sit down and catch up with people over a good cup of chai or tea or coffee...whatever your preference. :) Take care and see you soon! Soli Deo Gloria, Meghan

Friday, November 16, 2007

Packing! :)

Well, here we are! :) I am packing my bags! My flight back to Maryland leaves tomorrow at 6:30am MST for Thanksgiving break. I'll fly from Colorado Springs (COS) to Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), arriving there around 9:35am. I then have a 3.5 hour layover which will allow me to grab some food, stretch my legs and probably log in to check my e-mail (as long as there's free wireless). Then, my flight from MSP will leave at 12:55 and arrive in Baltimore (BWI) around 4:20pm. I have window seats for both flights which will be very nice. :) I will be in Maryland until November 24th, when I will fly back for the last few weeks of the semester. Please pray for travel safety as we travel to the airport in the morning. My apartment-mate, Alisha, has a flight at the same time. so one of our roommates, Bethany, is going to give us a lift. Our fifth "roommate", Kate, is going to spend the night tonight and accompany us for fun. :) Alisha and I are going to spend some time together and grab breakfast before heading for our respective planes. Pray also that I don't get lost in MSP. I've never been and am looking forward to the adventure, but I am hoping that I can find food and the gate safely without any mishaps (including the luggage!). God's blessings and I hope to see some of you in the coming week! Soli Deo Gloria, Meghan

Friday, November 9, 2007

Good news, Bad news

So I'm going to keep this short but I thought I should write a quick update about the day. :) So good news first...today we spent all day under the teaching of Ray Vander Laan, aka RVL. For those who don't know about RVL's ministry and the "That the World May Know" series, you can check it out at www.followtherabbi.com. Needless to say, it was absolutely amazing! Much of his teaching is about bringing Christianity back to its Jewish roots. It makes so much more sense that way! So onto the bad news...but thankfully, not that bad. It was bound to happen. I finally got sick. :-P Not fun. The sinus pressure is making my head feel like it's going to explode. I would appreciate your prayers for good health. Hopefully, this will pass in a day or two. :) Well, that's all I have time for right now. Off to bed! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween! Here's a treat...

Here's the update letter I sent out earlier this evening. Enjoy! It's an update letter for you! :) I apologize for not writing for awhile...in actuality...about 3 weeks. Wow. Things have been pretty crazy busy around here. We've hit the midway point so there's exams and papers and projects...OH MY! :) Anyway... My roommate, Bethany, also has a blog that she upkeeps and this was the beginning of her latest entry: "Four people. Four corners of the U.S. 2 bedrooms. 2 bathrooms. Shared class, social events, and living quarters. It can get a little overwhelming spending 24/7 with anyone..." Bethany ended up spending a couple of days housesitting with her sister, but it has been intense. My roommates have been a great encouragement to me and we have had a great time, but it's interesting living with people you've only known for two months and having a really close bond that fast. In the realm of academia, I feel like I am reading constantly (which is almost true) not to mention the social events that, while not mandatory, are a great opportunity to get to know other students and connect with faculty. Speaking of faculty, our Resident Supervisor, Elena, is about 4 months pregnant with a little girl (Isabel). She and her husband have a 3 year old boy, Trae, so they don't really have any girly things. A couple of us are planning a surprise baby shower for her to help remedy the problem. ;) Should be a lot of fun. Classes have been going really well. Yesterday we had our Managing Money class with Roc and Bev in Marriage Studies which was really good (of course, all the class are really good). I'm not sure how many of you have heard of Dr. Del Tackett and the Truth Project. I know my church back home is doing it as a study on Wednesday night. Sitting under the teaching of this man is absolutely amazing! We had class today on American History (for those in the Truth Project, it's the American Experiment lesson). It's eye-opening to see how much history has been subject to revision to support the "vision of the anointed" (for more on this, I highly recommend the book "The Vision of the Anointed" by Thomas Sowell). Our Family Life Studies (FLS) instructor, Dr. Julianna Slattery, returns this Friday for 3 straight classes of FLS. It's been weird not having her around constantly like the other professors so we always have to take advantage of every opportunity we get. So the last time we spoke, we had hosted a pancake breakfast in our apartment and were going to an Air Force Academy game. Was it really that long ago??? Sheesh. Anyway, I finally posted some of those pictures here: http://umd.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2199829&l=c24e3&id=5713903. Since then, a group of us went on a hike in Cheyenne Canyon and saw a bear (picture's on the blog); we had our first snow of the season on my brother's 20th birthday (October 21st), very beautiful, pictures forthcoming; we had a really fun barn dance complete with square dance caller and 'tater' sack race; we watched the Colorado Rockies get swept in the first 4 games of the World Series. So much has happened! And then there's all the regular things: Family dinners on Tuesday evenings, small group with Becca Leland after that, Koinonias on Thursdays, Doc Leland's Tuesday morning forums at Panera (so much fun), and of course let's not forget...reading. As the last month and a half creep up on me, here are some things you can be praying for: -- The weather is becoming colder here so prayers for health are much appreciated. We'll be entering cold season and with 4 girls in close quarters, it would be all to easy for it to spread. Some in the program have already been experiencing a bug going around. Pray also for our focus and concentration as we begin the 2nd half of the semester, that we would be able to keep up with the intensity of the program while still having time to bond and have fun with our fellow students. -- Please pray for my family. My aunt died last week and we are attempting to bring my 5yo cousin, Chelse, out to live with us in Maryland. However, the government "red tape" is slowing the process down. We're praying that those who are involved will move quickly so that Chelse can join us before the holidays. Also, a praise in this vein, Chelse had her first day of kindergarten on Monday. She's starting two months late b/c my aunt didn't have her enrolled, but she really enjoyed it and told my mom that she made a lot of new friends. Unfortunately, the reality of her mom having died is also starting to set in so the grieving process is beginning which is probably very difficult when you're 5. -- I am currently in the process of trying to locate a job back home in Maryland. I have felt God's calling to move back to the East Coast after completing my time here at FFI so now I'm praying that he will work to provide a job there. I am praying that I will find favor with those who will be placed in my path. -- The Institute has provided us the tickets so we are attending a performance of John Williams movie music by the Colorado Symphony in Denver on Saturday. One of the guys' apartments from Alpha is escorting our apartment as their "dates" for the evening. Please pray for travel safety and that we would have a lot of fun up in Denver. I guess that's about it for this update. I have been trying to post on the blog when I can so there are some more stories there about what has been going on out here in beautiful Colorado Springs. I hope things are well with everyone! I would love to hear how you are doing. Well, I guess I should go polish my paper that's due tomorrow.;) Talk to you again soon! God bless! Meghan

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Exploring Colorado

OMG! No words can explain the beauty and majesty of God's creation that I experience today. Bethany and I joined 3 other FFI girls (Kate, Amanda, and Rebecca) to go hiking in Cheyenne Canyon. We left around 1pm from the apartment complex and headed south and west towards the mountains. It took us about an hour to get to the trail head. We got to drive on a road called Gold Camp Road for awhile and actually saw a family of bears cross the road in front of us! There was papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear. I was able to capture this picture of the baby bear. :) The fall colors here are so vibrant...but there's not much more than yellow. I kinda miss all the oranges and reds that we would see on the East Coast. However, you can't beat the view of the mountains here. We started off on the trail and quickly found that there were plenty of chances to blaze our own trail. I was scared at first because all of my hiking buddies proceeded to climb down a fairly steep hillside to a stream below. However, I finally took the leap and started down the incline. It was beautiful! We got a lot of great pictures down by the stream and had so much fun blazing our own trail back to the path. I'm glad that I took the risk (don't worry, Mom, we were safe, it wasn't a big risk) because there are sights I never would have seen otherwise. We took a lot of pictures of each other and found some other hikers to take pictures of all five of us. We hiked up until 3:30 and then turned around to head back down the mountain. Even though a picture can't do it justice, I've tried to include one from near the height of our climb. It was absolutely gorgeous! I've never felt nearer to God's beauty than I was today. It almost brought tears to my eyes to be on that mountain. I can't wait to do some more exploring in the area! I've never experienced God's creation in this way before. There are so many places in Maryland that I've seen it but it almost seems purer here today. I will try to get all the pictures up later this week. Hope things are well with everyone! I'd love to hear from you! God bless! Meghan

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Prayer Request!

I sent this e-mail out yesterday to my list and am posting it here to get more people praying. Thanks everyone! Meg
Sorry to add to your inbox but I wanted to let you know about a special prayer request. We received some sad news this morning after our exam in Worldview that I wanted to share with you. Roc and Bev Bottomly are the couple who teach our Marriage studies class. I was scheduled to meet with Bev one-on-one this week in my first meeting with any of the faculty. However, yesterday, Bev's mom died unexpectedly. Though advanced in years, she was in good health. Roc and Bev have gone to California in order to make arrangements and to attend the funeral. The staff is going to send a card and I think we as students are going to as well. We've had to shuffle classes a bit because of the suddenness but we're keeping both of them and their families in our prayers during this difficult time. It would be much appreciated if this could be included in your prayers as well. Below is the e-mail that Roc sent out to the students this morning. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. In Christ, Meghan

Guys and gals, Thanks so much for your prayers as we head out to Bev's Mom's funeral. We miss you guys, and we'll be back next week.

As you have probably already heard, we'll have two Marriage Studies classes next Thursday, Oct 18 – the one on "Demons, Depravity & Damage" in the morning and the one on "Margin" in the afternoon. The assignments for these two classes will simply be due next week at the beginning of each class.

Regarding my (Roc's) MEN'S GROUP, we will not meet either this week or next week, so our next meeting will be Wednesday, Oct 24 at our normal time and place.

Regarding any appointments this week, we'll reschedule when I get back.

Thanks again for praying for Bev's brother and sister – and for Bev. You only have one Mom, and it's always tough to say "Good bye." But it's also at times like these that we feel deeply how marvelous it is to have the gift of eternal life and the assurance that we'll be reunited when we are "caught up together with them (those who have died in Christ) to meet the Lord in the air."

See you next week.

Roc

Update Letter, Oct. 8

I sent out an update letter on Monday concerning JFA and some things that have happened since then. There are also links for 3 photo albums in the letter. :) Enjoy! Meg

It's hard to believe that the last time I wrote was only 2 weeks ago and yet so much has happened since then! Time seems to literally fly here and I still haven't figured out how to slow it down.

Last I wrote, we were preparing to help with a program called Justice for All (JFA) at the University of Colorado in Greeley, CO. It was quite an amazing experience as well as a growing one. I ended up talking to at least 16 people, which is…15 more than I expected to talk to. I've attached/copied below the reflection paper we had to write about the experience so that you can get a better idea of what happened. I have included my pictures from JFA in my Facebook photo albums. However, a word of warning, the JFA exhibit contains graphic images, some of which are in the photos. The images on the exhibit are real, but may make some people uncomfortable. Feel free to skip those if you feel so inclined.

The weekend before JFA we actually had the opportunity to go to Six Flags Elitich Gardens in Denver. We had a blast! The lines were nice and short which unfortunately led to overdoing it in the first 2 hours, but we had a great time and got some great pictures (also on Facebook). We've had a great time as an apartment as well as in and around FFI. Classes have been amazing and intense. We read about 120 pages each day for class but it's all really great stuff that I wish I had found before (such as "How Now Shall We Live?" by Charles Colson and "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas). Doc Leland, our Christian Worldview teacher, holds open forum discussions during lunch whenever we have Worldview class and at Panera on Tuesday mornings before classes, which is a lot of fun.

We had the opportunity to attend an Air Force Academy Football game this past weekend which was a ton of fun. One of the guys here, Jeromy, is from New Zealand and had never been to an American football game so it was neat to watch his reactions and enthusiasm. One of the best parts was that the stadium was buzzed by 3 Air Force jets right before the game which was really cool. Pictures for that are pending. :)

Our apartment hosted our first social function on Saturday when we planned a pancake breakfast. We had a really good turn out. Bethany made her mom's pancakes, Alisha made wheat pancakes, Danielle made scrambled eggs, and I made biscuits. Our Resident Supervisor, Elena, and her family came over and brought bacon. We had about 30 people come hang out in our apartment and help us eat all the food we made. Pictures of this event are also pending. ;)

Prayer Requests:

The weather is becoming colder here so prayers for health are much appreciated. We'll be entering cold season and with 4 girls in close quarters, it would be all to easy for it to spread. Pray also for our focus and concentration as we get further into the semester, that we would be able to keep up with the intensity of the program while still having time to bond and have fun with our fellow students.

Well, I think that's about it for this update! :) I've been having a great time and we've really bonded as an apartment. The links below are so that you can check out some pictures from our (semi) recent escapades. Just a note: the JFA photos are split between the 2nd and 3rd links. I've tried to post a "NOTE" whenever the next picture will contain a view of the exhibit that might contain graphic images.

I hope things have been going well in your part of the country! I'd love to hear from you either by e-mail (Meghan.orr@gmail.com) or mail (840 Robbie View #328, Colorado Springs, CO 80920). Until then, God bless!

Meghan Orr

http://umd.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2194212&l=f8411&id=5713903

http://umd.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2194244&l=f5709&id=5713903

http://umd.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2194259&l=e08d1&id=5713903

JFA Outreach Reflections

Before arriving at the JFA exhibit on Wednesday, I was very anxious. I am not the kind of person that likes to get into theological or controversial conversations with my friends much less total strangers. I did not feel equipped to be talking to people at UNC-Greeley and felt intimidated, as if I was younger and more naïve even if I was older than most of the people I talked to. After Monday's training, I felt better equipped but it only took a day for the anxiousness to return despite the training.

When we arrived on Wednesday morning, the butterflies were still very active. Our briefing in the morning helped a little bit as they oriented us to what was already going on and who had already been by the exhibit. Ann's story brought tears to my eyes and I'm very glad that she was willing to share with us her journey. I was glad that I got to spend some time with her, setting up the Pregnancy Resource Table. I hung back for awhile, simply watching some of the JFA staff interact with students and listening to some conversations. There weren't too many UNC students around so I didn't feel forced to jump right in.

For my first conversation, I decided to choose a girl since I thought I would be more comfortable speaking to a young woman than with a young man at first. Brittney and I had a good 10-15 minute discussion before she had to leave for class. Brittney was one of many I would talk to that day that felt, while the unborn is human and they would never have an abortion, others should still have the choice to do so. To me, this position does not logically make sense and I tried to bring up questions to these people that would help point out the discrepancy. Two other girls, Holly and Stephanie, felt about the same way and went further in saying they felt that abortion should be limited to only the first trimester, even though both of them felt that the unborn was human, because it was the mother's "responsibility" to have the "procedure" done that early instead of letting the child develop. This confused me even more and we talked a good while. I was also able to speak with a young woman whose sorority sister had been raped which was heartbreaking. I asked and she said that the rapist had been convicted and that her friend had not had to deal with a pregnancy because of it, but it had still shaken their sorority. I asked her if she would allow me to pray for her sorority sister (she didn't want me to pray with her there but said that I could pray for her sister). One of the most touching conversations I had was with Heather, a young woman who was 5 months pregnant. She had been on birth control when she got pregnant and said that, now that she was pregnant, she would never recommend that anyone get an abortion. Each of the stories I learned helped to drive home the need for us to be there that day.

At one point, I spent some time sitting in the shade praying and allowing my heart to be broken because of the exhibit. I was also praying for Ann as she talked with a young, black, lesbian woman, majoring in psychology that had been asking questions about Post Abortion Syndrome. Ann really encouraged me at the end of the day when I asked her about that young woman. She said that the young lady would probably be stopping by during the second day of the exhibit to ask more questions.

I will never forget this exhibit and for that I'm thankful. I thought I would come into the day, hang out on the sidelines listening, and maybe talk to one person. God multiplied that expectation and had at least 16 different divine appointments lined up for me that day. It was amazing to find out how many people were praying for us as we ministered to the UNC-Greeley campus that day. I hope I was able to plant a "pebble" in several shoes that day and that God would use that to bring Him glory.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Letter from last week

Hey everyone! The letter below is one that I sent out last Tuesday night before we participated in Justice for All on Wednesday. I will write an update this weekend about what went on at JFA! :) Hi everyone--- I know this is a little bit of short notice. I meant to send out this e-mail earlier today but "best laid plans"...
I would really appreciate your prayers for me and the other FFI students tomorrow. My entire class and I are going to be spending all day at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO with an organization called Justice For All ( http://www.jfaweb.org) The mission of JFA is "to train thousands to make abortion unthinkable for millions, one person at a time." JFA trains people to be equipped to engage students using photo exhibits that include pictures of babies in utero as well as pictures of aborted babies at different stages of pregnancy. Like most, I was a little hesitant at first regarding the use of graphic images for the pro-life cause, especially after having experienced the Genocide Awareness Project at the University of Maryland. Let me explain a few things that really caused me to think more about it. Back in 1955, a 14-year-old boy named Emmett Till from Chicago was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was kidnapped and brutally murdered for looking at/speaking to a white woman. His body was grotesquely disfigured, but his mother demanded that the casket be open for the funeral and for photographs "so the whole world could see what they did" to her boy. The pictures were published in JET magazine and many consider this the start of the civil rights movement. Prior to this point, racism only existed in the abstract for much of the nation. But when the people saw the images on the evening news, they could no longer ignore it. In the same way, these pictures of abortions are a sickening reality that our nation needs to face. It is not a clump of cells, it is not a blob of tissue -- it is a baby in the early stages of development! We will freely agree with those upset by them that the pictures are disgusting (there are warning signs - people are not forced to look at them.) But it is necessary for the public to know what abortion truly is.
Our driving force is to represent Christ and engage students to find out what they believe about abortion, and to challenge more thought on the issue. The images are mainly to draw people into the debate, but we then want to dialogue with them and understand where they're coming from. Especially with post-abortive women or rape victims, we want to show compassion and have them encounter Jesus Christ through us. I am still a little nervous, but the training we have done also gives me an empowered feeling to make a solid, logical, and winsome case for the rights of our unborn children. There are multiple stories of women who decided against having an abortion after seeing a JFA exhibit, or who regretted that the exhibit didn't come sooner before she went through with it. But whether or not anyone changes their mind on the spot, if we put a "pebble in their shoe" that causes them to think and to reconsider their unexamined beliefs about abortion, it's worth it.
So I just wanted to tell you a little bit about what I'm doing Wednesday and ask you to pray for me. Ask that God would give me grace, courage, and a shining reflection of His character to the UNC students. Ask that the Holy Spirit would fill in the gaps that I miss in my interactions. Pray for those students who engage with us, and that God would draw them to Himself through this. I so appreciate all of your support and prayers.
In Christ, Meghan

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pictures! :)

Hi everyone! Things here are going well but kinda crazy. My roommate Bethany calculated that if we do 100% of the required reading this semester, we will read 5,760 pages. Needless to say, we've already been hard at work starting in on that. I just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know that I posted some photos from my first couple of weeks. You can find them here and here. I hope you enjoy them! :) More to come soon! God bless! Meghan

Thursday, September 6, 2007

For the longest time...

How time has flown by! I cannot believe that I have actually been in Colorado Springs (“The Springs”) since this past Saturday! It is absolutely gorgeous here (see below)! The view from the Focus on the Family balcony. Mom and I flew into Denver on August 31st and were able to swiftly retrieve our bags and get to the hotel shuttle. Saturday, September 1st, brought us to the Springs and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and Pikes Peak. We decided that our first order of business was a trip to the Focus on the Family campus. Mom’s reaction when we first saw the campus was very amusing: “That can’t possibly be it! It’s huge!” :) She was also definitely enthralled by the discounts that I get, and by extension her, at the Focus bookstore (truth be told, I am too). The next few days were spent sightseeing (including the Air Force Academy and Garden of the Gods, see below), shopping, and getting acclimated to the altitude. We got to meet my roommate Bethany and her mom and sister (who works at FOTF) for lunch the day before check-in which was amazing.

The Air Force Academy from one of the overlooks.

Me at the entrance to Garden of the Gods.

Check-in went fairly smoothly and everyone was very happy that we only had one flight of stairs to climb with our luggage. One of the Institute alumni who lives in our apartment complex was actually going around and helping people carry items up the stairs. My roommates are Bethany (Michigan), Alisha (Texas), and Danielle (California). So between the four of us, we cover all four sides of the country. I’m the only one without a car so I don’t have to worry about not having a ride since everyone else is more than willing to carpool. Tuesday night, after lugging our stuff into the apartment and spending forever figuring out how we were pairing off for rooms, we headed over to the campus for a welcome dinner and fellowship. Everyone is amazing and very friendly, but it’ll take a while for me to remember all 87 names. Thank goodness for name tags!

From L to R: Alisha, Me, Danielle, and Bethany on our 2nd day of orientation.

The past 2 days we’ve been going through orientation which includes everything from security and outdoor safety to getting our photos taken and buying our books. I was definitely excited to be getting 15-20 good, useful books for the price I would have paid for one physics textbook back in college. Some of the older women on staff are called the “Mom Squad” and always have hugs and cookies or candy ready for whoever needs some. One of the women, Carol, is going to organize a girls’ movie day at her house so that some of us can come over and watch the 6-hour version of “Pride and Prejudice” with her. I can’t wait! We also have family dinners and fellowship dinners where we get a chance to meet the families of the FFI staff members.

Everyone also received their practicum assignments today, which was a surprise since we had been told not to expect them until Monday. Our practicum is a chance to be exposed to a work environment that (hopefully) mirrors our interests and possible career choices. It’s a little more basic than an internship. I was pleasantly surprised (and stunned) to find that my assignment was to my first choice position in the Office of the Chairman. For those who may not be familiar with the Focus on the Family organization, the Chairman is also the Founder of Focus, Dr. James Dobson. This is an incredible blessing and I look forward to the wonderful experience I know it will be.

Some things that you can be praying for in the weeks ahead: Health: I have a cold sore that developed shortly before coming to CO that is trying to heal. One of my roommates, Danielle, was in a car accident shortly before coming to CO and will be seeing a physical therapist while she is out here. One of the students here at FFI (Beth) was in a car accident in the Wal-Mart parking lot before orientation yesterday. Her car was totaled but she is thankfully doing well, just some scrapes and pain on her left side, but she was kept in the hospital through today for observation.

Activities: This weekend, we will be out of town on what is called our “Base Camp Retreat”. Base camp is where you would start a climb up a mountain, making it analogous to where we as a class are right now in our journey at FFI. This is going to be an amazing time as we come into the presence of God. Pray for safety in travel and that we will come together as an authentic Christian community as we prepare to begin our semester’s journey together.

In closing, I would like to share a verse with you that Dr. Del Tackett, President of FFI, shared with us and spoke on our first night here.

Isaiah 6:5 “‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.’”

Dr. Tackett stated that the staff’s desire for us while we were here was that we would draw near to the presence of God and not run away because in drawing near to God, we are exposed to ourselves (“I am a man of unclean lips”) and the culture around us is exposed (“and I live among a people of unclean lips”). Pray that as we encounter these things during the semester we will be able to respond as Isaiah did following this in verse 8:

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and encouragement. I will be in touch again soon. In the meantime, make sure to check out this letter on the website (http://morrepic.blogspot.com) to see pictures of some of the places mentioned above. God bless!

Meghan Orr

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Welcome back :) FFI Prayer letter, July 19th

Greetings once again! I sent out the 2nd prayer letter this evening and am also posting it here. Thank you for your support and encouragement! :) I have also fixed the comments part of the blog so that anyone can leave a comment so feel free to drop me a note or let me know what you would like to hear about. Have a wonderful evening! Meg Hello friends and family! Wow! A month has already past since I last wrote you, which means that I am one month closer to leaving for Colorado Springs! In fact, in exactly 43 days I will be leaving with my mom to fly to Denver. Again, wow! That seems so short! Everything is falling into place in terms of the preparations for our arrival. I received confirmation at the end of last month that my registration file was complete and now have the forms to fill out for my practicum. I will not find out until after I arrive at the Focus Institute what my actual practicum will be so I will let you know when I find not. Needless to say, there's nothing directly related to meteorology to choose from so wherever I am placed will be a new adventure. :) As students, we have been getting to know each other through Facebook groups and the e-mail listserv that was set up for us. Everyone is really excited and anxious to meet in person. Thank you once again for your prayer and encouragement in this experience. I really cherish the support. Here are a few specific things that I would greatly appreciate prayer for: 1. The financial situation. My parents have agreed to split the cost with me, but the cost of attending is still high. I will be using all of my paychecks from WeatherBug this summer to help cover my portion. A good friend reassured me that where God leads, God provides, so I'm excited to see how God will work in the coming months. 2. Mental and heart preparations as I get closer to leaving for the Focus on the Family Institute. The semster in Colorado will be intense emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Please pray that God would begin to work in my heart starting now. 3. In addition to the above, Sunday, July 22nd marks 40 days until my departure for FFI. Since 40 days is used often in the Bible as a time of change or preparation for change, I have decided to use this time to prepare myself mentally, spiritually and physically for my time at FFI. Please pray for strength and commitment on my part during this last month and a half. I am continuing to maintain a blog at http://morrepic.blogspot.com/ where you can find these update letters as well as other entries and a countdown to when I leave at the end of August. Once I get to FFI, I hope to update the blog once a week and send out e-mails twice a month. Again, please feel free to forward this e-mail to others you think might like to receive it or let me know if you think someone should be on the list. Thank you! I can't say it enough. God bless and have a wonderful weekend! In Christ, Meghan Orr Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Friday, June 15, 2007

At the beginning... (Prayer letter from 6/14)

Hello again :) This was the very first prayer letter I sent out. If you would like to be added to the e-mail list, simply let me know. :) And without further ado...
Dear all, If you are receiving this e-mail, you have been added to the prayer list I will be maintaining during my experience at the Focus on the Family Institute. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement thus far in the process. Two weeks ago, almost one year to the day that I decided God was leading me to go, I sent in my acceptance paperwork and tuition deposit to Colorado Springs. It was very nerve-wracking for me to hand over that package. Somehow, the idea of actually going to Colorado in the fall did not become entirely real until those papers left my hands. I probably still will not totally believe it until my mom and I set foot on our plane in August which seems so far away yet isn't at the same time. God has blessed me mightily this past month. On May 1st at 1pm, I received a call from Jeremiah Callihan, the Assistant Director of Admissions at the Focus on the Family Institute, telling me that I was being offered full acceptance to the institute. I laughed, cried, jumped up and down, and wore my cell phone battery out that day. Since then, it's been a flurry of activity between filling out forms, booking plane tickets, and working out logistics. Getting the paperwork in this past week was only the beginning. To give you a brief idea of the timeline: Mom and I will be flying out to Denver on Friday, August 31st. We will have the weekend to explore Colorado Springs before I have to check in on Tuesday, September 4th. Mom will have her Parent's Orientation the same day while my orientation will last all week. Mom will then fly back to Maryland on Wednesday, September 5th. I will be home in Maryland for Thanksgiving November 17-24. Graduation at the institute is December 11 and I will be returning December 12. Some things that you can be praying for in the coming weeks are the following: 1. The financial situation. My parents have agreed to split the cost with me, but the cost of attending is still high. I will be using all of my paychecks from WeatherBug this summer to help cover my portion. A good friend reassured me that where God leads, God provides, so now I'm excited to see how God will work in the coming months. 2. Logistics. Between airline tickets yet to be purchased and paperwork that was filled out, a lot has been going on. My mom will be joining me for the first couple of days in Colorado before I have to check-in at the Focus Institute apartments. However, the day she flies back, my dad will be leaving with my sister for Black Rock with her school, so we are working on making sure my mom's daycare is covered so she can avoid having to close for the day. 3. Mental and heart preparations as I get closer to leaving for the Focus on the Family Institute. The semster in Colorado will be intense emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Please pray that God would begin to work in my heart starting now. Thank you so much for your support. I will also be maintaining a blog to chronicle my adventures along the way. You can find it at http://morrepic.blogspot.com. The first entry is already up. All of the prayer e-mails will be posted there, along with additional stories and pictures. Feel free to forward this e-mail to others you think might like to receive it or let me know if you think someone should be on the receiving list who is not. Thank you! I can't say it enough. God bless and have a wonderful weekend! In Christ, Meghan Orr Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Welcome

Welcome to my world! :) This is the blog where I will be posting my adventures before, during, and after my semester at the Focus on the Family Institute. Right now, updates will not be as frequent, however, I hope to update weekly once I reach Colorado Springs in September. I wanted to take a moment to explain the meaning behind the name of my blog. The actual title is written out in the original Greek letters, but the English spelling is koinonia. I like the way that Wikipedia speaks of the word. It states: "The word has such a multitude of meanings that no single English word is adequate to express its depth and richness....Koinonia is a complex, rich, and thoroughly fascinating Greek approach to building community or teamwork." (If you want to read more, you can find the article here.) Koinonia is also the name of the once-weekly dinner at the Focus on the Family Institute where I will be eating with other classmates in order to invest time in each other, get to know each other, and build community. I also wanted to share some verses with you where the word "koinonia" is used (in italics). Acts 2:42 "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of break, and in prayers." Romans 15:26 "For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem." 1 Corinthians 1:9 "God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called until the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." Philippians 1:3-5 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in ever prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now." Hebrews 13:16 "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." 1 John 1:6-7 "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in the darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." So once again, welcome to what is sure to be an amazing adventure. I can't wait to start the journey with you! :)