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 ( to see pictures of some of the places mentioned above. God bless!

Meghan Orr

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