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 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: 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.


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 ( or mail (840 Robbie View #328, Colorado Springs, CO 80920). Until then, God bless!

Meghan Orr

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 ( 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