New Blog

For those who wish to keep up with my medical schooling, you can now follow this blog: The Premed Musician
I will still keep this blog because it has records of my trip to the Philippines. I may post some pictures on here every now and then, but not on a regular basis...actually I don't think I've posted anything on a regular basis since the Philippines!


Pics from the Week

Here are some pics of various places we went and saw this week:

Planeta Mall

Cinnabon in Krasnoyarsk!

Krasnoyarsk Opera House

Carriage outside the opera house:

Fountains outside the Krasnoyarsk Hotel:


Krasnoyarsk Update

I have been in Krasnoyarsk for about a day and a half. My flights were very smooth, had no delays, and all my baggage arrived safely. It was a very long trip, and I was very glad to get off of an airplane! I was able to sleep during most of my long 9hr. layover in Moscow, and that helped a lot with my jet lag.

We had a Memorial day picnic yesterday afternoon with another missionary family, the Sterlings. Matt & Katie have a garden out at the Sterlings (since there is no place for a garden in the city where they live) and we planted some more in their garden yesterday. By the time we left the Sterlings around 8pm, I could barely keep my eyes open. I crashed when we got to the apartment and slept until about 6:30 this morning. In Siberia this time of year, the sun doesn't start setting until about 10:30 or 11pm, and it rises around 5am.

This is the outside of M&K's apartment:

This is looking down the road from their apartment:

On Thursday, we are going to see a Russian opera here in Krasnoyarsk. Even though it will be entirely in Russian, I'm looking forward to it. It will be a lot of fun!

Here are some more pics from yesterday. The Sterling kids watching Matt grill the food:

Playing water guns at the Sterlings:

Opening up Aunt Mandy's suitcase full of surprises and stuff from back home:


Summer School in Siberia

Yes, you read it right, summer school in Siberia. I thought it would an interesting experience, and one that would give me something to talk about in my med school application. How many of you can say you went to school in Siberia? haha.

The nice thing about online classes is that I can take it with me wherever I go. Some might think it extremely annoying to do school while traveling and visitng family, but I love it because it allows so much flexibility. Summer school was a given for me, I would have been taking classes regardless. The fliexibility of online allows me the freedom to travel overseas. Sure, I can think of dozens of things I'd rather be doing than schoolwork, but my schooling is going to be continuous for the next several years and my schedule will not get an less busy. Plus, I love what I am doing! Last summer I went to the Philippines, and now I am going to Siberia...who would've thought? Not me! The next several weeks will be a whirlwind, and I have a lot of work to get accomplished in that time, but I will have lots of fun and new experiences in the meantime.

So yes, in two days, I will be en route to Krasnoyarsk and I will be doing summer school! I haven't even begun to pack a single thing yet, but I'll throw it all together Friday night or Saturday morning.

For those who might be interested, I leave Charlotte at 1pm Saturday, and will be arriving in Krasnoyarsk at 6:30am Monday, which will be Sunday night, for those in the States. Pray that I will not have any trouble with luggage or my flights. Pics to come!!


Words without Wisdom

Words without wisdom, no I'm not referring to my nephew! I just had to share some cute pics of him! This past weekend, I had my wisdom teeth removed (not fun), but after putting it off for a long time, it needed to be done. When I arrived home from the procedure, I got a letter in the mail stating that I had won a scholarship from my credit union. That made the pain from the oral surgery worth it! Again, this was another specific answer to prayer. I am thrilled to see how God is continuing to provide for my schooling.

This week, I will be completing another semester at the community college, and I am very grateful for the Lord's strength in helping me balance a very hectic schedule this spring. Summer classes start mid-May, and then I will be departing for Siberia on the 28th. Upon my return, I will head to a friend's wedding, then two weeks later I will be moving and preparing to start a new job. Exciting things ahead! =)

My next post will probably be from Siberia, so stay tuned for pics and updates from the not-so-frozen city of Krasnoyarsk!

Isn't he the cutest?? :)


Philippine Post

Today, I would like all of my blog readers to prayerfully consider the needs of Subic Bay Children's Home. Just a couple of weeks after I left the Philippines last July, a typhoon came through the area and caused quite a bit of damage to the buildings and grounds of the children's home. They have since been able to make some repairs, but they are in dire need of updating/remodeling their kitchen & dining room facility. SBCH is a ministry of Subic Bay Baptist Church, and they are supported 100% by churches and individuals. The ministry has been under-supported for a while, and they have lost even more support in the last several months.

I wish I could take you all there on a short visit to get a glimpse of life in the Philippines. You would be very humbled at the meager facilities and how little the people of SBBC have, yet, they are some of the most happy, joyful people I have ever met. Odek and Annalisa Valbuena and their children are in the States right now, trying to raise support for the ministry. I would like to ask each of you to prayerfully consider if you could have a small part in assisting this ministry. Here is the link to the kitchen project at the children's home: Subic Bay Children's Home

The kitchen and dining hall were built almost 20 years ago out of native material- coconut lumber, bamboo and a grass roof. The roof has been replaced three times, and right now, it is rotten and leaking really bad...I can attest to this! I also helped cook meals on several occasions at the home, and let me just say...that was a challenge! Ants and bugs were abundantly taking residence on the counters and tables (but this was the norm), but I had to set aside my idea of cleanliness in a kitchen. The kitchen really needs some updated equipment, and it would be very beneficial for them to have a dishwasher of some sort.

Here are a few of my own pictures of the dining hall/kitchen.


Bountiful Blessings

Wow- a lot has happened since my last update. God has opened up the fountains of blessing recently, and it has been so neat to see Him at work and answering prayers. No, I didn't win tons of money for school, but God has provided in other ways. For those of you who are wondering about the photo contest...I did not win :( But I appreciate all of your votes and support! You were a great encouragement to me!

One big answer to prayer is that God has provided me with a new job in Greenville that will start just days after leaving my current job. I haven't been without a job since high school, so leaving my current full-time position of three years to look for part-time employment was going to be a step of faith for me. I had been praying for a while that God would lead me to just the right job that would work around my school schedule. To make a long story short, God answered that prayer in an unexpected way. Starting July 5th, I will begin working as a graduate assistant at BJU in the IT dept. Trust me, this was completely the Lord's doing because this was not a job that I would have even considered on my own. (perhaps I will save the details for another post!) I am not a technical person when it comes to computers, but this job is working the IT service desk, which is basically an info desk-type position where I take service calls and send out technicians to fix problems around campus.

This job was a tremendous answer to prayer financially. As a GA, my tuition costs are cut in half, and I receive an hourly wage. I will be working 28hrs a week during the school year, and 40hrs during the summer and semester breaks. With the discounted tuition rates, finances will still be very tight but paying for school is now feasible. Though I never envisioned myself working in an IT dept, this is the means God has provided for me to finish my premed training. My brother now jokingly calls me "Dr. IT"...but, since he converted me to macintosh computers, I should thank him. That knowledge will be useful with this new job :D

An additional blessing: Even though I did not win the photo scholarship, I found out two days ago that I have been awarded a scholarship from another source-- praise the Lord! I had been praying for a specific amount of money and this scholarship is that exact amount. Plus, it is more than I would have won from the photo contest. I have spent countless hours applying to many different scholarships over the past 6 months, read several books on how to win scholarships, and was beginning to wonder if I was wasting my time. They say that in order to win scholarships you have to apply to a lot of them, but it takes a lot of time. It's nice to know that some of that work has paid off!

I will continue applying for scholarships because my goal is to go through premed and med school completely debt free. That is almost unheard of since medical schools are probably the most expensive institutes of higher learning. Scholarships for medical students are scarce, and many doctors graduate from medical school with anywhere from $150,000-$200,000 in debt. That kind of money would be impossible for me to ever afford on my own, but I am doing my best to be frugal and save every penny that I can. The rest is in God's hands. After seeing God provide here recently, I am excited to see what He will do in the future! :)

A third blessing, is that at the end of May, I am going to Siberia for about 10 days to visit Matt, Katie, and Elliot! I am super excited to go see them and experience some Russian culture. I wasn't sure if the trip would work out financially, but God has made it possible.

"Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it." I Thess. 5:24