Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things are going well on this side of the ocean!  I'm missing the hot weather, but in time, it will come.  

Things have been typically non-eventful lately, as life always is after you have some super-charged experience, like InsideOut launch and a team from North Point here.  But, it's been nice to take some time and relax.  Unfortunately, I've come down with a bit of a head cold today, so I've been bed-ridden for most of the afternoon and evening.  Matt's done an excellent job taking care of me, making me lunch and serving me dinner as well.  It's novel to him to take care of a sick he's soaking it all up (much to my benefit!).  

After the North Point team left, Matt and I took some time to enjoy the scenery in Cape Town.  First, we went hiking in the woods together, and this past Monday, we trekked up Lion's Head.  The day was beautiful, and it was 70 degrees outside, a nice change from the cold, wintery weather.  

Last night, Matt and I went to an italian restaurant called Magica Roma and our meal was spectacular!  We used a gift certificate that Matt received for his birthday, which was very nice.  We also used some birthday money from my parents to go to this really cool pizza place.  Thanks to the generosity of others, we've had a few really nice dinners in the past 2 weeks.  

We're gearing up for our next IO (InsideOut) on the 14th of August, which is pretty exciting!  We have some great ideas that are already being implemented, and let's just say it's going to be quite a fun night.  Make sure to get the word out about the next IO to everyone you know!  You don't want to miss it...and frankly, I'm ready for Matt's head to be shaved :)  I think he'll look really cute.   

I've gotten quite a bit of reading done in the past week.  I finished up Wright last week (finally...but it was so worth it) and I read a book about a woman who escaped from the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint group that was previously led by Warren Jeffs.  The book is titled "Escape" and it's by Carolyn Jessop if anyone is interested in reading it.  It is quite a fascinating story.  For any Jon Krakauer fans (Into Thin Air...a great story, too!), it should be known that he writes the review on the back cover of the book.  It reads very much like one of his account of truth that reads like fiction.  Quite entertaining, if I do say so myself.  

I found myself at the end of the book feeling skeptical and cynical of the concept of organized religion.  The propaganda that the FLDS used to entrap these women is absolutely scandalous.  It's hard to see any shred of the love, grace, and forgiveness that overflows in every message of Jesus in the fanatical extremism portrayed in this book.  It has led me back to praying that God lead us to teaching and practicing truth in our lives.  

Now, I'm onto a George MacDonald book.  It was one Matt bought me for our one year anniversary when we were dating.  Finally, I'm getting around to reading it.  :)  

Well...this is the mundane of life.  Sorry I can't wow any readers with an exciting story, as I'm sure many of you cannot either : ) But Oswald Chambers puts it better than I ever could...

"We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises—human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes."

Saturday, July 25, 2009


If anyone is looking for an interesting blog to read that deals with some interesting, and quite deep, theological concepts...check out my Dad's blog!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Here's another youtube video that we did for the IO launch that I forgot to post!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

InsideOut Launch Update

It's been amazing past two weeks.  I don't think I've had a crazier week than last week, so pardon my lack of updates.  

After weeks of renovation, we now have an A-Mazing venue for our youth!  We had our first InsideOut last Friday and it went spectacularly!  The music was awesome, the comedic hosts were great, and if I do say so myself, Matt did an amazing job speaking!

My goal for InsideOut was twofold
1)To empower our volunteers to take ownership of IO and find their niche and run with it.  
2)To take as much of the logistical planning off Matt so that he would be able to have the freedom to create an engaging and relevant plan of what to say to his audience.  

Personally, I'd give myself a solid B (I'm sure some would grade me better, and others worse) for my efforts, but I'm looking forward to improving my abilities in this role for the next IO.  My dream is to see Matt be able to focus full heartedly on what he is to say.  

Most of you would agree that what changes you the most are the words you hear in church. God has used words throughout history to convey his love and his truth.  If we put such a strong emphasis on the words we hear, then the person communicating those words should take the calling seriously. 

I've grown up with that mentality...I can remember watching my dad spending hours poring over what he would say in Sunday School on Saturday afternoons.  After a long week at work, he would inevitably sit on the front porch, drinking his coffee, working on his lesson for hours.  Then on Sunday morning, you'd hear him downstairs at 6am putting the final touches on what he was to teach.  Things haven't changed that much as I watch my own husband waking up at 530 the day before camp to put his final touches on what he is to say.  

These two men rightly so put an emphasis on what they are to say.  They take their roles seriously as communicators.  My goal is to facilitate that process for Matt, so I spent most of the week figuring out more ways to do that, delegating work to others, planning the schedule so it ran most efficiently for him.  

Then there's our lovely volunteers (myself included, haha)!  It is such a pleasure to work with every one of them because they are so willing to help in any way.  But, my goal as a volunteer, yet working so closely with Matt, is to facilitate an experience for them where they are learning more about their own gifts and talents all while helping the bigger purpose of seeing the lives of teens changed.  I hope that they left InsideOut feeling like they contributed to a cause that was bigger than themselves, I hope they learned a little bit about themselves, and I hope they were stretched beyond their comfort zone.  

I'm going to try to post some pictures from our won't believe it...and for any teens that weren't there...I can confidently say you missed out big need to be there on the 14 of August!

Readers may find it interesting to check out the North Point Mission Team's blog where some of their youth wrote about what they experienced while in Cape Town.  There's also pictures!

Enjoy!  and more to come later!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

North Point Trip!

We are 72 hours from our North Point team arriving here in Cape Town.  North Point Community Church, based in Atlanta, GA, is our partner church, and they are sending out a team of youth to help us launch our youth program, InsideOut.  Matt has been working incredibly hard to make things come together, as have a large band of volunteers.  We have completely gutted the old sanctuary, and it's finally looking like an amazing venue for our youth.  It's been a great bonding experience for everyone, and our friend Morgan has done a great job heading up the project, singlehandedly delegating to us all what needs to happen in order to get this place ready for the launch of InsideOut.  

My personal mission has been painting the bathroom doors.  Phase one is to get the doors looking cool, and phase two is redecorating the inside.  I will try to post pictures as soon as I take a few on my phone.  

On a personal note: I was talking to Matt last night about this, and I hope it is an encouragement to any wife out there who feels that tension of wanting to follow the passions God has put inside of her and supporting her husband's passions and dreams as well.  It is truly an honor to be called the wife of Matthew Hastings.  To serve my husband truly is the greatest blessing that I have.  I'm not a good painter, and here I am, painting this bathroom door black with this life-size giant pink female symbol on the front of it, and I'm at such peace with the whole situation.  And I realized that I'd rather be sitting on the cold, bathroom floor any day than pursuing my dreams.  It's not that my dreams are bad or wrong to pursue, but no greater joy comes than from laying those dreams I have down at the feet of my husband and serving the purpose that God has given him.  

We go to our InsideOut camp next Tuesday morning!  We started with two kids signed up, and in the past three weeks, our numbers have shot up to 25 kids!  With our North Point team of 10 teens, we're going to have an awesome start of 35 teens!  I don't want to give everything away prior to camp in case any teens read my blog, but let's just say there will be amazing games, food, and awesome music!  Not to mention, my hubby is hard at work on 4 sessions of speaking that are going to be A-Mazing!!!!  Three will be for the camp, and the fourth will be used for the launch on Friday.  

So, we're all hard at work over here, and we're incredibly excited about what God's going to do here in Cape Town!  It certainly is an amazing time to be a part of God's life changing kingdom.  We will keep you updated as the North Point team comes!