For those of you who don’t know, I’m embarking on a two week long trip to Boston with an organization called Campus Crusade. I plan on updating this blog as often as I can with what I’ve been doing. I would like to apologize for the lengthy post – next time I plan on having more pictures and less words 🙂
My plan was originally to take a 7:35am American Airline flight from Phoenix to Boston with a layover in Texas landing in Boston around 4:40pm. Unfortunately, once I arrived at Sky Harbor Airport (cerca 5:30am) I learned my flight from Arizona to Texas was canceled. This was only a minor setback, quick as can be the woman at the ticketing counter was finding a way to get me to Boston and eventually set me up with a flight leaving Phoenix around 10:10 with a layover flight leaving Los Angles around 12:00 and eventually landing in Boston around 8 – a little later than I’d like but better than nothing. After a very turbulent and delayed ride I touched down in LA, after the final boarding call for my connecting flight to Boston. I was 10 minutes too late.
Spirits dashed I made my way to the help counter and found a red eye leaving LAX around 10pm and arriving in Boston around 6am the next day. I explained my story to a very helpful lady working at the counter and she took it upon herself to make sure I was all set. She gave me a voucher for food, booked a hotel room at the nearest Holiday Inn so I could take a nap and a shower, and checked on where my bag (already on its journey to Boston). Her hard work to make sure I not only had a flight but was also safe, well fed, and rested meant so much to me and I truly appreciate her kindness. New itinerary in hand and about 8 hours to kill between flights I headed off to the hotel’s shuttle.
Once I got to the hotel, I made to check in only to be greeted with the news that I couldn’t check in for my nap because the hotel had just (minutes before) had a power outage and they wouldn’t be able to check me in. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Hotel lobbies’ are dull places and once I had read through the second book I’d brought on my trip (the first I’d finished on the first leg of the flight and the third I’d tucked away in my checked luggage for the return flight) I was bored.
Flash forward to 6pm. The hotel still has no power, I haven’t had my much coveted nap or shower and I realize there’s no point waiting around to be checked in when I’ll just have to turn right back around and head back to the airport for my next flight which, besides someone else having my same seat assignment was not note worthy.
Sunday. Sleep and tired from my red eye coming from LA, I landed in Boston just as the sun was coming up. Cenia, the woman who would co-lead my small group, picked me up and drove me to the ZBT (Zeta Beta Tau) MIT fraternity house – a large two story building tucked away in Brookline. This place has so many nooks and cranies that I just feel like exploring each room. There’s a huge map of middle earth painted on one wall, a TARDIS (time and relative dimensions in space) painted on one door, a mural made up of floppy disks downstairs, a neon TRON themed basement, and sofas at every turn. I have found my people!
I took a few hours to nap before attending the first meeting. We had a quick lunch then wheels up and we were off to Northeastern University (I quickly realized that there are a ton of universities in the Boston area) to learn about listening. After breaking off into pairs of two or three our groups were told today that our emphasis was on listening. We were to begin conversations on God and spirituality with whomever we find and ask them question like: what do you believe, what do you think, how did you reached those ideas, what influenced you, what you grew up believing. The idea is to learn about people and who they are as individuals.
It was a completely fascinating process to talk with a handful of people about where they’re coming from. After wandering around for a while I found two girls and ended up having a really great conversation about what they believe, and questions they have with religion. We ended up talking for a while and I left so thankful for meeting them and having an opportunity to dialogue with what they believe.
A while later we headed back to the house for dinner, a quick debriefing and a discussion on what it means to have a “kingdom vision”. A quick visit to the grocery store and off to bed for me.
Yesterday (Monday) was a slower day, filled with teaching from the Harvard Cru staff leader and group discussion time. Also, there was a few hours devoted to tools and techniques to develop and build up a small group, bible studies, and devotionals.
A short break allowed me and a few girls to walk over to Brookline Booksmith Bookstore and visit an old friend I used to know from Changing Hands. I love exploring indie bookstores in different cities and learning about their cultures, how they organize their books, what events they might have. All of that is so much fun for me.
Today (day 4 for those of you who’ve made it this far and lost track) we had a speaker in from Seattle, WA. He was Cru staff at University of Washington and he talked about the “big picture” of walking closely with God throughout your life. Very interesting. We spent a good part of the day reflecting on the past year and looking to the future year and practical plan of what God has for us throughout the next year.
I just finished my reflection time and soon we’re off to do some tourist fun stuff (the Arizona person inside me is hoping for some good sea food too). I promise my next post will include more pictures and less words!