misrepresentative disasters

14 10 2009

“Jesus loves you, but I’m his favorite.”

Saw that on a car today, along with another (more common) bumper sticker…”got jesus?” I’m not sure which one I hate more.

There’s a lot I could say about this, but I’ll just leave it at this…

THESE are the things that make me feel that people are totally justified in their frustrations with christians and the church, and I can understand why some people would never want to step foot in one.


in retrospect

10 09 2009

I haven’t written a blog in a very long time. I haven’t journaled very much either. I HATE that. It’s like I’ve lost a big part of who I am. So I’m not going to put it off any longer. I’m reclaiming that part of me.

This one short blog will not even come close to all of the thoughts I have floating around in my head. I feel like my brain is on overdrive just trying to keep up with my life (that, however, is no one’s fault but my own).

What follows is my attempt to delineate just one of the fleeting thoughts that visited my mind today…

9 months and 8 days. No one in my life right now knows the significance of that number. That’s how long I have been in the States since my 11-month internship in South Africa.

So what did I learn over there?


That was always my answer. It stood out more than anything else. It was both the most unexpected and the most difficult lesson I learned.

In retrospect, I stand by my answer.

My heart really misses the community we had there. I miss having a roommate and a friend who I (finally) learned to earnestly trust. I could share anything with her. We prayed together and for each other often. We’d stay up late talking about dreams and ideas and nothing at all. We went to war with the bugs, spiders, ladybugs, and bats that always found their way into our room. We gazed open-mouthed and awestruck at an incredible lightning show and watched the fires that burned the distant hills on the horizon. We scaled mountains, played with penguins, and learned together. We relied on each other; and, more importantly, we helped each other rely on God. We spoke truth into each others’ lives even when it was difficult.

But it wasn’t just with her. The community there…it was beautiful. The way it is supposed to be. Thoroughly flawed, but overflowing with love. All 10 of us interns – we saw each other at our best and our worst. We really knew one another. And we still loved genuinely.

I learned so much from living in a community like that. I learned how to really love people…how to trust.

It was the most difficult part of the entire year. Hands down.

And I miss it.


26 12 2008

I am painfully aware that I have horribly neglected blogging lately. But more will come.

December…December has been…frustrating. I love the Christmas season, but I have been very frustrated with the lack of things to do…no school or work. I’ve been bored.

I am THRILLED to move to UCF next week. I know it is the next right step, and I am excited to start studying Social Work.

More will come…just a little update.

headin’ home

30 11 2008

Tomorrow, I will be getting on a plane and flying back to America after 10 and a half months spent in South Africa. I am both excited and nervous…but I don’t think it has really hit me yet that we are leaving.

I would LOVE to catch up with everyone when I am back! If you would like to meet with me and exchange stories about this year, feel free to email me at jblaylock@bellsouth.net.

See you States’ Side!

i would like to tell you a story

28 11 2008

At 5 AM on a Monday morning, 13 people left and ventured off into the south to find the notorious Cape Town. We drove all day, encountering both towering mountains and hysterical signs.


We arrived exhausted, but excited to be in Cape Town!


Throughout the week, we had debriefing sessions together to prepare for the upcoming transition back to life in America. I feel as ready as I’ll ever be to go home. We were blessed to be able to visit many of the touristy spots in Cape Town, including…..

…the famous Table Mountain with an incredible view. I hiked to Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point.


…Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned…


….Boulder Beach, where a whole colony of jackass penguins live! (…excuse my French, but that’s their name!)


….and Cape Point, the southern-most point of Africa.


…and experienced some other fun in between.


This story is coming to an end, but the book will continue. I am THANKFUL for all that has been written, but EXCITED for all that is unwritten.


16 11 2008

A story from Hope House…

All year, I have said “I love you!” to the kids at Hope House when we leave. Some say it back. But Thabo never did. Here’s Thabo…


This past Friday was our last Friday there. We made it a special day, full of water balloons, sugar cookies, and presents. At the very end, as I was saying a final goodbye to Thabo, I said “I love you!” And then Thabo replied…”I love you!” My heart swelled with gratefulness. What a perfect ending.

A story from Leadership Summit…

The Leadership Summit coaches arrived today for a retreat. While talking to a coach named Thapelo, he spoke about an upcoming crusade they are having at his church. I asked him what his role was going to be in the crusade and if he was going to preach, and this was his response:

Yes, I am going to preach! I must say that I am so thankful to Thrive Africa. Now people are inviting me to preach, and I can share with them lessons from Leadership Summit and LaunchPad.”

a week’s worth

16 11 2008

This week…

The internet was out for 4 days.

We said goodbye to all of the Hope House kids, including Lindo… (He preferred to close his eyes for pictures, so I closed my eyes with him!)


I helped bind hundreds of books for the spring term of LaunchPad.

We had our last “normal” week of the internship, and finished all of our classes.

We had a joined birthday/christmas party…Merry Shannonmas!

We had a bonfire and said goodbye to all of the Leadership Summit coaches.


We leave for Cape Town for debriefing!

I am looking forward to seeing some jackass penguins. They live in South Africa!