Skip to main content

Mid-quarter update

My apologies for not posting in a while!  In case word has not gotten back to you, I'm doing well after supertyphoon Yolanda/Hiyan hit the Philippines.  Manila is about 350 miles from the most impacted areas, so the most weather activity we saw with that storm system was a few inches of rain and a nice breeze for a day.  We did not have school Friday since we weren't sure what the typhoon would bring, but it turns out we could've had classes.  Oh well!  Much better safe than sorry!  We have, however, heard several personal stories about evacuations and missing persons reports.  So far, I don't personally know of anyone who has been physically harmed or killed, and the people I knew of who were missing have been found and contacted their families.  So far, we're praising God for the ways He's managed to have protected so many people, even with great devastation.  Here's a link to a couple connected with Faith Academy (their son is a teacher here and all their kids are Faith graduates) recounting their experience in the typhoon.

Thank you for checking in on me.  I was overwhelmed by the number of Facebook messages from folks just checking in to make sure I was okay.  It means a lot to hear from people from home -- please don't let a supertyphoon be the only reason to write!

Several others have asked "How can I help?"  There are literally dozens of people and organizations I could connect you with, so actually, the best thing to do would be to email me directly ( and mention what type of help (financial, physical stuff donations, prayer, sending mission teams, etc) you'd like information on.

On a different note, I'll be home in about 5 weeks!  I'm only home for the Christmas Break, but I'm so happy to be able to spend the holiday season with my friends and family.  I'll be bringing pearls as well, so if there's something you'd like or if you'd like to see what I'm bringing, let me know!  I will be needing to do a bit of fund-raising while I'm home because the VISA costs just keep rising and the middle of the year are some of the most expensive months.  If you would like to donate now towards my last 6 months in the Philippines, go ahead and visit and follow the prompts through, making sure to use your PayPal account and entering my name when asked.

I continue to be blessed by my students who are working hard to keep a level head through projects, presentations, papers, and lots of reading for class.  Even on days that haven't gone as planned, I'm blessed by their simple, "Thank you, Ms. Olson!" as they each leave the classroom.  I really do work with some of the best kids on the planet! :)


Popular posts from this blog

Growing by Shrinking

In these final months of my 20's, I find myself reflecting a lot on how much I have changed in the 10 years of 20's.  While I have very few regrets, there are more than a few things that hindsight has been a humbling 20/20 to accept as part of who I am and where I come from.  Maybe you can relate.

At age 20, I was convinced I'd go to grad school and then likely onto a doctoral program to become a famous musician.  My entire identity and self-worth was wrapped up in being an accomplished musician.  God definitely gave me some talent, but what really fueled my achievements was pride and some entitled self-righteousness.  I just wanted to be good to prove to myself and others that I deserved recognition.  As that dream unraveled and then all but disappeared later in my 20's, what I'm left realizing is that it was never about the music or the achievements themselves.  All I was after was the recognition -- the acknowledgment, the confirmation that someone (anyone!) had…

Already Beloved, Not Yet Pursued

Friends -- for what it's worth, this is as much for me as it may be for anyone else.  Not an expert, just an introvert with some thoughts...

The longer and deeper I come to know Jesus, the more truth I see to the phrase "already but not yet."  In the world of theology, we use this phrase to talk about how Jesus has already come to earth, but God is not yet finished revealing Himself to us.  Someday, Jesus will come back and everything will be known and seen for what it is in the eyes of God.  But for now, we live in an awkward in-between: already knowing more is coming, but not yet experiencing it.

On Valentine's Day, many of us live the "already but not yet" reality relationally: already dating, not yet engaged; already engaged, not yet married; already married, not yet parents; already parents, not yet sleeping through the night. ;)  There's always a next step -- always something more, always something missing.

But for those of us spending today feeli…

Thoughts from the Internet-less Millennial

So, there's something about me you should know.

For the last six months, I have not had internet at home.  That's right -- I'm a millennial who has a job that requires internet access and yet I have no internet at home.  By extension, it means I do not have Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Spotify, or any of the other internet-based subscriptions so common to the American household today (and I don't have cable, either -- just 3 channels that come in when the weather is nice, haha).  I told this to a few people lately, forgetting how uncommon it was and was humored by their reactions.  What has become normal to me is outlandish to a few of my fellow millennials and completely unheard of when GenXer's compute that such a Millennial exists!  To be clear, I still have a smartphone with a (very small) data plan, so if absolutely necessary, I can access the online world... but honestly, my life doesn't require it from 4 PM to 8 AM, so I've foregone the $50+/month price tag…