Random Thoughts Before I Depart for Hume

Hume Lake

Today finds me on the eve of another summer camp, but this one is fairly relaxing. We’re taking 53 people up to Hume Lake for our High School summer camp. We’ll be joining almost 1,000 other high schoolers there for a fun and relaxing week. The days are made up of eating with the kids, sitting in chapels with the kids, playing card games and Apple to Apples with the kids, playing frisbee golf with the kids, and other things, generally with the kids. It’s relaxing because I don’t have to organize the kids while I’m there, just shuffle them from event to event. We have about 4 hours of free time every afternoon and the kids love roaming the camp with each other. And I don’t even have to stay in the cabin with them, as the family has a hotel type room up there. Good times all around!


Last evening we watched the opening ceremonies to the Olympics and I was frankly blown away. I’ve never been a fan of them, as they are usually way too vague to understand, full of post-modern symbols that supposedly communicate unity and good will. Even I appreciated the artistic direction and the unity of the performers moving as one unit. But the thing I can’t get past is the fact that the IOC is allowing China to push forward a picture of their country that just isn’t accurate. Their human rights stance is well known throughout the world, as well as their involvement in Sudan. It’s also amazing how much lack of freedom the people are allowed.

At one point in the ceremony, the narrator said that something was symbolizing the two great walls China had. I automatically thought, “The Great Wall and the Firewall the government has set up to keep information and ideas out of the country.” What’s even more amazing is that this firewall that keeps info out of the country has been extended to the Olympic Village.

They also had a part where they were giving recognition to three religions in their country- Confucius, Buddhism, and something else. What was ironic is that they are completely intolerant of any other kinds of religion. Interesting side note, if anyone has seen that pastor guy who locked himself in hotel room in
China and is doing demonstrations over youtube.com. Well, I think I may have a connection. This past Sunday someone in my church pulled me aside and said that a friend of theirs who was a pastor was going to go to China and do something to raise awareness of the persecution of the Church in China. Turns out the guy in the hotel room is from this area. So I think its the same guy. Not sure what he’s really accomplishing…

As most of you have heard, we had a little shaker here a couple weeks ago. It was my second somewhat momentous earthquake since I’ve been out here. I haven’t felt the others, but this one couldn’t be avoided. I was working at the time and there is nothing like the uncertainty of a earthquake to shake your core. Your first thought is, ‘Here we go!’, quickly followed by the thought, “Is this the big one?!” It started off as a slow wave, then a few big jerks. Its a wonderful reminder that nothing is for sure outside of God, not even the ground you stand upon. Reminds me of Psalm 20 and placing our faith in God alone.
Manny Follows Nomar

Another interesting development in the last few weeks was Manny Ramirez getting traded out here. You would have thought that the Dodgers had be guaranteed a World Series appearance by Manny being traded here. Granted, they didn’t really give anything up, but they only have him for the rest of the season, and he can’t pitch, which is something they will be lacking. It’s funny how everyone out here teased me for Manny being on my team. Only seems just that he now plays for them. When he came in he said that he wanted to play here the rest of his life. Today, the news came out that he wants to play for the Yankees to get back at the Red Sox. Well, that lasted a week, huh? He also said that he was going to cut his hair, and I told people not to hold their breath. I’m saying he doesn’t. A week has passed, and its still there.

A Prayer Request

Yesterday, the door bell rang and Leah found our neighbor at the door asking for anointing oil or holy water. Confused, Leah said we didn’t really do that. Apparently, his pregnant sister-in-law is in the hospital, and she’s leaking water. And one of the nurses had the nerve to tell her that she had a curse inside of her and needed it taken care of. What kind of nurse says that?! Well, they are Asian, and the hospital is largely Asian, so there may be a lot of cultural things happening there. We appreciate your prayers for her. The family above us, we believe, are Christians, but we aren’t really sure where they are at. They are confused and scared through this process.


For those of you who remembered, there was a Dharma ad in the last show and they had you enter your email address. They were doing ‘recruiting’ this past weekend in San Diego, which happened to be Comic Con, also. Here is a video that was shown:

The text in the email said this:

As many of you may be aware there have been a number of security breaches in recent days related to the nature of the Dharma Initiative’s latest research.
Apart from the leak of a sensitive internal communication there was also the unauthorized release of confidential video documentation during a sponsored panel discussion with the makers of the TV show “LOST” at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego. Consequently, the person responsible for this breach, a promising recruit by the name of Dan Bronson, has been expelled from the volunteer program and had his Dharma Initiative membership permanently revoked. Furthermore, the Dharma Initiative has withdrawn their sponsorship from “LOST”.
The Dharma Initiative must stress that the video material leaked at Comic-Con 2008 was viewed entirely out of context. Furthermore, the way in which the material was presented utterly distorted its significance and credibility as scientific data.
The Dharma Initiative is extremely disappointed with this outcome and has ordered a security audit of all departments. As part of this audit the DharmaWantsYou recruiting website will undergo a security upgrade in the next few days.
Upon completion of this upgrade a date will be announced for the official commencement of Volunteer Assessments.
All recruits are reminded that the unauthorized release of confidential information pertaining to the details of your activities within the Dharma Initiative will result in instant dismissal from the volunteer program

Hans Van Eeghen
Head of Recruiting
The Dharma Initiative

I honestly haven’t even read this, or watched the video, due to lack of time. But enjoy!


4 comments on “Random Thoughts Before I Depart for Hume

  1. izikavazo says:

    I have a theory about that video, come read about it here: http://ncjl.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/ssdc-09-daniel-charlottes-father/
    – Izi

  2. BethsMomToo says:

    I thought the Opening Ceremony was like nothing I had ever seen before! I think our Western minds still don’t understand much of Asian culture, even though so many Asian-Americans have become friends. (I did know a little about the flying thing this time.)

    But I, also, was amazed at their promotion of a history Communism has sought to eliminate! When they proudly showed their “religious heritage”, I nearly fell off the couch! You could almost have forgotten Communism’s atheism.

    Both Dad & I had mixed feelings about the 2008 drummers, dancers, etc. We were amazed by their precision, but found it kind of creepy. Our American culture is just too individualistic for me to enjoy watching thousands of faceless people moving in unison. I was picturing the End Times in my mind.

    We also cringed when the smiling children offered the Chinese flag to the goose-stepping military. I doubt China appreciates how uncomfortable US & European people are with “goose-stepping”!

  3. Beth says:

    It was a pretty interesting opening ceremony. They get the award for the most synchronized people. I thought the theme of different religions was interesting and was it just me or was environmentalism presented as the most recent religion?

    Here’s some interesting tidbits- one of the fireworks displays (I only saw part of the entire program) were actually fake. The NBC commentators made some comment about them being “almost artifically generated”, but it was actually all computer generated. A team of people spent a year creating the fake fireworks display.

    Also, remember that adorable little girl singing in the red dress at the begining? They had a nation-wide contest for girls to try out to sing this part, but the girl that “won” the part was actually singing behind the scenes and the one shown on TV was lip synching. They declared the girl who was chosen as “not sufficiently cute” to sing it AND show her face. Apparently, she had crooked teeth. I saw a picture of her- and she is cute- what little girl isn’t? Could you imagine how you would handle that if you were her mother? Your girl is excited about being the chosen one, then when the time comes she isn’t wearing the pretty dress, her hair isn’t being done, and she is hidden under the stage- what a nightmare! An example when the “good fo the people” is not more important than the “good of the individual”. I would rather have “endured” her crooked teeth than to realize that she was hidden away.

  4. izikavazo says:

    I’m really enjoying this whole culture collision thing between the western world and China. Here we are outraged or at least surprised that China would censor/edit things like that. And over there they are wondering what the big deal is, they probably do this kid of thing all the time and no one cares.

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