September 6, 1998 – Sunday – 9:39 a.m.

It’s been three years now since Syndi and I went to Deep Creek.  That night with her, just sitting and talk in her car, still remains one of the most amazing conversations of my life.  I can in no way remember what was said, but only that it made an impression upon my soul.

Friday night’s youth service went really well, and we are having our first drama meeting on Wednesday night.  These kids are amazing.  I can’t believe God gave me this beautiful family so early after arriving to a new land.

Yesterday, Nicole and a girl named Patricia and I went up to my Grandparent’s house for lunch and to do some filming for a video project we have due.  We had such a good time. My grandparents were great hosts.

Last night I went over to Mary Jo’s and April’s since they were having a get-together.  I met some new people and we laughed the whole night.

The God that I love today is the same God who loved me and watched over me in my youth.  Even then, he knew.

I talked with Josh and Jessica over the weekend.  Josh was such an inspiration to me.  He also seemed lonely.  He misses me and I miss him.  He said things are different at Lees-McRae.  He said I was able to join all the people together and he can tell a difference now that I’m not there.  I told him that he should make the effort to bring people together.  We prayed and he admitted that perhaps it was him and not the others.  He says he feels really insecure and he’s not sure the others want to be his friend.

I do miss Lees-McRae, but I know that is not where I supposed to be right now.  I know without a doubt that is was where God wanted me for the days between August 28, 1994 and May 10, 1998.

And he has set these days here at Regent aside for me now.

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September 2, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:56 p.m.

Another September 2nd has come and gone again.  Already September.  Ten days until the six year anniversary of that night in the balcony with Ryan and the others watching Jason perform two roles in Camelot.

Such good days.

Monday classes were fun.  I have definitely found my place and can that God destined me to attend this school here and now so long ago.  Tuesday afternoon I went to see Saving Private Ryan again, only this time with two girls I met at the swing club, Chris and Nicole.  Nicole is 24 and Chris is 22.  After class on Monday, Nicole and I walked back to the Regent Apartments together.  It is long trail through the woods and we had a nice chat.  And after the movie yesterday, we hung out together in Nicole’s apartment for a while, just talking about movies.

I got an email from Sarah.  She says she went to Banner Elk Christian Fellowship on Sunday and plans to continue.  That is a good thing.  She seems to be doing okay, but her email had an echo of loneliness in it.

I sent Doc an email, just thanking her for Lees-McRae and telling her what was going on. She sent a lovely poem back to me and said she posted that email for all to read.

I purchased the widescreen version of Titanic yesterday and watched it last night with Matt.

I couldn’t help but think of my days with Sarah.

I miss the sound of her voice.

August 26, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:21 p.m.

Hurricane Bonnie is on her way.  I am not afraid.

My encounter with Rachel was a good one.  We talked about 30 minutes.  She knows I’m at Parkway and she knows some kids out there.  She said she might come out on Friday nights.

There was a bombing in Cape Town yesterday.  It seems like the world is about to explode.

I awoke this morning to a note from Matt on my bathroom mirror saying he had to leave in the middle of the night to go on a secret mission.  He won’t be back until Sunday night. I’ve decided I think Matt is a little weird.

Last night I called Tracey, Lindy, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Dan, Vince, and Ashley from Lees-McRae.  They started their classes today.  How strange it is that I am not there.  I miss them all so much.

God please be with me here.  Let me grow and prosper.  Bring people to me that I can minister to and bring me to people who can minister to me.

I love you God.

I need you.

August 16, 1998 – Sunday – 9:10 a.m.

I called Sharon last night, left a message and she called me back.

I miss them so much.  All that is in that house is what I want for my own life.  Sharon told me how Hannah is taller than Laura now, that Hannah cooks breakfast sometimes and can crack an egg with one hand.

It is August again.  I know exactly how Lees-McRae and Banner Elk feel this time of year. RA training begins tomorrow, but without me for the first time in three years.  I remember my first room there, the window, the view of the ground, and that old spoon that someone threw out.

I called Abigail two nights ago at her house in Tega Cay, SC.  We had such a nice talk and she really seemed to genuinely care about me.  She was so happy that I called and she said my name they way she used to say it.  I love the way she says it.

I do have some good friends on this planet.  Thank you God.

Yesterday was a great day.  I worked with Dawn, a beautiful girl who just turned 18 and graduated from high school.  She is engaged.  It was only the two of us working yesterday.  She seemed to open up to me a little bit.  I pray I can have a good friend in her.  I pray that when classes begin I can meet some people close to my age that my spirit really connects with.

I went to the movies alone yesterday.  I saw The Mask of Zorro.  It was alright, but Saving Private Ryan and The Truman Show are the best movies I’ve seen this year.

I’ve been writing a lot recently.  I want to be in another show.  It feels like I’m starving, not having a project to work on.

Today is the last day I will ever be 21-years-old.

Time to go enjoy it!

July 28, 1998 – Tuesday – 8:30 a.m.

We went to a pretty awesome church service Sunday morning.  I sat with a girl named Amber there and back.  We had some cool talks.  That afternoon we had a cookout and visited with some missionaries from South Africa.

The Lord laid something on my heart that night and I called Sarah’s home in Winston-Salem.  She was at Lees-McRae though.  She went up there to see Starqueen and visit her friends.  So I called Ann-Marie’s room and she was there.  When we talked it was as if we were strangers and had nothing in common.  I told her that when I was with her I wasn’t a complete person and I’m sorry for any thing I did.

She just basically said “okay.”

We visited a lion park on Monday and I got the chance to play with some huge lion cubs.  One bit me on my bicep.  I have a scar.  It was awesome!  We then went shopping and I bought a bracelet similar to the one PK wears in The Power of One.

We had a funny little “Christmas in July” party last night.  Everyone thinks it is cold here, but it feels just like a Banner Elk summer.  But I guess July is the cold season in the Southern Hemisphere.

While in the lion park, I spent most of my time with Jessica.  She is the sweetest girl.  She’s 17 and from Georgia.  We shared some nice conversations and I thank God for her daily.

I’ve discovered that I have a lot of pride in my life.  It keeps me from listening and learning from other people.  Before I leave here I want to give all that pride away to God. I fear it keeps me from growing.

I love this mission thing.  Teen Mania functions in a way that I can’t relate to, but I have molded to its ways.

I’m looking forward to the world of film.  I want that to be my mission field.  I hope I can understand that world.  I just want to know my Jesus and understand him better and share him with those who haven’t heard of his love.

I am now on a bus and in just a minute or two we will be headed to Piet Retief in South Africa.  It is about a five or six hour bus ride.  Later on we will drive into Swaziland.  “It’s a whole other country,” to quote Forrest Gump.  I’m excited for the long bus ride!  I just want to stare out the window.  After our final ministry days, we will go on a full out African Safari!

Not much time is left.  Only about a week and a day.  I have many plane rides to look forward to and a new job waiting on my when I return.  But for now, I’m in Africa.  I don’t know when I’ll be back, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

Humble me God.  Melt my pride.  I just want you.  Thank you for these days.  You are so big and I am so small.

You are all I have.

You are all I need.

You are all I want.

July 3, 1998 – Friday – 4:03 p.m.

Matt and I went to the birthday party with David yesterday.  The girl’s name is Christina and she is turning 34.  Everyone there was what I would call a “spirit-filled revivalist” and we spent five hours praying for each other and in worship.  My body was shaking most of the night.  I was told I have a gift of prophetic intersession and I had a word from the Lord for two people that night.  I was prayed over about four different times and God told me that me being at Regent was not a mistake and it was just the beginning.  Those who prayed for me had fire in their hands, I could feel it.

God moved so much last night.  I made so many new friends and they’re so much older than me.  I’m looking forward to learning so much from them.

What a different world from Lees-McRae, where I was the only charismatic Christian who spoke in tongues until Abigail and Ann-Marie showed up.  But we never got together and prayed for each other like the group last night did.

I talked to my mom last night and she said God was rewarding me to staying faithful to his spirit during my time at Lees-McRae.  Most Christian families I spent time with during my time at Lees-McRae weren’t really “spirit-filled revivalists,” but they sure knew how to love each other and love me in a very practical way.  Perhaps God is showing me the best of both worlds to make me a complete person.

I’m amazed at how he cares for and provides for me.

June 30, 1998 – Tuesday – 10:39 p.m.

I wrote a bit this morning, and then I left for the beach to go ahead and get the tourist in me out of my system.  It worked.  I feel like a resident now.

I bought a beach towel and everything and tried to play the part, but it just wasn’t my thing to do.  I took a walk.  The waves were beautiful, but I couldn’t really see them due to all the people being in the way.  I couldn’t really see the sand either since that too was covered in people.  Folks were just putting themselves in a baking oven; I couldn’t believe.  I saw white folks today who were darker than Marcus.  I walked to the end of the boardwalk and had a perfect glass of lemonade, but then I got out of there as fast as I could.

I cooked hamburgers and fries this evening.  Matt and I watched Citizen Kane, and then I went for a walk.  I took a new sidewalk that ended up leading to the far side of campus.  I walked through the campus by the CBN Headquarters.  There was so many giant satellite dishes, I just stood in amazement.  Then I found another trail that wound through some trees and ended up behind the library, which I had never been to before.  There was a sculpture of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, it was so beautiful.

I enjoy walking.

Now that I actually have a car, I do drive it, but there is just something about walking.  It feels like the land is yours when you take the time to walk over every inch of it.

Banner Elk and Lees-McRae felt like mine, but they belong to others now.

This place will be mine very soon.