Sunday, April 25, 2010

On The Move Again (And Could Use Your Help) / Summary of "Portland or Bust"

While some of you will possibly read all of "Portland or Bust," I know there are others who don't have the time or don't want to read that much. So I'll get to the point in this one, I got asked to join the organization, These Numbers Have Faces. These Numbers Have Faces focuses on work in South Africa, please check out their website and see some of the amazing work they're doing.

While I'm excited about heading out to Portland to work with them, I have to ask for help from my friends and family. The position, like many with non-profits and like my time with YWAM, is unpaid. I like trying to be self-sustaining and don't find it easy to ask for help, but in this situation, I need to let go of my pride and simply come to any of you who read this and ask for some help during my time out there. My initial stay will be 5 months (May - September) but could increase. I hope to find some work that pays so I can pay for my own expenses, but will need some help until then. If you would be willing to donate to my work with These Numbers Have Faces, please email me at I can give you information about making tax-deductible donations.

I will also be looking for prayer. It always helps to know people are supporting you and thinking about you. It's very encouraging and means a lot to me, to know people are willing to take time out of their day to ask God to guide me in my work.

The best ways to keep in touch with me will be through Facebook, email and this blog. I hope to update it more often. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Thank you all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Portland or Bust (Part 1)

I should increase my blogging. I used to have a lot of fun with it, but it seems like interesting things don't happen much when I'm home. I find myself dulled out by the increasingly boring nature of New Kensington (30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh) and the frustration of a job that wrecks me daily and tears at me as I wonder if I'll actually get to do what I went to school for, or if I'm doomed to be another nameless face who gets lost in the monotony of the hated job.

It sucks that this is the reality for so many. I don't think people should hate their jobs but if times are hard and new jobs are scarce in your town, you will probably take what you can get, especially if it pays well. This has been my reality since August. It was so much the job itself that I disliked, but there were so many underlying factors that it'd be pointless to get into them all right now. The environment that I was in was surprisingly difficult to handle and brought out some bitterness, the lack of human interaction took it's toll and my time spent secluded to oneself starts to get to you. It started to get to me. I was looking for a way out.

I have heard it said that I am someone who gets an idea in their head, decides they want to try to go through with that idea, and then actually goes about trying to make that happen, regardless of some of the consequences that could potentially follow. I'd never actually looked at my decisions that way before, my decisions with my life that is, what I wanted to do and so on. I guess it's true though. I jumped into YWAM because I had the idea in my head that I wanted to do it, so I made it happen (with the help of so many wonderful, amazing people who stood behind me and supported my vision). Even before YWAM, there was music. I wanted to be in a band, so I was in a band. I wanted to tour, so we toured. I didn't look at whatever else was happening around me, I looked at the music and how much I enjoyed it. I looked at how I could further engulf myself into music, and I made it happen.

Maybe this is why the past few months have been hard. I finally was seeing things NOT happen that I was really trying to be apart of. In no offense to anyone, not even the city of Pittsburgh, I didn't come home expecting to be here a year. When I got home from YWAM in June, I expected to have left again by September.

Circumstances changed and doors were closed and so then I thought it'd actually be nice to be home for the holidays, so I was planning to leave after Christmas. I threw all of my marbles into this one idea and really thought I was going to be leaving on New Years for a new adventure, something to awaken my ever fading soul. I felt like my world had shattered when that too had fallen through and that door was closed. At that point, I thought I might be settling back into Pittsburgh life. It didn't feel right, settling into life because of failed circumstances. Something I was still restless, still seeking adventure or something new. I felt I was still young enough to keep going after my dreams and making them realities. There was so much of the world that I wanted to explore, so much of just America that I wanted to experience. Everything inside of me was screaming at me, yelling,

"this isn't right! There's something more for you! Don't give in because things haven't been working out the way you thought they would, there's more happening!"
Those voices grew quieter and quieter as January passed into February.

During my time with YWAM/The Redemption Project, I got in touch with this young non-profit from Portland called These Numbers Have Faces. They were relatively new, as far as I could tell, and seemed like maybe they needed some help. I was really intrigued by their work in South Africa and wanted to see if they needed any work done that I could help with. I got in touch with their founder, Justin, and we spoke on the phone for a while about various different things, including on-topic discussions about how my resources could be used for their benefit but nothing much came from it. I stayed in contact with them while in YWAM and followed their work.

Upon arriving home in last summer, I was back in touch with them, hearing they needed some work done editing some footage together for a promo piece. They sent me some footage and direction for the editing and I put it together for them. We stayed in much closer contact this time around, adding the working relationship into the mix, even though it was long distance. Around winter, I was told that These Numbers Have Faces was going to be looking into getting some interns, and they were going to be looking for a video intern. I asked to be kept in the loop. I had kind of forgotten about it till I got a text in either late February or early-March from Justin saying I should consider their internship program they were starting in May. So I applied, and just a few weeks ago was told that I had been accepted and was asked to move to Portland.

All this to say, I'm headed out for a new adventure. I will be working as a video intern for These Numbers Have Faces for the next 5 months, and that number 5 isn't a steady number. It can grow. I am excited to offer my skills and education to TNHF and for the adventure of going to Portland (and eventually South Africa, I hope!). I will be driving to Portland from Pittsburgh, so I even get to see more of America, as I had hoped I would. If you would like to be a part of this new experience with me, there are a few ways you can do this.

1. I like being self-sufficient and it's hard for me to ask for help, even from my friends. However, in order for me to sustain myself in Portland, I need to ask for help with finances. $10-$20/month from 35 people would sustain me. My total fees will run around $2500 for the full 5 months. I will be looking for paying work as well while I'm out there, hopefully on video/film shoots. If you are willing to donate though, you can donate directly to me, or you can donate through the organization and receive a tax-deduction for your donation. I'll explain more at the end.

2. Prayer. Just as important as finances is prayer. To know that I have people who care enough to take time out of their day to ask for God's strength, guidance and wisdom for myself is really an incredible feeling. Regardless of what faith you have, any prayer is appreciated.

3. Email & this blog. You can join my email list ( email me and say you want to be added) and you can check out this blog from time to time, which I hope to update much more frequently than I have been the past few months. If you have questions, please feel free to get in touch with me.

I hope you will consider being a part of this next chapter in my life in one or more of the ways I mentioned above. Those of you who have supported me in one of these ways in the past, I can't thank you enough for what you have done. It truly means so much to me to have people who believe in the work that I'm doing.

If you would like to make a donation, please email me at and I will send you back information on how to go about doing so.

Also - Please check out and see the amazing work These Numbers Have Faces is doing in South Africa. I am very excited to be working with them. Thanks everyone!