Welcome To My World!

In this blog I will give you a glimpse of what I'm doing in Los Angeles this year and I'll keep you updated with all of my experiences with the other Dwellers in Door Hollywood.

Location: 5846 Gregory Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

N e w S e a s o n

My Week at Stony Point Center in New York is one that I will never forget. Although I seriously went through some intense culture shock because of the age groups and belief systems, I still had tons of laughs and made great friends that I hope to keep in contact with until we meet again at the end of the year. It's nice to see that I am part of something so much bigger! I have really had an amazing time getting to know my roommates and I already feel like I've known them forever. I met Jenn, Britney, and Eva at Stony Point (and of course, I already knew Nathan) and we had the most amazing time getting to know each other and being in awe of how carefully our site coordinator [prayerfully] made up this new and beautiful household.

Today I woke up and I was in Hollywood. 

It's weird to even think about it. I walked outside and it was sunny and the weather was perfect. I met ben adam and Tyler last night. They too fell perfectly into our group and I can already tell that the seven of us are going to have the most amazing year. 

Our first activity was to walk to Hollywood First Presbyterian Church which owns the community house and the duplex we stay at- live in. It was a fun walk. The air was thick with a blanket of pollution and every car that passed by made it harder for me to breathe in or to even take another step, but the graffiti was a sight to see. The temperature was perfect and I think I could get used to the air. At the end of our street- about a block away- is Paramount Pictures and it is really cool to just walk past it all the time and seeing signs such as "Dr. Phill..." blah blah... Stage 24 and stuff like that. We are really in the midst of celebrity culture and it is a bit odd and shocking. We turn a corner and there we can see the Hollywood sign sitting on a hill in the distance. 

We got to the church, met the pastors and the board of directors and had some fun chatting and getting to know them and time flew by- next we knew we were already home.  

Activity number two involved grocery shopping. First time. We had to shop for two days and take into account everybody's taste. We did pretty good with the latter, but we did end up buying for more than two days. This was a no budget shopping time and it was our last chance for the rest of the year to treat ourselves with comfort food and at the same time buy what is necessary to live here in community. It was an interesting activity. 

Our third activity involved actually sitting down and going through the handbook and orientation procedures which was actually kind of nice in my opinion. Learning what we (DOOR) are here for and where we came from is a good way to start my first day in LA. Alayna lead this group activity and she has been great at it. She is a past dweller (2010-2011) and we are all grateful for her. 

Sheldon, one of the past dwellers from a few years ago cooked our dinner. She made tacos that actually looked like real tacos and not the typical american commercialized tacos from Taco (H / B)ell!  We ate outside- some community friends had come and joined us and we had a great time laughing together and sharing stories. It's been nice to speak some real Spanish with Latinos again. It actually feels like I am an Latin America- a mix of the culture, language, people, and the way the buildings look! It's like I'm in a Spanish novela on Telemundo and I am loving every moment of it. 

Some of the things I've learned today:

1) I might be a vegeterian by the end of the year with some help- let's see how this goes. 
2) I might not be a germophobe by the end of the year with the help of my roommates- again, lets see how this goes. 
3) Just because I can dance doesn't mean that I can play "Just dance" on the Wii and ever win. 
4) God is testing me. 
5) It's going to be an amazing year.

Friday, August 26, 2011

S e l f C a r e

As dramatic as this might sound, this has been one of the best weeks of my life so far. I can't believe it is only the beginning to this amazing adventure. As I look to the side I see a community of young adults playing Frisbee, laying on the grass, going out for walks, sitting around having tea, and hanging out like a beautiful, united, miniature society.

I am having so much trouble reflecting and documenting what I have experienced here because it has been so big and so great. I promise more detail in the future. I have learned so much in the past few days to the point where it has been overwhelming.

Here's a list of some of the things I've learned-

1) We are all in this together. We all chose to serve God and to serve God's people and the same fear, anxiety, and excitement that I am feeling, my neighbor is feeling as well.

2) There are tons of amazing people in the world and I kind of just want to meet them all. I've made such great friends in such a short time and I rejoice in God's creativity when forming people.

3) I need to take care of myself first before anybody else. Before I give myself to people I must make sure I have a self to give.

4) I need to stop denying the voices in my head in order to get rid of them as a whole.

5) God is at work in my life and his picture of the plans he has for me is way bigger than what I thought he was painting.

6) I need to start taking notes in order to start avoiding cheap lists and to make my blogs a bit more reflective of what I'm actually experiencing.

7) It's going to be a great year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

M i g h t y Y o u n g

I opened my eyes to a bright, warm, light shining on my face. My eyes adjust to the light and I think to myself, "Where the heck am I?". Then my memory started replaying the previous day and I realized I was at Stony Point and that my life had just began changing.
At first I didn't know how I felt about it but as my day went on things only got better and better. I have to admit- there have been a few times when I just want to go for a run because the lower part of my body cannot handle the sitting any longer and my brain cannot retain any more information, but it is helping me build patience.
During the bible study time we were under the topic of "Called to Follow" and were introduced to different times in the Word when people such as Mary, Jeremiah, Moses, Ruth, etc. were called to follow and what obstacles they faced when they were called. We had to choose one story and answer questions about it on a worksheet and I immediately decided Jeremiah. Gut reaction.
The passage was Jeremiah 1: 4-10 and that was a verse that really spoke to me. I have been struggling with the fact that out of all of the people in this orientation, I am one of the two people who are 18 years old and just graduated from High School. Everybody else is older than me and I have been struggling with it because I don't want people to shove me into the box of "He's just a kid" or "You're so immature" or even "How's it going BUDDY!". The Lord said to Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah said just what I was thinking,
Stony Point, NY locator map
6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
YHWH spoke.
9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.

This brought me such comfort! I don't think I have to explain how clearly the Lord is speaking to me. Now, I have nothing to fear. I'm embracing that I am young because I have a Mighty God who is backing me up and passing the burning coal through my lips.
The rest of the day has had its ups and downs and I am expecting the same for the rest of the week. Between forced interaction with the other YAV/Dwellers and SOME boring times in seminars I can say that I have had a few moments that I have dreaded but all the good has over shadowed. it. Feeling like a black sheep is only part of becoming part of a developing intentional community. Besides, all of the negative parts have been overshadowed with lots of clapping and singing during worship, laughter with new friends, amazing weather (you should be jealous actually), great food, fun new people, great facilities, and the list goes on. I am starting to get comfortable and I am super excited for Monday when my time to enter DOOR Hollywood as Dweller approaches.
Thank you so much to all of you who have kept in contact and/or have supported me this whole time. Your donations have been for an amazing cause, I promise, and are appreciated. I still have quite a bit to go with my fundraising but I know that I have a lot of people out there that have big hearts who will continue to support me, spiritually and financially. Also, God is amazingly faithful so I am not too scared. ;)

Make checks payable to “DOOR”
In the memo line write “DOOR-Hollywood, Isaiah R.”
Send checks to:
DOOR-National Office
430 West 9th Avenue
Denver CO 80204
Credit Card:
By phone: Call the DOOR National Office at 303-295-3667 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            303-295-3667      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      .
Online: Click the donate button from the front page of the DOOR website. In the description
field, type “DOOR-Hollywood, Isaiah R.”
Financial Due Date: August 25th, 2011                         *All Donations are tax deductible.

I had to throw that in, just in case.
The Lord is definitely at work up here at Stony Point and the YAV staff is definitely doing a great job at training us and teaching us how to be more prepared for what we are getting into. Greater things are yet to come and the Lord is making me stronger and transforming me into a Mighty Young one to work out there in his kingdom.