Friday, September 28, 2012

the office!

the office: brad, alisha, me, jean, mike, rob, david
alyssa, and jaspreet

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Morning's Mercies

I remember my affliction and my wandering
the bitterness and the gall.
I will remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3:19-24

I did this devotion this week, remembering the anniversary of Boone's death:

"Looking back over the years, we have all had our share of trials. We have experienced loss in one form or another. But as the years ended, it was always like a chapter in a book. It would end and a new one would begin that says - I awoke to a new day, one that is filled with hope for a better future … one that is beyond the horizon."
"His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) This is our reminder to live life one day at a time. God did not say every year, but he said every morning. So look with anticipation to His grace that is sufficient for today and tomorrow will take care of itself." (from
My favorite place in Colchester where I spent some time remembering Boone on Sept 22. Lamentations didn't say to forget the past, only to look forward to the future. I'll always miss him, but at least I can be promised compassion from the Lord with every coming day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why eMi?

     Many people have asked why don't I get a paid job? Why not get IDP (internship development program) credit? Why not move to my boyfriend? Why not design something that will be famous? (besides the obvious answer to this one…) etc. etc.

     To answer these questions is quite simple: Because God has called me to eMi. He said in Philippians 2:7 that we should be like Christ who, "made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant." So in trying to imitate Him, I am giving up the things that everyone expects of me, and serving a missionary who will help the poorest of the poor. I have a lifetime ahead of me to make money for survival, but right now I have the support of over 30 donors, who were willing to give up their money to send me here so that I can do work for free. The people that benefit from our work make less than $2 a day. In fact, 2.9 billion people in this world live on less than $2 a day!! So for me, a paying job certainly isn't necessary right now. God is providing and God will continue to provide.
     Architects have the ability to change the way people live, yet so many choose to design monuments to their own egos. Architects can offer their services to design housing to people without homes, hospitals to communities without sanitary health conditions, schools where children have no place to learn, churches where congregations have no place to worship, or rehab centers with resources to teach people the skills needed to make it on their own. Architects can design efficient passive heating and cooling systems for those without electricity. They can design restrooms to replace holes covered with flies and breeding diseases. They can recommend cheaper and more effective building materials and longer lasting construction methods. They can design buildings sturdy enough to withstand hurricanes or earthquakes, saving lives and hard-earned money. They can do SO MUCH MORE with their degrees than crumpling up paper as inspiration for the next materially excessive arts center that will cost millions and only be used 3 nights a week. And there is a HUGE need out there that has only begun to be reached by organizations such as eMi. So…I am choosing to help. I know it won't help the whole world, but it's my calling as  Christian to do what I can. Maybe not long term, but for as long as the Lord asks.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Do it with thy might!

     An update for those who don't know: due to really unfortunate visa issues, I will not be able to go on my project trip to Uganda. Although I'm disappointed, I try to keep in mind Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." So I know that as long as I am letting Him take control and doing work for the glory of His name, He will be working things out for good! For those of you wondering, the portion of donations that were set aside for the project trip will be used for a later project trip by myself or an intern who wasn't able to raise enough money themselves. So, it will all be well spent!
     Not going to Uganda means that I will be working in Colchester all Fall, instead! The architect that I'm working with, Rob, will still spend 2 weeks in Uganda meeting our clients and scoping out the project site, while I work from our home base. Until then, however, we will be finishing up a project that was started by the Summer group...eMi's 1000th project!!! The project is a rehabilitation center and housing for disabled orphans. Unfortunately, Thailand tends to do little to help orphans and even less for the disabled. In fact, in some parts, the disabled are believe to have gotten that way due to something terrible they did in a past life. Luckily, Christian organizations such as Christian Care Foundation (CCD) have been founded to love and house those disabled orphans. More than that, CCD helps transition children into adult life through rehabilitation and skill development. To do this, though, they need more room! And that's where eMi comes in...
     The summer interns did an awesome job of designing new buildings for CCD's use, and now Rob and I get to complete the details of the design and create a packet for the clients so that it can be built! Over the next 3-4 weeks we will work on facade design, phasing strategies, and construction documents. It will be a great way to get back in the hang of designing and drawing after a summer off!

Colchester Baptist Church: where we work!

our office

I wonder what English hotdogs would be...

 some parts of colchester remind me of Disney World...

The gates to Colchester Castle: Do it With Thy Might!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Keep Calm and...

You know these signs?
     Well, it didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't just a popular trend on pinterest. Apparently it comes from propaganda during WWII and the British love it. There are Keep Calm and (insert anything you can imagine here) posters all over the place!
     In addition to Keep Calm and Eat BBQ or Drink Wine posters, we got to see a lot of downtown Colchester for the first time on Friday. The eMi office is in the Colchester Baptist Church and, although it is small, it looks great! We will finally start to work on Tuesday once we're all settled into our new 'flat'. When we went to church at Colchester Baptist this morning everyone welcomed us as the new interns. It was so weird to know all of these people have been praying for and expecting us and we didn't even know about it!

interns in front of Colchester Baptist's very blue door

Colchester, Essex

    Colchester is Britain's first Roman city and also somewhat of a college town with two universities nearby. The Colchester castle was built on an old Roman fort so it's really just history on top of history here. I was expecting a much smaller town, but it was pretty large and very very busy! I think there is only one really modern building here, and it was designed by New York architect Rafael Vinoly! You can see it here.

Colchester Castle

High Street

     We are lucky enough to have awesome staff here including the director Mike and his wife Marietta and engineer Brad and his wife Alisha. We have also really enjoyed getting to know Brad and Alisha's adorable boys, who are just as sweet as can be! It's nice to have this fellow American family around when we're missing home!

Brad and Alisha's boys