Friday, May 21, 2010

I love lists...


Top 10 New Things About Me

  1. I finally watched the Chuck Pilot and am hooked (thanks Serah)

Last night Yvita streamed 2 episodes for me of the first season and I can’t wait to go home and catch up!

  1. I want to be a poet. The Lord has been renewing this gift in me.
  2. Eating raw and vegetarian is fun and a good health but I want to be flexible and I wanna enjoy life.
  3. I learned (maybe re-learned) that cream cheese and sour cream in French is:

fromage à la crème and crème fraiche
Also, poulet is chicken, dinde is turkey and stay away from jambon!

  1. How to be flexible…like really how to not take changes personally
  2. I’m obsessed with Misty Edwards new album: Fling Wide
  3. I hate being in the backseat. I wanna be in the action!
  4. I’m learning how to let go and let others learn.
  5. I tried to detox from coffee. I went 2 weeks with only drinking it on Shabbat and at staff nights (Tuesday). Outreach ruined me. I’m an addict again.
  6. I’ve committed to Gateways for life but am taking a season away and not returning to GTS in 2011. =(
Bonus: Serah took me to Taco Bell in Cyprus...not AS good but close to home!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Ladies Behind the Information

The last couple of years I have been the Gateways CSI (central source of information) and this title has continued on into the Streams Events we have in Cyprus. The greeters welcome the guests but our job is to educate!


This year I have had the honor of co-infoing with Cas. She is a great asset and we both manage the information table where we sell worship CD’s and teaching recordings for the ministry. We also have sign up sheets, flyers, brochures with informative facts on the ministry.


One way we are helpful is directing people to the bathroom. I remember learning once that is the number one question people have. Ever since then I have quickly found out where the bathroom is so I can have that answer ready on hand!

We should be quick to instruct the attendees with our upcoming events, sign up sheets (Do you receive our emails? Well here’s how!), how to get to the Streams blog (www.streamscyprus.blogspot.com) and other data about the ministry that is included in our Gateways pamphlet.

One fun part of being apart of the info table is dressing up a bit, professionally that is. At the last Streams event, Chelsea and I matched. This last event I didn’t even talk to Cas about what I was wearing and we just naturally coordinated.

Its fun to be informative, helpful, edifying and greet the faces that are turning into names and friends on the island!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Israel Update


Dreams
I have dreamed of the GTS II trip
for 3 years now, hoping and
waiting for the opportunity to not
only visit the Holy Land but to
practically serve and be used to
bless the ministries that I have
grown to know and love through
Gateways. I really got to serve in
the way I was hoping and God
blessed me over and beyond my
expectations!

Day to Day
In the small things, just staying
in one place for a week and
slowly connecting to the people
at a grocery store or a neighbor
in the guest house. Just in the day
to day beauty of staring at Mount
of Zion and having a Pesach
Seder in Jerusalem. I come back
from Israel without words to
explain how much God did in
me. I met with Jesus in Jerusalem
and remembered the acceptance
of His salvation. I held beautiful
Sudanese refugee children,
scrubbed lots of kitchens and
helped cook a Pesach meal for
over 50 people! It was an intense,
yet exciting time that went by all
too fast.

Israel
Israel is a place that my heart
always seems gripped by the
Lord’s call on my life and His
voice seems so clear. I was
pushed in areas of leadership I
would have never attempted on
my own and know this season is
a season of growing in leadership
for me. And oh how I cherish
every moment of stretching and
challenge!

The Nations
We return to Cyprus for less than
2 months to regroup, encounter
the Lord and prepare for outreach
in May. GTS II will be going to
Geneva and neighboring
countries. I went to Europe on
outreach my first year and in
November of 2008, I spent a 6
week period in Geneva with
Gateways called “40 Days of
Fire.” The Lord is speaking
destiny and calling to me this
year, both in Israel and in
Europe. He is calling me to see
my portion in these nations.

Thank you for your continued support and prayer in areas of growth, finances and my time at home joining my family with Men As Trees Walking. I am still in need of $1000 for outreach and excited about all He has in store for me! Please note my personal blog that I update regularly as well as the GTS blog.

Personal Blog: www.aslovelyasme.blogsot.com
GTS Blog: www.gatewaysbeyond.org/gts2010

If you would like to give you can donate online at: www.gatewaysbeyond.org/donate.php

Donations by mail:
Send checks made out to "Gateways Beyond International" with a note that the donation is for me to:

PO BOX 155101
Ft. Worth, TX 76155
USA



Israel Shopping

One of the main skills and duties I hold at Gateways is cooking and more specific, on trips. This does not just mean working in the kitchen but includes budgeting, menu planning, grocery shopping and implementing the menu and cooking food. When people ask how I’m so good at cooking I always tell them I learned everything from my mama! Growing up all 3 of us enjoyed pitching in to cook, bake and grocery shop. I thought it was a normal part of life! Unfortunately in today’s day and age most people don’t learn to cook or even grow up eating home cooked meals! Thanks mom for keeping us cultured.


First we plan out how many days we are cooking/planning/shopping for. Then we make the plan. It usually looks like this:

Monday

B

L

D

I write one for each day to make a quick plan and it quickly fills up:

Monday

B – cereal, fruit, spreads

L – sandwiches, fruit, chips

D – enchiladas, beans, rice, pico


I always keep in mind that if we’re working a lot that week I try and put eggs or some kind of extra protein. We always have a salad and fruit in our day to keep our group strong and healthy! We will throw in fun snacks and desserts for special occasions but always make sure there are good and nutritional meals!


Then once I have all of the days planned out that I need (on trips usually just 3 or 4 days) I make a grocery list. Next, I have to get my budget from finances and they multiply the number of days by the amount of people and give me a figure. Usually I have the budget in mind when planning and have to be careful to not have too much meat and cheese everyday or else it get’s pricy! Luckily in Israel and Cyprus fruits and veggies are cheap and affordable!


Even though its hectic, grocery shopping is a fun privilege! We get really thrown in the culture, learn a lot about the language and spend some good QT with your shopping team.


The particular shopping day we documented was a very exciting time because we went during Pesach. So I had made a plan and menu but things I didn’t realize weren’t “kosher for Pesach” weren’t being sold, like soy sauce!


Stick to the list.


There will be lots of things that want to pull you away from your plan. Yes, you need to be flexible to sales and products not being available but the more you stick to the list the quicker and more efficient you’ll be. When items aren’t available or too expensive, quick substitutes are imperative. But don’t loose you’re cool, stress makes a shopping team a mess!


The 7 days after Pesach is the feast of unleavened bread where God told us not to eat any bread with leaven in it (like yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc). Read it in Exodus 12:15! But in Israel the rabbi’s have gone a little extreme and included pasta, some rice, couscous and those sorts of things. I always reference the Word of God in this case and use the Holy Spirit to bring conviction on the right sort of foods.



In Jerusalem, the grocery store had blocked off lots of shelves that contained “unkosher for Pesach” foods. A girl on the other team said they needed something and took it from behind the curtain and when the cashier tried to ring it up, there was an error on the register!


In the hurry of shopping, I lost my shopping cart. Met a creepy deli guy who kept dropping his cigarette from behind his ear INTO the meat we were buying and a sweet dairy worker.


The craziest part of my day was not being able to find cat food for the Wilks cat because they would only sell MATZAH CAT FOOD. It was so ridiculous and at the end of my shop that I began yelling at a grocery worker who didn’t speak English. I got ahold of myself, told him I was sorry and marched off in a huff.


Why can’t my cat have cat meat and what cat would possibly eat matzah??? I am sorry Lord for getting offended. Bless Israel.


After shopping, Chelsea met up with some students to do some souvenir shopping and I saw 2 Arab kids with a camel in the middle of an intersection, talking to a Jewish man.


I thought it would make an interesting photo even though it was through my window.


I can’t to do the shopping on outreach with Sarah in Geneva, Italy and France! Now I need to work on learning some French words…

Thursday, April 22, 2010

To: Achbal

Achbal

Abandoned and alone
There is nowhere to turn
For a moment you trust me

Creative and smart
Full of dreams and life
You stir me on

Rejection.

Broken wings
Yet, you teach me to fly

Genuine pain hidden deep
Yet your eyes hold hope
In a hopeless world

A taste of love
A treasure in the darkness
You fill my heart with joy

Despair.

Broken wings
Yet, you taught me to fly


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Creamed Eggs

I never seem to stray away from blogging about food. Don't worry I have plenty of pictures and stories from this Israel trip but the one I want to share right now is my country cooking, old family recipe. I don't -think- we do too much country cookin besides some good Chili and mashed poatoes, but maybe I'm wrong.

No matter what the occasion: birthday, Mother's/Father's Day or going away on another extended trip, Creamed Eggs is usually the breakfast to mark a special occasion in our house. Today's occasion was the last day of leaven before the feast of unleavened bread. It was a big deal for us yeast lovin Americans.

Ingredients:
Eggs, boiled (2 per person)
Buttery Biscuits (that's where the leaven comes in)
Butter
Flour
Milk
Mustard Powder
Salt and pepper

First you boil the eggs while you heat the oven. I made bisquick box biscuits since I was cooking for 20 people (recipe is on the side). When the eggs begin to boil cook for 7 minutes and then remove from heat. Let the eggs cool. While Julia peeled eggs I began to melt the butter. Once the butter was melted I added equal parts flour, stirring ferociously. Slowly I added about twice the amount of milk as butter/flour. Again keep stirring and don't stop until you remove it from heat or it will get all lumpy. Once the sauce is the consistency you want (a nice, thick gravy to put over eggs and biscuits that is) add some mustard powder, salt and pepper to taste. I actually used real mustard because I didn't have powder and the quantity of the powder may have made the sauce lumpy.


Everyone had time trying my mama's creamed eggs and told me over and over again how great it was!

video

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Under the chuppa dot com

If I were to ever put in a personal add it would go something like this...

Name: Xaundelle
Age: 23
Hometown: Duncanville, TX
Fav Scripture: To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

Going strong in her fifth year with the community, Xaundelle keeps everyone organized as the office administrator, as well as being in charge of all student birthday celebrations and serving as an RA for the second year girls. She loves sitting in on the student's classes and building relationships with them. Back in the states, Xaun works on her degree and travels with her family and the rest of Men as Trees Walking, a Messianic Jewish prophetic worship band. She desires to feed the homeless and extend mercy to the poor. Aside from her dreams to one day be a proficient gourmet cook, Xaundelle would also love to sail around the world.

Thanks Chelsea for an awesome staff profile on the GTS blog (click here to see the real thing)!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baked Eggplant Parmesean with Alfredo (or in this case, Pink) Sauce

Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Alfredo Sauce
by Rachel Potter and Xaundelle Aguirre

Serving size: 6


Alfredo Sauce

2-3 Cloves Fresh Garlic (minced)

½ cup Butter

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

½ cup Fresh Parmesan

Salt and Pepper to taste


Saute garlic in butter. While stirring, slowly add whipping cream; bring to a boil. Add Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.



Eggplant

3 large eggplant, thinly sliced Dried Parmesan
3 cups Bread Crumbs
Italian Seasoning
1 egg
¼ cup of milk
Sunflower Oil

½ cup m
ozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).


2. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan with some Italian seasoning to taste. Mix eggs and milk. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, then in bread crumb mixture. Place in a single layer on a slightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.

3. In a 9x13 inch oiled baking dish place a layer of eggplant slices. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Pour ½ alfredo sauce over eggplant and cook for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.

Serve over penne or macaroni pasta with remaining alfredo sauce.



The only thing I did different was add a homemade marinera to the alfredo to make a pink sauce. I had to make it a pink sauce because we did not have half the amount of alfredo needed! A quick and easy save that got high praise from students, interns and staff!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A trip to town...

Monday mornings I work in Mini-Flight School with Chelsea and David. The Lord has been doing so much in the children and also speaking to us, the teacher’s through Hannah’s deeply sought out revelations and God ordained lessons. I once asked Hannah why she was working so hard on the curriculum when there is so much free “Sunday school” material out there. She told me the Lord had really given her a heart and revelation for what He wanted to do with the kids this year and I felt even more inspired to spend these precious moments with the children seeking the Lord for our children.


So a particular Monday Hannah asked us to read Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” After we read it we asked the children to close their eyes and ask the Lord to speak to them. Even though they are young (most are under 3) and love to play and be silly, there is a reverence that comes upon them when we pray and silence ourselves before God. After 30 seconds of the children listening, we asked them if Jesus said anything to them. Most of the children said He did and were excited to share visions the Lord gave them or just the simple “hi” from their Creator. It was such a touching moment that we (the teachers) began to cry knowing that these moments will define their lifelong relationships with the Lord.


Everyday has a special emphasis and we write cards and letters to extended members of our community that are no longer here in Cyprus. Later on that day Abigail asked me who had written down Ephesians 5:8 on one of the cards and I told her it was our scripture verse for the day. Abby quickly exclaimed how Ephesians 5:8 was a theme for the worship for the “adults” and God was really speaking to everyone. I was super encouraged by this knowing that God was doing the same in MFS as he was upstairs in the worship room.


The next Tuesday, Serah had many errands to run. I took this opportunity to get some QT with one of the most Godly, serving and loving leaders and favorite friends in my life! With our busy schedule's, running errands together and catching some lunch is a privilege. Serah had a huge list of errands so I decided to follow along with my camera.

We made keys

Saw some of the carnival floats


Paid car insurance
Went to the post office where I got a fabulous shot of Serah mailing a letter. Totally reminds me of France with Rachel Potter pretending to mail letters in a red box...
Went to the bank where I posed next to an ATM.

Took the stairs...

Noticed a guy who wasn't half bad looking. After walking outside I asked Serah if she thought he was a Cyporite. She doubted it for reasons most of you can guess and I said next time we see a good looking man we will ask him if he's Cyporite and if he is we're getting a picture for the blog! Serah dared me to go back in and ask him, knowing full well you can't DARE me to do something if you don't expect me to do it! He ended up being a natural born Cyporite so I took the picture and left him there puzzled!
Somehow Serah read a sign outside this deli/grocer that they had avocados on sale for 1.50 euro a kilo or something fantastic...so we made an unplanned stop for some goodies.
Stopped to get Isaac some material for his newest fundraiser: selling homemade tube scarves. He gave me props for my thread matching skills.

Then we finally went to Angelina's which is a cute little Thai take away restraunt. It really is some of the best thai food in the world. Serah and I always get vegetable green curry with rice, pad thai and the spring rolls. Depending on the weather we usually enjoy it on the beach with some starbucks. Luckily it was sunny out and we were able to keep up with tradition vs. sneaking into the Starbucks and eating upstairs!



I forgot to get an Carrefour and Orphanides picture but we finished up our trip grocery shopping. We reminisced about our days in Geneva shopping at Giante and hoping one day we'll be in France together again! Those were some of the best times of our lives...I had to get a chocolate milkshake and enjoyed it as we drove back up the mountain.