1.18.2008

new city. new job. soon to be new name.

new blog.
i've been in birmingham for a week and a couple days now. i had no idea what the transition would be like. i've pretty much moved a couple times a year at least for the past
 4 years, but i've never moved like this. into a new city, to become a new wife. no longer a student, no longer on my parents financial support. quite unexperienced at this whole adult thing. 

the first few days were strange. i loved it when keith got home from work. usua
lly there are at least 10 of our friends over at his house in the evenings and we all cook and eat and hang out. i'm so thankful for such a great community to enjoy now, and to dream about the future with. i'm thankful that we have friends who want to stay here in birmingham and invest in each other and in this place as God guides us in this season of transition. but during the day for the first few days was strange. i didnt know where to go...both because i dont know my way around yet and because i didnt really know what to do with myself. i didnt know what i was going to do about a job since i had contacted like 20 non profit places and to this day have not heard a single word back, and i di
dnt have anyone to hang out with when everyone was at work or school and i was just this bum with no job or classes or friends or sense of direction. 

as far as the job hunt goes, i really wanted to at least try to do something i cared about before i sold my soul to filing books in a dark storage room or working at a bank. but the problem is that i seem to care about poor people, and poor people dont have much money, therefore they cant pay the people that help them
, ther
efore the people who help them really cant pay me. or at least that's how i've gathered it works. i also care about photography, but have no idea how to break into that business -- and there's still the problem about caring about poor people and somehow having the sense that the longing in my heart isnt going to be fulfilled by taking lots of pictures of lots of pretty rich people. 

now for the back story: a few months ago i was praying about all of this. thinking about what i'd like to do, ie. non profit stuff, missions, photography, teaching, writing, something creative that has to go with helping people in a gospel way. and i remembered this guy i had seen in flickr  through some distant mutual friends. he lives in birmingham and i remembered something about him starting a non profit that had something to do with missions and photography. oh man, that sounded so perfect and exciting and exactly what i would love to do. but how in the world could i get involved with something that cool. dare i email him? "um, hi...i kind of stalk you...do you think i could..." but there was something in my heart that felt like the potential awkwardness that comes with contacting a complete stranger and asking to get involved in their project was worth the risk. and the worst he could say way no. or "haha, no way you freak!" but i could deal with it. so the next day i emailed him, felt like a huge loser immediately afterward, but surprisingly enough just a few hours later he sent me a really nice reply and said he would love to get together sometimes to brainstorm about how i could get involved. 

fast forward to monday morning: i meet with Stephen DeVries, the "president" of Bedouins International at a coffee shop where his girlfriend works. once again, i didnt know what to expect, if he was just being polite, or if he really wanted me to get involved. but he was super nice and enthusiastic and down to earth. the story goes that last march he was going on a trip to mexico with his campus ministry. he was also taking his first photography class (i think he said before that he didnt even have a camera) at the time so for a class project he decided to publish a book from the pictures he took. he actually went through with it and published a book chronicling the trip called Discovering Joy. the book was way more successful than he expected and out of it he and four of his friends have started bedouins international: an organization that provides really well-done media, photography, videography, ect. for organizations such as missions orgs that normally couldnt afford work of that quality. its really new, but also seems to be moving super fast. so fast, that they could really use some help and that's where i come in! they're actually really excited about making a position for me to get involved and even move towards working for them. it looks like i'll be doing editing for the written stuff that goes out, translating things into spanish, helping keep everything organized, and even photography. yay! aaaand. he asked if i'd be
 interested in assisting him with wedding photography too. so pretty much the meeting went the best that i could have possibly imagined, and i'm super excited. and SO thankful. how wonderful is it to tentatively trust that God puts those passions in our hearts for a reason, and then see how he brings fruit.

i also got a "real" job. that's right. i'll be a substitute teacher for homewood city 
schools. i'm sure it will make for a lot of interesting stories. i'll get teaching experience and c
ontact with a school system which could be really helpful in the future. and th
e great thing is that its about the most flexible job you could ever imagine. you pretty much work as much or as little as you want, so it pairs perfectly with getting involved with b
edouins. 

so, i started out my adventure in birmingham a little uncertain and disoriented, but God really has provided in such exciting ways. i'm so thankful. its so great to be here with keith and to get to support each other and build something together. i'm expecting a lot more fun and adventures here in the steel city...so i'll keep you updated.

4 comments:

Kimberly Joy said...

Elaine you got a Job I am so exctied for you I love you !!!!

erin said...

yay elaine! i'm so excited about your new jobs! hope you are doing well and having fun in birmingham. i'm jealous about tuesday family dinners.

otilia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

Elaine - congratulations on being bold! Enjoy the adventures you are embarking on...all of them! :)
Shannon Hayes