Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 7

Day 7 – Sunday – 9/30/12

Last night even after I ate supper and wasn’t hungry anymore, I didn’t have that full feeling. And because I was so accustomed to it before the fast, I was thinking of ways to eat more food. Ultimately I decided against it, feeling like it would defeat one of the purposes of the fast, which is to grow in discipline and self-control.

In regards to my mission post discernment, the only places I can see right now are Spain and The Phillipines. But discernment means being open to other possibilities too. What if there’s another location I haven’t thought of? What if I’m called to return to Big Woods? What if God calls me out of missions? It’s hard to imagine those possibilities but I feel like I have to be open to them too. I also wonder if I should be discerning mission partners or not. Of course I have some ideas, but I guess I’ll focus on the “where” and the “who” will make itself clear.

Another thing I noticed this morning opened my eyes. One of my mission partners, Albert, likes to drink alot of coffee. I noticed this not only because I see him drink gargantuan amounts of the stuff at all times of the day, but also because the bag of Community Coffee that we had been sharing is disappearing quickly. (keyword: HAD) No way it goes that quickly if it’s only me drinking it. So, I brewed another pot this morning and poured myself a cup and Albert one last cup. Once the rest of the coffee cools, I’m gonna pour it into a container labeled “Sid’s Coffee! Do Not Drink!”. That way the coffee will last me as long as possible in October before the group arrives on November 6th-ish.

I’m doing this because my Community Coffee is a piece of home (it’s made in South Louisiana) & I LOVE it! (emphasis on the word LOVE) While I LIKE other types of coffee, I LOVE Community Coffee. When I agreed to share my coffee with Albert, I didn’t realize how much of it he drinks throughout the day. Ergo, no more sharing this precious gift from my mom. I feel like I’m justified in doing this small thing, because we share in other ways. But part of me feels like it might be a tiny bit selfish. That’s the good thing about this fast. It’ll give me a chance to think and pray more about it than I normally would, so that I can learn from it (update: I ended up gifting Albert with a bag of Mexican coffee to get him started. Felt like that kinda helped to balance things out)

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 6

Day 6 – Saturday – 9/29/12

Indulged in one of my new missionary hobbies last night. Took some fresh corn tortillas, made earlier in the day at one of the local tortillerias, and fried them up. Some of them I fried whole, and others I cut up into various sizes. Some I dusted with sugar, others with salt. They ALL tasted good. The salty ones I ate with some salsa. Delicioso. I discovered: *that you need to fry them for at least 3 minutes, *fresh tortillas work better than stale ones, *you need to have alot of oil in the pan, & *the smaller the pieces the better.

Besides wanting to make your mouth water, I’m also telling y’all this because it taught me a few lessons. One of which is appreciation. I am learning to appreciate the simpler things in life. Conversation and fellowship with my mission partners. Frying up tortilla chips while I listen to Mexican music on the radio. I also learned about anticipation. Having to wait until meal time to fry up and eat those chips helped my anticipation to build up to a level that caused my aforementioned level of appreciation to be much higher than it would have normally been. I also learned about self-control. Tried not to eat all of those chips as I was cooking them, so that I could save some for my missionary brothers. (Did end up eating some) Didn’t eat a single one of the leftovers this morning as I put some saran wrap on the plate. (Ate a few later during the day for a little snack)

Speaking of self-control, I’ll learn more about that later today. Football games ALL day that I’ll be able to watch. That includes a game for my alma mater The University of Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns! 🙂 Otherwise it’ll be a slow and relaxing day. Nothing on the schedule except for doing laundry and my 2 Saturday visits: Pepe & Senora Amanda. Definitely feeling the hunger pangs more today. Of course a little bit when I woke up, but that was mitigated by my cup of morning coffee. Now I’m feeling it more (the hunger). Maybe my body is finally starting to adjust. That’s good though, cuz it gives me more to offer up. 🙂

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 5

Day 5 – Friday – 9/28/12

If I ever become truly poor and starving I’ll know one thing for sure: that I’ll have the most sensitive sense of smell (say that 3 times fast) in the world. Seriously, I started to notice during my preparatory fast and especially during the first few days of this fast. Maybe it’s because you realize better what you had once you don’t have it. You’re better attuned to it. It seems richer, better, fuller. Any slight scent of it really perks you up and you are full of anticipation for the next time you have it. And then when you get it, you REALLY enjoy it and appreciate it. If this is what it’s like only 4 days into the fast, I can only imagine what it’ll be like at the end. I do know this much: if I ever truly become poor and starving, I’ll learn how to crawl on all fours and reinvent myself as a bomb-sniffing or drug-sniffing dog, because I’ll certainly have the olfactory capacity to do so.

Sidenote: Grape-flavored Gatorade tastes awesome. Mixed my first packet of it into a 1 liter bottle last night. It’s my new favorite flavor.

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast

Day 4 – Tuesday – 9/27/12

Felt the hunger pangs a little bit more this morning than I did yesterday morning, but nothing intense yet. Headacheyness is gone, so a good night’s sleep did me good. If it comes back today, then I’ll see if it disappears once I eat supper tonight. If it doesn’t, then that’ll be my clue to maybe adjust my level of daily Gatorade intake next week. I think I did a decent job last night of not overstuffing myself. I was slightly fuller than full, but not overstuffed. It’s hard not to overstuff when you’re really hungry and when you know your next meal won’t be for awhile.

I’m also happy that I’m starting to focus more on the mission-post-discernment aspect of my fast, and gaining the clarity that I seek by doing this fast. The two main possibilities that are coming up for mission posts are Spain and The Phillipines. In practical terms, The Phillipines is a more difficult place to go, at least money-wise. This is in spite of the fact that overall it’s a poor country. Expensive because of the plane ticket. Expensive because many things on islands have to be imported and that drives up the cost. And in The Phillipines there will be expenses of house bills too (electricity, water, etc….). Spain, in terms of money and living expenses would actually be slightly cheaper. That’s because the priest we would stay with has a free apartment for us to stay in that is owned by the diocese. As per his words, the only expense would be food and any personal expenses incurred. As a missionary who has always had low funds, this particularly attracts me.

As far as the travel aspect, The Phillipines has a slight advantage. On the way there I would pass through a few countries I’ve never been to. I would also be going to the continent of Asia for the first time in my life (making it my 5th continent to visit). Spain’s travel advantage is that travel within Europe is safe, easy, and cheap. I have no doubt that I’d be able to visit at least a couple different European countries that I’ve never been to. My parents, who love to travel and have enjoyed their visits to Europe, would be much more likely to come visit us there than they would here in Mexico or in The Phillipines. Also, because of the work our priest friend in Spain is involved with (youth), it’s very possible that I would be able to go with their diocese’s group to World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Also, my expenses for that trip would most likely be paid for by father and the diocese. Yet another new country and another new continent. All in all, I think the “travel” factor is almost even between the two, and if it’s God’s will that I go to a mission post then money is not an obstacle for him. Ministry-wise I think what it ultimately boils down to is what will I most be able to give to and benefit from.

In The Phillipines, I would be living and working among the poor, in a ministry environment where you cannot turn down the invitations fast enough because there are so many opportunities. Exhausting yourself in service of the poor, living in a less than comfortable environment, and also BEING poor are some of the benefits and growth opportunities for a missionary there. In Spain, I see the advantage as future preparation. In a sense, you could say that richer people need God just as much as poor people, because of the illusion of self-reliance that comes from a more comfortable lifestyle. Because of this factor, my ministry there would better prepare me for the ministry and lifestyle I would experience once I’m back in the USA at some point in the future. And lemme tell you, if there’s a country that really needs God and conversion, it’s the USA. I would also have the advantage of continuing to develop spanish, my third language. So as you can see, the choices are not easy because both of these options are really good. That’s why I’m fasting and begging for clarity.

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My 40 Day Fast – Day 3

Sid’s 40 Day Fast

Day 3 – Wednesday, 9/26/12

So I think it will be easy to reflect on and focus on the hunger-related aspect of this fast and the corresponding spiritual growth that comes along with it. But my primary purpose for this fast is to gain clarity in my discernment of my mission post for next year. It might take a little while before things start to get clearer. Gotta give it some time. I was wondering about money and the role it will play in that process. If after all is said and done I don’t have the funds, it doesn’t matter what place I discern. No dough, no go. However, I won’t have a chance to do any significant fundraising effort until after the fast is over. So for now I will just assume that God will tell me where he wants me to go, and then at some later point provide me the money to go there! 🙂

Noticed a little earlier today that I was feelin’ a bit headachey. It took me a little while to remember to offer it up as a gift in prayer for my prayer intentions for the fast. I’m not sure if I’m headachey because of the fast, my lack of sleep last night, or the fact that I drink a liter of Gatorade during the day after I have my morning coffee and vitamins. I’ll stay the course on everything I’m doing and make sure I get good sleep tonight. If my headacheyness disappears, problem solved. If not, then I’ll try cutting down to half of a liter of Gatorade daily once next week rolls around. If I’m still headachey, then praise the Lord! I’ll know that I’ll be that way because of the fasting and that I’ll have that additional suffering to offer up every day.

Also wondering if my restlessness last night had anything to do with what I ate/drank or a lack of ministry/physical activity to burn off energy. We’ll see. Still not feeling much hunger pangs, though I think I’m feeling a little more today than yesterday. I did have a SMALL snack this morning as well as the Gatorade I drank during the day. So apparently that small stuff doesn’t prevent me from feeling those minimal hunger pangs. But if they stay minimal, that’ll also be part of my motivation for my changes next week. Within reason, I don’t want this to be too easy. I wanna feel it, you know? Good thing is that I’ll definitely be feelin’ some hunger by the time I receive the Eucharist at Mass. 🙂 And after Mass me, Luis, and Albert are going to Gallo and Rita’s for supper. It’ll be amazingly awesome, without a doubt. We’ll prolly have rice, beans, nopales (cactus), and tortillas. I’m gonna try making dulce-de-membrillos (literally “sweet of membrillos”) using the same recipe Mawmaw Doris gave me for making fig preserves, except that I will substitute membrillos for the figs. FYI, membrillos are about the size of apples, grow here in Mexico, are a little harder than apples, and more sour. We will most certainly be feasting on the food and I look forward to feasting on the fellowship as well!

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My 40-day fast – Day 2

Sid’s 40 Day Fast

Day 2 – Tuesday, 9/25/12

Felt a little bit of the hunger pangs this morning, in spite of how much I ate last night. Kinda glad, because like I said yesterday I don’t want this to be easy. I wanna be challenged. During my morning walk it also occurred to me that yes, I can always pray. But during a fast, the hunger encountered is an extra gift or offering to God that goes along with your prayer. It ties into the whole idea of redemptive suffering, which was perfectly demonstrated by Jesus. This fast and the hunger I will experience will be a way for me to be like Jesus, by offering up my suffering through The Cross for others.

As I sat at Mass waiting for the Eucharist, I felt another hunger pang. It’s happened before and it’s one of my favorite things about fasting. Because even when you fast for an hour before receiving, you’re still full and you don’t feel hungry. But to feel actual hunger as you are receiving Jesus’ Body and Blood in The Eucharist is amazing. It brings the experience of The Eucharist to a whole new level.

Forgot to mention that I went to Mass @ The Cathedral in Saltillo. Had to come to Saltillo to meet Albert at the bus station. After his bus arrives at 7:30pm we’re gonna head back to the Casa De Misiones to begin our month and a half journey as a team of three. This team of three is living proof of God answering prayers (me and Luis had been praying for another mission partner). It’s also proof of God’s proclivity for making life VERY interesting. How so? Well, you’ve got Luis, a Venezuelan, whose first language is spanish. Then you’ve got me, a Cajun, whose first language is english. Then to complete the trifecta you’ve got Albert, a Polish guy, whose first language is polish. Luis’ 2nd language is my first. My 3rd language is Luis’ 1st and Albert’s 4th. And neither me nor Luis speaks Polish, Albert’s 1st language. AND the three of us from three different countries are living together as missionaries in a fourth country. Anyhoo, at the end of our month and a half together Intake 2012 will come down and join us. Then for the last week of November we’ll have a group of families and other short-term missionaries who will join us for the annual Thanksgiving mission trip.

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My 40-day fast – Day 1

Sid’s 40 Day Fast
Day 1 – Monday, 9/24/12

So this is my journal for my 40 day fast. I was inspired to do the fast because one of my missionary brothers recently did one, and said he really got alot from it. He also kept a journal, which is why i’m keeping one. Great way to recall my thoughts and share them. I was also inspired to do this fast when I was listening to someone talk about fasting and how it gives you clarity.

My main prayer intentions are: *for my sister, *for the grace of clarity as I begin to discern my mission post next year, *for growth in humility & grace, *for all the missionaries in Intake 2012.

I’m a little nervous, but not in a bad way. It’s more of a really excited full of anticipation sort of way. I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that in my spiritual life, I feel like I’m on the verge of something big, like I’m about to turn a corner. And I think this fast will play a big part in that. Not sure how intense the hunger factor will be, since I’ll only be eating one meal a day. But I hope it’s a big enough factor to challenge me. I also hope that I know a little more what it’s like for these poor people that we serve, to struggle with hunger and a lack of resources at times. I’m gonna eat my one daily meal at supper time. I figure I’ll have more time each day to feel the hunger. Also figure that if I eat at night, I won’t be doing any kind of physical activity to burn off those few precious calories. I’ll allow myself whatever liquids during the day. Coffee in the morning. Gatorade during the day, so that the electrolytes/vitamins/nutrients can supplement some of what I won’t be getting from food. I was already taking a multi-vitamin everyday so I’ll have that too.

I’m kinda surprised though at how I didn’t really feel much hunger today. Maybe it was because I prepared myself with a 2 meal-a-day fast for two and a half weeks prior to this fast. Maybe, since today was my first day my body hasn’t had a chance to feel the hunger yet. We also had some food at the end of a prayer group this afternoon too. I’m thinkin’ too it could be the liter of Gatorade I drank over the course of the day. No it wasn’t good solid food, but it was something to fill my belly. We also ate at Rita &  Gallo’s house tonight. Nopales (cactus), frijoles (beans), arroz (rice), and tortillas. I wasn’t feeling the hunger factor before we ate, but judging by how much I ate, I was definitely hungry. I kinda stuffed myself. Maybe I was also trying to eat a little more than I normally would, knowing that I wouldn’t be eating again for a whole ‘nother day. Not sure if that defeats the purpose of a fast or not. Well, I’ll give my current way of doing things another week or so. If I still don’t feel the hunger, I may cut down to half a liter of Gatorade. We’ll see how it goes.

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My new online missionary donation link

I’m also gonna try and figure out a way to post it as a link on my blog site, but for now here it is! And I think if you donate, then y’all also receive my missionary newsletter updates as well. God Bless!

http://www.fmcmissions.com/portfolio/sidney-savoie/gallery/missionaries/?doing_wp_cron=1348609350.4398910999298095703125

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Who in the world reads my blog?

I mean that question literally, which is why I posted this. As a blogger, it’s always a source of fascination and excitement that people actually take the time to visit and read your blog. And while I don’t have a ton of “site views”, I do have over 5,000. That’s 5,000+ views of missionary related posts. Even more fascinating to me is where these views come from. A few of them I expect: USA, because that’s where i’m from. Mexico, because that’s where i’m currently stationed. The Phillipines, because some of my fellow missionaries are there. But it’s the random countries, many with only 1 site-view each, that fascinate me. Slovenia? I don’t even know where that is. Didn’t it used to be part of the USSR? Nigeria. That’s awesome, considering the problems they have between Muslims and Christians there. Maybe my post is providing courage to a Christian, or a new perspective to a muslim. Bangladesh, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia…..the list goes on. But I’ll let you check it out. Pretty cool stuff, huh? Till next time, take care and God Bless!

p.s.- I think the only thing that could make this post any better, is if someway somehow I could travel to all the countries listed in this post 😀

p.s.s.- Actually, the one OTHER thing that could make this post any better, is if I got to travel to Antarctica, the 7th continent that even many well-travelled people rarely visit.

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 759
Mexico FlagMexico 42
Philippines FlagPhilippines 39
India FlagIndia 38
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 22
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 22
Canada FlagCanada 21
Brazil FlagBrazil 20
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 14
Belize FlagBelize 9
Saint Lucia FlagSaint Lucia 7
Chile FlagChile 6
Poland FlagPoland 6
Bangladesh FlagBangladesh 4
Greece FlagGreece 4
Nigeria FlagNigeria 4
Germany FlagGermany 4
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 3
Lebanon FlagLebanon 3
Australia FlagAustralia 3
Colombia FlagColombia 3
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 3
Austria FlagAustria 3
Thailand FlagThailand 3
Turkey FlagTurkey 3
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 2
Ecuador FlagEcuador 2
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 2
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 2
Spain FlagSpain 2
Norway FlagNorway 2
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 2
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 2
Singapore FlagSingapore 2
Nicaragua FlagNicaragua 1
Argentina FlagArgentina 1
Nepal FlagNepal 1
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 1
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 1
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 1
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 1
France FlagFrance 1
Albania FlagAlbania 1
Ukraine FlagUkraine 1
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 1
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 1
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 1
Italy FlagItaly 1
Latvia FlagLatvia 1
Ireland FlagIreland 1
Sweden FlagSweden 1
Serbia FlagSerbia 1
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 1
Belgium FlagBelgium 1
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 1
Ghana FlagGhana 1
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I put mayo on my bread tonight

Friday, September 14, 2012 – Noon-ish – mountainous area outside of Ejido Tejocote, which is a “municipio” of General Cepeda, in the state of Coahuila, in the country of Mexico

writing down my thoughts during Desert Day prayer time

So, I promise the title of this journal entry does pertain to it. You just have to wait till (or skip ahead to) the end. My original title was “Desert Day is a misnomer”, but that sounded kinda nerdy and boring, and didn’t think it would grab anybody’s attention enough to make them actually wanna read my journal entry. That was the original title, because we call our weekly “get away from everyone and everything” prayer time “Desert Day”. We do this in imitation of Jesus who took time away to pray and be with the father. But, aside from the fact that I was in a mountainous area instead of a desert, it was also VERY foggy. Like, visibility 50 yards or less type of foggy. The fog was so thick, it was starting to coagulate/coalesce/stick together and formed water driplets that were just big enough to be pulled by gravity down to the earth. “Drizzly” is a good word to describe it. But not quite heavy enough for me to use the word “drizzling”, as in, it was actually drizzling. And I use the word “driplets”, because they were even smaller than “droplets” of water.

cactus look so much cooler up close (but not too close)

not a whole lot goin on in this pic. A path in the forest. It just looked really simple, beautiful, peaceful.

coolest danged pine cone I ever seen

Desert Day is once again full of peace.It’s a profound peacefulness. Profound. Yeah. That’s the perfect word to describe it. I see the layers of fog drifting by me. I hear the wind blow through the trees and across the landscape. Kinda reminds me of the Holy Spirit talk we’ve been giving this week & how you can’t see the Spirit, but you can see and feel and hear the effects of The Spirit. Kinda makes me wonder too if Adam and Eve appreciated The Garden of Eden the way I appreciate this Desert Day peacefulness and tranquility. What was their basis of comparison, since everything at that point was perfectly beautiful, tranquil, and sinless. They had no sucky-ness to help them appreciate the beauty of it all (prior to be kicked out of The Garden of Eden, of course) Came across this really cool little horned desert lizard. Snapped a few pics.

Came across this little guy when I was doing some exploring

funny thing is i almost didn’t see him, he camouflages so well with his surroundings

“aerial” view of my lizard friend

head shot

Sittin in the van now, all the windows opened/rolled down. Enjoying the stillness from here, because I didn’t bring a blanket to sit on. And, it’s (just barely) too drizzly.  Read a little bit from The Bible. Reading in 1 Corinthians how you don’t have to be a wordsmith or academic scholar in order to preach the Gospel. Which is quite ironic considering that earlier this week was the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, whose last name literally means golden-tongue (or golden-mouth?). But as much as I admire St. John Chrysostom, I’m glad I read that passage in 1 Corinthians, because if there’s one thing I am NOT, it’s a golden-tongued orator. 🙂

Anyhoo, later on we’re headed to Tejocote & 2 de Abril (two nearby ejidos) to do prayer services in the chapels. In the meanwhile I’m gonna go harvest some of this good mountainous/foresty topsoil for our garden at the Casa de Misiones. Till next time…………………….

p.s.- So, to explain the title of this entry, you have to realize that I journal in a “one size fits all purposes” notebook. It’s a journal, notebook, post-it note pad, and everything in between. I had some mayo in the fridge that I wanted to use up before it went bad, ergo, the funny/random note that gave birth to the title of this journal entry.

p.s.s.- Having your house right next to the city hall (La Presidencia) and right on the town square (El Zocalo) has it’s advantages. Last night (Sept. 15th) the town celebrated Mexican Independence Day and we got to observe alot of things up close. Getting to hear and see the Mexican Hat Dance song performed, in Mexico, has now made my life a little more complete.

p.s.s.s.- Seeing the fireworks display that was literally right in front of our house, while standing on our rooftop, was pretty cool too 🙂

Our local church parish, La Parroquia de San Francisco de Asis, all lit up for Mexican Independence Day

the local city hall, La Presidencia, decorated for Mexican Independence Day

some of the fireworks show we saw from the roof of our Casa de Misiones

watchin’ the baile (dance) from the rooftop

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