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I just wrote the following in a FB group related to Campus for Christ (C4C – it’s a student club in almost all major universities across Canada) as an “introduction” to myself. I thought it was pretty interesting… it made me think through some things as I wrote it…

Name, Campus, Year, Dreams in 2011-2012:

“[Paulman] is my name and I live and work as a computer engineer about 5 minutes away from SFU, which is my alma mater. I’m C4C alumni (active 2004-2009’ish) and my dream in 2011-2012 is to still be involved in supporting/discipling students from my Church (Willingdon) in living and sharing the Gospel here at SFU and UBC, and maybe even get a chance to get my hands dirty a bit on campus, too.”

Malawian kids watching the Jesus film
(click image to see YouTube video – or watch the Facebook version)

This summer, I spent a month and a half in Malawi along with other Campus for Christ staff & students from across Canada. The focus of our time was sharing the News about Jesus and giving Malawian students a vision for discipleship and reaching other nations.

But really, the video does a better job of explaining things 🙂 So check it out!

– PROJECT STATS –
ON CAMPUS (Polytechnic & Chancellor College):
671 Spiritual conversations,
448 Gospel presentations,
104 Decisions to receive Christ!

JESUS FILM (4 villages/areas):
1732 estimated attendees,
683 Indicated receiving Christ!

Fun facts: The soundtrack to my update video is a combination of some of us singing with Malawi neighborhood/street kids from around the Polytechnic campus and then also with Malawian students from the University of Malawi!

We’re singing Malawian praise songs – the song titles in English are, “Jesus is mine” and “There’s no one like Jesus.”

– rewritten and reposted

“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it!

I’m about to lose control, and I think I like it!”
(Halifax/Ricky joke)

But yes, I’m very excited.  We’d been dreaming – praying? – to have an outreach of this sort of magnitude on SFU campus for years!  The volume of Facebook confirmed attendees and maybes is bordering on staggering! (well, the “maybes” are staggering!  The “confirmed” count is GREAT!)

Of course, time will tell if debate turnout and effectiveness both materialize as hoped.  But hey, God is good!  This is encouraging so far!

Way to go SFU campus staff, students, and Johnson! (I don’t know how much of the responsibilities you’re in charge of, but way to go!)

Woot!  Woot!  And keep on praying, both during the debate and after – for the debate might plant the seeds, you guys might do follow-up, but it’s God who causes the growth and gives new life to hearts that were once hostile to and at war with Him.

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(January 30th, 4PM) Paulman wrote:

I just heard some sad, sad news about project… Halifax Project ’09 is being cancelled due to low numbers. WAHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

That pretty much sums my feelings on the matter.  Halifax needs young C4C students, and young C4C students need to hang out together in the summer in Halifax.  Oh well, there’s always next year.  And God knows what He’s doing.

P.S. I’m going to South East Africa (Tanzania) this summer, by the way.

P.P.S. I just realized I spelt “canceled” incorrectly.

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I wrote the following post as part of the beginning of my last post on Friendship.  I took it out, though, because that post was getting way too long.  So here it is for you now.  Enjoy!

——–

This year at Winter Conference (I spent Dec 26th to Jan 1st there) was a first for me in a couple of ways.  This was my first time at Eastern Winter Conference in Toronto – my last 4 Conference experiences were always in the West.  This was also my first time as staff at Conference.  I quite liked being on staff at Conference, and one of my favorite parts of the day was being at Staff Meeting at 8AM each morning.  I just love staff, for much of the same reasons I love C4C students.  One of my favorite times this year was early in December when I got to spend a week with the Eastern Canadian staff at “Campus Training Days”, up in a snowy, isolated spot in Ontario.  Anyways, I feel like many of my colleagues are friends I really enjoy, and I’m sad that I don’t know many of them nearly as well as I’d like, since we’re all over the place in different parts of Eastern Canada.  Sometimes we refer to ourselves as a “staff family”.  It’s an apt description.

Another part of being on staff that I liked was feeling like I was able to influence, in small ways, the experience that students had at Conference (for the better, I hope).  I wish I had gotten to do more, and also that I had done a better job, but I tried my best to work with the video, Powerpoint, and worship lyric backgrounds in a way that helped students glorify God and take in what was being presented.  I do love tech/presentation stuff 😛  Half of my staff duties at Conference was just as I described – working with the audio/visual tech stuff under Silas’ supervision.  Another perk of being in the back in main sessions was that I found my worship experience was a little different.  Surrounded by just a handful of fellow staff (or volunteers), I felt freer to put my hands up when I felt like expressing that to God, for example.  I’m always quite self-conscious about that sort of thing, and for a part of me, that just isn’t natural when I know other people can see me.  But when I’m in the back, with just a few people that I know pretty well anyways, I feel like I can do whatever I want and just do it towards God.

I found that Eastern Winter Conference (~500 students) was only slightly bigger (in feel) than Western Winter Conference (typically 300+ students?).  The biggest difference I found this year had to do with me, not the Conference.  I went into this Conference knowing that I was in a transient time in my life.  I didn’t know, and I still don’t know, what exactly I’ll be doing in May.  Or July.  I’ve gained a lot more over the last week that I can use to make my decision, but a big component of my Conference experience was this awareness that my life is a little unstable right now.  I wasn’t a student, but I wasn’t a full-time comissioned staff, either, so I guess that made me feel a little in-between in life.  That is unsettling, but unsettling should be ok for Christ-followers because God desires to trust in Him and His goodness, anyways.  Especially when life tries to give you reasons to be scared.

So today was my first day at Eastern Winter Conference. I checked in here the night before, which is when I got to hang out with Gilberto and Tabitha in Toronto. Today, however, I started the morning off going to staff meeting – which was really cool, cause I enjoy such things, especially when it’s WINTER CONFERENCE! – and thus commenced a LONG day.

Aside from the extra duties that I took on from others today (I only completed half of them 😦 my bad), it was further complicated by me going to the Halifax Project ’07 reunion today! I got to see Veronika (whom I hadn’t seen for a year and a half), and also Jared and Liz, and Nicky brought her new fiancé, as well! Is this what future reunions will be like in the coming years? (with spouses and families?). One can only hope.

But project is another post, for another time. What I want to put down on paper – so to speak – is my experience today “from the other side” (i.e. as staff). I got to work on some sound & a/v stuff, which is kind of technical. One of the extra duties I got earlier in the day was to revise and print out the invitations to LIFE luncheon (for select graduating students, where we challenge them to join our organization), which required MS Publisher use. Anyways, I mention these because it required some technical skills, and I’m wondering what working on staff could be like for me, and whether it would be a good, well-suited use of the gifts God has given me.

The potentially more exciting part was where I was able to stand up at the front during one part of the main session, where students were invited to come up to pray with staff about sin in their lives, other barriers in their relaipnhip with God, and also abuse in their lives. What an honor and a privilege to me able to stand up there as an older brother in the faith, where God has allowed me to help lead some of his children in deeper living (communion) with Him. I didn’t actually get to pray with any students there, so I just stood there with the other staff and just tried my best to sing in worship to God (without the benefit of lyrics in front of me), in true worship to my God and also as a good example to whomever may have been watching – so as to encourage and lead them in their own free and true worship to our God. Potentially.

Anyways, I’m hoping to gain a clearer picture of how God means to use me over the next couple years, or longer, but I have to admit, I feel pretty confused by all the possible factors that I could potentially base my decision on.

On a different note, I miss Halifax Project people. Together, we were definitely a special and unique group, and I don’t think we’ll ever bond in the same way with others in the future, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Different isn’t necessarily worse. Bit as Johnson can testify, I’ve always missed Halifax people and sometime j feel it less than at other times, but today I was reminded that each person is special and different and I won’t really be able to “replace” them in my life (which is obvious, in a sense). I always feel like I don’t get enough time with many of my Halifax friends, even after getting to hang out with them for half a day, or in tonight’s case, about half an hour… being in a rush to get back to the hotel to start some more work doesn’t help, either.

Anyways, I guess I mean to say 3 thugs in this blog post: 1) I’m still trying to find out how to make a God-pleasing choice in my life path; 2) I miss Halifax friends a lot (and I like staff, too); and 3) Gregg’s talk tonight in the main session was great. I don’t know if the Spirit used it to work powerfully in students’ hearts, but He may do so in a powerful way (perhaps later). It basically dealt with personal sin and personal hurt (even abuse), and gave students a practical chance and challenge to bring it out before Godan let Him start to deal with it. That’s what I’m interested in seeing God do in people’s lives – I think. A related question is whether I have to be on staff for God to be doing (more) things like that – I think the biggest alternative in my mind, at least theoretically, is the scenario where God intends for me to glorify Him as an engineer, and to influence others and proclaim His glory and Gospel through the testimony of my conduct, work, relationships, and words – as I spend my full time hours doing whatever kind of engineering work that might be.

Whatever… :p it’s time to sleep now! Feel free to leave your thoughtful comments :p

I don’t want to “worry” about all this, though. God is sovereign, even if I end up making a “bad” or wrong decision tainted by my sinfulness. He is over all things – even that 😛 Let’s hope this doesn’t stay just as head knowledge / theory, for me, though.

This is Part 3 of my three part series on the start of what I’m doing here at the University of Waterloo.

Whew.  Ok, the end of my update series.  Well, last week (actually, like two or three weeks ago) was the Week of Evangelism at Waterloo.  I am happy to report to you that, contrary to what I thought, you can actually approach students on Waterloo campus and talk to them about spiritual things!  You just can’t do that in the Student Life Centre, which is the central building where a lot of students hang out.  Anyways, I got a chance to speak with LOTS of students and do lots of evangelism last week – probably more than I did on campus at SFU in the last year or two!

I think I talked with over 10 students, and here’s a little rundown on what kinds of students I got to talk to:

  • Computer Science student from a Hindu background
  • Korean student in “Biomed” (1st year, I think) who already told us she wanted to join a Bible study
  • Math or CS student who is already a Christian
  • International student from China, studying 2nd year Math (he kind of believes in a God, although his family grew up not believing in God, I think)
  • A Grade 12 student on campus, who is a Mormon (he’s hoping to go into History at Waterloo, next year) – I got into a long and interesting conversation with this guy on the differences between his faith and mine (Christianity), whether our sin really deserves something like “Hell”, the deity of Jesus and what the deity of God, lol (Mormons have a very limited, polythesitic, un-Godlike view of God, in my judgment)
  • A Chinese grad student (1st year, Master’s)
  • A student from South Sudan (we spoke to him VERY BRIEFLY) who told us his spiritual beliefs are, “Jesus is coming soon!”
  • A 2nd year Electrical Engineering student whom I asked for directions to find a prof who used to be at SFU (then Ryan, my colleague, started a conversation with him)
  • And finally, a 1st year software engineering student who really opened up to me on different things.  I got to talk to him about the Gospel, why I believe it, and stuff like that.

Whew.  Ok.  And that’s a wrap!  No more photos this time.

P.S. …about the iPhone

I think I might be getting an iPhone with a (1GB/month) data plan.  All together, it might come to $42.45 per month + tax (3-year contract).  That includes the system access fee ($6.95/month) and everything.  How can this even be an option for me, you ask?  Well, as I explained on my own profile on Facebook:

This is a deal where you are a current Rogers customer (I just had a 3-year contract expire, for example), and I asked to be transferred to their Retention Services department. Apparently they can be really flexible. I also had an example from a colleague (one with Telus, one in a similar situation with …  Read MoreRogers) where they got data plans for their Blackberry.

Anyways, the reason I want an iPhone is so that I don’t have to take out my 9 lb, 17″ laptop on campus or whatever to check e-mail, figure out appointments and my calendar, and/or send an e-mail to a student during the day.  Also, I used to always use my laptop in the washroom at home anyways (less so, now), and I figure this will help me reach 24/7 online status.  iPhones have wi-fi access, too, so I can use it around the house or on campus by connecting to the wireless network (it’s pretty much identical to the iPod Touch).  Or practically anywhere in Canada, like on the road, if I get a data plan.  Also, the iPhone 3G has GPS.  The iPhone and iPod Touch are quite different from the competition in this aspect, as well: they run Mac OSX (the Apple operating system) and a decent version of Safari, which is the standard web browser for Macs.  Plus, using the touch screen, you’re able to view webpages pretty naturally by zooming in and out with your fingers (“pinching”) even though the screen itself is way smaller than a normal computer screen.  Anyways, if I ditch the data plan, I can get a 3-year contract for $29.45 per month + tax.

My potential voice (& data) 3-year contract:

100 weekday minutes
1000 evenings and weekends (starting from 6PM)
unlimited incoming calls
caller id
100 Canadian long distance minutes
[system access fee and 9-11 included)

1GB e-mail & data plan

Total: $42.45 per month (+ tax)

So this is going to be Part 2 of my three part series on the start of what I’m doing here at the University of Waterloo.  There are more details on my “other” blog, but I’m trying to keep them independent.  So message me (or join my C4C/Waterloo Facebook group) if you want to know more about that “other” blog.

I was out two weekends ago for Summit – a retreat for students from McMaster University, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University, and Brock University!  There were over 300 students involved with Campus for Christ at their schools at this retreat!  One thing I will tell you – MacGuelpherLoo students are LOUD and have TONS of school spirit!  The cheering was intense.


wa…. WA….. WAAAAAA….. WA-TER-LOO!
We are WAR-RI-ORS!  We are Warriors!  We are Warriors!

Ok, so Allan, the UW campus director, was one of the two featured speakers at Summit.  The theme was John PIper-inspired: learning to trash the idols in our life and to treasure Christ.  Allan has some significant giftings in public speaking/teaching, so I am glad I am on his campus (because I want to learn how to be a better “preacher” this year, too)!


Allan, the man himself.  (that’s a pun, because his last name is “Self”)

Personally, I think the theme they picked for Summit is one of the most important & CENTRAL topics in our Christian life.  Basically, each of us needs to ask ourselves, “do I prefer anything in life over God?”  And the answer is yes – we need to prefer God, and the purposes and desires He has for us, over the crappy things that we are occupied with on a daily basis.  We need to renounce things like COMFORT, and financial or physical SECURITY, or mediocre achievement, or sexual temptation & sin, and on and on the list goes.  Even things like FAMILY or “Church”/ministry can be idols to us, even though they are good things.  The point is that we need to be people whose hearts are surrendered to God – such that if God asks you to turn off the TV so you can spend some time teaching your son about how he can help poor children in Africa get access to clean drinking water, in the name of Christ, then you choose to PREFER that over your TV show.  And if you don’t prefer that, it’s ok – we’re not perfect.  We are expected to sincerely ask God – the One who perfects people – to change our hearts, though.  Anyways, that’s what I feel strongly about, so I hope you are encouraged and/or challenged by that.  The good thing is that there were over 300 students who heard a message like that – that’s a WHOLE LOT!


Lotsa students.  Yup.


AND, they’re worshiping God!

Anyways, that’s pretty much all I’ll say about Summit.  We went into the Week of Evangelism back on campus right after Summit, so that will be what Part 3 of my series will be about.

I’ll leave you with some random photos from Summit, including some of Nicky (from Guelph) and Grace (from McMaster), my friends from Halifax (summer) Project 2007!  I was SO happy to get to see them at MacGuelpherLoo Summit 😀


McMaster University pride


Quiet time with God


Arts MDA dance. Basically, a dance choreographed to music.


(She got thrown into the water)


Halifax Project reunion!

So this is going to be Part 1 of my three part series on the start of what I’m doing here at the University of Waterloo.  There are more details on my “other” blog, but for reasons that might be strange to you, I’m trying to keep them independent.  So message me (or join my C4C/Waterloo Facebook group) if you want to know more about that “other” blog.

Thursday, Sept 25th, I flew in to Hamilton, Ontario, stayed the night with Phillip, a friend of my sister’s, and then drove the next morning to Allan’s house in Waterloo.  Once I got there, I had about an hour to settle in before we drove another 4 hours for the big student retreat with McMaster University, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University, and Brock University!  The three big schools – McMaster, Guelph, and Waterloo – are abbreviated by the term, “MacGuelpherLoo


I made it!

Right now I’m living with with the Waterloo campus director, Allan, and his wife.  They’re putting me up in their house for the first couple weeks, and I’m going to be finding a place in the next week (I have one rental prospect that Allan helped find that I think will work).


I almost threw up when we landed in transit in Edmonton.

An interesting story about my flight.  It was in two legs – one flight to Edmonton, and one flight to Hamilton.  It turns out that I had a seatmate who would accompany me on both flights!  There was an empty seat between us on both flights, too, but when we were leaving Vancouver, I found that she was reading a book I recognized (I saw its back cover when she put the book down on the seat between us).


WestJet rocks.  Just thought I should let you know that.

“Is that ‘The Five Love Languages’ you’re reading, there?” I asked.  “Yes, it is!” she responded. She was actually quite surprised that a young guy like me would have known about a book written for married couples, but then again, I am a huge fan of FamilyLife and marriage & family issues…  Anyways, we ended up talking lots about Christianity and other things.  She told me that as of quite recently, she would consider herself more in the “Christian” category, because she found a Church that she really likes and a very good small group that is helping her process through spiritual issues and stuff.  After a long conversation, I got to share a little of my testimony and how I believe that Jesus died for our sins because we would be in a real tough spot (in other words, the consequences of moral sin is judgement) without His forgiveness.  She wasn’t ready to accept that, because it obviously means that billions of people who do not believe in and trust in Jesus will go to Hell.  Anyways, to cut a long story short, I was glad that I got to share important chunks of the Gospel with her – and this was the first time I have had a spiritual conversation on the plane!  I’d always heard about other people getting chances like this, but I found it kind of funny that on my first plane trip as a… “blank”, that God would have me meet this person and see that book.

Note: Those of you who know me should be able to figure out what I mean by “blank”.  Basically, I’m not a student anymore.  I’m actually considered _____ now!  I’m not writing it down in case I ever to go particular countries, if you know what I’m sayin’…

Anyways, that concludes Part 1 of my blog update.  Be sure to check out the other parts of my story! (coming soon)

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