Wednesday, November 24, 2010


How can I convey the joy of love. For 7 days I was in England for my best friends wedding. As much as it was about the bride and groom, God made it about me. As I write this I'm still unpacking it. The day I left Kona a friend gave me a word about God wanting to pour his love out on me, thats exactly what happened in england. I saw the sights, castles, pubs, London. Ate amazing food, and enjoyed my best friends. I want to write more about my impressions then what we actually did.

Being with close friends in foreign countries is like christmas morning everyday. The love you continually feel is sometimes overwhelming. Now add to that the joy of a wedding and that was almost London. Reunions. It was a time of reunions, promises fulfilled, and exchanging of vows.

Adventure, it was a time of adventure, and hope. Oxford. I went to where Lewis and so many of my favorite authors taught and lived. We went to their schools, and ate at their pubs. The whole experience was one of so much joy.

I dont want to know what its like to live a life outside of the excitment of knowing Jesus, but I do know it. However, he redeems. Thank you Papa for my adventure in England

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I couldn't go back to my house, I had to find a new one, that day I had been thinking about where to go to sleep. baggage claim would be too busy. But they had a small place that was out of the way and was talking about the new train system they had installed. No one ever went around there and there was electricity, so I went from my great dinner and went to my new house. That night I paid for some internet and skyped some friends, I also got "The Terminal" and watched it that night. This was the worst night of sleep I have ever had, I slept on the cement floor, under a light. I woke up and was ready to get on a flight. I had breakfast, waited and then went in for lunch. I had subway for lunch and read my bible in the Z terminal, my favorite terminal. It was time, I was scheduled for the middle flight. I was a pro at the airport, I knew my way around, I was pro at security and scoffed when people were confused on the way through the lines. I didnt really think i was better then them I had just done it allot. some thing inside me said this is the day.

Over the previous four days God had taken me from a one spot to another and I still dont fully understand what it was that he did. I rebelled at the beginning and thought God a liar, but he exposed my heart and showed me that I had put myself as the king and him as the subject. I had been looking at Jesus as some sort of good luck charm, thinking if I have him I can do anything, ignoring his true lordship. We have this idea of christianity that any hardship is from the devil and that God only sends good on us, the Idea of " God disciplining those he loves" is some sort of foreign notion. And when we are faced with that verse we think that all it means is that we should read the bible more or pray longer. I have come to this point where he is the Lord of the universe, Creator of Heaven and Earth. 100% wrath 100% love all at the same time. And if it was in his plan for me to live the rest of my life at this airport, this is where I would live, and I couldnt stop loving him or worshiping him. It was no longer head knowledge this was experiential reality.

I walked up to the woman behind the desk and told her my name and my story about how I was trying to get to england. She told me what I had heard every time, if there are seats I will get one. I waited and worshiped. they began seating, I watched the numbers of seats left stay where it was. they finished boarding, and began to call stand by.

"Alex Graves"

After five of the hardest days of my life I heard my name finally be called. At first I was shocked, they called again. I went got my ticket and danced laughing to my seat, economy plus. I finally was on my way to be in the wedding of my best friends. I was about to have some of the most fun I have ever had.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cool new links

Thats right new links! The first link is Fire and Fragrance, this is the ministry I am part of, the second is great blog thats coming out of our ministry. The third is a blog and adventure I am now apart of. This is really exciting, you will be getting some different perspectives on whats going on in my life, its also a little more up to date then here. So a quick update: I am not stuck at the airport, I'm done with the internship, I WILL be writing about all of that. Oh also I am on a journey across the united states, thats what the third link is all about.


I had left the terminal, I had no ticket to get back in and was sitting at the baggage claim waiting for my bag to come out. I was eating a dannish and drinking snapple. my former house was amazing the bench I had found there had no arm divders so I could lay down, this was not the case. I tried to nap, it wasn't very easy. The baggage claim at Dulles is dark. Its underground and there are no windows. Now after the past two days of disappointment sitting in a cave is not my idea of fun. After waiting for two hours my bag finally came. time for a change of scenery. Light, windows, space, this is the check in area at dulles, and its glorious, they even have a large windowed area where you can sit and wait, it has electricity, and is close to the bathroom. For lunch I went to the ale house they had there, I had a cheese burger and read the brothers Karamazov.

It got to about dinner and I told the Lord, "jesus, I'm going to go get dinner in an hour." then I went to watch the sunset, as the sun was setting i was griped with hunger pangs, before this I was in not particularly way hungry, but all of a sudden I was starving. So I got my stuff and went to the restaurant I had lunch at. This is not a seat your self establishment so I waited, as I waited two men walked up, a white guy and a black guy, they asked if it was seat yourself, I said no, they said maybe the bar and walked in. I watched as they began to talk to the waitress, and too my suprise they looked over and asked me to come and join them, their was something about this that felt incredibly right, so I joined them. we started looking at menus and introducing ourselves. The white guys name was dean, I cant remember his friends name, but he was from Liberia, a country in west Africa. They are bussiness partners and work both here and in Africa. As we were talking Dean told me to order anything, so I got the buffalo applewood bacon burger, and a beer. They were both shocked and intrigued that a missionary would drink beer. The rest of the night we talked about jesus. but all things must come to an end and it was time for me to find a place to sleep.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My life had turned into "The Terminal" and I was Tom Hanks and I now needed to find a place to sleep. I had been thinking about this for a while and decided that to have a successful night in the airport I would need three things: One, a place to lie down, two electricity, and three a bathroom. I found all of these things in terminal 38b. It was quiet, out of the way and had every thing I needed. so I began to make a home. It was two benches, one bench was for my bed another I made my table and put my laptop on to watch movies on. now beds need to have pillows and blankets. however all I had was the clothes on my back and the things in my carry on. One of my favorite things is figuring things out, and this night I was going to figure out a bed. I had my mattress, now for a pillow, that was easy enough, two bibles and a beanie make a great pillow, almost as good as Jacob's rock. for a blanket I took my hoodie, zipped it up with my feet in the hood and legs in the rest with the arms wrapped around me. and for the rest of me I had a suit jacket. That evenings entertainment was a bugs life and napoleon dynamite, for dinner, water, peanut butter m and m's and pizza pretzels. The next day I would stay in the airport. That morning I woke up, packed up my house sent for my bag and tried to enjoy another day of my adventure.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


No flights. No Hotel. Things were looking grim and I felt helpless, I was disappointed and discouraged. I sent for my bags and began to think. All of a sudden it hit me, Cam Hodges. Cam is a friend from back home and had recently moved to D.C. to go to school. I could have stayed in the airport that night, but after having my heart of hope beat up all day I wanted a bed. So I called Cam, it turned out he could come and get me. By the time I got my bag he was there. Cams house was a classic college music house, records every where and a huge mess, but you could feel that allot of fun had been had there. For the first time ever Cam made me food, I skyped my friend Kirsten, texted Paul the pilot about my ticket and went to bed. Cam doesn't have a car so I didn't get back to the airport until around 1 or 2, but that was alright because my friend Anna Cavoto was on her way to England and had a layover, I was praying to get on this flight with her.I met Anna at the check in counter and we went through security together.

seeing familiar faces is an incredibly encouraging thing, it can be a little strange seeing people out of context and at times confusing but it is always fun. As it was lunch time and Anna had food from the love feast back in Kona, we went to the Z gates and had lunch. Then went to the gate, we prayed I get on, she got on. The plane left. I stayed.

disappointment, frustration, confusion, determination. All these played into my heart right then. In my mind God had abandoned me, I would stay in that airport until i rotted, I was angry with him and was beginning to believe some serious lies. I was talking with my friend on the phone, complaining about how awful my life was. She wouldn't stand for it, and called me out and told me to go get with Jesus and work these things out. So I did. I poured out my heart and laid out my complaint nothing was held back, he listened, patiently waiting for his turn to talk. I dont recall what the Lord said to me word for word, but i do remember having a changed perspective and feeling the love of the father for me. I knew that I was going to be in that airport for a bit longer because he wanted to teach me somethings, but it was going to be ok.

I had one more flight I could catch, so I waited, got in line, didn't get on it and entered my first night at the airport.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dulles part 2

The plan was to meet Kim and Lindy and get the morning flight to London, that was the plan. I got to the airport later then expected, I had wanted to meet them at the gate as they got off their plane. That did not happen. I did however meet them at our gate, the next few events was a foreshadowing of the next four days. I went to the check in desk and made my self known and what kind of ticket I had, they said if there were any seats I would be called at the end of boarding. The plane began to board and i began to wait. Kim and Lindy got on the plane, I still waited, they called a name, I waited. They printed the passenger list and closed the gate.

They rolled me over to the next flight. I wanted to move some things from my cary on to my checked bag, so i unchecked my bag and left the gates. after a quick change of luggage it was time for lunch. Subway, at this point I had mixed feelings about the whole situation, on the one hand I new of the chances of this happening, on the other hand I had all the hope in the world that I would get on the next flight, and if not that one then certainly the next. I was disappointed and a little frustrated that I was not on the first flight with my friends, however I did have a great sub and was spending some great time with Jesus.

Airports are not designed to hang out in, they are made to get you through them. I was not moving through instead I was staying all day. How do you deal with the deep desire to get to your destination and the inability to get there coupled with God dealing with deep unbelief? Airports are not designed for deep spiritual moments. But God doesn't care about that.

I had Wendy's for dinner, I watched the sun set and sat in a window next to some escalators. you can really do whatever you want in an airport, no ones really going to hassle you. after diner I skated in the airport. Then the next flight. I was full of excitement and hope to catch this flight, I had spent all day at the airport so it stands to reason that God would get me on this one, I wouldn't have to wait for the next flight. The people got on, I waited, the passenger list was printed out the gate closed, and I stayed on the ground. "Well thats ok, their is still one more flight surly i will get that one."

More waiting, a Mike Bickle teaching, episode of "Band of Brothers". Time to start boarding the regular passengers, "I'm Alex Graves, I'm flying standby." "We will call you at the end if their is room." Wait. Worry, pray, hope, doubt, pray more, doubt, "where are you God?" They printed the passenger list closed the gate and I was now with out an option.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I love skating in odd places. I cant do many tricks, just ollie and manuals. But one of my favorite things is skating in obscure places, places you would never think would be good to skate in. When I was in China I had the rare opportunity to skate the Great Wall, its a highlight from being alive. I skated other places there as well but that was the most epic. One of my favorite places to skate, is in airports. as important as security is in airports its actually really lax. In the past year I have been to 4 different countries and way more airports, half the airports I've skated in. I was told not to, twice. Its a good way to kill some time, get some exercise and have fun. There is this element of I'm not really supposed to do this, but at the same time its ok, that makes it rather thrilling.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Prelude to a Life Change

Flying can be a tricky thing, especially when its on standby. but I'm already ahead of myself let me back up. Phase three left the first tuesday of September to go to California, I however was staying back in Kona, The Lord had told me earlier I would do that, so it was no big surprise. My goal was to raise money for outreach and get to Greg and Lizzy's wedding in london. I had got enough money to get me to the east coast and had heard a rumor of a ticket that would be $500 roundtrip east coast to london. so, I bought a ticket to D.C. though at this point I still didn't have a ticket to London, but Jesus said I would get there so I put all my trust in him and went fourth. Three days before I was going to fly I finally got ahold of my pilot friend, he could get me the ticket and it looked like I may even fly first class. Fantastic.

It was the afternoon that I was going to fly and I was going to have a layover in DC for one night, so I thought. So I sent an email to my moms best friend who lives near the airport asking if I could stay at her house, then I went to the airport and started my journey. I got on that first plane praying that I would get my own row, and thats exactly what happened. The next flight was not the case, but thats alright.

I got to DC with no idea of wether or not I would be staying at the airport or at Roberta's. So I called a friend in Hawaii had her get on my facebook and check for messages. This is what I heard:

Sorry but tomorrow is not going to work out for us. But I've made (and paid) a reservation for you at the following hotel near the airport. They have a shuttle from the airport and free breakfast. So that should tide you over. The reservation is in your name and confirmation number is 45200534."

When I heard sorry my heart sank, however I was mentally prepared for this, but then bam my own hotel room. This wasn't any motel six, This place was great. I had a burger, watched T.V. Skyped and went to bed, it was superb. The next morning I woke up later then I had planned, but it was alright I still got to the airport around the time I was planning on. But thats where my plans ended and I began a journey that would significantly alter my entire being.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What God Was Up To

A couple weeks ago I was covering the morning shifts in the cafe I work at here on base. It was a nice little adventure, I lived on base and got up at 5:45 every morning. Then I would make espresso with my friend Jake for two hours. Once the shift was over I would get a drink and read my bible on the couch. Pretty standard all week, until one morning.

I had been trying to figure out what happened with my clothes the previous week, "I know I got the shirts Lord, but you said that I would get all those clothes." Now I have to say faith shopping was never about getting clothes. What it really was is this, an experiment of walking in radical faith and relationship with God.

So I was going to read my bible when a friend came and stopped me, and asked me if I wanted to come with him to office max. Sure. So we went, now Office Max is really boring and nothing really happened there worth mentioning. So we got back in his car and we were about to drive back to campus and I was debating wether I should retell the events of last weeks adventure, when I was asked, "Do you want anything?"

Now I was at a loss for an answer because I didn't understand the question, it was a bit vague. "What do you mean?" I replied. "Like, do you need any clothes?" "You know it funny you should say that, I do." So I told him the story of the week before as we went to target. every piece of clothing that I put on hold was bought. I mean all of it. The flannel that I had originally put on hold had no tag, the one I grabbed with my friend, the same one. Some times we are like little kids demanding our deserts before our dinner, but God cares about our nutrition.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Really Happened last week

Did I hear God wrong? That was my question, a fair one I feel after the weeks misadventures. But unbelief and doubt rarely bring us closer to the Lord. So I said, "I don't fully understand this situation, I know what I heard. I know that it does not match what happened, but your still good, and thats what matters." So friday morning I sat in the cafe reading my bible and my friend called to me, "Alex, there is something in the fridge for you." Every morning after riding my bike to base I would go into the cafe, open the fridge and get a glass of water, this day was no different, and there was nothing out of the ordinary in the fridge. So you can imagine my curiosity when my friend Madison said this. "What is it?" I replied. To which she said, "Just come look." So I did. Right there in the fridge was the very pack of shirts that were put on hold two days earlier.

so what happened? Lets go back to tuesday.

We were full of faith and expectation for what God was going to do. it was almost 8 and Brit and I were still on base, I had a feeling that Target was going to close close at 9, seeing as how thats when everything closes here in Kona. So we got our bikes and were about to head out when we were intercepted by a girls small group, all of which I might add were wearing red make shift vests. Brit being the delight that she is began to inform our vested friends what we were about to go and do. Finally after a trust fall, we left. In that group of people was a girl named Taylor, she was in the same type of spot we were in. She needed huge financial breakthrough for her school or she would have to go home. The crazy thing is, the Lord said to her when we told her what we were doing, "I want you to buy them each one thing." So she is thinking to herself, "Lord how am I supposed to do that when I need money myself?" We left and she continued on with her night, wondering if she heard Jesus right or not and how it was all going to work out.

The next night, Taylor and two friends went to Target. She ran into none other than yours truly, we told them what we were still doing and about how we needed to dream bigger. Well that was the final straw for miss Taylor, she had heard the Lord and it was now time to walk out in obedience. We put our stuff back on hold and left. Seizing this golden window and choosing to save what money she had by not buying junk food, Taylor went up to the hold counter and asked to see our bag of clothes. With great indignation the employee brought out our bag of goodies. As she went through it she found the cheapest items, a pack of shirts and a pair of tights. Then she bought them.

For some reason on Thursday, when we went back to Target, we didn't look back in the bags, if we had we would instantly have known that something had happened. We picked up our bag but did not look into it, then we left. which brings us back to the fridge. I suddenly remembered the previous day, Taylor had asked me, "Alex, who were the white shirts for, you or Brit?" then I knew. She gave Brit the tights in the Prayer Room and also got 400 dollars that morning. I was so ecstatic that God had made a way for me to get these shirts. But I had heard him say that he was going to get all of the clothes and I couldn't help but wonder, "What are you up to God?"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Faith shopping part 1

Faith shopping. Thats right shopping by faith, its exactly what I did two weeks ago. As you all know right now I am exceptionally low on cash, as all my money is going to outreach. So here is the story, Brit, Chris Johnson, and myself decided to go on a bike ride monday evening and we found ourselves at target. while there we found some clothes that would be great in the northeast, for me a pair of skinny jeans and a flannel, it gets cold I hear, and Brit found three dresses, layers she says. Chris did not find anything. I thought to myself some new white shirts would go great with this. we decided that in faith we would put them on hold in the hope and belief that some how God would make a way for us to get these things.

The next day we returned full of faith and hopeful expectation for what Papa had done. We went to pick up our clothes, and to our surprise, I mean we were shocked, they had not been bought yet. Time to regroup. So we did what we know to do, go back to Jesus and ask him what to do, and he told us. so for the next hour under the directions of Holy Spirit we traveled through the store, learning how to work as a team and trust God more.

Closing time, still no money, and no one had come to ask if they could pay for our stuff. "I want you to try and buy your clothes." "Are you messing with me Lord" I replied, "you know that neither of us has money to do that." So I told Brit, "ask the Lord, yes or no." In no time her retort was yes. so we went up to the counter and laid our clothes down, afraid and yet excited for what could happen. She scanned the clothes, $120.31, "Brit, you want to tell her what were doing?" and so she did. And of course this woman looked at us like we were a bit off in the head, and then you know what happened when I took out my wallet to pay for everything? nothing, no money. Though she told Brit, that she was very encouraged by our faith.

So we put our clothes on hold again. The next day we went back, we had decided we did not want to spend the whole evening there. So we picked up our clothes, once again no one had bought them. While we were there we saw some friends from campus and told them what we were doing. Since no one had paid for them, we put them back on hold, but before we did Brit felt like the Lord said we needed to dream bigger, so I added a pack of white shirts and Brit added some tights. We also felt like this was the last time to put them on hold, and if they were not bought we would have to put them back.

The next night, the last night we had decided. We went back, this time we felt like we were supposed to walk around the store and pray for some one before we picked up our clothes. So we did. As we were about to return to the beginning of our circuit we saw a woman, about 50 feet away. She was the one to pray for. So we came up to her and started to talk with her, turned out she is a christian from the other side of the island, she was with her daughter that day and had been shopping all day. And she needed some healing, so we did what we always do, prayed, sadly she was not healed there on the spot, but she sure was encouraged. Then we felt released to pick up our clothes. Like the other times we went up full of faith and expectation, but once again like the last times they had not been paid for, so we said we would like to put them back. Then we left.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jamalabad Part deux

Aaron left, and it was also time for us to go to the village. it was no longer a frozen wasteland but it was instead Shangri la. no really they say the Hunza Valley was the location of the famous Shangri La. any way we spent two and a half weeks up in the village teaching for real, this time school was in session. i taught English using a book called "A Tale of Three Kings" by Eugene Peterson, the book is easy to read and about David, Saul, and Absolam. this gave me great opportunities to talk about Jesus with my students and the other teachers. one of the more exciting parts of the trip was my continuing weight loss. i didn't realize that i was on a diet program. i was, its called giardia. in Gilgit i began a ten day fast, on the fifth day of no food, things started to come out again, this may have to do with the tea. on the fifth day Andy and i decided to play a game. here is how it worked, you can never say no to a cup of tea offered to you unless you absolutely have to because you will be late to a prior engagement. so, i had ten cups of tea, and the water isn't particularly clean, so... you know, i pooped. allot. another thing i did allot of was beat box and so i also taught our neighbors how to do it. oh and I got to play with goats, so... ya it was awesome

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time in Gilgit

Sadly i have been away from a country that is so dear to my heart, Pakistan. its been a year since i left on my first out reach and i still have yet to finnish the story. here is the real downer, i've forgotten much of the story, maybe a little writing will jog my memory.

well, we made it back to Gilgit, our new bus took us almost up to our door step. when we got there, another team was there from colorado to great us, they were nice. we were exhausted, and smelled, bad, i mean really bad. so the first order of business was a shower and then dinner, then sleep. Gilgit was wonderful. spring had come and things were beginning to bloom, sadly though aaron was still wilting. he took a hard blow in the mountains. and couldn't shake it, even with a visit from Dan Bauman, our school leader. so he decided, that it was time to go home. it really was a bitter sweet time, it was wonderful to see every one back in Gilgit, and yet terribly sad to know that Aaron was going to go home soon.

Im Back

Its Been a 7 month Hiatus, mostly to not putting in the effort, but the Journeys have not stopped, so i will begin to chronicle these adventures once again. allot has changed, i've made it all the way around the world, been in a few more countries made the most amazing friends, been more blessed then i can express. its been a crazy 7 months, and by the blog time its been almost a year since i left off in the story. so welcome back! strap in and get ready for allot more stories and adventures, welcome back to the journeys of Alex Graves.