*First off, you should know that even though this SAYS that it’s posted by Jessica, we (Amanda AND Jessica) are sitting here, writing this together. 🙂 Also, we MEANT to write this and get it posted the week that we got home. We’re a little late… but better late than never, right??? Anyway, on to the story…

Should we? Or shouldn’t we? Do you think it is really the best time? In a way, the details aren’t falling into place… yet, in another way, they are. How do we know what is the Lord’s will?

These questions were buzzing through our minds a few weeks ago. A friend had mentioned a Desktop Publishing class that was being held at Verity Institute in Indianapolis, IN. We had been looking around and praying for the Where it all happened... Lord to direct us to the right course, as some of our current activities involve graphic design. This seemed like the perfect answer to prayer… except for some rather large logistical problems blocking our path. While we thought it was a wonderful opportunity, we didn’t know if it would work out. When we first heard about it, it was about a month away.

So life went on as normal, and thoughts of the class got pushed to the “back burner.” That is, until the week before, when we realized that if we were indeed  considering it, we should do just that… think and pray about it. We (Amanda and Jessica) were the two that would go, and neither of us felt strong leading one way or the other. And neither did Mom and Dad. About four days before the class began, our friend contacted us again, telling us that there were only two more available slots in the class. We continued thinking, talking, and praying. Still, no one felt directed one way or the other. Three days before class began, another friend called, telling us that if we decided to go, we could ride home with her, since she was going to be in Indy that week, too. It seemed that so many details were falling into place, yet there was still so many more details to work out… and time was rapidly running out.

Thursday morning at breakfast, Dad said that if we wanted to go, it was perfectly fine with him, and that he would get Greyhound tickets for us to get there. But it wasn’t until Thursday afternoon that we had confirmation that we actually were going… and we had to leave at 4:30 Friday morning. This whole episode was a lesson in flexibility, patience, and trust while waiting on the Lord’s direction and timing.

Our wonderful family helped us with the “speed packing.” (We actually did pretty well with that; we only forgot a couple little things… like toothpaste……)On Friday, we were ready to go and pulling out of the driveway at, well… it was really early in the morning. Dad and Sunny went with us to the bus stop, which was about one and a half hours away. We were both very excited about the trip, what we would learn, and the opportunities that would arise. Little did we know what the Lord had in store!

Our first bus arrived at 7:15, the driver got out, and Dad went over to talk to him. We had heard that there would be forty extra seats… but there was negative one. In other words, the bus was full, one person was already standing, and there were four people waiting to get on. So, we stood for the first twenty minutes of the trip. That was the first of many adventures.

Throughout the day, we had a couple witnessing opportunities which were very eye-opening, and although we felt inadequate for some of the questions we were asked, the whole experience helped strengthen our faith and trust in the Lord. We also had an unexpected bus transfer, and another time almost missed our bus. More adventure…

We arrived safely in Indianapolis, and walked in on our almost-asleep roommates at 10:30pm. :/ (They were very gracious, though. :)) We had four wonderful roommates that week, and we were all there for the DTP (Desktop Publishing) class. God definitely put us there together for a reason – the fun and fellowship were wonderful!

Class began at 11:30 on Saturday, with an introduction to Adobe Photoshop. (We were very blessed to have our friend, James Staddon, there as the teacher’s assistant. His technical and moral support were a huge blessing to us all!) That was a great time, and was just the beginning of that incredible week…

But we do realize that as much as the week meant to us, you probably don’t want to hear all the nitty-gritty details and stories of what took place. We’ve probably already bored a lot of readers. So we’ll try to give a short synopsis 🙂 :

From Monday morning until Friday evening, most of us were in the computer room from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. (with meal breaks), cramming our heads as full as we could get them! Mr. Ritchie was a great teacher – he made us feel “at home” using InDesign and he gave lots of little illustrations and stories in the lessons. He also threw in several jokes for good measure, just to lighten the loads of information. 🙂 We learned lots of new words, or new meanings to old words, such as: track, kern, lead (not pencil lead), serif, CMYK and RGB, clone, mask, eyebrow, ear, and gutter. We also learned the nine steps to graphic design, the eleven design rules, the six categories of font, the six ways to build contrast with font, the difference between white and black space (we’re not talking about color here!!), the different types of page and text organizers, and SO much more!!!

The first couple nights, we sat around after dinner, fellowshipping and getting to know each otherGem and Joanna are sisters - Joanna was in DTP with us. The whole classAnna and Jenny (Anna was in the class occasionally; Jenny was a "regular")It was nice to have some lots of other opinions to call on!The air conditioning didn't work in the computer lab; the Queen just "happened" to end up with the fan. :PWe worked hard...... but after a while, "de-pixelation" was vital!Having fun in the cool, refreshing outdoorsThe six roommates: Kayla, Jenny, Afton, Amanda, Sarah, and JessicaWe HAD to get a group shot - our fantastic week wouldn't have been complete without one!!!! :)

By the time we all split ways at the end of the week, we had gained new information, new ideas, and best of all, new friends with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of our absolute favorite times from the week were when our group was sitting around the dinner table, fellowshipping with others of like precious faith. We count it a huge blessing and privilege that we were allowed that opportunity! May every one of us use all that we’ve learned to bring God glory!!!