Hello everyone. Time has passed and the curtains have been drawn. Though BayUP ended six days ago, I couldn’t leave you all hanging to our unfinished story. For the last time, here’s what’s up with the Cal Team.

During the last week of BayUP, all the students moved in together into the Home of Peace at Oakland. It’s a nice, yellow Victorian-style house with aesthetic interior designs and very relaxing quarters. For a week, we underwent different workshops, such as economic discipleship, re-entry, and theology of work. It also became the time to start toning down any emotional highs, though for some people some things resurfaced, so more crying ensued (lol). But it’s okay. We had dance parties and a mafia night to compensate for that. 

The last day, August 1st, was filled with (saddening) goodbyes. Someone was off to Reno, some other person was off to a 9-hr train ride to LA, while some people left early when their loved ones came to pick them up. Though we were exhausted and needed a break (from each other, lol), the fact that we branched off to different parts of California, back to our respective campuses as changed people, ready to set trails on fire, felt very bittersweet. We’ve grown close to one another, and though there are low chances of encountering each other again in the near future, I’m confident that we’ve left enough marks in each others’ hearts so that friendships will last. 

Fast forward to six days after BayUP… and I’m having a withdrawal. Dissonance here, dissonance there. Lies above, lies below. Even though I came out of BayUP with a renewed identity in God and ready to dispel every lie, my heart is at a high low. Not only am I missing my friends, but I’m also missing the BayUP micro-space where my friends and I dealt challenges together. Where we shook our heads in disappointment every time we saw an injustice. But since that space isn’t available at home anymore, I am (and the others are) feeling overwhelmed. Suddenly, life feels like I’m wading through a pool emulsified with lies and trashed with evil. And if we continue with the imagery, every step through that pool feels like a quick sand of temptations dragging me down – the temptation to assimilate back to my old habits. It really takes a lot of effort to live in constant contact with such “contaminants,” and doing it without accessible BayUP friends makes the toll much higher. #thestruggleisreal

But anyway, I don’t want to leave you thinking that BayUP is a wacko program aimed to create emotionally-dysfunctional students. Post-BayUP brings such a good and savory struggle. It’s very reassuring of how much my eyes have been opened and how much my heart is able empathize. It’s also a catalyst of dwelling excitement in our hearts to bring about God’s kingdom into Earth. 

Before I sign off, I want to thank you all who have subscribed and walked with us for the past 6 weeks. Thank you for your helping us through such a strenuous 6-week program. Thank you for being such a great support network  🙂

God, thank you for choosing us to be part of this program. And for giving us the courage and faith to choose into it. Thank you for claiming us as your sons and daughters, fresh in our new identities as bringers of shalom into the world. Thank you that we cried, laughed, and wrestled. Thank you for breaking us, but also piecing us together. We are fuller than ever before, and we’re glad that we’re full in You. 

Signing off, 

Jomer Polanes (& Ciantelle Tienzo, Jason Wang, Marilu Aguilar, Estelle Luk) 

The Cal BayUP Team 2014! Go Bears! 



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