This is Not the End

We are finally in the States.  As we landed on American soil, the feeling was pretty bittersweet.  As I have reflected on the trip over the past couple of days, I have realized that there are few things I missed about my life in America: laundry machines, fellowship with my Sigma Phi Lambda sisters, my family, my puppies, Kitty, and the safety of being in a country that thrives on innovations in health, technology, and agriculture, that does its best to protect its citizens from disease, poverty, and crime.  Sure the US isn’t perfect, but this trip has certainly showed me the beauty that is America.  As we walked off of our last flight, Alicia exclaimed, “I don’t think I have ever felt as patriotic as I do now!”  And I couldn’t agree more.  America is pretty great.

However, as I said, the ending to this trip is bittersweet.  As I served the people of Nicaragua, I couldn’t help but think about how I don’t want this trip to end.  On this trip, we were provided with so many tangible examples of God’s power and love, and were given so many opportunities to experience what it is like to constantly be the hands and feet of Jesus, serving His people with all the energy and love that we had.  Before we enter this period of debriefing, I realize that I fear that I will not continue to serve God fully, with my whole self, that I will fall back into the temptation of going through the motions, that nothing will change, that my love for Christ will diminish as I fall back into the suffocating squeeze of the world’s temptations.  As I reflected on this trip, I realized that this lifestyle of travelling and investing in people and learning about their culture, was so comfortable for me.  I felt content.  I continue to pray that all that I have experienced and am experiencing now will lead to a clear calling to be obedient to God in a specific way, whether in missions, non-profit business, counseling, or anything new he has planned.

Since being in America, I found more and more that these jumbled thoughts are very difficult to put into words.  How can I explain to someone the profound experiences that I have had?  The work that God has done and is doing in me?  Even as I briefly checked in with my parents and a few friends this afternoon, I realized that this transition is going to be very difficult, almost like visiting a new country.  I must readjust to the culture, the food, the illnesses, the small talk…. And yet simultaneously I know I will be longing to be back in Uganda, running and squealing with the precious orphans, eating gallo pinto in Nicaragua, attempting to communicate with French kids, laughing with my team late at night, exhausted from a hard day of fulfilling work.  Even after experiencing the difficulty of wearing dirty clothes, taking icy showers, constantly smelling like bug spray, having lots of “runny stomachs,” and seeing so much injustice in this world, I wouldn’t trade my time abroad for anything.  But for now, I will try my best to walk alongside Christ, my hand in his, as he pulls me into this new season of life back in the States.

I apologize for this blog being so short, a little jumbled, and not really about my time in Nicaragua.  I would love to share more of my experiences with y’all once I am a little less exhausted and a little more coherent!  Perhaps once I have access to internet again, after Debriefing.  Until then, please continue to be prayer warriors!  Please pray that all of the seeds planted on this trip in these countries will be nurtured by the local missionaries, that all those who long to know Christ more fully would find the discipleship, fellowship, and encouragement that they seek, and that our team processes this experience in a way that is healthy and God-honoring, and that the fruit we bear and the seeds that we continue to plant here in the states and abroad will bring much praise and glory to His name!

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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

This has surely been the most difficult country. Yet it has also been one of the most incredible.

My breath was so often taken away by the beauty of the mountains, the sea, the architecture, the culture, the language…. We had a day to explore a historic village called St. Paul de Vence on our first full day. I cannot wait for all of you to see the pictures! It was such a fairytale. Cobblestone streets everywhere, stone buildings, flowers and vines lining the walkways and the buildings, gelato shops at every corner, an abundance of freshwater fountains for visitors and locals alike to drink from… At the edge of the village there was a walkway where you could see the whole city: mountains on the right, the Mediterranean on the left, the stone homes in the valley between the two. It was heavenly! I only hope I will have the opportunity to come back with the rest of my family, so that they can experience the beauty of the place and its culture.

That Sunday, we had the opportunity to attend both of the churches that the missionary teams manage. In the first service that morning, as I was worshipping, I was overwhelmed by what I think was the Spirit. I was filled with a great love for the country and its people, that I had previously not experienced in any country I have visited. If I am honest, I can’t really find the words to explain the connection God gave me with France. Perhaps it was purely an appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation, but perhaps it was the beginning of a calling to France. Only time and prayer will tell. 

During the week, we assisted the church in putting on a Vacation Bible School for about 70 students, ages 4-12. Because southern France is a VERY spiritually dry place, the majority of the children had never heard about Jesus, many of their parents being atheists, not religious, Muslim, etc. Since the people of France are not familiar with the term “VBS,” the camp was called a Bilingual Kids Camp. Most of the parents were sending their kids so that their English would improve, and so that the kids would get excited about learning English. While this was accomplished, God did so much through the camp! What a glorious sight it was to see the kids get excited about singing the worship songs written for the VBS and learning about some of the incredible things God did in the Bible. During the camp, I acted as a crew leader for the oldest group of 10-12 year olds. About 50% of the children could communicate with me in English. So again, the Enemy tried to limit my relationships with these kids with the language barrier. At times I was so tempted to engage with the kids who knew English, and not communicate with the kids that couldn’t understand me. But God was so faithful in providing children who could translate flawlessly so that the other children and I could communicate! Some of the kids who could not speak any English ended up being some of the ones with whom I connected most! One precious girl, Anais, ran up to me after the final performance for the parents and jumped into my arms, planting a big kiss on my cheek and smiling from ear to ear. That moment is one that I hope never to forget. Ultimately, it was such a special experience to see volunteers, parents, and children all getting excited about the love of Jesus Christ and praising Him! It was also very eye opening to see the great need for church plants and faithful Christians to go and spread the gospel and the love of Christ to the wealthy, but very broken people of Southern France.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of spiritual warfare in this country for our team, other teams, and ultimately all of France. This transition was expected to be difficult because of the change from living in a 3rd world country to a very wealthy area of a 1st world country. And indeed it was, but not for the reasons I expected. As a team, we were thrown into a beautiful place, with many very broken people, unaware of their need for Christ. The hopelessness is almost palpable, and was found to be a little contagious. The team experienced some disunity, had a few arguments, and we were pushed to our ultimate limits, relationally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Joanna experienced the death of one of her closest friends, Caylin and Adam became ill, and all of us were constantly exhausted because of the long work days and the little rest we were receiving at the campsite. When I am asked by people I have met on this journey what my biggest struggle has been on the trip, I tell them that I have been challenged so much relationally. It has always been difficult for me to form deep relationships. I am afraid of conflict, of disappointing others, afraid of being hurt or let down, afraid of being completely vulnerable; as a result my friendships often are surface level, characterized by these secret fears. On this trip, you rarely, except in the shower really, have time to yourself, and you are constantly surrounded by the other team members, which can be really difficult for everyone. It is so humbling to have your relational quirks fully exposed. Tendencies I didn’t even know existed, feelings I have never experienced, a heightened awareness of other’s faults…..It is in this proximity and this awareness that I began to really realize how much I needed Jesus. I realized how sinful I am, so full of anger, so frugal in giving grace to others, so easily irritated. As a result of all of these new discoveries about myself, I have had to humble myself daily and ask God to help me to see others the way he sees them. I have only been able to make these friendships and emotionally survive this journey because of his provision. Please continue to pray that our team will continue to rely on God to provide a spirit of unity among us as his Body.

However, this conflict was not the biggest struggle we encountered on this leg of the trip. On Thursday night, we had just finished a long, pretty difficult day. Three of us had worked hard at the VBS, and two members of the team had taken a much needed day to rest, in an attempt to beat the sickness they had been experiencing. That morning, the plan was to grab dinner on our way to the Nice campus of the church to attend a biblestudy there. Afterwards, because it was Bastille Day, we planned on attending the festivities on the Promenade of the beach in Nice, planned on ending our day watching the fireworks on the beach. But because of the nature of our day, with the team’s illnesses and exhaustion, one of the missionaries, Jill, advised that we instead have a restful night at the campsite, in order to recharge for the last day of VBS. Thank God we listened to her suggestion. We would have been exactly where the attack happened, if we had gone into Nice that night. I can’t even imagine being on the beach that night.

The next morning, Adam awoke to 8 missed calls from Sarah, and when he called her back he heard a little of what had happened. Because we had very limited access to internet in France, I am still not completely informed as to what happened, but what I have heard is pretty atrocious and becomes more and more frightening the more I think about how close we were to being victims of the attack. That morning, when we got to the church, I received a message from my very concerned mother, and that is when I realized how awful the attack had been. I would give anything to hear her voice right now and be held by her again. Tears stream down my face as I think about how close I was to never seeing her or the rest of my family in this life again.

Since Friday, it has been really difficult for me to get excited for this last leg of the trip. As I write, we are on a 10 hour flight (2 of 4 flights today) on our way to Nicaragua. I have been more vulnerable in this post in hopes that you would know specifically what to pray for.

In a mere 13 days, I will be home in my mother’s arms again, preparing for my second year of Baylor. Time certainly has flown, yet, simultaneously, I feel as if I have lived a lifetime over these past two months. Thank you so much for your prayers and your financial support. God has done so much through this trip in my life and the lives of many others and I can’t wait to see all that he will continue to do as a result of your support!

Joy Comes in the Morning!

Wow.  My heart is so full.  These past couple of days in the beautiful country of Uganda have been full of so much joy, love, beauty, and grace.  As we arrived in Uganda, we met up with the another team from the central and west Texas areas and drove from Entebbe to a hotel half way to Mbale.  After a restful night of sleeping IN A BED, we woke up and took a boat ride to where the Nile and Lake Victoria meet.  I cannot even express in words the breadth of the Lord’s majesty that is so obviously apparent in his creation.  We saw wild monkeys, stray cats, a plethora of exotic birds, and even some pretty huge lizards!  With the mountains surrounding us and the canoe floating down the peaceful Victoria, I couldn’t help but rest in his presence.  What beauty!  What peace!  Who are we that we get to experience God’s perfect creation?

As we arrived at the Luwanda Children’s home, we were greeted by so many smiling faces, dancing and singing to us, welcoming us into their home, their school, and their hearts.  There has been no shortage of laughter, hugs, learning, and playing.

But the real reason for my writing this is because of an encounter with the spirit I had the honor to experience last night. During the morning tour of the home and school, one of the house mothers informed Natalie, a resident missionary, that she had received a call that one of the mothers of three of the children had passed away the previous night.  After some tears and a heartfelt prayer with the teams, we continued on with our day.  After one of the children, Grace (15) had been told, we received word that there had been a mistake and that the mother was not in fact dead.

Last night, our team had the opportunity to eat with Natalie and Grace and another sweet girl, Helen.  After introducing them to chicken pot pie and devouring some chocolate cake, we began to clean up.  Noticing that Natalie and girls were in the living room area of our accommodations, I walked in to find a very somber Grace and Natalie speaking words of truth over the teen.  You must know that Grace is one of the most joyful people I have ever been blessed to meet.  Despite the news, she had kept a smile on her face for the entire day, continuing to love on the other children, hugging me often, and talking without ceasing about all that she has learned as a result of her being an avid reader.

As I sat down near Natalie and Grace, Natalie began to speak scripture over her, encouraging her to turn to God.  The missionary began to gently probe Grace to share the feelings she was experiencing.  I learned that Grace had had the opportunity to visit her mother and grandmother.  Tears began to stream down her face as she explained the condition of her mother, who was battling HIV.  She explained that she was very, very sick, and was being taken care of by Grace’s grandmother.  Grace seemed to feel guilty that she was at Luwanda with her 2 siblings, rather than caring for her mother.

Seeing such a joyful, inspirational young women suffer and be so vulnerable overwhelmed my heart, and I began to cry.  We sat there in silence for what I think was an hour.  Resting in his presence, praying over sweet Grace, crying, and just being.  This time of silence transitioned into a time of tearful worship, and the rest of the team joined the three of us, in praising the Creator of the Universe for creating sweet Grace, praying that she and her family be surrounded in peace that surpassed all understanding.  I struggle even now to write about it without tearing up.  There are no words that would be adequate to describe the beauty and the simultaneous pain of the situation.  God’s presence was so palpable in that place.  As I sit and reflect, I cannot help but think that this is how God created us to be, creatures of praise, fellowshipping with one another and serving one another and encouraging one another.  Just being with one another.  I pray that my life will be filled with moments like the one last night, that my heart would experience joy and pain and beauty and grace and in all moments praise the one and only God who created us so perfectly.

After resting in His presence for a little longer, Natalie initiated a dance party, which turned into the best dance party ever had.  I learned some pretty rad African dance moves, which should probably stay in Africa.

As I sit writing this blog, kids are coming up to me, giving me so much love, hugging me, drawing me pictures, dancing….  Who knows if God will call me to return to this place, to live in this loving community long term one day, but for now I will cherish the present moment.  Relax in the cool air, gaze at the majestic mountains, give as many hugs as I can, and build my cheek muscles as smile without ceasing.  This kids have taken my heart.  God is so alive at Luwanda children’s home.  What a blessing it is to have this opportunity.  Thank you.

How Majestic is His Name!

To be honest, I was surprised by how difficult the transition was from Hong Kong to Thailand. Even though Hong Kong was really difficult to fall in love with, I left part of my heart there in those smelly, crowded mountains. My heart was torn as we left the incredibly passionate missionaries and such an incredible ministry, transitioning to a much slower paced culture with new missionaries, new currency, new accommodations, new food, and a new language. But that tear was quickly repaired and renewed with the love of the young adults in the Shoulder2Shoulder program. Initially feeling insignificant and a little helpless because of the language barrier, I could have never imagined all that God would do through the many relationships and, hopefully, lifelong friendships that I built in these past 10 days. God is so good!

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My time is limited as we transition to our next destination (Uganda) but I would like to try to share one of the most meaningful experiences I experienced so far on this trip, and, honestly, in my 19 years that I have lived. Part of Shoulder2Shoulder is a ministry through which the members of the Body of Christ come together and provide physical and spiritual support for families battling HIV. We had the opportunity to walk alongside them and serve these families by providing them with some food and praying over them, even though most, if not all, were not Christian. On entering one family’s home, we were showed into a room in which a very old, very sick elderly man was laying on a mat. Although he was not the member of the family that had HIV, he was being cared for by his daughter who did have the disease. The man was incredibly skinny, having nothing but skin on his bones. He looked minutes from death. He couldn’t speak; he couldn’t hear; he struggled to eat, which was obvious by his emaciated body. Yet something struck me about his eyes. As we began to pray over him, I could palpably feel the Holy Spirit in that room. With my eyes closed and head bowed, I took a moment to rest in His presence and rejoiced in the sound of my brothers and sisters in Christ worshipping and praying in many different languages (Thai, English, and probably several tribal languages). I have come to realize that there is nothing more beautiful in His creation than the sound of people praising his name as the Body. While my eyes were closed, I felt a nudge from one of my team members and opened my eyes to see the man reaching out for my hand. In that moment, as I took his hand, I felt as if I was seeing a glimpse of Christ, reaching out his hand, disguised as the least of us. In that man’s eyes, I saw heaven. I can’t find the words to describe exactly what I felt, but it was something so powerful and so incredibly beautiful. Once I closed my eyes again, I sat and imagined what it would be like to have the opportunity to see that man again, standing ready to welcome me into the gates of Heaven with a warm embrace, a vision that Alicia also experienced. That day I prayed with all of my sin-filled, unworthy heart that that man would be given a dream or some way of hearing the gospel so that he could accept Christ and live in Paradise for eternity. Today, we were notified that the man passed away. His daughter walked in on him crying shortly before he died, and explained to the women that spoke with her later that she was astounded that the man was crying, as no one had ever seen the man cry before. Shortly after, she reentered the room and the man was at peace and had died. I pray I will see him again.

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There is so much more I want to say about my experiences over the past week and a half. I don’t know why God picked me to experience such a beautiful culture, why he picked me to be surrounded by majestic mountains and rice fields, why he picked me to eat pig intestines or bugs, why he picked me to experience the Land of Smiles and all the love that the people had to give. But it is an experience I will cherish for eternity.

Please continue to pray for the ministries with whom we have and will be working, that all the illness and physical pain that the team has experienced thus far will be completely healed as we journey to Uganda, that God will make the goodbyes and the transition to Uganda as painless as possible, and that God would clearly reveal His calling for me during this trip and that I would be attentive and receptive to His voice as He speaks.

Thank you so much for your support and your prayers! God bless all of you!

Observations from Hong Kong

For those of you that like to know every little detail (Mom;)), this is for you!  Because of the nature of the ministry with whom we worked, I am unable to provide many details on the internet of my experience doing courier work.  However, here are some observations from Hong Kong and a few from China!  If you are interested in the ministry, I would love to share my experiences with you in person once I get back to the States.  But for now, this will have to do for this leg of the trip.  Enjoy!

  • Expect to constantly see unattended school children running past you in packs, laughing and screaming, at all times of the day. It’s pretty precious.
  • The smells can be nice, but most often are pretty putrid and hit your senses when least expected. Eek! Probably the most negative part of my experience, but it kept me on my toes!
  • KFC has burgers in addition to chicken. Who would’ve thought?
  • Little pastry shops are on every corner!
  • The weather during the summer is stifling hot and more humid than anything I have experienced in the States. Even Houston!
  • Public transportation is standard and very widespread. Very few people have cars, as there is little physical space in the city to accommodate such a large object and the cars and gas are VERY expensive.
  • Nearly all the city residents, if not all, live in flats in high-rise buildings. I have not seen any houses since coming to Hong Kong.
  • There are malls everywhere! In every building, it seems.
  • Lots of jewelry stores, beauty stores, and expensive handbag stores, as such businesses are some of the only that can afford the rent in malls.
  • Consumerism is a huge part of the culture in the city; very similar to that of New York City, in my opinion.
  • Most young women wear edgy clothing that would be considered “hipster” in America. I sort of loved the fashion. Alicia did not… 😉
  • The hills are incredible. One day I would love to come back in the nicer weather and backpack around the mountains.
  • There are escalators everywhere.
  • The Chinese babies and little tikes are probably the most precious babes I have ever seen.
  • Energy conservation and cleanliness are very cherished in HK, and has been strictly encouraged since right before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, so that visitors to the city would have a positive view of the city.
  • Many China residents cross into HK daily to purchase items cheaper and more available in HK, but often can only bring a very limited quantity of the supplies back into China. (example would be a 2 container limit on formula).
  • Many people do not talk to each other on public transportation because they value their mental space, as there is little physical space in the city.
  • Dogs are seldom on leashes and mostly poop on the walkways. But owners are very responsible in cleaning up after their pets.
  • There are crowds and lines EVERYWHERE.
  • Lots of pushing. If you don’t push, you won’t get anywhere. Won’t make the train. Won’t be able to get onto an escalator.
  • Elevators are often packed to their occupancy limit. Ex. 23 people plus luggage in a typical sized elevator. There are no comfort zones here. Haha 😉
  • The Chinese might ask to take pictures with Americans, as they sometimes think that you are someone famous. Especially if you have blonde hair and light eyes.
  • The “Wet Market” has some interesting foods on display for purchase: whole ducks/ducklings; all parts of a pig (including what appeared to be testicles), snakes, frogs, turtles, lots of local fruits and vegetables (often 3x the size of typical American produce).
  • They have pizza hut, subway, Starbucks, kfc, and McDonalds! (I am sure there are more “American” places, but I can’t currently recall them).
  • People are always handing out flyers. If you don’t ignore them, you will walk across a bridge and have enough paper for an entire book!
  • Cheese is a very expensive and not often bought by the locals. More of an American food.
  • Most everyone carries around a suitcase in which to store their groceries and other purchases.
  • No clothes dryers. All clothes are line-dried.
  • Mattresses and pillows are often hard. Some of the team even found pillows with rocks in them!
  • Although the elderly are very valued, but it’s still ok to push them back in order to make it on a train. Otherwise, they will kick or push you first.
  • There are lots of cockroaches. Big, small…You see them everywhere.
  • Lots of peace hand signs in posing for pictures.
  • SOOOO MUCHHHHH SWEATTTTT.
  • The immigration hand sanitizer smells like sour vinegar and is the consistency of water. One missionary compared it to smelling like sour vodka, but how would I know?
  • The freshest eggs were found at the farmer’s market, not the grocery store. The grocery store eggs we saw were often rotten.
  • My allergies were AWFUL. Lots of runny noses.
  • I saw very few westerners.
  • Lots of cigarette smoking in the streets and walkways, despite signs asking people to abstain.
  • Wing Wah advertisements are everywhere. Look it up. Apparently they are cake pastries filled with duck yolk.
  • Real estate is SUPER expensive.
  • Air conditioning is called “Air Con”
  • $1 US= $7.7 HK
  • Prices are about the same as in the US, except for cheese, real estate, etc.
  • People don’t put stickers on their waterbottles, or any of their personal belongings, as is common for young adults in America.
  • Many people wear masks.
  • Platform shoes and heels are rampant.

 

I had such a lovely time and absolutely loved the fellowship I had with the long-missionaries! I would definitely be interested in coming back to become more familiar with the culture, the mountains, and the ministry!  But for now, off to Thailand!

 

PS: I miss all of you dearly!  Thank you for your continued prayers and all of your support so far!  I pray that you feel that your support was appropriately given and that you are in the know regarding all of what God is doing through your contributions.  To mom and dad and Luke, I hope all is well and I love you so so much.  Until next time…

Whew!

Whew! Where do I even begin? It has been over a week since I left on the biggest journey of my life thus far. Never would I have thought I would experience such spiritual growth as I have in such a short period of time! After a fun-filled weekend of training, we began our journey to the most beautiful city I have ever had the opportunity to see: Hong Kong.

Never having traveled overseas, I admit that I was not looking forward to the 14 hour flight from CA to Hong Kong. That is until I found out that they served us complimentary meals!!!! The time “flew by,” and before I knew it, we had arrived. I was taken aback by the beauty of the coexistence of the lush and majestic mountains and the towering high-rise buildings; expecting Hong Kong to be pretty similar to NYC, I was certainly caught off guard and couldn’t help but gaze in awe-filled wonder at the glory of His creation.

Since our arrival, God has been so good! I did not experience any jet lag or motion sickness from our travels, which is surely a miracle. Additionally God has provided us with safety and protection as we dare to bring God’s Good Book to a very hungry Chinese church. Most of all, my heart is filled with so much joy when I consider all of the incredible people that I have met in this country. The missionaries with whom we are working are so passionate, inspiring, bold, courageous, faithful, and loving. They have welcomed us with wide arms and have poured out so much love on our team, being incredibly patient when we were learning our way around Hong Kong and China, welcoming us into their homes for some incredible enchiladas, and showing us around the city on our weekend off of work. I am sure that these friendships will last for a very long time, and I cannot wait to see all that God does through their faithfulness.

Tonight, as I sit on the top bunk in our cozy accommodations, I am very aware of my sore feet after working for over 12 hours. Yet the pain is nothing compared to the pure joy I feel knowing that I get to be a minuscule part of such an incredible ministry, of such an incredible time in its history, that I get to live each day confident that I am only able to take another step, another breath, another shift because of his unbelievable faithfulness.

Please continue to pray for team unity, safety, relief from sickness for Joanna and Adam, relief from some pretty severe rib pain that I have been experiencing, and just that each day we become more and more reliant on the Holy Spirit to lead us in the way everlasting. Amen.

Here I am, Lord! Send me!

When I was young, I would often lay and daydream about the day when I would be allowed to travel to Uganda, just like my daddy did every summer.  Every summer when he came back I would sit in awe as I listened to him recount all of the great things that God has done through his mission, and I would plead to be allowed to join his team in Uganda the next year, but every year he responded with an endearing, but still frustrating, “Honey, you are still too young.  Perhaps when you are older” as he smiled a soft, scraggly smile.  As the years came and went, I began to feel a calling to explore full-time missions as a potential career path.  I participated in the Life.Church Chazown program, compiling all of my past experiences and God-encounters, surrounding them in prayer, with hopes of God revealing my Chazown, my God-given purpose in life.  Again, I felt a pull to pursue missions.

During my first semester at Baylor, as a new member of the pre-health community, I was constantly encouraged to use every summer wisely, told that the best ways to utilize the break was to participate in summer research programs, obtain a scribe job in a local hospital, get an internship…. Yet, I continued to feel like God was calling me to investigate this calling I believed he had placed in my mind.  I was torn.  Do I pursue the path that was said to be consistent with acceptance into Medical School or do I follow God’s calling and “waste” a summer that I could have been doing something more productive, something more successful.  I finally surrendered the decision in prayer, asking God to provide clarity, a clear path for me to take for the upcoming summer.  That next morning, I saw a flyer hung throughout my homey college dorm, advertising an informational session about Global Journey’s summer trip.  Seeing this as a potential answer to prayer, I committed to going.  Plus, there was free pizza from the best pizza place in town.  How could I pass that up? 😉

That afternoon, the lovely Sarah Posey, president of Global Journey Missions, was God’s instrument in speaking to me.  I continued to wrestle with whether this opportunity would be the best for my future career, but in the end, I was convicted by my faithlessness in trusting God’s path, which I trust will always be so much more incredible than any path that man says is best.

After months of being overwhelmed by God’s provision in funding what seemed to be an impossibly expensive trip, the day has finally come.  My bags are packed and tomorrow at 5:15am I head to San Antonio, TX to meet my family for the next 60 days and begin training for the adventure of a lifetime.  As we journey to China, Thailand, Uganda, France and Nicaragua, I pray that I will be continually reminded of God’s purpose for this trip.  Not that I might be entertained and wowed by all of the incredible experiences that I gain, but that he would be glorified in all that I do, that he would fill me with a love so abounding for the people that we encounter, that it could only be attributed to Him.  Please join me in praying that God will continue to do the impossible during this trip!