throwback to China 2012….looking through these pictures makes me so nostalgic.
miss my family so much. <3
I just got 9 bug bites in the last five minutes. and I’m INSIDE. sigh.
Now I’m extremely itchy…and I’m getting hot. I decided to go put on long-sleeved clothing because I will not be a happy camper if I get one more mosquito bite. I must say though, I looked pretty ridiculous hunting that mosquito down hahaha
I was so close to slapping it with a magazine too….
Went so much better than I expected! God hears, God answers! I’ve been pouring out everything to Him, especially my worries/anxieties about school/my future, and He’s showing me how faithful He is :)
Today was a really great start to sophomore year! I have complete faith that God’s going to do AMAZING, FAN-ROCKIN-TABULOUS things! hehehe
Wow. That’s honestly all I can muster up to describe this trip; words aren’t enough to express the wonder and God-filled moments in this trip. I’m typing up this post really late (the trip was a month ago), but I still feel the impact every single day. Our group is still SO CLOSE, and our relationships with one another have gone to a level that I never thought possible. God is doing BIG, BIG things, and it’s absolutely stunning and profound that he would do such great things in us, for us, and through us. I’m just going to type a short testimony/summary for the trip; there’s SO MUCH to say! Haha but here we go…
I left for the trip a bit apprehensive and skeptical. Many people around me continually asked me before I left how “just doing construction” and fixing up houses could have a lasting, spiritual impact on the people there. Honestly, I started to wonder about this a lot too, and I had no idea what to expect.
But God completely blew my mind and left me, everyone else on the team, and people around us speechless and in awe of His awesome name. Haha I’m having trouble typing this because I have so much to say; I don’t know what to say first!
One of the most impactful, and completely unexpected, events that happened was our unity with one another. None of us even expected to grow to be so spiritually close and encouraging to one another; it finally started to feel like the church that Paul talked about in Acts 2! <3 Our saying for the week was, “With Love,” because everything we did, we did with the power of Christ’s love. Our unity was so strong that we remained patient and calm with one another even through the hair-pulling “catastrophes.” For example, we had the wrong paint. Hahaha we painted the house a rich, foresty green, and it was going really well. We needed another can of the paint, so our team leaders went to get another can. We opened it up, and started painting, because of course, that would be the logical thing to do. Then someone noticed that the paint didn’t look right…and that it wasn’t drying the same. But one of our team leaders just responded with, “Have faith, it’s the right color.” About 20 minutes later, we had painted most of the splotches in the front and some on the side. And then our team leader stepped back, and it was obviously not the right color! LOLOL it’s quite hilarious looking back on it, since the front of the house had was a dark green for the most part, but it had yellow-ish green splotches all over it. It was a bit stressful in that moment, but we stayed patient with one another, and it brought us all closer as a group :)) We also had to do chores (wash dishes, mop floors, clean the toilets and showers, etc) and serve in the camp one night. It definitely was not a very fabulous job, to say the least hahaha. But we stayed positive throughout it all, and had so much fun that we wanted to do the dishes again! God gave us all such servant-spirited hearts, and that made an impact on everyone around us :)
Our love for one another and those around us was so apparent that other groups were also affected and blessed by it: another church that was there, the kitchen ladies (we sang them a song two of us wrote to thank them for their service in making us the food! hehe), the staff there, some girls in our cabin—God did amazing things for and through us during the trip. alskajlskdj too amazing. I’m smiling just thinking about it :))
Three of us also held a Bible club in a park next to the house that we were working on. I didn’t really expect anything out of it because it wasn’t a “scheduled” club. I’ve been doing CEF for the past four years, and I’ve been so used to scheduled clubs in which the parents and the kids both knew where to go at what time. But for this club, we were just going out in faith, and praying and trusting that God would never whomever He wanted to send. The first day we went to the park, a boy came (trying to get the boy’s attention at first was hilarious. haha inbox me if you would like to know what happened) and one of us told him the Wordless Book. He responded to the invitation, and accepted Jesus as His Savior! That gave me so much hope and excitement for the next few days! By the end of the week, we had 8 or 9 kids :)) God did absolutely amazing things, and it was so hard saying goodbye to them. One of the girls asked us if we would be coming back next year haha. I sure hope so!
We also never stopped singing. We would have praise/worship time every single night, and one of the churches there even invited us to have dinner at their church and play some songs so that we could worship together. It was so wonderful <3 Even while we were fixing up the house, cleaning toilets—whatever we were doing, we would be singing praises. Singing praises really helped us focus on the reason why we were on the trip, and help us remember that all the glory went, and still goes, to God! Like our team leader said, “It’s really hard to be critical and upset when you’re singing songs of praise.” Amen to that, brother!
There’s so much I want to type, and so many wonderful details that just prove how good our Heavenly Father is, but I just said the main points. If you would like to know more about the mission trip and the BIG ways in which God worked, inbox me :) I would be OVERJOYED to talk about it!
Some pictures :)
All ready to go!
Lunch on the site
"With Love" <3
Worship in the midst of the ENORMOUS storm. There was lightning and the thunder was extremely loud, but we kept on singing to our God! One of the most amazing nights of the trip.
Pure GCC hahahahha
Praise at the church <3
Lovely people <3 (LOL the boys in the back hahaha)
MOUNTAIN MAMAS! <33 They sang to us every single morning before we left for our sites!
What a God-filled trip…..:))
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. -Colossians 3:17
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. -John 13:35
basically the definition of our mission trip hahahahha
This past week, God has blessed me with the opportunity to present and teach the gospel at a 3 day club with the E and the R to my A! :))) Haha pretty exciting! We taught 4 preschoolers, and they were ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!
One of the girls came into club thinking that thinking mean thoughts wasn’t sin because you didn’t say them and that only some good people go to Heaven, but we clarified for her and her reaction was so uplifting. Her eyes widened immediately, and she believed even more in the power of the cross and eternal life through Christ, which in her words was “SO COOL!” She then proceeded to ask deep questions about the Trinity, which we didn’t expect a 5-year-old to ask. We tried to answer her questions as best as we could, and told her to talk to her parents or her pastor if she wanted to know more. Still praying for her! It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit’s doing in her heart :)
Singing the songs and playing games with them was awesomesaucely wonderful as well! Haha they absolutely loved the Grow, Grow, Grow song and Jesus Love is Sweet and Wonderful <3 It was amazing to be able to pour the gospel into them and see them react in God-filled ways!
Working with team ERA wasn’t half-bad either ;) We matched our shirts all three days! teeheeee!
TAKE ONE! AND….ACTION! Mr. Wayne is such an excellent photographer…LOL
There we go!
hello there….we’re awkward derpfaces
Wore the shirts that Rebekah and I made! :)
The front was inspired by Mr. Wayne because he always calls us hooligans <3 and the back has our names with our letters, and John 3:30.
Awesome week! Leaving for the mission trip tomorrow! I’m slightly nervous, but at the same time, I’m ecstatic to see how God is going to work in my life and use His people for His glory and purposes!
God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply! -Hudson Taylor
This week was amazing. It started off rough, but everything that happened brought me SO much closer to Him. God’s name was definitely glorified this past week!
7.9.13- At our second club, a little girl named Destiny came to be counseled. When I got to the clean page and asked her if she wanted to accept Jesus as her Savior, she said yes. I then asked her to pray to God, and she told me that she wanted to pray in her head instead of praying out loud. While she was praying, I was pleading so hard to God to forgive her of her sins and that she would pray that prayer of salvation and truly mean it with all her heart. After she finished praying, I asked her what she talked to God about, and she told me that she had asked Jesus to forgive her sins and be her Savior, and that she had also prayed for her grandma. I’m just praying and praying that she truly meant that prayer of salvation. That’s something I’ve learned this week: Many of the kids raised their hands, but never came back to be counseled, but the Holy Spirit could have worked in their hearts and they could have prayed that prayer of salvation. And for the children who did come back to be counseled, only God knows whether they truly meant that prayer of salvation. Thinking about that is just so humbling; God’s working in so many amazing ways. His ways are so profound and indescribable, yet He still chooses to use an impure vessel like me, purify it, and use it for His glory. Absolutely humbling :) This basically just got me thinking a lot about when I prayed to God and asked Jesus to be my Savior. I was 6 or 7, and I remember hearing Christina, a summer missionary at my church’s VBS, introduce the ABC’s during the invitation of her Bible story. I remember this moment perfectly…I still remember the tugging and conviction on my heart that was the Holy Spirit working in me. And right then and there, I prayed that prayer of salvation. So because of the experience I had, I have assurance that even though many of the children who raised their hands didn’t come back to talk to us, the Holy Spirit was and is still working, and that is SO encouraging!
At our second club:
Elena: “Like Romans 6:23 says, the wages of sin is death. Now a wage is like a salary. Does anyone know what a salary is?”
Andy: OH I KNOW! A vegetable!! (celery)
HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH I honestly could not stop laughing….:)))
7.11.13- Since Elena, Mr. Wayne, and I had a VBS in the morning before the second club that completely drained all of our energy, Amanda and Joanna surprised us with Starbucks! Teehee! It was incredibly sweet (no pun intended) of them!! <3
This next picture is from a whileee ago, but I think it’s pretty, so I’m putting it in randomly! :)
So yes, amazing week of clubs! Water games at ICC were awesomely fun as well! Being with the little kiddos is always hilarious :) The only bad part was getting wet…..over and over and over again…and it was an overcast day, so it was extremely cold…..haha but it was worth it!
7.12.13- GCC Lock- In! I loved how we actually had time for personal devotions…ahhh I went to the front of the church, sat down with my Bible and phone so that I could play soft worship songs, and periodically looked up to admire His breathtakingly beautiful creation. Sooo good.
But speaking of the lock-in, I’m running on an hour and a half of sleep….so yippeedoos! Haha I don’t know why I’m so energetic right now. Jesus makes me giddy :)
I can’t stop grinning! Hahaha I’m so blessed, I can’t contain it! So today was the first day of the two clubs I’m teaching this week. The first one was at a church’s VBS, and it was hecticccc. Haha but at the same time, it was so heartwarming to see the children and the excitement they had. Not gonna lie…sometimes it was asdfghjk, but I’m excited to see what God will do during the week!
The second club was at a house, and the kids were <33333. Haha I don’t know how else to put it. It was definitely a new experience for me. The kids were all hispanic, and Spanish was their first language. I spoke Spanish for parts of the club, and it really helped us connect with the kids! (Spanish classes at school are paying off! :D ahhh I’m so blessed). They were SO attentive and their enthusiasm was extremely uplifting. Many of them raised their hands during the invitation to be counseled, but they didn’t come talk to us afterwards when we asked for those who raised their hands to come. Praying that God will provide opportunities for counseling! Two of the boys also went to Good News Club, so they were singing the songs with SO MUCH ENERGY! I absolutely cannot wait to go back to that club tomorrow! God’s going to do GREAT things, I just know it!
God is absolutely fantabulously good! I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness that He’s given me the opportunity to learn different languages, and that He used me today to show His love to others and better communicate the gospel to them <3 I’m completely bewildered and humbled…..SO BLESSED, I CAN’T CONTAIN IT!
I’m so incredibly grateful for those who are serving in the military and sacrificing their time, and even their own lives, to protect our country. There’s someone this day always reminds me of though—Jesus. He willingly sacrificed his own life so that we could have freedom from sin and death. That’s the best freedom I could ever ask for. <3
It’s also a blessing to be able to freely worship God in this country without fear of prosecution or any kind of punishment. There are people in other countries who are being chased after because of their faith in Christ every single day at every single moment…and even though I’m able to freely worship God whenever and wherever, I find myself not wanting to turn to Him at times, because I’m so overcome and overwhelmed by worldly desires. It’s so shameful. I want a passion and a desire for Christ and His Kingdom that is so great that I would give everything away just to have it, just like He gave his life for me. Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. God’s not finished with me yet :)) Greater things have yet to come, I believe that with all of my heart.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
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