Sunday, August 1, 2010

Change of Plans

My plans for this school year have changed drastically within the last few days. Because of financial reasons, my plans to go to Prairie Bible College have gone out the window. I am disappointed, seeing as I have been looking forward to this for about a year now, and I thought it was what God had for me. But, apparently he has other plans, because it just is not possible for me to go.

So for the last few days I have been deciding what I should do this year since I won’t be going up to Canada anymore. I took a trip down to Indy and began looking for jobs, because I know it will be easier to find one down there than here in Elkhart, and plus I have several friends down there. I am hoping that everything will work out with getting hired at one of the many places I applied, and I am working on lining up a few classes at Ivy Tech to finish up my Associates degree there. Then once I have gotten that, I will consider transferring to IUPUI, or possibly another school; only God knows what will happen for sure.

I am not upset like I would expect myself to be… strangely enough, I feel at peace about it. For some reason, God doesn’t want me leaving this year. I don’t know why, but I know that He knows what He’s doing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dumela South Africa!

Well I have been back from South Africa for a week now, although it seems like much longer. Getting back into my routine makes it seem like I never left. It was a really good trip though! It was great to be able to offer our time to the people at Bethesda, and to be able to have the opportunity to give some love and attention to just a few of the many orphans in South Africa.

I was able to learn a lot more about the ministry of Bethesda Outreach. The children are placed into homes with Christian couples that are willing to be like parents to them. There are five families living at Bethesda, and it was so much fun to be able to meet them and get to know them. There were several work projects that our team worked on throughout our two weeks there. A sprinkler system was installed as well as a new basketball hoop, floors in the school were scrubbed, and I spent most of my time helping paint the outside of one of the families homes. Let me just say, that project turned out to be much bigger than we thought it would be!

We had a lot of fun playing with the Bethesda kids. I personally have a favorite, and her name is Pienkie. She always called me “my friend,” because according to her, my name “is not simple!” She was so much fun.

We also spent time in a township called Stinkwater. We brought lunches for them, as many of them go hungry a lot of the time, as they lives in child headed homes. We also took activities such as bible stories, face painting, and relay races. It seemed that the kids had a good time, and loved the attention. There was one little girl who held on to me and didn’t want to let go when it was time for me to leave. I wish I could have brought her home with me!

We also got to spend a day shopping at a market where I got to practice and perfect my bartering skills! Later that evening we got to go on a safari, which was amazing. We got to see lions, elephants, kudo, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, and more. It was everything I could have asked for in a safari. I just wish it hadn’t been quite so cold. :)

Overall it was a great trip and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot, and it gave me a lot to think about. Bethesda Outreach is a wonderful organization. I wish there were more places out there like it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

South Africa Trip!

So tomorrow I am leaving for South Africa! (Well I guess it's technically today). I can't believe how fast the time went, can't believe that it's actually here. I've got to admit, I am pretty nervous about it. While I know it won't be anything like my mission trips to Guatemala, I have no idea what to expect. I am just hoping that we can be used to show God's love to the people there, and that we can get much accomplished. Please be praying for me and my team throughout the next two weeks!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Likes and Dislikes of Life

I was looking at some blogs from the World Race page, and I came across one by a guy named Matthew Snyder and I completely agree with it and wanted to share it...

"i don't like it when passions become burdens.
i don't like it when things that made my spirit soar now make me frustrated.
i don't like it when brick walls shadow over me.
i don't like it when i'm told I can't.
i don't like it when i'm challenged.
i don't like it when i'm not challenged.
i don't like mundane things.
i don't like the ordinary.
i don't like settling for 'getting by'.
i don't like submitting to mediocrity.
i don't like it when others die.
i don't like it when dreams shrivel.
i don't like it when hope is lost.
i don't like it when defeat overcomes victory.
i don't like lack of provision or good things.
i don't like paralysis or lack of empathy.
i don't like forgetting what motivates me.

so what do i like?

i like it when heaven invades earth.
i like it when passion bubbles from within.
i like it when i'm alive.
i like it when i'm doing things that make me infectious with joy.
i like it when i'm part of something bigger.
i like it when i'm challenged to be better.
i like it when i get to create.
i like it when dreams become reality.
i like it when i see transformed lives.
l like it when i get to walk on foreign soil.
i like it when i make people laugh.
i like it when His provision isn't hopeful, but tangible.
i like it when i get to touch the world first-hand.
i like it when i experience the Father's love.
i like it when i'm His vessel."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Changes and Expectations

The last couple days I have spent a lot of time thinking about the changes that I will be facing in the next several months. A friend of mine from high school is staying here in West Lafayette for the summer for a job, so last night I took her for a long walk. We walked around campus, down around Chauncey Hill, and all the way down past Wabash Landing and over the pedestrian bridge into downtown Lafayette. It was so great to be able to show her the town that I love… my town. I realized it’s going to be even harder to leave than I thought it would be. I officially move home in about 8 weeks, and for 2 of those weeks I’ll be in Africa. And I have plans for all but one of the weekends out of the eight. I don’t know if I’m ready yet to face the change of moving home. The time will go by so fast… and before I know it, I’ll have to say goodbye to the one place I have been able to call my own for the last two years.

Then just a few weeks later, I’ll be leaving with my family to drive out to Prairie, in Alberta. As much as I am looking forward to it, I also am very nervous about it. Moving to a different country for school with only coming home for Christmas break is a big change. Big big big change. And another big change, I don’t know a single person out there, except my admissions counselor. I have no idea what to expect… not a clue. I don’t have a calendar yet of when we will be where. I don’t know when we’ll be taking what classes. I don’t know about the living arrangements for the year. I don’t know much of anything, really. But I guess this could be a good thing, as I’ll be taking a huge leap of faith, and will have to fully rely on God to get me through it.

But when it comes to the second semester, this is a different story. As I was reading through the Discover April Newsletter, reading about the group’s time in Guatemala and El Salvador, I realized that I feel like I know what to expect when it comes to the time I’ll be spending in Guatemala. Since I have been there three times and have made friends there, I feel like I will be going in with preconceived notions about how the time will go, which probably is not a good thing. I feel like I will go in with certain expectations that might not be met, seeing as this is a completely different journey than what I’ve gone on before. But, I hope that this trip will go far and above my expectations. I hope that I will be changed for good. I hope that the Discover program will provide me with completely new Guatemalan experiences and even more Guatemalan friends, yet still let me experience again the things about Guatemala that I love so much. I don’t know where God will lead me after this journey with Prairie, but I expect that he will be there to guide me through it all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's All Gonna Be Ok

Today I downloaded a song from iTunes. I don’t do that very often, because I’m poor. But when I was online and came across the song “Embrace” by Jake Hamilton, I had to have it…

“It’s all gonna be ok…”

“I wanna feel your embrace, I wanna feel your arms around me. I wanna feel your heart beating next to mine.”

“It’s all gonna be ok…”

Lately I feel like my emotions are constantly changing, with all of the trials life brings. Whether it’s stuff with my family, or feelings of loneliness, or apprehension about leaving Lafayette and moving to Alberta for at least a year, or the fear of the unknown, or whatever else, I feel like there is always something hitting me and keeping me from placing my complete trust in God and his love for me. Why do I have such a hard time trusting?

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the verse in Romans that tells us that God works everything together for the good of those who love him, yet for some reason it doesn’t sink in. I know it in my head, and I’ll be the first one to remind someone else who is going through a hard time of this verse, yet for some reason it’s hard for me to fully comprehend and believe that it is true when it comes to my own life.

Well, needless to say, I want this to change. I am hoping that this song that I downloaded will be a good reminder that it IS all going to be ok, because God will cause everything to work together for good for those who love him. And I love him. So that means, it’s all gonna be ok.

“Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!” Jude 1:2 (The Message)
I have decided to start this blog as a way to record my thoughts, share my thoughts with others, and keep anyone who may be interested updated with what is going on in my life. I have recently realized that I have been living my life in the pursuit of what I feel is best for my life, rather than the pursuit of God and what he has in store for me. I don't want to live that way anymore. I want to follow the steps he has laid out for me and receive fulfillment through him only. I want to let go of the worldly desires that have been holding me back, and step by step discover what HIS plan is for me.

So basically, as I face many changes in my life, such as traveling to Africa for the first time, moving away from the place that has become my home throughout the last two years, and transferring to a school in a different country where I don't know anyone, this is going to be my way of keeping everyone updated!