Thursday, March 31, 2005

One Thing I Learned In Venezuela

One of the biggest things I will take away from my time spent in Venezuela is the passion that the Christians have for the Lord and for those who aren't in relationship with Him. You see, about 99% of the population there believe in God, they just don't know how to worship Him. The Christians there say that their job is to teach people how to bring Christ into the daily workings of their lives. These people are on FIRE for God!!!

So, basically, these were the happiest people that I have ever met. They LOVE each other so much because Christ loves them. I was blown away by the love that they have for each other and so freely share. They aren't ashamed to say that they love each other, embrace and they have the greet one another with a holy kiss thing down! I have never had so many kisses on the cheek in my life. All from strangers!!!! The difference is that they don't see me as a stranger. I am a sister-in-Christ. It was amazing.

The lesson that I took away came in the way that I treat those around me on a daily basis and the way that I look at my God. If I truly believe in Christ and His words, I am called to love those around me more than I love myself. I think this is where their happiness comes from. They are SO selfless and generous. These people who have nothing have EVERYTHING! They have Christ who promises to meet every need that they have and they have their brothers and sisters, where they get support and encouragement. Like one of the students so eloquently stated, WE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE POOR BECAUSE WE DON'T GET IT. We look to things of the world to make us happy and we are not happy as a whole. They have truly put their hope in God. May I truly find my hope and my peace in Him who promises me these things.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


So, since returning to the States, I have had an incredibly difficult time staying out of the bathroom! I don't know what is happening. I'm convinced that I have a parasite. I feel some comfort in having talked to others who were on the trip and are having the same problem, but there is a problem nonetheless. I am just hoping that I don't get up from the toilet one of these days to find something similar to Rebecca Marie's last post. I have heard some horror stories from people who have traveled outside of the country and come home to some serious problems with new friends growing inside of them. Anywho, please pray for all of us who were on the trip and are having a difficult time right now. There are many upset stomachs! It is quite inconvenient! :)

Monday, March 28, 2005

I'm Home

So, I made it back to the US. For this I am thankful! There are far too many stories and thoughts to put down here but I will gladly share as I can. The best way to sum up this experience is " I will never be the same again...". The people of Venezuela love each other and they shared that love with each of us. They truly understand what it means to love your brothers and sisters. I was told that I was loved by people I had never met before simply because we share Christ. These were the happiest people that I have ever met. They have a real hope in the God of all promises that he will provide for them and that his promises are true. They are a people who have the joy of the Lord! I was so blessed to be in Venezuela this week. They have challenged me to experience true joy in the Lord and to share that joy with everyone that I meet. More stories to come! Lots of work to catch up on. Adios amigos!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's Almost Time!!!!

In approximately 10 hours, I will be gathering with the rest of my team in the Johnson Center at Cascade to pray, double check baggage, maybe catch a couple of z's before we head to the airport at 3am. I have some serious butterflies in my tummy and fear that I may actually make a mess in my pants. Help me God to be calm and trust in you! I am just filled with so many feelings. Feelings of anxiety, excitment and anticipation, a little bit (ok a lot a bit) of the fear of the unknown. In the end I know that this trip is only going to change all of us for the better. I am really excited to see what God is going to teach us through this.

In chapel today, Shane had us reflect on Psalm 139 while listening to the Shawn McDonald song, Beautiful (go to Amazon and listen to a sample):

As I look into the stars
Pondering how far away they are
How You hold them in Your hands
And still You know this man
You know my inner most being, oh
Even better than I know, than I know myself
What a beautiful God
What a beautiful God
And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I
That You might know me, my King
What am I, what am I, what am I
As I look off into the distance
Watching the sun roll on by
Beautiful colors all around me, oh
Painted all over the sky
The same hands that created all of this
They created you and I
What a beautiful God
What a beautiful God
And what am I, that I might be called Your child
What am I, what am I
That You might know me, my King
What am I, what am I
That You might die, that I might live
What am I, what am I, what am I, what am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
What am I
What am I

It is so amazing to think about this big and powerful God who created everything longs for nothing more than for each of us to be in relationship with Him, loving Him and loving others. It is that simple. There isn't anything else to figure out. I am so excited to see how another culture worships the very same God! How can you not be changed forever?! Please lift us up in prayer as we begin this adventure. May we all continue to seek our Creator and come into a richer and more real understanding of Him daily! I love you all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


When was it that EVERYONE became the exception to EVERY rule? Was there a memo sent out to the rest of the world that I just didn't get? I'm having a frustrating day at the office dealing with college students (some even in their 40's). You kind of expect it from 18 yr olds but 40? Come on...welcome to life people where there are rules and consequences for not following said rules! I LOVE my job but there are days like today when I want to throw in the towel in frustration. I can tell it's time for a break. We gather for departure to Venezuela in 34 1/2 hours!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Attention Everyone: Prayer Answered!

Praise the God of Hosts! My passport came this morning via FedEx just as I was leaving to come to work! The original is still missing, but at least I can go on my trip! Everyone who is going on the trip met last night. We were able to pray in our groups and just be together. It seems as if everything is coming together. The primary prayer concern of the students was feeling a bit of anxiety about not knowing what to expect. We are taking a leap of faith and trusting that God has brought us this far and He will see us all the way through. A large majority of these students have not done anything like this before (as I have not). Our prayer last night was that God would bless us and teach us so much while blessing the people that we encounter. We want to be servants first and foremost and what we get back be icing on the cake! We want to do God's agenda, not ours. Man, it is right around the corner and I am getting so excited!!!! I'm sure that I will update soon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Where is my passport?

So, I called to check on my passport because I haven't received it yet and well, we are leaving in 10 days. They tell me that it was completed on the first of February and should have it by now. OH GOOD! So, I had to send a statement and copy of my drivers license to them so that they can reissue my passport in time to go on the trip. GREAT! In the meantime, there is a good chance that my birth certificate is just floating around somewhere out in the great Postal Service void. Please pray that one, I get my passport in time to go on the trip and two, that no one has intercepted said birth certificate and passport. I guess someone could try to assume my identity. They would be sadly disappointed when they couldn't buy loads of junk because my credit is OUTSTANDING and my bank account, even better than the credit! So, I guess, shop away sad identity theives! You picked the wrong girl. MUHHAAAAA!

Hurts So Good

I have had some serious AH-Ha moments this week. God is teaching me that I need Him. He is teaching me that I am selfish and most often have the wrong motives when asking for things from him. I was reading in James this morning and I "stumbled" across 4:3, which says "And even when you do ask, you don't get it because your whole motive is wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure". Um, ouch. I know, I know, pleasure isn't wrong, but when I ask for things that aren't bad, but the reasons that I want them are selfish, I am not truly looking to do what God would have me do. I'm making everything about me when it needs to be all about Him. Um, ouch again. I have to say that it is frightening and horrifying to ask God to show you what you are doing wrong, where I am misguided. He has shown me some very serious issues that have kept me far from Him, unable to truly commune with Him because of feelings I have been having (without even realizing it). He really does show it to you and it is painful yet so good. I have spent more time this week crying out to Him than I have in the last couple of years. These things that He is revealing in me make me run to Him all the more because I can't fix them by myself. He is so faithful, so good to comfort me during this time of struggle. How amazing is the God of all the Universe that He will make Himself known in our weakest moments! In the times when I feel the farthest from Him, His most unfaithful child, He comes in and holds me and whispers in my ear how much He loves me. I am speechless.

P.S. 10 days until I go to Venezuela. Please pray!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Xanga Blocked at Cascade!

Apparently there are questionable things on Xanga making the boys at the 'Cade struggle, so they asked Jimmy to block it! URGH! I mean I understand that we should help with struggles and all, but come on! Before you know it, everything on the internet will have to be blocked because people cuss or have things that bother someone. So, I will begin posting on here until this site gets blocked. :)

This weekend was fantastic! Mostly because I got to see Bebo Norman live (he came to the All-School Retreat). He's just the cutest thing. He brought a couple of guys from his band and they played a very laid back hour of music. Basically it was awesome (all for you Becky). Overall, I had a very mellow weekend, which was fine by me. I thought that I was going to have a lot of things to do but most of them didn't work out.

I am getting really nervous/excited about my trip to Venezuela. We leave in 11 days! WOW!!! 11 days isn't very far away. I still feel uncertain about what we are doing and how everything is going to happen.