Monday, November 23, 2009

The Great Filipino Weekend... in the US.

This past weekend I had the delightful opportunity to be graced with the presence of Jordan and Kyla, two girls that were on my team this summer in the Philippines. This summer started out with us meeting for the first time in the airport... and ended with us all being the best of friends! God certainly hand picked our group this summer, as was evident early on, as we all just clicked and fit together wonderfully, which was key with the emotionally tough summer we had. Unfortunately, only 3/4 of our team was here this summer as Courtney was unable to make the trip.
This past Sunday night I also had the opportunity to share with my church about my trip this summer to the Philippines and about my plans to return soon. I'm so grateful to have a church family that is so faithful to support me in this journey God has taken me on and is always faithful to remember me in their prayers. Their outpooring of love, support, and encouragement is such a treasure to me! Below the other pictures is the video from this summer that I shared with them.
This morning Kyla and Jordan headed back to their homes...states away. They've yet to be gone a full 24 hours and I already miss them dearly and am already anticipating seeing them again in the coming months! And of course... as with most of my posts.. here are the pictures:

The whole team this summer!

Me, Kyla, and Jordan this summer!

And Below: The most recent pictures!

Me and my grandparents after my share service.
And this is a little video of my trip this summer!

Monday, November 16, 2009

30 days...

One month people...the countdown just got so much more intense!!!

(And yes, I'm aware that to most of you... this means nothing.. but to me.. its BIG!!!... and it's my blog.. so I get to blog about what is BIG to me... hence this post.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

5 weeks...

I leave in 5 weeks. I can't believe I'm so close, but yet I still feel so far away! I know this time that I have with my dear family and friends is oh so special, for once I am gone, I will be there for a long while. However, when one knows where God is calling, its hard not to be excited, especially when there are sweet precious children involved! I think of the children that I left when I came back to the United States and my heart breaks for them. They have already experienced so much abandonment, but still opened their hearts to me... and I left. There was no way to explain to the them that I had to go to my home for a short time, but that they would always be in my heart! There was no way to convey to them how much of my heart they had captured! There was no way to tell them that I would be back as soon as I could to hold them in my arms once again! There is no way of telling them today that I'm planning on coming back soon! There is no way to tell them that I'm on my way, eagerly counting down the days till I see their smiling faces and their mending spirits again!!!
Oh babies, toddlers, and children of Gentle Hands...I miss you dearly! I will be counting down the days of these long 5 weeks!
To God be the Glory ~

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweet Sundays!

So this past weekend... pretty much rocked! haha! Sunday was an absolutely amazing day! Let me tell you about it:

Sunday morning, as always, my family goes to church. A church that I have grown up in and over the past few years have watched God turn us around! I've watched the church leadership take steps to ensure that we as a church are living biblically in the way that God has told us in His Word that we should. We are no longer doing things 'the way we've always done them' we are now looking at scripture and seeing how God says we should do things. It's been a wonderful thing to see! Well this past Sunday was no different. We've been going through the book of Acts, and whenever we start going through a book we go through it verse by verse, seeing it and reading it as God intended, not skipping parts that might be difficult to understand or accept, and I love that!! Anyway, back to Sunday, we were going through Acts 10 (you should go read it), and were talking about how God revealed some prejudices that were in Peter's life and how that was sinful, because Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross was for everyone, he wasn't prejudiced and we shouldn't be either. To help us see some possible seeds of prejudice in our lives, our pastor gave some examples of real life situations in which our initial reactions would expose some areas we need to examine and apply a more biblical and Godly mindset. To some, these were really tough situations. One of the situations that stood out for many was the example of marrying someone of a different race. I went away from the service thankful for Godly and biblical teaching and wanting to be aware of possible areas of prejudice in my own life and continually make a concious effort to be Godly in all my actions and thoughts.

Well then on Sunday nights, our church has started LIFE Groups. Basically the big congregation splits up and meets in smaller groups in homes to further discuss the morning message. I've really enjoyed this, as it has helped us as a church to get to know each other better and has allowed us to be the church to each other alot easier by getting to know each family and what each family is in need of or is struggling with. I've also so enjoyed the discussions we have in our LIFE Groups. Well on this past Sunday night, we were discussing the morning message over Acts 10. For several within our group, the example situations revealed areas of prejudice that they had never considered prejudice, particularly in the area of marrying someone of a different race or ethnicity. It was the way they were raised, to think that that was wrong, and that it was right to think it was wrong. That everyone was equal and everyone was treated with the same amount of respect but that you just didn't marry people of a different race / ethnicity.

I had expected this much, but what happened next blew me away. People were convicted! Instead of saying 'Well that's how it's always been' or 'Well that's just how we were taught', they realized that they were taught this way, but that that didn't make it right. People went away willing to throw out what they were taught, what they had known all their lives to embrace a biblical mindset, so that they might better serve, love and glorify our Heavenly Father!

Seeing their devotion to our LORD was so encouraging! To see them walk away from what they once thought was right because they were seeing that those mindsets weren't biblical, I hope I'm able to do that! I hope that when I see/hear something that makes me re-examine my mindset and the way I was taught, I pray that I will look only towards what is biblically right and base my mindset and actions upon that alone and not to simply what I've been told growing up! I'm grateful that we have such a gracious God, that draws our attention to areas in our lives that we need to work on and refine to glorify Him more.

I'm so excited to see what God is going to do!

To God be the Glory ~