What is home, anyways?
This word means so many things to me. Home is where my family lives. Home is where I grew up. Home is where the people I love live. Home is heaven.
But, honestly, home -for a missionary, or at least for me- is where you currently live. Whether that’s far from your biological family or close to them.
Home, is where God has you.
and sometimes, that’s a comfortable place. But its usually not.
I was reading the gospel of John this morning and the words of Jesus, spoke directly to my heart.
“There are many rooms in my father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you” John 14:2a
He is doing that right now. Preparing a place for me.
and for someone who is feeling a little homeless, That is good news.
This little verse gave me hope for the future. But it also gave me confidence for my present. I can hope and wait for the place He has for me, but I can also be confident that He has me where I am for a reason.
I also thought about Psalm 27:4a ” The one thing I ask of the LORD- The thing I seek the most- Is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life”
Aren’t you glad we can live in the house of the Lord, now? We can enjoy His presence, now. We can savor Him. Like we lived in His house.
I hope and pray that you would learn, as I am, to hope for the place He has for you, but also to live in His house, today.
you are the hardest thing to say goodbye to.
you are what has made my life easy here
you are also what has made it hard
You are everything I hate
and everything I love
all at the same time.
You manage to both make my day
and ruin it all at the same time.
I miss you.
And I am not even gone yet
Please tell me you miss me, too
The pain of loosing you
is so deep I can’t even cry
I lost all my tears
and now I look tough,
brave and strong
They don’t know how I’m feeling
They think Im looking forward to go home
But I’m not.
Not If it means I have to go without you.
Im not sure if you know, Dear _____,
But im dreading the day,
I’d have to wake up
knowing you wont be there.
I have seven days left in this country.
I am almost all packed and ready to go and feeling pretty good about it. Leaving my team is hard but I have been hopeful lately.
I have no idea what the future holds for me. But I am pretty confident that, whatever it is, is good. Maybe not easy. But good nonetheless.
Yes, I am going through a break up. At least that’s what it feels like. And I am sad about all the good things i have to leave behind. But things will be ok.
I just know it.
I am so thankful that I was able to experience life in this country with such wonderful people. It has been tough but it has been good.
These are a couple pictures from my room.
Dear blog, I have a crisis.
Im glad you are alive. And i can come here and talk to you.
Im listening to this
Sorry, i know that’s quite a V neck.
The song basically talks about this guy who is telling the woman he loves that if she ever leaves, he’s going to be fine. He will fall in love again, and the flowers would continue to grow. But he doesn’t want to be there for it. He doesnt want to try to live a life without her. He refuses to wake up every morning without her. He would survive just fine. But he doesnt want to.
and though this is a song for two people who are in love. I can relate 100%
Dear blog, I am in love with this country. I am in love with my team. I am in love with my roommates. And without them in my life, I will be fine. I will be just fine. I can find other friends, I can start all over again and create a new life. But I dont want to. I dont want a life without them. I just dont want it.
I want to stay. I dont want anything to change. I dont want to learn how to live without Lo always singing, and without Nelly always cleaning our floor. I dont want to learn someone else’s humor, Ed’s humor is enough for me. I dont want to bake for anyone else other than Nate. And i certainly dont want to learn how to make the perfect cup of coffee. Knowing exactly how much sugar is enough for Do is enough for me. I dont want to.
I dont want change.
I will be ok. But I don’t want to learn how to be ok without them.
And im mad that I have to. I am angry that I have to re-educate myself. I am afraid that I will never have this type of community again.
Dear blog, This is where im at.
and i dont like it.
I am going home in less than a month. I leave in 18 days. That is less than 2o days. which proves my initial statement.
Less. Than. A. Month.
Im not sure how i feel about this. One day I could be day-dreaming about all the things that I know God has in store for me. And the next day I could be crying on the kitchen floor [my favorite crying spot in out apartment] thinking about how much I love this place and I dont want to leave.
One of my roommates (Lo) decided to go home too. [long story]. Which, exponentially increases the amount of crying and hugging done in this house, AND leaves roommate number two (Nelly) feeling like we are leaving her alone in this dry and weary land.
and that, my friends, is a whole ‘nother story.
Earlier today I twitted that I was a PRE-griever. And I haven’t googled it, so I dont know if this is an actual word/term or not. I like to think that it’s not and that me and my team invented it.
Because that is one thing we can do. Invent things. useless things, usually. Like a super power that creates things and activates every time Do snaps. Our spectrum of things go from stuff as cool as lightning to stuff as lame as chicken breasts .
we are also really good at tangents…..
According to us, a Pre-Griever is someone who grieves before the bad stuff happens. And a Post-Griever, is someone who ignores the situation and waits to start the grieving process after it happens.
I am a Pre-Griever. And pre-grievers start crying a month before the departure date. And they are half packed two weeks before they have to. And they start giving awkward one-minute-long hugs, and start sentences with the words “this is the last time….” two weeks too soon.
But today, I had a fun moment.
Since I have been doing all the grieving early, I had no tears or sad words to say today. So, I started listening to “Goodbye To you” by Michelle Branch. This is a sad song. Specially If you are in my shoes.
But I laughed.
and then Lo hugged me.
and then Nelly screamed “What is going on? are you crying or laughing?”
Then I continued to laugh while I said “Pre-Grieving is awesome!”
This is what my room looks like. Its a mess!
One suitcase down! one to go.
If there’s any left….
I have decided to come back to the blog-sphere. Not because I have anything super important to share, but mostly because I need an outlet, a hobby, a-whatever-you-want-to-call-it, to cope with all the stuff that is going on in my life.
and since I love writing….
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about God and His goodness. What does it mean for Him to be good to me, in the midst of crappy circumstances? Because, He does not feel like He is good. He does not look He is good. So, what does His goodness look like
It has taken me weeks to come up with an answer. But I think that He has shown me His goodness in community. In fellowship with believers in this country. He has loved me through my team (I can not brag enough about those five…), my pastors in country, my church, my small group, my supporters in the US and Vzla, and even the staff kids.
Yes, It has been a very very rough year. But I have learned to stay plugged in to the body of believers through it all. And I have experience God’s love and goodness through fellowship with other followers of Jesus.
How have you experience God’s love and goodness?
I didnt have to go through this last year.
I was excited and ready to go.
Today, 10 months later, I am sad and wanting to stay.
Im not sure why im dealing with it differently
But it caught me off guard.
and to be honest, I have been kind of mad with God
and have not been talking to him lately.
So i dont have a reflexion for you…..
I dont have a Bible verse to share.
But i know one thing that has kept me standing.
saying it several times helps me breathe better.
still at 95%
My coach told me to stop raising support.
He said 95% is enough.
I guess thats good.
I just realized that what you think about catholicism matters in this part of the world. And it matters a lot.
Here in latin America, almost everyone claims to be catholic.
and for so long evangelical christians have tried to put catholics aside and ‘covert them’ to our religion. Not really, Jesus.
I know that my last post was about this same topic. But i just had a conversation with a friend about catholicism and my answer blew me away.
I wouldnt have said what i said tonight, two years ago.
She asked, How do i know that i have a relationship with Jesus. Do i have to go to your church to have it?
and i said, no.
You have to have Jesus to have it.
No religion can save you.
But Jesus can.
You can still go to your catholic church and have a relationship with Jesus.
My church is not where Jesus is.
Jesus lives in my heart.
He is everywhere i go. He lives IN me.
and He wants a relationship with you.
and boy, there is something about the word relationship that captures us latinos,
We want relationships.
Its a good word to use when sharing the Gospel with a latino…..
When Jesus is presented as a relational God, who wants to be our friend, our familia. Following Him becomes SO much more attractive.
Learning to ALWAYS point people to Jesus,
and getting rid of my theology, and doctrine, and knowledge and rules…….
Learning to present Jesus. And Him alone.
I was raised catholic. By a grandma who taught me who Jesus was. How He loves and how He serves by speaking words of wisdom to me but mostly by living a life that made a difference.
When i made the decision to follow Christ a journey began for me. A journey that lead me to this morning when i finally repented.
You see, Up until this morning, for some reason, i believed that catholics were not christians. They have side beliefs that are wrong. very wrong. Like we dont all have side beliefs that are wrong. very wrong……
Catholicism is what many people call their ‘religion’ in my country. And instead of partnering with them to reach students here i have them in the ‘non-believers’ list. Like they were mormons or something….
They believe in Jesus as our savior.
They surely need to emphasize that having a relationship with Jesus is important.
But protestants need to stop dividing His Church.
Catholics need to stop praying to anyone that’s not God in the name of Jesus.
But protestants need to stop judging our brothers and start letting God be the judge.
We claim to know Jesus. But sometimes we are so not like Him.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the grave, You are saved. That’s all I have to say about Catholics.
This is hard for me to say, and im not sure if im 100% right. I may not be. And I dont have to be. But… A relationship with Jesus does not save you. Nor reading your Bible. Nor going to church nor preaching the gospel. Jesus does. Believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth does.
The Venezuelan church would be so much more effective if we ALL worked together and PRAYED together for God’s grace and mercy to be over our country.
Its so funny, i try to do this with my muslim friends.
I try to focus our conversations on what we have in common.
Why is it so hard for me to have this attitude with my catholic brothers and sisters ?
Biculturalism. The word that’s been on my mind all day today. This term is often used to talk about someone with the ability to interact with two cultures.
I thought this only applied to people from one race who live in a country that does not share their cultural values.
and though this is true i have learned that there’s more to biculturalism than that. Biculturalism is not only experienced by immigrants. I think i have experienced it to some extent.
I consider myself bicultural.
When i was in the desert i had the joy and privilege to spend 80% of my time with 6 north-americans. I experienced what it was like to be a minority, to not speak your heart language to the point where you got more conformable speaking the language of the ‘majority’, to be torn between two cultures, to be culturally confused, and to be so sensitive to the predominant culture that i forgot mine.
Yes, this can happen.
Yes, I thought it was impossible too.
But it happened. In less than a year.
It happened to me.
Being a minority put me in a spot where I was more vulnerable and often felt ashamed of my own culture. My culture. My Language. and my accent. Definitely my accent.
I still do sometimes.
who am i kidding?
I hate my accent.
And it wasn’t because of anything the predominant culture did. They were just being themselves. I just didn’t fit in at first- and that created frustration and bitterness towards my own culture. So, i tried really hard to fit in, so hard i forgot what it was like to be Venezuelan.
and i think more than forget, I just avoided thinking about what being a Venezuelan looked like.
Now, I dont fit in with North Americans.
but i dont fit in with Venezuelans either.
Bienvenido, to my life!
Spanglish is the new cool.
[lets be honest, Spanglish has always been cool]
I can be on time, speak english and be task oriented, in a way that not many Venezuelans can.
And I can be friendly, family oriented, warm, and dance salsa in a way that not many North Americans can.
Im in between.
Its the best of both worlds.
But its hard. Im always different. No matter where i go.
I’ll get to live with 7 north americans again next year. And i hope i can live in the middle. I’ll try to live in the middle. Taking the best of the North American culture and the best of my South American culture. and speak spanglish more often.
Remember my friend who was dating a non-believer? you can read about his story HERE
They broke up.
But not because he obeyed God, but because she ‘didnt love him anymore’
He is getting back on track. He is falling back in love with Jesus and talking to his old friends. He is devastated but He is looking for peace and joy from Jesus.
He really loved this girl. He still loves her.
But he has realized that He loves Jesus more. And He is excited to come back home. To His presence.
I love that God is a hero. He rescues us. The process is not always pretty but the end results are worth it.
I loved talking to Him and listening to him talk about His new relationship with God and how He has helped him in his grieving process.
What’s your idol, today?
Our God is a loving, gracious God. But He is also jealous. And He will make sure nothing occupies the first place in your heart but Him. (And that is good news!)
Im glad that im not holding onto Him but He is holding onto me. He will never let me go.
If you have been reading this blog for a while. You know that my heart is for those who are far from God. And for so long i felt like the church that i go to didnt have that vision for the lost. I considered changing churches so many times! But something inside of me would always keep me from giving up.
I wouldnt say i had hope. I really didnt.
But for some unknown reason i stuck around.
and so i went to the desert… with zero expectations.
But to my surprise they were really supportive and always checking on me. I came back and found a church that has grown so much!
Their hearts for the lost are being transformed and its so clear to me that God has not given up on them like sinful-me thought about doing….
I am so excited about church now. There are a million things they need to change. But there are a million-and-one things i need to change too.
Im glad God didnt let me give up. I would have missed this.
I LOVE my Church!
imperfect as it is.
It is the place where i learn about God, where i serve, and get to have fellowship with my family in christ.
Someone needs to read this today, DONT GIVE UP.
God will never give up on you. Dont you dare give up on them.
I turned twenty-freaking-FIVE years old today.
I feel a little old. (I know im not…. but its just what i feel)
But today I have been thinking about all the things i have accomplished, all the things God has done and all that He is going to do… and all I can say is…. It is well. It is well!
I could focus in all the things i dont have……yet. and be miserable.
I could highlight God’s grace and faithfulness throughout my life. I choose that.
I choose to enjoy the abundant life He has for me.
I have a -far- from -perfect- but- helthy-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. I am living my dream, His dream, for my life. I am forced to use my gifts and talents every single day and it feels great. I had the honor to share my life with six other amazing men and women last year. I have learned about true friendship. I have great friends in Venezuela, in the US, and in Africa.[ I guess this is what happens when you are a missionary. Home is seasonal and friends are everywhere] I have a dysfunctional, yes, but wonderful family that loves me. I get to walk by faith everyday of my life trusting God for my finances.
I have a pretty darn cool life.
I do what I love. Everyday.
And Im only 25! Who can say that?
not too many people.
so i guess this is a thank you note to God.
My rock, literally.
Thank you, papa.
Let’s do this!
I love my life. I am surrounded by wonderful people. My team is still doing great. against all odds. We still like each other. I love that we are really close to Europe and get to travel up there often. I love that the weather is nice and it does not rain very often. I love that taxis are cheap. I love that we have about five cart men with fresh and cheap fruits and veggies right at our door steps. I love that we have credit with the guys at the store across the street and i can buy groceries and water even when i dont have enough money. I love how easy it is to make friends here. I love the staff people. And i love their kids. I love that they have a spanish school here that hosts cultural events every week. I love that i have friends who speak spanish. I love that im independent. I love that i have met incredible people who truly follow and love Jesus. I love that the guy at the bank has a semi crush on me and therefor is really nice to me when i go. I love that i can go to a gym. I love that i can run. I love what God has taught me about modesty. I really do love my life here.
But there is a price to be paid for following Jesus.
The Gospel is free. But it is not cheap
In order to do what He has called me to do. I’ve had to give up my comfort, my language, my culture, my family and my friends.
He is worth it.
And He has been way too good to me.
But the more i think about going back home the more i realize that my relationships will not be the same.
You see, The girls i live with are more than dear friends to me. They have been my family. They were there when my mom told me that she was going to divorce my dad. They sat and cried with me. They prayed with and for me. They have seen me struggle with my cultural confusion. They were there when my mom told me she decided not to divorce my dad. They danced and rejoiced with me. They know that i dont like to be talked to early in the morning. These girls are sisters.
and they wont be with me this summer.
On the other hand i think about my friends back home. whom i love. and miss. But they have not shared what this team has shared with me. They have no clue what life is like here. They have missed a year of my life.
And i have missed a year of theirs.
But they will be with me this summer.
Lately i have realized that, if i decide to do what i do for the rest of my life [which i kind of already decided], all of my relationships will be seasonal.
My relationships are already seasonal.
will come and go.
I cant be here and just be investing in my relationships back home. And i cant be home investing in the relationships i made here.
One thing im learning. [and i dont really like it…]
My friends at home dont have to understand my year.
My friends dont have to understand my jokes.
My friends at home have moved on with their lives.
and they might not have time to see me when i call them….
and that is ok.
But its part of counting the cost. And that is ok. Because Jesus is worth it.
It doesnt make it any easier though.
But it’s ok.
Two years ago I wrote a note on facebook – I deleted all my notes on facebook before coming to the desert- entitled “En La boca del Leon” or In the lions’ den in english.
It was about Daniel when he was thrown with the lions. I remember going through a situation where i felt like Daniel in the lions’ den. It was a faith stretching time and the Lord spoke to me through this passage.
This is what i took to heart: “Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: Peace and prosperity to you! I declare that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel” Daniel 5:25-26a
Daniel came out of that situation. But his testimony and the greatness of God displayed as a result of his faith was enough for those who witnessed this event -specially the one who wanted to kill him in the first place- to not only acknowledge Daniel’s God but to worship Him.
I felt like the Lord wanted me to go through that situation so that people around me could see, integrity, selflessness, righteousness, and irrational hope in a God that is good.
God is faithful.
I made two friends during this miserable time in my life. Non christian friends. One of them accepted Jesus into her heart. And the other one contacted me recently expressing a desire to study the Bible.
God does not put our tears to waste. Today, two years later. I see how God used this time to show them that Jesus is real. They may never look back in time and pinpoint my situation as the time they saw God at work. And that’s ok.
I am thankful i was counted worthy to follow Christ in His suffering.
I am thankful that His promises are true.
Whatever you are going through right now. Whatever your lion looks like. Remember. God is with you. And He is at work.
I heard a very wise man say: “If we have the audacity to ask we need to have the persistence to peruse ”
Steven Furtick. Of course!
Our team has been praying for boldness. But it is one thing to ask God to give us courage and is one other thing to actually step up and be bold.
Today as He gave me the chance to share The truth with my friend, i realized that i had a choice to make. 1- I could ignore that He was giving me an opportunity and keep praying for boldness 2- I could be the answer to my prayers
All the glory and honor to our father, but i decided to be the answer to my prayers. I decided that boldness is not something you just ask for. Being bold is a decision. Boldness is an attitude. Boldness is a verb.
We covered so much during our conversation. I told her the whole thing. and she listened. and politely disagreed when she thought i was wrong. she processed the information i shared.
The Holy Spirit took over.
I took a little step of faith and opened my month.
He did the rest.
Today, as you go to work, Stay at home with your children, or go to school. Remember that that place where you spend the majority of your time, is your opportunity to be bold for Jesus. And as you pray for your co-workers, children, or classmates, take some steps of faith and open your mouth. Tell them about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take over. He will do the rest.
“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”. Matthew 5:13
I love it when God speaks to me from a passage that i’m familiar with. What i got out of this particular one is not very profound. But is very powerful at least to me.
As i was reading this the other day the phrase “what good is salt if it has lost its flavor” jumped out of the page and i started thinking…
We are salt. That’s a fact. And salt is used to flavor our food and to preserve things. so, when you know Jesus you become salt. You give hope to the people around you because of the hope that has been given to you. And you also help preserve people’s souls by sharing the message of Jesus. Ok. I get that.
But… the text says that salt could loose its flavor and, therefor, its ability to preserve and give hope.
What is the flavor in our christian lives? What is it that makes our lives flavorful? what is it, that when we loose it, we become somewhat useless?
After trying to answer these questions i came up with an answer.
The good news of salvation.
That is what makes our lives worth living. It’s what makes or lives attractive to those who dont know Jesus. The Gospel is what preservers and gives hope to those around us.
How often do we loose it? How often do we forget that we need the gospel ourselves. everyday.
Without it we become worthless. It sounds harsh but it is true. Salt without flavor is useless. So is a believer without the gospel transforming his/her life on a daily basis. God is not going to use us to transform others until we are being transformed by Him.
In other words. Are we seizing the opportunities God is giving us to change the world around us?
I strongly believe [and im learning…] that we will never be able to impact those around us with the good news unless it is changing ourselves.
That is the beauty of the gospel. It is not a one time decision. It is not even a daily decision. It is a minute-by-minute lifestyle.
Have we lost our flavor as salt? go back to Mateo, Marcos, Lucas, and Juan… Go back to Christianity 101 and have an encounter with the words of our beautiful saviour. Let them equip you, train you, let them transform you, change you. Let them shape you.
Only then will the people around you truly see His power and his beauty as He shines bright through you.
On a regular day you will find me in bed by 9:45pm. It is 10:08pm right now and i am still wide awake. Hence this post. Now i have to quietly get to bed in the dark in hopes that my super-light-sleeper roommate wont wake up. [good luck!]
I feel like i dont have much time to update this blog anymore. Life here goes by fast but i just wanted to take a few moments to update you a little bit on what’s going on in my life right now.
I have decided to come back to the desert for a second year. Im sure this is not as shocking to you as it was to my mom. There are many reasons and many ways in which i felt God leading me to this decision but there is one song God has used to speak to my heart about this city. Its “This City is Yours” by Elevation Worship [of course!]
There is one line that says:
“The heart in my chest, it is beating so fast
I can hardly contain all the hope in my veins
As I see you alive in this city arise
Like the sun shining bright
We see darkness and night run from our lives”
God has given me hope for this place. I believe something big is going to happen in this city. It is going to happen soon. And i want to be here to see it. I want to be a part of what He is doing here.
This city, Lord is yours.
This is my mantra. The song that i find myself singing every morning when i wake up. As i walk to the market. While riding a taxi.
This city, Lord is yours.
“Teach us to love. The way you love us. Send us out. Send us out”
That means i will be going back to Maracaibo city, Venezuela the second week of may to raise support again.
which is really scary. 1- Because raising support is hard. 2- Because i just missed a year on everyone’s life and i feel like i have to catch up with everyone. 3- Because i will miss this place. as ugly and uncomfortable as it is. I will miss this city.
now, if you excuse me…. I need to go to bed now without waking Nelly up.
The company i work for hosts a conference around this time every year to check on all the workers in Europe, Middle east and parts of africa. Its called Mid-year. I can not believe this year is half-way done. It’s surreal.
My decision about next year has to be made a few weeks after mid-year. scary!
as for now. I am not going to worry about it. Im going to enjoy my conference and rest in the fact that God will reveal His will for next year when He thinks its right. And that is obviously not right now.
After the conference me and part of my team are going to the Sahara desert!
Pray that God would speak through the sand and the dunes. And somehow tell me to stay….. or leave.
try not to miss me.
“ The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17
You should seriously read this book. And not just read it. But like my roommate L* says. “Marinate on it” or “in” it. whatever….
while reading these verses i thought “My problems are not that big after all”
He created the whole world and everything in it. There is nothing impossible for God.He holds all creation together.
While I am serving Jesus in the desert. My parents decided that they no longer love each other and that they want to get a divorce. While this has been hard. [very hard] These verses remind me that God is still sitting on His throne, reigning, and being God even when my world shakes.
In Him all things hold together….
Christ is Supreme.
and that is all i need to know today.
It has been a while since the last time i sat down and wrote my thoughts down for the world to see. [and by the world i mean… the 7 of you who come here regularly ….]
I am stuck in the book of colossias.
Dont ask me what im learning. Because I dont know.
I cant get over chapter one.
I have been meaning to read the whole book for four days now. And every time i sit down to read the same thing happens. I cant get past chapter one.
It all starts in verse 9b. “…. and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.”
and let the impossibility to move on begin!
I just need to know what being wise with spiritual wisdom means.
Because look at what verse 10 says
“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,”
I want to live that life!.
so what does spiritual wisdom mean?
In my search i found that the word Paul used to describe this is “epignosis” which according to google means knowledge. knowledge of His mystery. a greater knowledge of Christ. A full knowledge of Christ.
Then i remembered that verse in proverbs that says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and the Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” Proverbs 9:10
Wisdom starts with fear of the Lord.
and knowledge = understanding.
But what’s the difference between Wisdom and knowledge?
Knowledge= information, data, facts.
Wisdom= good use of knowledge.
So, when Paul is praying for Colossias that they would be wise with spiritual wisdom he is praying that they would discern, think, and live their lives through the lens of what they know to be true about Christ [make good use of their knowledge about Christ]
Then verse 10 comes true.
Im not Bible Scholar. And after reading this you may find that to be way too obvious.
But what a powerful prayer!
What if we lived our lives through the lens of what we know to be true about our Savior. We would love more. We would pray more. We would serve more. We would complain less.
May you be wise with Spiritual wisdom today, and tomorrow, and ….
Yesterday i went to the beach with two of my friends.
now, I know what you are thinking. Sun, pina colada, and bathing-suit.
Women usually dont go to the beach to swim. They go to look at the crashing waves and remember what it was like when they were able to freely swim when they were younger.
We sat there in silence.
and i said “Je ne comprends pas comment il ya des personnes qui ne croisent pas en Dieu” In broken french
That would be “I dont understand how there’s people who dont believe in God”
and as i sat there without an audible response from my friends. I heard the voice of God in my heart. He said very gently
“To those who are blind. I give the sound of the crashing waves. They Say, I am! ”
“To those who are deaf. I give the brightness of the sun. It declares, I am!”
“To those who cant either see or hear. I give the softness of the wind. It shouts, I am!”
It was such a good reminder that God has orchestrated this planet to display Himself. What I do here is nothing compared to what He has already done to show us how much He loves us.
He is in the business of bringing people to Himself. He is in the business of saving the lost.
And I trust Him.
Today as we were walking home two of my teammates started joking about how i blog about random boys. which is false but the boy im going to blog about today is not random.
and i dont blog about boys here. at least most of the times i dont.
A few weeks ago i wrote THIS and NateKA read it. And as if his hugs weren’t enough he decided to make arepas for me. Arepa is bread for Venezuelans. He made them from scratch-my guess is he looked a recipe up online- and made that tuna kind-of-salad that i blogged about. I wish i had pictures to show you but i devoured those yummy arepas. He still thinks they were not good enough. I disagree. strongly disagree.
Thanks, friend. I think this is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.
Mr. Charming, as i call him sometimes, is really good at serving us. He cooks for us and eats my cookies even though they “are not the best ever” – It was the butter.- There is nothing too awkward for him (haha!) and he calls us, girls, beautiful all the time.
And i am his favorite Venezuelan
Im not sure about this. But i think im the only one he knows
so, Here’s to NateKCharming!
one of the three AMAZING boys on my team.
we are lucky girls.
when was the last time a sunset took your breath away?
when was the last time you watched the sunset at the sound of this song?
I just kind-of did.
unfortunately this city is well.. a city. And its buildings blocked my view. But the colors on the sky were well worth the screams -in arabic- of our concierge. [ yeah! he screamed at me because i locked the door to our roof. ooooops!]. I stood there. My plan was to pray for this city but those colors left me speechless. All of the sudden my clever words of praise, and my ‘spiritual’ prayers couldnt find their way out of my mouth.
All i could say was: “May my eyes never take one more sunset for granted. May I never cease to be amazed by you, Jesus”
And i repeated that about 10 times.
“May my eyes….”
over and over
“May I never….”
and over again.
with tears of worship I sang Phil Wickham’s heaven song. oh i love it when i have my ipod on shuffle and the perfect song starts playing!
Life here in the desert is hard. Men stare at me like im a piece of meat and they want to eat me. Some people are not honest. and the worst of the worst. The call to prayer. Oh how i hate that. It screams “Allah!” five FIVE times a day. Out loud for the entire city to hear. I really do hate it.
But this is where God has me. This year. -We are still deciding about next year. (and by we i mean the Holy Spirit and I)- And even though its hard. And keeping in touch with my friends is difficult. And not being there when my baby brother learns a new song is heartbreaking. And missing my Maracaibo hurts. And not being with my family while they are having a hard time makes me sad sometimes. I love my life here.
I think im finally at a point where i can say that i know my way around. I know how to avoid the hungry-for-meat-men. I know how to take a taxi and how to make sure he is not overcharging me. I live here. And i love my life.
The sunset today reminded me that God is still in His throne painting colors in the sky. He still loves me. He is still reining. And that everything is right with the world….
Everything is exactly the way He intended it to be.
And I am exactly where He wants me to be.
Remember THIS post?
Its about my youth leader and how he cheated on his wife.
Today i was listening to one of my favorite christian radio stations [PTL for technology] in my hometown. And out of the blue a song that is very close to my heart came up.
you’ll see my ex-youth pastor is a talented song writer. Before he started ‘dating’ this other woman he was working towards fulfilling a dream that God had laid on his heart. And that was to record a worship album with his own songs to God. In 2006 he and his wife [or ex wife… im not sure] called me to work along side him in our youth ministry. And he wrote a beautiful song called “La Roca” [or The Rock in english]
I remember sitting with him in his office while he was writing it. I remember seeing him struggle to find the right words. I remember the day he sang it to me for the first time. The song that would later become a kind of anthem for my church. I remember sitting there while they were practicing with the band.
and i remember the day we sang it together, as a chuch, for the first time.
God gave him this song. It’s a beautiful song that declares that God is our Rock and that He deserves all the praise in the world.
My youth leader, lets call him J*, also has a younger brother who is also a talented musician, lets call him D*.
D* has also gone through hard things and has walked away from the Lord in the past. But he got his life on track a few years ago.
Today, as i was baking chocolate chips cookies, and listening to my favorite christian radio station in Maracaibo, Venezuela. D’s voice came up. singing
“como no he de alabarte si eres digno…..”
[“how would i not praise you. You are worthy” that’s my poor attempt at translating it.]
Those are the first words to the song “La Roca”
It broke my heart.
But i am thankful that God will always use what He has given us. Even if you decide to screw it up.
That song will continue to change lives and bring Him praise. Even if J* is not the one singing it
Oh how i wish i could show you pictures of my wonderful christmas eve/day.
Since i cant. (for security reasons) I will do my best to describe it to you with words/ with my broken english./
On christmas eve, me and the precious boys on my team, made the Venezuelan christmas dish which we proceeded to eat at about 5:40pm. The hallacas turned out pretty good.
My team tried them. But before they did i stood up and said “All i want is some honesty from my team”. They said they liked it…. and i honestly think they kind of did.
I also made the “ensalada de pollo” which some of them loved. but i didnt really like it. oh well…
Then half of us stayed home (and by home i mean the B’s/ The Bs are one of the families that work with us) and the other half went to one of the two christian churches in this city for a candle light service.
when they got back home we had a mini-photo shoot and chilling time.
Later that night, the Bs got back from their christmas dinner and we lighted the fire place, played with their kids and just chilled around the christmas tree and then wrapped presents when the kid-os went to bed.
We went to bed and woke up to the voice of the youngest B. Adam. A precious two year-old who has stolen all of our hearts. “Its christmas, Its christmas”
we got up. One of the boys made breakfast [aren’t our boys talented and domestic? gotta love them] eggs benedict with BACON (yes. earlier this month some friends went to a free country and got looooots of bacon. And by lots of bacon i mean LOTS of bacon)
then we opened presents. Half of our parents sent presents. But the Bs bought gifts for those of us whose parents couldnt send anything so we had something to open. It was so great!
then me and my team acted the christmas story for the B kids. It was hilarious! I tried really hard to re-vindicate myself as an actress. [long story] but i think i will always be the emotion-less actress in their eyes. That’s fine with me.
oh how i wish i could show you pictures.
Around 2 pm we went over to the Ws [another family we work with] for a thanksgiving meal. which was a.m.a.z.i.n.g by the way…
played with the W kids. and then watched bride and prejudice. A bolywood film.
then we went back over to the Bs. Had dessert. And then they watched white Christmas while i watched perry noble preach.
and the 6 of us slept over at the Bs again….
This was my christmas. Definitely different. But it was precious. Filled with love, and friends that are more like brothers and sisters.
I am blessed.
Oh my goodness!
oh how i hate the call to prayer….
I know i said i didnt feel like writing but im a girl. I can change my mind.
“Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the
darkness is passing and the true light is already shining“. 1 John 2:8b
Often when i think about the country where i live in the first word that comes to mind is darkness. If Jesus is The light and 98% of the people who live here dont know Him…. Simple math reveals to me that people here live in darkness.
But after reading this earlier today i realized that math doent always give us the right answers. The word of God does.
Yes, people here dont know Jesus. And yes, they live lives that are not honoring to Him. And yes, they are lost.
But me, my team, and the believers here shine the light of Jesus. We are the light in this city.
The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining in this city!
What a great reminder! what a great promise!
I dont feel like writting right now. I will tell you more about my christmas later but i felt like i should let y’all know, my very few but very faithful readers, that i had an amazing christmas filled with love, and precious friends.
until Christmas # 2,
I am homesick.
sitting on my ‘couch’ looking at our pretty christmas tree. Trying to call the girl who is supposed to be my best friend- but has only talked to me once since ive been here [ouch!] -But no answer. In desperate need of a familiar voice thats not my mom with bad news. [im not sure if im ready to post about it here yet].
I am just sad.
you would think that crying would make me feel better. well, my friend, tears are not coming out. which, for a feeler like me, is frustrating. I wish i could just cry right now, go to bed, and hope the grass is greener in the morning.
I wish i was home. Just for tonight.
My mom would make me arepas with tuna, and we would probably sit on our living room couch by the christmas tree, with a glass of wine, some green olives, and talk about life…. I miss late-night-over -wine conversations with my mom.
I miss Michelle, Arturo, and Sam. I miss our friendship. I miss our subway runs. I miss the four of us. together.
I miss my beloved sun. Maracaibo sun.
I miss what’s familiar. I miss comfort. I miss my mom’s car. I miss indio-mara and Chops.
But there is nothing i can do about it, is it?
only worship Jesus in the middle of the storm. Because He is the only thing that hasnt changed.
and it never will.
Here in the desert we are getting ready to have a Venezuelan feast for christmas eve. Im not sure if my team will like it. Pray that they will but i am really excited about it. I went grocery shopping today and i will start cooking tomorrow.
The menu: Hallacas, and Ensalada de pollo
Hallacas are like a mexican tamale. only better. They are square-shaped and they look like a little present wrapped in plantain leaves (or if you live where i live… aluminum foil) When you start eating them you find all kinds of goodies [raisings, olives, onion, and a treasure for those of us who live in muslim countries…. P.O.R.K]
Marcus, if you are reading this. Let.Me.Tell.You. There is no bacon in this country. True Story.
Luckily a friend of mine went to a free country for a few days and she got me some pork. yum! Happy Holidays to me.
Hallacas are one of my favorite things in the whole world.
This is our christmas-chicken salad.
potato, carrots, chicken or hen, petit-points, and a dressing made out of mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.
I hope this turns out ok. I always help my mom make all these things but i have never actually made them myself.
We shall see.
What are you eating this weekend for christmas?
I haven’t been writing lately because i have not been feeling well. My back has been hurting really bad. So bad that i have been laying in bed for the past 4 days. I went to the doctor on friday and got a shot. And i went back again today for physical therapy which i will be doing for the next few weeks.
It still hurts. I dont really know why. It’s really weird. I dont understand.
I really hope to be ok by christmas.
In other news, my team [of course] has been great. So great that i havent missed my mom that much. [ dont tell her ]
Thursday- I laid in the floor for over 1 hour [ i couldn’t move] and my roommates stayed with me the whole time.
Friday- D* came over and sat with me all afternoon and worked on his computer while i watched a movie and then later that night he went to the lebanese restaurant and picked up my dinner. A* took me to the doctor and sat down with me while i was bawling. N* came over and watched modern family. And then we all skyped with the other N*
Sunday- D* and L* surprised me with Mc Donald’s for lunch.
I am blessed.
These past four days have been very frustrating. But God always finds a way, everyday, to make me feel loved, cared for, and special.
Welcome to the five-day Daniel Fast.
I was so hungry that i forgot to take a picture of my lunch. But if i had to describe it for you i would say… colorful
Brown rice with corn and soy sauce and salad.
it may not sound good. But trust me. It was.
I also made trail mix with almonds, raisins, dates, and chocolate noir.
I am also reading Proverbs this week. And praying to God for wisdom as im starting to think about next year.
I added a flag counter a few weeks ago and it tells me i have visitors from all over the world.
To welcome you, my new readers, i thought i would share with you why i do what i do and why i would spend the rest of my life doing it…
“what do you do?” you may ask. I tell people about Jesus. As much as possible.
Now, you may think Jesus was just a good prophet. Or a really good teacher. But let me tell you He is more than that. He is The Son of God. He is YOUR Saviour.
I dont care how many times you deny the fact that you were born sinful. The truth is that you were, and still are sinful.
Just look at the kids in your life. Who taught them to be selfish? who told them to lie?
We are all sinful.
And the mess that our sin has caused is so great that we can not clean it up ourselves. It doesnt matter how many times you give to the poor, or go to church, or help those in need. The good things we do dont cancel out the bad ones.
We need a saviour.
Someone who lived a perfect life. Someone sinless [unlike you and me] Someone like Jesus. Who was born out of a virgin girl by the Holy Spirit. Sinless, Perfect Jesus.
The Saviour came and payed the payment for yours and my sin.
He did what you and I couldn’t do by going to church and being a “good person”. He lived a perfect life, He died on a cross and His blood covered all of our sins, and then God The Father raised Him from the dead.
And He is alive right now.
I know what you are thinking right now….
“…..But Prophets dont die”
Im sorry, friend. Mohammed is dead. Abraham is dead.
Jesus said “I am The way, The truth and The life, no one comes to The father but through Me.”
There is no other way. Jesus Christ, The Son of God, The Messiah, IS The way.
And the best part is that He wants a relationship with YOU. He wants to be close to You. The God of the universe loves you so much that He payed your debt on the cross. He wants you to have salvation as a free gift.
Would you take a few minutes to ask Jesus, The way-The truth- and The life- to come be the King of your life? To fill up your empty heart, to give you peace, and joy?
I just felt like writing about this.
Feel free to comment here if you have any questions, or doubts about what i wrote. I promise to do my best to answer them
Im doing it again.
This morning i overheard two of the boys on my team talk about it.
And i invited myself to join them.
We might not follow the exact same guidelines but im excited anyways…
I loved the daniel fast when i did it back in february.
we start next week.
stay tuned. I promise to do a better job with posting recipes this time.
You’ve already read this, but….
My team is the best!
We are all really different but it seems like we’ve found our own little way to get along and be friends outside of our working schedules.
I think its partially because we’ve all made friends outside of our team.
anyways, im rambling here. Its late… again…
I guess what i want to say is that I am thankful for the people God chose to place here this year.
Im thankful for my precious roommates.
A* is vulnerable, and is quick to see a need and meet it. [she takes care of me when im sick]
J* is strong, she is a leader and a servant. [she makes popcorn for me and picks up my mess]
L* is honest, she has great boundaries and loves hugs [She does my dishes sometimes]
Im thankful for the boys.
Oh the men on my team are wonderful. They are a gift!
D* is such an encourager, he celebrates my poor arabic and shows up at spanish club every week. [and acts like he likes it (well… maybe he does)]
Nk* is a servant, he walks me home several times a week and cooks for us constantly. [When i call him he always picks up the phone in spanish]
Nm* is brave, he is a fighter. He has taught me that men of faith doubt, but they keep fighting anyways. Thanks for not giving up, nate.
This is my team.
and this is my little thanksgiving post.
Today we celebrate the Eid-Kabir. A holiday where muslims go buy a perfect sheep, have a kill-the-sheep-party and then eat it. all of it. and when i say all of it. I mean, well…. all of it.
Its shocking to see how a big city like the one i live in can be come, for lack of a better word, a farm so fast. There were sheep everywhere. everywhere. I saw a family literally carry their sheep up the stairs to their apartment. keyword: apartment.
when i got my camera it was already too late.
It smells like sheep. everywhere
their meeeh-sound is everywhere.
It is sheep-killing day around here. All the stores are shut down. Traffic is
crazy crazier. No taxis. No fruit-and-veggies- cart-guy.
It is sheep-killing day!
I got invited to my friend’s house. Which was both good and bad
[hold on to your sits. This post will be long]
It was good because the killing of the sheep provided spiritual environment and spiritual conversations were welcomed. It was also good because i got the chance to connect with her family.
It was bad because im
selfish , self-centered, and I like comfort a little too much. I’ll leave it at that.
In celebrating this they remember when God asked Abraham to kill his son and then provided a lamb for him to sacrifice. [you know the story. give me a break… its 10:30pm here.]
I had a fun convo with my friend.
We were talking about Love and i was telling her how much God loves us that He sent his son, Jesus, so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. I also told her that in the same way God provided a lamb for Abraham, Jesus was God’s provision for us.
anyways… this is how my conversation went.
Me= how does Mohamed show you he loves you?
f= he gave us the holy book, and the five pilars of Islam
me= well, Jesus showed me He loves me by dying on the cross and coming back to life. He is alive. is mohamed alive?
f= no, he died in 1632
me= well Jesus is alive
f= yes, because he never died. Prophets dont die. God can not allow His perfect prophets to die.
me= Friend, you just said mohamed is dead. oh and by the way… Abraham died too
she thought about it, and then said…. “Really? did Abraham die?…” and then left the room.
It is really frustrating to see how easy it is to see that Islam is a lie, and at the same time how hard it is for them to let go of that lie. It is hard to know if what im doing here is really making an impact.
Jesus loves them. Jesus loves them. Jesus loves them. Yes He does. You do too. You love them You love them. yes…
I have to constantly. cons-tant-ly repeat this in my head
It is hard to see these things through the eyes of Jesus. It is hard to love my friends.
Needless to say i was there when they killed the sheep. Though i refused to actually see the animal die. I was in the room next door to the party. [party. The whole family was there and they were laughing. you know… the sheep also provides a little family bonding time] and then i had to eat the liver, the intestines and that other gross thing [ i think it was its heart. I didnt ask].
There was blood everywhere.
Then God decided to say something.
– “see all that blood?. Can you hide it?”
Me- Well… they have been cleaning and scrubbing the floor for about 3 hours now. But there is still blood on the walls, the floor is not 100% blood-free. so, no. You cant.
-“Correct. And even if you could hide the blood the smell would still be there.” He said. ” My child, a perfect lamb has been slaughtered for you. There are signs of it in your life. You cant hide it. They see it ”
What a great reminder.
What an encouraging word.
What an amazing God, we serve!
They see it. They see the sacrifice. They see the difference. They see the love. They see the forgiveness. They see the salvation. They see the grace, and the mercy. They see Jesus. They see Him. They see it.
If my muslim friend sees it.
Your friend sees it.
If you know me. You know im an extrovert. I get my energy from people. I love people. I love being around people. I love community. But I had a introvert Saturday today.
ahhh and it felt good.
I locked myself in my room. Turned my music on and just enjoyed myself. Took a 20 min nap and then spent some precious time with Jesus.
I am realizing more and more that even though im an extrovert i need times like these every once in a while. [at least twice a month]
I am having one of those moments right this second.
one of those moments where I feel closer to God, even when im not verbally praying or singing praises.
I am just sitting in our living room and there is a beautiful voice coming out of A*’s room. She is one of my roommates. She is singing to Jesus.
and the sound of her voice is making me close my eyes and feel Him near.
I love this house.
I love the love, peace, fellowship, sisterhood, and harmony we have created in this place we now call home.
I love these girls.
After having a crappy day I can come home to a cup of tea, a loving prayer, and a hug. Times three
Being away from home is hard. It hurts sometimes.
but having people around you that not only understand what you are going through, but pray for you, and encourage you, and are intentional about loving you well…. makes it so much easier.
Three people showed up last week.
3 is not a big number. But i have been learning to celebrate small victories. Because small victories count in this country. Small victories count to God. Small victories, are victories.
Being a pioneer is hard.
Starting something completely new and talking to people no-one has ever talked to before requires patience, flexibility, and dependance on Jesus.
I am thankful for the group of people that God has placed here. They have been encouraging and helpful. I really do love my team and i wish i could show you their beautiful faces here…. but security comes first….
I have been here for almost two months and I’ve been starting to consider the possibility of coming back for a second year. I know its early! but it is impossible not to think about the future.
I know one thing. I want to do this for the rest of my life. The big questions is where. But it seems to me that God may have me here for a while….
im rambling again….
Welcome to the first happy post of this blog since ive been here. haha!
I am developing friendships with a hand-full of girls. And i actually like them… I could be friends with them back home. They are precious.
Im actually starting to get excited about my life here.
I live in freaking Africa!
I started running last week. I only ran for 3 min. But HEY! its a start… dont judge me!
I also watched my first full Steven Furtick- sermon since ive been here.
This is my life.
Hearing the call to prayer five times a day is normal.
Ive had the chance to talk about Jesus with my friends and it has been great to get to share about His love, goodness and faithfulness.
my life is great.
I love it.
My team is fantastic.
My roommates are THE best.
I apologize. My posts havent been making much sense lately. I just ramble…. Im always tired in this country.
I will get my act together and start writing good stuff again.
I have been here for a month now and life here is starting to feel pretty normal.
I know how to get to my favorite coffee shop.
I know where to buy groceries.
and i know how to take taxis.
I live here.
and this will be home for the next 7 months.
but i am starting to miss this face
a little too much.
I like it here…. kind of…
I love my team. They are awesome.
But i wish i could just see my baby brother.
maybe go home for a weekend and give him a hug?
impossible. i know.
This is hard.
This life is hard.
i knew it would be.
but, man… i had no idea.
The Lord has been gracious and has taken me back to the life of Jesus.
was He ever homesick?
did He ever miss his father?
did He ever miss the splendor, glory, majesty, and perfection, in heaven?
im afraid that the answer to all of those questions is…. yes.
and that gives me perspective.
it’s still super tough. But i know im not alone.
and not only that.
He knows exactly how i feel.
<< Thank you, my Jesus. Because you are enough. You are worthy, worthy, worthy, a million times worthy.. >>
If you are a woman and spend more than 3 days in this country your view of beauty will most likely change.
What is a beautiful woman, anyways?
Back in Venezuela i will not leave the house without make up on.
but i have not used make up, not even once, since i got here.
and it feels great.
Back in Venezuela i would spend a good amount of time in front of the mirror waiting for it to tell me im beautiful.
Here in the desert the mirror tells me im not beautiful. But i have learned to ignore it.
and it feels great.
I stand out.
but not because of my beauty. But because i dont meet the modesty standards. It doesnt matter how much i cover my body… my long hair will always be provocative
sometimes i wish i could just cover it like most women do here.
I hate to be stared at like im a piece of meat.
What is a beautiful woman, anyways?
Hello there, dear friends and readers.
Its 10:30pm and i am still awake. even though i would really like to be sleeping right now. anyways… I got here, i am doing great. My team is awesome just as i knew they would be.
I am pretty happy.
I am tired.
Life here is not that different from life in Venezuela.
Streets are dirty, people are always late, crazy traffic, dirty veggies, tab water makes you sick.
im used to all these things.
no big shock for me
I do miss my family and friends. I miss not having to cook everyday. a lot.
I still enjoy cooking. But not in a rush.
sundays are a great day to cook.
i have to go now.
Its time to say goodbye.
and it has been hard.
But ive realized that some people left my life long time ago. I dont even remember what it was like to have them around.
It is nice to see them. ITs always nice to see them. But saying goodbye to them is not as hard as i thought it would be.
We said our goodbyes long ago.
And that is both good.
Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still.
and it did.
Steven Furtick wrote a book about it.
And he has been preaching for 24 hr straight. IT has been great to be encouraged and at the same time challenged to pray what he calls SSS-prayers (Sun Stand still).
Earlier this month i embraced this new way of praying.
I think this new way of praying has changed my perspective and the way i look at my circumstances
Praying a Sun Stand Still prayer is asking God to do something Impossible. Something that does not make sense to those around us.
My SSS-Prayer was that God would raise $35000 in 3 months.
I prayed. and prayed, and prayed, and prayed….
But it wasn’t until i allowed God to actually perform the miracle. Read about it Here That He answered those prayers.
Today. I have the honor to inform you.
That the sun stood still.
He answered my prayers.
I am at 100%
What is your SSS prayer?
I have been thinking about this word a lot lately.
What it means. What it represents…..
God has been clear to me. He wants me to surrender my desires, my thoughts, my dreams, my life, my time. Myself
And that sounds great in theory. It sounds so spiritual and so christian. In the back of our minds we all know we need to surrender to Him. But when its time to put it into practice…… Then it gets complicated.
It is hard to let go of something God himself gave me. It is hard to let go of a promise He Himself made.
go read it.
Abraham was asked to give not just his precious son whom he loved. I dont think that was as hard as giving the promise God had made.
Because sacrificing his son kind of made sense. But killing the son of the promise? That did not make sense at all.
For me it is kind of easy to leave home. Sacrifice my comfort. call random people and ask them to support me. I am sort of ok with that.
But surrendering the promise?
what the heck?
You’ll see. I strongly believe that God made a promise to myself. A promise that He will take me to the desert. And last week i felt like He was asking me to surrender that. To let go of the promise. To not hold on to it anymore. To rest. To be ok with the fact that that promise may not come true. To praise Him in spite of that.
boy was that hard.
How could i be ok with not going to the desert? This is not something i made up. This is something He said. Something He Himself placed on my heart.
I had no other option but to say. “Lord, you are God. Whatever you decide to do is fine with me”
now, I know God works in different ways. But just the way He did with Abraham He did with me last weekend.
Abraham surrendered. God showed up.
I surrendered. God showed up big time.
Plane ticket. sept 28th
I learned that i was probably holding on to the promise so much that i had ceased holding on to Him.
so whatever it is that you are going through. Just stop. And wave your white flag to God in surrender to His will.
I got back from church a few hours ago. They prayed for me and my ministry
I was not. I repeat. I was not expecting this.
They are also giving me a one-time gift
I was not. I repeat. I was not expecting this.
They should have been more involved in this whole process. I would have loved to be sent by them. Its ok though. This small act of kindness just reveals that God has been backing me up this whole time and my church had no option but to join Him.
One thing’s for sure. I felt loved.
My pastor told the congregation to not forget about me. To keep in touch and to keep me in their prayers. He said “Send her emails, spend time with her before she leaves…. I know this will mean a lot to her”
Another thing’s for sure. My pastor knows me.
Somehow he has me figured out. You can tell me that you love me all you want but if you don’t spend time with me your words wont mean a thing to me.
That’s just the way I roll. Maybe i should change that…. Should I?
Dear future husband, are you taking notes?
I mean, a phone call or even skype would do. [I believe in long distance relationships. I dont really want one. But ill take it if i have to. And skype would do the quality time trick for me.]
Why am i blogging about this?
I just wish some people – who may never read this- would stop saying they love me and start loving me for goodness’ sake.
That’s all for now.
oh! wait! Did you hear?
1- My wonderful team skyped me on sunday. It was so nice to see their pretty faces and hear about their first week in the desert.
2- 94% baby.
Today’s post is going to be short.
I can not understand how someone can call himself a follower of Jesus and not read the Bible. There was a time in my life where i would say i was a christian and i would go to church and serve as a volunteer whenever they needed me. But i had no idea there was such thing as quiet time. I partially blame it on my church. This is not something they teach very often. But It was mostly my fault. Laziness, the “I dont like reading” excuse – which is a lie because i DO like reading- and the “The Bible is boring” excuse – Which is a lie too, by the way- would always win.
I remember how awkward it was to pray in front of people.
I remember how awkward it was when someone at CRU asked me “So, what has God been teaching you lately?”
I remember not growing spiritually.
I was thinking a few nights ago and started wondering what changed this. When did my relationship with God really started? not that i didnt have one before, i did. But it was never tangible. You know what i mean…?
Remember the pesto guy ? It all started with him. two years ago.
Lets just say it was a platonic love. He was not a christian and was dating his now wife. But it was really hard for me. I really liked him but i knew we could never be together.
It was then when i realized i needed to fill my mind with the word of God.
So i did.
I Joined a Bible study. (After 4-5 years going to CRU! unbelievable i know)
Started reading my Bible consistently
Found Elevation Church and read through the Bible in 90 days.
I had no idea God was going to turn my miserable Pablo days into a greater understanding of Him His grace, His love and my need to get quiet. Every day. And seek His face.
oh my gosh.
This is SO not a short post.
I have written three posts today.
I just got back home from a taco night with my colleagues. wow! I feel like a grown up just by saying that word… and by colleagues i mean the other engineers (or some of them) who went to college with me.
They wanted to say goodbye
They love me and always managed to not go partying on the weekends so i would not feel uncomfortable. They put up with my long talks about the desert and islam for five years. They would plan our study sessions around missionaries’ schedules ( I translated for missionaries A LOT during college. A LOT.) They heard the gospel 95805025820p5892058 times. I would practice the evange-cube with them and share the 4 laws. They have always been patient and loving.
I accept them just as they are. They do the same for me.
I love them. They are very special to me. 7 years ago when we started college I was the only christian (we are a group of 6). Today two of them call Jesus their savior.
What a blessing it has been to see them grow as believers. And what a blessing it has been for me to be there (specially for the girls) when they break up with boyfriends.
Today they wanted to make me feel special.
I am so thankful for the time God is allowing me to have with each and everyone of the special people in my life.
8 more days.
You heard it here first.
I memorized psalm 121 last night.
Just because it’s awesome.
I am not big at memorizing scripture. I should do that more often. Here it is.
I look up to the mountains
Does my help come from There?
My help comes from The Lord
The creator of the heavens and the earth
He will not let you stumble and fall,
He who watches over you does not sleep
indeed, the one who watches over israel
never tires and never sleeps
He himself watches over you
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade
The sun will not hurt you by day
nor the moon at night
The Lord will keep you from all evil
and preserves your life
The Lord will watch over your steps as you come
and go. Both now and forever.
That was my attempt to write pslm 121 down without looking at my Bible. Did i miss anything? I hope not.
What a wonderful, wonderful, woooonderful psalm. What a promise! oh what a marvelous God we serve!
I kind of packed half of my stuff today.
Dont go off on me! I know i haven’t booked my flight yet. I know that i am only at 85%. I know all those things. Trust me.
But i had a faith attack this morning.
in other news,
I wrote dozens of thank you notes for my Venezuelan supporters this morning.
If you are supporting my ministry from the US. You will get something in the mail. eventually. sometime before may. probably around Christmas. 🙂
Im still under the effects of this random faith attack. If this continues, i might be at 90% by the end of the day.
say a little prayer.
Im writing this post mainly so i dont forget.
Friday night was a tough night. I was desperate for a word from Him. He was gracious to remind me of His promise. But He also gave me instructions for the 10 days to come…. which im sure wont be any easier.
Why was it a tough night you might ask?
Well, I do have a departure date to go to the desert but i have not bought the tickets yet. Most of my wonderful team is already there and i am still at 85% and have been experiencing more canceled appointments than ever. I have been stuck at 85% for way too long. This worries me.
anyways. Those are my very legitimate reasons.
starting in verse 7 the Lord starts speaking to Israel. He tells them that He has no complaint about their sacrifices but He wants them no more. He said “What I want from you instead is your true thanks to God”
“Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory”
For me this was clear. He doesn’t want my hard work anymore. He has nothing against it. It has been good at His sight. But He wants me to stop working, working, working, and start trusting, trusting, trusting. I still need to meet with a few more people and make phone calls and that’s ok. But i think He wants me to rest a little.
Trust in me.
I will show up
And when I do, I will get all the glory
This is awesome news. I needed Him to tell me just that.
So Im trying… I wrote this verse all over my room so every time those annoying thoughts come my way i can look at it and say “Thank you Jesus”
10 months ago i was sitting on a starbucks right in front of the moulin rouge in Paris, France. I was asking God what my next move should be.
I knew I had been called to serve in the desert (im not using n.a anymore. security reasons.) but i wasn’t quite sure when He would have me do that. I had just been there for a couple of weeks and i knew He wanted me there.
I started writing on my journal…. I can not remember the words written that afternoon. But i do remember being desperate for a word from Him.
I was reading the book of Jeremiah at the time (B90X wooohooo!) and i stumbled upon these words.
Flee now! Do not delay! Jeremiah 4:6ish
I kept reading. But I kept going back to those words… Flee now! But i kept reading anyways…
then I came across this
Pack your bag and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin Jeremiah 10:17
now, to all of you Bible scholars… I dont know a wacamole (yes, i just made this up. I like it) about the context of this text or what those passages really mean. I am sorry if you think i was just being emotional and that i am misinterpreting the Word of God. I just know one thing.
When God speaks. You just know. Most of the times it doesnt make sense. Most of the times you can not explain it. You just know.
And I just knew.
I knew He had spoken. Clearly.
I closed my Bible. Drank the rest of my oh so perfect starbucks coffee. Took the metro. and literally ran home (ok, ok. my friend’s apartment) when i got there i called my friend michelle and told her to look those verses up in her spanish Bible. She did.
no. They dont make sense.
God spoke. And He spoke in english. true story.
I have been desert-sick today. All day long. My heart is no longer here (Im sure you knew this) I want to go back to the desert and be with my team (the majority of them). So i sat down on my bed.
Being desperate for a word from Him. once again….
He took me back to Jeremiah
Don’t you love it when God reminds you of His promises?
He said a few other things tonight. And I will share those tomorrow….
My spirit is quiet tonight.
My heart is joyful
And I am in the country He wants me to be today
Have you ever missed someone you dont know? Someone whom you have absolutely no memories with.
Am i the only one who misses 6 people she’s never met?
But thats ok.
I havent had the chance to hang out with my team yet. But man do i miss them. It is weird because how can i miss something ive never had? but deep inside me there is a longing, a desire that’s stronger than me, to be united with the people that God has prepared to walk this journey alongside me. I can not say it enough. They are awesome.
The good news is that I will get to see them in 13 days.
This makes my heart smile. BIG TIME
I am really excited to finally have a departure date. This is finally happening.
I even had a dream where i was packing.
That’s how you know…….
Please, please, PLEASE keep my team in your prayers. I think we are all experiencing some difficulties today. Say a quick prayer that the Lord would keep us together and in one spirit even as we are still geographically apart. Pray that He would bring us all together SOON.
My parents seem to be dealing with my new departure date (sept 22nd) pretty good. They are chill about it.
I really have nothing much to say…..
ok. Ill be back here soon.
God has been given me the opportunity to talk to a few older women lately and spend quality time with them.
One is haply married.
One is struggling to stay married.
One has been divorced for over 5 years and is back to dating a wonderful and godly man
The other one is a widow.
I am single.
And It has been such a blessing to talk to them and learn about married life, how to talk to your husband, how to be flexible, what not to do, how to fix it when you screw it up, and how to love him until the day he dies.
I want to be one of those women -I hope Im already one- who invest their time and plant seeds of wisdom into younger women. This is just the way it’s supposed to be.
If you are married, go find someone who’s not and invite them into your home. Do life with them. We, single people, need to see godly marriages function.
If you are single, go find a godly married couple and babysit for free. Get yourself in that home. watch. and learn.
This generation needs wisdom. Wisdom from people who have already been where we are.
I am so thankful for my married friends. And Im looking forward to babysitting for a few (3?) couples this fall while in Africa.
I have been thinking about the lyrics from this song.
We must go.
Keep us from just singing.
We must go.
I was praying for my ministry partners today. all of you. And there are no words to express how thankful I am for you and your giving heart.
And then I realized that there are so many people making a difference for Jesus in this world
All of you who regularly go to the nations
All of you who sponsor a child
All of you adoptive parents
All of you college ministry peeps
All of you christians working secular jobs
All of you mentors
All of you long term missionaries
All of you prayer warriors
All of you bloggers who blog for Jesus.
We are on the same team. We work for the King. Lets keep it up.
Fill us up
Send us out
Let that be our battle cry.
I want to encourage you to keep doing what you are doing. But never forget. never forget. That in order to do what you are doing for Him, you need to be filled up with His spirit and His word first.
There is no other way to do things.
Im @misspicture right?
I thought i would share some of the pictures i took for my friend V*. She and her husband are close to my heart. Her husband was one of the very first friends i had when i first started going to my church. I was there at their wedding and it is such a joy to see them grow in their relationship with God and in their marriage. She asked me to take her pictures and i did what i could… They are not the best pictures but I sure like them.
What do you think?
You have a dream.
a- And you are unable to fulfill it
b- And it has the potential to change lives
c- And it takes faith. Old school faith
d- And the world and its comforts become trash compared to it
It started back in 2008. I had a BIG crush on a guy who loved cooking. I thought we were perfect for each other because if you know me you know that I, too, love to cook. Long story short his love for pesto made me curious about it and when i tried it… I was hooked.
now in 2010, I couldn’t care less about Pablo or what he likes to eat but i do know one thing. I love pesto. very much.
You need to try it.
Today i want to share with you what has become one of my favorite things to eat. I call it
1 cup onions
1 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup zucchinis
1 Ts preferred cheese
1 ts olive oil
salt and pepper
1- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, tomatoes and zucchinis and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 10 to 12 minutes.
2- Spread the pesto in your pita bread. Add the tomatos and zucchinis. Add cheese.
This is really easy and yummy. You will be able to taste the mediterranean.
Im sorry i dont have any pictures of my mediterranean goodness.
Today is a good day. I have two appointments and im at 85%
still no plane ticket.
still no departure date.
I want to tell you a little bit about my team.
I love them already and can NOT wait to spend next year with them.
They are going to be my friends, my family, my co-workers, my neighbors, my roommates, my teammates.
I will see them, for breakfast, at work, for lunch, at church, for dinner, i will travel with them, eat with them, play board games with them, fight with them, pray with them, teach with them……
More about them soon.
Hello there, readers!
Today is monday and I of course do not have appointments! There’s something about mondays and support raising… I think i have only had ONE appointment on a monday so far. And it was a few weeks ago.
Its ok though.
I find appointment-less days to be productive.
Why, you may ask.
Because i can run errands on those days.
Remember my 18 item to-do list?
well, i only have about 5 things left to do.
The countdown is 15 days until my team gets there. Unfortunately, due to lack of support (currently 77%) i wont be able to get there on the 7th. This makes me very, very, VEEEEEERRRRRRYYYYYYYYY sad
I have no idea whats my departure date.
Probably september 15th or so…
Support will come in very soon. That’s for sure.
I just have been waiting for this moment for about FIVE years…. I am ready to leave. You have no idea.
My team is SO awesome! And they have been such a blessing and a encouragement during this time of preparation. I am looking forward to join them in a few weeks.
That’s all i have to say for now.
Thanks for coming.
I have 18 days left here.
That, of course, if i actually go to Africa in september.
Im at 74%
and no plane ticket.
Doubt is knocking at my door again.
No, She’s not old.
She was there in pre-school
She was there in 1st grade
She was there in high-school
She was there when i met my boyfriend
She was there when we broke up
She was there when we got back together
She was there to support me
Even though she disliked him
She stood by me
She was there when we broke up again.
She was there when i became a christian
She didnt walk away like the rest of my “friends” did
She stood by me
We still have “religion” arguments every once in a while
But we’ve managed to stay friends in-spite of that
We have taken different paths
We have different lifestyles
But we’ve managed to stay friends in-spite of that, too.
She has managed to be here
Even though she’s not actually here.
She will be the very last familiar face i will see before I head to Africa.
And I am so glad its her.
Distance has never kepts us apart.
And I am sure it never will
I love you, Diana.
Thanks for sticking around.
Husband cheated on wife and left her with a 3 year old child. He is living with his new girlfriend.
New girlfriend is pregnant.
Oh and by the way…
I am talking about a youth leader.
Or EX youth leader for that matter
How is the church supposed to respond to this?
Should the local church provide counseling?
Should the local church kick him out and pretend nothing happened?
Should the church just pretend nothing happened?
I dont think he would want counseling though…
I really love this guy.
He is messed up right now
But he played a very important role in my life
and in my ministry.
He taught me that effective leaders are vulnerable
He taught me to be different
He taught me that the gospel needed to be presented in creative ways.
He believed in me.
Today. I dare to believe in him.
It’s starting to happen.
Im trying not to leave unresolved issues in my life. Just in case i die you know…
I could die.
So I am trying to say goodbye to everyone possible.
Dang it! my glasses just broke…. One more item to my to-do list. WIN!
I am also trying to check all 18 items in my to-do list in 25 days or less. All that while trying to find 16 who are willing to give $50/month.
I am afraid that time is going to fly (it has already flown) and I am not going to do everything i want to do.
I can NOT wait to leave and do what God has for me.
This is it for me.
No other desire in my heart is as big, and deep as my desire to serve Jesus in Africa. Trust me.
I feel what most girls probably feel when they get married. Maybe a sense of wholeness and completeness. A sense of… like… “Now, I can die. Jesus come!”
Because i might die.
So if i get killed.
What would you say about me if someone asked you?
No-one reads this blog anymore. haha!
Thank you to the faithful two readers who have been stopping by for weeks. Who are you? I want to know.
I have been very busy. And riding an emotional roller coaster. Up and Down, up and down.
But i have written enough sad posts in this blog. You dont need to read any more of those.
I want to share with you something that helped me rest like a baby last night.
Now I will take the load from your shoulders;
I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.
7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you;
I answered out of the thundercloud
and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah Psalm 81:6-7
He’s got this.
Today joy is being re-defined in my life.
I am at 47%
But that is not why im joyful.
I am joyful because He made a promise and even though the process is painful i rest in knowing that He is faithful
Joy does not depend on the circumstances
It depends on the source.
Joy sets you free.
Hard lesson to learn. Hard to do. But im trying.
I have been such a bad blogger! But i have been very busy.
Today i want to remind you (and me) that our timing is not His timing
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,
as brief as a few night hours. Psalm 90:4
I was encouraged by this verse last week. I needed to be reminded that God’s timing is different than mine. I spent a few minutes meditating on this and came to the conclusion that worrying for this support thing is really stupid.
I need to look at this from the right perspective.
I have about 17 days left to raise $1600/month
God made the world and everything we see in 7 days. And took a nap after that.
Who says He cant do this in ONE day? Or in 17 days if He wants so.
Something inside of me tells me you need to look at your“problem” from the right perspective today. God is bigger, and more powerful, than whatever you may be going through.
He is Willing to do what you need Him to do.
And maybe, just maybe, what you really need is what He wants to teach you through that hard situation.
So calm down. breath. Get quiet.
He wants to speak.
This song has been a refreshment to my heart.
Before the Morning- Josh Wilson
I wish i had something spectacular to say but i dont. I have been kind of numb and unable to sleep well. I pray for God to set me free of this “financial” burden. But it wont happen. I keep waking up in the middle of the night and unable to rest at all. Which leads to sucky appointments where im not able to communicate my passion for Africa they way im supposed to.
I know this blog was created -and has managed to- encourage those who stop by and read it. I always try to write about the amazing things God shows me as I walk with Him. Im sorry if this post is a little discouraging
To be honest, i have not been having those “God-moments” lately. And I miss them, and I need them. desperately!
I have been seeking His face. Like never before. And I have found hope and strength in His word. I always find encouragement to keep fighting this fight in His word.
But I feel like He is not with me.
now, i know what you are going to say: “of course He is with you” and i agree. I know in my mind that He is with me. Of course He is. But it just doesnt feel like it.
Praying feels like talking to the wind these days.
I know He is with me. I know He is listening. But boy…. I just dont feel His presence.
which makes the process a lot harder.
I can not wait for God to bring in this money. I am TIRED of thinking about money and ministry partners and appointments and phone calls. TIRED!
I need some rest.
I need to sleep.
I still need $24.000
I am praying for a very successful week. It will be a successful week.
It will be a successful week.
I am worried.
I am scared.
I have three weeks left to do this.
Raising support is the hardest thing i have ever done in my life.
I need 30 people who are willing to give $50 a month.
Do you have friends?
Can you please tell them about me?
Here’s what we are doing. I need each of you to tell TWO people about me and challenge them to give $50/month. I have an average of 25 people who read this blog everyday. I am also working on a video explaining everything im doing in Africa next year so you can show it to your friends/small group/church/etc..
I am asking for you to spread the word. Would you do that?
Muslim women in Africa die every day without knowing who Jesus is. They are hopeless and in need of our savior.
That’s all for now, readers.
No tengo idea alguna del por que, del cuando, del como.
no se si fue despues de la oracion
o durante el cafe.
No se si fue despues de las senales
o durante aquella conversacion interrumplida en tu sofa.
No se si fue la poesia
O el reggaeton de B*
No se si fue el otono
O si fue el invierno.
No se si fueron mis ganas, desesperadas de encontrarte,
las que le jugaron sucio a mi cabeza
No se si fue Dios.
No se si fue la pregunta de mi mama.
Solo se una cosa.
Por que pase lo que pase
Sigues siendo la personificacion de mi lista.
No se el por que, el cuando ni el como.
Solo se que apareciste
Te –medio– extrano.
Sin drama, sin lagrimas, sin anciedad.
Pero te extrano.
Have a nice life.
You thought i was going to say money. Ha!
Money is a big challenge right now. But i know God is going to provide for me.
But i need fellowship.
Fellowship, prayer, Bible reading, debates. With other christians.
Doing it alone is great. But I need other members of the body of Christ.
Now, i know next year is going to be filled with this. But i kind of need it now.
I need people around me to share what God has been teaching them. I want them to be excited about it.
There are people in my life who are on fire for God. Not that many though.
I feel lonely.
I need the body of Christ.
Our idea of comfort is usually not the same as God’s
Save me from my comforts, Oh God.
Rescue me from the place where i feel safe
Bring me back to a place of freedom, a place away from my possessions
a place where You are all i have.
Save me from my comforts>
Save me from my idea of comfort
Save me from abundance of things
I dont want the things of this world to fill my heart
I want YOU to fill me, my Love.
Save me from my comforts>
Reveal your definition of comfort, Jesus
Comfort is dependance
Save me from my comforts, and teach me to live in light of your definition of comfort. Help me to live a life that demands explanation. Help me depend on you, my Lord.
Help me, Lord.
and Save me from my comforts.
I Dont Want Them.
I want YOU.
a few things on my mind right now.. In no particular order
1- I think that my ability of switching from “I like you” to “meh” is pretty cool and has been really REALLY helpful through out my life. It also reveals that i have never really fallen in love and i am at peace with that fact.
2- I am still very confused about the situation concerning #1.
3- Do you think God can clearly tell you who you are going to marry? Or Do you think He is not involved in this matter. That this is your choice and He lets you choose?
4- Support. Money.
5- I am making a list of books im going to buy and read through out next year.
6- I only have a few (i think 12) weeks left here
7- I think i might have shared too much information in #1, 2 and 3. oh well!
8- I tweeted this today. “If you are affirmed by strangers ask yourself if those closer to you would say the same thing, Strangers only see what you want them to see. Those closer to you see who you really are” It is so true.
9- I really need to loose weight. My pink pants dont fit like they used to. Ha!
10- Sometimes i wonder if im working hard enough on support raising.
He has been the best father he knows how to be.
His biological dad was never there for him and his uncle [who raised him] was very cold and distant.
Im sorry dad.
His words are harsh sometimes. And i know that i know that i know he does not mean to be harsh but he ends up hurting me every once in a while.
Today we were having a conversation about how my friends from high-school all have jobs and dont have time to watch ‘whatever you watch’ (he probably meant “sermons online”) all day. He said. “Your life is easy right now. You dont have to worry about a boss, or about getting fired. You have it easy”
I wouldnt say my life is easy. Raising support is everything but easy.
But i would say that I am blessed.
I am not saying that working a real job is not ok. Im just saying that it wouldnt feel ‘ok’ for me. I was just not wired that way.
I am a missionary!
and raising support is what i do…
Even if you are not ok with it, dad.
I am blessed.
My dad is not always terrible. He has his good days. Days like today where, after the previous #FAIL, he said:
“So, you are leaving in september. Arent you?”
You have no idea what that means but let me in-light you.
These words were coming out of the mouth of the man who told me i was not allowed to be a missionary a few (very few) months ago.
I think he finally got it.
I am 24 years old after all. -Not that i care- but im also an Engineer. I am an adult.
And you know what else i think he got?
I think he is starting to understand that this is God’s will and that there is no thing he can do to stop this.
So, dear dad.
I wouldnt change you for the world. You could have been better. But God knows i could be a better daughter. Thanks for staying with me. Thanks for staying by my mom. Thanks for trying to change. Thanks for not freaking out when i talk to you about boys. Thanks for letting me talk to you about boys. Thanks for telling me im beautiful repeatedly. Forgive me for acting like i dont believe you.. deep inside i do believe you.
This is for my dad.
The man who loves me most.
The man who has my heart.
Te amo, papi.
I dont have one of those but I used to.
Anyways that’s not the point of this post.
I want to tell you how my day went today. I dont really have powerful insights today. Sorry-
MPD, right>? This is consuming all my time and energy! But I have to confess that I enjoy it most of the time. Anyways, I had 5 appointments today. FIVE! (you are expected to have 6/8 a week) Today was going to be a great day!
First appointment was at my church. Me and A* were supposed to meet with the intercessors at our church and present our ministry to them and ask them for support. That meeting went great! they prayed for us and committed to keep doing so. But no one there committed financially.
As i was heading to appointment #2 i got a text saying.. “Im sorry. Cant make it”
Appointment #3 showed up and decided to support me financially. #SCORE
Appointment #4 canceled
And appointment #5 is giving a BIG one time gift.
and to top it all. I went out to dinner with my two best guy friends. Art and Sam.
awwhh do i love those two.
Today was a great day!
How was yours?
You may not know it right now
But i could watch you sleep, I could watch you sleep
For the rest of my life.
Dear boy of mine. You are what brightens my days
You and your sassiness
You and your blue eyes
You and the way you say my name
The way you look at me,
The way you hug me
The way you never want to kiss me.
You are God’s promise
You are God’s chosen
Im sure you will do amazing things for him, my dear.
Even if im not there to drive you to your first day of school
Even if im not there when your first teeth fall
Even if im not there next time you get sick….
Please know that i will always be with you. You will always be with me.
– Your big sister.
God gave Saul a clear instruction: “Attack and distroy the Amalekites. ALL of them and their flock”
But Saul thought he had a better plan and killed ALMOST everyone leaving the King alive.
God did not like this. He gave a command and expected it to be followed. I see pride in the life of Saul. He thought his plan was better than God’s. It goes downhill for Saul after this.
When we are not walking with God and following His commands there are TWO things we do.
1- We blame others and make up Excuses- “15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.” 1 Samuel 15:15
2- We blame others and make up Excuses- But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:20-21
I feel sorry for Saul. Im not really mad at him. He really thought he was obeying God by doing half of what God said. The truth is that he didnt really know God otherwise he would have known what to do.
what i really like about this passage is that in verse 32 Samuel does what Saul failed to do.
You are not powerful enough to mess up God’s plan. If you dont do it. Someone else will and God will always get the glory.
Stop making excuses and blaming others.
and start doing what He has commanded. Sometimes this is not a big task, often times it only means falling back in love with God and start living like it.
I see i have some new readers around here. Id love to know what you think about this passage. What do you think about Saul?
I dont have a Bible verse for you today.
Actually, i do. But im too lazy to go pick up my Bible and find it. It’s in 1 Samuel though. The book im currently reading.
I had a pity party on this blog yesterday. I apologize
I am back. And i am encouraged today. Here are a few reasons why
– I was not able to call anyone yesterday to set up appointments but God set up two appointments for me today.
– I have two new ministry partners
– He is WITH me
– My future roommates encourage me every-time i feel down. (Thanks, pequena)
– He already raised the money.
Reality is slapping me in the face this morning.
– Only a few appointments this week
– Dollar Exchange rate in Venezuela
– Only about 9% of my goal in THREE week.
– I only have about 5 weeks left to do this.
I am scared.
I know in my mind that God will bring in the money.
But im scared right now.
My dear friend Marcus posted this on his blog after “guest blogging” here. I thought this was hilarious and so nice and sweet of him.
You can check him out HERE
He will give you what he calls “inspiration for your momma” you can also help him raise money for charity water HERE
And Marcus.. Apology accepted.
So I just guest posted on a good friend of mine’s blog who is on twitter. Funny thing, I haven’t met her yet, but I would still consider her a good friend. Weird? Maybe, lol!
Well, like I was saying I guest post today and I pretty much promoted myself I’m not proud of it, I actually thought it was funny afterward though, cause I didn’t realize I did it till she called me out on twitter.
Anywho, Miss Picture is a really awesome person. She is truly trying to rock the Gospel and follow God’s steps for her. She is even working on her slang to keep up with me on twitter.
She has a heart for Africa and from what I hear can cook like no other. Hmm.
She blogs daily at Heart of a Missionary and will surely give you a worthy post to fill your tank whenever it’s empty.
Is this a promo post for her?
Saul was just a handsome young man who was on a mission. He was out looking for some donkeys that were missing. Since he and his servant couldn’t find them they decided to go to The Prophet Samuel’s house to ask him what to do and where to find the donkeys.
What Saul didnt know is that God had already told Samuel that he was going to be Israel’s first king and his visit to the Prophet’s house was not going to end up the way he expected.
This specifically spoke to my heart in a very personal and simple way.
I was driving to church this morning and all of the sudden it started raining. and we, Maracaibo people dont know how to deal with the rain. Everything stops when it rains. We are not used to rain at all. It NEVER rains down here.
But today, it rained. So here i am freaking out in the car. waiting to find a parking spot at chuch and figuring out how fast was I going to run in order to keep my hair dry. In the middle of my thinking i decided to just go somewhere else and spend some quality time with Jesus. Just He and me.
so I did.
And i went to the ONLY park we have in this city. (I was inspired by one of my team mates Nate) and sat down and talked to Jesus for a good hour. And among other things i asked Him to bring in the support i need to go to Africa and a husband.
While reading the way Samuel dealt with Saul i felt God telling me: “I am Samuel, you are Saul”
19 “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart.As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found” 1 Sam 9:19-20
I really think God took care of the donkeys so that Saul’s mind could be focused on what He, through Samuel, was going to tell him that night. What a great God we serve!
“My Child, do not worry about support. I have already raised it. Come dine with me
Do not worry about your future spouse. That’s already taken care of. Come spend time with me
Dont worry about your needs. I have already met them. Let’s be friends
What will you drink or eat? My child, I already know what you need even before you Ask. Just be with me.
Do not worry about the sickness. Do not worry about the job. Do not worry about the children. Do not worry about the wether. Do not worry about your parents. Do not worry about Africa. Do not worry about money. Do not worry about anything. For everything is already taken care of.”
Did you need this today?
I sure did.
It was so refreshing and eye opening! we are so little and our God is so great!
May you be encouraged, today, to focus on Jesus. Enjoy His company, spend time with Him, fall in love with Him and that thing you are worried about…. well, He has already taken care of your situation.
It’s Miss Picture’s Birthday today and in honor of her Birthday I’m kicking her off the blog for a day so she can relax and eat some cake on this awesomeness of a day.
Who am I? Glad you asked. Boy, you guys are so polite on this blog. I may have to make the switch permanent.
I am Marcus Williamson. Graphic Designer and Blogger. My style is simple when it comes to design: http://www.creativemyk.com/mawill
When it comes to blogging, I focus all of my efforts on what gives me inspiration; graphic design, with the occasional Fun post in between. Drop by if you want to be inspired: http://www.lifeasamissionary.com/
Alright now that introductions are out of the way. I would ask who you are but that may be a little too forward seeing how this is not my blog, so here’s the deal, if you are reading this wish Miss Picture a Happy Birthday and we can call it a day.
Eli was a priest in Israel and he had two wicked sons who were not good stuarts of the offerings people would bring before the LORD. Read 1 Samuel 2:12-34
I really believe Eli was a good man. A “Christian” man [There’s that term again….] I really think He loved the Lord. But He had two wicked sons. Those two were evil and their sin was great in the Lord’s sight (v.17). Eli even went and talked to his sons about this and told them how bad their deeds were.
I dont think that seemed to be enough for God. Look!
among other things God said this (see verses 27-34) “29 Why do you [f] scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'”
Did i miss something?
He didnt do anything. His sons were the ones misbehaving!
Look what 1 Samuel 3:11-14 says.
1 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, [b]and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ “
He failed to restrain them…
Eli loved the Lord. But he didnt do anything when he saw his own family sining against God. I mean, he did tell them that what they were doing was wrong but they already knew that.
A few things…
1- Parents. Sometimes it takes more than just telling your kids that what they are doing is wrong. Sometimes you just have to discipline them.
2- The rest of us who are not parents yet. We can learn a lot about God by reading the story of Eli. I really see God being a jealous God here. And I also see Him demanding His priest to act like He is The priest of the Lord. You know what i mean?
God has His spirit living IN us. We have authority. Why dont we act on it?
We see this all through out the Bible.
Adam for example…
I see this in my life. I do what’s required or what im “supposed” to do. Instead of stepping up and boldly do whatever God is asking me to do.
May we learn to use our God-given authority to step up and play for ‘Team Jesus ‘, challenge people. call out the sin of those around us, and encourage others to fall in love with Jesus.
And in order to do that action is required. Not just words
Stop sleeping and ask God what is it that He is asking you to do/change/give/say ?
and when He tells you (He will) DO IT!
Do not be uncool like Eli.
“Look at the proud!
They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God” Habakuk 2:4
I understood a few things after reading this.
1- The proud is not righteous
2- The proud is not faithful to God [or “does not live by faith” ESV and KJV]
Today, while waiting for my second appointment for the day I opened my Bible (while the janitors at Mcdonalds made fun of me…. thank you) on the book of Habakuk 2 and my eyes went straight to verse 4. And I started meditating on it.
A Prideful man: Trusts himself for the results of everything he does. Does not let others help him. Has an excessively high opinion of himself. Thinks he is superior.
Now, I have confessed on this blog several times that i have pride issues Sometimes i take pride in what i do for God. I can be legalistic at times and think im superior than others because of the calling ive received and just because of the things God has taught me or done in my life.
THAT WAS ME BEING TRANSPARENT.- PRAY FOR ME. GOD IS WORKING IN THIS AREA OF MY LIFE.
On the other hand…
A man who Lives by faith Accepts who God says He is and believes it. DOES what God has called him to do and trusts HIM for the results. Knows he is not worthy of the calling and is always thankful for God’s undeserving grace.
Who are you today? A prideful man, or one who lives by faith?
I struggle with this everyday and was not really aware of it. So glad God pointed this out today. Let me ask you a question.
Are you allowing God to work in your life?
Are you comfortable? Or are you allowing God to show you how to live by faith?
Then i would say you are playing for the prideful-man team.
I know I play for that team often.
Today I learned that my pride keeps me from walking by faith.
May God show you today what is it that’s keeping you from walking by faith and fully trusting Him.
…. It Continues
I told you God was asking me to do something. To step up of my comfort zone and take a baby step. He was asking me to talk to my mom.
a little background for you.
She is GREAT. She is AWESOME. She is my best friend. But she has been acting weird lately. She has been getting easily upset and i think it all has to do with me leaving for a year.
with that said.
I felt like God was urging me to talk to her and just listen to how she felt. I didnt want to do it. But i decided i would.
So i woke up saturday morning decided to talk to her.
She woke up being normal again.
Now, i am not saying God always works in this way. But i know one thing. Our decisions determine our future.
I am sure that i will, eventually, have to have “The Africa talk” with her. Just not right now.
I am in love with You.
Now, Im not good with words. Specially when you’re around. I dont know what to say and a million “I love You”s is all im able to articulate. There are no words, nouns, or adjectives.
My love, I enjoy my life only because You are around. I would die without you. You are my all in all. I dont want to spend one single minute without you.
Just so you know, I am starting to believe what You say about me. I am starting to see myself through your eyes… I like the way you see me. You see me and say Im beautiful. You see me and say you care. Just so you know, my life will never be the same. You changed it all. You changed me.
And all i want to do is talk to you all day. Read your love letters over and over again. I talk about you all the time and I sing songs about you.
I love You.
I am in love with you, My Jesus.
Just wanted You to know.
I just watched a newspring sermon entitled NEXT. You can watch it HERE
And boy, did it get me thinking…
Perry preached on the book of Esther and how she was willing to do the very thing God had called her to do even though that meant stepping out of her comfort zone.
What does that mean for me?
I dont think Africa is my next step.
That is what instantly came to mind but after thinking about it for a few minutes i realized that there’s got to be something else that God may be calling me to do.
Africa has been in my heart and mind for so long, that going there does not mean stepping out of my comfort zone anymore. Going there is something i want to do with all of my heart.
What is my next step?
I think i know now.
To be continued
What is your NEXT step?
I had two appointments yesterday.
They went GREAT!
Because i was a little nervous to talk to the people i was going to meet with I decided to leave my apartment a little earlier and go to a cafe nearby and just have a meeting with Jesus first.
So i sat down with Jesus with a cup of coffee [a really ugly one, btw. I miss Starbucks] and His word. I meditated on Psalm 63. And it is kind of funny how that psalm doesnt say anything about fear or insecurities. It is really not the kind of piece of scripture you would go to when you are scared or insecure. But i started reading it anyways… Mostly because i have it almost-all highlighted on my Bible and my eyes just went straight to that page.
This passage reveals David’s heart for God. This man was in love. Enamorado. Tombe amoureux
Look what he says in verse 6
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
I do this when i have a crush on someone. I lay on my bed and think about them for….hours.
In verse 1 he said this
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
David sough God. Daily. Several times a day probably. And He was in love. I know I already said that! But reading this meant a LOT to me yesterday. Specially in the middle of all my doubts and fears.
Because, you know what?
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
And that was exactly what i needed yesterday.
[Yes, i took this picture]
I often forget that the only thing i should focus on is Jesus. I need to fall head-over-heels in love with Jesus, and day dream about Him, lay on my bed and think about Him and about how much He loves me.
I want to fall in love with Jesus.
I need to fall in love with Jesus-
This process is not about the money, it is not about Africa, it is not about my ministry partners, it is not about working hard, it is not about my team, it is not about me.
It is all about Jesus.
I have learned one thing about God -so far- during this process
He Always wins
He is in control and He’s got my back-
Ok, those were three things.
I am enjoying this ride. Even though I just got back from my canceled appointment. [Dont you love those?]
God is teaching me that He already has what i need. He already won this battle. Im supposed to be diligent and fight but the Victory belongs to the Lord (Proverbs 21:31). I am falling more in love with Him and i am, for the first time, seeing Him as a provider. I never understood the Jehova-jireh thing up until now.
I am currently reading the book of Judges and i noticed one thing. This book tells the story of the judges God appointed in the nation of Israel and almost every judge has its chapter (s). But there are some judges that only have one or two verses. And I wondered….
In the Book of Life. Would i be mentioned in a few verses, or would i have a whole chapter?
And I am not being prideful. You know I have pride issues.
In this life. Will i make God my passion and therefore impact the world with His crazy Love? Or will i just sit at church every sunday and remain “normal”?
Will I live a life that demands explanation or will i be…well…. just a “christian”?
Will I follow Jesus or Christians?
I am struggling with the term christian as you can see. I dont think i should call myself that anymore.
Christians do not change the world. Christians do not go on mission trips. Christians do not make religious people mad. Christ-Followers do.
Christians prayed a prayer and are saved. Christ-followers….well. Christ-Followers Follow Jesus wherever He leads. Christ followers bare fruit.
Followers are in love. Christians are…. religious.
Appointment after appointment I am finding people who want to switch from christian to follower.
What a blessing it is, to be part of this great move of God!
The story of this man fascinates me. Not really because of him or what he did but because of the truths behind Judges 6.
Let me break this down for you.
First of all. When God saw Gideon, he didnt see him as everyone else -even himself- saw him. God saw his potential.
see it for yourself.
Look what Jesus (yes, i really think this angel of the Lord is Jesus. I might be wrong) said.
“When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Judges 6:12
But then look what Gideon said.
“”But Lord , [a] ” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15
So, Jesus appeared to Gideon.
Now, if you ever encounter Jesus there are THREE things that WILL happen.
“Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” Judges 6:18
2- Jesus will always demands CHANGE
“ That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. [c] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole [d] beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of [e] altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second [f] bull as a burnt offering.” Judges 6:25-26
We cant see Jesus and expect everything to remain the same.
3- Expect Resistance after/while doing what Jesus told you to do
“The men of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it” Judges 6:30
Have you seen Jesus lately?
MPD= Ministry partner development consists in meeting with people and sharing your passion with them and then invite them to become your partner in ministry trough prayer and financial gifts.
I had two appointments today.
One was canceled.
I was tempted (still am) to get on a fight with God and tell Him how wrong and not-beneficial this is. I am tempted, as I write this, to become bitter and let Satan plant seeds of doubt in my mind.
This makes two appointments cancelled in less than a week. (yes, they canceled my appointment for thursday too)
This frustrates me.
But… who is more interested in reaching Africans?
I thought so.
So, dear myself: Rest.
Today, i praise God for canceled appointments. Because they force me to remember who is really in control. They force me to trust like a little girl.
I am thankful for this process.
Stay tuned for more updates.
We finished our training today.
It was so good. I loved my team and seeing their hearts for ministry was just what i needed.
I needed to see I was not the only one 20-ish year old who wanted to be different and serve college students for… eeerrrr… the rest of her life?
I have been meeting with people and its been exciting even when they decide not to support me financially. Just sharing my passion for north africa several times a day makes me happy.
God is giving me joy and peace to “endure” this time.
I really am loving it.
…. and my team.
MPD= Ministry Partners development
Im sorry i have been a terrible blogger lately.
I started raising support earlier this week and i am super excited to see God step up and provide $35.000 for me. I am looking for around 60 people who are willing to invest around $5o a month.
If you are interested please hit me on twitter with your email address, and i will email you with more info about how you can be part of what God is doing in Africa. Feel free to ask any questions and/or spread the word.
I am really excited to share my heart for these women with everyone!
Please, please, PLEASE, feel free to let me know if you want to have a skype appointment. I would LOVE to show you pictures and tell you how God is moving in Africa.
I have three appointments this week and i am looking forward to start walking by faith and trust God to provide this ridiculous amount of money.
Please be praying for me.
The enemy is definitely at work.
I know i havent been blogging lately. I feel like i do have a lot to say but somehow find it hard to put it all into words.
I dont know.
Im glad keeping a blog is not my job.
I would love to blog for a living though…
and i just contradicted myself.
Wanna know what i learned today after hanging out with a grownup woman ?
God allowed some awful episodes in my life. Just for tonight. Just so i could have something to tell her tonight. I cried, yes. It hurt, yes. But God transformed my tears into wisdom.
and for that… I am thankful
I was, also, able to answer one question that had been dancing around my little head…
….. Is that God’s best for your life?
Yes, sir. It is.
Because He spoke
Because there is peace in my heart
Because it does not hurt. It does NOT hurt.
I live for days like today.
I live for deep conversations where the Holy Spirit is just there
I live for days like today.
They are part of my vocabulary now.
I bake these and save the profit to go to Africa in sept.
This isnt a burden…. (yet)
I love baking. I am enjoying this.
But after a long day of baking and walking to our CRU meeting -where i sell my goodies every week-……
This is how my beautiful feet look like
I am beyond tired right now.
Im was reading Numbers 18 today
As a missionary i often wonder about my future. Will i ever get married? will i ever own a house? will i ever own a car? will i ever have children? will i ever…..?
And i had always answered some of those questions with a big fat NO
Missionaries are poor
And sometimes, deep inside, i wish i wasn’t called to leave all the comforts of home to love people i dont even know.
Sometimes, if not most of the times, I am selfish.
This morning God introduced me to a truth i wasnt aware of.
He is my share.
Aaron and his sons were the high priests. They were in the “ministry” and God told him that they will have no inheritance in the Land of Canaan (The promised Land). For me, this means, no house, no car, no land to cultivate, nothing… But im no bible scholar. This might mean something else but just stay with me for a few more minutes. But He said: “I will be your share and your inheritance“
I struggled with this for a few minutes. I was like.. “but God, they were the high priests. Arent you going to give them at least some of the land? ” But then i realized God was giving them more by giving them… well… Himself
He is my share. He is my portion. He is my inheritance.
He and He alone.
I like Him better than a house, husband, car, and children.
If you are in ministry today. And are worried about financial/emotional stability. Remember this: He is your share.