The Heart of a Missionary-


Goodbye To you.

Posted in life in the field,Randomness,struggles,Uncategorized by misspicture on April 26, 2012

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.

Messy Room

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The Name…

Posted in struggles,Support Raising by misspicture on August 11, 2011

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.
a name….

JESUS.

saying it several times helps me breathe better.

still at 95%
My coach told me to stop raising support.
He said 95% is enough.

so…
I guess thats good.

Catholicism

Posted in Insights,struggles by misspicture on July 24, 2011

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 ?

Still learning.

thoughts?

 

Bicultural… who?

Posted in Insights,life in the field,struggles by misspicture on July 23, 2011

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.

Bicultural…. ME!

 

On the church…

Posted in Randomness,struggles,Uncategorized by misspicture on June 16, 2011

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.

 

25

Posted in life in the field,Randomness,struggles by misspicture on June 13, 2011

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.

OR

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!

Of youth pastors and worship songs.

Posted in Insights,Randomness,struggles by misspicture on December 28, 2010

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

Homesick-ness is here.

Posted in struggles by misspicture on November 2, 2010

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.

*sight*

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.. >>

 

Redefining beauty

Posted in struggles by misspicture on October 27, 2010

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?

*sight*