Saturday, October 27, 2012

Falling in Love!



"Intimacy with God" was the topic for this week and what a great week it was!  It blows my mind how many Christians are in this world but don't have an intimate relationship with the Lord!  We had our own base leader teaching on this topic, which made it even better!  She has an amazing love for the Lord, which was very inspiring!  Through the first couple of days of the week I was feeling a little down and felt I needed to really take time to spend with the Lord.  So, Wednesday afternoon I felt that I needed to stay home from going to tutor the kids in Clarkston and just spend that time with God!  I spent around 3 hours that day reading my Bible and praying to God.  I felt so refreshed and so excited!  I actually enjoyed the time so much and couldn’t wait to make that a more regular thing!  Thursday afternoon I didn’t feel so much as I need to read but that I needed to worship!  I wanted to be able to sing but not have anyone hear me so I thought about where I could go.  I had heard some people mention a trail in the woods on the property so I decided I would check it out!  It was awesome!  I spent time singing and worshiping God in the woods that He created!  My excitement just continued to grow!  As of this week I really have started to love the Lord on a whole new level!  Our relationship still has a whole lot of growing to do but I felt that we made a huge stride this week!  I so look forward to the times I have set aside for Him!!! I would strongly encourage everyone to take time and really let God search your heart and reveal to you what you need to do become more intimate with Him!  It’s worth it! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sending Prayers to the Middle East!

As many of you may have heard on the news there is a bunch of unrest in the Middle East!  In my groups intercessory prayer this morning we really felt God calling us to pray for these countries!  My home church back in Missouri has some missionaries in this area, one family being located in Beruit, Lebanon where only one mile away from their home there has been out of hand protests!  I just want to send out a prayer request for this family and the whole Middle East!  I know God can do amazing things to stop this but we need to intercede to make this happen!  It can be so easy for us Americans to just blow these problems off but there is a real problem in this area now and we have the power to do something about it!  Send your prayers to the Middle East!

Here is an article by the New York Times that talks about some of the devastation:








Friday, October 19, 2012

Growing Passions!!!

DTS students and staff with out guest speakers!
This has been a crazy but very fun week!  The week started off on Tuesday for us and flew by!  I really felt God stirring my passion for my orphanage in Africa one day!  We started it off with a couple talking about sexual identity!  This was an interesting topic in which the couple talked a lot about how different factors from childhood can really affect you as you grow up.  Even things from the time you were in the womb can affect you, such as smoking, being an unwanted pregnancy, and being the opposite gender your parents wanted.  I found myself really thinking about my possible future orphans during this teaching!  I realized that with all children coming from broken backgrounds that this would definitely be an issue that I would see.  I started to take notes on different things she was saying on how to deal with this kind of stuff and I got super excited that one day I will really be able to help kids out!!!  This was just the beginning of God's passion stirring in me!

Kids and I at Clarkston!
On Wednesday one of the leaders here on base taught to us on Pride and Humility!  A big topic that many people (being human) struggle with!  This was an interesting topic for me because of my battle on finding out who God made me to be.  It really started me thinking more into who I am suppose to be and I am still struggling with this right now so I still haven't totally figured things out.  The really exciting part of my day though was that a former staff member showed up and he is originally from Ghana!  I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him at lunch and I am so glad I did!  I was telling him how I have been to Burkina Faso and that I felt God wanted me to start an orphanage one day.  Being a loyal man to his country he told me that Ghana was a lot better than Burkina Faso (mostly because it is cooler) and he wanted me to go there someday!  He also mentioned that from the U.S. with the help of his pastor in Ghana they were trying to start an orphanage there!  This was super exciting news to me because I am open to traveling anywhere in Africa and Ghana borders Burkina Faso so I could potentially visit both of them in the same trip!  This really continued to stir my passion!

Wednesday evening we all took a trip to Clarkston, GA (the most diverse square mile in the US) to tutor kids! This was really amazing too!  By the time we got there they were all pretty much down with their homework but we all had a blast playing with them!  They were all over us!  I had several girls doing my hair and then girls wanting piggy back rides!  It was great!  I am looking forward to making that a weekly outreach!

Thursday we found out that all of us are going to ARGENTINA for outreach!!! This was super exciting news for me!  We will be flying to the capital of Argentina and then traveling to different bases until we reach the base in the very southern tip of Argentina.  It will be summer while we are there and there will also be penguins roaming around! :)

The teaching Thursday and Friday were on Biblical Worldview!  It was a topic that really got me thinking about how I view the world!  I am very big on racial equality but I definitely want to make sure that every aspect of the world I look at through the view of God's word!

Each week brings more challenges but also so much JOY!! I am very excited to continue to see the work of God here!  I would just like to ask for prayer for some of my friends here who need some major money by Sunday to stay here with us!  We have an amazing group of people here and I would really be sad if anyone were to leave!  We have faith that God brought us all here for a reason and that He will surely provide but prayer never hurts!! Thank you all so much :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wow this week...

So last Sunday morning my DTS left Atlanta and headed down to Orlando, Florida!!!  It was going to be an interesting week!  Our guys had to sleep in tents the entire week and the girls split up between two RV's.  The boys had to use outdoor showers while us girls got to use the showers in the RV.  However it just so happened that in my camper we had no hot water!!! So the freezing cold showers were a challenge.  There was also no running water for toilets, so porta potties it was!  It is crazy how excited you get when you go somewhere that has a toilet with running water after using porta potties so much!  These were our environment challenges for the week!

Classroom for the week!
On top of this it was also going to be a pretty intense week of teaching.  The message for the week was the Father Heart of God!!! Everyone said that this would be a really awesome week and I was super excited!  My week didn't start out on the best foot however.  I had a terrible night mare on Sunday night which brought my anxiety back from childhood.  I knew it was just the devil trying to get under my skin but it really rattled me.  I went on that next day a little shooken up!  The message on Monday was all about our teacher, Michael Berg's testimony and then we went to a church near by for a worship night.  This night was amazing! I received some strength and peace from the Lord that night and I knew I could lean on Him when I am faced with bad nightmares or attacks.  I also was prayed for and told that even before I arrived at the DTS the Lord told one of the staff that He wanted me to find out who I really was while I was here and be who He created me to be!  This was refreshing because I already knew He was working on that in me!!!  That night I had a very peaceful nights sleep!!!

Tuesday was pretty uneventful.  We had a great teaching that day about how much God really loved us and all that He had planned for each of our individual lives!  The awful torture Jesus faced on the cross was really put into a new perspective for me!  The lengths He went to because He loved us just blows my mind.  I hope to watch the Passion of the Christ someday soon to even try to grasp it further!  I chose to just relax that night and had another pretty peaceful nights sleep!

Wednesday morning I wake up with a sore throat!  Not exactly what I had in mind for the week.  I didn't let it get me down though I tried to be as positive as possible throughout the day.  We heard another great message from Michael Berg about how God created fathers on earth to represent His image even though it has been twisted over time!   We also had a little lesson on missions but I wasn't feeling good at all during that time so can't remember all that was said.  During the day some of us took a trip into town to McDonald's and on the way back we hit a huge bump in the road while I was sitting in the very back seat of an SUV and I bounced really far off the seat coming down and really messing my back up! I honestly don't know if my back has ever hurt as bad as it did that night!  Luckily I have some amazing friends that helped me out and really prayed healing over me!  I  went to a worship night that night in spite of being in pain and sick and I am so glad I did!  It was an amazing night with an awesome message too!  I felt rejuvenated!  That night I slept good and woke up to no back pain and no sore throat but a runny nose!

Thursday was not too eventful.  We had worship and intercession in the morning and in the afternoon and evening we had class.  This teaching was about the good God wants for us!  That He wants to set us free from lies that we believe!  To release them to Him and be filled with His truth!  That night we went out and got some ice cream at McDonald's!

Waiting for our friends to be baptized!
Friday was a pretty amazing day!!!  It was all about forgiveness!  We were given a piece of paper with a list of different people it was important to forgive.  We got in small groups, or all of us girls got together and started going down the list.  It was a very emotional/freeing day!! We tend to forget about things and move on but it is very important to say out loud to the Lord that you forgive someone and the things you are forgiving them for.  We only made it half way down our list so we still have some forgiving to do but it is amazing how much lighter I already feel!!! I was able to smile  bigger than I ever remember smiling before! After we finished half of our list we burned that half of the piece of paper making a commitment to live a life of forgiveness to those people! After this they gave people a chance to be baptized!  So it was super exciting to see two of my friends get baptized!!! We celebrated that night with Starbucks!  It was an incredible day!!!

Saturday we headed back to Atlanta!!! All the girls rode together and after a long 8 hour drive we made it back!  The amazing Korean family that lives/works at our base made a delicious Korean supper for us!
Joanna and I in the car headed back to Atlanta!

Sunday a few of us decided that we wanted to go to Passion City Church in Atlanta.  This church is a church Chris Tomlin attends (even though he wasn't there).  It was absolutely incredible!  The music was super amazing and the sermon was a really awesome!  If anyone wants to hear an awesome message on worry and anxiety I would recommend listening to it on their website!  After service we hung out at Centennial Park and then went to supper at Chili's!  At 8 we went to another service at Grace Midtown in Atlanta!  It was another amazing service!!! It was such a rewarding, fulfilling day! We got back to the base and had some girl time and prayed for each other and for financial support to come our way and went to sleep!!!


God is doing so much here! He has surpassed my expectations and now I am just letting His work be done in my life!  I am becoming a more confident, joyful person!

Friday, October 5, 2012

NEW LIFE!!!

 Well this week has definitely been a crazy one!! The teaching this week was on the Holy Spirit! A pretty intense topic especially for week 2 of a DTS.  Every day after the teaching I literally thought my head was going to explode because of all the information we were given! It wasn't all easy to take either!

It is important for everyone to know that GOD FORGIVES YOU!!! No matter what you have done sin is sin and God forgives and forgets everything!  This for me is easy to grasp because I know God is good and that He loves me and forgives me!  However, I didn't realize that I had to forgive myself!  Our teacher Mike Esposito, made it very clear that we have to forgive ourselves or it will be very easy to give back into temptations!  This struck me like a ton of bricks! I had always known I was forgiven but I never forgave myself for my past sins!  This was a very hard reality and I knew I needed to deal with it right away!  So Wednesday was pretty rough day for me with this realization.  I came back right after class and went straight out onto the balcony and just cried.  (I was also struggling with people pointing out my quietness this day so everything really pilled up on me.)  The next morning in class I just couldn't get into worship I wasn't feeling like the Lord was with me at all!  But the Lord always hears and to my surprise the guy that leads worship said something like, for those that aren't feeling the presence of the Lord this morning and are struggling please come up to the front of the room so we can pray for you!  I was in shock but I was scarred and didn't want to go up there so it wasn't until a couple of the other guys started walking up there, I walked up.  We were all prayed for and almost instantly I felt better!  I felt a release of all that was bad in my life and I finally knew I was completely forgiven by God and myself!!!

As the week progress when anything was mentioned about past sins I felt such a peace! My guilt and shame was no longer! The last couple of days have been amazing!  I got a little fearful of the quiet time we were going to spend with God this morning but after talking with my amazing friends and the quiet time we shared last night I felt such peace!  This morning was amazing and I was given the word RENEWAL! Which obviously came from God with all this change that God is doing in my life right now it is so great! I have a NEW LIFE in JESUS CHRIST!!!

I have made a ton of new friends (brothers and sisters) that already mean so much to me! God is doing great works in each of our lives individually and as a whole!

This song came to mind for me by my wonderful leader during prayer today:


IT IS ONLY WEEK 2!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!




Monday, October 1, 2012

JOY!!!

As I begin this week I am filled with joy!!! The first week of DTS was absolutely amazing!!!  We really got to know each other and connect to one another!  I have already felt a change in my life!  

Inside Martin Luther King Jr.'s Chruch!
On thursday we learned about intercessory prayer!! This was a great teaching on something that I had really never heard of before, much less put into practice.  It is an incredible concept in which we can call out to God to help others and make huge changes in this world!  This is about us as a group coming together to pray for a cause that God has laid on our heart to change others lives! 
Joanna and I at Centennial Park!

Friday, we took a trip to Downtown Atlanta!!! We visited Martin Luther King Jr.'s hometown and got to see his house, church and burial site.  It was really eye opening and really sickening to read what all went down in his time.  As a huge believer in equality between whites and blacks it really was hard for me to read and see some of the stuff in the museum!  Martin Luther King Jr. is a very inspirational person that I think doesn't get enough recognition.  Yes he has a holiday and yes we heard about him in school but how much of what he did really sinks in.  I really look forward to reading more books about him in the future because he is someone to really look up to!!!  In addition to this amazing experience we also visited the Capital of Georgia, Centennial Park and we went by CNN and Coca Cola!  That night we were invited to a families home where we ate BBQ and played games!

The boy I played ball with!
Saturday, must all of our group went to a block party in a near by town.  It consisted of mostly refugees from all parts of the world!  It was really neat to see so many nationalities all in one area! I walked up to the event and the first person I saw was an African lady carrying her baby on her back! I was immediately taken back to Africa!  It made me miss Africa so very much and I was reminded again why I really wanted to be a missionary and love all different nationalities all over the world!! We all played with kids and talked to different people throughout the couple of hours while we were there.  There was one little boy in particular that I played ball with for probably a good 30 minutes, if not more.  He was very quiet but to see his smile on his face just made my heart smile!!! It is my passion to love the unloved and to spend time with the children that normally get pushed aside when the outgoing energetic kids come along!!! This especially became very real to me at this event and just stirred my heart even more!!! For lunch I ate India food for the second time ever and that evening I made my first trip to the laundromat!!! It was an amazing day filled with lots of adventures!!!

Wow, this is just the beginning!!! If the first week is any insight to what these next 5 months are going to be like it is going to be indescribable!  I am very excited to see what the Lord has in store!!!