Thursday, December 12, 2013

"For the JOY of the Lord is my strength"

Joy pretty much describes my life right now for so many reasons!!!  

First of all, I feel so blessed to have made so many new and amazing friends this semester at CCCB.  As the semester comes to an end, I am sad to part ways for the holidays but I will look forward to see everyone's smiling faces when I return!  God has taught me how important friendships are while being here because I am that introverted person that can tend to neglect friendships, especially if I have homework or other things going on, but these girls keep me balanced!  It has been truly wonderful to be around people of faith, especially when I get crazy God-given ideas for the future!

My heart continues to be poked and prodded by God in so many ways!  However, my love for Africa still runs the deepest!  Since arriving back in America after my first trip to Burkina Faso I knew I wanted to go back! (Maybe not right away because it was VERY difficult but nonetheless I planned on going back some day!) I had no idea the journey I was about to embark on though!  Through these past two years I have grown leaps and bounds in my faith and I wouldn't have it any other way!  I have experienced so many incredible things and met so many incredible people!  Even in the midst of all of this I would have never of dreamed I would be back in college!  I thought coming back to college I would be terrible and that it would be years before I was ever able to go back to Burkina Faso.  But oh how I was wrong!!! :)

Over this past summer while driving over to the Church one day I randomly asked my mom what she would think of me leading a team on a mission trip.  It was a thought that just popped into my head.  I had never really thought about leading a team...I just knew I wanted to go on another mission trip.  But, this was really the extent of that and it was pushed aside as I got prepared to go off to college. It wasn't until about the beginning of October that it came up again.  I happened to be babysitting one night at Church and was talking to a friend who felt God was calling her to missions.  Of course this got me all excited because I love missions but she was feeling understandably hesitant about it.  So, that night and nights after I got to thinking how amazing it would be to lead a team of young adults who have a call to missions but aren't too sure what to do with it.  I felt for the first time the desire to actually start walking out in this so after getting the "ok" from my parents I sat down with my missions pastor and started planning (well rather praying)!

Contrary to what most people probably would think, I did not plan on going back to Burkina Faso right away.  I was leaving that door wide open for God to take me and this team wherever He would choose. However, I began to realize how perfect a trip back to Burkina Faso would really be.  I already have connections there which is really important since the team is my responsibility and there is also such a wide range of ministry opportunities there.  They have the orphanage, schools, a medical clinic and a widows distribution program!  This opens the door for so many experiences!  And, this was soooo exciting for me to finally be going back :) I really can't believe how well everything is actually coming together!  That is when you know it's ALL God!!!

I'm continuing my planning and preparation and so excited for the first of the year to start really putting everything into action!  Next semester I plan on taking a french class on top of college to get some basic communication skills down, mainly to get through the airports!  I also am so excited about getting a team together!  It obviously won't be a cheap trip but I know God will provide and bring together His perfect team!  It just fills me with so much joy to be taking others to such a life changing place!

Never would I have dreamed after taking my first trip to Burkina Faso that I would have grown so much in relationship with God and others, in knowledge of the Bible and in my faith in general!  God's plans may not make sense at the time but He is so good!  I would have never imagined this journey but I wouldn't change it for anything!  I am really looking forward to the hearts and lives God touches and changes through this trip (including my own)!

If you would, meet me in prayer in all of this because I couldn't do it without all of you behind me as support!  And if God touches your heart to go, by all means contact me :)


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