Friday, August 19, 2011

Psalm 29:3

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

Today we are preparing to hunker down for the first hurricane of the season with an expected 20 inches of rain.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It has happened. What I knew we would eventually face one day. The issue of stealing. It hit and it hit hard. A few weeks ago I felt hurt, betrayed, angry, and wondering what and who is it going to be today? To be totally honest I did not trust anyone. I was watching everyone who entered my house like a hawk. I had an idea of who might have taken some of the things so my first reaction was to go and find my stuff and take it back.

Then at bible study my friend reads this verse:
¨Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you DO NOT DEMAND IT BACK.¨

and here I am making my plan to demand my things back.


Okay Lord my planning stops there.

At the same time as all of this I have been praying asking the Lord to put me to the test to put me through the flame to purify me of anything that is not of Him.

And that He is doing.

This is a process of riding me of that ugly thing called materialism that I still hold deep in my heart.

I did not go demanding my things but instead forgot and moved forward still having enough. In doing that the Lord has been faithful to bless us with more. One of the things that went missing was Grace´s pair of church shoes. We were walking the other day and this man came up to me and in English says ¨ Hey why don´t you come by my SHOE store  one day when you have time. I want to give your little girl a pair of shoes.¨

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My friend Susanna and I have started a teenage girls bible study group after realizing the need for truth to be spoken to these girls. These girls hear one thing in church one thing from their parents see different things lived out so they are confussed. This is a safe place where these girls can come and share, ask questions, read the Word, and pray together.

This week as the girls of all walks of life ran into the house I did not notice past wounds, orphans, diseases, and handicapps but rather normal teenage girls eager to feel the love of their Father.

They were ask to write questions they had about life, christianity, or anything else that they were afraid to otherwise ask in public and place them in a bag so we had no clue who wrote what questions. We will study the biblical answers to these questions over the next few weeks.

I quickly saw the excitement in some of the faces as they wrote their questions and then pure fear in one face. I realized this girl could not read or write. I have never thought of this before. She can not read her bible she can not journal. I was reminded of the verse in Romans that says ¨ and how can they hear without anyone preaching to them.¨ Literally the only way this girl will hear about stories in the bible is if someone preaches or reads it to her. Then I began to think how many more people are there not only in this city but in every city around the world who will not hear about Jesus just because we assume they can read their own bible.

Today I am thankful that I can read and through being able to read I have the opportunity, just like all of you, to be able to tell others about a Heavenly Father who loves them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I have a friend who is living here for 6 months doing her internship for college. All of you who have prayed for good friends for me, Susanna is the girl. We are often called twins when we are together and by the other ones name when we are apart. Although we come from very different worlds she is from New York and I am from Alabame we have bonded over our love for running (walking here) and cooking healthy meals. She has been a huge encouragement to me as we daily push each other to seek the Lord´s face more and more.

One thing that we have been talking about recently that we both feel like the Lord has been teaching us here is the power of prayer.

Often times I feel in The States I go to prayer as a last resort when things are not working on my own or when things are really bad. Instead of letting prayer be my first response. It is easy to just run to walmart at the first signs of a cold and pick up any medicine you need or stop by urgent care. Here the hospital is the LAST place I want to go and even if you do get medicine often times they don´t have it at the pharmacy. So we pray for healing FIRST. We literally have days with no water where the only thing we can do is pray for rain. We don´t have a grocery store stocked full of fresh fruits and vegetables on every corner  so there are weeks we pray for a boat to come and brings fruits and vegetables.

I still have a long way to go in this area but I feel like being here as brought me to a place in my life where I am daily going to the Lord in prayer FIRST.

This past week Grace was having some trouble sleeping, sometimes she was waking up as much as 12 times or more every night screaming at the top of her lungs. This made for a tired mama and a grumpy Grace. I mentioned this to my mom. Her response was get out your annointing oil and pray out loud over Grace every night before bed.  So that I did and she has peaceful slept through the night since. One night we got home late and she was already asleep so I just laid her in bed and did not pray over her. The second time she woke up screaming that night I decided it was time to get my half asleep self out of bed find my annointing oil and pray over her. Once I did that she slept through the whole night. PRAYER WORKS!!

I want to encourage everyone to embark on this journey of prayer first, even over the little things. A journey of going to the Lord first before our friends.

Over the next 3 months I want to invite all of you to join me in claiming Luke 11:9

¨Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened.¨

 as we pray over the pretty much impossible steps we are about to begin in hopes of Grace receiving a visitor´s visa.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Living in a region in the cycle of what seems like endless hopelessness. 

A place where children grow up if they are lucky to receive a 6th grade education, but for most not even knowing how to write their own name is the future they face. A place where children litterally have no ¨dreams¨.  Boys play soccer and girls take care of younger siblings, cook and clean until they themselves have children at a young age. A place where drug trafficking, abuse, stealing, and gun shots are so common no one even notices them anymore.

What is the answer? How do we end this cycle?
I HAVE NO CLUE. All I know is the Lord has lead me here to live and only He holds the answer. It is my part to continue to follow His lead daily and continually ask for His guidance step by step. 

So in the middle of all of this it is easy to get caught up and overwhelmed with the needs. My friend told me at the end of every day to write down a few great things that happen every day.
Here is my list from this week:

Encouraging and thought provoking women´s bible study
Girl´s Night playing scrabble
Relaxing tea latte and reading time at the lagoon with a friend while Grace napped
Great talk with a teenage orphan about the Lord´s will for our lives vs. the world´s
Getting water back after 3 days without
Grace said ¨I LOVE YOU¨
Game day with my English classes
Hot sunny days- this means I am caught up on laundry
Hearing Cheeseburger in Paradise blaring from a house as I walked home last night
Seeing plants grow and gardens planted
Looking at the stars in an endless clear sky over the ocean