Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Taking a look back...

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." --> Matthew 6:25-34

I've decided that this is my new life verse. I'm claiming it for myself, my ministry, my funding, my everything. I love it because it's Jesus talking about how much our Father in heaven will take care of us. As I read this verse, I'm completely humbled because I'm reminded of how much I worry and how much I take things into my own hands. Jesus is compelling us to look at the birds in the air and the grass in the field and observe how much they are taken care of. I'm more important than a bird, right? I'm cared for more than the grass of the fields. I have to know and must believe that if these things are taken care of, God WILL take care of me. I also love how Christ points out the fact that God know all that we need. He created the need and therefore has a way to provide for the need. How incredible is that??

As I look back on this semester, I think about all the times where I didn't think God would come through. I didn't believe that He had control of whatever situation and because of that, I let my faith waiver. As I look back, I can't help but give praise to God for how He has worked and how He completely blew me away.
*I had a bible study of girls who committed to meeting weekly and came prepared to talk about the study.
*I saw God call one of his daughters (from the bible study) back to Him and drastically change her life.
*I witnessed 150 college students and Nav staff come together to build 4 houses in 1.5 days.
*I saw 20 amazing college women come together and share the gospel in a language not their own.
*I and all of you who read this blog and support the ministry prayed for God to do big things in our lives and ministry here at ASU and He did just that.

Again, conclusions from this semester: Ask of Him what is needed and He provides. Sometimes He provides in ways I can't understand or don't think He will provide at all... God always has surprises for us.

Connection to God is KEY. If we are not connected to God we cannot say that He is not faithful. I've had plenty of conversations with people who have just decided that God is not real, or God does not provide for us, or that He simply does not care. I think that is just a projection of our fears and unbelief on Him. God cares so much He provided a way out of sin and darkness. He gave us a way for us to walk in the light, to walk in wealth, in richness, in full-life. I'm saddened to watch people dilberately choose things that do not give God glory and then blame Him when they perceive "His lack of provision." We must stay connected to God in order to grow. Of course this is not easy. I'll be the first to admit that. I've continually chosen other things over my Creator because they simply appealed more to me. I've walked through my share of hard things and dark times. I've even been one to claim that God is not there and does not care. But now I'm committed to being connected with God. I'm committed to helping others connect with God. Its amazing and I'm excited for next semester.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Trusting pt Deux

Along with trusting that the Lord has a plan for my life, I need to trust that the Lord has plans for my ministry. I left Tempe for like 6 days and feel like I've missed an entire semester. I'm leaving again for another 5 days and fear for how disconnected I'll feel once I get back. But as always.. God is good and His plan is always perfect. It doesn't always look like how I wish it would, but that's okay. If I planned my own life and did what I wanted to do... I wouldn't be where I am today and I certainly wouldn't have the joy from life that I have found and will continue to find. Things will work out. Continue to pray for this semester. Great things are happening. Very awesome new people are coming around and I'm really excited about that. Alright, I think that's it. Peace out. I'll write more later. :)


No more disclaimers. All of my blogs will be long and probably filled with ramblings. I'm working out a lot and still want you to be apart of it... hence why I'm publishing all of my thoughts online. If you want to read on, please feel free. Also, please pray for me... that all of this will be figured out, or at least I will find great joy in this process and fall deeper in love with our Creator.

I said in my last post that I was trying to figure out this whole being "satisfied in Christ" deal. I mentioned how I constantly run to things that never satisfy or temporarily satisfy, only to find myself empty and wanting more. These things I run to can never fill me up, yet again, I continue to turn to them...

I'm sitting in Lux, this really cool coffee shop in Phoenix, and I realized I haven't spent much processing time with God. I've been literally running around the country, bouncing from state to state doing various activities. All of this has been great, but it's left me distracted and feeling a bit dried up. I have been attempting to deeply read through the book of Hosea. I opened up and quickly my eyes bounced to Hosea 3:3. It says, "And I said to her, 'You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I be also to you." The book of Hosea is beautiful because its about Hosea, a minor prophet who was commanded by God to marry a prostitute. He marries this woman who is obviously unfaithful to him. Yet he continues to chase after her and redeem her from her shallow realm of prostituting. God uses Hosea to represent His own love for the world. He loves us and continues to take us back even though we are constantly "cheating" on Him with things of the world... money, sex, material possessions, gambling... whatever it is that distracts us from God... Anyway, Hosea reclaims his wife after she yet again gets mixed up into selling herself to things that will never satisfy her. I read this passage today and realized I need to continue to find my satisfaction in the Lord. He's the only one who can truly fill and satsify EVERY need.

The rest of my processing time led me to realize I run to things not of the Lord because that, for the most part, is all I understand. Like Hosea's wife who did not truly understand to find love in her faithful husband... I don't fully understand or grasp how much the Lord truly loves all of His creation. I spend my days daydreaming of my wedding day or the time I first meet my husband... or other crap like that. I confess, for the past few years, I have been struggling with why I want these things so badly. I just turned 23. I'm not very old. Why do I long to be settled down? Why am I not happy with my freedom I have? I get to meet people, move around the country, travel the world, give away my life to others. Not that I can't do these things when I'm married.... I just have more time/freedom to do them now, since I'm single. Anyway, all of this rambling will have a point, which I will probably come to now. I don't trust in the Lord as deeply as I should. That's hard to write and publish online... but since I'm feeling bold, I might as well share with the world that I don't always trust in the Lord like I need to. I can proclaim to others how much they need to trust the Lord... yet I don't always do it myself. No, I don't mean to be a hypocrit (is that spelled correctly??? idk)... but anyway, I'm human and I do tend to do the things I wish I did not. I fear many things in this life... one being that the Lord will not provide for my deepest desires... i.e: a husband to love me for all the craziness that I am. Another fear being that I will not live long enough to experience all that I wish to. I have seen so many people be called home to the Lord at such young ages. This is my realm of understanding. Because they have lost their lives so young, I will as well. God wrote His own specific plan for each and every one of us. We are NOT all the same. We are all unique. That's the beauty of life. We don't have to follow the same plan or walk the same path. Many will do similar things and have lives that look similar, but that does not mean we all live the same lives. I am not the same as all of those who have gone on before me. God will work out His plan the way He sees fit. I need to trust that, despite my shallow realm of understanding.

The author of Hebrews writes in chapter 12, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurnace the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." I need to lay aside my fears... they're irrational anyway... and I need to run with endurance what God has set before me. Not knowing the plan for my life is scary. Following my own plan for life would be even worse. Today was eye opening. I feel encouraged. I'm glad that I'm discovering this journey of discovery.

I have no idea if this is encouraging to you. I'm just glad you took the time to read it. Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowlege Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, August 26, 2007


There might be more added to this post as I continue to process through something God has brought to my attention. Just so you know, this is some of my processing that isn't all the way finished and might not make much sense. If you want to process with me, read on. If you want to pray for and with me, please do. Thanks for reading and listening to me externally figure out hard things in my life.

I learned during my time in Manila, that I'm never satisfied and I'm not appreciative. This is something I've noticed, but I have never really explored before. I reallized I am always searching for something new. Once I get this "something new" it quickly becomes "something old" and then I loose my appreication for it. Again, I'm unsatisfied and thus begins my sick cycle of looking for something to once again fill me up and give me the satisfaction I desire.

I sat in church this morning and listened to Pastor Justin share his heart about the true vision behind Praxis Church. This Sunday, we focused on why he preaches the Good News in every sermon. We spent time looking at how the Bible tells us of Christ from Genesis 3 to the very last page of Revelation. We even discussed how daily we need to preach the Gospel to ourselves. Christ was crucified for our sinful nature and defeated death by rising again. This is seriously the best news we COULD EVER HEAR. Sin has been DEFEATED!!! Yet for some reason, knowing this and beliving this somehow does not feel like it is enough. If you look at my life, you could see that I search for something else to suppliment Christ. The Savior of my soul, my Redeemer, the Innocent Lamb whose blood was shed instead of mine... yeah, sometimes that just doesn't fill me. Rather, I don't LET it fill me. That is sad. This SHOULD make me satisfied. Knowing that I'm redeemed because I have placed my faith in the One and Only who can SAVE me should make me do backflips up and down the street while singing praises to His name. Yet I find myself wanting things of this world... a better car, better clothes, more money, a job that doesn't require me to be humbled by asking people to partner with me finanically... these are things that will NEVER satisfy.

I think I'm going to spend the rest of today and probably this semester praying about and trying to grasp what satisfaction truly looks like. I'm sick of looking to the world to find something I was never meant to find there. I want Jesus to satisfy me... completely. Pastor Justin said it best today. He mentioned that sin is saying we need Jesus and something else along side of Him because He isn't enough. That would be like saying, You need Jesus and to indulge yourself into looking thinner because that's where you find true happiness and real life. Or like saying You need Jesus and to indulge yourself sexually with someone because you will never know true love unless you are giving yourself physically that way to another person. No. All of this stops now. I lay all of these things at the foot of the cross. I need Jesus and only Jesus. In Him is where I get my satisfaction. In Him I am redeemed, saved, made new, forgiven, and not the same Michelle I used to be in the past.

I challenge you as I have challenged myself in looking into where you find your "satisfaction." Is it letting you down? Is it something that seems to go well for a while but then changes? Search for something that is everlasting and unchanging. Seek out Christ. Seeking the Lord is a battle. There will be times where you may fall and you feel like you've failed. God is unchanging. It seems to me that following Christ is something worth battling through and striving for. If it was easy and shallow, would it really fill you in the way you need it to? Christ paid the penalty so that you can be redeemed and share in eternal glory with Him one day. Find something real and be satisfied.

"Let this old life crumble, let it fade. Let this new life offer be your saving grace. Let this old life crumble, let it fade. Let it fade." - Jeremy Camp "Let it fade"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Even one raindrop raises the ocean...

I got on my email today and saw that I had a comment on Friendster, from one of the Filipino students I met this summer. She had left me this picture comment that had a pic of the ocean and the words, "When you think you can't make a difference, remember that one raindrop raises the ocean." Now, as cheesy as it sounds, it was encouraging to see. I have been feeling like that I didn't make much an impact in Manila but I guess more was done than I'll ever know.

Now I'm sitting in Tempe, not on campus, but at home because I have to finish my fundraising. Not being fully funded is really stressful. Its been so hard for me to focus on something like this... even though its extremely important for me to be fully funded... I just want to be on campus, attending welcome week and doing all the things that everyone else is doing. I feel like nothing is settled in my life because I don't have all of my funding in place. I simply don't know what to do anymore. I've talked with people. I've sent out letters. I've made phone calls.... I still only have 57%. God is still good. If He plans for me to be out here the entire school year, the money will come. I'm confident in that. God works so powerfully and in ways I'll never understand. I know that full well. I just wish things didn't have to look the way they do right now.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. Hopefully soon, I'll have more to post about things on campus, exciting people I've met, and everything else that's been happening in my life.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Being Content...

So I know you're probably wanting to read something that summarizes my time from The Philippines. Well... right now, I just can't write about that. My time there was great, but I simply have not had all the freedom to freely process the way I need to. I've been consumed with my fund raising situation.

God is good. Incredibly good. I learned a lot this summer about His sovereignty. We experience circumstances that we don't understand. The crazy thing is, we instead turn to God and yell at Him about how this is not the situation we wanted to be in. At least that's something I do regularly. I ask and I don't receive in the way I believe I should. Then I quickly turn into some what of a petulant child and throw a hissy fit, telling God, (The Almighty Creator of the Universe) how He should be acting in my life. Craziness. That is probably one of the most ridiculous things I could ever do. God is God and He knows what He is doing.

In the book of Job, we can read about how his faith is tested to unbelievable levels. I mean he's lost his house, children, livelihood... everything. Not to mention he develops boils on his body and has a wife who isn't necessarily standing behind him. He responds to her saying, "You are talking like a foolish woman; Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" (Job 2:10) When I first read that passage, it made me truly think about God and how He uses both the good and bad in our lives to help us see His glory and walk even closer with Him. Well now I will pray that I will be content in all circumstances. I have no idea what's going on with my funding situation. "Should I stay or should I go now?" Please pray for me. Raising funds is probably one of the hardest aspects of the job that I've fallen so deeply in love with.

Not only do I ask you to pray for me, but please pray for the A.S.U Nav Staff. We need it. We need to know how to be content in every circumstance. Last night, I read in Mark what seems impossible for man, is possible with God. I truly do believe He delights in the seemingly impossible. I would love to be fully funded. I would love for my staff to be fully funded. I would love for all of us to be focused solely on the ministry and not how our accounts are doing. But above all of that, I would love for God to be glorified. Pray that throughout all of our challenges and struggles that God would still receive the glory and that we would continue to always bring Him praise.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

God's grace is so incredibly good.

"I took you from the ends of the earth; from its farthest corners I have called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen y ou and have not rejected you. So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." ~ Isaiah 41:9-10

My favorite bible verse. Well, one of them at least. I was thinking about my life today and all that God has done for me. Its crazy to know that God has chosen me and brought me around the world specifically for His purposes. I know I will never truly understand who I've impacted and how I've made a difference on their lives. I am excited for that day in heaven when I realize how I've impacted specific people around the world. Anyway, I've been having a lot of personal realizations. Its crazy that sometimes we pray for God to make us better in one area or to take control over an aspect in our lives, and when we backslide we seem to think that God isn't doing anything. Or we think that we will never be healed or never change. At least that's always my thought process. Well I was praying through some things last night and I realized that I'm still struggling with them. My first reaction was to cry out "God, why won't I ever change? Why am I still the same, doing the same things and never making any improvements??" God quickly reminded me that I'm imperfect and always will be until that day I'm with Him in paradise. All I can do is see where I need work and continue to rely on Him. He promises in Isaiah that He will strengthen and help us. He will uphold us with his righteous right hand. I used to only pray that for my ministry. Now I'm praying that for my life.

We are going to have times of struggle and difficulty. God calls us to rely on and trust in Him. He never tells us that the one time we seek Him all of our problems would be solved and we would be incredible perfect people. I do believe that God has the power to heal and drastically change us once we ask him. But I also believe that there are specific areas He allows us to struggle with so that we can continue to see His grace and understand more of Him.

Anyway, with all that being said... I'm thankful for the times I screw up. God isn't finished with me and now I'm beginning to see His grace all the more in my life.

This is just one of my many lessons I'm learing in my time here. I'm glad God had to take me completely out of my element just to reveal more of His truth to me. Be encouraged. God isn't finished with you yet. You will slip up and make mistakes... He uses them to teach us lessons.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. Miss you. Love you.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Finish Strong

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.--> Hebrews 12:1

I'm trying to finish strong. I need to persevere. Its hard... I'm beginning to remember all of the things I miss from home. I miss my own room, my own bed, DRIVING... but I'm also doing plenty of things that I can and never will do in the States. As gross as they are and can be, I LOVE riding in the jeepneys. I love that I can start up spiritual conversations with anyone on campus. I love that I have experienced extremely difficult things in my life and God is using them as ways to connect with people.

This past week was s challenging one. I last wrote about how I was sick and incredibly exhausted. I look back on all the things I was able to do, and I'm amazed. Monday was awesome. Laura and I gave our testimonies in front of a 4th year Food Sciences class. They paid attention and actually engaged with us after we were finished speaking. To know that we have to the freedom to speak about the Lord in a classroom is still something I don't think I've fully processed.

All I can think about right now is how good God truly is. I'm excited to come home and truly realize all that I've experienced and how I've grown. A friend of mine encouraged me this morning with the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water. He reminded me that Peter probably didn't realize how awesome his experience was until he got back into the boat. I'm excited to look back and see how much further along I am in this crazy but incredibly wonderful journey with Christ. I think that's all I got for right now. I'm tired, yet I have to get my day started. I will hopefully update again soon. Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. See you in the states soon.

PS Please continue to pray for me. I need the encouragement to finish strong. I want to persevere but its beginning to get hard.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Lord's plans are not always mine...

Being sick is not the best way to start off Week 3.

I have finally caught a cold out here in Manila. But I am planning on pressing on despite of how crappy I feel right now. Today, I have been yet again amazed by the people God has surrounded me with. I had a prayer meeting with Ate Jean, Ate Luce, Laura and Abby(a staffer who is leaving her ministry position at University of the Philippines). All of these women are incredible. Watching their faith has encouraged me greatly. As I listened to them pray, I noticed that each one of them began to cry a little as they poured out their hearts to our amazing Heavenly Father. Just watching them become real with God challenged me in my prayer life. Why don't I pray with such emotion? It was incredibly evident that they believed God hears their words and answers their prayers. I love it. I am truly surrounded by prayer warriors.

This past weekend is just another testimony to how God's plans are not my own. Friday we did not expect many students to attend our high school meeting. Over 30 12-14 year olds came and hung out with us for hours. I shared my testimony in front of the large group, and then we had small group time to discuss important parts of my story... I was hoping they would see how I met the Lord and hopefully apply certain parts of that to their lives... but many of them (if they paid attention), focused on how I lost my mother at a young age...etc. Anyway, we had our discussion time, I was a bit discouraged when I realized that these students were all about living a life of rituals and did not care about having a true faith. I will continue to pray for them because God is infinitely bigger than rituals and has the power to impact lives...even when I think its impossible.

Saturday, we had planned on having three different groups of students over for fellowship times... and that definitely didn't happen. Just when we were giving up on the day, a girl named Sheril from PUP texts me and says she's bringing 8 of her friends with her from class. Our time together started out as games and fun and quickly turned into complete openness about our lives and the hard stuff we have to face. We then talked about how to deal with extremely hard circumstances. I was able to share about my life and how I've seen God's faithfulness throughout everything. It was an incredible time. I am amazed how these girls didn't know us and became very honest about their lives with us. We cried and prayed together. It was incredible. I hope and long for times like these among my friends in the States.

Pray for tonight. I am getting ready to go to PUP tonight and we will be meeting up with students all day. Also we have been asked to share our testimonies and the gospel in front of a 4th year nutrition science class. Pray for me as I am not feeling well but going to campus because this opportunity doesn't happen often.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. Love and Miss you.

Friday, July 6, 2007

It Breaks My Heart...

I wish that everyone would see and believe that God is not this "thing" that is far away and removed from our lives... He's personal and did EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to have a relationship with us. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

The Philippines is a country with 80-90% Christian faith.... and by that I mean its about 80-90% Catholic. That sounds awesome...but after having spiritual conversations with people, my heart is completely broken. There are huge barriers between those who are Catholic and those who are Protestant. Those who follow the Catholic faith do not get along with Protestants. It is extremely looked down upon to be "Born Again"..aka, Protestant. Many believe that Protestants are here to convert people and change their way of life. Not so. I love that this country is Catholic. I just wish people took their faith personally and not just as a religion they assume they are apart of because of tradition. Many people do the whole church thing because its how they are raised. They have heard about Christ, and how we are saved because of His amazing sacrifice on the cross. What they don't understand is having faith... not just religion. Many believe in God, but do not have faith in Him. Confusing, I know...but simply believing in God is not enough.

1John 5:11-12 says, "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." I talked about this verse with a few high school students the other day, and they honestly couldn't tell me if they believed had eternal life. Going to church and participating in traditions eludes them to believe they are saved. They have no faith. They just go through the motions. I shared my testimony at high school youth group last night. I shared with them how I would just go through the motions. I thought that was how you were a good person and a good Christian. My "faith" at that time was void. Once I gave my life to Christ and truly believed in Him, I started to understand why I went to church, why I prayed, why I read my bible, etc... There's more to church than sitting in a building and reciting prayers that mean nothing to you. Thats all these students do. They don't understand what they do and have no real motives for doing it. I asked them why but they had no answer for me. It makes me so sad to know that people will blindly do something because its what they have been told to do. They won't explore it and truly fall in love with it.

Please continue to pray for the Filipino students I am encountering. Pray that they won't continue to live in the motions and have a faith that is void. Pray that they will let Christ not only be their Savior, but Lord of their lives. Pray for me as well because I'm facing a lot of fatigue. Meeting people is amazing, but trying to communicate through a language barrier becomes very challenging and tiring. I love what I do and I love all the people I meet. The Filipinos are very warm and inviting. They will talk to you about almost anything. Praise God.

Jeremiah 31:33b "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people." He is ours and we are His.

Thanks for reading & praying. Love you. Miss you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wanna Pray?

Here's how...

-Pray that Laura and I would continue to adjust well to Filipino culture.
-Pray that we would be seeking strength and courage from the Lord and NOT ourselves.
-Pray for boldness in sharing the gospel on campus.
-Pray for me to reach out and disciple one girl while I'm here. Even if I get only one, this entire trip was completely worth it.
A few praises:
-Neither one of us are suffering from stomach issues!! Even though the food is quite different from what we are used to, it isn't making us sick.
-Ate Jean and Kuyo Bobot are amazing. They asked if we could extend our trip longer than the end of July/beginning of August. They have had short-time missionaries come through on this trip for 10 years and have only asked if one other person could stay longer.
-The students are excited to meet us. They basically flock towards us every time we are on campus, or whenever we bring out our cameras.

Thanks for praying. And if you don't pray, thanks for keeping me in your thoughts. You are amazing.

Happy Filipino American Friendship Day!!

Be warned... this is long.

So, its a little hard to be out of the country and want to celebrate the 4th of July. I'll just celebrate the fact that I'm in another country for a month and I'm sharing the best message anyone could ever hear.

Here's whats up so far...

This week was ABSOLUTELY NUTS!!! And the best part is, its only half-way over. I have no idea what all I wrote about, so if this a repeat...just read on until it stops being repeated information. On Monday, Ate Jean (pronounced like ah-teh, and is a title of respect for anyone woman who is older than you are), Ate Los, Laura and I prayed together from 8:00-11:00. It was one of the most encouraging times for me. We prayed for the leaders of the Philippines and America, all the students we were going to meet with, all the short-term missionaries and finally ourselves. To watch these women pray in a language that is not their primary language was absolutely beautiful. They have a passion about Christ that I don't think I could explain. Their faith is amazing. Anyway, after our prayer session, we got ready and rode the JEEPNEY to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (P.U.P) campus. Being at P.U.P was eye opening. This is a school where the tuition is extremely low so that all who pass entrance exams will be able to afford it. The campus does not compare to anything in the US. There is only one class building, and it holds 16 majors!! It is 6 stories high and has 4 different wings. I'll post pics later. Anyway, we felt like celebs as we walked around on campus. Since we obviously look different, we are definitely noticed. And as I've mentioned before, people will stop what they are doing to take note of our presence. Everyone watched as we walked by. Kuyo (a respectful term for any man who is older than you, it means brother) Bobot brought us to a group of information technology students and introduced us. Then we sat down, began talking with them and Kuyo Bobot left us hanging! We had to bridge the language barrier and converse with these students who were incredibly shy. Apparently, whenever someone forgets their English or simply cannot speak in English very well, they call it a "nose bleed". Gross, I know. Anyway, these student kept having "nose bleeds" and would giggle because they couldn't talk to us. Throughout our time with them,we were able to share the Bridge illustration and have a deep spiritual conversation. Things went very well. If it impacted anyone's life... I'm sure I'll find out later. The rest of our time at P.U.P was spent sitting with groups of students, having a little conversation, taking pictures and getting email addresses. All the students we met were really happy to talk with us. I'm excited to keep going to campus.

Tuesday was pretty similar to Monday. We went out to campus early in the morning and spent a good part of the day there. We met large groups of students and toured the campus. The first group of students we met were so excited about us, they took Laura, Lisa and I to class. They wanted to show off their "new American friends" to the rest of their class. It was awesome.

Today, we went down the high school where Ate Jean and Kuyo Bobot's daughter attends. High school goes from age 12-16. College age is 16-20. Again, very different from the US. Anyway, I thought being at the college was crazy... then I went to high school. I always wondered when I was going to be popular in high school... I guess it takes growing up and going to a country where you look completely different. Wish I had known that when I was 15... I probably would have saved myself from doing a lot of stupid things. Anyway, we had 13 year olds SWARMING us. We walked into the cafeteria (known as a canteen) and the place erupted. The few high school students we had previously met went crazy introducing us to their friends. After we ate lunch, they toured (rather grabbed us by the hand and dragged) us from classroom to classroom showing us off to their classmates. We would stop here and there to take random but amazing pictures around the campus. I guess all schools are built the same. They take a building and add around 4-5 stories on top, then cram 4,0000-6.000 students into one school. So we ran around and met plenty of people. It was great.

Thank goodness for days of rest. Thursdays are our day off. So hopefully it'll be restful and fun. A few of the other short-timers will hopefully come back to Quezon City and hang out with us for our day off. I think a trip to the mall and probably the movies will happen. BTW, movies cost under 3 bucks. Thats an evening show. I doubt they have matnees here. Anyway, I apologize for how long this was. I have so much to share and not really a lot of Americans to share it with. If you read this entire thing, you're a champ... and you probably don't have much else to do. :) Thanks for reading and thanks for praying.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Send me, I'll go.

So it looks like I am finally starting what I've been sent here to do. Tomorrow starts my time of ministry out here in Manila. It looks like every day (except Thursdays) are going to be extremely busy. On Mondays, we have prayer meetings that start 7am and last until noon. Then we head out to our college campus, P.U.P where we start our ministry. Hopefully, we will be able to meet up with a few of the girls we have already met. Tuesday and Wednesdays are spent at P.U.P and Thursdays are our day off. Fridays, we prepare snacks, help out with the high school bible study and then meet up with the Young Professional bible study afterwards. Saturdays, we have people over ALL DAY, then the YP's come back for their dance ministry. Yep, every Saturday, I get to dance the night away on the rooftop!! Perfect for me!!! This past Saturday, we did the Tango and a bit of Salsa. I have no idea whats in store for next weekend, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

So far, things are good, but a bit overwhelming. I'm realizing again how shy I actually can be. I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone by reaching out to people who are a completely different culture from me. Not only that, there can be a language barrier at times. Pray that I can adjust soon and be excited to work with the Filipinos I will be encountering.

In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, Paul talks about how he did not come boldly to share the gospel. He came only because of the strength of Christ. He realizes that nothing else matters but Christ crucified. Our "catch phrase" here is "Pure Gospel". Simply put, its the simple and amazing fact that Christ came as our Savior. He gave up His perfect life to save our imperfect lives by dying on the cross. Not only that, He defeated death, and rose again. Nothing else matters. If Paul could resolve that nothing else mattered, than I guess I can as well. Pray for me. Pray that I would resolve to know nothing else but the Pure Gospel. Its a beautiful love story that completely changed my life. It set me free from the bondage of sin. Pray that I boldly spread that message of Christ. Pray that the power of God would work so powerfully in me. If He has the power to do all that He has, then He can and will work powerfully through me. Thank you for reading. I'll update again really soon.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Transformers and other things!

Here it is, the end of week one. I can't believe I've made it one week... well almost one complete week here. I guess i am forgetting that I lost a day when I traveled here. Anyway, this week has been really eye opening. There are many things that I have seen here, that make me realize how much I take for granted in the States. So I am glad to say that my mindset is transforming. I can't wait for what else this trip has in store for me.

Today we went to the slums. Talk about eating a piece of humble pie. I have never seen people who live in such sad conditions be so joyful about life. It made me realize how bratty I can be when I am the least bit uncomfortable. These people were stopping all they were doing just to catch a glimpse of us Americans. They would rush out of their houses to say hi. We also got to visit a school that has been a recent addition. This school was a part of a ministry who reaches out to the community in the slums. The children were SO CUTE!! They played, sang and danced around all because they had new visitors. I am so glad to see the gospel being taught to this community. I was also glad to see these children receive an education... so that they did not have to stay in the slums forever.

On a lighter and completely random note, I saw the new Transformers movie last night. Incredible. Completely incredible. I think my favorite part was watching all of the guys we went with and their excitement when the movie was over. It was a great night.

Anyway, I think its time for dinner.... I have finally adjusted to the 12 hour time difference :) Thanks for reading. I'll update again soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I made it!!!

Well I guess this is the update you are looking for! After 21 hours of flying, I have finally made it to the Philippines! Currently, I am staying in Manila. We are getting adjusted to culture and the way of life out here. Last night, we found out that our group is splitting up and going to various places around the three islands to do ministry. As exciting as that can be, it is really sad to split up. We have been having fun getting to know one another and now we will be splitting in a few days. I will be doing ministry here in Manila around the Nav Headquarters.

The flight here was long but it was good. They fed us two meals and gave us a few movies to watch. So far, things have been going good. I am glad to be here and excited for all the challenges/experiences.

I will hopefully update again soon. Thanks for reading!

Ps, pray for the Crouchs. I love you guys.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

No Big Deal ;)


I'm leaving the country in a few hours! I can't believe this day has finally come. I'm super nervous and really excited, plus a lot of other emotions that I'm not entirely sure of... anyway, please keep me in your prayers. Pray for this trip and our safety. Pray also that the Lord would be glorified through us and our words. I'll post more once I'm there. I'm sure I'll have crazy stories to share about traveling and such. Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Feeling Encouraged...

This past weekend was incredible. I have been praying that I would continue to experience the power of God. So what happens?? I have two Navigator reps fly out from their homes and visit with me for the weekend. They treat my Pastor to a very classy lunch at J. Alexanders, and then visit my church on that following Sunday. We went up front and introduced ourselves. I spoke about the Lord and all that He is doing in/with my life. I received praise and many encouraging remarks at the end of service. It has truly been amazing to cling to the Lord so closely and watch Him work in ways I never imagined.

So as the title says, I am definitely feeling encouraged. I am not up to where I need to be so that I am fully funded. I still have a large amount of money to raise. Despite the realities I am facing, I know that I have an incredible God who always provides when needed. So I do not need to worry because my circumstances do not look the way I wish they did. My God is powerful and that's all that matters.


Now that is something I'm slightly freaking out about. To know that I am leaving the country for an entire month is definitely scary. I've never left before and I have no idea what to expect. I'm nervous and scared that I will offend people because I am not used to their culture. I'm a bit afraid to be bold with the Gospel, (even though I know I have nothing to fear). I fear rejection because I have different skin color than everyone they are used to seeing. Yet again despite all of these fears, I am reminded that I have a God who is bigger and stronger than any of these things that could potentially stand in my way.

So please continue to pray for me. Pray that God will continue to show me His power. Pray that I will be fully funded on time. Pray that ministry in the Philippines will be eye-opening, inspiring, and amazing. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fundraising, Updates and a little more...

"You're gonna make it. I have faith in you. And you're gonna have a fun time in the Philippines. I will pray for you...", says my friend Casey as he walks out of my front door. I really like hearing statements like that. Although, at the same time, they are hard to believe. I want to have faith I'll make it. I want to trust that everything is falling into place. Its just when I don't see all the fruit from my labor, I get ridiculously discouraged. I have been at home in Cincinnati for almost a month now. Since I've been here, my main focus was to get nearly 75% funded before I left for overseas. I don't exactly know where I'm at right now, but I don't feel confident at all. I feel like I don't know what to do. I guess I should stop complaining about how discouraged I am and truly take some bold steps with my amazing Creator.

With all of these feelings circulating in my head, I am brought back to my favorite saying. "God delights in the seemingly impossible." I realized this last year when I needed to raise over $30,000 for my salary and receieved more than what was actually needed. I also realized this thought again when my life looked radically different from how it does currently. I walk with a new step. I strive for better goals. I have a deeper faith in a God who has proved time and time again that He is able. So I will cling to that favorite phrase of mine and continue to press, on because God always has and always will provide.

"I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." -Isaiah 41:9-10

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just an Intro...

Hey! Welcome to my new blog. I want to use this site as a way to keep you updated on what God has been up to in my life and my ministry. I will try to keep this updated as much as possible. Keep checking back... I'll have more to write later.