Thursday, December 29, 2005

During the last two weeks:

I decided that I would just pack enough to last one year, on the hope of Mom and Dad coming to see me and would bring the enough to last the next year. Here is just a small example of what one would pack to move to Africa.

1. Lotion (lots and lots of lotion)
2. Ziploc bags (all sizes- these can be washed and reused)
3. Spices (This allows us to flavor our meat)
-Taco mix
-Spaghetti mix
-Mixed spices
4. Jell-O (a little dessert)
5. Ranch dry dressing (even though we can't eat salad's, for some reason we need salad dressing)
6. Toothpaste (two tubes= one year)
7. Sunscreen (haven't really gotten this yet)
8. Converters (for all the electrical stuff I am taking!)
9. Transformer (for all the electrical stuff I am taking that can't use a converter)

While packing to live must evaluate their possessions and reject most unpractical things. Like the little knick-knack's, hard backed books, the ten pair of shoes in the closet, and owning more than two pairs of jeans. Since August, I have been going through my possessions and getting rid of anything I have not wore or used this last year. Some things I did keep, the first doll my dad gave me and the key chain collection I started in middle school.

Here are some fun pictures from the last two weeks:

Dad and Uncle Tom in front of the
Elephant at the Smithsonian

The Hope Diamond

Emily and I sitting next to the reflecting pool in front of the Capital

Emily and I on the Metro in D.C.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

So a lot has happened in the last two weeks. Needless to say, this is why I have not sent an update.

The biggest thing is it SNOWED for almost two days here in Virginia!!! We received about five inches of snow. It was beautiful and very hard to pay attention in our sessions, when all we wanted to do was have snowball fights and slide down the many hills out here at ILC. I sat in front of the large window our Quads (apartments) have in the living room area and watched the sun radiate off the snow. It is amazing to realize what God means by washing us to make us as clean as snow. I also got to play snow soccer at night. There was enough light coming off the moon, hitting the snow to play. (It was a little slippery and all of us fell multiple times, laughing at each other!)

Only three days left at training. Now looking back time has passed rather quickly. I have made some amazing friends going all around the world. Most of us will never see each other again here on earth, but we have a common bond - answering God's call to serve Him overseas. We have spent time together learning about sharing our faith without destroying other cultures, how to guard our hearts from Satan, had safety training, and learned about our region of the world. We also learned how to teach illiterate cultures the Bible and how to disciple them when they can't read the Bible. It is called Chronological Bible Storying. We also practice during our small group worship times in the mornings. Sunday morning, Emily and I told the story of the angels telling of Jesus' birth in Luke 2. 8-14. I really like this method and hope to use it with new friends. After all the hard work during the day we got together and played hard. You could find me playing basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, soccer or any other activity where I might hurt myself!

Here are some more pictures of things I have done in the last two weeks.

Eat African food!
(hang-out with journalists)!

Celebrating Spencer's 23rd
Birthday! (guy in middle)

God has been good to me. One of my Bible verses to memorize while here at ILC was Psalm 16. 2 "I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have NO good besides you." May I remember all of my life is in God's hands and I will rejoice in the life he has set out before me.

Praise: I have been cold free for two weeks!

Prayer: For the hard good-byes here at ILC and then a smooth transition onto the field.

Thank you for your prayers during this time. God has truly blessed me to take in an enormous amount of information to prepare me for his work.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


A couple from training goes to the same church as a guitarist with the Christian Band--Mercy Me. This Sunday night the couple got 14 of us from training free tickets and back-stage passes to meet the band and Steven Curtis Chapman after the concert in Fairfax, VA. We loaded -up into three cars and drove the two hours to George Mason University and had an awesome time worshiping and singing Christmas Carols. This is us with Mercy Me and Stephen Curtis Chapmen. The guy kinda in the back (you can only see a little of his head) is not part of the band, the rest on the back row are and Steven is on the right next to the girl in blue.

This is Steven on stage.

This is Mercy Me and Steven.

This is a close-up of the lead singer for Mercy Me, Bart. (this one I couldn't get to save right.)

If you were at the concert and want more pictures ask and leave me your e-mail address.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Heart Language Worship

Every Sunday night the whole group gets together and worships in different cultures. So far, we have done Spanish and African worship. Tonight will be Arabic. Both have been amazing times with the Lord and I truly look forward to tonight.

Last night, we got a group together to do some American culture worship. Afterwards, I really understood how we, as Americans, can not force our cultural worship onto other cultures. It means so much more to worship God in your heart language than to have something interpreted from another language.

We talked about Counting the Cost...found in Luke 14: 25-35. Verse 33 says: "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions."

We were given an index card to write out all the things we would be giving up while serving overseas. There were very few dry eyes last night. All of us have experienced times during the last four weeks were we realize more and more things we will miss out on while we are gone.

Weddings, births, deaths, family, holidays, nephews growing up, friends moving away. Personally for me, I will miss seeing my brother come home from Iraq.

Yet, what are these things compared to my God. Each of us have counted or cost as Paul did in Philippians 3:7-11
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have couted as loss for the sake of Christ.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
in order that I may attain to the resurrection form the dead."

This is one of my favorite passages. Paul was truly a man of God. Over the next two years my goal is to count all of my things a loss for the sake of Christ.

I challenge you to look at your own life. What do you see holding you back from God?

Blessings in his name...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Well, where do I start.

The whole group (all 200ish of us) went to Washington D.C. today. At 8 a.m. we loaded onto charter busses, got to the Union Station a little after 10 a.m. My group, the West Africa team, met up with the conference leader and his daughter and got to visit a mosque during their Friday prayers. We were their for more than two hours. All the females were down-stairs in the cold lower floor with our heads covered, and all the men were up-stairs with the warm sun shining in the windows. To watch the women pray...There are no words to describe the ache in my heart. This other girl and I sat at prayed for them. We also got to hear a sermon (mainly in Arabic) and a lot of chanting. After the sermon we met two women from Cote d'Iviore who work in the Embassy.

We went to an Ethiopian restaurant for lunch and then rode the metro back to Union Station. It was a long but educational day.

Yesterday, I was able to visit my great-uncle and great-aunt who live in Richmond, Va. My parents and two of my friends from training also came. GREAT food.

The picture at the top is of me and my mom. We are sitting on my late great-grandmothers swing. This swing used to hang from her porch. I remember swinging on it as a little girl. It is now at my great-uncles house. (love you mom! you too dad!)

Tomorrow we learn how to kill a chicken, drive stick-shift and some light cooking. I am going to watch the chicken killing and learn how to drive stick. (pray for me!)

We have two and a half more weeks. Pray I will retain all the information and be prepared for the work God has for me.

In his name...

Friday, November 18, 2005


This last weekend all missionaries going to West Africa (all six of us) had to cook our every meal from scratch for the whole weekend. Now those of you who know me, know I do not cook from a box. So, this weekend was a huge learning experience. Come to find out, I do know how to cook some things. I heated the potatoes in the microwave and helped make tortillas from scratch using flour, butter and water. It was fun.

We had eggs for breakfast, spaghetti, tacos, steaks, and sandwiches.

The hip-chick with me in the picture holding the tortillas is Emily P. We are going as a regional journalism team. We get along awesomely! Already we are fast friends and feel free to make fun of each other. Two years with her is going to be great.

The week is coming to a close. Pray I will have a restful weekend to catch-up on some homework and get some rest to energize for next weeks classes.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Training is going well. I am enjoying the time with other like-minded people. Yesterday, I went on an hour hike with Emily and another journeyman, following a creek which boarders IMB property. It was beautiful! I then went fishing for about 2 hours. It was a relaxing time with new friends and we watched as rain sprinkled across the water. We had shots earlier in the day, so none of us felt like doing much.

Today was the last day learning about spiritual warfare with IMB president Dr. Jerry Rankin. He spoke for three hours a day, three days this week.
West Africa is a region where many of the people believe in demon possession and curses. It is a very dark place, spiritually. Dr. Rankin equipped us to be able to worship and lean on God - though Satan will be all around us. He used plenty of stories from the West Africa
region to illustrate his points!

For the last three days I have focused on Philippians 2: 1-7. These verses focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus and the joy we should find in our life with Him. He loved us so much to die for our sins; the least we can do is love one another unconditionally. We are called to be bond-servants of Jesus Christ.

Looking forward to living in a different culture, I hope to remember these verses and how I am a bond-servant of Jesus. In being His servant I am to love others - always.

Thank you for your prayers. God is teaching me so much about my future and about Himself. Please continue to pray for the Peoples of West Africa. May God allow me to be a small part in His plan to bring more than 240 million people to hear His name and believe in His son.
I have also caught the cold spreading around the campus. Pray for me to have energy to learn and attend all the sessions.
Pray for my family as we get ready to say our good-byes in December.

May God be with each of you.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I am sore. All over. I have forgotten what it is like to play pick-up basketball for three hours non-stop. I love it! It is so worth the aches and pains. The campus for orientation is beautiful. My friend and I take a walk every morning watching the sun rise over the lake and the fog lift as the morning warms. In the afternoons you can see the reflection of the multi-colored fall leaves on the surface of the lake. I have started orientation in full today. I have spent the last two hours in the library reading about West Africa and the people I will encounter. I think I am going to love living overseas. This morning in my quiet time, God really affirmed my going. In Matt. 14 starting in verse 23, we are told about the story of Peter walking on water. I learned that I will always have fears, but I must never ignore them. Doing what God has for my life will always be fearful. Working through the fear and not hiding from it is how His greatness is shown through my weakness. My prayer today was that like Peter we may never forget our fears, but allow God to shine through them.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Well less than a month to go before I start training. I am looking forward to the start of a new direction in life. This last week has been amazing. Nothing great or extra ordinary happened. But I realized to enjoy my full last month of American culture, watching TV, reading magazines and books, listening to as many radio stations in 15 minutes as I could, walking through a crowded Wal-Mart, remembering the frustrations of lines and too many people. I took Saturday morning and slept in (well at least till 9). I thought this last month would go by too slow for me. I wanted to be in training, head overseas as quickly as possible.
God’s timing is perfect. Why should I rush it? This month I have made the resolve to enjoy and cherish the little things I am leaving behind. I can worry and plan later. Aaron’s leave from Iraq taught me a few things. One, life goes on. I know my ideas on culture and American ideals will change, but I’ll still be me. Two, I can still do things I enjoy overseas (just probably in another language!). Third, my family will pick-up like I never left when I get back. Fourth, I have great friends who will pray for me. Fifth, God is in control. The last couple of weeks have been a time of reflection. I have seen God’s hand in my life over the last 22 years. I’d say He has done a great job of leading my life (even when I needed a map).
These are the things that last. Everything else is material and God provides.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Does life ever seem to stand still? Today was one of those days were nothing happens. I watched the clock. It was more active than I was. I mean, don't get me wrong, I was at work and did manage to get work done. It was just one of those days.
I think it is because I am in this in between stage. I know in two months I will be in training and then off to live overseas. Yet, I still have two months and I know I have stuff to do. If only November would come quickly.
Aaron will be home this weekend! So this is something to look forward to. He leaves Kuwaiti tomorrow. It has been more than 7 months since I last saw him and it will be two and a half years till I see him again. Wow...I hadn't really thought about it that way yet. 2 and a half years. Such a long time.
Well I will continue my long day watching the clock and pray tomorrow picks up.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I got my ACCEPTENCE letter today! (To be a communications Journeyman in West Africa) Well, it was waiting for me when I got back to Richmond tonight. YEAH! I am going to West Africa!

My life finally seems to have direction. I have a plan. I have a place to live. I have a job to do. And I like all of them. There is still a lot of things I do not know about the next two years. But, I think I am Okay with the unknown. I have to constently remember God is incontrol of everything, every emotion, every thought and my future.

It is amazing how God uses all things to His Glory. Who would have thought even the words I write glorify Him? It is so humbling to remember. I often wonder what the writers of the Bible felt like knowing God was using them to give us His Word. Did they know their words would remain for thousands of years? Did they know it would be the most sold and read book in history? I know God did, but did He tell them?

Looking to the future, I find strength in Paul. Even to the end of his life he praised God. Though prison, starving, no home and many enemies, he still believed God controled His life. Over the next two years I pray to have faith like Paul, to write even if there is "a thorn in my flesh."

August does seem to have gone by quickly. Now I only have two more months until training. Life does seem to be a little more final now with the letter telling me I can go. There is still a ton to be done. Two months will fly by.

Monday, August 15, 2005

<---this is a picture of my brother, Aaron, and I at Christmas this last year!
This is a blog to tell about my adventures in West Africa! I am moving there in January 2006 and will be traveling all over the world (mostly West Africa) for the next two years. I am terribly excited. My job is to write about what I do and the people I see.
I will have a "partner," Emily. She will be doing the same thing only better! I also get to take pictures and shoot video!
I went home this weekend. I am trying to go home as much as possible over the next two months to see my parents, because I know I need to see them as much as I can before I leave for TWO years.
So as I was saying I went home this weekend. The main reason was because it was my dad's birthday today. He turned old! I gave him an old mans card and then took him to lunch after church.
I also got to talk to my younger brother today (he is serving in Iraq). It was great to hear his voice! AARON I miss you!
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ."
--Phil. 4:18-19

This goes out to all of you who face sacrifice.