Tuesday, July 15, 2008


So it's that time, Brazil has finally arrived!!! It seems like it's taken forever and at the same time, it's come so fast. We started planning this trip in October!
There is a total of 19 of us heading to Manaus on Wednesday morning and we are so excited!!! i'm praying for God to open the hearts of the students both working as well as receiving our ministry. I pray that God will provide us with the wisdom and words to share with the kids in Manaus and that we can do life changing work!!! I pray for strength for each of us as Satan is hard at work trying to make the team fall apart. We will not be defeated. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
I cannot wait to share pictures and let everyone know about the trip when we get back. I love you all and always remember, God is faithful!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting closer!

We are coming closer to that time folks! Brazil is only 27 days away! Not that i'm counting or anything...or that i have a reminder on my computer to tell me how many days are left each morning. Pathetic isn't it?
So we had our Variety Show Fundraiser on Saturday night and it went just marveously. I don't even know if that is a word but i just made it one. Anyhoo...there were 15 of us in the show and we did a mixture of hip hop dances, singing, skits and Derik told the audience what all we would be doing while in Manaus, then we showed a picture. The last skit of the night was a revision of the Everything skit by Lifehouse and it was incredible. It brought tears to my eyes and i think our version is about 1 million times better than the version on Youtube. We had almost 100 in attendance and we raised $853!!! Praise God!
Today i went and purchased my hiking shoes for the Amazon. I am able to wear them in the water as well as wash them in the machine. How sweet is that! And not to mention they are super comfy.
I'll keep you posted on the getting ready and anything else that pops up for the trip! Love you all!!!
Oh yes, please pray for health and happiness for our group. It's never too early to start praying :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see...

If there was one word to describe the feeling that i have right now, i would have to simply say "WOW!" Let me explain to you...

As most of you know, i am going on a missions trip to Manaus Brazil in July. I am so excited but nervous at the same time. This trip is forcing me to step out of my "safe" zone into a world that i have never experienced. Even when i found out about the trip the thought of going to Brazil just sounded cool. So i said i would do it, not knowing everything that it would entail or how dangerous this really could be.

The first uncomfortable move...sending out support letters. I am not a fan of asking people for support because i don't want to feel like a nusance. Especially because i feel like i owe people so much already that asking for money is just a hard thing to do. I decided to create my letter in such a way that people don't feel like they have to give, but that they can give in prayer and pray for our team as we prepare to head to South America. So in April, i mailed out 55 letters. Many to friends and family, and to a guy from Church. This guy from Church is very special to me and he is a true servant of God. I wasn't going to send him a letter, mainly because i didn't know him that well at all. We see each other on Sunday mornings when he's greeting and he makes fun of me for taking Derik coffee and likes to give me a hard time...so i usually give it right back. One morning Derik and i were talking to him and i just felt God give me this nudge to step out of my comfort zone and get his address to send him a letter. Alright God, i hear you. So i asked for his address...turns out he was going on a missions trip to so he asked for prayer...and so did I.

Well, the weeks and months have been passing and these support letters start coming in slowly but surely. I had raised quite a bit of money and was told that if i stayed at that amount it would be ok, i hit my goal for June 1 by the last week in may, praise God!

Then comes the other stuff to prepare...buying supplies to head down there with and what not. Well...i am an idiot and decided to watch the episode of Survivorman on the discovery channel where he stayed in the Amazon, something that we are going to be doing; spending a night in a hammock in the middle of the rain forest. Am i excited? Yes...am i freaking out? YES! After watching that and the stuff that can happen, i get super nervous and i wasn't sure if this was something i was ready for...but i fought hard and prayed hard to ignore satan's attack.

So then there is the issue of shots. Now, i have not had to get shots for years...i think High School might have been the last time. So i need to get some updated boosters and then some new shots to travel. Alright, i was told by the Missions dept at Heritage the shots would be around $90 for everything and i'll be good. That was a funny joke. Passport Health (the company that came and administered our shots) sent out their recommendations on vaccinations for the trip, as well as the price for each shot. Here are their recommendations...Tetanus, Hepatitus A, Hepatitus B, Rabies, Typhoid, Yellow Fever and malaria pills. Grand total---$1050!!! UMMM, what happened to the $90?? So, i start calling my doctor and my insurance company. I don't need Hep B because i got that in HS and it's a lifetime shot...Tetanus my insurance will cover. So now i'm down to about $500. Hepatitus A i can get at my doctor so that will be covered...so now i'm down to about $250, we're getting better. Rabies they won't give you unless you've been bit by something...$205. Then my insurance company informed me that they will reimburse me for the other shots because i have an HRA through my work and the funds can come out of that. Cost for shots...$20 for the consultation fee. So the past few days i have been getting all my vaccines and it's been great fun.

Passport Health showed a video when they came for the orientation and you are lucky they allow you to breathe with everything that they want you to do or not do while down there. It's stressful. So i start having those feelings of I don't want to go anymore. And it's depressing but satan was working hard.

This morning i woke up and it's rainy, and i keep having those anxious feelings about not going to Brazil. I will be nervous the entire time and not have any fun. God had another plan. Remember the nudge i talked about earlier to ask for support...well God pointed it out that HE WANTS ME TO GO. I checked my mailbox for the first time all week and i had two letters in there, one of which was from the angel at the front door. I decided not to open the letters until i got to work because it's rainy outside and i don't want to get in an accident...or the Holy Spirit was saying i need to be sitting down before i open the letter. So i get to work, pull out the letter opener and opened it ever so slowly. Then the phone rings, so i answer and chat to the customer for a minute then get back to opening the letter. Oh but wait, my McDonalds Yogurt Parfait is sitting in front of me, so i better take a bite. And my coffee, i need a drink of it. ok, back to the letter. I pulled it out and i see a 5 so i'm thinking how awesome! He sent me $5 that was nice of him and what a servant. And then i take another bite and God yelled "YO, TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AND THEN THROW YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR AND PRAISE!!" So i take another look and the five was followed by two zeros. $500. This guy that i don't really know all that well, that God nudged me to send a letter to sent me $500. Not only did this take care of the rest of my funds but it also affirmed that God wants me on this trip because i'm going to make a difference. I'm in shock and so thankful and blessed to have God in my life and for him bringing me to all these wonderful people.

Just when i thought that I didn't want to go, God intervened. He is amazing in that way. Praise him for everything, in everything you do because no matter what, he intervenes. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it doesn't seem fair, but he does it because he loves us.

I cannot wait to share more with you about the preparations for the trip as well as the after math. I know now i am truly doing Gods work and i cannot wait. All of my fears about going are gone and I cannot express my excitement!! I just ask for prayers for strength and courage and i know God will take care of the rest. I love you all!!!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" James 1:17

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long time no post...

Wow, it's been awhile and so many blessings!!! I am so bad at this stuff so please forgive me.

About a month and a half ago i had really been struggling at work, i mean really struggling. I was unhappy about my position, my coworkers and i had been really feeling a call to step away. I didn't know what that meant. God opened up an amazing door. I found out about a position open at Wells Fargo Bank working with small business loans volume of $100K to 2million. I told the bank manager i was interested and was offered the position on the spot. I got to pick my salary (within reason of course) and so far it's turning out to be great. My coworkers are wonderful and i have great hours and my manager is Christian!!! It helps a lot to know that i can come to work and not be degraded because of my faithful commitment to God.
With all that being said i still have a struggle. We attended the Frequency Youth Leaders Conference at Indiana Wesleyan a couple of weeks ago. It was absolutely amazing. I really felt the presence of God and i was able to get rid of some issues that i had been holding on to. Friday night was the best experience for a lot of people. We all grew so much closer as a group and i feel i have built life long friendships with a lot of the people.
So what is the struggle?? The struggle is i have this new job and i love it, but i want to be more involved in the ministry. I am in love with a great Youth Pastor and i want us to be a team. We have already discussed my career path if we were to get married and have a family so i just need to be patient. So i'm working through those struggles knowing what i want to do with my life, but waiting PATIENTLY until i get to do it :)
Other than that my life is great. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is the best thing in the world, i have amazing parents, a wonderful family and the best friends a girl could ever dream of. But most of all i have the best person in my life. I have the love of God and he is all that matters.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


"And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea" Luke 4:44. When i first read this verse, it didn't mean a whole lot to me...other than he kept on preaching. Then the words "He kept on" kept resonating with me. Jesus kept on preaching...he was pulled a million different ways and he never lost sight as to his job here on Earth.
I thought a lot about this the past few days. I have been feeling a little stale in my faith in terms of reading the word and devoting the time to God that he deserves. Then i realized that no matter what, there is ALWAYS time for God, and i need to make that a priority in my life, regardless of activities that may arise.
Jesus was pulled a million different ways; healing, teaching, rebuking...but he realized that everything was secondary to preaching the word of God. He made that his number one focus. Salvation is primary to everything else. So even though i sometimes feel like my life is too hectic, mine was not even close to his, and i need to make that a priority everyday. I need to make time for God EVERYDAY and share the good news EVERYDAY! Nothing takes priority over my relationship with him and enhancing his kindgom.
Thank you God for those words and getting me back on track.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I just got back from my long awaited and much anticipated trip to North Carolina. Let's just say that it was nothing short of amazing.
I flew into the Greensboro, NC airport on Saturday the 15th. I was so proud of myself for not freaking out about flying to the point of sickness...which is rare for me. So even though my flights didn't go as well as i had hoped, i had the goal in mind which made it that much easier...not to mention that i was didn't have to deal with work garbage while i was gone. Derik's parents came and picked me up from the airport and took me to get some dinner which was awesome...let me tell ya, if you want some good food, go to North Carolina...the food selection is phenomenal. When we got back to his house i not only got to look at a ton of baby pictures, but i also got welcomed with a gift basket full of goodies.
We went to the beach on Monday and got to pick up some seashells and have some amazing seafood. We left the beach and drove to his parents lake house and spent some time walking around the area and sitting out on the pier. It was such a beautiful day and i can't think of anyone i would have rather spent it with. Tuesday i got the privilege of going to Liberty University to see where he went to school and spent time in the mountains. I also learned a lot about him while we were there, i learned about his passion for God, how it started and how much he has done with ministry...i'm so blessed! When we were driving home i couldn't think of anything else to say but that i am so proud of him and i am so blessed to have met him. My life will forever be changed.
We spent much of the rest of the week hanging out with family and friends. I got to meet his grandfather and uncle, his aunt (who is a bit nutty at times) and his cousin...not to mention about 5000 friends. It was great and it was so awesome to get to see Derik in his life away from the Quad Cities.
I felt so at home with everyone that i met down there. They were so welcoming and loving. I have never met people like that before. Maybe it's the southern hospitality that i enjoyed so much. I loved my experience and i hope that there are so many more North Carolina trips to come!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I never know...

I sometimes don't realize when God is talking to me...perhaps that is because of the busy-ness of my schedule, or the fact that i sometimes ignore it. It's strange. God has actually talked to me a lot over the past week or so, especially on some things that i didn't understand.
Last Monday night i had gotten home from work and was blessed by a UTI. I know, how exciting. And the funny part was everyone kept saying that it could be caused by being dehydrated or by having too much sex. Let's be serious, i'm dating a pastor and we don't have sex...so i'm thinking the fact that i was dehydrated or i was taking too many medications for the flu/cold thing i had contributed to it. Anyway...i got home from work and i decided to take a hot bath since i wasn't feeling too hot. I climb in the tub with my Bible...It's so peaceful in the bathtub sometimes. So i start reading and i was on 2 Peter 2...talking about false teachers and their destruction. It didn't make a bunch of sense at the time, but that was God preparing me for what was to come.
Tuesday night at Bible Study i found out some hurtful news and several shocking things actually. As many of you read this blog, you already know what it was...but someone that i love dearly and look up to is really lost right now in faith. And she has been going to a different Church that is a lot different in their beliefs than what I believe. When she was talking i kept thinking to myself "No no no, this isn't right!" And then i came back to that verse. God was letting me know that what she was believing isn't what i'm believing, and to just pray for her. So i've been doing that...a lot.
But the challenge has been amazing. I have been digging into the word and doing a lot of research, and really just been focusing on why i believe what i believe. I came to the conclusion that i have had many amazing teachers in my life. Some spiritually and others in terms of self destruction. I call these people great teachers because they help me to focus on growing myself. I learned, however, that no amount of teaching can make me believe what i believe unless i investigate it myself. And i believe what i believe because the Bible is God breathed and it speaks 110% truth into my life. What a blessing to be challenged and what i blessing to hear what God says!!!

On Sunday another dear friend came to me with struggles on being judgemental. She said that she is judgemental of people who aren't believers and asked me to pray with her. I did and she said she felt really good on trying to not be that way. What i realized in the process is God was telling me that i was being judgemental too!!! I was being judgemental about this whole situation with the other girl and her beliefs. God is telling me to stop being judgemental and continue to pray and to TRUST that he will do the right thing.

So for those of you who read this, please pray for that. I have been totally convicted by it and i praise God for that. It hurts but i understand that right now he is growing me in another area. And just praises that he speaks to us...sometimes when we don't really understand it at the time, but also that he uses other people to speak truth to our lives.

God is awesome.
"Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal" Isaiah 26:4