EL SALVADOR

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Hola from El SALVY

The last country on our journey

God is muy digno

And that means worthy

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Guess what:

We climbed a mountain.

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And carried 20 feet of metal

They call us heavy metal

Cuz we’re so hard core

And God made the mountains

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In the land El Salvador

And we also painted casas

from the ceiling to the floor

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Guess what else we did

We played in a water park.

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With all the stray dogs

that go bark bark

We slid down some slides

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Wit some lil ninos

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We told them bout our God

And they said: we love ya gringos!

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They bagged up their water

Like Jesus bagged up our sin

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But God is the living water.

And Jesucristo rose again
After church on Sunday

We had to have some fun

So we vamos’ed a la playa

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And we played in da sun

We got some surf lessons

Learned how to hang ten

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Every time we fell off

We got back up again

It’s kinda like our faith

When ur walk gets off track

God pulls you back up

Before your life gets outta whack.

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El sal was muy chivo

That means super rad

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Kara spoke some truth

About our heavenly dad

Suffering is worth it

When it glorifies his throne

There is always hope

In our everlasting home

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I say adios amigos

Bye to all my friends

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SALVY was swaggy

And that is the end.

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#thenewLECRAE

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FRANCE

Bonjour from Nice, France!

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So, why France?

Many people don’t think of Western Europe as a place in need of a mission outreach. And to be honest, I didn’t think so either. It’s extremely modernized and I’ve seen pictures of the grandiose churches so I assumed that I here would be at least a small Christian presence here.

That was until I heard only 27% of French citizens responded that “they believe there is a God” (not exclusively the God of Christianity) 33% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force”, and 40% answered that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force”.

This makes France one of the most secular countries is the world.

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I saw this first hand whilst working at a bilingual kids camp at the International Baptist Church of Saint Paul.

The theme was “African Safari” (ironic because we were just in Uganda) and all the age groups were separated into tribes, I had the pleasure of being in charge of the Maasai tribe, that consisted of ten, eight to ten year olds boys. As all boys their age are, they were all great kids one on one, but as a group they were a bit hard to handle.

The hardest part for my boys was always story time. This was a time where a leader would sit down and have them listen to a bible story. Most of them were not raised Christian, so this area was the activity they were least interested in. So, you could imagine how nervous I was (and how hard I prayed) about Thursday, or the day that we share the good news of Jesus.

When story time came, they used evangelical-cubes to lay out the gospel to them, and then we broke up into small groups to answer any questions and dig deeper with them.

I talked to jack, ante, and Edward; three of the kids that had the hardest time concentrating, and two of them decided to accept Jesus right then! One of them, jack, had already accepted Jesus and offered to pray for the other two. After he was done, ante was so excited he asked me if he could pray with me later that day! He kept asking me where to buy a bible, and his face lit up when him and all the kids received a bible on the last day of vbs.

How sweet the gospel sounds to the ears that have never heard it! It changes lives and hearts that are open to it, 8 years old or 80 years old the gospel still has power to redeem!

Most people don’t think of France as an unreached people group, but these people are in desperate need of Jesus.

The reliance of wealth and beauty cannot satisfy, and these people are realizing it.
So
Pray for France!!

France was incredibly beautiful, eye opening and I definitely left another piece of my heart here. I can’t believe that I’m about to go to our last stop.

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See you in El Salvador!!!

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Au revoir!

UGANDA

Hallo from Mbale, Uganda!!

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Welcome to the land of warm greetings, precious smiles, and BIG faith in the Lord.

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So, let me tell ya a little about what’s going on in the pearl of Africa:

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The majority of Ugandan citizens identify as Roman Catholic, however there is still a significant Muslim population, many schools and orphanages in the area of Mbale, where we were staying, were either Christian or Muslim.
That being said, most of Mbale citizens live in small villages in the area, and within the villages there is a heavy influence of the belief in witch doctors and witchcraft, giving the enemy a present hold over these villages.

Even with all this of spiritual warfare going on in this town, it still doesn’t stop the powerful forces of the Lord to work in the hearts and lives of Ugandans.

I saw this most in the hearts of the orphans at Lwanda Children’s Home, where we were working (aka playing) while we were here.

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I had the privilege of leading the P6 (6th and 7th grade) girls bible study for the time we were here. Each day the teachers would leave and we would get a whole hour to sit, talk, and get a better understanding of Gods word and how it affects their lives.

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The Lord knew I had experience loving and teaching girls the exact same age at camp my two previous summers, and I can’t believe I had the opportunity to work girls the same age that I know how to reach and understand. I knew exactly what to say, what problems they are going through and what to tell them to encourage them.

Or… So I thought.

Just when I think I’ve gotten it all taken care of and I know exactly what to do, the Lord has a different idea to grow me and challenge me in reaching the hearts of his children.

One thing is the same: no matter where you are from, whether America or Uganda, if you are a 12 year old girl you are going to be emotional. School pressures, mean girls, all mixed in with puberty and hormones have made for an emotionally sensitive people group. I was well acquainted with these at camp, so the fact that my girls were a bit emotional at times didn’t surprise me at all.

What DID surprise me though, was what topics they were particularly emotional about.

These children have been clearly been through more than any of us can imagine. I can’t even begin to type out their stories without feeling physical pain in my heart. But because of their hard life many of these girls put up walls that I made a point to break down throughout the week. Simply by speaking truth and loving on these girls, I could already see growth and light being brought into their lives.

On our last day, I had most of my girls come to me with tears in their eyes. I stood and held my beautiful, hurting girls as they clung to me asking me not to leave.

Let me tell you, saying goodbye to these girls was one of the hardest things that I have ever done.

In saying goodbye, I told every one of them “Remember, you can do anything you set your mind too. You can be anything you want. Don’t let anyone else tell you different.”

If they weren’t already crying when I said this, they would either start too or cry even harder.
I wondered how often they have someone tell them that. Judging by their response, I knew it was slim to none.

But there, saying goodbye to these girls I had grown to love so so much, I realized that this is the one thing that the Lord calls us to do.

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To go to the nations, and to love.

To seek out where each person needs to be loved the most and meet them there.

That’s exactly what Jesus does for us: He came down and met us when we needed Him most.

I was blessed, humbled, challenged, and changed by Uganda and giant chunk of my heart was left Lwanda Children’s Home with those girls.

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The Lord is definitely moving and workin in heart, and I can’t believe I only have two more stops to go!

Talk to ya in France!!

THAILAND

THAILAND Sawadee-kah from Chaing Rai, Thailand, y’all!!

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Let me tell you a little bit about what’s been going down here in the Land of Smiles:

In a country that is statistically 98% Buddhist, it is the only country in the south east Asia area (Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, etc.) that is an open country; or a country allows people to openly profess their Christianity.

Because of this, it has been a popular missionary spot because Christians can reach the unreached people groups of the surrounding countries by influencing the citizens of Thailand.

However, even with the fairly consistent Christian missionary influences for the past 30 years, Buddhism is still the majority religion and remains an important factor in the Thai culture. Thailand is covered with small spirit temples, large statues of gods and goddesses, and grandiose temples adored with golden fixtures and impressive architecture.

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BUT

That doesn’t matter to Jesus because He is NEVER the minority. Even when I think that He can’t work in a place that already has an established majority religion, He works in ways that I can’t even fathom. He has his arms open wide, offering a life giving relationship to everyone and He always shows up to those who call on His name. Whether it’s in the States, or across the world. So, basically, PRAY FOR THAILAND!!

Anyway, the day to day activities in Thailand were:

Digging holes & planting trees for a ministry called shoulder2shoulder

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Visiting famlies that that are affected by HIV

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and hanging out with Thai kids.

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I am overwhelmed by the work my Jesus has done in this country and in me during this time Thailand taught me to give without limits; to love without bounds; and to have unwavering faith in the Lord. It was life changing, eye opening, and a piece of my heart will always be here, with the Thai people. I am so sad to be leaving, but excited for my next adventure!

See ya in Uganda!!

HONG KONG

Howdy from Hong Kong, y’all!

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The Peak overlooking downtown Hong Kong

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Cornerstone Baptist Church

The Lord is MOVIN here and I am so blessed to be chasing Him around the world.

Let me tell ya a little bit about whats goin down in China right now.

  • The government claims China has only 23 million Christians, but even officials acknowledge that is an underestimate.
  • China has tens of millions of believers attending underground “house churches.” Local officials have tolerated them as long as they are not “political.”
  • Current estimates are based on a 10% annual growth rate of Christians in China.
  • The Chinese Communist Party now sees Christianity as a serious threat to be suppressed.
  • Despite these strictures, China could become home to the world’s largest Christian population within 15 years from now.
  • China is estimated to have now more Christians (100 million) than members of the Chinese Community Party (86.7 million).

There is a revolution happening and I am blessed to be at the heart, serving, walking, and praying for the people in China.

Y’all. Pray for China. The Lord is rising and stirring in the people’s hearts, and the MOST important thing we can do for China is pray.

Pray BIG things.

Have BIG faith.

Because we have a BIG God and we can move mountains, cultures, and governments all through faith.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1

God uses broken people to fix broken things all by faith.

This is exactly what he has done with all of us in the time we have been in Hong Kong.

By faith we have traveled here.

By faith we are doing the Lord’s work.

And by faith we will continue to go.

So, also… Hong Kong is BEAUTIFUL.

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Ng Tung Chai Waterfall

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The people I have met here are servant-hearted, welcoming, and extremely encouraging.

I am IN LOVE with China and I am extremely blessed to be here,

I cannot wait till our next adventure!

See ya in Thailand!

Training Week

wpid-20150607_124347.jpegHey y’all!

Training is underway and we are getting prepared learning about the countries, missionaries, and ministries that we will be working with!

It’s absolutely surreal that we will be leaving in less than 24 hours! All the prayer and preparation has lead up to this and I can’t believe that it’s finally here!

The Lord is so good and faithful, and I am learning more about Him each day as I prepare to do his work.

This is seriously a dream come true and I can’t imagine doing anything else this summer. I know the Lord has big plans and is going to use this team in some great ways and I can’t wait to blog again, but next time I’ll be in a different continent!