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Friday, September 26, 2014

Be a Lifter not a Sinker

My heart is aching for so many of my friends, who are hurt. We all get hurt through different situations and we all deal with some kind of hurt if you like it or not. 

I am dealing with hurt right now, because of unresolve. Not knowing what I did to hurt someone and in result not being able to simply say sorry for the hurt I might have caused. But again... It is not always about me and not always on my time.

As women I feel like we tear each other down rather than building each other up. We all deal with so much in our day that if one more thing is added we blow! I think too that a lot of us don't know how to accept constructive criticism... And in result not knowing how to respond we blow! As Christ followers we should be able to go to another sister and share our concerns and not feel threatened. I know it is hard for me to accept constructive criticism and in result my emotions have gotten the better of me and I have gotten hurt and upset with someone. But, I did eventually call that person and I shared my feelings with her and we worked it out. Was it easy? No, but my emotions were getting the better of me and that is not always good. (Never in my case)

We were given emotions for a very important reason... To have compassion for others, loving as we were first loved, anger for things that deserve justice, sadness for things we just can't understand, etc. But what we are not to do is make choices off these emotions... I have plenty of regrets from decisions I have made off of my emotions. Sometimes (most of the time) I need to sit back and really think about this emotion and try to see it from the other persons point of view, always pray, or let time take away the angry fumes (that one is mostly used for Bob). Eventually if you seek our Heavenly Father in these emotions he will guide and teach you for the next time the emotions come up (and they will).

All I guess I really wanted to say is... If your friend needs to talk she may just want you to listen. I think most of the time you can tell when someone just needs to vent and when someone needs encouragement. This life is way to hard to do on your own and sometimes we don't think to go to the Lord first (for many reasons), but he has given us a community of friends and sometimes venting makes us realize we have to get on our knees and give it to Him, because nothing in our power will work to fix it.  

Be a lifter today not a sinker.

"When I cried out from the cross, "It is finished!" the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This opened the way for you to meet Me face-to-Face,  with no need of protocol or priests. I, the King of kings, am your constant Companion." -Jesus Calling

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Letting Facebook Go

Today I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone. This is huge for me, because lately I catch myself checking it every 5 minutes. I know it may sound silly... the Lord has been asking me for a while to get rid of Facebook off of my phone , but I ALWAYS had an excuse! Finally today while reading my devotional out of Jesus Calling...

"It is through trust that you stay connected to Me, aware of My Presence. Every step of your life-journey can be a step of faith... Each of my children is a blend of temperament, giftedness, and life experiences. Something that is a baby step for you may be a giant step for another person, and vice versa. Only I know the difficulty or ease of each segment of your journey."

This really hit me today... To let Facebook go. I like to be connected to people and yes, I am nosy and I want to know all that is going on in people's lives. But, if you are on Facebook... Isn't it that same for you? Wanting to know the details?

I finally took the step that is big for me, but may be small to you. All I want is to be closer to my Savior... All I want is to pour all my energy into trusting Him. I am over worrying about what others think of me, because ultimately He knows me better than I know myself.

"Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety."

What we all need in this day and age is to feel safe. There is so much crazy stuff going on in our world that is pouring fear into the deepest parts of us and as time goes by it is only going to get worse. We have to give ourselves up so we can get ready and trust in only Him.

I already feel lighter... Letting Him ease my yoke. Having faith in the unseen is hard, but the benefit is great!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Finished with a Heavy Heart~ Day 9

As Christians we are called by our Creator to stand for life. Life can range from the pre-born, disabled (physically and mentally), the elderly, etc... Every life matters. Today was our last day of ministry and we ended it encouraging and sharing life with Christian women. Most impoverished countries do not know much about the unborn. They do not know life begins at conception, 6 weeks (or sooner) you can hear a clear viable heart beat, at 12 weeks all the intestines are formed and there for life, at 16-18 weeks the mother begins to feel the baby move and the baby has his/her finger prints, 20-22 weeks is when the sex is usually identified through ultrasound and sleep patterns begin, and 24-26 weeks the baby begins to make facial expressions (frowning, smiling, squinting) and this is the age that if the baby was delivered premature he/she has a high chance of survival with no complications. Just like the day before, we shared everything about the life of the unborn and they all went home with a 12 week old baby model. I pray the babies will go farther than we could ever imagine, that they will remember, and that they will look at that baby and see life. We want them to think of the life inside of them and listen to the voice of the unborn.

It has been a couple of days since I wrote the above message and my heart has become burdened for the women, who are feeling suffocated by the culture and the situation they are forced to live in day in and day out. My heart is burdened by the desire of the women, who want to know more about the unborn, life instead of abortion, and just how to stand up for life even when the family pushes to abort the unborn. There is a deep yearning in their souls to know more. They know there are deep wounds that come from taking life of an unborn child that God specifically gave life to. My heart is burdened for the fight these women have to go through. The fight of how the culture is so use to... It is engrained in them that a girl child is a burden. My heart is burdened, because the mission feels incomplete! I know what we did was
good and the information we gave God will do big things with... Nothing we did will go out empty. I know with everything in me seeds were planted! There was so much information poured out on these precious people... I pray they will be thinking on the hard things for a long while and I pray He will open the minds of the girls and boys to stand up for the upcoming generations, for their children, and their children's children.

I am going to be praying for a very long time for the people we had spent time with... I pray they will always know or learn how precious they are and how their lives are so unique.

From every mission work I have done I am always taught something knew... Sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my mind around and this trip is one of them. I am going home with a heavy heart, but also with the mind set of what I can do at home.

This young boy holding the 12 week baby model. The cared for it as his mother cares for him.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sparkles in many forms... Day 8

Today was our first day in Ludhiana, Punjab. This state has a low ratio of girls to boys, 740 girls to every 1000 boys... Not enough girls for every boy and it is truly noticeable! 

We were invited to speak at two government run schools and we spoke on subjects that are not talked about... Purity and Sanctity of Life. We were told to not speak of Jesus, but we knew we had to have faith in Him alone that he would do the work with our words. So I spoke on Purity intertwined with my testimony, but the hard part for me was leaving Jesus out, who was the one full of grace, healing, and my eternity. I could not rely on my words, but the story Jesus has given me to share and then He would do the rest. I reminded myself He does not need me... He can do everything He has planned on His own, but He invites me to join Him as He ministers and changes lives. He allows me to share my story to change lives... He nudges me to share things that hurt and that we try to hide to change lives and bring people closer to Him. We had to cover the topic of STD's, so as a way to get the point across we used glitter to represent STD's. One of us would pour glitter in our hand and then invite a boy to come up and then shake his hand. He then would shake a girls hand, the girl would shake a boys hand, and so on... Then they would be able to see the example of how the STD can spread from person to person and you may not even know it.

Mary also shared at these two schools of the importance of life, how precious it is, and how we as a team stand up for life and against it being destroyed. It was amazing how excited the girls and boys got when she pulled out the baby models at the different stages (12 weeks, 16 weeks, 20 weeks, 24 weeks, and 28 weeks). They were all mesmerized! We passed out 12 week old baby models to every person and they were just so happy to receive such a precious example of life. 

These two schools were in remote areas and the schools did not have A/C, but some ceiling fans. IT WAS SO HOT AND HUMID! And for some reason no one brought enough water and we didn't eat lunch until about 3:00 pm... Let's just say it was an adventure and we were all spent! We had a good break at the hotel before we left to share again to a group of Christian youth. This Christian youth that gathered at this church were so full of life and joy. They were all so fun during the praise and worship time. It was awesome! We were all so sweaty and stinky it was so great!  (Because there was no A/C) We talked about all kinds of teen related subjects... Dating as a Christ followers, purity before marriage, testimony of an impure life before Christ, sanctity of life, and geneocide. It was a full evening! We came back to the hotel beat! But it was oh so good! Praise God! Hallelujah!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Showing His Love to the Least of These~ Day 6 (Day 1 and Day 2)

Day 1

Disha Foundation partners with an organization that teaches women from low cast, very poor, in or out of the sex trade how to make extra income for their family, so because of their social status they are not treated well or even touched. Today was going to be the end of that...

Today we had the privilege to spend time with 20 young ladies and just love on them and really show them how much they are worth. They performed a couple dances for us that they had worked really hard on and then they showed us samples of their work they are learning in their different courses (hair, bridal preparations, henna application, sewing creations). Then after that we began to reveal their worth and how precious they truly are. This group of young ladies were a little hesitant and it took a while for them to warm up, but that wall was broken through. We played games, read a Princess story to them, they made lotions of their own fragrance, they received a mani and pedi, heard 3 henna Bible stories, and they had the option to have a henna story applied to their skin. All in all it was a wonderful day and we were well received by the majority of the girls. We were simply their to show them love in a way they have not experienced before.

Day 2

So day 2 was exactly like day 1 except there were 50 young ladies! These girls came ready for a good time. I think they knew more what to expect because they heard something from the previous group. It was truly a glorious day loving in such a way that we could not do on our own. All the ladies were so beautiful and ready to receive. They said they did not come with flowers, but they came with their eyes and heart to give. This was a great honor to be given. Truly that is what they gave! 

Both days I had the privilege to apply henna Bible stories on the girls, along with Ruth and Rona. It was such a blessing! But the second day I applied so much henna I couldn't even keep count. Applying henna on someone else is giving a gift in my eyes.

When we said our goodbyes they were given hugs... Women of a low stature are not touch in such a way or giving hugs by family because they do not show affection... But I give hugs using my two arms and I hang on for that uncomfortable amount of time (do you know what I am talking about?). I just really want to show the girls how much I have treasured their time with us, because it was their choice to come... Not anyone else's.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Taj Mahal and Casualty Gate ~ Day 4

God is ever so faithful and trustworthy! 

This morning I woke up to a sound of pain. If you don't know I am rooming with Jana (the mom), Rachael, and Ruth... I sat up and saw a light was on (we are separated by a wall, 2 rooms)... I got up, looked at Jana and Ruth, and Jana was in severe pain! She said pray! I got down on my knees and prayed for healing, in his blood that covers us that we believed! The pain did subside. I did not know what to do... She said it was better. She was thinking it was in her intestines. But the pain began again... All I could think of to do was to go get Kay (our group leader)... So I did. To make a long story short there was pain, fear, sadness, and relief. A doctor made a house call and suggested it could be 2 things appendicitis or urinary colic. Praise the Lord it was the urinary colic! We have had many many laughs from that day... Thank you Jesus!

This was the day we were all looking forward to... Taj Mahal day!!! But because of the the intense pain Jana was in she could not go and in result Kay stayed with her. They had quite an adventurous day!

The rest of the team headed to Agra on 4 hour (one way) bus ride. It was the longest bus ride EVER! But we got there, ate a wonderful lunch, and then entered in to the Taj. Beautiful is an understatement... It was breath taking! The pictures do not do it justice at all. The love story is bigger and beautiful than any movie! It's really hard to describe, but I will post the pictures I took.

We headed home on the longest bus ride EVER, but we had an amazing time!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Loving on Girls ~Day 2 and 3

Day 1

We started today off with a powerful prayer as we lifted up the Indian people, their government, and we cried out for the baby girls who have been killed. Our friend is on a powerful mission to seek God for a miracle change in her country. My good friend, Jana brought it to my attention that we do not seek the Lord for such issues in our country or pray for our President as our friend just did. We are lacking faith. We are not putting the issues that hurt us and anger us before the throne to have him take care of, but trusting in our selfish ways. Sometimes I think we think anger is the perfect way to handle a situation. 

We made to the hostel that is supported by the Disha Foundation and we were awe-struck by the site of 94 girls, ranging from the ages of 4 years to 16 years old. The Workshop team began the mission of telling and showing the girls how much they are truly worth, because a lot of these girls have been damaged for life from neglect, abuse, and abandonment. We shared with them how much our Heavenly Father wants them to want him and how much he loves them no matter what they have been through and how much he loves them. Half way through our day the attachments began. We began to learn names and share our families with them and them with us. One little girl, named Priya, I have become very fond of was telling me how excited she was to see her mommy and daddy, who were coming to visit on Sunday. I didn't know what this would look like but I was very excited for her, because I can't imagine my own little girls living without me and the need they have for me that my sweet friend, Priya does not have. It was pretty easy to leave this evening, because we knew we would be returning the next day. 

Overall they were AMAZING girls! They were well behaved, helpful with each other, and very polite. I made a comment wondering if I could send my girls to the hostel. LOL! The girls are all so very bright and their English is probably better than most we have heard here in Delhi so far (no joke)! We came back to the hotel ready for the next day, because we knew how awesome it would be!

Day 2

This is Sunday for us and we went to church with Vinita. Going to a foreign church that does not speak my language is probably my most favorite thing to do. Listening to the songs of praise and adoration to our Heavenly Father in a language so different for my own is breath taking. Of course I did not understand a word the Reverend was saying, but I did know he was encouraging the congregation to live their everyday life as Jesus with skin on. After the service we were invited to eat lunch with Vinita and her family... Which was a complete honor! The food was delicious and not spicy hot at all! (praise the Lord)

After lunch we headed back to the hostel to play with the girls some more. They were eager and excited to see us and the little girls that were becoming attached to us the day before were waiting to sit and hold hands with us. Simply precious! 

Sunday was the day the girls could have visitors, so some parents would come to see there girls. The girls that knew their parents were going to visit were very excited, but I had a deep sadness for the girls that would not have visitors. So it was a special day to be with the girls that were not going to have visitors. My little friend, Priya was so excited to see her mommy, but when her mommy came she ran down to say hi and then immediately came back. LOL! I asked her why she came back so soon and another girl translated for me and told Priya to go back down and that I would be there when she got back. So precious!

It was a great day of sharing Bible stories and having a purity talk with the older girls. It truly was an awesome day! 

The time came when we had to leave and that was hard, but our saving grace was we would return Tuesday. The girls began to get sad and said I will miss you and I would say I will miss you too BUT I will see you Tuesday! Tuesday is going to be hard! As we left girls were hanging out the windows saying "Goodbye Dee!"

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fun Amongst the People ~Day 1

Today was our first day in Dehli and let me tell you... We were running on low sleeping fumes, but we were so excited to be amongst the people we love.

First, we went to pick up a team member we were so eagerly waiting to see, Kaytiln. She has been in Kolkata doing intern work at an NGO organization and she was reunited with her mother after 3 months!!! Our team is almost complete... Tomorrow our two translators from Kolkata will be joining us and they are so much part of our team!

Today we were out and about doing a little shopping and familiarizing ourselves with such a beautiful city. It is so green here and the smog isn't so bad! It really has been an amazing day... No matter how tired we were! We walked through a small little market before we headed to the radio station.

Our friend, Vinita Shaw, who we are partnering with; invited us to visit the radio station were they talk about things in India that are simply not spoken of. I believe it is easier for people to pretend such horrible things are not happening than to hear and believe the hurt and death that so many go though. Vinita and her team talk about the value of a girl child and encourage people to see the girl child less of a burden but more as a beautiful life. A lot of women in India have a great burden when they have a baby girl, because they instantly think of the dowry they will have to pay when the girl marries or they wonder who is going to take care of them when they get old. This is the way of their society and even though these are their struggles we can not understand... We have our own struggles they probably cannot understand. But we are here to share the worth of every human life and that life begins at conception and no matter what you have done in your past that you are deeply loved by the Father and he is waiting there with open arms. Vinita did say in the past three years there has been a decrease in girl child deaths... Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow we will be at Disha Foundation, just loving on girls and sharing the fruits of the Spirit through workshop that my Soroski sisters have put together. Pray we would love without boundaries and unity would be strong.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Is it fear or the Holy Spirit?

This morning I talked to a friend, who asked me this as I was sharing an uncertain rattle in my soul. 

Is it fear or is it the Holy Spirit? 

If you know me... You know I don't fear much. Yes, I have my uncertainties and things I just can't explain, but they are not fear. I have experienced fear before, but no more. I refuse. My hope and faith is in nothing less than in Jesus Christ. Some may say that is me being naive. Nope, just me knowing God is bigger than a feeling of fear that is not from Him.

I leave today for India with 8 other women and for about a week I have had this feeling I cannot explain. Maybe it is excitement, emotions, and me being anxious... I love what we are going to do and I love who I am going to see! I have friends I am going to be reunited with, who I do not see very much, but who know so much about me and I know of them. 

But I have a feeling this feeling is deeper... We are going to talk and share on things that are simply not talked about. We will be bringing the light of the Lord in a place where satan has a nice cozy nest. I can tell you the evil one is not happy about this plan. This is not about us and planning this trip on a whim. But this has been a trip in the planning and making for over a year. He has got big things for His glory!

So now I sit and rest in Him. I seek Him and the adventure he will unfold. We do not go in blindly, but that we go in with fluidity. Nothing about what He has called is about us... But may He gracously use us and let us be part of His marvelous works!