Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have no fear...

**So, I wanted to share with you all just how cool God is and how everything is all about HIS timing, not mine.**

Over 10 years ago, God put a passion in my heart for children and for missions. Most of you know that I've been on various mission trips overseas and am so very passionate about people and loving on them! Asia has been my heart for years. About two years ago, the Lord put Uganda, Africa on my heart specifically and I've just been waiting to hear from him as to the details of it all. I found out last year after getting reconnected with 2 college friends that are married that have been missionaries since after college that the Lord put Uganda on their heart as well. And long story short, they are leaving for Uganda for an undetermined amount of years this summer with their 4 children (soon to be 5 as Kristi is preggers and will be having her baby soon). God put this area (Karamoja, Uganda) on my heart as soon as I talked to Kristi about it last year and I knew that he wanted me involved in some capacity. Several weekends ago, I went to my church's (Mercy Place) women's retreat in Ft. Worth. At our retreat, God's Presence was so amazingly present...and big...and strong...and loving...and sweet...and beautiful. That Friday night, we had notecards to write on with the question being "What would I do for God if I had no fear?" and the Lord put this exactly on my heart: I would give up my current job that provides enough monetarily for me and let God use me to minister through coaching kids/teens and missions. We all discussed what God was showing us.

The following morning we began our session with a time of praise & worship, just humbly bringing ourselves before the Lord. Out of nowhere, the Lord put Uganda on my heart and so I obediently followed in praying further (I've been praying a lot lately about Karamoja). This was my conversation:

Me: Lord Jesus, what do you want to show me or say to me about Uganda?
God: I want you to go.
Me: Ok Lord, when do you want me to go?
God: This summer in June.
Me: Ok God, for how long?
God: One year.
Me: Ok Lord, I'm hearing one year. Are you sure this is from you or is this... (interruption)
God: This is from me.

I just began weeping and laughing all in one. An odd yet freeing emotion. Very interesting. :) I immediately felt peaceful, excited, like a child, and just ready to go!!! I couldn't believe that He had just answered my prayer from the previous night. He indeed gave me no fear. :) Contacted my friends via email to tell them the amazing news when I got back on that Saturday. Kept waiting to hear back from them. Come Sunday and I'm still so excited, prayerful, ready to get going on all the details b/c I realize how much is to be done in such a short amount of time...yet I haven't heard from them yet. I'm so exhausted and sleepy by 9pm but can't sleep b/c there's so many things I feel like God wants me to stay awake and pray about and I also felt like he wanted me to wait up to receive an email from Kristi. By like 11:30p, I had left my bed and was on the couch with my doggies. Just there. Close to midnight, I felt like I should pick up my phone to check for an email from Kristi. When I picked up the phone, it popped up immediately that I had just received an email (on facebook) from Kristi. I just giggled at God. He's so funny sometimes. She and Kenneth (her hubby) were so excited. I got even more confirmation from them. A girl on their team had just dropped out for some reasons...they now had a room available in the house that they will be living in and said it was available to me if I wanted it. Ummm, yes! Lol. Said the plans were to leave mid-June. I didn't tell them that I had received the word June from the Lord...just the summer. I was floored b/c I didn't know when they were leaving. And they're also flying out from DFW (they are living in CO). I have continued to get more & more confirmation about GOING and God is soooo good. So, I'm in the process of doing MUCH but God is in the business of doing MUCH MORE than I can possibly imagine! :) Praise Him for that and for exceeding my expectations daily. :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fundraising Needs...

As most of you know, I'm in the support raising process of this journey to get to Uganda. I've got various start-up costs and then of course different costs while in Uganda. What I have to do is just take the little things at a time and look at the start-up costs to be taken care of first...otherwise, I think my head will explode. Lol. I will go ahead and say that my cost of living in Uganda will be approximately $1,000 per month so that's what I'm shooting for there. I'll get a breakdown of that soon and will share. Thank you for all of your prayers, words of encouragement, and your love. :)

Start-up Costs:
*Clothes - $300
*Camera - $450
*Airplane Tickets - $2,000
*Vaccinations/Meds - $400
*Passport Renewal - $150
*Prayer Cards/Postage - $250
*Solar Charger (w/ accessories) - $200
*Luggage - $800 - $1,000
*Computer Repairs/Clean-up - $200
*Gifts for Orphanage - $250
*Miscellaneous Items - $300
*Legal Fees - $100
Approximate Total: $5,600

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Desiring to be like Ruth...

We had a great sermon today at my church, touching a lot on the book of Ruth and seeing Ruth as having covenant faithfulness and loyalty. I just have to stop and pontificate on these three words: covenant, faithfulness, & loyalty. They are each so powerful individually, but then to put them altogether...they're a powderkeg! I just sit here in my living room on this Sunday night and am amazed at where God has brought me and where he's going to take me...if I let him. I want to have complete covenant faithfulness & loyalty to my Father. To honestly know that I know that I know that no matter what may happen in this life, that my God is in control, will never forsake me, loves me unconditionally & abundantly, is my Provision, and has grace abounding. It's overwhelming sometimes. Really. And despite the knowledge of this, I still falter at times to TRUST HIM completely. I make the decision to be in control...and you know what I've learned time and time again? This is just disastrous. Stressful. Clumsy. Foolish. Worthless. Futile.

But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." This passage is referring to Naomi's urgings for Ruth to leave, yet Ruth latched onto Naomi. Ruth had a covenant faithfulness & loyalty to Naomi. This makes me look at my walk with Christ and if I currently have this type of covenant faithfulness & loyalty to Him. I want this. I want to go wherever he wants to lead me and call me. I want to be completely sold out for the Lord. Am I? That's a question we should all ask ourselves. Here's something I want to share...

COVENANT: a promise; God's covenant is his promise to us. Wherever we find a promise of God in the Bible there we find God's everlasting covenant.

FAITHFULNESS: Faithfulness is one of the characteristics of God's ethical nature. It denotes the firmness or constancy of God in His relations with men, especially with His people. It is, accordingly, one aspect of God's truth and of His unchangeableness. God is true not only because He is really God in contrast to all that is not God, and because He realizes the idea of Godhead, but also because He is constant or faithful in keeping His promises, and therefore is worthy of trust (see TRUTH). God, likewise, is unchangeable in His ethical nature. This unchangeableness the Scripture often connects with God's goodness and mercy, and also with His constancy in reference to His covenant promises, and this is what the Old Testament means by the Faithfulness of God (see UNCHANGEABLENESS).

LOYALTY: faithfulness, dependability; antonyms: disloyalty, treachery, undependability, unfaithfulness.

These are 3 amazing nouns with amazing definitions. But, I want them to be real in my life...more than just a vocabulary lesson. Don't you?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In the Meantime...

So I find myself gearing up for a mighty new adventure in my life. It's exciting, liberating in many senses, scary, and it is the unknown. I can't wait, and yet my flesh is starting to catch up with me a little bit. I'm starting to realize the depth of this commitment, the amazing friends that I've made that I love so much and will miss tremendously, my puppies that are like my own children that I hate to leave (I know it's corny), and once again, the unknown. However, despite these fears that are valid, human, and (I feel) necessary in order to prepare for this trip by grieving properly, I wouldn't trade where I'm at for anything this world has to offer. To think about the opportunity the Lord has graced me with to be able to travel and live across the globe amongst people of a different language & culture and declare the love of Jesus Christ and most importantly demonstrate Christ through loving these people brings such JOY to my spirit. :) God is so good. He really is. I find this element essential for me, for my friends/family/prayer warriors, and whoever else involved in this journey....PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. I just keep hearing these words over and over again. When I become fearful, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. When doubt starts creeping in, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. You get the point. This is such a time of growth in my relationship with learn to trust Him even more and to daily lay down my life to Him, however that is supposed to look. I'm so glad I get to share this journey & have you all be a part of it as well. :)