Monday, July 16, 2012

Bolivia Day 1

The point of this blog is for Rachel and I to post everyday so you feel like you are on the trip with here we go. Day 1 in Bolivia is under our belts. The majority of our time so far has been spent in the guesthouse (pictured). Me and Rachel got to the guest house yesterday at 11 am on Saturday and slept until 7:30pm, ate dinner and went back to sleep until 10:30 this morning. There are two other volunteers that also just arrived - one is in P.A. school in New Hampshire and one is Pre-Med at Texas University. There are 10 other volunteers (I think, I'm still not sure if I've seen everyone) some have been here a few months and some have been here a few days. One of my favorite things about missions is all the different people you get to meet. All the volunteers are from different schools and different parts of the country. I love hearing all their stories and how they ended up here in Bolivia. Today we did orientation and got a tour of the hospital which is like steps away from the guest house. It was very clean and a lot more modern than I was expecting. This afternoon me and two other volunteers (Rachel went in a different group) went to a place called Casa de Amistad. It's for children whose parents are in prison. In Bolivia, the parent is in prison, the children have to be in prison with them. Casa de Amistad is a daycare for the children during the day so they can go to school and then they return the children to the prison after school. We worked in the Kindergarten class and they were like any kindergarten kids - lots of energy!! My favorite part of today was riding on the trufis (15 passenger vans). They are the exact same vans I rode in Swaziland. We had to take 3 different ones to get to Casa de Amistad. I loved being with the locals and soaking in all the scenery. I forgot how much I love to be out of the country. Dinner is almost ready and we have dinner all together in the guest house. ~Becca

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What are you giving Christ for His birthday?

Every Christmas without fail I make it all about me, but it’s not my birthday. Growing up, when it was my birthday, my little sister would pout when she didn’t get gifts on my birthday. I’ve been that little sister to Christ and this year I want to give Christ something for His birthday. He is literally the person who has everything (like all authority in heaven and on earth) so what could I possibly give Him? What would Christ want for His birthday? Here’s what I believe Christ’s list would look like and I’ve included practical ways for you and your family to live this out.

1.Unity - When Jesus was still on earth He asked His Father for unity among future believers (John 17:20). When my sisters and I ask my mom what she wants for birthday she usually just wants all her kids to be together, implying we all have to be getting along (she knows when we are faking it). Practically: Forgive a brother or sister in Christ whom you harbor bitterness against or apologize to a fellow believer whom you have offended. You are not doing this for them but for Christ however you will also benefit from the freedom it will bring. Tangibly: Gift wrap a box, put a slit on the top, and label it “To Christ”. Write the person’s name whom the Lord wants you to forgive and put the name in the box symbolizing you giving that person and that hurt to Christ.

2. Love – Jesus said if we loved Him we would obey Him (John 14:15) and the greatest commandment we can obey is to love Him with everything we have (Matt. 22:37)! Practically: Ask Him an area in your life where you do not love Him, and surrender that to Him. When I asked Him that question, “mornings” popped in my mind. I have not been starting my day off with the Lord and I know that is something He wants me from me. Tangibly: Get a plain Christmas ornament and write on it “mornings” (or whatever he wants you to give up) and hang it on the tree. After Christmas, hang it in your house as a reminder.

3. Witnesses - The last time Jesus saw the disciples He told them the Holy Spirit has empowered ALL OF US as believers to be witnesses to those in our circle of influence, our enemies, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Practically: Be a witness to family members, friends or your kids’ friends, a co-worker or the hardest person to love. That person or group of people that just popped in your mind when you read that statement, that’s probably who He wants you to witness to this Christmas. Before you roll your eyes and let out a heavy sigh of dread, remember Christ promised ALL OF US as believers the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to do this. He didn’t just equip pastors or the “super spiritual” or only those with the gift of evangelism (that is always my “spiritual” excuse). Tangibly: Invite a non-believers to a brunch at your house and share your testimony. If you have young kids, you can invite their friends over and hide presents around your house that they have to find. Explain to the kids the way they sought out the presents, the Wise Men sought out Jesus Christ – the greatest gift. If the Lord is asking you to be a witness to the less fortunate, serve Christmas Dinner at FLOOD on December 19. If it is hard for you to get out of your house, put up a Christmas decoration like a nativity set or something that says “Jesus is the reason for the season” and use it is a conversation piece to share your faith when people come to visit you. Lastly, we don’t have to go to the ends of the earth, many people from what we would consider “the ends of the earth” live here in Bakersfield. I read a story about a Muslim woman in the U.S. who loved when the Christmas carolers came to her house. A friend of mine went Christmas caroling to Muslim neighbors as an avenue to share about the Jesus being sung about.

Please do me a favor and get on your knees right now and ask Christ what He wants from you for His birthday. The above suggestions I have heard or read about on internet sites I found when I typed searched for “Christ-centered Christmas” but do what He is asking of you. To take some of the pressure off, if you bring the gift of witnessing to a non-believer it says in Luke 15 there is great rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents. Loosely interpreted, the heavenly hosts will take care of the party; we just have to bring a gift. Let’s commit that this Christmas we will give Christ the best birthday gift He has ever gotten from us.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dusting off the old blog

I can't believe I haven't written in two months. The reason? A little something I like to call "the full-time job". I have been working at my church since January but October 1st I started working full time and I have found I have little to no time (or energy) for anything else. I am thankful for the new job and health insurance is also a plus! (Pictured: Some of the Church staff. 2 of my 3 bosses are in this picture - the Women's Director, Terri, Front middle in the khaki pants. The other is our Local Outreach Pastor, Matt, in the back row, third from the right)

I'll start back off slow on the blog with just a funny thing that happened yesterday. Me and the Lord have been wrestling it out this last week (of course He is winning). He's brought up some areas in my life that stem from deep hurt and I'm not giving him access to it. I'm protecting the hurt with anger and religion (reading my bible, praying etc. - all outward and no relating to the Lord). I let Him know if He would show me the root of the hurt I would surrender but as for now He hasn't showed me so I'm neglecting to give him any time. Try not to be overwhelmed with my spiritual maturity.

So it's been over a week and of course I'm miserable and this issue is affecting every area of my life. Yesterday, I was getting dressed and in putting my jeans on I somehow lost my footing (I know, so not like me). I went to lean on my wall and instead put my full weight on my closet (which has curtains instead of doors). I hit my mirror against my wall, hit my arm on the wall, and fell into my closet. This only made me more mad but later I realized I had landed on the side of my closet that is in my prayer closet. I had to laugh, here I had been resisting the Lord all week and Friday I fell in the prayer closet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Swaziland Video 2007-2009

Praise God, I've raised over $2000 for my upcoming Swaziland trip. Thank you to all who have been a part of that. The Lord is faithful. I'll be leaving August 26-September 9, 2009.

This is a video to give God glory for what He did in Swaziland 2007-2009. The beginning of this 5 minute video was made by my little sister earlier this year but the rest I just added.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beauty for Ashes - Going back to Swaziland

I remember the first time I got up in front of the congregation at church and told them how the Lord had called me to Swaziland and I needed financial and prayer support to go for two years. I came home and cried my eyes out; it was the most humbling thing I had ever done. Stick me in a mud hut with no electricity but please don’t make me ask for money.

Well, the time has come for me to go to Swaziland again and wouldn’t you know it, the airline is still asking for money. This time I’m just going for a two-week trip and I’m leaving in late August. The purpose has several purposes – 1) There are three faithful Swazi women who have been carrying out the Bible Studies since I’ve left and I want to go love on and encourage them. 2) Last December I went to a very rural part of Swaziland where orphans and widows were literally starving. My church just put money together and bought them blankets and food and I’m going to go check up on them and encourage and love on my brothers and sisters in Christ. 3) The reason I’m going at this particular time is because one of my best friends is getting married and she’s asked me to be part of the ceremony.

I need to raise $2000 for my flight, food, and transportation while I’m there. My friend, Natalie (pictured - who also used to live in Swaziland) and I are selling t-shirts to raise money for our trip. DISCLAIMER – THEY ARE GIRLY SHIRTS, SEE THE PICTURE. MEN, BUY THEM FOR YOUR WIVES, DAUGHTERS, SISTERS, MOTHERS… Anyway, you can buy a t-shirt and support the trip or you can support the trip and get a free t-shirt, however you want to look at it.

Here’s how:

  1. Bakersfield people - You can send me give me cash or check for $20/shirt and let me know what size you want. They are unisex adult t-shirts and will shrink.

  2. Non-Bakersfieldians –

    1. You can send a check for $25/shirt (extra added for shipping) and I will mail you the shirt. Address – 7604 Okanagan Ct., Bakersfield, CA 93309. Make sure you tell me what size shirt.

    2. If you have a PayPal account you can give $25 by clicking the “send money” tab and type in my email address ( Make sure for the reason you click the “personal” tab and click “gift”. Make sure you tell me what size shirt.

  3. Forward this to friends who would be interested in purchasing a shirt.

I need to raise money ASAP to buy my plane ticket before prices go up.

Pray for me, this is not about plane tickets or t-shirts or fundraising, the Lord’s up to more than that and He is using this to stretch me once again.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Singing and Dancing

My friend, Julie, in Swaziland just had a camp with the women in the rural area who she gets to disciple. This video made me smile and yet made me a little bit sad since I've been away from Swaziland for six months, that's the longest I've ever been away since I first stepped foot on Swazi soil. If you've been there, you'll really love this, if you haven't I think it will make you want to go. Maybe we can just start singing a cappella tomorrow at church and start dancing around the chairs...

For more of the story click on the link below

Monday, June 1, 2009

What the Lord has done, Part 1

The Lord has done a lot in the last month in my life and I want to share it. As with anything with me, there's always lot of details. I'm breaking it up into 5 parts so it's easier to read and hopefully understand.

Here's Part 1 of the Recap of my 28 days with the Lord:

“Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all these commands that I give you today. When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I command you today, and coat them with plaster. Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool upon them. Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord your God. And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up.” Deuteronomy 27:1-8

On the first day of the 28 days I finally, after months of resisting the Lord’s prompting, went to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). They had been studying the life of Moses since September and when I arrived Moses was just about to die. It was in the choosing of "Joshua" the one who proceded me and the results of that where the deepest hurt from Swaziland lie. While still in Swaziland I was steeped in the study of Moses, specifically what he did before he died and how he prepared Joshua. I practically applied what I learned from him and yet the "Joshua" the Lord appointed was quickly removed from leadership after I left. I was devastated and my conclusion was 1) Why did the Lord have me choose and prepare her if He knew it was going to end this way? 2) I must have done something wrong to have caused this. So basically I 1) questioned his character and 2) didn’t feel like what I had done was good enough - I had failed.

The practical application from the teaching of Deuteronomy 27 that night was “How are you going to remember all that the Lord has done?” I knew specifically for me it was “How was I going to remember what the Lord had done in Swaziland”? I went home that night and sat down with the Lord and wrote down 35 things off the top of my head that the Lord did IN and FOR me. Those I could stand on because I knew those for sure, it was what the Lord had done THROUGH me that I was unsure of. In the next two weeks the Lord had me “remembering” all of the things He had done by looking through pictures and reading old emails and blogs. I had forgotten so many things He had done. Practically, He had me begin to make a Shutterfly book of pictures that each represented one of the 35 things. These first two weeks were a beautiful time where the Lord was speaking and leading so clearly…