Saturday, July 31, 2010

this summer.

i can't explain how much i have loved this summer. what i have learned this summer. how just this past month has surprised me a great deal. i am at a loss for words.

all i know is that i have loved every minute of it.

there are songs that will always remind me of this summer.

there are people that i met this summer that i will never forget.

there are lessons God has taught me this summer...that i am still processing.

God has flipped my world upside down.

my heart is so full.

you know when you meet someone and they "get" you? that is exactly how this summer has been.

every bit of it is a God thing. every moment. every awkward question. every smile. God works in the coolest ways.

so...GSW...look is ON this next semester.

Monday, July 19, 2010

the middle.

so i am officially 22.

and i just turned 22 surrounded by pictures, journals, letters, and memories of Peru sprawled out all over my bed. tonight is the night i will get letters ready to be sent out to my supporters...they so deserve it.

this year has been a whirlwind. full of laughter. full of growth. full of some quiet moments. full of some not so quiet moments. full of best friends. full of people i meet in lines at the store. full of new friends. full of a little bit of awkwardness. full of His light. full of His goodness. full of His joy.

i don't think i have ever experienced God work like i have this past year. thinking back on it...blows me away. how quickly i forget what He has done. He opened and molded my heart in ways that i never imagined. He opened doors that were nailed shut. He gave me so much courage and boldness that it was evident to my professors. He gave me favor with the people who were suppose to hate Christians. He gave me so much more than i deserve.

i never thought i would be here at 22. i had way different plans in high school. and those curve balls He throws...get us on the right track. i didn't plan on staying in Albany for college. i didn't plan on caring about others so much it hurts. i didn't plan on being a sociologist. i really didn't plan on carrying around Bibles, water, food, and blankets in my car while being "that" girl they all know. and i surely didn't plan on living a life everyone else is scared to.

there was a point where i decided to get over myself. and i quickly threw out that dream we all or most have of....a big house, rich husband, white picket fence, four white kids in private school uniforms. because that is not what He has for me at.all. my life is way different. already it is. and i am pretty sure there is no telling what He has up His sleeve next.

this year friends and support have come from all over the place. states away. missionaries in countries i knew nothing about. people adopting that read this very blog and emailed me to pray with and for them. why He chose me, i will never grasp.

i feel like there are things states away. countries away. people that i will come in contact with that are going to change my life. things that are going to be fulfilled this next year. and i am stokedddddddddd.

my heart is so full. its running over.

i feel like this is how life is suppose to be. faith He has it. running full force into what He has in store.

if i don't risk it all this year, it's pointless.

He's so worth it. every bit of it.

He can do it ALL by Himself but He chooses to let me help and for that i am so grateful for this 22 year of life.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

my cup runneth over.

so much to say.

the next few days will be filled with blog posts that should have been done last week.

Peru will be continued:)

i got a preview of the video...and when you see it will blow you away. His goodness and love is seen all over it.

my summer looks different than i thought.

my heart is full.

i like the new people in my life. a lot.

august is coming too fast.

i can't quite describe what i feel.

Monday, July 12, 2010

there's this boy.

whose eyes are dark brown. and who is still in elementary school.

...on a different continent. who speaks a different language. and who completely stole my heart.


he found me every chance he got at the church. he was the church's baby. everyone held him. loved on him. and did everything he wanted:)

i couldn't believe how big he has gotten. i gave him a picture of me and him from my last trip. he was pretty excited but wouldn't dare show it. he wanted me to hold him. and when i did...his legs hung down my body. and i loved it. he is growing. so fast. and it makes me want to spend so much more time with him. and pour into his life. but i trust this...if He doesn't send me there for good...He will put someone into his life that will pour. and love. and keep his trust. i am sure that my God will provide that.

and my favorite moment with Josue...meeting his mom. who wanted her picture taken with me. my heart was full and is full just thinking about it. and when i hugged her neck that was tired. and worn. and browned from the sun. i knew in that instant...i was exactly where He wanted me.

i didn't have a chance to say bye to him. and i still get sad thinking about it. but i trust my Daddy let his sweet little heart know that one day...i will be back. and will hold him even then.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Yungar. its a place of hope.

there is this small town outside of Huaraz. its small. its quaint. it used to be a place of desperation but now it is a place of hope.

my first trip to Peru...we went to the AMG childcare center there. and we had been forewarned that the kids would be small. they would probably smell bad. and the whole town would want to know what we were doing there. it was so small. a little room with benches but so full of love. the pastor of this church is incredible and the most genuine person i have ever met. Yungar became a place that i loved. the kids wanted us to love on them. they needed attention. and they needed our Savior. in 2005, there was 1 sponsored child at this center. now, there are many sponsored children hearing the Word of God and getting a hot meal everyday.

isn't it incredible how our Jesus works? His hand is all over that center. you can see it. you can see it in the children's faces. you can see it as the women stand in the dirt floor kitchen and prepare meals for children that are not their own. you can see it as the pastor plays soccer with the children. Jesus is the reason for that place and it shows.

my favorite part of our time at Yungar was that we got to serve the children their meal. there are no words to describe how it feels to sit down that plate knowing that it could be their only meal for the day. no words to describe what its like to stand in that dark room and hear them singing to God with such joy thanking Him for the meal they are about to eat knowing that i often forget to thank Him for the meals i eat three times a day. there are just no words. this is one of those places where His goodness overflowed. and it overtook me.

and i thought about my friends living on the street in Albany. and i prayed. i prayed hard that they had a hot meal that day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

love exploding. in Huaraz.

Huaraz is my favorite place. probably in the world.

its authentic. gorgeous. and holds onto a piece of my heart for so many reasons.

my first trip to Peru in 2005...i met this little girl named Elisabeth. she was so pretty. so sweet. and attached to me like glue. the next time i saw her in 2007, she grew up so much! but she was still my sweet girl.

this time...i was blown away. i didn't see her sunday morning in church. but i did see her sunday night. we looked at each other with puzzled faces and wondering eyes. trying to figure out if it WAS really who we thought it was. the next day we went to look at homes. and her house was on my groups tour. :)

later that day i gave her mom some pictures i had taken last tme of them at the church. of me and Lesli (her sister), of me and Elisabeth, and of the girls and their mom. oh, i love this lady so. i really do. and she broke down with tears through a smile she was so excited to actually have pictures of them. she showed them off. and told me thank you at least 50 times.

and then my sweet Elisabeth came up and whispered in my ear. she wanted to know if i remembered her. be still my heart. how could i forget her?! she told me she knew i would come back one day to see her. my heart was exploding. she has grown up so much. so very much. and loves Jesus with everything she is.

Elisabeth's sister, Lesli, is also quite the girl. and has a piece of my heart. she has something wrong with her eye. and cannot keep going to school if she does not have surgery. but her family does not have the money to afford it. so i am asking for prayer that our Jesus will heal, provide, and touch that family.

this was in 2007.

and this was this past trip:) oh, my sweet girls have grown up!

this is just ONE little girl in Huaraz. so many more stories to come from my time in Peru. get ready.

"we are the fragrance of Christ to those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:15.

my favorite name to be called is "hermana."

well, it has almost been a month since i set my feet back in the states. and it has taken this long to really dive into what He taught me. who He is teaching me to be. and what He wants to do with all of this.

my verse for this trip:
"For God has not given you a spirit of fear but one of power, love, and sound judgement."
2 Timothy 1:7.

my Aunt Gayla prayed for me and gave me this verse. she told me to remember it. now, i have known this verse for such a long time but never really sat and thought about what exactly my Heavenly Father meant when He promised us that. and i had no idea just how much it would mean to me once i got to Peru.

He gave me peace like i have never known on the bus ride to Huaraz. i slept like a baby up that crazy mountain in the middle of the night. He looks after His sheep. He indeed looks after His children.

and He proved His love to me once more when I fell the first day in Huaraz. it was a hard fall. my leg was black. and walking miles upon miles a day did hurt but i like to think i was somewhat of a trooper. come to find out...when i got back i still had a black leg so i went to see the doctor. she said that i busted a major vessel in my leg. there was a blood clot but it calcified quickly, which if this hadn't happened...walking miles a 12,000 feet...and airplanes...a blood clot would not have done well in these conditions. but my Jesus makes a way out of no way.

no matter how many times i go to Peru i will still be blown away by one thing...their joy. these people are SO satisfied in Christ that it doesn't matter if they have no food. it doesn't matter if their child has a disability. it doesn't matter if they walk 8 miles to church. it just doesn't matter. but what does matter to them is their love and service to Christ. they are faithful in service. and they are grateful for all they do have. a prayer that literally brought tears to my eyes in the childcare center said, "dear Lord, thank you for all of our things." now, this seems just like a little prayer but when you walk through these children's will understand. feces covering the walkways. turkeys in the corner. no roof. and the animals have more space than the 6 children who are living in this home. they thank Him for that. they thank Him for what they do and don't have because they know that He will provide. those tiny, little dirty hands folded together in desperation to talk to God and let Him know that they are grateful. it gets me.

this is just the first part. more distinct stories with pictures coming up:)

stay tuned....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

i promise.

there is a Peru post in the works.

so much to pour out of this heart. it's so full.