Friday, July 22, 2011

Summing it all up

How can I explain to you what God has done in my heart the last five weeks? Words and stories can't to justice to who God is and how is working in my life.
Before I left for this trip, I had mixed emotions about leaving. I did want to see people, but I didn't want to go by myself. The last time I traveled by myself, God taught me a lot, but it was very trying. In my mind I assumed that this trip might be the same. However, there was a peace at the same time because I knew this is where God wanted me for the summer.
God truly worked above and beyond my thoughts. I loved every minute of my time in Ecuador. Sure I had my trying times with Spanish, but I loved speaking it and learning. I love the people there. I love the culture. I loved it more than I thought I would. I went without my family this time, but I never felt lonely. The people there are my family too. When I had to's never been harder to leave.
What does all of this mean? Well, I am not sure exactly. Right now I am praying about the possibility of going back. Many things would have to fall into place, but that's why I am praying. Though it's hard to explain everything that God has done up to this point, I can tell you that it has all been a work of God. This trip, the desire to return, everything, was the work of God; I didn't have any hand in it. I had no idea I would come away with this desire after the summer. Before I left, I was praying that God would simply mold my heart into what He wants; I am still praying that.
That's where I will leave things for now. Feel free to ask me about the trip if you see me around. If you would pray with me, that I would follow what God wants me to do, I would greatly appreciate it; my life is His.

11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 1:11-12

Monday, July 18, 2011


Sorry I haven't written lately; I didn't take my computer to Cuenca with me. However, I am now back in Quito, so let me tell you about the week.
I love Cuenca with all my heart. My friends there are my family, and I love the city. What did I do all week? I spent time with the people I already miss terribly. Both Sunday afternoons, I went to a friend's family's house for lunch. I love how the whole family gets together for lunch and simply spend time together. During the week, we would go visit my friend Cristina because she has a cafe that just opened-pretty sure we went there everyday :) We would walk around downtown (one of my favorite things to do), or go out to eat. One night we bought pizza from Pizza Hut (on Tuesday because that was my dad's tradition when I lived here) and took it to Turi. Turi is a church up on a hill that overlooks the whole city. We sat there, took pictures, and ate pizza-good memories.
God definitely answered prayer as well. I have 5 friends that I consider close friends, and I was able to see them all, and we were able to have some really good conversations. I wish I could be around more, but I am so very thankful for the time God gave me with them. I now know how to pray for them, and I hope it won't be too long until I get to see them again.
Today has been a more relaxed day, but I think we are going out tonight! Cris's Mom is here to watch the boys.
I'll be honest, there are a lot of thoughts going through my mind right now, but one day at a time. I am going to try to enjoy the last day and a half I have here. I will write again soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Evangelism explosion- in Spanish

Today I did something a little different. I went with Jorge and some others from his church to an event on lessons on evangelism. The speaker was the vice president of Evangelism Explosion for Latin America. I vaguely remembered the group from my dad's class on evangelism ( it was my freshman it's been a little while :) Also, the speaker was puertorican, so he talked faster and had a different accent. My brain definitely hurt at the end of it all. However, it was good to listen to him, to strategies of evangelism, and of the stories he had from past experiences. As I listened, it all made me miss my dad. Evangelism is so close to his heart. I think one of the biggest things that my dad has said in reference to evangelism that has stuck with me is this- a life persistent in evangelism can only stem from a heart that is deep in love with God. I pray I can be more like my dad, who has the biggest heart for the lost I know.

Tonight I helped babysit! Actually, I did have fun. Jorge and Cris have a small group they try to meet with every week, but between the 4 couples, there are six kids! All of them are under the age of three too. I took the oldest three upstairs to play for a while. Bubbles were my savior-kept them entertained :) I can't ever repay Jorge and Cris for all they have done for me, but I was thankful to help out a little tonight.

Tomorrow I fly to Cuenca. I am looking forward to seeing my friends/family there. I have one week there...I would really ask that you pray for this week. I don't know how God wants to use it exactly, but I hope and pray there are opportunities to talk and encourage friends. I don't get to see them very often, but there are dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Prayers for my Spanish are always appreciated too :) Gracias Amigos

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zip Line of Mindo

Zip lines- my experience of zip lines has purely been at IRBC ( a camp I was able to serve at for a summer). That was from the top of the climbing wall to a close by hill. Today I experienced a completely different way to do zip line. We drove to a town called Mindo-almost two hours from where we live. It's about 1,000 meters lower in altitude, which makes for a warmer climate. We met up with Pastor Glen and Sherri (the missionaries from Ruth's church). They were there with a group from the states, so I was able to hang out with that group for a little bit and go on the zip lines. I think that was the second time I have really been able to use my English since I've been here! Kind of nice :) We put on our harnesses and helmets, and then we were off! You go down one zip line, and then you walk/hike a little to the next one. With the group of 15, it took us about an hour and a half to two hours to get through the course. If there is a guide to go with you, you can choose to do the butterfly or the superman. I did the butterfly (upside down with your feet straight up in the air and hands spread apart). The guide goes with you and swings you from side to side. Ha it was pretty fun. I talked to one of the guides a little, and he told me it's even better when it's raining-you go twice as fast! I might have to come back :) The only down side of the whole thing was some nasty bug bites on my leg, but well worth the trip! Thankful to God for the experiences He is giving me.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Extravaganza!

Today in the USA is a national holiday. In Quito, Ecuador, it is a normal Monday-well for most anyways, but I will get to that :)
Today I went to Isaac's (Cris and Jorge's 2year old son) day camp for summer. This was the first day, so things were a little crazy. I ended helping up with the 4year olds, and there were about 20 kids in our group. We definitely had our crazy moments, but it's actually another great way to work on my Spanish (humbling too). The camp is only for the morning, so that's nice too; I will be there all week.
We came home and ate lunch like normal. After, I did a little reading; I'm reading Johnny Tremain to teach in one of my classes this fall. In my mind, it was the most patriotic thing I could do. Then I went with Cris and the boys to do some errands. I always enjoy spending time with Cris, and at the end of our errands, we stopped at a cafe/ice cream place where we sat outside for a while drinking coffee/eating ice cream (Galapagos coffee is strong but really good!). I really enjoy my friendship with Cris-she's like an older sister. Isaac played on a play horse near by; ok I played with him on it too. What can I say, I like to be a kid sometimes too :)
I was really thankful for how the day had gone. When we got home, Isaac and I played some futbol in the house. No, no we did not break anything. I started helping Cris with supper, and Jorge went to go get a couple things from the store. My friend Andres came over too, and I thought we were just eating supper together. After a little while, Cris asked me to come into the dinning room to help her with something, and then.... SURPRISE! The room was decorated with red,white, and blue balloon, brownies with American flags in them, and candles that were mini sparklers! It was simply fantastic! Cris even had a 4th of July tshirt she made me put on for the occasion. Oh, and she made the little American flags herself! She printed off the flags from the internet, and then taped them on tooth picks! She is so thoughtful. We ate supper and brownies, but there was still one more surprise to come. They had bought some actually fireworks!! The packet was about 5-10 fireworks, but they were great! I really do love fireworks, and I was kind of sad I was missing the holiday. God gave me such a blessing today! I am so very thankful for my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ here in Ecuador. Today was a God-given great day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ibarra Trip

Sorry it's been a little since I've written. Wednesday afternoon we left for a little trip. Those who went on the trip were Cris and Jorge, their two boys, Ruth, and Cris's Grandma. We had a great time! We went to a town called Ibarra-that's were Cris is from. However, we made plenty of stops on the way. We went in two cars, and I was in the back seat of the truck; the ride was a little bumpy, but well worth it. We stopped to eat at a restaurant called El Cafe de la Vaca (the cafe of the cow). It's a fun, old rustic place, and the food was really good too. Then we drove to a town called Otavalo, where Cris's mom was waiting for us. We went to the market and did some shopping- and I bartered ! :) Then we went to Ibarra because that's where we were staying for the night. We all had some coffee and bread together, and we also had a cake for Ruth's birthday. After the little ones went to sleep, Jorge, Cris, Ruth, and I went to see Ibarra at night. We had a blast! Cris was showing us all this different places, and we took pictures and talked a lot. At certain points, we were all laughing our heads off at things- ha I guess I can't really explain it, but we had a good time.
Ruth and I shared a room, which was a huge blessing. We had some time to talk and pray together before we went to bed- I am so thankful for her encouragement and godly example.
In the morning we ate breakfast together, and then we went to see Ibarra by day. We saw some beautiful sights, and ate a lot of food! I told Ruth it was ok though because it was in celebration for her birthday. We ate empanadas (fried bread with a meat mixture inside) with some coffee, and then went to try some ice cream! It was really more like a sorbet. The ice cream was made from pure juice- and some of the fruits they had were ones I never heard of, but it all tasted great. It was fun to watch the process of them making the ice cream. They had these big, wooden bowls full of ice and salt. Then they had a copper pan inside the ice where they would put the juice. They had a gigantic wooden spoon they used to stir the juice like crazy! And in ten minutes, the ice cream was ready.
We traveled to another town to eat lunch- yep more food. We didn't stay there too long because there was this festival going on, the festival of San Juan. It's basically these two different neighborhoods of people who have this tradition of dancing and then eventually fighting. Thankfully they hadn't started the fighting when we were there, and we left before it started (the police were out in the center of town watching too).
After some more driving we stopped in Cayambe for biscochos. It's kind of like biscotti, but not quite. It's not sweet, but with coffee it's great! After all of that, we finally headed home. I must admit I felt like I needed to run 5 miles by the end of the day, but food is part of the experience right? Thanks again for all your prayers; I'll write again soon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crazy Cars& Comforting Conversation

Ha yes I went for the alliteration with my title. I am an English major after all :) Tonight my story will be short, but I wanted to share with you how God has encouraged me. This afternoon I went with Jorge and Cris on a drive to the southern part of the city. In a thirty/forty minute drive, I could see the difference. This part of the city is definitely poorer. All the houses and building are square and cement- no roofs in the way we normal think of roofs. We were going to the south because of a work errand, but the road we needed was closed. Jorge didn't know exactly what to do, so we went on some back roads and ended up going on the autopista (their interstate). However, we were going into on-coming traffic!! We were not the only ones, and Cris and I were just laughing at the situation. One car tried to make it over the median but got stuck. Our route ended up passing a bunch of traffic, and as we passed those waiting, Jorge yelled "Perdidores!" which means "losers!" He was totally joking, and it was only loud enough for Cris and me to hear, but it was hilarious!
The whole time, Cris and Jorge and I just talked. They truly are like an older brother and sister to me. In our conversation, we came to the conclusion that we both love our countries, but we also like each other's countries. We are content to be where God wants us, but we would be content to move if He wanted us too as well. All around it was an encouraging, and slightly adventurous ride :)
Oh and a praise. I have been writing in a journal in Spanish every day, and Cris has been checking it. Today she told me I am getting better. Praise God! She definitely still makes corrections in my writing, but so did my mom when she checked my papers in college. Let's face it, I am not a master at grammar in either language, but I do try :)
Oh and one last note. For supper tonight we ate hot dogs Quituian style. You put the normal toppings, but what makes it special are crushed chips and pineapple marmalade (or jelly). It's amazing! So if you are looking for a new way to eat hot dogs, give it a whirl :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The weekend

The weekend flew by! God has been so good, and I continue to love my time here. Let me fill you in on the last couple of days.
Friday I went to observe at a school. I visited the elementary classes because as they are almost done with school, the high school kids are all taking tests. Watching the teachers and simply observing the students was interesting, and it all kind of made me miss teaching. However, when I went to the fifth grade English class, I didn't just observe. The English teacher had to get a few things done, so she basically gave me the book, showed me the right pages, and left for 20 minutes. Ha I just laughed. The material was pretty simple, and I think the kids didn't mind having a change of pace- I can tell they are ready to be done.
When Jorge and Cris came to pick me up, we went to a town called Guayllabamba. We stopped to eat lunch, where I tried a soup that had dried lamb's blood. Jorge told me it's a typical northern dish, so I ordered that-gotta try new stuff right? The flavor wasn't really strong, but I must admit that it wasn't my favorite. After lunch, we went to the zoo. The zoo here is pretty small, but it was still fun to go. This was Isaac's (2 years old) first time at the zoo. I took pictures of lots of signs in case I need visuals for teaching the Spanish words for animals. On the way home we stopped for ice cream, a nice treat after an interesting lunch!
Later that night Cris taught me how to make Bolones de Verdes, a typical costal dish that is made from plantains. I am so thankful for Cris; we had a really good talk that afternoon, and God has definitely used her as a big encouragement in my life.
Saturday morning was a little laid back- I had time to read God's word and talk a walk; I love the mornings I can take my time doing that. After, I helped Cris run to the store. Her son Isaac wasn't feeling the best, and he had thrown up that morning. He was feeling better, and so he came with us. However, just before our first stop, he threw up in the car too. I guess I am getting some lessons in the joys of motherhood too :) He felt much better after that. After that, Nicolas kept crying and wouldn't stop. Ha it was a blessing there were two of us! It all turned out just fine :)
The afternoon was a blast! We celebrated Ruth's birthday, so a group of us sat around talking for the afternoon, and then we had some cake and coffee. Ruth is a wonderful example of a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart. On her way to Cris's that day, she gave a ride to a lady in her neighborhood, shared the Gospel with that lady, and that lady accepted Christ! I love how God works.
I think the Lord is helping me become more comfortable talking in Spanish, however, I still have to think a lot before I speak. Sometimes I share the stories in my head, sometimes I don't because I don't know if I can explain things well enough. I should probably just go for it most of the time because it's not going to hurt me to mess up- oh how I need to not be a perfectionist.
Today was a full day too. At church, there was a group of 100 teens that came. Quite the group! Some of them were going to the jungle, but some of them stayed in Quito. The smaller group stayed to help us build a paint ball course today-something Jorge's working on for the youth group. We worked with a lot of tires today trying to stack them correctly-quite the feat.
That has been my weekend- wonderful, but I am now ready for some sleep. Thanks again for all your prayers.
P.S. If you want to see some pictures, I put some on facebook.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picking and Planting

Today was a profitable day, in practical and spiritual days (hence the title :) I’ll start with the practical and end with the spiritual.

I went with Cris to help her with some more errands she had to run. She definitely reminds me of a Proverbs 31 woman- in charge of so much but stays on top of it all. When we got back, she asked me if I wanted to help her pick avocados. I had never done that before, so I was intrigued. She handed me this long pole-like contraption with a wire like basket at the end. I had to get it in the right position in the basket and then I had to pull. Doesn’t sound too hard, but the stick was really long! It would hit the ground too soon if it wasn’t at the right angle.Ha, there were some guys working in the yard, and they probably got a kick out of watching me try. It was a fun experience though!

Later in the afternoon, I went on a walk with Margarita and her son. Margarita is their maid. In South American cultures, it is very common to have a maid to help around the house, even for the common, middle wage family. I have been praying for an opportunity to talk with her, and because she is Catholic, well that’s just a shoe-in for my dad’s testimony. However, when I try to witness to someone in Spanish, I am more limited because of my vocabulary, but praise God He can use even my poor, ill-worded Spanish! I did get to share with her some of my dad’s salvation testimony, and then we talked about the Bible. I ended up telling her a shortened story of the book of Ruth (because I have been studying that with my dad). She didn’t know the story, and though I am sure my explanation was feeble, maybe she will be interested in reading it too. God gave me a few other opportunities here and there with certain comments. I didn’t explain the Gospel in completion, but Lord willing, it will stir to keep looking. Jorge and Cris and Ruth have had many talks with her too. Through the way they live day in and day out, they are hoping she begins to see and understand the Gospel. Please pray for Margarita, and her two children, Diane y Carlos.

Tomorrow I am going to observe at a school, well at least I think I am observing. Jorge wasn’t even sure exactly what I would end up doing. I would appreciate your prayers tomorrow as well. I will continue to observe at this school until Wednesday of next week. That’s all for now. Es tiempo para dormir!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Calm Morning

Good morning all :) I just finished reading my Bible outside at my little table- so peaceful. Praise God I am feeling better. I even had energy to go for a walk today! Going up the hills was...well I had to catch my breath a little, but I will get there! As I was reading, I was reflecting on Galatians 4 and the truth that I am God's adopted child- I just can't get over that! No matter where God takes me or what roads He has for me, I hope I can always rest in that, in Him.
Life in Ecuador lately has been calm- I think that will be short lived, but I will get to that. Yesterday I helped Cris go to Quito to get Nicolas's social security card (American terms). The whole process is a lot more complicated here! We had some good time to talk as we went though. Later in the afternoon, Cris and I made brownies. Ha I had to use my computer to convert grams into cups so we could follow the recipe. They didn't turn out too bad, but we might have to perfect the recipe a little :) After supper, Cris and Jorge and I started talking about my time here. They came up with quite a list of things for us to do!! I think my quiet days will be few, but I am ok with that :) For now I have to run, but I do have a prayer request. Please pray for Margarita, their maid. She's catholic, but she's really friendly with me, and I am praying for some opportunities to share with her. Thanks!

Monday, June 20, 2011

God's Plans vs. Mine

Today I was suppose to set off with a group to the jungle-that's definitely something I have never done before. Cris y Jorge dropped me off at the church last night, and I met the Pastor, his wife, another missionary, and three individuals from Kentucky. I really enjoyed talking with them, and I started practicing puppets with them to prepare for the next days. However, as I was sitting there, I started not to feel so well. Those of you who know me pretty well I am sure are not surprised by this. I just started to become pretty achy and weak. I let the missionaries know, and they said to wait until morning, but if I was not feeling well, then it would be best if I stayed. I prayed that God would make it clear if He wanted me to do or not. Well by morning, I still didn't feel well at all- I knew I couldn't go. I was bummed because I really would have liked to have gone and spent time with this group and to see what ministry in the jungle is like. However, He did clearly answer my prayer (my family was praying too because I got to call my dad for Father's Day!). I spent the morning sleeping at the church (they have beds to sleep in on the third floor). Ruth works at this church, and she then brought me back to Jorge y Cris's. I am thankful that worked out like that. Most of the day I have been sleeping or just resting and praying. In a way it's nice to have some time alone with the Lord. It's been great to be here, but with adjusting to everything, I think my time with God has not been as close. Please pray for the group that is in the jungle right now- Pastor Glen and Sherri, Jenny, David, Bill, and Keeonda. You can also pray that I just enjoy spending time with the Lord as I get over whatever this is. Thanks.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You know how when you're in a big group of people, and you don't really know any of them, you're just kind of quiet? Ok well I know everyone is not like that, but I certainly am. Yesterday Jorge and Cris had a big family get together for Father's Day. In the morning it was fun because I helped them in the kitchen and got to know her family a little bit. However, when we sat down at the table, I became a little overwhelmed. Close to 20 members of her family were around, and there were so many conversations going on that I didn't know where to listen. I don't think I understood much of anything, and I didn't say much either. I kind of felt stupid because I wasn't understanding and communicating very well, but days like that are bound to come. A little later my friend Andres came and picked me up, and we went to his church for the jovenes (college age) get together. We had 8 of us all together, and we basically played Wii the whole time. Though I am not talented in playing the Wii, it was fun. Afterwards we met up with another friend and his fiance. We caught up and talked about life and travel experiences.I think I do better in small groups of people, but towards the end of the day, nothing came out quite like I wanted. Pray that I have patience-this is definitely helping kill the perfectionist side of myself.
I also have a prayer request for the next few days (till Wednesday). Later on this afternoon I will be meeting up with the Pastor from Tia Ruthie's church. I will be accompanying a small group of Americans (a few people from the church too) on their mission's trip. Where exactly we are going, and what exactly I am doing, I have no idea. I know we're traveling on bus, and I know it's a little warmer where we are going. Please pray for this time. I am sure it will be a good experience-God's in control. I will be sure to tell you all about it when I return. Thanks again for all your prayers.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Learning Poco a Poco

Well today was full activity; I will do my best to explain, but I must admit my brain is fried. I think having to think and talk in a different language all day wears me out. After breakfast, I went with Jorge to his son Isaac's school. A better name for it is a day care, but it's the most beautiful day care I have ever seen! In a couple of weeks I will spend some time there. I think they want me to try and teach a little too, which I am a little nervous about, but I know I need to do it. Jorge told me the more I put into it, I may make a lot of mistakes, but it's the best way to learn. After looking at the day care, we went to activate the cell phone they are letting me use (they go above and beyond!). I must tell you that to activate a cell phone is more complicated here than anywhere in the states. We had to pull tickets and wait to talk to certain people (like when you are getting your license).I was also informed of a law called pico y paco. In short, depending on the last number of your license plate, a person can't travel in Quito at certain hours to help with traffic. Every day has two numbers, and if a person breaks the law, they get fined and the car is taken a way for at least a day. Interesting huh? After finishing up at Movistar (the phone company), we went to a different school where one of Cris's friends is the principle. I am also going to spend some time there...doing what I am not exactly sure, but I'll ket you know when I do :) In the afternoon I went with Cris and her mom and the two boys to do errands all afternoon. I really enjoyed getting to know and talk with them. Then as soon as I got home, I had to leave again to meet my friend Andres. I went with him to his church to help serve at a Father's Day meal. That was fun, although I think I was a little more quiet because I didn't know anyone or exactly what I was suppose to be doing, but it was still a good time to serve, meet some new friends and catch up with Andy. For now, I am pretty tired. Thanks again for all your prayers. If you think of it, please ask the Lord to bless Jorge and Cris for all they are doing for me. They are such an encouragement, and they have given their time and money for me to be. Hasta pronto.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Primera Dia

Praise God I am here!!! Yesterday was definitely a long day, but it went well. I did have an opportunity to talk with the man I sat next to on my flight to Atlanta. He goes to a Presbyterian church, and he told me he believed there is only one way to heaven. We also talked about families and travels- it was a blessing to talk with him-so thank you for those of you who prayed for opportunities. When I got to Quito, everything went pretty smoothly, the only thing that took a while was waiting for my suitcase. When I finally got it, I walked out and found my good friends Jorge and Andres waiting for me. That’s really when it hit me that I was here. It was so good to see them-it always feels like I have not only traveled in distance but time. When I am in the states, Ecuador always seems like a dream instead of a reality. Jorge and Cris (the couple I am staying with) live probably 15-20 minutes out of Quito (although my perception on things in general last night was a little off, so I am not exactly sure). Cris and Jorge have a beautiful house!! I love it. My room is a little set off from the rest of the house, and I have my own bathroom and balcony...pretty nice :) This morning when I woke up, Cris and Jorge were gone, but Cris’s mother was here, and she talked with me while I ate breakfast. She is very sweet, and it was a blessing to have someone to talk to at breakfast. There was only one line she said that went completely over my head, but I just smiled and made do :) When Cris returned home, we started talking about my schedule. Well, let’s just say I think these 5 weeks are going to fly. Cris kept telling me that 5 weeks is so short, that I should be here longer. We have to figure out a few things, then I will let you know all that I am doing. In short, I will be helping at some schools, maybe helping an American group that’s coming down, and hopefully visiting Cuenca. I really am looking forward to my time here. I just spent the afternoon catching up with my Tia Ruth!! I showed her pictures from the last few years-she’s been a huge encouragement in my life; it was a blessing to share with her what God has been doing lately.

As I was traveling, God seem to take all my nerves away. Even the way the trip started, getting flights switched in a way that was much simpler, God was reminding me He has this whole time in His hands. What He wants to happen will happen, and I am plain excited for the next 5 weeks!!! Thanks for your prayers, and I will write again soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unexpected Start

At 5 am this morning my phone rang. It was a machine from the airline telling me my first flight had been cancelled. As I only had a few hours of sleep last night, I was not very coherent on what to do. Basically, I had to get down to the airport as soon as possible to figure out what was going to happen. My faithful mother went with me, and by God's grace, everything was figured out. I now actually only have two flights instead of three, and I have a little more time in between flights (I originally only had 45 min. in Miami!). God knows best, and I'm praying that maybe there is a specific person I am suppose to talk to through all these travels. Please pray that I simply rest in my Father today- I will write again when I'm in Ecuador!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Breath Before the Jump

You know when you are on a roller coaster and your climbing the first major hill? Your anticipation grows-there's excitement and fear rushing through you all at the same time. That's the best way I can explain the last couple of days. I have the moments when I can't wait to see my family in Ecuador again. Then I have the moments where I struggle because I question why I'm going off by myself. Many people go on mission's trips in groups, which I love. I think it's wonderful to be able to travel and serve with a group of believers. However, I am beginning the journey of my second solo mission's trip-that's hard for me. I definitely have moments that I wish my sister or a good friend or even a group was going with me. God is still sovereign, and He has a good and loving reason things have worked out this way. To be completely honest, I've struggled the last few days, really had to wrestle and pray through things because I feel like my perspective will sway so easily. Though I know this what God wants me to do, sometimes right before following in a specific way, hardships get thrown at you. No monumental trial has occurred, but continual battle is needed against this legalist mentality inside of me that places far to much weight on my actions. I think things like I didn't say the right thing to encourage that friend, I made things worse by doing/not doing this, God's frustrated because I didn't wait on Him like I should have, God's disappointed because I cannot joyfully wait in the midst of the unknown, things are going to go wrong now because I wasn't as faithful as I should have been....I could go on. I place too much on my own actions- in short, I am being self-focused. That shouldn't shock me , but my pride lets it. As I wrestled through all these things in my head, I spent some time just walking and praying and listening to podcasts. One of the speakers reminded me that to get better the solution is not to focus on what I need to do or not do, but I need to be reminded and be in awe of the Gospel again and again. God's the One who is going to produce change, and when I am constantly looking to Him, He will compose the change needed. I think I tend to equate struggling with failure or even sin, but that's not true. Struggle is not sin; it's what I do with the struggle that leads to sin or back to Christ. In the last couple of weeks, I have had a lot of "messy" prayers, times where I just feel utterly messed up-but through those prayers God reminds me of His steadfast love.
All of that to say, I think God is trying to prepare me for something in these next five weeks. I don't expect it will be easy, but I do know that He promises to always be with me. If noting else, these last few days God has increased my need and desire to come to Him with absolutely EVERYTHING. I am not getting it allright, but God is helping me know Him better. So that's where I am at tonight, two days before my trip. Im taking the breathe before the descent, and I'll let you know what God does through the ride.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,but now I keep Your word.You are good,and You do what is good;teach me Your statutes. ~Psalm 119~

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Prueba Dos

Today was the day for me to take my second Spanish test. I spend a lot of time yesterday and today studying what I could, but there always seems to be an exorbitant amount of information to master;I knew if I passed, it would be a blessing from God. And lo and behold, I passed! Praise God! I have now tested out of two years of Spanish. I still have two more tests to take. The information gets increasingly harder. Hopefully spending five weeks in Ecuador will help :) Thank you to those who prayed for me today; I sincerely appreciate it. I leave a week from tomorrow!! Pretty crazy. I am excited and nervous-pretty typical I suppose. I will write again soon. Gracias otra ves por tus oraciones :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011


As I was preparing for my test yesterday morning, I found out that my test would have to wait until next week. The lady I work with on all of this was a little overwhelmed with some other things, so I guess the Lord thought I needed a little more time to study. I will take the test Tuesday afternoon. For now I am at my sister's house enjoying some time with two of my nephews. Thanks to those of you who prayed. I'll keep ya posted.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Prayer Request

Hey there- I am not sure how many of you read this (which is fine, writing has always been something I simply enjoy doing), but if you do read this before tomorrow afternoon, maybe you could pray for me. I am going to take my second Spanish test; I have been studying for these tests independently-that's the part that makes me nervous. I also have been a little overwhelmed with the thought of being a jr. high teacher next year as the teacher-in-services have been going on at school. To add to that, I am leaving in two weeks for Ecuador. However, God is faithful, and I have to remember to take life one day at a time. I would however appreciate your prayers as I try to follow what God has given me to do. Thanks!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Life After College Continues

I originally planned on doing a blog for the sole purpose of my trip to Spain, but as it turns out, I am not done traveling yet-probably won't be for quite a while! That being the case, I thought I would update all of you to what God has been doing in my life, and what He has for me this summer.
I praise God for His faithfulness; I did indeed have the privilege of having a teaching job right out of college. However, at first I thought that I would just be subbing. A week before school started, I received a call from a local christian school to be an assistant teacher in the 4th grade. I was thrilled! The grade was younger than I was planning on, but the year has been wonderful. I love my fourth grade class- all 28 of them! I even had the blessing of having my own classroom (we split up the class at certain points of the day) and working and learning from a great teacher. These kids have been such a challenge and encouragement to me this year. Teaching definitely has its challenges, and I have spent many days in prayer asking the Lord for wisdom. I still feel like I have so much to learn about being a teacher. Through it all, the Lord has provided and been kind to teach me through my mistakes too.
One thing I started doing with my class just for fun was teach them Spanish words. The kids absolutely loved it! Every week I would try and teach them new words. As I began to do this, the Spirit began to stir some thoughts in me about Spanish. Why don't I try to teach Spanish? As silly as it sounds, the thought had never really occurred to me. The more I thought and prayed about it, and the more I started to ask advice of those around me, God seemed to be opening the doors for me to work on my Spanish endorsement. That is currently my new goal as an educator, to get my Spanish endorsement for K-12.
As soon as I told my dad about this, he came up with the idea that I should return to Ecuador for the summer to improve my Spanish ( a definite need of mine). Any of you who know my dad will not be surprised by that fact at all. I was a little hesitant at first because I already had some options I was thinking through for the summer, but God again directed, closed some doors, and showed me that Ecuador is where He wants me this summer. That is where my next adventure will take place! June 15-July 20 I will be in the city of Quito, Ecuador.
Quito is not the city I grew up in, but I have some good family friends who have been kind enough to let me live with them for the five weeks. In fact, they are basically planning my whole time down there-all on their own initiative I might add! I will be helping at a school one week, a children's camp for two weeks, and spending time with friends for the other two.
I am looking forward to it, but a little nervous at the same time. This is a wonderful opportunity, but I must admit that I am not as adventurous as I thought I was. What I mean to say is that I kind of struggle going out to do this things on my own...but I know this is what God wants me to do, and He gives such peace. I am truly excited too! Ecuador is my second home; I leave in 24 days :) I would greatly appreciate your prayers, that I would have a soft heart to what my Father wants to teach me. I am not sure exactly where God is leading in this life He has given me, but I love walking with Him. He's got it all planned out.