• Belize •

SubstandardFullSizeRenderMy passport just came in the mail, and I couldn’t be more excited!

About a month ago my friend and I stood watching our brothers play basketball. I was sharing with her that I would love to write the stories of overseas missionaries—what they’re doing, how the Lord is moving in and through them and reaching the hearts of individuals. I would love to use stories to connect God’s family.

After sharing this with my friend she simply asked,  “Do you want to go to Belize?”

There is a small school, Toledo Christian Academy (TCA), in the Yemeri Grove/Jacintoville area of Belize. The school, run by Belizean and American staff, accepts children in the pre-school age group all the way through middle school. The school is supported, primarily, by churches here in the States and relies on frequent short-term mission groups for the upkeep of their grounds and facilities.

The purpose of the school is to give students a foundational education, grounded in Scripture. Each school day is begun with a devotional time, and teachers use a biblically-based curriculum for the students’ subjects. The children have a full day of classes, sports, and fellowship with their classmates and teachers. (If you would like more information about the school, you can follow this link to their website: http://www.tcabelize.com/.)

May 2nd-10th I will be going to visit TCA, with a small team, to teach/help in the classrooms with the staff, lead devotionals in the mornings, work on building/painting projects, play with the kids, meet the parents, and fulfill the needs of the staff in any way we possibly can. Our primary goal is to be yet another group of believers, living Truth, in these kids’ world. (If you would like to keep up with my team in the weeks leading up to the trip and while we are in Belize, you can follow this link to our blog: www.teambelizeblog.wordpress.com.)

Part of the vision God has given me is to encourage and inspire believers to grow in their personal relationship with the Lord, and to speak truth into the lives of the lost. My goal is to take every opportunity God gives me to use my gifts to fulfill that vision. I firmly believe that this trip is an opportunity to put my vision to action in a specific way. 

Please be praying for TCA, the staff, the students, and the churches supporting them. They are doing good work in Belize as they touch the hearts and lives of children and families for the glory of our Savior.

Please also be praying for me as I seek to trust God even more. Ask him to put me in situations where I am compelled (yet again) to acknowledge that I live entirely by his faithful grace to me. 

“May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”- Romans 15:13, ESV 

Speaking Hope

I look into a person’s eyes and see all of their heartbreak materialize. I keep hoping that they will blink and that somehow all that pain will disappear from their eyes, but it doesn’t. I feel a twinge of desperation as I realize that nothing I do—listen, nod, pray, talk—can remove their pain. In one last ditch attempt I think that I might be able to hug it away, or just cry hard enough that it will disappear. It doesn’t work. That look is still there. All I want to do is fix it. And I can’t.

This world is sick, and when I see people’s hearts breaking under the weight of pain I cry out to God asking Him to send Jesus back and make it all right. Now.

Knowing the love of Christ does not instantly make everything “okay.” There is no deal written in the Bible implying that Believers will never experience hurt. But there is comfort in the hope and peace that comes from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”  Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 17-25)

My desire is to kill that heartbreak, but since I cannot, I am going to “weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15),” and I am going to speak those words of hope and peace into their lives.

Thrilled

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012—President Obama wins the election for President of the United States.

Yes, four more years of HOPE and CHANGE from the man who has brought us to this historical time in our country: a time of unity, peace, freedom of speech, education and religion, safety and full confidence in the government.

Looking FORWARD to the years ahead, because I know that our booming economy will continue; that gas prices will stay at their currently affordable rate; where people will not look to color to decide how they vote/think; where I do not have to worry about any debt being on my back when I am married and have a family; where I can get easily get a job after I graduate from college in 2-3 years; where I know that my religious convictions will not be stifled; where I feel safe from the threats outside my country.  

I cannot tell you how excited I am. Thank you America. You made the right decision. A future of success is secure.

**Hopefully you caught the sarcasm and the irony here** 

People, pray for our country, pray for our President, pray for our Congress. I think that it’s going to be a rough four years. AND YET, while my view of the next four years is pretty gloomy in regards to politics, thank you Lord that my hope, my joy and my purpose in life is not found in politics or government. It is found in you alone. Can I get an “AMEN!”  please? 

Hope in Faithful Love

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:21-24

Relationship is one of the greatest gifts we humans have been given by God. A relationship with another soul is invaluable. People to laugh with, to cry with and to worship with. People who encourage, uplift us as well as hold us accountable are priceless gifts. Yet these people do not sustain us. People will betray and hurt us, leave us behind and toss us aside. Friendships will fade…and life will go on. It is a painful realization, but true nonetheless. Think about it; how many people have come into our lives and ministered to us and helped us grow. But how long will it last? When they leave us, it hurts. Life is rough. Our time on this earth will not always go our way.

But, there is hope because God has given us a better gift that never will change: Jesus Christ.  Even when people let us down and we are hurt by people we love and are close to, Jesus is always there with open arms. His love will never change. There is no love that can ever compare with dying a horrific, cruel, torturous, bloody and unfair death on behalf of an ungrateful and treacherous human race.  Even after Christ died, was buried and came alive after three days, people still rejected Him. The love that he has given us can never be matched or replaced.

That is the greatest comfort anybody could ever be given. He will hold you up when you feel like giving up. He will love you when you feel hated and despised by everyone around you, including yourself. He will hug you when the world is coming at you from all sides. He died so that you might live.

As I said earlier, relationships are priceless given to us. God said in Genesis 2:18 after creating Adam that “it is not good that man should be alone,” and then went on to create another being that their might be relationship. Relationship is part of God’s perfect design and I thank God daily for the people he has brought into my life. Through these relationships he has revealed his deep love for me. But I now realize that it is only in the hope of Jesus Christ’s faithful love that I should live.

Side note: Not done with superheroes yet…just taking a break.