This is it! Life is here! Live the dream!

Wednesday, December 31

Leaving so soon...

I leave my family and friends in 29 hours right now. And I have sooooo many emotions going through my head right now. First of all I want to crap my pants I'm so NERVOUS. Second, I want to jump over the moon I am so EXCITED! Third, I want want to cry for hours I'm so SAD to be leaving my family! But I just keep thinking about God and the future work in South America! He is Sovereign! This picture symbolizes alot of my's of my beautiful sisters and Marisa (my older sister) is 37 weeks pregnant. Which means I will not be able to see my precious niece until she is 2 years old.

Monday, December 29

My Christmas, Birthday, & Good-bye!

My arrival Home!

This Christmas has most definitely been very different for me this year. It first was really emotional coming into after saying good-bye to some wonderful friends that I made at training in Richmond, Virginia. I truly had a wonderful time learning about being a missionary and just growing close to people that have the same passions as me over a 2 month period. Then seeing my family was just overwhelming because I had not seen them in so long. But it truly has been a blessing. At first I was so stressed about all the things I needed to get done before leaving that I even had a stress rash. It was kind of weird. There was a lot of financial things that I have had to take care of before leaving the country, and alot of miscellaneous buying and packing before leaving for 2 years. So with the stress of all that I have been trying to have a wonderful last 2 weeks with my family. I don't want to sound like I am complaining because God is so good and it truly is a blessing to have this time with my family it just has been hard to find special times with everyone.

The first Sunday back we went out to breakfast and broke down and cried about sacrifices that I am going to be giving up. And the reality of my extreme conditions that I am going to be living in. It was a special time for me to really share with my family about truly how I feel about this new unknown adventure that is going to take place. I truly appreciate my family and all of there sensitive spirits and encouraging words. This of course makes it even harder to say good-bye to my loving family. But Jesus Christ gave up so much for us and in return I can give up my crazy wonderful wild family.

I say wild because tonight was my early birthday party. Since my birthday is on Jan.21th, my family gave me an early birthday so they could be with me. We had spaghetti, my favorite meal, and then had a wild crazy birthday celebration with popping streamers, blowing horns, and a silly cake. Everyone kept blowing the horns into each others faces and laughing really hard, including Collin and Summer. Then we played battle of the sexes, phase ten, and then Dictionary.

Saturday, December 20

Week Nine of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!

Day 56: Monday, December 15th- Our talks in the morning were amazing they were all about strengthening relationship. Then for lunch we dressed up to thank the cooks and have desserts. Then after lunch the strengthening relationship talks were amazing but Brittany and I had to talk about some things, and so I missed some of the meetings.Then I picked up mom and the airport at 3:00pm. We then went out to dinner together and then she came back and meet some of my friends. We hung out in my room a long time with Amy before bed time.

Day 57: Tuesday, December 16th- We had our last small group time together and Adam shared a funny story and we sang some songs. Then we had leadership meetings in the morning. After lunch we then had a wrap up session and then it was all over. As soon as we were done with our last class everyone cheered. I just felt really sad, but was also excited. There are so many emotions going on as a missionary and really is hard. I was truly torn between spending time with my mom and hanging out with my friends. It is sooooo hard to say good bye to people that I have grown so close to over the past 2 months. We had cross-cultural worship sound check meeting. Then we hung out dorm 2 that night and played games.

Day 58: Wednesday, November 17th- We had sound check in the morning at 8:00am. Then we had a walk through for the Commissioning ceremony. Then we had the mapping ceremony, and when I went up and shared a funny prayer request to endure eating monkey brains. But also to seek the Lord in every situation! Then we had a really fast lunch and mom went to the dialogue with family member and she said she cried the whole time. Then the service started. It was really good and I help lead worship then there was a video also of Evan and I that Kyle made about "Who wants to be a missionary", and I was the contestant and I was Lottie Moon. Then after the commissioning I saw the Hammack's, Wolfe's, and Pegues! I was SOOOOO emotional to say good bye to everyone, and just kept crying. I think the hardest part was saying good bye to Lauren and Jess! Brittany, Courtney, Jess and I all went outside and took pictures and hugged Jess a really long time and cried and then said good bye. This was extremely hard for me. Then I had dinner with a bunch of people at Chilli's and I was just so exhausted I barely talked at dinner. Then I meet Alisha's sister and shared with her about what I am going to be doing, and she prayed with me. It truly was a blessing. Then we went back and I was not feeling good at all and I threw up, and fell asleep for a little bit. Then I walked around and said good bye to people. Then I went to Courtney's room and laid in her bed and watched her pack with Brittany. We stayed up till 3:00am.

Day 59: Thursday, November 18th- Woke up and cleaned the room and checked out at 6:30am. I said good bye to Brittany then went to the airport. It was so good to see Courtney again and the airport and then pray with her before we said good bye again. I cried really hard when I said good bye to her. Then flying to Arkansas was so sad and I slept the whole way, and the times I didn't sleep I cried. I just wish that some of my close friends could go with me. But I know that God is good and that He will give me exactly what I need on the mission field!

Week Eight of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 49: Monday, December 8th- We were at the gym at 6:00am and did the Indian run in the cold around the campus. We also did some push ups and sit-ups. Then we went into the cafe and ate breakfast. Then we had group talk with Elbert as a large group in the KGC. Then we had some Regional time and then had our exit interviews with Amanda! She is always so easy to talk to, and it was really good to talk to her about my time at FPO. Then our Group B went and debriefed what we learned at Contingency training. Then the rest of the afternoon was with Jeremy. After dinner we worked on the Creation story in Spanish. This was extremely hard for me because I don't know any Spanish compared to all the other extremers! But God taught me alot about struggling through, and asking for wisdom and words from Him. Even if it is in another language!

Day 50: Tuesday, December 9th- Today we meet in the gym at 6:00am and did suicides for a long time. Then after breakfast we had small group and I kind of fell asleep in it. I was just so exhausted from Jeremy's training. By the way, we could only use a small a cup each day to bathe, and had to wear the same clothes all week to prepare us for the mission field. During our focus time in the morning with Elbert I sat with Jess! Then for lunch we meet with Amanda and Jeremy. Then before dinner we went to the gym again and did leg raises, dug a hole, made a fire, and walked up and down a hill for a long time. While we were walking up and down the hill I reviewed the Creation story with Misty. Then after dinner we did 100 lunges, and then learned more of the Creation story. I then went to bed early again. Amy was sleeping my my room with me to keep each other warm because I also had to sleep with the windows open, and it was freezing out.

Day 51: Wednesday, December 10th- This morning we meet in the gym at 7:00am and stretched and then went to breakfast and talked about how we were feeling about all the training. Then we had worship in our small group. I was really stressed this whole morning in the meeting because I was trying to get the Creation story word perfect because Jeremy said we had to say it perfect or there would be consequences. So in the morning meetings Amy helped me work on it. Then we said it before lunch to Jeremy and he said that he was really impressed. After lunch I quilted a little bit, and then we had worship time with all the Extreme members, and Taylor and Ryan came as well. It was really good. This is the night that Jeremy also informed us that we could only use the swatty-potty for the rest of our training. This night I talked with Courtney in the gym and it was really good. I love her so much and she has blessed me in so many ways. I seriously wish so bad that we were going to the same area or that we were partners. She is so encouraging and I am always blessed after talking to her.

Day 52: Thursday, December 11th- Today we meet at the gym at 6:00am and did the Indian run in the rain all the way to the entrance of the ILC. Misty was not feeling good and it was hard for her to do. Then we had worship in our small groups, then Lottie Moon came and shared with us about her life. It was really interesting for her to talk about her past. Then after lunch all of the singles broke out into group and there were about 12 girls in my group and Amanda was the leader. Brittany, Ellen, Jill, and I were all in the same group. Then this night Jeremy gave us a break and we able to go to bed early, and have a long time with the Lord.

Day 53: Friday, December 12th- Worship in small group in the morning, then more T4T seminars. This also was the last day of shots! yeah! Then we went to Amanda house with Jeremy and had pizza and shared stories. Well Adam shared all the stories and they were hilarious.

Day 54: Saturday, December 13th- This was my first day for me to sleep in! It was so great I woke up at 11:00am! Then ate lunch and just hung out for the rest of the day with friends!

Day 55: Sunday, December 14th- Worship in small group was really good, we all shared about how we love each other and am going to miss each other alot. Then our whole small group went to a Mexican Resturant! Then Jess, Amy, and I went on a hike It was amazing we climbed a tree of the river. Then we tried to start a fire with our flit starters but it was way to wet then we saw a beaver. Cross-cultural worship was the BEST one ever because it was the deaf service. So many of us cried and had so much compassion for the deaf people. There is such a huge need all over the world that so many people over look.

Week Seven of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 42: Monday, December 1st- We woke up and had Regional Time and talked about language and what the culture is like in South America. It was alot of fun to hang out with the SAM Region!

Day 43: Tuesday, December 2nd- We had worship with our small group in Quad 22! Then I had about an hour with our Regional Office. Then I took Steppie to the Doctor to get her Jaw closed shut. It was quite an experience. I had to go into the room as she was coming back to after being drugged. I then walked her to the car and her eyes were closed because she had a hard time after being drugged. I then took her to get pain reliever and she just stayed in the car. Then I took her around Walmart to get some things before going back to the ILC. It was funny because I pushed her around in a wheel chair. Then we went back and I went and talked to Sandi Hammack about taking care of Steppie! Then I hung out in the Sam James building that night with Jess, Court, and Brittany! I love those girls! We couldn't hang out in the KGC because of Contingency Training.

Day 44: Wednesday, December 3rd- Worship in Small Group in the morning! Then we had Regional Time and then went to the Brazilian Restaurant for lunch. Then Misty and Amy went with me to go pick up Martha at the airport. It was really good to hang out with my Extreme girls and build that bond with them. I was really tired after so I took a nap, and then hung out later.

Day 45: Thursday, December 4th- Worship in our small group. Then we had a few minutes with Elbert and read some scripture. Then the torture finally began... it was the first day of Contingency Training! I was so scared and heard alot of scary stories about what they might do to us. I can't explain and describe some the things that they did to us but it definitely was helpful and I learned alot about what to do in many different situations. I truly feel trained and know what to say and how to deal with terrorist attack, kidnappings, robbery's, government issues of getting into closed countries and other extreme situation!

Day 46: Friday, December 5th- Worship in small group, and then time with Elbert with group B! Then a long seven hours of Contingency Training! Each night I was exhausted from the stress of the day and learning during contingency time. So I went to bed earlier.

Day 47: Saturday, December 6th- Our last day of Contingency training as Group B! It was hard to get up on a Saturday but I knew that it was really great training. As soon as we graduated from our Contingency Training I was excited to see my friends I hadn't seen in a long time. But as soon as I was about to hang out with them and go to dinner, I found out that Jeremy Taliaferro had arrived! He was one of the first Extreme Team members and helped start the Extreme Team. He was there to kick our butts into shape and help to prepare us for intense future of being on Extreme Team. Amy, Misty, Jess, Adam, and I were all the people that were going to be serving on the Extreme that were at our FPO Training. We all went out to eat at Chipotle with Jeremy, and then went back to his hotel. It was really good to talk about what really the Extreme Team was about and we were able to ask him ALOT of questions.

Day 48: Sunday, December 7th- We woke up early on a Sunday before house church to talk to Jeremy more about Extreme and the expectations of us. Then we had small group church, and ate lunch! Then we went back and talked with Jeremy until dinner and Cross-cultural Worship. It was good to share with Jeremy about how God called us all to Extreme Team and where we were spiritually! Cross-cultural worship was from the South Asia Region! Katie and Bernard led it and it was awesome! There was a little bit of dancing and an awesome time of prayer and laying hands on people in need.

Sunday, November 30

Week Six of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 35: Monday, November 24th- Today the Perkins talked with us about the persecuted church. It was really good and made alot of us cry. Then for lunch we had another mystery meal. It was Goulash from Hungry and I LOVED it! I ate alot of noodles. Then after lunch we heard more about the persecuted church. Then I had my entrust meeting, so now I have a bank account with them and will get all my paychecks with them now. Then Amy Givens, Brittany, Sarah and I went to Wendy's for dinner! It was awesome! Then we went to the gym and hung out.

Day 36: Tuesday, November 25th- Worship with small group in the morning and we talked about what we were going to do for thanksgiving. Then we went to the kgc and heard more about the persecuted church. Then after lunch a lady came and talked to all the girls about Women Health Issues on the mission field. The lady that was talking reminded me of one of the nuns in sister act! I was not really focused in this meeting because I was upset about some relationship problems. But it was a funny session while all the women. Then we had our last language session with Greg and watched some silly culture videos. Then a group of us went to Chick fa lay, and then went to Walmart. Kerri, Jess, Amy and I and we shopped for warm clothes for Washington DC, and all the things we needed to cook for thanksgiving. It was fun!

Day 37: Wednesday, November 26th- This morning Steppie, Brittany, and I took Martha to the airport and comforted because her grandfather died. It was really good to encourage her and pray with her. Then we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant and took her to the airport. Then we made it back in time for regional meeting. Then after that we had our last Church Planting Movement Wrap Up meeting with Elbert Smith. Then I went and prayed with Steppie a really long time, and read scripture with her. Then it was time and it was just eating me up.....I had to talk to Ellen about what was going on. I felt like she hated me, and so we talked and prayed together, and it was really good. Then Amy, Kerri, Miss Patty, and I practiced and acted out the story of the good Samaritan, and Martha and Mary. It was alot of fun, and Amy and I took turns being Jesus and telling the story.

Day 38: Thursday, November 27th- We told our stories in the morning in small group and then went to lunch in the cafe. It was okay. Then I talked on the phone for a long time in the afternoon. Then started cooking for our big regional Thanksgiving Day Dinner! The food was great, we had alot of fun together and just enjoyed one another. Then we watched Santa Clause with Tim Allen and went to bed.

Day 39: Friday, November 28th- Washington DC Baby!!!

Day 40: Saturday, November 29th- I slept in really late till 10:30 and then went to lunch and to Bass Pro Shop and Gander Mountain with Kerri, Jess, and Misty. I bought rain pants and a fire starter. Then I went to a old dinner with Dave, Jill, Brittany, and Courtney. Then just the girls went to Starbucks and talked a really long time together. Then we went back to the kgc and talked alot more and then went to bed.

Day 41: Sunday, November 30th- Worship in small group, and Misty shared the story of Zachezuis, and Jess, Ellen and I acted it out. I was Zachezuis of course. Then the Constantes shared there testimonies, and Michael talked a long time and Rebekah cried. It was really great!

Witnessing in Washington DC!!!

Day 39: Friday, November 28th-

This day was CRAZY!!!! And I loved it! The entire orientation group headed up in tour buses on a mission to explore DC, meet some people from the country where we will serve, pray, and spread love. When we first arrived my group for the day decided to take part with some other groups in going to a large catholic church there. We went and walked around in the church and it was a gorgeous church with ornate architecture and detailed murals and mosaics throughout. But it almost gave me a sick feeling at my stomach because there were people praying to saints and there were mostly statues of Mary and praise to here rather than to God and to Christ. While there we sat and began to pray for the people who were part of this idle/saint worship and also the misinterpretation of Mary within the catholic church. Amy and I meet some nuns, and were able to talk to them about what we believe as Christians, then we realized everyone was waiting for us to go and eat some lunch.

After we left the church we journeyed across town to go to a Peruvian restaurant called "El Pollo Rico" or "The Rich Chicken". We had a delicious meal of chicken and steak fries! I had expected it to be a sit-down type restaurant but it was more like a fast-food place with a really small menu, but it was very tasty so we all enjoyed ourselves. I love the drink Inca because it reminds me of Fanta. I can't wait to drink it everyday when I am in Peru. Then Ellen, Misty, Amy and I decided to branch off from the South American group and start seeing the sights. It was fun trying to figure out the subways and get around but we made it to the Washington memorial. But before we got there I said, "man this day is about sharing with people when is that going to happen?" No one really responded.

Then we started to run up this little hill and I saw that it would be a great place for a group picture, so I turned to these 4 guys standing there and asked them to take a picture of us. They did and it was a great picture! :) Then we noticed that these guys had a french accents, and we asked them where they were from. They said they were from Quebec, and I started to say everything I knew in French, and then Misty said the phrase from Moulin Rouge, "Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir", and I said Misty don't say that, that means will you sleep with me in French. By this point Amy had already started talking to one of the guys about Jesus and said that we were Christians. As soon as we meet them my heart started to beat really fast and I knew that this is why we were in DC, and so I said a really quite prayer to God for him to give us the words to say. I also God to give us an opportunity to share with them. And so it was Misty, Ellen and I talking to these three other guys. They said well are you all virgins because you are Christians. Then I don't know why I said this but responded right away with yes, and then so did Ellen. Misty then said you know I am not a virgin but I used to be into drugs, alcohol, and sex but realized that those were things that can't bring joy and love to life, and that ONLY Jesus Christ can. Then we learned after great conversation with these guys that Alex was atheist, and the other two guys were catholic. They asked us about what we believed and it was just a powerful time that the Holy Spirit worked through us and gave us the words to say to these guys. I asked Alex what he believed and shared that life was just something we must live to the fullest and then I asked him well what happens after you die, and he said nothing its just over. Then we were sharing some more and talking some more and then Alex looked back at me like he was a little confused, and said, "You know I am afraid to die because I don't know where I am going to go, and it's cool that you know where you are going to go". Then we shared with him that it is only through Jesus we know where we are going to go after we die. Then we talked alittle bit with the two Catholic guys about how we don't have to go through the priest or Mary to talk to God but we can talk to Him directly. So it was really cool to share and plant some seeds with these guys. So please be praying for these three guys we shared with as well as the guy Amy shared with. Then after talking with them a really long time we went and saw the Lincoln Memorial, and then rushed back to the Union Station so we wouldn't miss the 5pm departure time.

Week Five of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 28: Monday, November 17th- In the morning we had T4T (Training for trainers). It was actually really boring, but I really liked what we were talking about. They were teaching us how to teach Bible stories, and then have the people we are teaching it to repeat it back to us. Then in the afternoon we went to the meetings about taxes and payroll. It was boring as well, and was kind of a long day of meetings. Then after supper they asked us to have family church with our roommates. So Amy and I got really excited and had family Worship together. She brought communion and it was funny. Then we had Church for 4 hours and just shared about what God is teaching us and how we can independently pray for each other. Then Amy was sharing with me about how she wanted to fast but didn't know and wasn't sure. Then after praying and talking about it we felt like God was telling us to fast together and keep each other accountable. This was a really awesome time with Amy!

Day 29: Tuesday, November 18th- This was morning we had worship in our small groups and then learned about Bible Storing in the kgc. Right before lunch I talked with a friend and confronted him on something. It was so clear that the Lord wanted me to talk to him and God even confirmed it through friends and circumstances. I am such a firm believer in encouraging other believers in love about convictions. Then Amy and I went into a room for lunch time and just prayed and gave up so many things to God, and it was amazing. Then after lunch it was Group A's shot time. Then again during dinner time we had such precious times with the Lord and encouraged one another, and grew so close to God and each other.

Day 30: Wednesday, November 19th- This morning I woke up and was feeling terrible and got in the hot shower, and blacked out. It was really rough and I thought about not fasting anymore but I felt the Lord just telling me that He was going to take care of me. I shared with Amy as soon as I got to small group what had happened and she went and got juices for me. Amy is such a blessing and I have learned so much from her about Lord and how to live for Him. Then I shared my testimony that morning in small group and really loved doing that. Then we went into the kgc and learned more about Bible Storing. Then for lunch time Amy and I went into the small auditorium and just laid down and prayed to God about Him giving us strength and relying on Him for everything. This week really has been hard for me because I feel like I am not myself because of not being able to be an energetic with people and crazy. But God has made it clear to me that it just something else I get to give up to Him. This night was awesome because our cross cultural worship team did an English worship service, and it was so good to spend hours just praising God's name through song.

Day 31: Thursday, November 20th-We had worship in our small group in the morning and then had language with Greg Holden in the kgc. Then before lunch member care came and talked to us about conflict and how to deal with it in a Christian way. Then for lunch we got a packed lunch and were suppose to take it to our small groups and talk about conflict. It was hard for Amy and I to watch people eat but was a blessing to give up food for the Lord, and surrender to Him once again. The conflict session was about forgiveness and dealing with confrontation, and it made me think about Ellen and the things we had been dealing with. Ellen is one of my close friends here, and I love her so much but we are TOTALLY opposites. We both have completely different personalities, and there have been many times we have had to deal with some issues. But it is so cool that God is number one in both of our lives and we both want to work it out so that He can be glorified in our relationship with each other. Then after lunch we went back to language class.

Day 32: Friday, November 21st- This was the first morning I have ever eaten breakfast, and it was good. Amy and I went together and prayed and then went and ate for the first time. It was kind of funny because we both were very hunger and silly. And we should have only eaten a little bit to ease our way back into it but we didn't and had stomachs later. We then had language with Greg Holden in the morning and then shots after lunch. This night we went out with our region to Red Robin and it was alot of fun. I sat with Jessica Sorrel and then we all went back to the play Cranium. It was alot of fun to hang out with our region and get close to everyone going to south America. Gabriel is a 20 month old kid that I always play with and have gotten close to him and have bonded with him.

Day 33: Saturday, November 22nd- I slept in and then went to lunch. Then I went and acted for the commissioning video for Kyle. The filming took about 3 hours but was alot of fun! Then Steppie, Brittany and I went to Chili's for dinner and were there a really long time talking. I love those girls!

Day 34: Sunday, November 23rd- We had Small group church in the moring and it was really good. Then after church I ate lunch and then practiced for the worship service that night. The North American Middle East Cross Cultural Worship Service started at 6pm, and there was Arabic songs and prayers. Then there was a the Creation to Christ play. I was the demon in it, and I wore black pants with a black huddie. I really do love acting and really got into my part. After the service an Mk friend, names Emily said that I did a good job because she really did hate me in the play and was frustrated with my character. Then I went to another Mexican restaurant with some friends after the service.

Week Four of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 21: Monday, November 10th- Elbert Smith led us in the morning with a devotion. Then someone came up to me to be in a skit for the Anthropology Session. The skit was kind of funny because it was about a missionary coming to a tribe and being shocked by the tribal customs. It was really short. The guy who talked about Anthropology was very good and I learned alot about what it really means to study different cultures. He talked about Africa alot and we learned how to talk in the "African click" language. Then for lunch we had our first special meal. It is kind of a mystery before you go to lunch because we were not sure what kind of food we were going to eat. We go to lunch and wait for our whole table to get there and then pray together, and act like we are eating in a different country and then pray for the country and talk about how we can relate to the country. Then after lunch we could choose to what meeting to go to, and I choose to go to the rural anthropology session. It was fun because it was the same speaker I went to before lunch and he passes out candy for answering questions correctly. Then for dinner there was noodles and after dinner I went to the KGC and watched One Tree Hill with Ellen. It took us a long time to finish one episode because I love talking to people that come in, and don't want to ignore them.

Day 22: Tuesday, November 11th- In the morning we had small group, and I love this time to just hang out with our region and grow closer. Then we went to the KGC and talked about Church Planting Movement Contextualization. Then I was asked to be in a panel with all the Mks and talk about our experiences. It was fun and I definitely like to share my heart and be real with people about my experiences as a missionary kid. Then afterwards I talked with some friends more about my experiences and they asked me questions about how they can be better aunt and uncles on the mission field. Group A had there shots and so we just hung out for the rest of the day.

Day 23: Wednesday, November 12th-Today was a really awesome learning day. In the morning we went to small group and then we could choose which worldview workshop we wanted to go to. Alot of my friends and I are going to different tribes and so I went to that session. Dean taught it and it was really good. We watched a video about spirits in the villages and talked about what people believe in the tribes. It made me think alot about the way people in the villages are going to think. Then there was another special lunch in the cafe. Then after lunch we talked more about tribal beliefs.

Day 24: Thursday, November 13th- Small group in the morning then CPM Multiplication with Elbert Smith. Then right before lunch the nurses came and talked to us about Healthy Living on the mission field. Alot of the things they talk about are really intense precautions that I have never really heard of. Then for lunch we ate with our region, and it is always great to see Amanda. We also got to meet Forest, who is our new regional director. Then after lunch he shared with us about where he has worked and a little bit about his wife. She was not there because she was sick. Then we went around and shared really fast about what it really was that called each one of us to be a missionary.

Day 25: Friday, November 14th-Small group in the morning, and then more CPM Applications with Elbert Smith. Then a man and his wife came in and talked about culture shock and how to deal with it, and saying goodbye. He is really funny and is easy to listen to. Then for lunch we ate with our small group some pizza and talked about culture shock. Then after lunch was our first day of shots, and I was kind of scared. I hate needles, but Aunt Sandi did mine and it was totally fine.

Day 26: Saturday, November 15th- I was going to sleep in today but ended up eating up early to go and watch Kyle run a marathon. He did so good, and it was really fun to run around Richmond and cheer him on. It was a little frustrating to get to the finish line and then have to run the race and try to find him. But it all worked out in the end. Then afterwards we all went to Red Robin and it was really late by the time we ate. So the meal was amazing. I sat next to Country and Jess and we were being really silly. I kept stuffing my face with this amazing juicy burger, and they just laughed at me. Then we went to blockbuster and they all went in to find movie but Jess, Jill and Courtney and I stayed in the car and chatted. I have been getting close to Jessica Sorrel and she is going to Peru, I love her!

Day 27: Sunday, November 16th-Today we had church with our small group and was really good. Then at night time Jacinda and I were in charge of the Latin American Cross Cultural Worship service. It always is stressful when you are in charge of something. Everything went really good. So after lunch we meet with the worship band and Jasmine was amazing helping get all that together. Then after practicing we worked out the details and was ready for the service. I didn't really eat dinner because it was kind of gross. Then everyone started coming in to the service and we started a little later because that is Latin culture. Then we started off with Elbert explaining in Spanish what a Latin American service would be like. Then we sang Cadena de Coritos. Then Josh, an Mk from Argentina read a verse in Spanish, and the we sang Yo tengo un amigo que me ama (I have a friend that loves me), then sang Bienvenidos a la casa de Cristo (Welcome to the house of Christ) while people greeted each other. Then half way through the service we planned a black out. We wanted it to be like in South America and wanted everyone to just keep praising God and not care about technical details. Then the lights came back on and it was kind of cool. Then we sang Somos El Pueblo de Dios (We are the people of God), and then the Montana (Mountain) song. Then there was a time of testimonies in Spanish and Elbert was the MC and translated into English. Then we sang Tu Fidelidad (Your Fatihfulness), and I LOVE that song in Spanish. Then Edmundo Perez gave the whole sermon in Spanish with no translator. It was really good even though I didn't really have a clue what he was saying. Then after the service I went to eat Mexican food with Martha, Ellen and Brittany. I love them so much and love just sharing with them. We talked about how close we were and how we wanted to make a friendship quilt that traveled the world. Like the sister hood of the traveling pants, we were going to make the sister hood of the traveling quilt. Then we went back to the ILC and dropped Ellen off at the kgc, and then Martha, Brittany and I stole Steppie and went down to the lake and sat in the car and talked about our past relationships.

Saturday, November 22

So what about. . . Conflict?

There is no such thing as a relationship without conflict. Conflict is a part of life. It exists as a reality of any relationship, and is not necessarily bad. In fact a relationship with no apparent conflict may be unhealthier than one with frequent conflict. Conflicts are critical events that can weaken or strengthen a relationship. Conflicts can be productive, creating deeper understanding, closeness and respect, or they can be destructive, causing resentment, and hostility. How the conflicts get resolved, not how many occur, is the critical factor in determining whether a relationship will be healthy or unhealthy, friendly or unfriendly, deep or shallow. Conflicts run all the way from minor unimportant differences to critical fights. There are conflicts of needs, wants, preferences, interests, opinions, beliefs and values.

The understanding and use of power is rooted in the basic need for self-worth. Used for selfish ends of domination and control, power is a distorted form of self-affirmation. It represents the attempt to enforce our values and needs on others. But many times my own values and needs are themselves in conflict.

There must be faith that chaos, anger, confusion, and doubt can be overcome and that conflict can bring friends toward reconciliation. There are two things we need to remember about who we are as the christians. First, we must remember that by the very act of creation, God gives each individual unique value and worth. Faith in this gift allows each friend to affirm his or her sense of self-worth which enables us to engage in the constructive utilization of conflict. Second, we must remember not only to trust each other, but also to trust that God uses even our disagreements to further the work of the church and our spiritual growth.

Friday, November 21

A Poem by James Yen

Go to the people.
Live among the people.
Learn from the people.
Plan with the people.
Work with the people.
Start with what the people know.
Build on what the people have.

Tuesday, November 18

1 Corinthians 13: A Guide to Culture

If I wear the national dress and understand the culture and all forms of etiquette, and if I copy all mannerisms so that I could pass for a national but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor, and if I spend my energy without reserve, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love endures long hours of language study, and is kind to those who mock his accent; love does not envy those who stayed home; love does not exalt his home culture, is not proud of his national superiority.
Does not boast about the way we do it back home, does not seek his own ways, is not easily provoked into telling about the beauty of his home country, does not think evil about this culture;
Love bears all criticism about his home culture, believes all good things about this new culture, confidently anticipates being at home in this place, endures all inconveniences.
Love never fails: but where there is cultural anthropology, it will fail; where there is contextualization it will lead to syncretism; where there is linguistics, it will change.
For we know only part of the culture and we minister to only part.
But when Christ is reproduced in this culture, then our inadequacies will be insignificant.
When I was in Asia, I spoke as a Thai, I understood as a Thai, I thought as a Thai; but when I left Thailand I put away Asian things.
Now we adapt to this culture awkwardly; but He will live in it intimately: now I speak with a strange accent, but he will speak to the heart.
And now these three remain: cultural adaptation, language study, and love.
But, the greatest of these is LOVE.

Monday, November 17

Ellen's FPO Pictures that I stole from her to post!!!

Jessica Dawn Sorrell and I in the clouds! (we were playing on Ellen's computer)

Ellen and I just cruising around in Brittany's car! I love her!

All my close girlfriends went ice skating, and took a picture and tagged me in it.

There was a beautiful rainbow out one day at the ILC!

Here is the little lake at the ILC!

Tuesday, November 11

My New Home!

I have been thinking about the future and came to the conclusion that I have lived in 3 countries over my lifetime. Now I get to experience a new country for the next 2 years! Peru here I come! Here is a map of my new home sweet home...

Monday, November 10

Journeyman Secrets!

This picture is toooo top secret to talk about! Let's just say that Journeyman from all over the world know about such things!

Cheesecake Factory!

A bunch of us girls went to Cheesecake Factory for birthdays! It was alot of fun and here are some pictures of the evening!

My prayer Card Photo Shot!

Here are some of the pictures that my friends took of me for my Prayer Card! I love the Fall leaves! What do you think?

Week Three of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 14: Monday, November 3rd- Today was doctrine day! It was really interesting and I learned a lot about the baptist faith, especially when different controversial issues in the church were discussed. The speaker was very engaging through the use of stories and jokes.

Day 15: Tuesday, November 4th- Today we focused on learning about different doctrines and it was interesting. After lunch we learned about servant leadership and how to serve each other and the body of Christ.

Day 16: Wednesday, November 5th- In the morning sessions we talked about the definition of a church, and what it means to use prayer through church planting. There are so many ways to plant a church but it all just depends on the culture. In the afternoon we did alot of different activities with smaller groups. During this meeting they talked about when going into a new community there is going to be a person called the "man of peace". This person is that is excited to see you and wants to learn from you. It is important for a missionary to find this person so we can relate to the culture, and minister to the people. Tonight was also volleyball night, and the gym was packed because Conference was going on. There are alot of boys, and there was one boy that was really cocky and silly. I played for 4 hours in the gym. I just LOVE sports! Then we also played a fast game of basketball too.

Day 17: Thursday, November 6th- Today I studied about many different churches in Acts, and it was awesome! We broke up into small groups and learn about one church in Acts, and then came back together as a huge group and compared the different ways Paul planted churches in the Bible. It was really neat and I learned alot. Then after lunch we talked about Church Planting Movements and the challenges of them.

Day 18: Friday, November 7th- Today LJ came and shared with us about Church planting and extreme team to the whole group. It was so good and everyone just sat there completely quite with their mouths open. Then afterwards Amy, Misty and I all prayed together for our future and all the challenges we are going to face on the field. I cried because LJ was really truthful about the struggles we are going to face and the reality of the struggles. Then after lunch we broke up into groups to hear about different kinds of Church planting movements. I went to hear Amanda Diperio about church planting in the jungle. It was really relaxed and she talked also about spiritual warfare, and what it's like to share Christ with people you are going to be farming next to in the jungle. After the meetings were done we hung out in the hall and wrestled a little, it was funny. Then Jess, Courtney and I walked around for a long time taking prayer card pictures! Then all the South American single girls went to Kroger's and picked up dinner and went to Amanda's Apartment. Katie, Ellen, Kerri, Misty, Jacinda, Amy, Jess, Ginni and I are all the single girls from our Region that are going to be going to South America! It was fun we talked about all the things we are excited about and scared about. Amanda is really awesome and doesn't seem 40, she seriously acts like she is 30! But also so mature.

Day 19: Saturday, November 8th- It was really hard to wake up and do ESL training on a Saturday for 7 hours was kind of hard because it was such a beautiful day out. But I am certified now, and tried to work on my prayer card during the sessions. Then as soon as it was done Emily, Evan and I went over to the Hammacks house for pizza and to hang out with Courtney. It was fun, and we talked about Thailand, Hong Kong, and Mississippi Memories. Then when we got back to the ILC, I hung out with Brittany in Quad 31 for a little bit and then went to bed.

Day 20: Sunday, November 9th- Today I woke up and went to church an hour early which turned out to be awesome because I got to have time with Jesus and go over my Acts chapters. Then I talked with Katie, my accountability partner, and Jacinda before our whole small group got there. We learned songs in Spanish that Rebekah led us in, and then sung songs in English as well. Then we spent the rest of the time studying Acts. It was really awesome our small group really shares with each other and discusses some great topics. Misty and Ellen were suppose to share their testimonies but never got a chance because we were studying Acts, which was fine. Then I had lunch and then had a meeting with the band for next Sunday for the South American cross-cultural worship. It was really excited to see how it is all going to come together. I'm really excited but also a little anxious about the service for everything to work out. Then I went and played Frisbee golf, and Hannah was my partner for the tournament. She is so good, and we had alot of fun! Then I had dinner really fast and then went to help get ready for the African Cross Cultural Worship Service. It was really neat the way it all turned out. In the service the kids came in singing in an African language to the song "we are walking in light of God"! Then there were alot of songs with dances, and for the offering we had to dance up and put the money in the basket. Then the sermon was in an African language done by Mike who is going to Zimbabwe. It was really awesome. Then I hung out with the girls around the campus and walked and talked for awhile. Then we went to Steppie's room and talked for a while. Ellen, Martha, Steppie, Brittany, Amanda, and I!

Wednesday, November 5

Extreme Team All The Way!!!

Well as you all know I am doing Extreme Team! Let's just say that I am doing it all for Jesus! Here is a little picture of how I have been training. God is Enough! Yes that is a baby mouse! :) And yes I ate it ALL!

Monday, November 3

Week Two of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 6: Saturday, October 25th- It was a blessing to sleep in today. After I got up I went out to the field and played flag football. I am still trying to get to know people, so I wasn't as intense as I usually am. But it still was alot of fun. After football I went to lunch and then went to the computer lab and caught up on emails and blogging. Then I had a worship meeting for my ministry team that I signed up for! We all get to do a ministry while we are here and I am on the Cross Cultural Worship Team. We led every Sunday night service. It's cool because we are not leading typical American worship services but doing a different country or culture each week and how they worship. So it was fun to brainstorm and plan about different ways people are worshiping all over the world. Then for dinner Lauren came and picked me up and we went to Chick fa lay for dinner with Erin Wolfe. As we were sitting there a bunch of my close friends for Training walked in and it was fun to see them. :) Then I went to Allissa's (Lauren's sisters) volleyball game downtown Richmond. It was really good to caught up with her hear about what God is doing in her life and was fun to share about my first week at Training.

Day 7: Sunday, October 26th- We had small group church in a Quad with our region. We sang 3 songs and then Adam, Jess, and Amy shared their testimonies. Then we read scripture and talked about it. We have such an awesome region and all get along so well. There are about 10 single girls and 3 couples. Then I just hung out that afternoon with friends and relaxed! Then that night was amazing. It was our mapping ceremony! We all went into a room with a map and took our pictures one by one and went up to a microphone by region and shared where we are going and how to pray for us, and then put our picture on where we are going. I shared that I am going to Peru, and doing Extreme Team and that everyone would pray for me to rely on God for everything here and training and while I'm in the jungle! Here are some pictures of the 263 people that are going to be serving God all over the world at this FPO! :)

Day 8: Monday, October 27th- Today the Jerry and Bobbie Rankin came in and shared about their missionary experiences on the field. They both are so cute and sweet! Everyone loved them. Then Jerry Rankin (the president) spoke to us about spiritual warfare. He told alot of crazy stories and was interesting to listen to. Then after dinner the IMB Women's Prayer Team got together and did a Ladies Tea for us. We all sat at different tables with one staff member sharing and talking with us. The vice presidents wife was at my table with Kelli, and Ellen as well. It was really encouraging. We went around and shared about things we can pray for each other about and then took a long time praying for the person on our right. I prayed for Kelli. Here was our invitation to the Ladies Tea!

Day 9: Tuesday, October 28th- In the Morning time Elbert Smith talks to us and does personal discipleship. It is always so good. We started going through the book of Acts! We use the SPECKA bible study method (Sin to confess, Promises claimed, Examples to follow, Command to obey, Knowledge to gain, and Application to life). We do one chapter at a time and today was the first chapter in Acts. Then Dr. Rankin spoke to us about spiritual warfare. His stories are always so good but the rest it's hard to stay awake for. Maybe I need to go to bed earlier. I always say that but it never happens. My lifestyle right now is classes during the day and hang out with friends at night. Today the Entrust lady came. I have to open up another bank account to get paid through the IMB. This meeting was boring.

Day 10: Wednesday, October 29th- Today we had time with Elbert in the morning again and studied Acts 2. I REALLY enjoy this time, and studying God's word here. Then Dr. Rankin spoke his last day of spiritual warfare. It is a huge eye opener for alot of people. We broke into our small groups after lunch and talked about different spiritual warfare questions. Then in the afternoon the nurses came and talked to us about Malaria and how to deal with it and what is it. Then we had a Goal development meeting. I had sat down with my accountability partner, and went through some of this before. Her name is Katie and she is going to Bolivia to work as a Spanish translator. Today was a long day of meetings but good. Then this night we all met in the gym and played volleyball. It was a ton of fun, there was music on and everyone was silly dancing. It was crazy how many people wanted to play and took a long time rotating people in. the Recreation team organized it and was fun! After everyone started leaving the gym some people got together to play basketball. I should have went to bed because I was tired and had alot on my mind about all the things we had learned during our meetings. But of course I didn't and had to play b-ball. I played terrible and then went back to the room and cried myself to sleep because I played so bad. I truly believe that there was alot of spiritual warfare going on and had a hard time closing my eyes to sleep.

Day 11: Thursday, October 30th- The next morning I woke up and told Misty about how I had a hard time sleeping. She said that she had a terrible time sleeping and didn't go to bed till really late as well. I really believe that Satan is trying to attack so many people here at training because we are going to be so effective on the mission field in the future serving God. This morning we studied Acts 3 with Elbert-Loved it! Then we talked about transition and grief in the morning. We heard a speaker and then broke into our small groups and shared about who we are going to be sad to say goodbye to. Alot of us girls cried but it was really good to understand each other and encourage each other. Then during lunch and after lunch the Regional Office came and they talked to us about things we needed to get done and what other questions we had. Our South American Region is so cool and we always all have so much fun together. Then this was one of the first nights that Kelli, Emily, and Kyle and I hung out and played cards and really got to know each other. Emily, Kyle and I are missionary kids and so we have a fun bond to each other.

Day 12: Friday, October 31st (HALLOWEEN!)- So today didn't feel like Halloween at all because we didn't dress up or go trick or treating. But it still was a really fun day. Mr. Holden talked to us about language and we did some lessons on different languages, and was funny. He really made some of us laugh alot. Then in the afternoon we had a talk on how to live healthy on the mission field. Then got out early today of meetings. Kelli told me that she would take me to Elbert's house for the Journeyman Supper with all the singles but then she forgot and took some other people. It hurt me really bad but then the Lord knew exactly what I needed because He brought another sweet friendship into my life to encourage me when I needed it. Then I rode with her to the dinner. Then I found out later that Kelli felt terrible and cried as well about being a bad friend so later that night we talked and got it all worked out. I think it made Kelli and I really close after that. The dinner at Elbert's was AWESOME, we all felt like we were being set up with each other and went around and shared how many years we wanted to on the mission field. Kirk and Rachel then took on the challenge of saying everyone names in the room. It was really impressive. But yeah we felt like we were all at an E-harmony meeting or something. Then we went back and played capture the flag on the campus. It was alot of fun. Emily and Kyle and I lay ed down in the playground so no one could see us for a little bit. It was a really cold night.

Day 13: Saturday, November 1st-Wow who would think that I would take classes on a Saturday. Well I got up and went to ESL class. It was extremely boring but I had fun with my friends playing dot to dot, and keeping each other awake. I wanted to get certified to maybe get a job in the future, or use it as a ministry tool, and some other reasons.

Day 14: Sunday, November 2nd- Then Sunday morning we got an extra hour of sleeping because of daylight savings time. We then had church with our small group! Our small group consists of all the people in our region, and so it's exciting to get close to people that we are going to be seeing occasional on the mission field! Then this afternoon we had a flag football tournment, and I was on a team with Kelli, Kyle, Emily, John David, Jess, and Amy. It was alot of fun and of course I was really intense about winning and playing hard. Then we went to the gym and played around for awhile. After dinner we had our first Cross Cultural Service, and it was an underground church service in China. Everything was really good. The kids were loud, and the singing was soft, and the message was totally in Chinese. So everyone was confused and just had to sit there and listen.

Saturday, October 25

My Training for the Mission Field!!!

FPO (Field Personel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 1: Monday, October 20th- Jon drove me to the airport at 5:00 in the morning! I was pumped! When I got there, I met a girl at the bus shuttle named Jacinda. I was funny because she was on both of my plan rides there. We went to get some food and then waited for the rest of the Missionaries to come in to take the shuttle out to the ILC!!! When we got there it felt like we were the first people there. But I checked in and meet some people and unpacked! It has been so much to meet so many different people going all over the world to serve Jesus!

Day 2: Tuesday. October 21st- I woke up and went out my building and saw 2 of my small group girls from conference! It was a great to reunite with these girls because we had been so close at the conference. At the conference we prayed together and really got close, so it was exciting to hear what the Lord had taught them while preparing to come to training. Then I mainly just hung out with friends all day and meet people! I meet Misty Boyett and she is the other girl doing Extreme Team! We spent alot of time hanging out and getting to know eachother! We also played ultimate frisbee and it was way fun! Then Amy Givens got here and she is just so silly and it was fun to caught up! We also went to the gym and played sports with a bunch of kids and families!

Day 3: Wednesday, October 22nd- This was the first day of meetings! Yipee! Alot of the talks were about what we are going to be doing and different rules and such on campus! This also was a funny day because the nurses came and shared about all the different shots we have to take to go overseas! Sandi Hammack was really funny! And they did funny skits about getting shots! Then they talked about Legal Affiars and I wanted to shot myself because it was boring! This night was fun because played 3 on 3 girls basketball in the gym! Brittany, Steppie, and Amy were on a team! Then me, Lee (who was in my small group), and Martha were on a team! I hang out with these girls alot and it's a fun athletic bond!

Day4: Thursday, October 23rd- This was an early day of 8:00am! This day they talked about Child Safety and being careful of molestation. It was really serious and we broke into small groups to discuss situations. Then after lunch our meeting was about Personal Evangelism. It was a good day but kind of long. Then we went to the gym and played volleyball and then basketball! It is so much to hang out and play sports! I feel like our group is a really athletic group and everyone loves to play sports! We also have 250 people here at our training including kids! It's a big group!

Day 5: Friday, October 24th- This was an awesome day of meetings! They talked about our personal walk with the Lord and how it is going to be the only thing that keeps us on the mission field! It was relayl good, and a really cute old couple shared. Then the rest of the day we had a silent spiritual retreat! It was awesome we grabbed a packed lunch and then went and spent 3 hours with God alone all over the campus! Then we shared for 3 hours about what God taught all of us! It was amazing and really encouraging! Then I went to the Vice Presidents house with a bunch of people and hung out with the President and Vice President and their wives! I talked to Bobbie Rankin (Presidents wife) a long time and it was realyl fun because they served in Thailand! Then when I got back we went bowling with like 30 single journeymen! It was really fun! Then I went back to hang out with the girls and talked! It was fun! :)

Sunday, February 3

One more step closer to Jesus

Graduating college is one of the most amazing feelings ever and one of the most stressful things ever! I was so happy and scared all at the same time. I feel like this is the part of life where I know everything, and everything will be worked out now that I am truly on my own. Wow! What was I thinking? No one told be about paying off loans, and finding a job. When I was a kid I thought that I would just get married and be in love and everything would be perfect like in the movies. I mean don't get me wrong I love life, and am happy where I am right now. But at the same time I didn't imagine life being like this at this age in life. Also this is just another milestone in my life that I am getting so much closer to be with Jesus! Do you ever think about that?

I have graduated college and am Free At Last! I'm free, I better get busy! Jesus is coming soon so I better get busy!

Sunday, January 13

Who am I?

Today I start a new journey of posting a little glimspe about who I am. There are so many details about each person God has created. Sometimes I am overwhelmed that God cares enought to knows every detail about us. So what is this blog about? Who am I? As Casting Crowns describes as
"I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind."
I am nothing but a person in time that wants to be used by God for His glory. I am yours, God! I am just a face in a crowd trying to make a difference. I like to describe it like the "Where's Waldo?" books, someone in the crowd....FIND ME! But the real question is "Who are you?" and "What are you doing to make a difference?"