Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Confessions Of A Former Busybody.

A significant theme in my life recently has been that of time. Perhaps it's because I just turned 20 and realized that mine here on Earth is moving quicker than I believed it to be. Or maybe it's a result of living in two different countries this year and seeing the differences in how it is spent. Whatever the reason, it's been a subject I continue to come back to. I am someone who values productivity greatly and as such believe in using it efficiently. Before my trip I was taking 5 classes, working two jobs (both as a nanny and photographer), serving as an intern through Celebration, leading a community group; all while fundraising and preparing to leave the U.S for two months. I was a glorified busybody without a moment to spare. Even worse, I was proud of that fact.

God began to change my perspective on my " productive lifestyle" within my first few weeks of being in Alajuelita. Life there moves in an altogether different way. Things are simpler, quieter, and more at ease. Although there was plenty to do, the business was of another variety. We were feeding the homeless and the hungry, praying over the sick or clothing children, teaching the Word, and sharing love. It was business with a purpose and with meaning. Everywhere I looked I could see the hand of God moving. The fruit of the labor being done was evident. More so, even in the midst of much responsibility, I found myself being drawn into moments of stillness and rest with Christ. During one team's stay, we had a moment of break before chapel. I went out to the gazebo for some quiet and a moment alone with him. As I sat there listening to music, I began to think of everything it had taken to get to that point. I pondered on the work that had been done, the serving opportunities I'd taken part in, and the accomplishments I had made.  Yet even as I was thinking over all of my efforts, I realized that something was missing. I couldn't find many of those intimate moments with my Savior in any of it. In the midst of that, I felt him speak directly to me, in a soft but stern voice:

"You've forgotten who I am, beloved."

What a statement, huh? It was one that completely stopped me in my tracks. It took a few minutes to sink in but when it did, I found myself heartbroken. I looked at all of the accomplishments I'd just been gloating over, now through the lens of this new revelation, and realized the error of my ways.  Because if I was being honest, I acted not on the motivation of being drawn closer to my maker, but out of unwittingly selfish ambitions. I found solace in being busy. I acted out of the best intentions but had forgotten my purpose. Yes, I loved God. Yes, I sought to please and worship him. But somewhere along the way I had traded the intimacy he craved with me for a sense of accomplishment. I spent hours working for the cause of Christ with few moments dedicated to knowing him. I felt as if, after months of him trying to catch my frantically wandering eyes, I was looking fully into his face for the first time. What I found there was not condemnation but peace; a calm I'd not experienced for a long time. During my stay I came to treasure those hours of rest with God because through them I was reminded of who he was. I also witnessed how he blessed the work I took part in when I made them a priority.

I'm finding myself relearning the same lesson I was taught in Alajuelita in the States. As soon as I landed, the life that I left here quickly met me. Within my first week I was planning on returning to my photography job, babysitting again, and attending wedding festivities all weekend. Those plans were thwarted by sudden sickness, though, so severe I ended up in the emergency room (twice). The past two weeks have been a time of recovery, where in I've found myself physically incapable of doing all that I'd like to. In essence, I've been forced to be still. In that stillness, though, I've been able to journal, read my Bible, and spend the time needed with God to process all that happened these past two months.

During this season of recuperation, I've come to fully appreciate and adhere to the Biblical principle of Sabbath. It is one frequently spoken of but often overlooked, even by myself. Throughout his entire ministry Jesus himself practiced Sabbath; he frequently abandoned the expectant crowds to go and have moments alone with the Father ( Mark 1:35,  Mark 6:45-46, Luke 4:42, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12). If we are to follow his example, then we should do the same. It may not seem practical in the midst of our rushed schedules to stop and to quiet ourselves, but it is a commandment we are specifically given by God ( Psalm 46:10). I think that the thing to remember is that our Father values our time just as much as we do. He requires Sabbath of us more for our benefit than anything. In our rest, we can focus not so much on the things that need to be done but who they are meant to be done for. This is the very purpose we were created for in the first place, to know and to love him first. Productivity is a good thing, but it's not the best thing.

 If you've found yourself living with a hectic calender, I would invite you to evaluate what or who you're striving for. What is the motivation for your business? Are you working tirelessly for Jesus Christ but neglecting restorative fellowship with him? If so, don't feel shamed, instead approach him and receive the peace that he freely offers. He's waiting to rest with you. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stolen property and Kept Faith.

On Saturday, the 6:8 staff all went to Jaco for a day of hanging out on the beach. It was a great time spent relaxing, talking, and enjoying the water together. Afterwards a group of us went to the Taco Bar for dinner. During the hour we spent there, two of our bags were stolen from the car that was sitting not even 50 feet away from where we were eating. My book bag was one of the ones taken; along with my camera, journals, Costa Rican phone, make-up, money, and other personal belongings.

Once we realized they were missing, we quickly tried to figure out just how someone could have gotten into the vehicle. The doors were locked and there was no trace of forced entry. There's a history of robbery in this particular area of Costa Rica because of the great number of tourists who frequent it. More than likely the thieves were professionals and experts at stealing. They took our belongings quietly and swiftly as our backs were turned, without us even noticing.

My immediate reaction was shock and disbelief. All at once I was angry and heartbroken. I felt violated and disrespected in a way I've never experienced before. I found myself standing in the middle of the parking lot, sobbing. As the others circled around me to pray, I reached a breaking point. All I wanted to do was pack my suitcases, get on a plane, and go back to the United States.

Anyone who has met me knows that my camera isn't simply an inanimate object in my eyes. It is the source for my art-form, my voice when I can't find the words to speak. Both home and here in Costa, photography serves as my ministry. Through it, I am able to see the beauty in the world and show it to others. Each of the photos held within it had significance and meaning. My writing, too, is a way that I find and share God. Those journals contained a month's worth of thoughts poured out onto the pages; they were filled with memories and moments from here I'd hoped to never forget. To have both snatched away in one fell swoop was a hard slap to the face and spirit.

After we talked to the owners of the restaurant and went to the police station to file a report, we still had a two hour drive before making it back home. Amanda turned on some music and all of us began singing together and worshipping God. His presence was thick and tangible, even in the midst of a car crammed full of gringos who'd just had a long, discouraging night. In the middle of one of the songs, he told me to read these passages in Philippians:

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the Gospel, so that is has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is for Christ. Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the message fearlessly. 
Philippians 1:12-14

For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus and do not put confidence in the flesh-although I once had confidence in the flesh too. If anyone else has grounds for confidence, I have more: circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, persecuting the church;as to righteousness that is in the law, blameless. But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ. 
Philippians 3:3-8

I prayed that my attitude would mirror Paul's. A man who realized everything that he endured, including imprisonment, was not without purpose because it furthered the Gospel. More so, it increased the faith in those who looked to him for guidance. God used Paul's willingness to abandon his abilities more than the talents themselves. His works transcended worldly influence because he placed his hope in the eternal. I've never been thrown in prison for what I believe or persecuted for the same reason; but I have experienced the sting of loss and know what it means to feel helpless. I've had to learn to place something I hold dear into the hands of Christ, trusting that in the end it will amount to more than I could ever produce. I hope that my reaction to this circumstance ( and any other I meet) would encourage others to trust him more as well; to declare boldly that no matter what our faith requires of us, it is never done in vain. 

I may never see any of my stuff again and there's a chance I will never know exactly why this happened. What I do know is this: God is still sovereign and worthy of my praise. He didn't cause the pain I'm feeling because he is not the author of suffering. He can, however, turn this somewhat bleak situation meant to inflict harm into something that accomplishes his purposes. I trust in the intentions of my Father because I realize they are for good and never for evil. I believe that through those individuals stealing the things I cherish most, he is going to do greater works than I can comprehend. I have forgiven them and I love them, in spite of myself. I pray they would see the love of Jesus Christ in the photos I've taken or read the words he's inspired and that somehow a seed is planted and a life is changed. 

I have no idea what will come of this but I have faith it will be something beautiful. Even if having my camera stolen only results in my being drawn closer to God, it was worth it. For now, I am thankful for the things I've been given. I have food to eat, clothes to wear, and friends who offer endless support. Most importantly, I have a Savior who holds fast to his promises. This is enough. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Picture's Worth (Part Two)

One of my favorite things in the world to do is capture a very special moment in time through a photograph. It brings me such a sense of purpose and accomplishment, knowing that the memory of that event is forever frozen in a visible form. The picture below is an example of one of these moments. The woman's name within it is Maria, she and her family live in a small community here named Wan Pablo. I've known Maria, her husband, and her children since my previous trip to Alajuelita in 2010. They are regulars at Celebracion Igelsia and have developed a relationship with 6:8. Just last month, Cross Creek constructed a home for the family, and I got the chance to go on the day that they received the keys. Even better, I got to watch as Baby Joshua took his first steps in his new home, snapping the photo just in time.

Aside from being something that makes me genuinely happy to look at, it represents an important lesson for me. The week after it was taken, Dan and I took the Celebration Team to visit the same community. When we arrived, we found Maria ( who has a history of addiction/alcoholism) completely inebriated. From what I understood, jealousy had broken out within the community over the house and fights took place as a result. This paired with other traumatic events involving her family led Maria to a place of fear and distress; which eventually brought her back to the substances she depended on for comfort. The team prayed over her, did our best to offer comfort, and moved on to the community center to interact with the kids. On the way, Joshua's sister Celeste gave him to me to carry. He was crying and I noticed that not only was his diaper full but that it smelled awful too.  It had to have been that way for at least two hours, mostly because Maria wasn't in the right state of mind to change him. Though I'm not a mother yet, nothing in me could allow a baby to sit in his own dirty diaper. So I proceeded to gather a couple girls from the group, go to a local store to buy a new one, and we changed him right there. While it was an incredible moment because God used us to demonstrate his love, it was also discouraging for me personally.

To be honest, it was difficult for me not to feel angry with Maria after that afternoon. I had witnessed instances of God moving in her life, I knew that she was aware of the truth and what was right. Yet there was no difference in her behavior, instead she turned back to old vices and behaviors. What's worse, she neglected her own child to do so. For the next few days, she and Joshua were on my mind a lot. I prayed for Christ to renew not only her heart but mine as well.

One thing I have been struggling with significantly during my time in Costa is remembering that it God's place to change each individual I meet. Not mine. This fact isn't so easy for me to accept. I'm a nurturer and a fixer, to a fault at times. When I see someone who is hurting, I ache for them to be comforted. When I see something that is broken, I long to mend it. It's just a part of my nature.

I've realized how great the need to abandon this tendency is for me; as a missionary, Christ follower, and human being. Even when Jesus walked the Earth, he didn't take it specifically into his own hands to change people. Instead he loved them and felt compassion for them, while telling the message of the Gospel to all who would listen. He never took on the responsibility of their reaction to that truth but simply presented it and allowed it to speak for itself. He trusted in the one who sent him, knowing that though he planted seeds it was the Father who brought the harvest.  The Son of God found his strength and constancy in the realization that ultimately Abba was the one working through him and transforming hearts.  I am beginning to do the same.

That Sunday Maria not only came to Celebracion Iglesia but also went up to the alter for prayer. The same week, she brought all three of her kids to the feeding center and youth service. This past Saturday, she attended a conference intended specifically for women, and I got to help prayer over little Joshua. These three separate occurrences prove that in some small way she desires to move forward again instead of back. So it's true that this photo is representative of a hard lesson about faith I've been learning. But it is also a source of hope. I truly believe that Maria wants to get clean. I know she is capable of being a good mother to her children and longs to do so. More so, I trust that God is working within her and bringing things to fruition in his time, not my own. Every time I look at it, I remember this and surrender her to him once again.

Baby Joshua taking his first steps in his new home.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Picture's Worth (Part One)

This week 6:8 Ministries hosted the Celebration Sub30 team and I had the privilege of being able to help lead them with Amanda, Brian, and Dan. Although it was a quick four day venture, God accomplished great things in and through this group. Their trip consisted mostly of children’s ministry, where in we would go to different communities and play with the kids there. While this doesn’t seem like a “typical” way to share the Gospel, it means so much to the local youth. Most of them grow up in homes where either one or both parents are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They have absent fathers and mothers who sell themselves to put food on the table. Some even live with family who abuse them physically and sexually. Simply going to color, draw with sidewalk chalk, play soccer, blow bubbles, and jump rope speaks volumes. Offering love through hugs and holding hands is significant because in most cases they don’t have anyone to show them affection.

One day in particular we went to a neighborhood the ministry just recently started working in called New Millennium. It’s one of the most impoverished communities in Alajuelita and among the roughest. On the way there, one of the girls from the team asked me to hold a photo to take with us. It was of Jessica (who had previously been to Costa) and a little boy named Kevin, she hoped to deliver it to him if we happened to find him. While praying for a family in the area, two kids noticed the picture in my hands, immediately recognizing him and pointing it out. When I asked where he was or if he lived there, however, I was given no response and let it go.

Flash forward an hour, the team and staff are interacting with kids and I hear someone call a little boy Kevin. I waved him over to see if he was the one in the photo, pulling it from my purse. The moment he saw himself in it, he began grinning and laughing happily, then promptly snatched it out of my hands. While he quickly ran off and away my only thought was “ What have I done? I just made the biggest rookie mistake possible. I’m an idiot. The end.” As the group and I walked up to him, though, I realized this was the opposite of the truth. God turned a potential crisis into a moment of joy, for both Kevin and the team. We found him sitting on the sidewalk smiling at the picture in his hands and staring in amazement.

In Costa Rica, you rarely find individuals with photos of themselves. Most only receive them for special occasions such as first communion and other significant life events. So it’s completely possible that this was the first picture of himself he’d seen, let alone been given, at least at his current age. It was amazing to witness his reaction, to know how much of an impact something as simple as a photograph can have. It was a small piece of paper, a tiny sentiment, but the fact that it was his to keep meant more than even I understood.

As a photographer, this experience spoke to me and taught me a lesson I won’t soon forget. As a follower of Jesus, it convicted me to walk in the calling I’ve been given and use the talent God has placed in me for his glory.  I hope to use my art form in a way that brings hope and speaks truth, by observing the reality of what goes on here and capturing it for others to see. Kevin has inspired me to find more ways to use my passion for photography during my time here and to bless others through my camera, whatever that might look like.

Here's Kevin holding his photo. Before we left, he told us he planned to hang it on his bedroom wall.  How adorably sweet is that?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Week One.

It’s difficult to believe that I’ve already been in Costa Rica for over a week now.  I would compare my first 10 days here to diving in head first into rushing water. When I got to the team house last Monday, I had just enough time to put my suitcases in the room, greet everyone, and then immediately leave with a team for San Jose. My entire experience here so far has followed that pattern, busy and fast paced. There’s always something to do and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Although I have (thankfully) been given moments of rest, I’m grateful for the way things are constantly moving.

We had the OCC team fly in from Jacksonville the day after I arrived so I’ve spent the majority of this week with them. My purpose here as “ short term staff” is to lead each team in different forms of outreach within the communities of both Alajuelita and Escazu. For this group it consisted of children’s ministry, teaching ESL ( English as a Second Language) to students, running the church thrift store, visiting a women’s rehabilitation center, and praying for local families.

I’m continually amazed by the tension between the beauty of Costa Rica and the brokenness it contains. Living here, I see God’s glory all around, through the lush green terrain and tall mountains. Yet I also see drug addiction, alcoholism, legalized prostitution, and different levels of poverty. The people themselves are gorgeous in appearance, but underneath they carry wounds that are deep and in desperate need of healing. In so many ways it is a portrait of humanity itself. All of creation is made up of the artistry of the maker intertwined with the flawed nature of man, true light intermingled with darkness.

This idea has been the prevalent thought in the front of my mind and heart lately. It manifested itself all the more through an experience the team, Dan, Laine, and myself had together this week. In San Jose there is a place called the Hotel Del Rey, a large pink building with several floors and an ornate facade. Its outward appearance is nothing short of a false face, though, a mask that covers what goes on inside. Behind its inviting exterior, it acts as the largest brothel in this region, one that is world renowned. Men (aka Johns) from all over go there to drink, gamble, and spend time with the hundreds of prostitutes ( including women, men, and transvestites) who are employed there. The average woman who works at the Del Rey is 16 years old, some are victims of trafficking but most go by choice. After learning of this place and what it is famous for from a local ministry called Freedom Street,  the team decided that during their visit here they wanted to see it for themselves. Thursday night Dan took all of us to do just that. During the walk up, no one spoke, everyone was praying and preparing themselves for what we were about to be met with.

I’ve known about the injustice of sex trafficking and prostitution for some time now. I’ve read about it, watched films on it, and even worked with some ministries that fight to prevent it. Seeing it happen right in front of my own eyes, however, turned a thing I’d merely been told of into a hard reality. It was one of the most difficult, heart wrenching moments I've ever experienced. On the bottom floor, there is a bar and casino where the women socialize with their customers. Walking in, we found hundreds of girls and the Johns they were going to be spending the night with. That’s not even counting the rest, who were in the upper rooms already working. Our group sat down and ordered some cokes, all the while watching and praying to ourselves. We stayed there for almost half an hour, every one of us experiencing a broad range of emotions: anger, disbelief, sorrow, compassion. There weren’t many dry eyes to be found. All I could do was seek God, praying for  him to give me his perspective because I didn’t have the wisdom or strength to form one. My heart ached a little more with each girl’s eyes who met my own.  Being unable to find hope in the midst of what was around me, I asked God if it even existed there.

This was his reply, “ I am in this place. I am not absent. I have not forgotten it. I won’t forsake it. I’m here, even in the midst of darkness such as this. “

He reminded me of the most powerful truth I know, that what Jesus Christ did on the cross was enough. It was enough to cover any sin. Any injustice. Any evil. It was enough to cover every act that occurs in the most popular brothel in Costa Rica. I find confidence in that promise, because it’s bigger than me. I put my faith in it, because it means that there is no such thing as a hopeless situation.

I truly believe that God’s heart is breaking for his children who walk through the doors of the Del Rey. I know without question that he longs for each of those women to realize that their worth and value goes far beyond what the next willing man can pay. More so, I trust that he is at work and changing things in ways my human eyes aren't capable of seeing.  I think that our group made a difference simply in being willing to walk in and to face something that was ugly and unjust. The entire time we were there, no one evangelized or preached. We simply sat and observed. We allowed our presence to speak for us. We made a difference, not because of ourselves, but because of the all-powerful God we serve. His spirit went with us and that was enough to make an impact. We were a portrait of Christ’s love in the middle of brokenness and carriers of God’s light; the same light that illuminates bleak darkness and robs it of its power. There is hope to be found, even in the brothels.

"Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining."
1 John 2:8

P.S. Hotel Del Rey translates to " from the King" in Spanish. To me that says it all.

Monday, August 1, 2011


As I'm typing this, I'm sitting at Gate 7 of Orlando International Airport waiting to board the flight that will take me to Costa Rica. 

Already God has proven himself so faithful. Upon arriving to fly, I was met with hoards of people waiting in line to check in for their flights. Immediately I felt nervous, especially being alone. While waiting though, I happened to spot none other than Spencer Boulter of 6:8 Ministries at the very back. Needless to say he joined me and we not only navigated bag check and security together but are now seat buddies. It's amazing how God can intervene in the smallest and simplest of ways; even if it means sending someone familiar to make an intimidating experience a happy one. 

 This entire week I've had a particular verse in my head and heart that has been a great comfort. It speaks of how God is our confidence. That same word in the original text means something similar to unshakeable. So basically no matter how we competent we might be feeling, God is always our immovable and steady source of security. It completely sums up the place I am in at this point. I feel nothing short of resolute. I'm so ready to begin this new chapter of my life and can't wait to see what it holds for me. 

I'll see you guys in Alajuelita! :)

Don't fear sudden danger or the ruin of the wicked when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare. Proverbs 3: 25-26 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here's To Diving In.

I'm happy to report that I have officially booked my plane tickets! I'll be leaving on August 1st from Orlando at 10 AM :)

I'm not ashamed to admit that once I finally received my flight confirmation I cried like a baby. Immediately it sunk in, the solidification that I would without a doubt be going. There were no more " Maybe this will happen" thoughts or "God should I's?" It was like a breath I wasn't aware I'd been holding in was released and I inhaled deeply for the first time in months.

That's not to say that fear didn't try to creep in at that moment, because unfortunately it did show its ugly face. There is something altogether intimidating about taking part in anything that is bigger than yourself. With it comes surrender of control and a trust that surpasses logical explanation. Doubt surfaced for a millisecond, not in the fact that I was meant to be taking this trip, but in my ability to do so. I wondered if I was capable of leaving for two months. More so, the notion that I had nothing to offer to the people of Alajuelita came to mind.

God met me in that place once again and turned a time of potential panic back into one of worship.

He took me on a trip over the past year, through the steps we've taken together to get to this place. The nights spent in prayer, the disappointments, the hours doing Spanish homework ( I'm still not great at speaking it, honestly), and all of the choices he's guided me through. Showing me that his fingerprints are covering each and every experience that I've encountered over the past year. They have all added up to bring me here because he has been orchestrating them perfectly, I know that without question.

He reminded me of everything that happened in Costa Rica last March. About how there was an undeniable sense of home and a feeling that I was meant to be there. In knowing that I will be returning, I realize just how much I have missed it. My heart has ached for the people within that community and will continue to until I see them again.

If getting to go back and be a part of their story once more means combating my own selfish doubt and fear, then I will do it willingly. I pray that on this trip I can serve, love, and pour out as much of myself for them as possible. I know that God will equip me with the strength, the wisdom, and all that is needed to do so; because in the end the things he will accomplish through me for his purposes are far more important than my own capability to do them.

There's a song by Sleeping at Last called Watermark that I've been listening to a lot lately, mostly because the bridge inspires me so much. I'll leave it for you to ponder on:

" Dive in with your eyes closed, for the life you were born to claim.
And the water will be paralyzed by the courage you contain. 
The flutter of your earnest heart, it will fill the silent seas.
And all will be restored in your melody."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yard Sales and Expectations

    I would like to start off by saying I have an entirely new appreciation for anyone who has ever put together a yard sale. The last week was a hectic, crazy rush spent preparing for my own. Fortunately, I am blessed with many friends and family members who are more than willing to help and not force me to go at it alone. It was humbling to see the amount of support offered by those around me, whether it be through the giving of items or their own time. I'm truly grateful for everyone who lent a hand :)

    All in all, the preparation for the sale was a lot of fun. It involved rounding up everything that others had donated, organizing it as much as possible, and most importantly getting the word out there. A good friend of mine named Parker and I made hand-painted signs to hang around Jacksonville ( I welcome any excuse to do something creative or to use a hammer, really).

 A group of friends and myself made it to the Murray Hill Theatre parking lot bright and early to set up tables Saturday morning. There were at least three truck loads of items to display, ranging from golf clubs to televisions to parakeets. Since it was so hot outside, we offered free lemonade to customers as they walked around and took donations. We raised a total of almost $600.00 in a little over four hours, something that I'm still baffled by. As if that wasn't enough, afterwards there was still a number of items left, enough for another yard sale entirely.

As with most things, God taught me a lesson through this process. You see, I am a perfectionist with a genuine love for attention to detail. With that comes high and heavy expectations, set more for myself than anything. I often get overwhelmed when faced with a task such as this, especially when it begins to go in a way that I don't believe it should. Suffice to say, there were a few mishaps both during this week and on Saturday. At one point, I began to feel stressed and to wonder whether all the work I was doing was in vain. In that moment, a thought came clearly to my mind, one I can only attribute to God:    " Remember who you are striving for." It was simple but exactly what I needed to hear. It reminded me that all of my efforts were not for my own purposes;  that the inconveniences and obstacles which appeared so great at that time would seem small once my feet touched Alajuelita's soil.  Because the work I was doing was not for my own glory. My motivation was and is this : that all of this is being done through and for the one who inspired me go back to Costa Rica in the first place. 

More than anything, God remained faithful; reminding me of a truth I so often forget. That he, the same God who is walking alongside me as I make strides for him, is powerful and able. Any effort made would be empty and in vain were it not for his involvement. Because he was present and working, though, the expectation I had for how much we would raise was exceeded. Not only that, I have such a surplus of donated items left that I am planning another sale within the next month!

This is who I am striving for.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. "
 Ephesians 3:20-21

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Beginning.

I’ve never been an avid blogger. Truth be told, I am the worst at it. Blame it on a severe case of ADHD or a busy schedule, it’s just not been a first priority. So, keeping up with this will be a challenge, but one I’m willing and ready to take.

As you may ( or may not) know, this summer I will be traveling to Alajuelita, Costa for two months to work with 6:8 Ministries as an intern. This blog will be my way of communicating and sharing every step of the journey it takes to get there, from fundraising to finally arriving. It's been a lengthy process thus far and I'm so excited to share each event that happens. More so, I'm grateful that God would let me take part in such a wonderful adventure.  I hope my story inspires and encourages you in some way.