Friday, January 29, 2010

dates booked

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers. There has been a lot going on. I have been making a lot of phone calls to set up health insurance, suspend my car insurance, research things I will need while there and the hardest, picking the dates and getting a plane ticket.

My exact dates are set and I booked my tickets this week. I will be gone April 8 through October 12. I found out I will be staying right at Beautiful Gate. I am VERY excited about this. I will never be without the children. There are times when thinking about Africa just freaks me out, but then I remember the children and I know why I am going.

I just read a great book called, "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns. (A must read!!) He asks a hard question, many hard questions, but one that sticks out to me. "Do you believe enough to do something?" That question has been running through my heart and mind constantly. Do I believe enough in God and His BIG plan to do something to change the world? The answer is YES!!!!!

We all can't move to Africa for six months or adopt a child, but we can do something. We all are a part of God's big plan. What is your part? Do you believe enough to do something?

Monday, January 18, 2010

leap of faith

I can't believe I am typing this, but here it goes...I am moving to Africa for 6 months. My heart is racing with joys, excitement, fears and concerns. I can't wait to see what God is going to teach me through this experience. There are a lot of details that are not fully set in place yet, but I believe God has is all planned out and has had it all planned out for many years. Here is my story...

For many years I have always prayed to be in full time youth ministry at Haven Church. I strove to do whatever I could, to not only serve God, but the body of believers there. Last spring, through many hard conversations, I decided I needed to look somewhere else. It was a hard decision, because I love the people at Haven, but knew there was never going to be a job for me there. So I started applying at other churches, six to be exact. Five of the churches knew right away that I wasn't the right fit for them. One of the churches I felt very good about. I had an interview and was feeling very confident that this was going to be where God was going to place me. I was excited, because it was full time youth ministry and it was still in West Michigan. But I received a "no" from them too. A few weeks after not getting the job, I had to have surgery, so I had a lot of time to think about what was going on while I was healing. I remember laying in my bed one day saying "God, I don't want to put limits on you anymore. Just let me be your hands and feet somewhere." Well, that was a pretty bold prayer, because the somewhere turned into Africa.

In October of 2009, I was privileged to spend 8 days at Beautiful Gate, orphanage in Lesotho, Africa. During those eight days, God made it clear that this was not going to be my only time at Beautiful Gate. After coming home, I spent many hours in prayer and a few days fasting, seeking God's direction for the next step. I am pleased to say that the next step will be spending 6 months being His hands and feet to the children and staff at Beautiful Gate, as well as those I meet in Lesotho. I am going with an open mind and heart, knowing that this step of obedience, will serve a purpose in God's BIG plan.

This blog is designed to share updates, prayer requests and God moments, while I am gone. I am not sure exactly how often I will be updating it, since the availability of Internet connection changes daily in Africa, but I will try as much as possible to keep all my readers informed of what is going on. Right now I am busy, choosing my exact dates, making travel arrangements, finding health insurance, and the list goes on and on.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. It is overwhelming to me to talk about the trip, because most days I feel like I am dreaming. I am so humbled by your support and excitement for this trip. Thank you.