Monday, March 29, 2010

9 days

I am stuck in the in between and it is hard. Last week, I was still working, doing youth ministry, and serving at Haven Church. Now I am not. I am at the point where I just want to go. I know the next 9 days are going to go really fast, but it is still tough. Every day is filled with a lot of "last time"s. The last time I get gas in my car or the last time I see someone and have to say goodbye. I am as ready as I will ever be (maybe not, because I haven't packed) to go. I just want to go.

The good byes are not fun, they are very draining. While I am am with the person, yes, the conversation and whatever we are doing is fun, but then there is the final hug and the goodbye. I think I took 2 naps today, just because I feel so drained.

I want to thank my church, Haven CRC, for an amazing service last night. It was filled with God's power and His story for each of us. I could feel you all holding me up in prayer, literally, and I pray I never forget that feeling. To those who held my hand, made me laugh, prayed and gave me hugs...thank you. I am going to miss you all, but I know God has big things in store for all of us. Remember, whatever you do, do it 100% no matter the outcome, you will learn to trust God more and fall more and more in love with Him. To the MOSAIC students...I love you guys. Keep asking hard questions and keep seeking His will.

Here is the link to the video from last night.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

what's in a name?

Hi everyone. My name is Dusty. I know you all put in some very good suggestions for my name, but ultimately one name stood out and so I am Dusty. Thank you to Karen who suggested my name. The reason she said it, is because she knows I will get very dusty and/or dirty while in Africa. She should know since she has spent time in Uganda. Christina, my traveling friend, decided it would be a good name for another reason. You see when Jesus walked this earth, his disciples would walk so closely to him that they would be covered in the dust that His feet kicked up. Going to Beautiful Gate is such a huge adventure and there are going to be time when I am afraid, but Christina has told me that as long as we stay in the dust of our Rabbi Jesus we will be okay.
I can't believe we will be leaving in 17 days. Christina keeps telling me about all the amazing people I am going to meet and about all the children that I get to play with. This is going to be such a cool journey. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

office pictures and countdown

For those of you that are curious, Amy posted pictures of the new office on her blog. Check it out! By the way, only she can all me "sneaky Ms. Christina"


I realized tonight I was a day a head in my count down. I now leave in 20 days.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Some people say communion can only be taken with bread and wine or juice. Today I believe I had communion with a Shamrock shake and amazing conversation.

I woke up today feeling the sacrifice of this step. Being away from those I love for 6 months is going to not be easy. But after I had communion this afternoon I am a little more ready to go back to Africa and start this adventure God has put me on. I know there will be days when the sacrifice screams louder than the joy of taking care of children, but there are always more Shamrock shakes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the list

The reality of me leaving hit me square in the face today and it didn't feel too good. I think it is because ever since I knew I was going back to BG for 6 months, I started making a list of things I wanted to do before I left. Some are fun, like spending a morning in bed doing nothing or making sure I get a Shamrock shake from McDonald's, but others are meaningful. The top thing I wanted to do before I left, I finished on Saturday and now that it is done, I feel the reality of what this step of obedience means.

For those of you who don't know my best friend Amy, you are missing out. She is one of those people who I believe spent some extra time on when He knitted her together. Of course she is not perfect, but she is one of the most giving, compassionate people I have ever met. Plus, she is VERY funny and understands my humor as well. Well, Amy's office is not the most cheerful place and as a mom of 3 and a high school youth director, who gives so much of herself to others, I thought she needed a place to just "be". So when she left for Florida last week with her family, I completely made over her office. Along with the help of some great friends, the gray walls are a bright blue and the place is just peaceful. I am so happy how it turned out.

But now that the office is done, I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I am leaving for 6 months and the people that I care about will no longer be a phone call or car ride away. I know this time God is going to show me how much I need to cling to Him for strength and support, but I am going to miss my support system here. As I sat in church today, my heart sank. I only have a few more weeks to worship at Haven. I couldn't even sing tonight. I just put my head down, closed my eyes and listened to the worship that I have love to be apart of.

The office is done...
The list is getting smaller...
My heart is realizing what true obedience means...

22 days.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

23 days

I have a ticket!!!!!

Yes, my friends, I have a place ticket and will be leaving for Africa 1 day earlier than planned. So, in 23 days I will head to Chicago, then New York, then Jo'burg then Bloemfontein where I will be greeted by some people from Beautiful Gate who will take me to Lesotho. It is going to be a few long days of travel, but I will be heading back to "my kids" at BG and a few days in a plane are worth it. PLUS...I will be able to see a friend and former pastor of mine Tim Spykstra, his daugther Anna and mom, Harriet and step dad, Bill. Bill, Harriet and Tim are a BIG part of BG and have provided a lot of direction and mentorship for the directors Ray and Sue.

Thank you all who have been praying that this would work out. God has provided, as He always does and I am excited to see what He wanted to me to learn through this new flight route. He already has taught and showed me that He alone will provide. The new flight plan was $300 more than the original, but there was nothing I could do about it. A few hours after booking the flight, a friend of mine came to me with a check for $300. She said it was the amount her and her husband decided on to donate and I was blown away. I couldn't even cry I was so overwhelmed by God showing up and saying, "do you trust me?" I just took a deep breath and said yes. He also provided through another friend using her hotel points to book a room for me in New York, because I have an overnight there. I am so grateful to everyone who has given, not only financially, but in their time to learn more about my trip. It has been just a blessing to sit down with people and show them the pictures and tell them the stories.

I just can't believe I will be leaving in 23 days. That is so soon. There are people that I am trying to avoid saying goodbye to, because it will be a very hard goodbye. BUT I can't wait to get back to the staff and children at BG. It is amazing how the 8 days I spent with them in October has changed my heart.

23 days...

this is going to be an incredible journey!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Hello Readers.

I was doing really well during the past week, but then all the emotions that I had been bottling up, exploded out yesterday. It is funny how long you can convince yourself that you are "fine" when you are really not. I preserved through the crashed computer and purchased a new one, but I just couldn't fight through the pity party with the plane tickets. Yesterday, I received an email from my travel agent, who is working hard to help me, but is finding out there is no way I could fly the same route I had chosen without an overnight. She advise me looking in to flying through London, which should clear up the overnight. I would have an 8 hour lay over, but I wouldn't have to leave the airport. I just lost it. I was making high pitch squeals that only dogs could understand. I feel to my knees and as much as I want to say I start praying, I didn't, I started questioning. I questioned every thought I had, every feeling I experienced, every word someone said to me. I question if this was REALLY what God wanted for me. I composed myself and went to work just trying to ignore the situation that was happening. Today I woke up and prayed. I prayed for a renewed spirit. I prayed for God to take control in ways only He can. I prayed for peace. I prayed for this to be COMPLETELY released from my hands. I control nothing!!!

This morning my neighbor and dear friend Becky came over and handed me my reminder from God. Becky was gone last week, picking up her second daughter. A beautiful, six month old baby girl from Ethiopia. So for an hour, I sat holding Africa. I looked into Grace's eyes and I remembered why I am doing this. I prayed this morning and God then reminded of His grace through Grace.

It all comes down to fears. I was afraid yesterday that God forgot about me and I would never get to Africa. I feared I would never get back and see those precious children that have touched my life so deeply. Joyce Meyers puts it this way, "The truth is courageous people also feel fear, but they do it anyway! In fact there is no courage unless faced on a fearful situation. In order to find courage to receive a new thing from God, I just do it afraid."

Sometimes we have to just fight through the fear and do it. Yes, I have a fear that the same flight issues I had in October will happen again and I will get stuck somewhere and not know what to do. I fear the unknown. I fear the loss of control. I fear I will never get back to Africa, but I am going to go, knowing I will get there and but I might have to go afraid.