Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Old, Old Story

With each day, there is one thing that I need to know and that is the story I base my life upon. No matter if the day ends in victory, defeat or a tie, I need to hear and know the gospel story. It is a story so rich, so deep and so powerful that even if I heard it multiple times a day, it would never old. The reassurance the story brings fills my spirit when I feel defeated and alone. The hope it gives on days when everything has gone right, makes my heart so excited about what Heaven will be like.

Just imagine Heaven. Imagine a place where there is no more competition. No more measuring yourself against someone else. No more doubting that you are not doing enough for God and the people in your life. No more moments of wanting to give up, because the numbers are just too big and the time is so short.

For me these moments of fear and anxiety are all too real and frequent. The other night I laid awake trying to discover what I needed to do to make sure everyone I pass knows the story and that it isn't just a story, but life. My mind drifted to a photo I have of a tiny little hand trying to wrap it's fingers around one of mine. This child's life was too short and filled with so much pain, but as I stood in an Africa hospital and was ask to pray, all I could think of was to encourage this precious baby to let go and enter into a life filled with joy, hope and worship. A life based upon the old story I love to hear. The other night, I was reminded that we all need to be told to let go sometime. To let go of the pressure. To let go of the worry. To let go of the doubt. We need to be reminded that the battles we face here are not what our lives are suppose to be consumed by. We need to know the grace, mercy and forgiveness offered to us everyday. And we need to know who offers us that grace, mercy and forgiveness.

"God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM." (Exodus 3:14)

We need to know that the Creator of the Universe created it for us. We need to know that the same person who led Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Rahab and so many others, leads us. We need to put trust in the One who answers every question of "how" and "why" with "I AM." We need to let go of the fears because of "I AM." We need to put away work and met with people because of "I AM." We need to be in community with others and hear their stories of "I AM." This week I was reminded through texts and emails how important it is to share how we have seen "I AM" throughout the day. As we share the old, old story, we encourage others to let go and embrace "I AM."

May I never live through a day in which I do not have an "I AM" experience to share.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Southern Trips

With each trip I take, I am always blown away by the goodness of the Lord. There are moments leading up to a trip where I stress over getting every presentation and meeting just right. I go over the PowerPoint countless times making sure that each detail is covered. I research the churches I am at to see where their heart is and how they worship the Lord. I want to make sure that with each presentation, I can make a personal connection with the church I am at. I could not tell you how many times I have given a BG presentation, but I can honestly say I am learning that each time I do, the Lord shows me His face in a new way.

Recently, I was able to head to Mississippi and meet with members of Getwell Road Church. This church did a mission trip to Lesotho in March and stayed at BG. From the moment they were on the BG campus, you could feel their heart and excitement for the people of Lesotho. They desired to get into the community and reach out to those in their path. They didn’t come to experience a new place, they came to leave God’s fingerprint on the country. With each day leading up to the Mississippi trip I grew more and more excited. Not only was I going to get to share BG, I was going to go and see friends. A great side factor of this job is that I get to meet people around the globe. The whole time I was in Mississippi, I didn’t feel like Christina Terpstra, representative of BG, but I felt like Terp. Yes I was given multiple opportunities to talk about BG with people from the missions committee, the youth group and the whole church, so I did represent BG, but I was also given opportunities to simply do life with my friends who I know see as family, which included a moments when an impromptu worship time started with multiple people on guitars just jamming. I could have stayed in that moment all night!!! The whole trip was such a breath of fresh air. I truly struggled saying goodbye, but rejoice that it is only a "see you later."

After Mississippi I headed to Gainesville, Florida, another stop on the journey that was about sharing BG with people who have gone and experienced God’s love there. I was able to share at multiple churches and enjoy the stories of those whose lives have been impacted by Beautiful Gate. I loved talking with a woman who had been at BG a few years ago and still knew the children by name she had worked with and was eager to hear how they were doing.  It was great to meet with a few ladies who are planning a trip this year to head to BG for the first time. I stayed with a great couple whose mission in life is to bring Christ to others. They serve so many in their community so well. Saturday when most people were in front of a television watching a football game, they were scraping paint off a house and digging up an old flower bed and planting a new one. I had so much fun serving the community of Gainesville with them. It was a joy to dig in the dirt and get dirty for the kingdom. The home owner was so fun to talk with. She was elated to see the “face lift” that was happening to her home. My hosts filled my schedule with opportunities to share BG with many people in multiple locations. After serving on Saturday, we worshipped at a church in the area. I wasn’t scheduled to share BG, but after attending the church and seeing their heart I feel like it would be a great place to get connected with. I have to say, that southern hospitality still echoes through the community of Gainesville. 

Days before I leave trips, I feel pressured and stressed to be represent BG well. After Mississippi and Florida, I am feeling a greater urgency to represent Christ well, because that is where my identity is found. Is it fun meeting people and introducing them to the children and staff at BG? YES!! Is it important? ABSOLUTELY!!! Is it where God has placed me? YES. Do I feel the urge to go onto something else? NO!!! But I feel it is more important to GO and represent Christ well, and offer opportunities for people to serve Him and reflect His love to those they meet. I pray that the Lord will use me to show others what it means to be a worshiper of the King of kings and how that place others needs before your own, so that His name is praised.

May He receive all the glory and honor and praise!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

O Canada!!

Last month I had the privilege of spending some time in Vancouver, Canada. This trip was focused on reconnecting with many former BG children. I cannot explain the feeling I had seeing children who once came to BG scared and withdrawn now in a family, running, dancing, playing and so full of life. I was able to connect with Sunrise Adoption Agency, and a potential church support of BG, but none of that compared to an afternoon of Lego building or a 5 year old's birthday party, a preschooler's school performance or many get togethers with multiple families just being with each other.

The redemption that takes place through adoption is one that always grabs my heart. I can't help but remember that we all are adopted and have experienced that same redemption and one day we will be able to meet our Abba and sit on His lap and play Legos. And everything that happened here will be ignored. The good, the bad and the ugly, because above Jesus is Better!!!