Main Pic.

Main Pic.

Saturday, December 15, 2012
Check out this video that tells you more about my trip to Haiti and how you can help!

And so it begins...

I stumbled down the familiar path. I could see the gate. I was finally back to the place that had stolen my heart and wreaked my life just a year before. Everything in me was ready to run through the opening and announce "I'm home!" and yet I hesitated for a moment. 

Then suddenly I could hear him again,with his all too familiar annoying whisper "what if they don't remember you? What did you really do that was worth remembering?" 
"No, I refuse to listen to your lies!"
So I walked through the gate...

On June 1, 2011, I found myself somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, heading towards a continent that I had heard a million stories about. Poverty, AIDS, hunger, abandoned children, rape, slavery...these are some pretty heavy problems that I, as a naive, 17 year old, was about to face.  

When I felt God calling me to go to Malawi, Africa I had little idea why. I knew God would use that first summer there in molding me into who He wanted me to be in the future, but I could never have imagined that He would be leading me there to make it my future. 

I fell head over heels in love that first summer. I loved the culture, the landscape, the language, and everyday life. When I describe my time in Malawi the only word that really comes to mind is comfortable. Not because it's in my comfort zone or it's easy, because it is not, in fact it was the first time I had ever been that much out of my comfort zone. But now it's comfortable. You see, the people there are now my family. When I walk into Mtendere, the orphan village that I work with, the kids, mommas, and staff there are my family. I glean wisdom and am taken care of by the mommas, I tease and joke around with my sisters, I am teased by and joked on by my brothers, and I take care of my babies. 

I think the most shocking part of that first summer was the love that I developed there. I have never experienced this kind of love before. It was almost like God gave me His heart for the Malawian people. I loved them as individuals but for the first time ever I experienced a love for them as a people.
My first summer there confirmed God's faithfulness and showed me what love looked like.

This past June I traveled back to this beautiful place. As soon as I walked through the gate into Mtendere, I knew this was my call in life. This place has confirmed so many things to me and I know now that God has much bigger plans for me then I could ever imagine. I spent the next 6 weeks living life with my family. I learned that being a missionary is not all about huge crusades or crazy revival meetings, it's about living and showing the love that I have received to a people group that are desperate for that love.

After 6 weeks I boarded my plane home with tears running down my face and promises of "tiwonana"- I will see you soon. I know that my call for Malawi is much more than just a few summers but despite my arguing God made it extremely clear that it was not time yet. Oh how faithful He is to His word. In August I started my first semester at Southeastern University to study Missional Ministries. God chose SEU for me and I could not be more grateful. The opportunities that God has given me are overwhelming, He is molding me and preparing me for something so much greater than I could ever handle on my own.

I am truly in awe that He would choose me, but He does even when I screw up. Let me just tell you a little bit about how faithful He is. I came to SEU not knowing anyone, all I knew was that God led me here and that they had a great missions program. It would take me all day to tell you about how the past few months there have changed my life and the way I view God's faithfulness.

Over the next semester God has opened up so many doors for training me in His call. I will be traveling with a group of about 15 student leaders to Haiti in March to do relief work, on top of the work we will be doing we will also be focusing on discipleship and training in the evenings. There are several staff members who are coming on this trip for the purpose of training us students in how to lead missions trips and how to be effective leaders. This opportunity is unreal and I can't believe how God led me this trip. But that is not the only missions door God has opened. Before heading back to Malawi in the summer, I have the honor to co-lead a trip to Costa Rica with my dear friend Kat. On this trip we will be working with local pastors, doing community work, and sharing the gospel with the people of Liberia, Costa Rica. God has so many great plans for this next semester and every time I think about them I am just so overwhelmed that He would use me.

As you can imagine my only hesitation with going on three international trips this year is the funds. But God has been incredibly faithful. He is teaching me to trust, and I am so honored to have the experience of watching Him provide in miraculous ways.

This post has been extremely long, sorry! I created this blog so that I can update all my supporters, family, and friends as I enter into this journey with my Creator as I begin to surrender my feet to Him, and go wherever He leads.