Monday, December 30, 2013

Something New

God has been talking to me in a series of ways.  Several years ago, after experiencing a natural disaster myself and losing a home, all our belongings, and dealing with the clean up, rebuild, and insurance disasters, I was watching an episode of the DOCTORS.  They were in Haiti after the earthquake and helping the many homeless and severe medical needs.  I remember seeing a little 18 month old baby girl who became an orphan due to the earthquake.  Her limbs were severed due to the natural distaster.  My heart just went out to her and the many in Haiti who were struggling for survival.  The fact was, many were struggling before the earthquake.  Haiti is considered a third-world nation, and doesn't have the resources we have in the states.  I felt a calling to the mission field back then, but wasn't sure where and when God would put me.  

Since then, God has placed this amazing partner in my life that started out as a friend and after a few years later, I was blessed to be his wife.  Jeff and I have worked together to put our Phi Theta Kappa honor society on a mission to continue to raise funds, volunteer, and run for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  We also co-created the Holden's Hope 5K as a fundraiser for MPS research and our cousin Holden's medical expenses.  The 5K event has grown over the years in what we have been able to offer and the sponsorship we have received.  The only reason could be is that God's hand is in this mission and He has placed us in a mission field we have created in certain ways.  

In 2011, we found a Pittsburg Nazarene who has one of the largest, if not the largest youth bus ministries in the city.  We were honored to be asked to teach the middle school class on Sundays in addition to helping with the Wednesday night Ignite Missions.  Again, God placed us as a team in the mission field.  By 2013, God gave me the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic with several other church members and experience a third world country mission.  Our first step off the bus into the mission field, my heart was pounding and my eyes were teary.  I felt the Holy Spirit in me at that moment and used my God given talent to document through photojournalism the 8 day mission trip.  

I now have another opportunity to go on a mission trip with Christians on Campus with my son, and maybe Jeff to Guatemala in the spring of 2015.  I recently received new camera equipment for Christmas from my amazing husband, and am excited to start using it in the mission field here and beyond.  Then, my brother gave me a word of encouragement along with the rest of the family, which I felt meant something different for each one of us.  However, God really laid on my heart, that I'm free to do HIS WORK.  Nothing is holding me back.  I have FULL support of my family and friends.  

This past Sunday, our pastor gave a sermon on "Something New."  The sermon gave me chills because it was another affirmation that God was sending me to do MORE for missions for HIS work.  The sermon was from: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NIV)

The pastor reminded us we can't go forward if we continue to look back.  I have made many mistakes in my life I'm not very proud of, but God has forgiven me, so I need to forgive myself.  In addition, the old jobs or careers were preparing me for what I'm in now and the up and coming...God's plan is always better than my own.  Solomon once wrote in Proverbs 16:9 that, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the LORD’s decree will prevail.”  I want to trust in Him more this 2014 and become more Christlike, so that someday I can use all my talents He has given me for His glory and for His work.  

Men working in the sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic.  

Me and my roomies in the Dominican Republic right before SCORE night at the chapel.  

2nd Annual Holden's Hope 5K

The 2011 St. Jude Marathon Weekend and the first year Jeff and I created Team TENN-KAN for the Phi Theta Kappa St. Jude Heroes team.   

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