Tuesday, April 29, 2014

the end of service

How will they remember me?
Did I leave a legacy?
Did I love like Jesus?
Will it be enough?

What will happen when I'm gone?
Will they gain strength and move on?
Will I stay in their hearts
Like I hope they stay in mine

Did my kisses make a difference?
Did I serve and do it right?
Does my smile look like Jesus' face
Even through my darkest fight

My heart is torn and broken
From the suffering and pain
That I've witnessed that I 've shared
That's fell on me like rain

While I travel to a place
That's nice, warm, and free
These friends who are now my family
Won't accompany me

They will struggle with hunger
They will fight off disease
The worms in their belly
Will never release

It just doesn't seem fair
It's not quite right
That I go back to a place
So pretty and bright

I want to take them with me
Want to shake their world around
Want to show them luxury
In a world of fancy crowns

Because to them, my house is a castle
A house is their biggest dream
They've never stepped on carpet
They've never even been clean

So I pray and pray to Jesus
Just help them please
And I know my God is able
To meet all their needs

He tells me little daughter
You are blessed so you can give
Don't ever fail to remember
To share so others can live

Learning to Fall

Today I found myself in a strange situation running after Jared, my little six year old friend and holding the seat of her bike to keep her up as she learned to ride. It was exhausting. I ran all the way to the pool with this little girl. If I would let go, she would make it about 10 feet and then fall.

When we got to the pool, Jared practiced diving in the water to me and swimming ungracefully under water. " She can't swim" her parents might say, but I know she can. I've been teaching Jared to swim for the past two months and she's one brave little monkey.

After our swim party, I watched Jared riding her bike in the yard and falling. She would start to cry but then realize nobody was around so she would dust herself off and try riding again.

This girl is going to learn how to ride her bike and swim because she is determined. She is willing to fall if it is necessary. Even though it hurts her, she continues to strive.

I know that when I was a little girl, I was a fighter, just like Jared. I was willing to fall. When I learned to ride my unicycle I fell all day long over and over again for 3 months before I finally got it. I didn't mind falling on my ripstick either (that's how I broke my arm).

But now I have to stop and think about when the last time was that I tried something over and over and over again not afraid of failing, not afraid of embarrassment, not afraid of falling. Just today, I passed up a surgery in clinic, because I was afraid of failing. I was afraid of not being able to do the procedure right in front of the doctor so I opted out.

I don't try doing 360s on my wakeboard or doing anything more than wake to wake even though I spend all day long on a boat during summer camp. Why is that? Even though I teach wakeboarding and understand that you are going to fall, I hate hard crashes and don't want to get hurt. I'm afraid to fall hard.

The truth is the fear of falling limits our ability in sports, school, friendships, dating, and our relationship with Jesus Christ Himself. We often believe this lie that we are not good enough, or that if we try something and fail it makes us a weaker person. But I have to question who is braver and who is stronger: the person who tried and failed or the person who was too afraid to try?

Today I want to make the decision to try, to persevere, to let myself fail, and to not be embarrassed when I fall. Christ calls us to a higher standard than we could imagine and we are going to mess up and fall sometimes. But remember that when you do fall, you are falling into the loving arms of your Father who loves you very much.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Standing

The last two months haven't been easy for me. Sometimes I want to give up. I get so frustrated and reading my Bible is very difficult.

I definitely don't have this picture perfect walk with Christ or life as a missionary. I struggle every single day to be motivated. I struggle with boredom. I struggle with my self esteem. I struggle..

The end of my mission experience is so much harder than my beginning. It started great yet the ending is so hard and soul shaking me to the core. This is a song that I found very encouraging and uplifting.

No matter what you are going through, Christ is stronger. He asks you to trust in Him and have joy because of who He is. Don't give up- keep standing.

Friday, April 25, 2014

My Birthday

Just two days ago I was saying many goodbyes to friends and teachers I had made at the school. I received over 100 kisses. The children were so very sweet and gave us all presents too. While we were waiting for one of the classes to start, we started talking with a young man who was a teacher at the school. He told us thank you and that we were making a big difference. Then he asked us how old we were. I said 19 and he looked at me and said oh your just a baby.

He then proceeded to tell Bernice and I about his daughter. His daughter who would be 30 this year but died when she was only 20 years old. She died on a bus accident coming home from Lima to Pucallpa back to her family. We felt for this man- there was a closeness and a bond that we shared together and he made a lasting impression in my heart.

As this is now my day of birth, and I'm 20 years old, I can't help but think about our friend at the school and his beautiful daughter who unexpectedly died that day. We can't take our life for granted. Each day is a blessing and a gift from God the Creator Himself. We can't waste our life.

This year has taught me so much about God, the world, and service. I've learned that my life really isn't about me. It's about Christ. To waste your life is to focus on this earth, your things, your grades and forget about the only thing that really matters. If you were to die today, so many of the things that we worried about and strived for day and day in and out would be meaningless. But our decisions to glorify Christ and endure hardships for His name, would be rewarded.

Today I want to praise God for being with me this year and coming through for me in the times I needed Him most. I want to thank God for the most supporting and loving family I could ever imagine having. I want to say thank you to all my friends who have encouraged me while I'm here and I want to tell you that I love you. I pray that God will continue to lead and guide me and help me to not waste my life.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

May 22nd- reflections of Peru

 Sometimes I dream in Spanish. Sometimes I moan on my bed making silly noises so that the missionaries in my room will laugh. Sometimes I sleep in a hammock. I always sleep in a mosquito net.

When I think of Peru I will think of faces. I will think of feelings. And I will remember what a beautiful place God brought me too. And I will praise Him for this time to learn and to grow and to see the world in a new way.

I have 8 more days left in Pucallpa, Peru and only 3 days until my 20th birthday. It's crazy to think how fast this year has gone by. It seems like just yesterday when I was giving my first shot, having an allergic reaction to lemons, going to the orphanage for the first time, playing in the rain with my best friends, and raising money for Christmas presents for the orphans. So much has happened this year- that it seems like I've been in Peru for an eternity.

I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm going home. Home is something I've thought a lot about while I'm here. There have been many nights and even days when I've been desperately homesick longing for friends and family back in America. But now that home is so close- I don't know quite how I feel. While I'm psyched about seeing my mom, dad, and little brother I'm nervous about leaving behind Patty and Nikol and the orphanage. I'm nervous about saying goodbye to my swimming boys. And I'm especially sad to leave my SM family who are some of the best friends I've ever had and people I love the most.

I got a package from Southern with a book called "Re-Entry". It talks about readjusting back to American life. I know I will have some adjusting to do: no more just waking up and going out into the world, no more not wearing bras, having lice all the time, yelling across the house at my best friends... No more freezing cold showers, nasty parasites, or beautifully poor children either.

Dear Peru- I'm gonna miss you when I'm gone. I'm gonna miss you by your smiles. I'm gonna miss you by your rain. I'm gonna miss you when I'm gone.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bible studies


Buy me tracts and Bible studies because I want to study with my friends and family, neighbors, and acquaintances in America. If I can give studies here to people who I don't even know and they will listen, how much more will people who respect me or love me listen. If I can lead someone to Jesus in Spanish how much more so in my own language and idioma? How much more of an impact can I have when I witness to those who are closest to me? This friend to friend, neighbor to neighbor, investing in an intimate spiritual friendship- this is the rock of Christ's own heart.

People will listen more than you think they will. And how will they know what you believe if you never talk about it? What a shame to think that in the end days your friend who dearly loved you would say “Why didn't you ever tell me?” We are held accountable not only for the things we do but for the things we do not do as well.

Why is it that we find ourselves sharing so much with our friends but often leaving out the very thing that makes our soul shake and spin. If we are of Christ then our sweetest talks should be of Him (EGW).

EGW writes “When the redeemed stand before God, precious souls will respond to their names who are there because of their faithful, patient efforts put forth in their behalf, the entreaties ad earnest persuasions to flee to the Stronghold. Thus those who in this world have been laborers together with God will receive their reward.”

We are representatives of Christ and we can not let this be taken lightly. Every time we sin we represent the Devil, team up with Him, and prove our own slavery. But every time we help a brother in need or pray over him in Christ's name, God is glorified. People will decide who we are following and on what side of the battle we are fighting based on our actions. If we are fighting for Christ: for freedom and love, we must always carry with us the sweet fragrance of Christ's righteousness. If we say to be following God but then sin, we risk wounding a brother or sister in Christ and misrepresenting Jesus' name.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My first stitch



My very first stitch! Today I got the opportunity I have been waiting for (after practicing on Mr. Piggy two times) to practice stitching. To be honest, I wasn't going to do it because I didn't feel like I was good enough, but I decided to try it anyways and overcome my fear because I am only going to be here for 3 weeks more.

To tell you the truth, my hand was shaky because of how scared I was, but with the support of my friends Bernice, Stephanie, and Bridget I did it! I'm so excited and now I feel like if one of my friends needed stitches I could actually stitch them up! It was really fun and I am so thankful to God for this opportunity =)

FARM Days

It was about to be a good day of fence building.. I had just walked to the local food stand where there was homeade orange juice and cookie crackers. I had worked hard, but it hadn't actually been too miserable. I had scraped up my right arm pretty deep with one of the metal pokey-points but overall I was ok. My nailing had improved to about a 50% 1 on 1 ratio and a 98% 2 try ratio. It was a beatiful night and the sun was setting.

When all of a sudden the attack happened. Similar to the last attack that happened at the swimming pool I was the naieve unsuspecting victem of many wasps. Unlike the swimming pool incident the wasps went for my back and hands instead of my hair- stinging multiple times. I yelled but was alone.. again. I ran as fast as I could.. dropping my crackers and I jumped in the nearest shower.

After I finally dragged myself out of the shower which somehow helped, I forced myself to go help Molly drag in cows. I got myself a long stick and felt like quite the country cow girl hearding cows and bulls along to their pens. Oh K38- it's always a farm like adventure, which is why I wanted to come out here before I went home.

Day 2:
"You might actually like it"- Megan told me the day I left when I was telling her it was funny why I wanted to go out to K38 because I don't like manual labor. This morning was extremely tiring- hoeing around palm trees. But after all the work in the morning, Jaudiel gave me a fresh coconut right off the tree. It was amazing!! I actually thought I didn't like coconuts but no the juice was so sweet, pure, and paradise-like. Then after fighting with the thing to get the "meat" out- it was sooo delicious!

Being out at K38 and doing manual labor is rough on me. I'm just so exhausted. Working seems to take forever. I'm glad after it's done though- I feel like I've accomplished something and gotten a little stronger.

Wednesday: Day 3

It's exactly three weeks til I go home. Wow I can't wait. It seems I've been waiting for this day for forever..I just have to get through today then only 2 more days left on the "farm".

I'm done with another day of work! And I just had the BEST dinner ever- two glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice and 3 mini bananas. Honestly fruit is definitely the thing you crave when you are out in the heat all day. But now I'm done!!

Working at K38 wasn't terrible but it definitely wasn't fun either. I'm so happy to be back at K8 where I can talk to my parents again and teach my swimming kids.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LICE- and true friends

I remember one time I got lice at summer camp, I was16 years old, and a camper in my cabin had spread her lice to me. I was so disgusted and scared when I first found out that I ran crying all the way across camp to find my best friend Kara in her staff house. When she saw me: a frantic mess, she hugged me and dried my tears. She asked me what was wrong, and when I responded she took me to my cabin and began lice treating me immediately. Together we found enough food to have a party and we played music too. She took out all my lice that day by picking out all my knits. What a true friend =)

Earlier this year, when I went to live at the orphanage, I got lice. I was really upset and I didn't know what to do nor want to cause a scene.  My friend Lisa saved my day and picked out all my knits up until twelve or so in the morning. I was so thankful and relieved. It seemed that all my lice went away as I did a few follow up treatments.

About two weeks ago, my hair started itching REALLY bad. Then about a week ago I found little bumps on my scalp. I did a lice treatment, then a natural lice remedy, then another treatment- yet nothing worked! Today my good friend Megan nit picked my hair and said she found LIVE lice- the actual bugs that hadn't even been affected by the treatment. In addition as she picked my hair, she found tons of bumps that started bleeding on my head. These little bugs have been sucking my blood so much that there are now bumps on my scalp. They hurt and itch so bad.

I"m really sad and discouraged. Having lice makes me want to go home where it's easy to treat things with hot water and feel better. I know I only have 3 and a half weeks left, so I am doing my best to fight the little bugs until then. I'm not the only one in the AMOR house that has them. Now we have 3 other girls.

Prayers would be appreciated for us as the struggle continues to be real =) Thanks guys and I thank God for best friends who take care of me!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm in my typical chill spot: my bottom bunk bed, under my mosquito net, with a window view of the rain and the peeking children. I'm listening to music and looking at old pictures.

Today we went to celebrate Christian's birthday. Christian is a special boy at our church (actually now my old church). Christian plays a huge part in the K13 church. He does the children's program, helps organize speakers, and even sings the songs. This kid is so responsible, so mature, and so caring. He turned 16 today! He wants to be a preacher.

Honestly it's really inspiring to see Christian taking God so seriously and holding such an important leadership role in the church. You just don't see many young people doing that anymore, and it's sad.
For his birthday, we kidnapped him from his house and blindfolded him. We took him to the new mall in town and bought him brand new soccer cleats and a soccer ball. He was in shock. He almost started crying. It was so rewarding to see how happy he was. This guy has a very simple house with a few wooden rooms and doesn't have a lot of materials to call his own. After he finally got over being stunned and picked out some shoes, he had us over to his house for some arroz chaufa and juice.

As we were returning from his party, it was raining. We pulled into the AMOR gate and watched this crowd of about 20 people running over to the clinic and starting to form a line. The people had lined up in the rain waiting for us to register them for clinic. It's just so sad; so mind boggling. These people are so desperate for our medical help. They can't afford to go to a doctor or a hospital. So they come hours early and wait in the rain, for our help. What an opportunity we have here to serve the needs around us!

Today Kirsten, my dear friend and relatively new sm here to AMOR was very sick. It started two nights ago with vomiting and diarrhea. Poor girl had to go on an iv that got infiltrated and even visit the hospital today. Being sick in Peru is rough. Prayers for her and for all the sick sm's would be appreciated.

 The 30 day countdown has begun. Precisely 28 more days til I will fly home. How crazy =)