Sunday, June 3, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
|Team Sri Lanka (L to R - Janie, Myself, Pastor George, Madison, and Stephanie)|
|Wearing traditional Sri Lankan salvarys|
|Precious little ones|
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I want to enjoy every moment of this trip. From the relationships built to the inside jokes that spur from spending FAR too much time with people. I know this is where God wants me and I know that is good. I'm ready for Him to stir up things in my heart and move me in a way that only He can. Taking the step of faith to join this team was just the beginning, God's got far more planned for my life than I could every imagine and I'm anxious to see where He leads. My life is nothing without Him and the only thing that brings me true joy is following in His footsteps.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
With everything the Lord has been doing in my life, in this short time period, I am excited to see what He does in these next few weeks as my team heads out to Sri Lanka this Thursday. I ask that you would please keep my team in prayer for the time spent away from our families as we grow together in the Lord, building community with one another. Also, that God would knit our hearts together as a team and that He would ultimately be glorified in everything we do.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Most of the duration of our trip will be spent in Arugam Bay (located in the box on the map above). The main focus for our trip will be to partner with the full time missionaries our church has sent out. While coming along side to encourage and support them, we will also be engaging in the outreaches they have set up in the community. One of which I am terribly excited about is their ladies' tea. I truly have a heart for women's ministry and I can't wait to encourage, love on, and share in times of fellowship with the women of Arugam Bay.
In December of 2004, a 9.0 earthquake erupted in the Indian ocean causing a Tsunami to hit Sri Lanka. It was the second hardest-hit country. Due to this harrowing event, many of the people living in Arugam Bay saw their family members swept away by the ocean's current; some even held their loved ones in their arms as they passed away. Because of this and the lack of ability to swim, many of the people are still terrified of the water. Therefore, another goal for our trip is to give swim lessons to those in need.
At the end of our trip, we will spend a few days in Colombo before heading home. At this location, we may visit an orphanage as well as partner with/serve at their pastors conference.
Prayer Requests:(For now...)
That God would continue to prepare our hearts and minds (as a team) to serve, love, and minister to the people of Sri Lanka.
Health and Safety of my team during the trip as well as the days leading up to it.
For continued healing from my wreck. I'm still battling quite a lot of pain and I hope that it won't hinder any service on this trip.
Financial provision. With a little over three weeks to go I still need to raise $1100 for the remaining funds.
(If you feel it in your heart to help support me financially,
you can do so by clicking the donate button on the right toolbar)
Sunday, March 4, 2012
My morning started out like any other weekday. I was busy getting ready and trying to make sure I had everything squared away so that I could be on my way to work. Quickly I hopped in my car, ready to conquer the day, with my daily routine of the Christian radio station streaming through my stereo and having my morning chat with God. I'm not quite sure what we discussed that day.
Not too far from home, I came around a bend in the road. In a matter of seconds I realized a couple of things. The vehicle I was approaching had stopped (Were there break lights?) and I needed to do the same...now! All at once, everything became a blur. I was dazed, confused, and perplexed at what had happened. What DID happen?! Was this real? Am I dreaming? What is going on?
My mind was fuzzy and went blank. Something smelt burnt and there was glass at my feet. When my brain finally put the puzzle pieces together, I realized I had been in a wreck. I managed to get out of the car and walk to the shoulder where I collapsed and began to fall apart. Adrenaline kicked in and I was in hysterics. Thankfully, a good Samaritan helped me to her truck, got me some water, and encouraged me that everything was going to be alright. As the cop, paramedics, and firemen began to do their job and assess the situation, as well as myself, my mind was racing a mile a minute and I couldn't pull myself together. Fear had overtaken me. I was terrified. I was worried. I was stressed. FINALLY, I had been getting the hang of trusting God over the financial provision for my mission’s trip and now this?! How can I afford THIS on top of everything else?! Why God??
In an instant, I was reminded of a passage of scripture my small group had discussed just the night before. At the time, I thought it was just a "rabbit trail" that went off topic, but now...now it comforted me with peace. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4
Counting it all "joy" is a strange response in dealing with our trials. The dictionary describes joy as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation". How can a car accident possibly bring me joy?
I think most of us can say that we'd rather have everything in life go smooth, but life isn't that way. Life is full of disappointments. It tests our faith...not for God's benefit, but for ours. After all, He already knows our heart. He has known it the whole time. Sometimes we think we are further down the road than we actually are and we need these times of "testing" to build our patience and mature us so that we can respond more to life's disappointments in the spirit, rather than the flesh. In this world we are promised trials/tribulations (John:16:33), but as the end of that scripture states, be of good cheer for HE has overcome the world!
Yes, life is frustrating at times. I'll be the first to say that I struggle with trying to see the joy that can come out of this. I'm still working on trusting Him with this situation. I know He is more than capable, but I still have so many unanswered questions and stress that tends to rear its ugly head. I'm tired of the constant headaches/nausea from my whip lash, the pain that takes over my body when I sit up for an extended period of time (let alone stand), or running out of things to keep me occupied throughout the day from the confines of my couch/bed. It can be terribly frustrating. At moments, I can get so wrapped up in the circumstance that I lose focus on the One who is with me and wants to teach me something through this process. I don't want to be distracted with all the negativity that I miss out on what He is trying to say to me and the joy He brings.
And He DOES bring joy! It comes wrapped in varies packages. For me, one way it's been shown is through the love and support I have found in my family and friends. They have cooked me meals, brought me flowers and goodies, encouraged/prayed with me, and somehow managed to make me laugh when I was at my weakest. Their joy brought me joy. Another way has been through His creation. I was just marveling yesterday at how beautiful the weather was. I haven't been outside much (unless it's a trip to the chiropractor...) and as I went to let my dogs out, I had to step outside to take it all in. The sky was clear blue and my skin throughly enjoyed the warmth of the sun. For those few minutes I was terribly delighted, whispering a "Thank you" to the One who made it.
Look around you! It may not be in ways we expect but, He is speaking. There is joy to be found! Sometimes all that is required is that we take a step back and allow those blinders to fall from our eyes so that we can see the joy He brings.
With Love, Aj
Sunday, February 19, 2012
I ask that you keep me (as well as the rest of my team) in your prayers as God continues to prepare our hearts for the work He has for us in Sri Lanka. I will be updating my blog with more information on the team, ways you can pray more specifically, the goals for our trip, as well as any other little details the Lord lays on my heart.
As for now, please continue to pray for financial provision for the remaining money that I need to raise, as well as for my unrelenting trust in the Lord who provides.
you can do so by clicking the donate button on the right toolbar)