Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Newlife//New Adventure

Hello, my dear sweet friends! Life has been very busy lately, and the Lord has been doing so many things in my heart that I am so eager to share with you! As you likely know, I have a heart for women’s ministry. My vision is to minister to women so that they might know the true value of who they are and how much Jesus loves them. Currently, I am able to do this as I mentor and assist the two young women with disabilities that I live with.
However, over the past few months, my interest in midwifery (assisting women in the process of childbirth) has grown. I have learned about midwifery through my sister and her interest in midwives. I wasn’t sure how this could work together with my heart for missions, and I wasn’t sure if this was something I could really do. I was interested in it, and enjoyed watching documentaries with my sister on it. I had put all thoughts of becoming a midwife someday on the back burner and never really mentioned it. Midwifery came back into my mind when I was spending time with my friends who live here in Minnesota, about twenty minutes away from my college campus. They were expecting a baby, and we watched a midwifery documentary. I told them how I thought maybe one day I could become a midwife.
Later that week, I was with a mentor of mine who I shared my thoughts with. When I told her about how much interest I had in midwifery, she shared with me about a program called Newlife International School of Midwifery. One of the staff members here at Bethany College of Missions has a daughter, named Jenny, who went through the program several years ago. I was able to hear all about the program from Jenny, and about how much she enjoyed it. The program mixes both missional and midwifery training for women to become missionary midwives, and it resides in Davao City in the Philippines. The clinic where midwives receive their training is also a Christian ministry for the impoverished Filipino women in the area.
The more I heard about the program, the more excited I became when I realized how I could mix these two things together. A couple weeks after hearing about Newlife and reading everything I could on their website, I returned to my friend’s house to share my updates. They invited me to attend the labor and birth of their baby, and I gratefully accepted. The next morning I received a text message inviting me to the birth because my friend was in labor! It was the first live birth I have been able to attend, and I am so thankful I was able to be there. They even asked me to cut the cord! As I watched the midwives do their job, I fell in love with midwifery. (And then I fell in love with their brand new baby boy!)
I have spent a lot of time in prayer and seeking the Lord about going in this direction. Over Thanksgiving break, I decided that I will be graduating from Bethany College of Missions in the spring with my Associates of Arts in Intercultural Ministry. This month I am applying to Newlife International School of Midwifery and hope to be moving to the Philippines next fall. I am so excited for the ways the Lord will use me in midwifery as a holistic ministry for women to seek health in every aspect of their lives. I believe this is a door which the Lord has opened before me and I am so eager to step through and see what else He has in store.
Over the next several months I will begin the process of fundraising about $30,000 which I will need for the two and a half year program. If you are interested in financially supporting this venture, please let me know. Also, I am selling t-shirts to aid in my fundraising efforts. If you would like one, they are $18 ($20 for vneck) and come in four different colors. Email me for more info! 

I want to say thank you so much for your support as I continue to follow the Lord in all the things He has laid before me. I want to love each woman the way He loves them. Please be praying for me as I pursue this program! Blessings on you as you spend time this Christmas season with family or friends!

Here are some fun videos about midwives:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A New Year [Update]

Sawatdee, Kha! 

A Bright New Year
It is crazy for me to reflect over the past year. So much has happened, and now I am a sophomore at BCOM! I have learned a lot in the past year, and it is hard for me to find the words to summarize it all in a few short sentences. I now understand so much more about sanctification and intimacy with Jesus. Jesus likes me, and He likes you. Yes, He loves us. He loves the world and came for us. But even more than that, He likes us. He knows us in our ugliness and sin. He knows us in our brokenness. He knows much more about us than any other person. He understands us and through it all, He likes us. He wants to be with us and desires time with us. He wants to be a part of every moment. I’ve learned that you definitely cannot put Jesus into some box.

At the end of May, I had the chance to return to Kansas Bible Camp (KBC)as a group leader for the Leadership Training Camp. It was a great week, and I again felt surrounded by the body of Christ. KBC has a special place in my heart, and being able to return is such a joy. My heart is filled by the conversations I share with others there. I returned in June and July for three more weeks which I spent as a counselor, sharing the gospel and having conversations with the girls. I have had some very interesting conversations this summer, but one of the most encouraging ones was when one of the fifth grade girls asked me to pray with her so she would trust Jesus. I also loved having discussions with the high school girls about what the Lord has to say about a variety of subjects. I also spent time with my family which was really great; it was hard having to leave them all at the end of summer. On August 3rd, with all of my things packed into my car, I begin the drive back to Minnesota. Then on the 5th, my team left for Thailand.

There is so much I could share about Thailand. I absolutely fell in love with the culture and people. Three days out of the trip, we went to an orphanage. I have never been someone who loves kids ministry, but I absolutely fell in love with those kids. We didn’t speak the same language, but we found that it didn’t matter. We communicated in any way we could: smiles, laughs, giggles, ‘sign language’, charades. We also worked with a ministry to give women and men opportunities to leave the bars (and a life of prostitution) by job training starting with making jewelry. I had an overwhelming peace when I was in Thailand and I came away from the trip absolutely wanting to be able to return next year for my 16 month internship.

Upcoming Adventures                 
A lot is happening in the next year and I am looking forward to all of it! First of all, an opportunity arose last spring to become an RA with a program for students with disabilities. I was accepted for the position this summer, and I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the two young women who will be moving in very soon! This program is called Beyond Limits and gives these students the opportunity to develop skills to eventually become independent and live on their own. For me, this means I am living in an apartment with the other female RA (my good friend Kendyl), and we will soon be joined by the two women who will be living with us. All of our responsibilities as RA’s are designed to encourage equip them with the skills they need.
The other exciting part of this year, aside from my sophomore year of college, is that I will be spending the next year in preparation for my 16 month internship which will begin next fall. I deeply desire to go to Thailand. In order to go, I need to raise $30,000. I need to raise about a third of that in order to go, and the rest should be in monthly support. This is a daunting task, but the Lord is gracious and good, and I know I can trust Him. I have many people who have been supporting me, and I am eager to see where these next steps will lead!

Please be praying for:
  • The young women who are moving into my apartment, that their transition will be smooth.
  • Grace as I step into a new position as an RA, and that the Lord would be leading me.
  • Wisdom in pursuing internship and following Jesus.
  • Financial blessing in the next year and that I would be able to raise all the funds needed to go.
  • Peace throughout sophomore year even when my schedule gets very crazy.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! I am so eager to see what the Lord has next. This summer has been such a joy, and I’m sure the next year will be even better.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I Promise

My Promise

     A few years ago I wrote out my ‘vows’ to the Lord. It was a time in my life when I really needed to trust the Lord and so I dedicated myself to Him. I had been following Him before that, but I wanted to lay out guidelines for my own life and how I would treat the Lord. These were my vows to the Lord:
     I promise to seek the Lord in all of my relationships. I promise to show affection for Him, not ever letting it seem as though I am ashamed to call Him my Lord, my Savior. I promise to love the Lord, even if I remain single all of my life. I promise with every breath to seek the Great I AM, not leaving any time for pity parties about what the Lord has not given me. I promise to always remember the Sacrifice Christ made for me when He hung on that wretched cross. I promise to not only be a hearer of the word, but a doer with great passion. I promise to seek You, Lord, all of the days of my life, no matter how long or how short. I promise.
     Beneath this promise, I signed my name. I can’t say that I have completely lived up to this standard. But this is my goal, my heart and my desire. I want to live my life in such a way that the Lord is pleased to the actions I take. I know He is happy with me, that He takes delight in me. I want to, in return, honor Him with my choices and actions. Oh, how I love thee, Lord! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Captivating: To Be a Woman

Security is not found in the absence of danger,
 but in the presence of Jesus.

     This singular statement from Captivating summarizes a lot. I have just finished reading Captivating as a part of an assignment of one of my classes. It has brought many parts of my life into perspective and has challenged me to find my identity and security in the presence of Christ rather than in locking myself away. Captivating has spoken the truth to me that I do not need to strive for anything. This book has declared I do have something to offer this world. I am a woman, and I am valuable.
     Satisfaction is not found in our striving. As women, we often seek to be better. We feel the obligation to strive for some goal we feel as if we can never attain. We tend not to feel we measure up, and we often feel the need to be someone who we simply are not. In the book, Stasi Eldredge said, “The more his we become, the more ourselves we become; more our true selves… To have a gentle and quiet spirit is to have a heart of faith, a heart that trusts in God, a spirit that has been quieted by his love and filled with peace. Not a heart that is striving and restless.” You see, the more his that we become, the more that we truly become ourselves. When we are okay with who we are, we are at rest. We quiet striving and attempting to compensate for our lack of grace, lack of femininity, lack of something. A woman in her glory who is of great beauty is the woman who quits striving to become something more than she is. She doesn’t have to strive for beauty, worth or being enough because she is centered in God and He says that she is enough. I am enough when I recognize my identity in Christ. It is a vague statement to make: “Find your identity in Christ.” This is something I have heard for years, and yet I don’t believe I have truly found it. I struggled with passages such as the verses in 1 John which clearly state that if I am sinning I do not truly know God. I am clearly imperfect. I have discovered this identity to be more of an understanding of Christ. When I know who Christ is, I am content with who He created me to be. I don’t have to spend my life striving to be someone I am not.
      Sometimes I resort to hiding my heart, and locking myself away. I would rather remain distant than truly be a part of what is going on around me. But I no longer need to hide. Hiding, in the past, has brought me security. I t has made me feel okay with myself. I’m not completely satisfied in my identity in Christ, but I can at least ignore most of the things which I don’t like about myself. Yet, while reading Captivating I have realized that I truly am worth something more than what I have previously understood. God has created me to be a helper. I bring something to the world. I am valuable. As a woman, I value relationships and I pursue holding them together. These are things I am made to do, things which I can thrive in doing, but also things which are intimidating to do. Without this purpose, I find it easier to go back into hiding. Realizing this purpose and understanding that I have a very unique purpose as woman brings me into actually fulfilling that purpose. Women are important and needed in this world. When God created us, He had a clear purpose in mind for every single one of us. I see our value; I understand that I have a unique and special purpose.
Captivating has caused me to realize so many things about my soul and spirit. He shows me exactly where my satisfaction can be found: in His presence. So many of these things I have likely heard before, in passing. However, the Lord has been working on my heart so that this book could truly not have come at a better time. I praise God for His work, and I thank John and Stasi Eldredge for their faithfulness to write this book. It has challenged me in many ways, and I have much to ponder. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time, and time is the one thing hurried people don’t have. 
–John Ortberg

     During the readings for one of my classes, this quote came up. The more I think about it, the more I agree with it. I constantly feel rushed, hurried, bound by deadlines and time management. I think it is important to have a schedule and a plan, but I am always desiring more time to spend with people. I truly value long talks with people or just simply spending time together. Valuing a person means investing in their lives whether through hearty laughs or many tears. The one thing relationships need is time. I wouldn’t know my closest friends as well as I do unless I had spent countless hours with them. Now on the other hand, I would probably know many people more deeply if I invested more time in them.
     As a college student, time is something I deeply value. When I get a free moment, I like to be alone and cherish that moment. However, I think there are times where I should stop the rushing and the feeling of being bound by my schedule, and just let others have my time. When put in perspective, my time is both extremely valuable and completely meaningless. Valuable because my life is so very short, and I want to make my minutes count for something. It could be meaningless because, when compared with eternity, it is a short span in an endless abyss. Yet that is even more of why I should give my time away. I should not give it carelessly, but with the deepest care for others. If I will truly love others, I will reject the strangling grip of being hurried!
     The time is so short. I have a mere seven weeks left before the end of my freshman year of college. It seemed like the year would take so much time, but now I am almost to the end and I don’t know where it all went. I have many friendships I am extremely thankful for. Countless people have invested in me, and I have been privileged to get to know many of the other students in my class. I praise God for the deep friendships I have, and I ask Him to teach me more of what love is. I ask Him to take away my sense of hurry, and replace it with deep love. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Being Righteous vs. Practicing Righteousness

"Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous." 1 John 3:7
 John's words just blow me away. He is saying that when we practice righteousness, we are righteous. By Gods grace, He sees us as righteous when we are pursuing and living out righteousness. This doesn't mean that we have perfected the art of being righteous. What it does mean is that as we continue trying, He continues to see us as righteous. What a blessing it is to be seen as righteous in the sight if God! I think of how many times I have fallen in this stumbling,chaotic walk with Jesus. Yet as I continue to stretch my hand forward to grab His, as I seek to practice the things He has perfected, I am seen in the same way as He is. I still fall, but I am not alone and I am not unrighteous.

Righteousness used to be one of my main goals in life. That was before I had an encounter with Jesus that changed my life. When I truly understood Jesus' sacrifice for me, I knew I had to either choose to live for myself or to live my life for Jesus. I chose Jesus. My life could never be the same since that old person died an ugly death at the foot of the cross. As a completely different person, I have a completely different goal for my life. No longer do I simply want to be morally righteous, instead I want to know God in the most intimate way possible. I want to go broke from spending my whole life on His desires. As I do this, as I practice this whole idea of pleasing the Lord, I am practicing righteousness. Now, instead of being unable to ever attain righteousness, I have attained it simply by practicing.
Practice may not have made me perfect, but it has certainly made me righteous.