Mar 27, 2010

Reconciliation: Heart and Mind

I was journaling this morning...yes...I have a journal too. Not every thought that passes through my head is blog worthy, so I have to have a collection point for most of the emotional rubbish :) So...I was journaling this morning and I think I realized something...

The verse God gave me for this year is Psalm 40:8 "I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your law is written on my heart." Ever since I started truly following the Lord, I have had joy in my life. I was pondering this thought and reflecting on my life a long time ago. The part of my life when I was doing everything I could to run away from Him...short of denying His existence. There was no joy in that time. Of course there were moments of fleeting happiness, short lived pleasure and bits of self-satisfaction...but they never lasted. They didn't remain.

This morning, I think God showed me that the reason I have joy now, is because the things I am chasing after in life (my hopes, the things I have faith for, the work I do, my heart's desires) were all put there by Him. They are the things He wrote on the tablets of my heart, way back at the beginning of time. Now that I am running after the things that He designed me to run after, there is joy. Not only joy, but confirmation from Him which is super cool!
Once God reconciled my mind (what I though supposed to happen in my life) with my heart (the things He planned for me) I was able to really understand Psalm 20:4 "May He give you the desire of your heart, and make all your plans succeed."

It is a beautiful day! Thank you Lord, for causing me to desire the things you have planned for me. Thank you for giving me joy!

Mar 21, 2010

You might be a missionary if...

I would hope that most of my readers have a heart for missions. Whether you want to be on the mission field one day, hope to go on a short term trip this year, or feel called to support missionaries...this blog is for you! Because of your heart...I have devised a list of things that may help you decide if you have the heart of a missionary.

Here we go!

You might me a missionary if...

  1. You talk about food all of the time...even while (um...especially while) you are eating.
  2. Bodily functions work their way into your normal, everyday conversations. 
  3. You wear things that other people think are weird...and then start a fashion trend... albeit years later. 
  4. You can have complete conversations in movie quotes, and everyone listening understands what you are saying. 
  5. Dancing in the office is a weekly occurrence.
  6. You can't have a conversation without using facial expressions, sound effects, hand signals or different tones of voice. 
  7. Your work and your life cannot be separated. You can't "turn-off" the passion for your purpose in life. 
  8. Your first reaction to almost any situation is laughter...even if you just laugh on the inside where no one else can hear it. 
  9. You have a passion for telling other missionary stories, complete with the mannerisms stated above in #6.
  10. People back home think you are weird...they love you, but they think you are weird...and then when they come visit you, they still think you aren't normal. 

Sure my experiences on the mission field have been limited to our specific geographic location, and the short time I have lived here. I am hoping to put more of these together...maybe it will become a regular blog entry. Who knows?

I hope they made you laugh...laughter is good medicine =D

Have a happy Sunday!!

Mar 18, 2010

Oh, for the love of books!

I realized something about myself today. Not only do I like books, I love them! Sure, I like the way they look on my bookshelf. I like the weight of them in my hands, and the way a good hardback feels kind of cold against my stomach when I have to put it down and rest for a minute. I like seeing them stacked up on my desk, begging me to pick them up and leaf through a few pages.

I even like the way they smell...shh...don't tell.

So, what's the big deal? Right? Why would you write a blog about loving books? Who would really want to read that anyway? am asking myself those questions right now. Why would I?

I think the realization behind the realization is that my love of books stems from a love of information. I love having access to information...though books, through people, through the internet...I am infatuated with learning, but it doesn't stop there. It's not good enough to just learn something. It must be documented and filed in some sort of retrievable system.

Ah-ha! Now I remember where I was going with this! A few years ago we did the "Living Your Strengths" test. It is a souped-up personality test that helps you identify 5 major defining characteristics of your personality. I mean they are really right on. Of course, I ended up with all of the nerdy ones like "Learner, Intelligence...etc..." but the one that links me to the love of information is "Input." I learn it, I write it down, I catalogue it, and then I file it.  Sitting at my desk today...I realized I was surrounded by filing cabinets. I had to laugh out loud. At home, my journals and bibles have post-it note flags marking verses and notes from past sermons that I want to be able to find quickly.

Now, I sit at my desk in my apartment surrounded by stacks of books, journals, and photos. I sit with 4 tabs open on my internet browser (, Blogger, and Facebook). I sit in awe that God made me for this job. He knew that there would be a need for a person to collect information for HHGlobal and put it in a usable format for others. He knew that he had to create a person with all of the nerdy characteristics and just enough personality so people could stand to be around them (most of the time).

Detailed...our God is so very detailed. Lord please help me to use the characteristics you have given me. Help me put the energy in the right places. Keep me from getting lost in the details and the tedium, so I can see just enough of the big picture to move toward it. Help me realize that you've got it all under control, anyway. Thanks for letting me be apart of this... nerdy-ness and all.

Mar 16, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

My Chacos...the best sandals/flip flops I have ever owned. I got them on clearance so that makes them even better...who cares that they are a half size too small?? The best feature of all...I can slide them on and off at the door so I don't break the cardinal rule: No Outside Shoes Inside! OR I can strap them on and wade through the rivers!!!

 BABIES!!! I love the babies...and I love that Becca loves them too. One of my favorite jobs is loving on the ones society says aren't worth loving. This baby girl was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome a few weeks ago at our hospital, and this week we saw her in the village of Paraiso, where her family lives.

Mantequilla cookies...they taste suspiciously like Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, and everyone who comes to Honduras to spend some time with us, gets hooked!! Go for the gold!

Picture taken by Becca Oliver

Duck, Duck, Goose...AKA Pato, Pato, Gonzo...even though the kids never quite get what they are supposed to do, it is incredibly fun to see them chasing each other around the GIANT circle. A personal favorite is picking 4 kids to play simultaneously and watching them try to remember which spot they are supposed to sit in!

Picture taken by Becca Oliver

The students...they are really starting to get the information. It is slow, but the effort is paying off. I am so honored to be apart of something that will affect generations to come. Teaching them basic hygiene will equip them to live healthier lives and maybe...just maybe they will teach their kids to do the same!

Mar 13, 2010

The Battle for Obedience

Today the fog never left the mountain tops. It has been a cold morning with the threat of rain looming, and I have hidden away in my little sanctuary of a room...stealing a few hours to myself. I can't help but feel the twinge of guilt as I sit here and write...this is a battle I fight in my heart and mind so often: there is always so much to do and never enough hours to do it in.

This week we had an incredible team from Bay Community Church. Out of all the groups that come to serve with us...this church is most like HPC. They have incredible hearts to serve and their work is backed up by a spirit of excellence that is hard to find in this world. After a full day's work we were all sitting around talking about what we saw...just decompressing. We ended up on the subject of obedience, and how important it is to be obedient to the call God has given us...and how important it is to figure out what that is. Sometimes people come to the mission field and leave with a sense of guilt...that their lives are too blessed...and I want so much to tell them that they are blessed to be a blessing...they are a pipeline from God to those who don't yet know Him.

Anyway...that night I remembered something I learned a long time ago. Kim Braud was teaching a missions class for the Elevate interns. She asked us to write down the reasons we thought we were being called to the mission field. We all began scribbling in our notebooks, writing down all the honorable reasons we thought we should "Go therefore..." After a few minutes, she said...and I am totally paraphrasing since it has been almost 2 years since I was in this class...if you wrote down anything else besides "to be obedient to God" then you need to check yourself.


I thought my answers were pretty know...meeting the needs of the people, showing the love of Christ...etc, etc...all the good things that people think missionaries do.

But Kim had a point. She was trying to get us to realize that if you go to the mission field (whatever that looks like in your life) with the idea that YOU are going to meet the needs of the people - you will be overwhelmed by those needs. If you go with the selfish ambition that YOU are going to do some good - then you will be overtaken by the enemy. BUT if you go because God told you to go - then His grace will be sufficient to keep you there...and just maybe you will bring HIM glory.

So...back to the battle I fight on a regular may be familiar with this one as do you come up against all of the needs that you face every day? In the States, there is a bit of a buffer between daily life and the harsh needs of the poor, but here...they are in your face all of the time. You see them, you touch them and you definitely smell them...and my heart breaks for them...and then breaks again when I realize that I can't do anything for them except put one foot in front of the other and walk that path that God has laid out for me.

Be encouraged...the BEST and most amazing thing you can do in this life is to live the life God intended for you to live. To catch it like a football and run like crazy for the end a stiff arm to anything that tries to divert you from the goal.

So, how do I fight the overwhelming needs surrounding me? I remember that my first responsibility is to the be true to Him. Then I swallow hard and take responsibility for the things that He has put on my plate. Is it hard? Yes. Is is a lot of work? Yes. Do I always feel confident that I can do it? No. Does He show up? EVERY TIME!!!

Mar 10, 2010


We are hosting our first medical team of the year this week. I am having a blast translating for one of the doctors and loving on all of the people. We are hiking out to the village called "Paradise" tomorrow, and I can't wait to see all of my kids again. This village has some of my favorite people and some of the most beautiful kids you have ever seen.

I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about you this week! haha...God is doing so much in the people and in the hearts of the group members. We are happily exhausted at the end of every day, knowing that we gave our all and that God is going to fill us back up again!

It has been an incredible week!

Mar 1, 2010

Oh...My Heart

I haven't forgotten what it feels like to capture the attention of 50 school kids. I haven't forgotten what feels like to teach them things that we call basic, and yet have an incredible impact on their quality of life. I haven't forgotten what it feels like to give a child anti-parasitic medicine and vitamins, and then to find them an inch or two taller just a few months later. 

When pencil boxes and a pack of crayons light up the face of a creates a spark in my soul that turns into a roaring blaze. My heart beats for these kids. My heart beats louder and stronger each time I visit a school and bring a basic hygiene lesson. I know that if these kids can catch the importance of washing their hands then they will live a better life.

What? How is that possible?

We live in an environment where basic hand washing means the difference between a healthy child and an unhealthy one. Hand washing is the main component in keeping kids parasite-free, which means that they will get more nutrition from the foods they eat, their immune systems will be stronger and they won't get sick as often, and they will do better in school because they will have energy to learn and study...there are so many things that hinge on good hygiene.

Me practicing hand-washing with the kids. They count to 20 seconds as they rub their hands together...laughing all the way.

After almost 5 months of waiting, my heart started beating again this week. As the kids yelled "Miss Lila" from the streets and asked me if I was bringing vitamins to their class today, as I gathered the kids and began the lesson...I came alive again. We gave out a ton of stuff: vitamins, tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, band-aids, alcohol wipes, pencil boxes, crayons, bouncy balls and toy cars. BUT the most important thing we gave out that day was hope. Hope in a better life - one without parasites, at least for a while. Hope in a future, maybe one with an education. Hope for the healing of a nation through it's children.

Dave Ohlerking told me one time, "Train the children in the way you want the nation to go," and we are trying to do just that!