Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Greetings


Merry Christmas From  Uganda.

Happy Birthday to you JESUS!  You are the greatest gift ever given.  Thank you for changing my life and giving me hope.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Freedom from the guilt of ugly words...

Freedom from the word of God.....

Isaiah 6: 5-6

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Thank you Father.


Monday, December 13, 2010

It happened pretty innocently.  My internal dialogue went something like this, "I am only trying to defend myself, I am trying to make her see the injustice here, why can't she see me, why has she never seen me for who I am instead of the ridiculous girl she thinks I am?" 

The story is not important, the details a waste of space.  What's important is that I hurt someone I loved.  I spoke without thinking, I did what I do frequently, speaking my mind when I have no place to do so, judging someone else because of my own insecurity.  I wasn't even speaking to the person that I hurt, sadly I haven't since, and now it is too late.

I am reading a book right now that talks about the "flesh woman" inside of all of us ladies, the one we don't like to talk about, the one that rents out space inside of us, the one we have tried desperately to evict, but no matter how many notices we give her, she just doesn't ever leave completely!  My flesh woman can be nasty, she can rear her ugly head at any moment, saying or thinking things that the heart woman in me despises.  Can you relate?  Probably.

I have read the following verse many times before, only now really allowing myself to process it.

James 3: 3-6 (The Message)

3-5A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

My cousin, Brenna is the one that I hurt with my words.  My cousin, who from the moment she came into this world was adored by me.  I was 12 when Brenna was born, and boy did it feel good not to be the youngest in the family anymore.  I would take her sledding, to amusment parks and the zoo, we would go and see movies, we just had fun together and I loved being admired the way that I was!!!  Heehee...don't we all love that???  As Brenna got older we spent less and less time together, we lived in different cities and our lives went in different directions, as they do.  I will regret not taking the time out of our busy lives to see eachother.  Most of all I will regret saying what I said to my Grandmother about Brenna.

Brenna was killed last week in a car accident, 24 years old, beautiful inside and out, and loved by so many.  This experience has taught me a lot about my words and my thoughts, about keeping my mouth shut when I should, about loving without judgment.  I will always regret not having the opportunity to tell Brenna that I was sorry and that no matter what choices she made it did not make me love her any less.  Today I want to say, Brenna I love you, and I always will, you will always be in my heart and I will miss you.

If there is someone in your life that you need to reconcile with, someone who you need to tell "I love you, no matter what", please take my advice and do it.  Love like Jesus loved, without judgement or strings, without hurting, without harsh words.  Isn't that what we are called to do, love one another as we have been loved? 



Brenna Leigh Seeley
Born March 24, 1986
Died December 9, 2010

Thank you for letting me process, for allowing me to be vulnerable. 

Blessing friends,
Cheryl

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lunch is served!!!!

Yep, that's right, you guessed it, bush RAT for lunch.  I know, you are all having some problems imagining me eating RAT, and yes, it was a little bit difficult for me.  Kenzie however was able to eat it like she had not eaten in days and found it to be quite enjoyable!!!!  What a weird kid I have!
William, our fearless leader, ready for his favorite meal.
Local restaurant...on the menu.....Bush Rat.
Owner of Bush Rat restaurant.

Who knows, perhaps in years to come Bush rat will become as popular as Sushi in the west!!!




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peter

This is Peter.  Peter lives in Lobone, Southern Sudan, he has no family, he lives in a leaky grass thatched house, sleeps without a mattress on a cold dirt floor, and up until our team arrived he had no blanket.  Peter is in his fifties and was once a local teacher.  We shared a compound with this delightful man for 5 weeks.

In 1983 Peter's life began to change. Another civil war began in Sudan, and many people were fleeing the country.  Peter stayed, for what reason I do not know, what I do know is that because of this decision he endured much hardship.  I don't know all of the details about the Sudanese Army, I don't know everything about the war, I could never do justice with my words to those who suffered through this time in Sudan, but for Peter, I will try.




Peter was captured and tortured by the army.  His body was broken, his legs so badly burned with hot oil and chemicals that now he is unable to stand up straight due to the extensive muscle damage.  When Peter walks one cannot ignore his crooked, hunched spine that I can only deduce, causes him much pain.  Emotionally, Peter was also broken and due to this fact he has lost his mind, one of the unseen scars that he will forever bear.  Peter met us the first night that we arrived, the others that greeted us laughed as we introduced ourselves to him, telling us that he was crazy.  There was something about this man though, that instantly got both mine and Kenzies attention, we saw more than just a crazy man, we saw in him something else, something lovely.  Yes, Peter talked nonsense most of the time, told us stories of his trips to South Africa, Canada, and the moon.  He called me his sister and Kenzie his daughter, we seemed special to him and he became special to us. 

A few nights after we arrived I was woken up to Peter talking and coughing, saying that he was sick, that he had no blanket, and about things that I could not make sense of.  That night, I removed my sleeping bag  to see how it felt without one, to feel what Peter felt and I was very cold and it was very difficult for me to sleep.  No wonder this man was awake, no wonder he had such a terrible cough.  In the morning, Kenzie gave her blanket to Peter, we had borrowed sleeping bags and so a blanket was not necessary and I had already given mine away to one of our team members. We were also able to give Peter some meds to help with his coughing, it did not take the cough away completely, but it helped him to sleep a little bit better, and the blanket kept him a little bit warmer.


During our stay,God was able to use us to show Peter love, to listen to him.  He felt like he was a part of us, like he had a family.  My hope now is that even though we are no longer there, that God has filled the void as only He can, because he loves Peter more than we could ever love him.  I pray for Peter to be healed, I pray for provision and that God would put in place people to love him, would you join me? 


Thank you friends, may God bless you,

Cheryl xo




























































































Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Processing

PHEW!!!!! 

We have returned from outreach and boy do I have stories to tell you. I am still in the processing stage, trying to make sense of some of the things that I saw and experienced.  God was faithful and I am so very thankful for this, I could never have gone through this experience if He was not walking beside me every step of the way.  Kenzie amazed me as usual, her strength and love was inspiring to me and the rest of the team, I know this has changed her and she will be better for it.

I will begin by showing you where we were,  while looking at the pictures imagine 2 girls from Canada living here for 5 weeks......

That's all for now.  Rest assured that I am back in the blogging world and will post more frequently to give you all a taste of our time in Sudan and Gulu. 
Blessings friends,
Cheryl

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In Sudan

In Sudan safe and sound.  Internet access poor.  I will have much to write once I return to Uganda.  Please continue to visit. 

Blessings,

Cheryl xoxox

Monday, August 30, 2010

Daily life

It has been brought to my attention that I have written very little about daily life here, my apologies for this.  I do want to give each of you reading this blog a picture of this place, I want to write so that you all feel as though you too are here with me.  This is where a creative writing course would have been beneficial, but alas, I never took creative writing, so bear with me as I try my best.  I will do this in multiple posts so as not to give you all a headache.

My day begins at 7am when the alarm wakes me from sweet slumber.  Knowing that a cold basin bath awaits me, I take my time getting out of the single bed that I have called my own since June.  Crawling out from under the mosquito net, I make my way to the "showers", with my basin in hand.  I will save you the details of the bath, except to say that there is a lot of quiet yelps from my stall as I pour cold water on myself....eeeekkkkk!!  Worship begins at 8am in the classroom along with a short Bible study, intercession time or chapel time when we students are asked to speak about something on our hearts.  Class officially begins at 9am and runs until 1pm.  We have learned a lot in class about the world, people, evangelism and missions.  In the afternoon I remove my student cap and replace it with my teacher cap as this is the time when I do homeschooling.  I am doing the best I can in this department, I am not trained as a teacher nor do I recall all that I learned in grade 8, which means that a lot of my time is spent quietly relearning science and math, not to let Kenzie in on the fact the her Mom doesn't know it all.....do they know this at 13?????  I think she might have an idea!  You have also noticed that my grammar and writing is not top quality, I write how I speak and often make up words, not good when teaching a grade 8 student how to write!!!!  YIKES.  Philippians 4:13 is a much quoted scripture these days.  The evenings are usually spent watching a DVD in our room until the power goes out, which some nights is as early as 9pm. 

In 2 weeks time we will leave for outreach, my team is heading to Sudan.  In Sudan, we will have different ministries to work with, it appears that I will be able to put my nursing to good use as the need is great for basic care.  We will be teaching and preaching, as well as building, digging or anything else that needs to be done where we are.  I am looking forward to this stage of the journey with only a little trepidation.  We will be gone from Arua for 3 months and I do not think that I will be able to access the computer, so please don't stop visiting after a long silence...I promise to be back, undoubtedly with much to say.  Our days on outreach will look very different, and to be honest I am looking forward to the fact that I won't have to sit in a class all morning, this reeks havoc on my A.D.D..

I will tell you a little about Arua in the next post, before that though I might take some time to look up creative writing styles so as not to bore you all to tears!!!!

Blessing friends,
Cheryl xoxox

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Never say never....

I was chatting with a friend the other day on FB.  My friend made a comment that has been grieving me ever since.  We were talking about my experience living here in Africa, my friend said "I couldn't do it", then  promptly corrected the statement by saying "actually I wouldn't do it".  Now, I know that we are not all called to live in Africa or any other third world country for that matter, the comment grieves me because it suddenly struck me that so many Christians in this world share that same attitude. The attitude that if something is uncomfortable or the least bit difficult I am not willing to do it, even if God asks me to.  I have no idea if this is where my friends head is at and this is in no way a judgement on this person, it just made me think about how many of us out there think this very same way.  Not too long ago, I too was not willing to give up my comforts and still I must confess that I miss them very much, but I am at a point in my journey where I can say that anything is worth it if I am doing it for the one who died on the cross for me.  If Jesus can do that and think of me, than giving up warm showers and toilets really doesn't seem like much. 

Saying "yes" to God is not always easy, and believe me, sometimes what he asks is way beyond us, but I can say that I have already been richly blessed because I did finally say yes.  What is God asking you to do, where does he want to send you?  If He is speaking, listen and be ready.  Remember too that God has a sense of humour and I would be a little nervous about saying things like "I wouldn't do it", "I couldn't do it", "never", "not me" etc.....Be ready to do the impossible.

On a side note, friend, if by chance you read this, know that you are very special and you have a tremendous gift, use your gift wisely and for the One who gave it to you.  You have the potential to be a world changer, believe it and never say never.  God will give you whatever you need in order to fulfill the call he has for you and you could never even imagine a better path than the one He has chosen.  See yourself the way He sees you, it might surprize you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ode to.....


Oh dear Starbucks, how I miss thee,
I cannot count the ways.


Oh dear bed, how I miss thee
I cannot count the ways.


Even you, dear bathroom,
I miss more than you could know.

I want so much to see you all,
my mind has been consumed.
I have not been in contact,
as I know you miss me too.
I promise to be back someday,
To hold you close once more.
So do not be discouraged,
And don't forget my face,
I'll be back before you know it,
expecting an embrace!!!

Ok, ok I know, pathetic......but cute right?????
Of course I miss all of you my friends and family more than these comforts. Although, I must tell you that on these rainy, gloomy days, these comforts of home would be so very nice.  Is it not ironic that Uganda is one of the leading coffee producers.....and yet......I cannot find anything good around anywhere!!!  Feel sad for only a moment, I will survive....hahahaha.

Miss you all.....
Cheryl xoxox



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rainstorms bring rainbows....

I have been MIA for a while.  I have had so much to say, and so little to say all at the same time.  Some of you already know that I felt as though I was in a storm recently, a storm I thought would never end, a storm I felt so much guilt about going through because I had talked so much about this place, talked so much about my passion for people, I thought I had failed.  The storm has ended, but that does not mean that I feel like I am now skipping through a field of roses singing blissful songs of praise, on the contrary, I am lonely and desire often to beam myself home. 

I was reading a book that a dear lady gave to me before I left, a book that I must confess had not one ounce of attractabilty to me, but when you are in Africa and feel a bit bored because it is raining outside and there is nothing else to do, you read books that don`t attract you, believe me!  Anyway, through this book, I realized that my emotions, lack of inspiration and irritability with this place is normal.  In fact, this is a quote that a seasoned missionary to China gave to a group of young women on their way to the mission field; "Girls, when you get to China, all the scum of your nature will rise to the top".  Strong words, but I must tell you, so very true.  Many things about my nature, my character have come to the surface since I arrived, things that I don't like very much, but I know that in order to be changed by God, I must see and admit that there are areas in desperate need of change.  God says that He is the potter and we are the clay for a reason.  I am in the molding stage, and I have to tell you something else, IT HURTS!!!! 

Yes, like a piece of precious pottery I am being formed into what God wants me to be, now this is exciting, despite the pain.  God is revealing things to me that make my heart skip.  For now though I am going to savour the time that these things are only between Him and I, sorry people, in due time, in due time.  I know without a doubt that God called me here, that He has a plan in all of this and so I rest in that truth.

Now, onto something else.  After reading "Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne (yes, I do a lot of reading!!!) I was inspired and would recommend that you read anything by this very gifted man, but one part jumped off of the page.  Shane was writing about Matthew 25 and asked his readers this: (I have paraphrased)

In this passage did Jesus say "When I was hungry you wrote a check to the United Way, and they fed me; when I was naked you donated your clothes to salvation Army and they clothed me," NO, He said YOU fed me, YOU gave me something to drink, YOU invited me in, YOU clothed me, YOU, YOU, YOU. 

I am not saying that giving money or donating your clothes are not good things, don't misconstrued this, I am asking however, that on top of that, what are YOU doing?  God is looking for more than distant charity, something that our nation has become good at.  Don't short change yourself by remaining a safe distance away.  Get to know the poor and suffering of the world, look into their eyes and touch their hands for yourself.  Mother Teresa used to say "come and see", when people asked about her work. 

Claiborne also said this "The great tragedy is not that Christians don't care about the poor, but that rich Christians don't know the poor".  Strong words....I wish that I had said them!!!  Don't ask God to use your feet and your hands, if you don't really mean it, if you are not willing to go into the world.  Do you want to be like Jesus?  I do, that is why I am here, being molded, being shaped, even though it hurts.  I am nothing extraordinary, but God can do extraordinary things through me if I choose to let Him.  I want people to see Jesus in me, I want to be less so that He can be more.

One more quote to leave you with....

"In God's perfect workings, the instrument is forgotten. It is the blessing of Himself that is remembered"

Blessings,

Cheryl

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A little of this, a little of that....

Quick update.......

I am getting very good at basin baths and actually feel clean after having one!!!!!

I have eaten my first white ant.  Yes you did read that correctly, an ANT!  I was brave, I ate it with a smile on my face and to be honest, it was pretty good!

Peeing in a hole is still a bit of a  learning curve, but there is a sit down toilet...praise GOD for little things, so my learning my take a while!!

No more rats in my room....again praise GOD!!
Kenzie and I have eaten  Ethiopian food for the first time.....it was great!  We were celebrating Amy and Paul's Adoption news, it made it all the more worth while.

Vikki is still an awesome support and encouragement to me.  Just seeing you and knowing you are near Vikki is a big help to me.

Hospital ministry is going well.  I will elaborate on this another time.

God is doing great things in my heart and I am getting closer to Him everyday.

All for now friends as my battery is dying.......love you all...

Cheryl xoxox

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Father Heart of God

I been blessed with a wonderful earthly dad.  My dad would do anything for me.  In fact, right now as I am in Uganda, my dad has taken on the daunting task of managing all that I left behind.  This is only one of the many things throughout my life that my dad has done for me.  For this dad, I want to say thank you. 

Having a dad like mine has made it easier for me to reach out for God and to understand His heart and love for me.  Not all of you have had this experience, some of you have been abused, rejected, some of you don`t know your earthly dad`s.  Rest in the truth that you are loved and that you have a loving Father God longing to have a relationship with you.

Jeremiah 3:19 says this.....I have always wanted to treat you as my children and give you the best land, the most beautiful on earth. I wanted you to call me "Father" and not turn from me.

If you are searching, if you have made mistakes, find comfort in knowing that we have all sinned, that none of us deserve to have God's love, but He is ready to give it to us if we ask.  Please take some time to read the following story and while you read it, imagine the Lord, waiting for you, longing for you to come home.

Sawat's Story...A Story of Forgiveness

He had disgraced his family and dishonored his father’s name. He had come to Bangkok to escape the dullness of village life. He had found excitement, and while he prospered in his sordid lifestyle he had found popularity as well.When he first arrived, he had visited a hotel unlike he had ever seen before. In each of the hotel rooms were teenage girls. Some as young as 12 years old and younger. Some of the girls were laughing and some looked nervous and scared.
That visit began Sawat’s venture into Bangkok’s world of prostitution. It began innocently enough, but he was quickly caught like a small piece of wood in a raging river. It’s force was too powerful and swift for him, the current too strong.
Soon he was selling opium to customers and propositioning tourists in the hotels. He even went so low as to actually help buy and sell young girls, some of them only 9 and 10 years old. It was a nasty business, and he was one of the most important of the young “businessmen.”
Then the bottom dropped out of his world: He hit a string of bad luck. He was robbed, and while trying to climb back to the top, he was arrested. The word went out in the underworld that he was a police spy. He finally ended up living in a shanty by the city trash pile.
Sitting in his little shack, he thought about his family, especially his father, a simple Christian man from a small southern village near the Malaysian border. He remembered his dad’s parting words: “I am waiting for you.” He wondered whether his father would still be waiting for him after all that he had done to dishonor the family name. Would he be welcome in his home? Word of Sawat’s lifestyle had long ago filtered back to the village.
Finally he devised a plan.
“Dear Father,” he wrote, “I wanted to come home, but I don’t know if you will receive me after all I have done. I have sinned greatly, father. Please forgive me. On Saturday night I will be on the train that goes through our village. If you are still waiting for me, will you tie a piece of cloth on the poe tree in front of our house? (Signed ) Sawat.”
On that train ride he reflected on his life over the past few months and knew that his father had every right to deny him. As the train finally neared the village, he churned with anxiety. What would he do if there was no cloth on the po tree?
Sitting opposite him was a kind stranger who noticed how nervous his fellow passenger had become. Finally Sawat could stand the pressure no longer. He blurted out his story in a torrent of words. As they entered the village, Sawat said, “Oh, sir, I cannot bear to look. Can you watch for me? What if my father will not receive me back?”
Sawat buried his face between his knees. “Do you see it, sir? It’s the only house with a po tree.”
“Young man, your father did not hang just one piece of cloth. Look! He has covered the whole tree with cloth!” Sawat could hardly believe his eyes. The branches were laden with tiny white squares. In the front yard his old father jumped up and down, joyously waving a piece of white cloth, then ran in halting steps beside the train. When it stopped at the little station he threw his arms around his son, embracing him with tears of joy. “Ive been waiting for you!” he exclaimed.
(Floyd McClung - The Father Heart of God)

So, just as Sawat's father wanted his son to come home, just as he was ready to forgive him for whatever and wherever he had been, the same is true for Father God.  Believe that he longs for you to know Him, believe that he wants to forgive you, believe that He loves you no matter what.

Blessings friends,


Cheryl


Happy CANADA Day



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ding dong......

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!

Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - you sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead.

This is the original version of this song......here is my version for your enjoyment......

Ding Dong! The rat is dead.  Which old rat?  The ugly rat!
Ding Dong! The ugly rat is dead.
Wake up - you sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the nasty, ugly, sleep stealing rat is dead!

I apologize if anyone is offended by my posting a picture of my dead rat, however, this is my blog and I will post what I want too!!!  Also, I think it is important to give you the whole truth, which does include pictures of my world, pleasing and not so pleasing.

I will leave you a picture that makes my heart sing.  One that is so much more pleasing than a dead rat!!!!




Blessings to you my friends,

Cheryl

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oh Rats!!!!!!

Or maybe I should say..."oh, RAT!" 

For the last few nights we have had a friendly visitor in our room.  I say friendly because for the most part we have left eachother alone, but this is about to change.  My friendliness has come to an end and I think maybe so will the life of this poor rat!!  I am a lover of all things, but when these things steal my sleep, I become frustrated and tend to take my frustration out on others.  This is something that I refuse to let happen.

Now, you might be asking, "What is it that Cheryl has in her room that is attracting this rat?".  I can tell you this, all that I have in my room that is worth anything, is coffee.  My friends will not be surprized that coffee is what I deem as most important :)....  So, unless this rat has been to Starbucks and has since become a coffee connoisseur there is absolutely nothing that I know of that would be attracting this rat.  Unless of course he has radar for white girls form Canada!!! Clearly he has no idea who he is dealing with.

Onto other things......

School has begun, and I am learning much already.  This is a picture of the school, where we will spend everyday from now until the second week of September.  I know that God has many things to reveal to me while I am here, for this I am excited.  This truth makes everything that is uncomfortable worth it....even the rat!

Mackenzie is doing well.  We have both had moments of frustration and times when we missed home very much, but all is well.  God is here with us and so we will draw near to Him.  Homeschooling is slowly starting, it is a definite learning curve for both of us.  Mackenzie is distracted easily by the little ones who want to spend time with her, and she has no complaints about this....anything to get out of school right???!!!  Here are some pictures of Kenzie and her following.......









More pics to come my friends.  For now, please pray for us and know that we are also praying for all of you.
Blessings,
Cheryl :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

The good and the not so good....

We have been in Uganda for just over one week. I would like to paint you a picture instead of using words, as I feel my words are too few at this stage. This week has flown by in some respects, but at the same time has crawled along at a snail’s pace. My head feels like it may explode and I am on the verge of asking God why He chose to send me here. I cannot imagine at this point becoming accustomed to the food, the toilets, and the lack of warm water for showering. I know that God will come through and give me the grace to handle even these small things, things that I have taken for granted my whole life. I know there is a real lesson in even these things; however, I really have to be honest with you ......I HATE PEEING IN A HOLE!!


After going over the culture shock stages with Vikki, I have realized that I've fast tracked it straight to stage 3, the toughest. The stage where everything seems horrible and one cannot imagine surviving. I wonder if I have reached this point so fast because I have been to Uganda before. Perhaps it's because God needs to ready me for something else and so we need to walk through this now. This I may never know, but I will do my best to find harmony and peace in whatever stage I find myself. I will do this knowing that this is not about me, that making any sacrifice, when doing it for Him is worth it...and trust me when I say that peeing in hole is a sacrifice for me.

Top 5 best things about YWAM Arua:

1. The staff here are so welcoming and friendly

2. Watching Mackenzie and her posse of wee ones playing games that she has already taught them

3. Boda Boda rides to town (I will share more about this another time)

4. Vikki's ongoing support and encouragement

5. Learning new things


Top 5 worst things about YWAM Arua:

1. Toilets (holes in ground)

2. Showers (brick boxes located on the other of the base that pour cold water on your head)

3. Food

4. Small living quarters

5. Missing family and friends

And so, as I go please journey with me, I promise not to bring up sensitive issues like peeing everytime I write. For now though when you sit comfortably on your porcelain toilet, think of me as I try to steady myself, aim correctly, hold my toilet paper and my room key so as not to drop them down the hole and last but not least trying very hard NOT to pee on my feet and ankles!!!!! hahaha.....sorry all.

Blessings,


Cheryl

Just to give you a glimpse...in case you were wondering!!!!!!!!



Thursday, June 3, 2010

We have arrived

Yes!  After much planning, preparation and anxiety, we are here.

I hope to post a few pics from the first day soon.  It was lovely to spend the day in Kampala with Mackenzie and Vikki Wright, YWAM Arua base leader and now my new friend. 

The smells the sights are the same, as is the feeling in my heart that somehow I belong here.  It is early still, and I am in the "honeymoon" stage for now, so don't be surprized if in the weeks ahead instead of  "I belong here", I am saying "get me outta here"!!!!  Vikki is going to go over some of the stages of culture shock for both Kenzie and I so that when those moments come, we can walk through them knowing that it is normal.

Later this morning we will leave on the bus for Arua.  A 7 hour bus journey......eeeeekk!! 

Well my friends, I shall sign off now as I must get a bit more sleep before we need to get up and ready to leave the guest house.  Stay tuned for pictures.

Be blessed,

Monday, May 31, 2010

Beginning

I am sitting here in the comforts of my parents home wondering, how do I get there from here.... 

Yes, by plane of course!!!! 

But you know that isn't what I mean.  How do I get there emotionally, mentally, spiritually?  Am I ready for what's in store?  The answer is simply this......I do not know how, and I do not know if I'm ready....but GOD.  He has the answers, He will provide, He is going before me to prepare the way, and my trust has to be in Him and only Him.  And so I go, bringing my inspiring daughter with me, to follow our Lord into the homes and arms of the broken, and we do so with a grateful heart knowing this is His plan for us.



Blessings friends.....I will be in touch soon,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Counting the Cost

At the risk of sounding selfish, spoiled and arrogant I thought it very important that this post reveal my heart. In 20 days I will be leaving for Uganda, and as you can imagine my emotions are changing minute to minute.  I have been asked more times than I can count if  I'm excited, a seemingly easy question, but one that I am having a difficult time answering.  If truth be told today, I am not excited.  Perhaps I have finally begun to count the cost, perhaps I have begun to see more clearly the things and people that I will miss, perhaps I am a spoiled North American girl who would rather stay comfortable.  I hesitate to say the words that I am not excited to those that ask the question because the inevitable response is one of confusion.  My answer of course is that sometimes God asks us to do things that are not easy or comfortable.  Please do not misconstrued my openness, I am not questioning God's hand here, I have no doubt in my mind or my heart that this is what He wants me to do.  This is what He had planned for both Mackenzie and I.  I know after some reflection and prayer that this stage is an important one.  I am, as mentioned, counting the cost. 

Proverbs 20:25
25 Don’t trap yourself by making a rash promise to God
and only later counting the cost.

I wonder, how often do we make a promise to our Lord and not count the cost, and does this grieve our Father in heaven? 
 
What does it mean to count the cost?  Do we hold onto the absurd idea that being a true follower of Christ is going to be easy, and for that reason rush into making a decision?  In Luke we read the following:

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

When you read those words, do you make the mistake that I have made time and time again?  Do you simply think it was a different time then, that Jesus meant those words for those people and NOT for me, for us?  These are the words of Jesus, and let me say this.....He meant them for ALL of us, then and NOW!  Joyce Meyer says that true giving should be uncomfortable, it should be a sacrifice.  Giving things that don't mean anything to you anymore is easy. Giving your time when there is nothing else to do, is easy.  The times when you are asked to give something that you still love or give your time when you feel as though you have no more to give, that is true giving.  This looks different for all of us, some of us may be asked to give it all up, some of us will be asked to open our homes to a precious child, some of us will be asked to lead a group, the list could go on and on.  Whatever it is for you, be ready to be uncomfortable, it is then that we are truly blessed.

And so, I feel uncomfortable, and yet I feel God's hands and His blessings as I move forward.  I need to remind myself  that God's ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts.  I need to remember that the life I had planned out for myself does not even compare to the one that God had planned for me.  I am ready to take on His journey and make it mine.  I am excited for that.  Counting the cost, yes.  Giving up some comforts, yes.  Willingly following Him into the world knowing that no matter what, He is with us.  Finally knowing that I am on the path towards my destiny, the one that HE chose for me.

Don't be afraid to count the cost and go.  Be more afraid of missing out on the wondrous things He will do in and through you.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (New International Version)
9However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"

Blessings friends,

Monday, April 26, 2010

Did you say 36?????!!!!!

Just a very quick update.....

As you can see on the side bar countdown, we are leaving in 36 days!!!!  It seems so unreal.

I have rented my home, which was causing some unnecessary stress.  Through the process though I have learned some very good lessons about faith and trust.  Leave it with God, without taking it back, and He will bring the RIGHT people.  Thank you Lord for teaching me to rely on you, and you alone.

We have had two successful fundraisers, with the help of my trusted La la's.  Raising close to $4500!!!  AMAZING!  What an awesome confirmation from God that He has called us to this.

Mackenzie and I are both doing well.  I am having a bit of a hard time with the thought of giving up the comforts of home if I may be completely honest.  God is bigger than any of these comforts though, and He will provide peace.  I am fearful at times too, but God has directed me to this passage:

 Isaiah 41:9-10
I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
and will not throw you away.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

I have made the mistake of thinking this journey is about me, in my fear and my struggle.  God is revealing a bigger truth, this is about HIM and HIM alone.  I feel privileged to be asked to give up what I have here in Ontario, Canada to be His hands and feet in this big world of His.  To Him be the glory!

Now I must go and ready myself for some packing and organizing!!!

Blessings,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Everyone needs a few La La's


You've heard of Ya Ya's.  

I have La La's.  A sisterhood.  Friendships that focus not on age, personality, or backgrounds. 

We don't have any weird ceremonies or chants, athough I may come up with a chant someday, might be fun!!!  We have come together with one thing in common beyond all other things, a love for Jesus.

This post is to honour each one of them.  These women have come alongside Kenzie and I in this mission journey in ways that I never thought women could do.  These women are prayer warriors.  These women are special.  These women have been a gift from the Lord.....for such a time as this.  I could not be doing what I am doing without them. 

Thank you Jesus for these ladies.

And so, without further ado, I introduce you to my La La's...in no particular order....

Bonnie -  You give me the courage to be me.
Connie -  You are genuine and loving.
Gwen - You have a true servants heart, it is beautiful.
Jean - My BFFWAOP (best friends forever with an old person).  You are so real and true.
Joan - Organizer extrodinaire.  Your laughter is contagious and beautiful.
Karen - Your honesty and vulnerablity give me the strength to be so also.
Laura - You have taught me things I never knew I needed to know. You cheer me on.
Lynn - You are full of grace and joy.
Margaret - You are an inspiration to me in so many ways, you take the time to really see people.
Marilyn - You are dedicated to those around you.
Nikki - Having only knowing you a short time, your willingness to help has made my heart smile.
Patricia - You have a beautiful way about you, you have true integrity.
Patty - You are generous and have a heart of gold.
Sharon - You are compassionate and full of mercy.
Sherri - You are a prayer warrior.  Your spirit makes me want to sing.
Shirley - You have a quiet loving way about you.
Sue - Your words speak directly to my heart.
Cecile -  You have no judgement in you, you see people for who they are and love them no matter what.

In all of you ladies, I see Jesus; You have all inspired me to be strong and courageous; You are all my warriors, encircling me, ready to do battle for Kenzie and I. You have all shown great love,compassion and support.  May you all be abundantly blessed because of what you have done for Kenzie and I. Thank you.

Again I say.....we all need a few La La's around us!!!!

Blessings,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Call

Throughout my life I have heard about people being "called" to this or that, not really understanding what that meant. I suppose when I was really little I imagined this big cloud appearing to these people and a loud booming voice from the cloud saying "I want you to be a doctor" or "I want you to move into the jungle". Funny when I think of it now. As I got older I have to admit I was pretty indifferent about the called of my church congregation, that was good for them, but for me, nope, God was not calling me to do anything special.

As I reflect now on the indifference I felt, I realize it was the enemy speaking to me.  Yes, satan does has a booming voice sometimes.  I felt that I was not good enough to be called, or strong enough, or smart enough, basically I wasn't anything enough.  I was focused so much on the me and not the HIM.  The enemy grabbed a hold of that telling me that God would never use a girl like me, I was not like the other girls in my church, I was far from perfect and God only uses the close to perfect if not the absolute perfect to do anything for Him.  In light of these so called truths I was hearing I walked away.  I didn't want to be a hypocrite and used that as the perfect excuse not to go to church or to continue hanging out with my friends from church.  I didn't turn my back on God, I used that aspect in times of sadness or trouble, times when I didn't study much for an exam and needed God to intervene.  I was nothing special.  I had nothing special to offer.  I made choices that reflected this self dialogue (with the help of some well trained demons).

I made choices to drink alcohol, to have inappropriate relationships, conversations with friends had very little to do with God if anything to do with Him at all.  I kept that piece of my heart hidden.  I was not a wild child or anything, don't get me wrong, but I wanted to enjoy my life, I wanted to have fun and believed the lies I was hearing that walking with God wouldn't give me that.  I stand (actually I am sitting, but in my heart I am standing before all of you) before you today to say walking with God, in the will of God is the most exciting place I have been.  He is bringing me to things that I  could never have imagined for myself.  He is showing me how big He is, He is showing me that surrendering is courageous, that lifting my hands to Him and saying "do what you will" is truly an adventure.  He is showing me that it is NOT about me, it is about HIM and He will make me into a world changer, something I wanted to be all my life but never would have been if it were not for Him. 

I write to encourage all of us, we are all called to be world changers.  So, let's change the world people, one person at a time.

Blessings,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Top 100....WOW!!!!


My blog has been listed as one of the top 100 Christian Women's Blogs in 2009 at Internet cafe.  Ten different catagories, ten blogs listed in each......mine is in the "All new flavour blog" catagory......cool!!!

Thank you to all who nominated me.  This has given me the encouragement to continue on this blogging journey and to make sure that the ideas in my head blossom into posts.  Very cool......thanks again.

Blessings,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It is all about the LOVE

According to recent statistics there are 2.1 billion Christians in this world. Now, I realize that this number encompasses a lot of different ideas, but for the sake of this post, let's assume that this number represents true Jesus followers. The approximate population of the world, as of September 3, 2009, is 6.7 billion. This means that there are 4.6 billion people who do not know Jesus.

Jesus.  This name causes some people in my world to cringe.  This name said out loud means that I must be a religious freak, a holy roller, a bible thumper.  I'm ok with that.  I'm ok with it, because I know that my relationship with Jesus has very little to do with any of these terms. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it truly means to be a Jesus follower. 

Ghandi once said
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

If I may simplify what it means to me to be a Jesus follower then, it means, striving to be Christ like.

The Jesus I know, is all about LOVE. 

John 3:16-17 says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 13:35 says: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

God sent His son, Jesus, because He LOVES us.
Jesus LOVES us so much that He died on the cross to save us.
If  I want to be like Jesus, then I must LOVE all people.

Does this mean that I think I am perfect?  Does it mean that I am better than everyone else?  Does it mean that I have the right to judge people?  No, No, and No.

If you do not know Jesus, please do not reject Him because of us christians.  We fail miserably at this most days, we struggle and sin daily, which is why we need a Saviour. I long for others to know the Jesus that I know.

I will not be ashamed of my faith.  I will not be ashamed to use the name of Jesus in daily conversation. I will not be ashamed to give all the glory to God if something awesome happens in my life, whether or not the person I say it to looks at me with an unbelieving eye and a smirk.  I will walk in faith and love, striving to be like Jesus, hoping that I will have the priviledge to lead someone to this amazing, loving, Father God that I serve.

To truly know Jesus is to know grace, mercy and love. 

Blessings,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane....


It is real, so real.......we are leaving......June 1st..........

I have not been updating often as the things on my "to do" list are all very boring in terms of writing about them.....I mean how in the world could I make talking to the travel agent for over an hour exciting to read???? Or booking vaccination times for Kenzie.....much to her absolute dismay.  Not very exciting stuff really.

The exciting thing is that GOD is coming through in every situation.  God has answered prayers in bigger and better ways than I could have imagined, He has placed Mackenzie and I on the hearts of people just when we needed it.  I wonder sometimes, why am I always so amazed by His awesomeness.....perhaps I am a slow learner.....perhaps it is exactly how God wants us to feel.

I would love to hear some of your God stories, the times when you felt like the situation was too big and He came through bigger and better. 

Blessings my friends,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Out of my comfort zone

I have quickly realized on this missions journey that stepping out of my comfort zone is really challenging.

Asking for donations is tough, but a step of faith.

I have added a paypal gadget to the sidebar of my blog and if you have been led to make a donation to our journey we would both very much appreciate it.

More importantly though, if you would all continue to lift us up in prayer.  We have some tough challenges ahead, before we leave and of course during our time away.  A lot of questions are yet to be answered, but thankfully we serve a GIANT Father GOD, who has all of the answers.

Bless you friends.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A little of this and that

I wanted to give you an update.........

Lost - 6 pounds.....YAY
Devotions with Kenzie - We haven't had devotions per se, however, we have been spending time praying and talking a lot about what God desires our lives to look like......does that count?
Loving people - I am a loving person, was prior to the resolution, loving more, loving like Jesus is a work in progress.

Not bad, right????

Now for the BIG news..........

It is officially official.......I have been accepted into the CDTS course with YWAM.  Kenzie and I will be leaving the comforts of home here in Canada the last week of May or the first week of June.  The reality of this has hit me in a big way.  The questions/comments from friends and family have flooded back into my brain, mostly the negative ones of course.  I am however, standing against the negativity because for the first time in my 35 years I know without any reservation that this is God's will for my daughter and I.  I understand the worry that my parents have. I get the comments like "are you crazy?" from some of my non-christian friends, somehow though I find it very hard to understand it from the Jesus followers in my life.  Now, don't get me wrong, most of the people I surround myself with have been nothing but supportive and positive, for that I am grateful.  But, for those of you who are not willing to be postive and supportive I ask that you keep your comments to yourself.  We are called to live in radical obedience, we are called to do things that take us out of our comfort zones, we are called to do for the least of these, we are called to LOVE BIG and LOVE WELL.  I have a God given passion for social change and justice, I have a God given desire to live amongst the least of these, I have a desire to be like JESUS.  Kenzie was given to me as gift from God almost 13 years ago now, and guess what....HE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, and so, He gave her a heart like her Mom.  He has prepared her for this journey also.  So, for those of you who question my responsibility as a parent, I say, God is her great big FATHER GOD and He loves her with a giant Father Heart.  I will not question what He wants for us or where He wants to send us, and neither should any of you, because we have been called to have faith in Him. 

Please continue to pray for us as we journey through the planning and preparing stages of this, and that our hearts would be readied for this amazing adventure.  Pray also that we would be protected, because as you all know, when we say "yes" to God, there is a serpent ready to do whatever he can to put a wrench in the plans.

Blessings my friends,

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



Today I am sending my documents to YWAM Arua Uganda.  Please pray that God would go before these papers, that His mighty hands would be upon them, that His words would fly off the page and into the minds and hearts of those reading them.

Thank you friends for taking this journey with me in prayer.

Blessings,