Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The App Is In...

I finally finished filling in the 20 page application for my church mission board, (with the exception of the budget that I will do at my training).

Please pray for the global ministries team members as they review my application and make the decision of whether or not they will allow me to be sent out as an "official" cornerstone missionary.

I will post updates of the application process as I get them! Thanks for praying!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I learned something about Uganda today at the World Vision Experience event.
  • I learned that Aids was first discovered in Uganda 25 years ago and that it is believed that a fishing village off of Lake Victoria was the birthplace of the epidemic.
  • I learned that medicine for AIDS/HIV only work if the person taking the medicine has a healthy diet and that while some people in Uganda have access to the medicine, their diets are so poor that it counteracts any benefit they should receive from the drugs.

I also had the opportunity to learn about two kids from Uganda, Emmanuel and Baibyre. These kids have been directly affected by the disease and their stories will touch your hearts.

So what is this exhibit like??

The experience is set up somewhat like an Alcatraz tour. It is self guided but you wear an ipod that guides you through the child's life. I went through three of the four children's lives and each one was AMAZING.

The hardest part of the exhibit is not just sitting on the children's beds or flipping through their bibles at their churches, the hardest part is taking the trip to the health clinic as you wait to find out if your child has Aids or not. I walked through 3, of which I was given two positive HIV stamps and one negative. Even though I do not have AIDS, It was weird how my heart raced and sadness hit me when I was given the positive stamp. Thoughts like "oh no, what do I do now?" or "Wow, now I am labeled" ran through my head. When I was positive I had to sit in a "restricted" area for those affected. I really felt like it was my life. As I was guided out of the health clinic, I had the opportunity to go through a chapel area with pictures of children and their families. Red plus signs were stamped on faces of those affected and verses from Matthew 25 were written on the wall:

"The the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick or in prison, and come to You?' And the king will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my breathern, you did it to Me."

I wish I could do more to help...I wish I could get ALL of my friends and family to go to this experience...The more people that are aware, the more help these kids in Africa will get! If you know someone that wants to do more than just "play church"...then go and be a part. God desires people that are doers and not just hearers. I know I can't sit by idly and do nothing, can you?

...if you haven't been yet, there are still three days left!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don't Forget!!!!

The World Vision Aids Experience starts tomorrow!

You don't want to miss this free event! If you want to get a feel for what Africa is like but you don't want to visit Africa personally, then this is the event for you!

I am going on Saturday from 11 to 3 and on Sunday from 2:30 to 3:00. I hope to see you there!

August 22 - 26, 2008
5495 Via Rocas
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(818) 991-8040

You can sign up for free tickets or to volunteer at the event on their website at:

Here's another video about it:

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Have you ever written something on your computer, re-read it at least two times, used the spell check and STILL have someone point out the errors in it when you are done??

Well, I have!

My most recent one being one of the BIGGEST Boo-boo's yet. I sent out a letter to 25 people that expressed an interest in being a part of my support team. In it I was telling them how I felt God's calling in my life but that I prayed for wisdom and for God to reveal himself to me so that I could say with confidence that this was where He wanted me...Unfortunately my spell check and proof-reading skills failed. Rather than saying "God revealed himself to me", I typed "God reviled himself to me".

So for all those out there wondering..."God revealed himself to me"...it didn't happen any other way =)

Thank you to my 2 faithful readers that caught that mistake and thanks for helping me stay on my toes! You guys rock!

Something to Wrap Your Mind Around...

I have trouble even imagining this but here are some crazy "stats" that I came across in my "serving as senders" book this week:
  1. The poverty level in America is in the top 4% of all world family income.
  2. Charitable giving among ALL Americans is only 1.7% of their total income.
  3. Americans spend as much on chewing gum in a year as they give to missions.
  4. Americans pay as much for pet food in 52 days as they spend annually on missions.
  5. On Feb. 14th, Americans spend more money to say "I love you" with Valentines Day Cards than they spend the rest of the year to tell someone in the world that "God Loves Them"

In this recession, I have considered myself as being "poor" when in reality I am in the top 2% of the world in terms of my job income, my home, my education and my possessions.

Where do you stand?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I knew in the back of my mind that there are a huge amount of logistic needs to be met before I can successfully leave for Africa but I had never seen the list in black and white before now.

As some of you know, I have been reading "Serving as Senders" and the last chapter I read was all about logistic support. In it there were things that I had thought about and then things I never would have thought about.

After reading it I am so glad that my training at NMSI is only two months away because I can't wait to find out what logistics they will help me with and then what I have to ask other friends to take care of for me.

Here's a rough idea of the logistics support I will need to take care of before I can leave...

  1. My condo - which includes: someone to collect rent for me, deposit rent into my account, finding new renters when needed, evicting bad renters if needed, maintenance and repairs to my condo, etc...
  2. My monthly bills - things that I have to pay every month (my HOA, outstanding credit card payments, home insurance payments, etc...)
  3. Taxes - Surprise, surprise, I didn't know this but even if you are not living or working in the US you are still required to file your taxes every year
  4. Renewals - Renewal of my teaching credential every five years, renewal of my drivers license and credit cards, renewal of my home owner insurance, etc...
  5. Storage - Storage of things that I will not be able to take with me. Such as keeping track of what friends are borrowing curtain furniture pieces or who is storing miscellaneous keepsakes such as photo albums or artwork
  6. Home Owner Information - Keeping me up to date with my HOA meetings and any fee updates or building assessments/repairs
  7. Selling Goods - Helping me sell things that I may not have been able to sell before I leave (i.e. my car)
  8. Money issues - Keeping track of money being donated and deposited into my ministry account and making sure that my minisry is fully supported.
  9. Health/Death - Keeping up to date with health and medical benefits that will be used while overseas, as well as details concerning my will, a power of attorney in the event of my death, and burial details (where I will be buried if I die while overseas).
  10. Family details - Someone that will keep me up to date on family details - illnesses in the family, weddings, births, graduations, etc.
  11. Ministry communication - someone to help keep me up to date with the churches that are supporting me as well as keep those churches informed about changes that occur in regard to my ministry overseas.
  12. US Citizen Obligations - Someone to collect important forms that come in the mail (i.e. absentee voter forms, jury duty summons forms, etc.) complete them and return them to the correct parties.

Crazy huh! And this list is not even complete! I am so glad that I am not on this journey alone because if I was, it would be IMPOSSIBLE!

With God all things are POSSIBLE!

Friday, August 15, 2008

World Vision Experience: Aids in Africa EVENT

Check it out!
You don't want to miss this free event! If you want to get a feel for what Africa is like but you don't want to visit Africa personally, then this is the event for you!
August 22 - 26, 2008
5495 Via Rocas
Westlake Village, CA 91362
(818) 991-8040
You can sign up for free tickets or to volunteer at the event on their website at:
I hope to see you all there!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prayer Request from Uganda

A Ugandan friend of mine just emailed me a prayer request.

Her fiance's mom went in for a surgery on her brain and she died the following day. Her fiance is devastated because they were very close. Her fiance's dad died when he was 5 years old and he has no siblings or other family members. He is especially sad when he thinks about his marriage and the fact that his mom will not be able to celebrate that with him.

Please pray for him as he comes to grips with this tragic death and pray for my friend as she tries to help him through his pain. I am not sure if he is a christian but I know that his fiance is. If you would like to pray for them by name, their names are Faith and Albert.

Thank You!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coincidence??? I think NOT!

So I mentioned that I have a possible job in Africa but I didn't tell you the really cool thing about it.

I have heard from the principal twice now and she definitely wants me to work there rewriting and revising the school's curriculum. I am qualified to do this because I have my master's degree in curriculum & instruction.

The funny thing about my master's program is that it is one that I was not able to chose. If it was I would have never chosen to do a program in curriculum writing because it was something I never really planned to do.

The program that I was in was a pilot program for CSULA and LAUSD. The goal of the program was for the university to collaborate with the school district so that they could offer teachers the opportunity to clear their teaching credentials and earn a master's degree at the same time. At the time they only offered one masters option - the one in curriculum.

At the time I figured it would just give me the extra units at work to raise my pay BUT now that I know I will probably be writing curriculum in Africa I can see that it was God that put me in that program. He orchestrated it in such a way that when I got to Africa to serve him, I would be qualified to do this particular task.

That is AMAZING to me and it's way too amazing to be a coincidence.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Great Day

I had such a great time today.

A friend of mine got a new job here in California and so she visited my church as she drove from Ohio out to Palm Springs. I haven't seen her for about a year and a half and so I was looking forward to visiting with her. The crazy thing about our friendship is that we met in Uganda in 2006. She was there helping at a hospital for three months and I was there on a short term trip and we happened to be staying with the same people. We hung out and got to know each other during the trip and then I came back here to California and she went to Ohio to go through nursing school. She wants to eventually go back to Africa to be a nurse. So seeing her today was only the second time I have ever seen my friend on American soil...so of course it was going to be a great day just because of that.

So God, having the sense of humor that He has, thought He would make my day even greater than I thought it would be... How you ask?

As church starts my pastor brings up someone one stage to come and share a little bit about his ministry... It turns out my friend and I both know him from Uganda.....He is a Ugandan who works at an an orphanage home/school outside of Kampala. My friend and I just looked at each other and laughed - It was soooo cool!

After church my friend and I went up to say hi and catch up with him. We all had the opportunity to go to lunch together and I couldn't help but smile as I was sitting in the middle of a restaurant in Simi Valley with two of my African friends....(granted one is white but hey, her heart is African)

Turns out our Ugandan friend needs a nurse at the orphanage, I love how God plans out our lives in such amazing ways!

Some would say that today was one of those "it's such a small world" kinda days....I say is it a small world or do we just have a Big God...I vote for the second one...

I love days like this!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

God will always get His way

I came to the realization this week that God always gets his way...

It seems obvious but for some reason it hit me this week.

I was talking to some friends who were asking me about missions.

I told them that I knew God wanted me to go to Africa 5 years ago... Then I started thinking about the things I did in the last five years - knowing all along that God wanted me elsewhere. What I realized is if I would have listened to God's gentle calling the first time I heard it, the process of leaving would have been SO much easier...

For example:

NOW I have a place to try and rent out, 5 years ago I was still living with Mom & Pop

NOW I have a house full of furniture to sell, store, ship...do something with, 5 years ago all I had was a TV and a bed.

NOW I have a full time teaching job to work around and eventually quit, 5 years ago I had just graduated from CSUN with my BA and didn't have a job.

NOW I have to raise extra money to try and make up for a "weak" dollar, 5 years ago the dollar was doing WAY better with a greater exchange rate.

So the lesson here...God will eventually get you where He wants...He will call you in His perfect time but if you drag your feet on your decision you will probably make the process way harder for yourself than God ever intended it to be.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 5

Okay.... I have to admit, I am a little grumpy today.

The boiler was repaired at our building and I was sooooo excited to finally take a hot shower this morning but when I turned on the hot water and soon realized that I would get none I was a little frustrated to say the least.

This marks day 5 of my no hot water. My bad attitude about it this morning is not because it is day 5 BUT rather I was told it was fixed, got excited about it being fixed, and then my hopes were dashed.

Pray for my attitude, I want to rejoice in God always and I am finding it hard to do today.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 3...

Today marks day 3 of my cold showers. Let's say its getting old or should I say "cold"... My neighbor below me jokingly related it to third world living.

I smiled as I thought of my move...If only he knew!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Memories of Africa

Today I was reminded of Africa.

The boiler in my building is on the fritz and in need of replacing and so hot water to my building has been going in and out for the last few weeks. Usually I just wait until later in the day when the hot water is restored to take a shower but today I have to be somewhere and had no other choice...

I turned on the hot water handle hoping I would get a few drips of hot but quickly realized that the water was going from cold to colder rather than the other way around. I chucked to myself thinking that this was what I have to look forward to next year on a rather regular basis.

My shower was fast... And as a result I thought to myself what the benefits to a shower with no hot water might be... Here's my list:

  1. Your shower is 2 min's tops... which saves ALOT of money on water
  2. If you are tired you wake up FAST...no need for a mid-day nap after this shower!
  3. You cool down FAST even on a hot day
  4. You can actually set your home thermostat to a higher temp to help you "warm up"
  5. Your bathroom mirrors don't steam up
  6. You can drink hot chocolate on a summer day after your shower
  7. You aren't in there long enough to get water in your ears (Yes, that usually happens to me)
  8. Because you are in there for a short period, your fingers/toes don't get prunie

In the whole scheme of things hot water is a luxury...so why not look on the bright side and laugh rather than complain and get grumpy...I think a positive attitute to tough situation brings God more glory than a negative one!

SO...Keep smiling my friends, even when the road is hard and the water is cold!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Validations from God...

OKAY...Here's another praise!!!

I told you about the praise that my boss gave me 13 work days off so I can attend training in October but what I didn't mention was that she had told me it would probably be unpaid work days...Which I was OK with.

I talked to her again today to tell her I had my sub all lined up and she told me to work out the time keeping with the secretary. Turns out I will be paid for all of the days that I miss!

How great is God, He not only works out my time off but He makes sure I get paid for it too! So I will be in Florida for a total of 2 months and I will still be receiving my regular paychecks the WHOLE TIME! That's amazing to me!

Thanks for praying for me and this upcoming adventure...God answers prayers EVERYDAY!