Monday, September 29, 2008

Financial Update

Let me first say a BIG thank you to all of my financial partners! This trip would not be possible without you serving as senders!

God has been good as He has handled the financial aspect of my training.

My training budget for this year was originally estimated at $10120 but thankfully the price has just been lowered to $ 8892 because I will be able to keep my current medical insurance during my 15 weeks of training!

Of the $8892 that I need, I have received pledges and donations in the amount of $7235 over the next 9 months! This includes $280 in the form of re-occurring monthly support!

That means that I only need $1657 in additional sponsorship from now until my departure next July! This amazes me!!!

If you feel lead to partner with me financially simply click on the NMSI donations link on the right side of this blog.

God is doing mighty things and He amazes me everyday! THANK YOU Father!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Global Missions Board

This Sunday my church's Global Missions Board will be discussing my missions application. Please pray for them to have wisdom and discernment as they make decisions and pray for me to have patience as I wait to hear what they have to say.

If God is for us, who can be against us!

Friday, September 26, 2008

"In God's Mighty Hand"

Thank you all for your continued prayers for my friend Rachel who was in the Metrolink train crash on September 12th.

She has undergone 5 surgeries so far, has one scheduled for tomorrow, and another one that has yet to be scheduled. Please pray for her continued healing. These are not minor surgeries.

Also be in prayer for her family as this goes in to week 3 of sitting an ICU waiting room. Pray for steadfast faith, for strength and for refreshment as well as for wisdom in making decisions.

Also pray for open doors for Rachel's sister Agnes. As she tries to get her VISA approved so she can come and be with her sisters during this time.
Five days before Rachel was in the Metrolink accident we had a scripture reading at church where people were invited to share what they were learning or reading in the bible. Rachel read 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Care Conference

This year's "I Care" Missions Conference's theme is based on caring for church missionaries and growing in the role of Senders, Advocates and Equippers.

I would encourage any of you that are remotely interested in partnering in ministry with me to attend this conference.

It is at the Oaks Conference Center in Lake Hughes, CA from October 24th - 26th, 2008.

For more information on the conference check out the flyer at:

To sign up, please contact Jen Yun at:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Still for Rent...

Hey All,
My place is still available for rent so if you know anyone that is interested please let me know. I lowered the price some so now it is $1795 per month. The sooner I am able to rent it out the more I will be able to save up for the trip!
Just in case you forgot...It is 2 bedrooms/2 bath, 1218 square feet and this is what it looks like:

Living Room






Office/2nd Bedroom

Master Bath

Thursday, September 18, 2008

1 Month Left...

I have one month before I go to Florida for my first round of training. I can't believe it is so close! I am excited to get some more direction on how to prepare and also on solidifying a little bit more what I will be doing when I am there.

I met with my childhood church global ministry board on Sunday which was a rather weird experience. You can be praying for their decision. They put together the new budget in November so I you can also pray for patience on my part as I wait to hear back from them.

On another note...

I find it funny that people I don't talk to very often are surprised that I am still planning on going...some even sound shocked like they expected me to say I was going and then never follow through on it. The thing that I think most people don't understand is that my decision to go was not thought up 10 minutes before I announced it rather it has been something I have been thinking about and praying about for about 5 years. It's something that took a lot of prayer and a lot of heart changes. So just so the record is straight...unless God changes HIS mind, then I am still going.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Continue to Pray for Rachel

Sorry it has taken awhile for me to get you this update. Thank you for your continued prayer for my friend Rachel (sitting next to me in the picture above)…
When Rachel was in surgery her status was elevated from critical to life threatening. She was in surgery for a long time and the doctors said that it was not looking good (this was around 1:00pm Saturday).

At 4:30pm I received an update that her condition had stabilized and that she was still unconscious. I just talked to a friend of mine who went down to the hospital. She said that the doctors are keeping her in the unconscious state right now and that it is critical that she stay stable for the next 72 hours.

My friend said that her head is very swollen. Apparently she was in the first car of the train. The crash occurred around 4:30 on Friday afternoon and they were able to airlift her to USC by 6pm so she was one of the first ones that was able to be extracted from the collision. Her sister flew in this evening and we will be going down to see her tomorrow after church.

Please continue to pray for her and her family.

Also, please pray for other families at my church. The last I heard there were two other members of our church that were killed in the collision and one other person from our church who is also in critical condition. I will continue to keep you updated with what I find out.

Thank you again for your prayers!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pray for Rachel

My friend Rachel from church (in the "Boston" shirt above) was on the commuter train that crashed yesterday afternoon in Chatsworth. She is at USC with brain damage and broken bones. Last I heard, she is going into surgery because she is having bleeding in her brain.

Please pray for her as well as her family.

I will keep you posted on the situation as soon as I find out more information.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Wait, Stop....Africa???"

I had dinner with some friends of mine tonight that I hadn't seen for awhile. They have two kids (ages 3 and 5) who are very much into safari stuff right now. This is the conversation that unfolded at the dinner table:

Gary: So how is everything with the trip going?
Me: Good...I had no idea the amount of things you have to have done before you go to Africa though!
Kaleb (3 yr. old): "Wait, Stop...Africa????"
Me: Yes, Africa.
Kim: Yes, Lena is going to tell people about Jesus in Africa.
Me: Do you want to go to Africa?
Kaleb: Yes!!! Can I go mom?
Kim: Not until you are much older.
Kaleb: Okay. They have animals.
Me: You are right

This conversation happened at the beginning of dinner. It was cute how Kaleb totally interrupted me when he heard the word Africa. The conversation was brief though (as any conversation with a 3 year old would be) and we moved on to other topics.

After dinner we decided we would hang out some more so Gary took the kids in his car and Kim and I rode together in mine. Gary told me later about the conversation that unfolded in the car...Here's the gist of it:

Kaleb: Lena is going to Africa.
Gary: Yes, she is going to tell people about Jesus
Kaitlyn (5 yrs old): She should be careful of lions
Kaleb: No hippos
Kaitlyn: Yeah hippos, they bite.
Kaleb: Yeah.
Kaitlyn: She should be careful of zebras
Kaleb: no zebras, they don't bite
Kaitlyn: Yes zebras, they can kick!

That made me laugh! So often people are concerned about my wealth, or my possessions, or my job when I tell them that I am going to Africa...the two most asked questions are "What about your condo?" and "Will you make enough money to live?"

I liked that these kids didn't question that. They were truly excited about the prospect of living among God's creation and they didn't question the reason why because in their minds, of course we should be telling people about Jesus! Duh!

I love how kids think and I wish we as adults could think the same way!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Step Into Africa Update

As you all know, I went to the Step Into Africa Exhibit in Westlake a few weekends ago. Here is an update on the event from World Vision:
  • At least 2538 individuals went through the exhibit!
  • 413 children sponsored (That is a 16% sponsorship rate)!!!

If you went/prayed/volunteered/sponsored a child thank you for contributing and changing the lives of these 413 children's lives forever!

God is using you and your commitment in a very mighty way!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Nile Spot

Looking for a Ugandan Restaurant in the middle of an industrial area in Van Nuys was a little sketchy to say the least.

I was the first one to arrive and thought I was lost! The address was home to a small, no window corner bar with a sign above the door reading: "Azules Bar"....not "The Nile Spot" which was what I was told the place was called.

It was recommended by a friend of a friend of a friend...and was said to be a place with good food and not so good service. Being adventurous we decided to give it a try anyway...

I called my friend and asked him to verify the address...apparently I was in the right spot.

Naturally, I decided to wait for more people to show up before walking into the dimly lit door...not sure what to expect but still a little unsure based on what I know about van nuys...

Sure enough, when we all walked in together there was African art and TVs playing Ugandan music videos...we were in the right place.

We moved every table they had into the center of the room to fit our group of 17 people.

There were no menus involved or even ordering for the most part. The Ugandan owner just said he would give us a feast and that he did!
We had matoke (boiled bananas), posho (corn flour mixture), beef, goat, chicken, rice, beans with geet, peas, spinach, potatoes, casava, mango juice, passionfruit juice, peanut sauce, and Uganda's own Bell beer. It was family style with all of us passing around plates and people reaching over other people to grab stuff. It was great..."plate licking" great!

In true Ugandan style we sat around there, ate and talked for about 2 1/2 hours...we weren't on rushed California time was kind of like stepping into Africa for the afternoon...Before I leave for my new home, I am sure I will take more people there...its like being in Africa without the $2500 plane flight!

While we were there I got the opportunity to sit next to a guy named Saba (also known as Julius) who is a friend of a friend. He was born and raised in Uganda and it turns out his mom owns a restaurant off of Ggaba road which is where I will probably be living when I am in Africa. He is going to give me her contact information so when I am there I can send his greetings and get to know his family.

I love seeing how God works!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Africa Home Front Dinner

I am helping spread the word about an awesome event in West Simi and you are all invited! Here is the info:

You are invited to a Home-Front Dinner hosted by Al and Christine Farrar on Saturday, September 13th at 5:00pm.

The purpose of this gathering is to help support Janay Garrick (a friend of mine) who will be leaving for Africa in the fall. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet Janay and become familiar with the ministries she will be involved in. We will also be discussing ways to support her both spiritually and financially.

Please bring ace bandages and/or reading glasses (old or new) to help support our MossyFoot project in Ethiopia as well.

Chef Thomas Yun will be preparing the following menu:
  • Marinated Korean BBQ with a Sweet Soy Ginger Glaze
  • Grilled Chicken Breast Marinated in Balsamic Herb Reduction
  • Caprese Tomato Mozzarella Salad with Sweet Grape Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella
  • Chef Thomas' Pasta Salad and Potato Salad
  • Seasonal Fruits
  • Banana and Strawberry Cream Pie

If you are interested in coming please let me know and I will email you directions on how to get to Big Al's house. It is going to be a great time! I hope to see you all there!