Saturday, May 14, 2011


Today when I stepped outside of my house to go to work, I was unexpectedly bombarded with alot of memories. Not any specific ones but kind of just all at once random ones came flooding into my mind. All because of a specific smell-- the world after a rain shower. I was instantly transported back into time two summers ago to Papua New Guinea.

There is nothing like the smell of the world after a legit rainforest shower. We got to experience many showers while in PNG. That included alot of mud and goop on our flip flops.

I spent 5 weeks in Papua New Guinea with New Tribes Mission in 2009. What a growing experience for me! It was my first time away from my family, away from my country (besides Canada), away from all that was familiar to me. I experienced culture stress, jet lag galore, new sights and sounds and smells too. It was the best and worst summer of my life to that point. Many opportunities to get out of my comfort zone for sure. I will treasure the memories the Lord gave me of that time in PNG. He gave me my heart's desire and I am so thankful to Him.

One of the things that is the same in PNG and Chiapas are the bananas. They are ginormous bunches that grow on trees and taste really yummy fresh picked. These bananas I am holding were given to my team leader, Christopher at a village he and some of the team went to for walter filters and a children's program. This is the jungle way of working out. No fitness centers or diets for these people. Just alot of hard work!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!!!

Today was a bittersweet day for our family. It was a wonderful day to celebrate and recognize our mom but it was also the last Mother's Day as just our family of six because in three short weeks, my sister Katy is getting married to her fiancee Jason. Three short weeks and our lives will change forever! How quickly our family has come to this point. It seems like just yesterday we were playing make believe in the woods, or swinging on our swing set in the front yard, or playing capture the flag with our friends. Sometimes I think that growing up isn't all it's cracked up to be.

To celebrate, we went to church of course since it's Sunday then grilled steaks. Today was the first really nice day all year with the temperatures reaching into the mid-sixties. A real NY heat wave! Then we went to the park and hiked up and down hills and through a swamp. A real adventure!

I am so thankful for my mom. We may not see eye to eye on everything but I love her dearly and would gladly die for her. She is an amazing woman and I hope to be like her when I have kids of my own.

I hope you all had a blessed day. To all you moms out there: You are my champions. Keep up the good work!

Us girls trying to get a good group picture

It didn't work so well :) Dad was making us laugh...

Mom, Dad, and Katy

Danny was trying to teach me something. All I can say is epic fail :)

My sisters and me

Dad and Danny goofing off on a random log

Hiking back to the van after our adventure

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kid's Programs

While our team was in Chiapas, we did alot of ministry. One of the main ones was putting on kid's programs at the different villages we stayed at while installing the water filters.

The programs were comprised of songs (in Spanish of course) like "quien es el rey de la selva", "Tengo gozo, gozo en mi corazon", and other favorites. We then did a simple craft with the kids along with a lesson to go with the craft. Then there was a skit. We ended with a game or two or three... The programs usually weren't too long.

There are so many kids in the tiny villages all over Chiapas. Their lives are so different from my own. Even the poor kids here in the States aren't nearly as poor as the poorest in Chiapas. Yet they are so happy. They're still kids! I noticed in Papua New Guinea and Mexico that the kids are similar to the ones here. They still have fun and laugh and are goofy. Kids are kids.

Jacob and Steven doing a skit with Grace translating

Doing a program in the Ch'ol jungle. We were interrupted by an authentic jungle downpour.

Playing a game with the kids in Llano Grande

Leading in some songs on a very hot, sticky afternoon in Ch'ol

Doing one last skit before heading back to San Cris. I was a cry baby in named Maggie. The kids love the skits.

Special Talents?

Lately, I've been struggling with the fact that I don't have a college degree or any "claim to fame" as of now. It's humbling because how can God use me if I don't have a degree in something? Most mission boards require at least a year of bible school which is good. But right now, I don't feel the Lord leading me in that direction. So now what?

This Sunday I skipped Sunday school because I have a nasty cold. It was nice actually to really focus on the Lord. During my personal devotions I was reading in 1 Corinthians 1 and the last few verses of the chapter really caught my eye beginning with verse 26:
"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the FOOLISH things of the world to PUT TO SHAME the wise, and God has chosen the WEAK things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised GOD HAS CHOSEN, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence--- that, as it is written 'He who glories, let him glory in the Lord'."

How cool is that? The Lord does use people with doctorates but He also uses people who can't even read or write. There is a saying "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called". What a comfort! If He has called us to do something, He will enable us to complete it.

For the picture of the day, I thought I'd include one of Nathan and the team crowded around a map of Chiapas. He was showing us where he is already working and how many more people groups there are to be reached.

The need is huge for people to commit to taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. People NEED to hear the Gospel. And it's not an option of whether or not to share. Jesus commands us to Go to the uttermost parts of the earth with the Gospel. Just some food for thought.