Lead Me to the Cross

One of my favorite things to do in life is worship through music. Since I was a very little girl, God put a passion within me for music, and since becoming a Christian, worshipping through music is one of the greatest joys in my life. I think because of this passion, God often speaks to me through the songs I listen to.

A year ago I first heard this song, "Lead Me to the Cross" by Brooke Fraser. It quickly became one of my most-listened-to songs. My spirit was so stirred by the prayer of surrender that this song is. Now, a year after first hearing it, my spirit is still stirred as I listen to it and pray along with it.

It reminds me of a quote I heard once on a dvd about missions. There was a young woman interviewed who is serving in Afghanistan. She admitted that it is challenging living and ministering in that country, but in her words, "If we are not living recklessly abandoned to God, what are we doing??" I wholeheartedly agree. I have lived life apart from God and I have lived life where I allowed God to have part, but not all, of my heart. It wasn't until I allowed Him to have complete control of my heart and began living "recklessly abandoned" to Him that my life really, truly began.

I pray that as you listen to this song, your heart is also stirred to lay down everything for the amazing joy of loving and serving Jesus with all that you are. It is an absolutely incredible way to live!

Just a few more days....

Until I get to see them:

I can't wait!!!

On the road again

Tomorrow I leave Austin to spend a few days with my parents before heading back to Botswana. My time here has been incredibly full and blessed. I really prayed before coming that I would fill up on fellowship, prayer, and worship time...all of which I definitely did! I have been reminded once again that I have some of the most incredible friends in the world, my church is so awesome, and Austin is just such a cool city!

It will take several days for me to process all that God has shown me and taught me the past week and a half of being here. I have had many wonderful conversations and quality time with friends and appreciate the words of encouragement each of them spoke into my life. My church is amazing and I loved every second of being there (so much so that I decided to attend 2 1/2 of the 4 services there on Sunday!) I hope that nobody here takes for granted the ability to worship together with that church body.

Thank you Austin friends and Austin Stone family for a wonderful, blessed week. See you again in 15 months!

Still learning

Let me just tell you how God is wrecking me out right now. He is holding a mirror up to me and showing me some serious spiritual flaws and areas of needed growth. This is painful for sure, but I praise Him for this time because it will allow me to become more like Him and bring Him more glory. I am reminded again of one of my life verses, which I have shared about before, but share it again today as God is continually bringing it to my mind: "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) I pray this fervently over myself. I know that anything good in me is not me at all, but Him living in me. I am totally nothing without Him and certainly not a nice person to be around. I pray to live a life that is less and less of Andrea and more and more of Jesus. Although this purifying time is tough and painful, if it is helping John 3:30 to be real in my life, I thank Him for it. I trust Him completely and pray that He would receive all the glory that He deserves.

The blessing of children

One of the many blessings I've had on my visit home is the chance to see a few of the kids who mean so much to me. Four of them belong to one of my best, lifelong friends, Christy. Her four children are some of the sweetest and most adorable kids I know. I was so blessed when Christy and her whole family drove from Houston to spend the day with me. She's such a great friend! Here are pictures of her and her sweet children:

I also have loved having the opportunity to see some of my former students. I made it by the house of one of the families and enjoyed visiting with them so much. Then the next day I invited all of the students I keep in touch with regularly to meet me for lunch. I was shocked to see so many show up! We had a great time catching up and I loaded up with lots and lots of hugs! After lunch I stopped by the football field to see some of my boys all decked out for their football game. They are growing up so fast!
Here are a few of my precious kids:

God has given me such a love for each and every child He's put in my life. What a great joy to get to spend time with some of them while here in Austin!

Scenes from home

I thought I would take a minute to share a few pictures from my trip home so far. There is really no rhyme or reason to them, but are really just some random moments captured.
Elizabeth, Erik, and I "playing wedding"
Erik and Elizabeth re-enacting their engagement picture...they're so cute!
So many Starbucks choices!
A random car that got caught in an afternoon downpour in Odessa
Kristin and I modeling our bridesmaids dresses

Kristin getting 10 in. cut off her hair to donate to Locks of Love
Such a cute haircut!

Showing off some crazy dresses we saw in the bridal store
An amazing moment of having both my grandmas in the same place!
Another trip to Starbucks!
More random pictures to come soon!

Experiencing Home

It has been a week now since I arrived in America and what a full week it's been! I had such a great time last week helping my mom, my sister, and my sister-in-law getting last minute wedding details finished. The whole family was in town for the weekend and I was able to see many extended family members who came in for Elizabeth's wedding. It was great to see everyone! The wedding was beautiful, my sister was gorgeous, and everyone seemed to have a really wonderful time. What a blessing to be able to be here and have a part in it all!

I arrived in Austin today and will be here for a little over a week visiting with friends and going to church. I already went to a service tonight and it was very emotional for me. When I think of the many Sunday evenings I've spent in my room in Botswana listening to the Austin Stone podcast, missing church and the people there so much, it just overwhelms me that for a little bit of time I get to be here and get to soak it all in. I am working to appreciate each moment and every experience while I am here and feeling so blessed through it all!

I am having trouble uploading some of my pictures, but here are a few of my first day back here in America.
With my parents right after getting off the plane

With Jason and Kristin at the aiport
At one of my favorite places...Starbucks!
When we went to the movie theater that night, I saw this sign and the "Escape 2 Africa" part made me smile!

Made it home!!

This is just a quick post to let you know that I made it home to America safe and sound. The travel was very, very long but not too bad. And I can't put into words the feelings I felt walking off that last airplane and seeing my family waiting for me. Let's just say there were A LOT of tears!

More news to come soon, including what it's like to see America through African eyes. I sure notice more and feel a bit overwhelmed at some things. I am now going to dive into a busy week of wedding planning with my sister, but will post updates and pictures from America soon!

My girls

My heart is just overflowing for love for my girls! I had a wonderful day with them, getting to spend quite a lot of time with them. This afternoon we had our discipleship group time and we dove into Romans 8 together. What I love about these girls is that they are so hungry and they are not afraid to ask hard questions. Praise God that He gives me the answers...I'd have no idea how to answer without the Holy Spirit's help!

Later tonight we had our last Bible study for the term and it was a fantastic one! We studied the last chapter of our book, A Young Woman After God's Own Heart, and it was totally focused on having purity in every area of our life. The chapter was loaded with great information and insight and the girls seemed to be soaking it all in.

After Bible study, a few of the girls came into my room to watch the cardboard testimony video. Then we had a little "girl time" with dancing around my room, laughing together, and even talking a bit about boys. :) When they all left to head to bed I just had to stop and thank Jesus for this incredible opportunity to live out life with these young ladies. I love each of them so much and what they've already added to my life. I'm so blessed!


It is so very, very hard to believe that the 2nd term is already coming to an end. The school year is now 2/3 of the way through! That just amazes me. We actually have four more days left in the term before all the kids head home on Friday. The end of a term brings sadness as I realize I won't see my kids for a month, kids that I love dearly and am used to seeing every day. But it also brings excitement to have lots of time for rest and time with friends. This term break is especially exciting as I will be heading home to Texas to be in my sister's wedding! I will also get the opportunity to see friends and attend my church a couple of times. I've been looking forward to this trip for months and can't believe it's already here!

Before I get on the airplane for the (looong) trip home, I am continuing to focus on things here and reflecting on all that has happened during the 2nd term. Admittedly, it has held kind of a roller coaster of emotions for me and a spiritual battle that I feel has led me to a greater love for the Lord and for what He is doing here. I have seen many of my girls falling more in love with Jesus and getting serious about their relationships with Him. I've also watched a few of them sadly struggling through some things and pressing through various "growing pains". I've had friendships grow and new friendships have been birthed. I've watched the students in my class grow to be more like a family each day. I've had a great time of bonding with friends on a road trip to a new area of Botswana. I've gotten to experience all of this and so much more!

I now close things up here, thankful for a wonderful, fruitful term, and pray fervently for a safe and joyful trip home. I pray that I will be especially refreshed and ready for term 3 and all the great things God has in store. I believe big, huge things are coming soon! Thank you for another term of praying with me and rejoicing alongside me for the ministry God is doing in Botswana. Much more is still to come!