New Creation

Yesterday I was having a conversation with one of the teenage boys and he said, "You know, I never expected to come to school and become a Christian. I honestly thought I would be partying and smoking weed all the time. I never thought I'd become a Christian instead."

Praise God that our plans are different than His! And how wonderful that He is in the business of doing heart changes and making us new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Today I'm thanking God for touching the life of this young man, who in two years has not only become a believer, but has also become a strong, positive Christian leader among his peers. And I thank God in advance for all the students preparing to come to school here next year who also don't expect to become Christians, but whose hearts will be forever changed by a touch from our amazing God of mercy.

And the countdown continues...

I have so, so much to post on but things have just been going a mile a minute around here. I am in the middle of doing reports for my class right now (always a nightmare experience) but as soon as they are finished, I hope to post some updates on the past few weeks. So many fun and exciting things have gone on. I am in complete denial that I leave here in 12 days...yes, 12 DAYS! How does time go by so stinking fast?? I remember the days when I was young and time seemed to drag on forever! But I digress...

You would be shocked/appalled/worried if you could see my "to-do" list for the next 12 days. I myself have no idea how it will all get done. But I do know that somehow it will get finished and I will in fact be boarding an airplane, headed towards America on December 7th. Then the walk of faith starts all over again as I work to discern God's plans for me in this next season. It's a moderately scary road, but I'm very thankful to have such a great and faithful Guide.

Please pray that I am able to manage my time well the next several days and have good closure before I head home. And check back soon for lots of new posts and pictures. Until then...Happy Thanksgiving! I pray it is a blessed one for you all!

Three Weeks

I am just sitting here totally amazed as I realize that three weeks from right now I will be sitting on an airplane headed to America. That's so mind-boggling! Not only can I not believe I've already been here almost two years now, but I also can't believe how much I still need to do in the next three weeks!! Ahh!! I know it will all get done...but yikes!!

Hard to believe it has been two years since this post. What a journey it's been!


The past week was such an emotional roller coaster for me as I wrestled in prayer to discern the Lord's will for me. Lately I've been wondering if it is really time for my time in Botswana to be finished because there is still so much going on here, so much God is still doing, and I have such a great love for these kids and teenagers. Almost every day I'm having to answer people's questions of why I am leaving now. It's caused me to evaluate exactly why I am leaving. Whether that's just the assumed thing to do, or if that is truly the Lord's will.

After an emotionally trying week, lots of time in prayer, journaling, and reading the Word, and seeking the counsel and prayers of many wise people, I feel confident that the Lord is in-fact moving me back home, and although it will be so very difficult to leave these people and this country that I've grown to love, He will help me in the process and lead me into the next season He has for me. I still am very unclear what that is and definitely fight the fear and anxiety of the unknown, but I know that the Lord's plans are perfect and best. This week I've leaned heavily on Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."

I'm so thankful that the future is in His hands and I can trust Him completely, even with my limited sight, as He leads me step by step.

Recommended Reading

I love blogs. I follow tons of them and love reading about people's thoughts and life experiences. Recently my friend, Susan, started a blog to document her road to being a full-time missionary in Guatemala. I am loving following her journey, so I wanted to pass on her blog to you. You can find it here. (For other missionary blogs, scroll down on the right side of my blog to find links. I especially love Maureen's in Israel and Matt and Kelly's site from Botswana.)

Also, a couple in my home church in Austin has been in the process of adopting two children from Haiti for the past two years. It's been a long, grueling process that unfortunately isn't over yet. BUT, one of their children, Story, was finally able to come home a couple weeks ago. You can read about this exciting time for them (and be really inspired by adoption) on Jamie's blog or Aaron's.

For a giggle, check out Leah's blog with all her pregnancy adventures. I love it! Or check out Tisha's for some great inspiration.
These are just a few of my favorite blogs that I hope you enjoy, too. Happy reading!

The Latest

I have so much to update everyone on, but unfortunately it just seems that I don't have the time to sit and write it all, especially since the internet isn't working at the mission again. We are having to rely on the internet at a local restaurant, (which is thankfully free!)

Anyway, here is the short version of things lately:
  • With the internet being down, I've had lots of time to read, which has been fun!
  • I've also been spending loads of time with a few of my teenage girls. We chat, watch movies, watch Glee episodes (we're loving that show!), and just enjoy each other's company.
  • Bible study is still going strong with our current topic being, "Intimacy with God" and working on developing a strong personal relationship with Jesus.
  • I love my class so much and am so very proud of them. I love the recent Bible study time we've started together and rejoice at seeing them mature in their faith and their understanding of scripture.
  • The deaf ministry has really grown! The past two weeks we've had nine deaf adults and teenagers at church to sign for. It's been challenging and has stretched me, but it is also a great blessing!
  • My emotions have been all over the place lately. I can't wait to spend Christmas with my family and just enjoy time with them again. I also feel extremely sad to be nearing the time of saying good-bye to these kids, teenagers, and adults who I've grown to love so much. I feel pretty lost for direction, still, and covet prayers for God's will to be shown clearly to me, whatever that may be.

I miss keeping up with all of my friends and family via the internet and apologize for my lack of communication lately. Thank you for your patience and prayers. Sending love to you all!

Today's Unexpected Blessing

Today I had a very unexpected blessing. Although, it didn't really start out that way...

For some reason I always seem to be rushing on Sunday morning. It just never fails that I find myself running late, no matter what great intentions I have. This morning was no different. On top of running late, though, I was also feeling anxious because I knew I would be signing the whole church service since Keturah (my signing partner) is no longer here. This always makes me feel anxious and nervous.

About ten minutes before I rushed out the door, I received a phone call from Jana to say that there would be several more deaf adults and teenagers joining us for church today. My initial reaction was a quickening heartbeat and feeling a little shorter of breath. I know that I am so not qualified to interpret the church service for all of those people. Thankfully Jana said she would be helping me, which was a relief, but I still found myself leaving without the best attitude.

All of this changed when I actually arrived at church. First of all, there is something that seems to happen to me once I get in front of the people I am signing for. God just takes over and blesses me with extra energy and knowledge of the signs I need. I actually find it to be a real joy to be able to interpret once I get up there. But added to this is the fact that these nine people we were signing for were amazing to sign for! They were so attentive, focused, and involved with what was being signed. I ended up taking the three teenagers to youth and interpreting for them there. Oh my gosh! I never expected these young ladies to bless me so much! I told them I absolutely LOVED signing for them and can't wait for next week!

God reminded me of some important lessons today. If He calls us to it, He will help us through it! He will provide all we need. Also, when we are doing something for Him, it will inevitably end up being a great joy and blessing to do. I mean, we get to partner with Him in ministering to people He loves. That's pretty cool. Praise God that He will use us in spite of ourselves, in spite of our limited abilities and negative attitudes, and bless us abundantly in the process. What a great God we serve!