Friday, December 6, 2013

The few things I know for sure.

First: Good news.
I finally got in to see my doctor in Texas (just for any of you who might have been worried): She diagnosed me with Vasovagal Syncope and told me to monitor stress, sleep and avoid caffeine.  So relieved!  I was able to take blood work that I had completed here in Missouri which helped her to rule out other things.  So glad it didn't require an MRI or EKG, or any other expensive tests!  She gave me the okay to drive and encouraged me to KEEP RUNNING! :) You can imagine how happy I was!

Second: Recent lesson.
Over the past few months the fainting episodes have been a reminder to s-l-o-w  d-o-w-n.  You would think that would be a loud enough reminder, but besides physically slowing down I've been reminded that I need to rest emotionally too.  I've been reading through the  Old Testament and been noticing what happens when mankind in his own wisdom decides to hurry God's promises or plan along.  Think of Abraham and Sarah who thought surely God meant that Hagar being a surrogate would be the means God would use to provide the innumerable descendants that God had promised. Right? Nope.  Surely Rebekah needed to intercede to make sure that Jacob got the blessing-since that was what God had said, right? Nope. Then, God must have wanted Moses to deliver the Israelites by killing the Egyptians off? Wrong again.  The list goes on and on...  Why you might ask? Because God's deliverances and fulfillment of the promises were so much bigger.  He fulfilled His plan HIS way, and in so doing, received all the credit.  But the cool thing is that He used broken people to do it.  People that had made tragic errors at worst, embarrassing mistakes at best still got to be used by God to show the world that God is powerful and loving.  And in this study He's been reminding me that I need to stop and let Him be the one to guide me.  Lacking answers doesn't mean I have to work harder and faster to try to find answers and make decisions that seem to be the best way to accomplish His goal-that's what I default to.  But I'm convicted to rest in Him and wait.  I don't like waiting.  In case you haven't noticed, I don't think anyone does.  That's why we have fast food restaurants, online shopping, overnight shipping, urgent care centers, etc.  But that's what our great God calls us to, and He gives us a promise too.
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. 
Isaiah 40:30

Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD. 
Psalm 27:14

(Pic from here)

Plus it snowed, so we don't really venture out anyways...

Third: Thanksgiving.
Loved being home for Thanksgiving break.  This was probably the least structured break ever.  We played lots of games, had lots of fun, spent lots of time with family, and laughed a lot.  My familia rocks!
A girl on staff here, told me about a challenge she was given to be thankful for 1000 things.  I was challenged to start seeing the blessings and being thankful for them (more than just in November).  It really has given me a fresh perspective.  It's helped me to see things as they are: a gift.  I deserve n-o-t-h-i-n-g.  It's not like I've done anything great to deserve it.  God knows my evil heart, it's by His grace that there's anything good in me.  So besides the grace He's given me, He delights in pouring out His blessings on me.
A classmate reminded me too that we all have the potential to serve the Lord.  I, as a child who was given a lot of neat opportunities growing up, have the same potential to serve the Lord and honor Him here-and receive the highest honor imaginable (to hear "well done good and faithful servant") as someone who grew up in a remote village high in the cold mountains of Bolivia who shepherds sheep, has a 3rd grade education, two outfits, and a diet mostly consisting of potatoes, rice, and llama meat...if he has the opportunity to know God and trust in Jesus' gift for him; he can live his life every day in a manner pleasing to God and have that same high honor someday when he stands before God.  IF he gets the opportunity to hear and know God.
I didn't choose where I would be born, but I choose how I live my life today and every day.  So today I'm thankful for the GIFT of being born in the USA, for being taught  from childhood the love and grace of a just God who gifted us undeserved salvation from the penalty of my sins, for being given the opportunity to go to college, learn Spanish, travel to Bolivia, and get to go back there.  Who knows what the future holds; or even tomorrow for that matter. But today I'm glad for the reminder to be thankful and live my life as a proper response to grace. I've been given such great opportunities. Now what am I going to do with it?

Fourth. I gotta plane ticket!
Yes, this will be my 7th trip to Bolivia.  So what I do know is that I have a plane ticket.  I also know that there are 9 wonderful, adventurous other folks who are committed to traveling to Potosi to spend a week supporting local churches in Potosi along with Red Vida de Esperanza doctors Jorge (MD) and Waldo (DDS), and clown Carlos.  I'm so thrilled for the opportunities the LORD has given to travel back and forth to Bolivia and to be a part of this great ministry.  If you want to help send us, you can
1. PRAY-seriously we NEED you to do this for us-with us. Although we're going, we don't go alone.  We go with God (of course) and well carried by the prayers of faithful saints who take time to lift us up to the Father for safety, flexibility, teachability and for prepared hearts (in us and the bolivians).
2. PARTICIPATE. I mean you could go this year, if circumstances were just right--but I'd probably want to know about it pretty quickly so we can get visa stuff going.  But if you feel led to come along, by all means let me know.  We'll talk!
3. PAY- what? It just fit the pattern!  Yes, no one wants to talk about money, but it's a reality, okay? ;) It costs about $2500 per person, and we aren't rich.  :)  But God is, and sometimes he pricks the hearts of His people, and my experience is that His people are generous.  So if this is your spiritual gift and you feel the Lord prodding you to be a part of our team in this way you can send any checks to 10420 Norwalk Rd. Litchfield OH 44253.  Just designate it for our team, or a specific team member (meet them here).
4. PROVIDE- We are frequently asked to bring donations (find a list here) of things that are hard to get in Bolivia or are very expensive or you can go here to sponsor a student or paint a school this Christmas.  RVE does some similar things to a lot of bigger organizations you may have heard of.  It's like Samaritan's Purse meets Doctors without borders meets VBS meets coop selling handmade goods meets world vision meets...about 10 other organizations on a mini scale.  It's neat really.  Grassroots and so refreshing (and sometimes frustrating, let's be honest).  But I've never seen such love as these men have for the people they serve.  Sacrificing their own sleep, comfort and preferences because they long for these people to know the Gospel.  You can browse my blogs and find a lot of neat things about RVE-or you can just ask me!

Monday, December 2, 2013

My favorite Christmas Ideas!

 There are always so many ways to help and here are just a few:

This is our third go with Navidad en Bolivia. This year we have programs to sponsor kids for Christmas presents, school uniforms; supply seminary students with resources; paint a school; and provide hygiene items and school supplies for kids in rural communities of Potosi.  Check out this link and follow the tabs across the top for more info.   There are some pretty amazing artists down there! (*If you gift this on behalf of someone else, we will be sending out cards as well).

We also have a team going to Bolivia.  You can meet them HERE. On this blog you can also see testimonies from previous team members, see pictures of previous trips and teams and get more info if you are interested in going someday (required documents, etc). This will be my 7TH trip to Bolivia, and I am so excited to see what God has for us this time.  If you feel led to help cover team expenses and the projects we are hoping to help complete, let me know.

Thanks friends!  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.