Tag Archives: Faith

It Started with a Broken Heart

11 Jul
Blog post by Mandy M., Team India 2012
My journey to this missions trip, honestly, started from a broken heart.  In the fall of 2010, I was happily engaged and busy planning a wedding to a man I was truly in love with.  I felt confident of the path I was on and content with where my life was heading.  One month before the wedding, however, my fiancé abruptly called it off and my world went into a painful tailspin.  I spent the next year grieving the loss of that relationship. . . and the dreams I thought would come true.  I relied heavily on my faith, family and friends to get through those first few months.
It was during that time that I was lead to Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” It became my prayer for the next year.  I prayed for the favor of God, to be boldly used and that He would spring something new up in my life.  I knew that since my life took such a dramatic turn, He must have very different plans for me and there was a great sense of adventure in that. I also had a burden to seriously started praying for a missions opportunity.  I have felt, for many years, the tug to pursue oversees missions but it wasn’t until the unfolding events of the last two years that I began to earnestly seek a way to serve Him in this capacity.  My desire to be near Him, to serve Him even more, was growing deeper and deeper.  My broken heart was healing and I was seeing the new adventures He was bringing my way.
I have always had a heart for children.  When this opportunity to serve with Journey117 opened up early this year I knew it was a great fit and felt so blessed to be able to serve!  I cannot wait to see how He uses all of us next month and know that this is only the beginning of something even greater in store.  We serve such an awesome God.  He takes you places you sometimes least expect and the road is often extremely bumpy.  But how He loves us!  I simply want to world to know this!  I am truly thankful for this opportunity.
Mandy resides in South Dakota and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India. 

I’m Back…But…

21 Dec

This trip was seriously an eye opener. I learned so many stories from kids that are heartbreaking but seeing their joy through the experience was something that hit me. One boy, he was wearing a tye dye shirt, came to the Hope for the Hopeless orphanage after his father left the family and his mother was too poor to care for him. He came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He had come from a muslim family. A couple years later his mother came to take him home but this boy decided to stay at the orphanage because he would rather have Jesus. It was such a cool testimony that he was willing to give up his family to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. This trip was filled with many tears both from happiness and from heartbreak. It was sad to leave the kids behind 😦

by Bethany A., written the day after she returned from Ethiopia

Training Camp for Ethiopia

12 Dec

Team Arrival and 1st Day of Training Camp

By Kevin S.

After months of conferences calls and Facebook stalking, we finally meet.  It was pretty easy to spot one another as we modeled our yellow shirts (except the guys who couldn’t squeeze their physiques into the girly-sized tees) and lugged our over-sized totes around the airport.  But, there we were…a team of 9 (not including our fearless training camp leaders Jesse and Emily).

Our team? Diverse, yet chosen.  Chosen to do great things.  Perfect? Hardly such.  Flawed actually.  We’re not particularly qualified…no one is a prodigy of the mission field…we’re just willing.  Willing to be exposed by God.  Willing to be used.  Willing to learn.  Willing to “drop our nets” and follow.  Willing to chuck entitlement…comfort…the American Dream out the window in search of a JOURNEY.  A Journey where we stop doing wrong…where we learn to do right….where we encourage the oppressed…where we defend the orphan…and where we plead for the widow.  Some say it’s a journey for the strong, but I wonder if the strong can survive such a journey.  Rather, I say this journey is for those who are weak yet discover their strength in Christ…May we rediscover in our weakness “Who We Are” and “What We Are Doing Here”.

So, we set sail on this JOURNEY.  Around the corner nobody knows.  Are there plans?  Sure, our plans.  But as we discover who we are and what we are doing here, plans change.  We change.  In some ways our eyes are opened to things we never imagined…we see ourselves under a different microscope…good things…bad things.  In other ways our eyes are closed as we take part in this journey…closed to the life of self-centeredness…comfort…entitlement.  May we never open those eyes again.

So, I LOVE my team.  Strikingly similar to the disciples in the Bible.  Imperfect people following a perfect God.  Do we have a lot to learn?  Absolutely.  So, we’ll learn together.  Tania, Danielle, Nathan, Lindsay, Bre, Bethany, Carly, and Amalia…joining me on this journey of grace.  A journey not to earn God’s love, but a journey because of God’s love.  May His love permeate from us…may His glory sweep through us…may He be glorified…and may His Kingdom expand to the ends of the earth.

Poverty…what an emotional word!

21 Nov

Blog post by Danielle B., Team Ethiopia 2011

Poverty…The state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money

Absolute Poverty…The inability to afford basic human needs; clean and fresh water, food, health care, education, clothing, shelter

Relative Poverty…The lacking of a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Poverty…what an emotional word! I don’t know about you, but that word just makes my mind go in circles. Poverty! How can it possibly be that 1.7 billion people are estimated to live in absolute poverty today!?! I mean really, I look at everything my family and I have; a house with stable walls that doesn’t leak air, a pool with 15,000 gallon of clear water in it, a frig that is over flowing with way too much food, way too many cars, way too many Lego’s, etc. (I just get exhausted thinking about all the material things I have!) And then I think back on that word, POVERTY!  I just don’t get it, but I am trying my best to at least try to understand.

The last couple of months I have really been seeking to understand what the real meaning of poverty is and how God sees poverty. I have learned that many of us, good-will as we have tried to be,  have totally distorted the meaning of poverty and how we are to go about helping. My recent trip to Guatemala really opened my eyes to this. Continue reading

Fairy Tale…

2 Nov

“For I know the plans I have for you…”

As a little girl, I have always loved watching fairy tales and believed one day this would happen to me. Even though, I know I am still young, I could be married to a good man today. A man who was tall, dark and handsome. A great athlete who was very charming. We would have had a good marriage, a good life, a nice home and I’m sure beautiful children. But something happened to me. I opened the word of God! I fell in love! The stories in the Bible seemed just like the fairy tales I read and watched as a little girl except this time the story was about God. Having a relationship with God was something I could have? What a fairy tale! The closer relationship I built with God, I knew he had different plans for my life, I eventually broke off my relationship with the good guy! I knew God wanted to be the author of my fairy tale! So, hear I am today wanting to start a new journey in my life, and discovering the purpose God has for me. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia and share the love of Jesus! I know that the Lord will reveal more of Himself and His plan for my life during this trip and the weeks to follow.

Ready and willing….

30 Oct

Blog post by Carly C., Team Ethiopia 2011

My story.

I grew up in a Christian family and went to church regularly until I was in 5th grade. My mom and brothers and I moved after she and my step dad got married and we stopped going to church regularly. For most of middle school and high school I still lived a good moral life but not for the right reasons. I was doing it more as a moral standard and not because I had a close relationship with Jesus. Because of this, the summer before my senior year I was involved in a lifestyle that was not right and I began to hang out with the ‘wrong crowd’.

The start of my senior year of high school, I found out that my best friend and boyfriend at the time had betrayed me in the most hurtful way; I was devastated. Because I was a ‘Christian’ I knew that I would have to forgive them. But I had never been in a situation like that and I thought I could just forgive them when I was ready. I felt that if I forgave them it was the same as saying what they did to me was ok. Being in this situation and not knowing exactly what to do, I called my uncle, who is the strongest Christian I know. I knew he could guide me in the right thing to do.  After my uncle talked and prayed with me and explained what the Bible says about forgiveness, I knew I had to immediately forgive them both for the wrong they had done. That same week, I went to Wednesday night youth group and out of all things the youth pastor could have talked about –forgiveness was the topic. God used that night to speak to me and break me. That night God truly revealed himself to me and from that point forward, I was changed forever.

Not only did God use this devastating situation to reveal himself to me, but through it, he saved one of the friends that had hurt me. We are now great friends and go to church together, fellowship together and worship together. It’s amazing to realize how far God has brought me and others in the last couple of years.

My senior year of high school I was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Peru during my Spring Break. That was an incredible and moving experience and it was there where my passion for missions and people truly blossomed and began to grow. I was able to see and experience lives being changed and people being saved. I cannot wait to go to Ethiopia and see God do amazing things there as well. I am so ready and willing for God to use me to spread his glory and name to the people in Ethiopia!

Carly C. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.

Loving His People

22 Oct

Blog post by Amalia K., Team Ethiopia 2011

 

Amalia K. will be serving on the Ethiopia Journey 117 Team leaving in December 2011.