Be Thou My Vision

“Be Thou my vision, O’Lord of my heart, Naught be all else to, save me Thou art. Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light…”

These lyrics pierce me every time I hear them. They strum the most beautiful cord in my heart.  The fact that the God of the universe cares enough about us to be our vision, mind boggles me.  We have nothing to worry about because He holds our lives in the palm of His mighty hand.  What a joy it is to think about how much He loves us. Not because of things we do, not because of things we say, but simply because we are His.

I want so desperately for people to see and experience the love of Christ.  My heart breaks for the people of this city.  Some people truly have no desire to know Christ. This my friends, is why I’m here.  I’m here to be the hands and feet of Christ in this city. He’s the only one who can bring light into the darkness.

Getting on the metro is quite an adventure. Come here, and you will see exactly what I’m talking about. 🙂 Here are a few “rules to the metro” : people rarely smile, men usually don’t give their seats to older ladies, the metro has to have signs asking people to give their seat to the handicap, everyone looks down at their phone, or a book and rarely does anyone speak. It’s the most connected, yet disconnected place I’ve ever been.  I – of course – have decided to break the “rules of the metro” –  one by one – and I love it when others join in my mission.  Yesterday afternoon was the day someone joined the mission.

As I sat down on the metro, I began to hear an older gentleman singing.  I first thought, “Oh goodness, what’s going on?” But, I decided to listen closely.  I heard the words, “Christ’s love never fails…” I began to smile, then turned around.  I said, “Amen!” He didn’t address my comment.  He just continued to sing….and when I say sing, he “SANG.”  God certainly blessed him with some pipes.  I turned around, and we continued to ride in the metro. After he finished the song he was singing, I felt a tap on my shoulder…”Ma’am what’s your religion?” I tried not to jump, then I smiled and said, “Well, I’m a follower of Christ. How about yourself?” Then, we began talking about Christ.  We didn’t care about all the “rules of the metro.” People were looking at us like we were noisy kids in the library.

But, what a joy it was to meet a fellow believer!  Side note: Mom and Dad, I know y’all are probably freaking out, but I promise I was safe! 🙂 He was one of the most joyous people I’ve met in the city.

Then, an older lady came on the metro and pointed at me to move my bag.  She didn’t say anything, just pointed.  I didn’t want to make her even more mad, so I moved it.  As I moved it, she rolled her eyes and sat down, letting out a loud huff. I turned back around and the older gentleman began singing about Jesus again.  The lady beside me began rolling her eyes again.  She huffed so much, I thought she was going to explode.  Apparently, she wasn’t into joy in the metro.  She aggressively grabbed earbuds out of her bag and began blaring her music.  She didn’t care to listen to the man singing about Jesus behind us. She didn’t care to even know what he was singing about. And she certainly didn’t care if she was rude towards him or me. She just cut us off. But, the older gentleman just kept singing. When the older lady closed him off I thought of how the world tries to push Christ away. This lady had no desire to listen. It broke my heart, but this happens daily. I’ve been that person before, but I’m so grateful God woke me up from my slumber years ago. I’m so thankful for people like this older gentleman who aren’t afraid to be bold in their faith. People who may look crazy to the world, but make sense in God’s eyes.

I pray God moves in her heart and the hearts of those who have hardened their hearts to Christ – that Christ will be their vision. I pray God continues to give me opportunities to share Him with the people of this city and the nations.

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Are We Willing to Be Interrupted?

I’ve been reading Undaunted by Christine Caine and really looking into what it looks like to have a servants heart … the first story that comes to mind is the Good Samaritan.  I’ve been thinking about how there is a difference between emotion and compassion.  Emotion doesn’t require us to take action, other than crying, but compassion requires us to stand up and cross the street, like the Good Samaritan did.

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On Monday morning we had a surprise arrive at our doorstep … all the basket ladies.  We weren’t ready and didn’t feel equipped for this meeting but God sent them.  I looked at Chase and saw stress oozing off.  I smiled and said God must think we are ready, so let’s do this. haha. So around fourteen ladies circled up and awaited our direction.  Something God has been pressing on me lately is to always be sensitive to the spirit of God.  That some days the tasks that are piled up on my ‘to do list’, need to be interrupted in order to help someone else.  This was one of those days.  It seems that, like the Samaritan, the one’s in the ditch that we are supposed to help are often along the way we are already going.  The basket ladies were in our pathway this Monday and God knew we had lots to iron out with them about the project God has given the ministry, Chase and me to do.  So Chase, Angie, Rosa, Ms. Pam and I began discussing with them our vision for “Canasta Cumi.”  (Canasta means basket in Spanish).  Many of the ladies our team had seen when we were there in March of this year.  It was great to see their smiling faces and see how excited they were about this project.

It is mind boggling to think about how God has chose someone like me, a girl who grew up in little Fountain Inn who struggles academically, to be working with Chase and a non-profit on a project that helps hundreds of people in Honduras.  God certainly uses the ordinary to do the impossible for His glory.  I’m so grateful God has given Ms. Pam this vision to help these women and their families through selling their baskets on the website Chase and I are making.  We are hoping to launch the website by next week.  It will have each project that we have been working with the ministry on while we have been down here interning and products that people can order online – Canasata Cumi (Basket Ministry), Cumi Café (Girls Bakery), Café Cumi (Coffee Ministry), Cumi Arts (Girls’ Artwork), and the PTC Store.  Each of these are visions that God laid on Ms. Pam’s and our hearts to not only spread the love of Christ to the girls of PTC but also share the gospel through community outreach programs.  God has really been moving throughout the projects!

I’m so thankful the ladies showed up Monday morning.  It reminded me that we must keep our eyes not just on the road ahead but also on the ditches, as God looks to interrupt our day like he did the Good Samaritan’s.  I may not know what God has called me to do specifically after college, but I do know Christ is asking me not to just cross the street like the Good Samaritan, but to also think of how to reach the lost girls and women in the darkest, most hidden ditches across the globe.  I cannot wait to see what Christ is going to do here in Honduras through PTC and all the outreach programs He has lead us to be apart of.  “The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.  – Psalm 37:23

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Hola Mr. President!

A lot has happened since I last wrote.  I’ll try to catch everyone up!Well first of all, guess what!?

We got to meet the President of Honduras! No, I’m not pulling your leg or stretching the truth.  haha.  Here’s how it happened.  On Friday Ms. Pam, Angie, Chase and I went to check out where we were going to open the PTC Bakery.  We made it to town and then realized the person with the key couldn’t come.  We were a little disappointed but decided that we’d come back on Saturday morning because it was usually a calm time to travel.  Little did we know the president was expected to come to that town!  As we left the bakery Saturday morning, we saw a helicopter land and people running away from it, towards us!  I was kind of worried because I had no idea what was going on.  We then got word it was the President!  We rushed back to PTC to pick up all the girls in hopes that we’d see him.  We all came back and watched people give him gifts and him thank everyone.  Ms. Pam has an adventurous side and asked one of the head people if we could all get a picture with the president.  So after three hours or so (the girls were getting antsy) the president began walking out to his car.  He then stopped right in front of us and began talking to Ms. Pam.  It was a surreal moment.  He then asked her what he could give PTC so that they would always remember him.  He then wrote out a check to Ms. Pam, giving the girls a new TV for their school and blueray player.  Stephanie, one of the older girls here whom I have grown closed to, got excited and said to the President, “Blue is my favorite color!”  We all got a good laugh.  We then all got a picture and headed back to PTC.  What a day to remember.  It’s neat to see how God provides for His children, even through unlikely things like the government.  Ms. Pam had jokingly said she needed to tell the President something, little did we know she’d really get to that same day!  Oh God’s sense of humor. 🙂 Most certainly a day to remember. Image

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“Oh no You never let go, through the calm and through the storm…”

This song always has a way of pulling the strings of my heart. Last night the girls and I began singing this as we hung out in the house before bedtime.  I’ve been leading small group devotions with a different house each night.  It’s been a great way to not only fellowship, but also get to know the girls on a deeper level.  I’m so thankful for this opportunity.  It makes me miss my middle school girls at FIBC! 🙂

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So June is known here as the start of rainy season.  They told us before we came to make sure and bring a rain jacket.  haha.  It’s a month in Honduras where storms come and go.  They are unpredictable and often times they come when we forget our jackets. It’s near impossible to be able to know when one will hit.  Some days it looks like it will pour and it doesn’t rain a drop, while other days it’s perfectly sunny with blue skies and then all of a sudden it pours. This past week the girls taught me how to wash my jeans on the pica. They got a good laugh at my horrendous techniques. haha. If me messing up brought a smile to their face then I’ll mess up every day. lol.  They are precious.  I now appreciate being able to just simply throw clothes in the washer and dryer to a new level.  After my jeans were fully washed I put them on the clothesline to dry, but little did I know but a storm was quickly approaching.  The storm hit and boy did it come down hard!  This made our clothes become soaking wet, leading me to wear my same dirty pair of jeans I’ve worn all week.  haha. Watch out, good thing I have spray! (Thanks to Momma!) But the reasonI say all of this is because I’ve been thinking about how our lives are like the storms here.  We can work our very hardest at a task, it can be for all the right reasons and we can have several precious helpers, but then, all of a sudden, a storm hits sending us back to square one.  The beauty of it is God is there through it all.  He turns our brokenness into beauty with a ray of sunshine.  We mustn’t lose heart in the trials (storms) God sends our way.  We must run to Him because He doesn’t leave us or forsake us as Hebrews states.  He polishes us in the trials (storms) life brings, so that we can shine even brighter for Him.  Just as we enjoy the beauty in a rainbow when it forms and the sun when itcomes out after a heavy storm, we then realize, “Oh no! He never You never let go, through the calm and through the storm…”

the biggest blessings come in small packages…

As I write this I’m hopping in bed after hugging all the girls goodnight.  I’m listening to the rain bounce off our roof.  I cannot remember the last time I just sat down and listened to rain.  It’s amazing to think about each gift God has given us, even ones as small as raindrop.  They are always there; it just takes us taking the time to stop to notice them.

Well, hello friends! I’m officially in Honduras.  The adventure has begun. Cannot believe God has brought me back!  Chase and I arrived early Wednesday morning into San Pedro Sula.  We knew the adventure had started when we found out from the flight attendants we may not be able to get into Honduras once we landed because we had yet to book a flight back.  Chase’s mouth dropped and we began trying to figure out what to do.  I prayed and God told me to trust him and simply have faith.  As we landed in San Pedro Sula, we were a little nervous, but … they let us through customs and here we are! Praise. haha. Ms. Pam and Angie graciously drove ten total hours that day to pick us up and bring us back to the farm.  It was such a joy to get to know Ms. Pam a little more (the founder / director of PTC) and also getting to see Angie again was wonderful.  God truly has formed two precious individuals who are making His name famous.  I’m blessed to be able to spend these few weeks along side these Godly women.

Once we made it to PTC the girls were outside waiting for us!  My heart was full. I couldn’t help but thank God for them.  I’m so blessed to get the opportunity to minister and serve them while I am here.

We are officially all settled in! I’m living in house one and love it.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to live with these girls.  Beginning and ending the day loving on them and praying over them will never grow old. One of my highlights being here so far is being able to spend quality time with the girls – laughing, listening to their hearts and being able to share mine.  They all officially know how crazy I am or at least the ones I live with.  haha.

If you’ve been wondering what the average morning looks like here, well here ya go … each weekday we all get up around five thirty – some of us race to shower, while the others clean up the house.  Once we hear the bell ring, we then head to breakfast around six thirty.  Usually the little girls ring the bell and holler in Spanish, “breakfast is ready!” Once we have all eaten, we all go outside for circulo, which is a time of worship and devotion.  We all circle around, while each of us takes part in worshiping Christ as brothers and sisters.

There’s something special about starting the day singing, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Pure truth.  As I was listening to the girls sing this in Spanish the first day, I began to think, do I really rejoice and have gladness each day?  These girls come from circumstances that Satan tries to use to drown out hope, but Christ gives them hope through the hands of PTC.  The gospel itself is found within the very roots of this beautiful farm.  I cannot help but wake up thanking God for each of these girls and for the joy he brings after the storm.

There are numerous projects that we are working on while we are here.  One being the baskets.  We are working with around six ladies who make gorgeous braided baskets.  This is these women’s only source of income.  They have large families to provide for and seek to make the funds to be able to do so.  My heart broke for them when I heard each of their stories.  The spirit led me to pray over them and I heard Him whisper, “I’m victorious in the end.” This brought me much comfort.  We will be working with the ladies and the ministry to create a way to sell these baskets online to people in the states.  Would love your prayers as we continue the process to do this.

We have many other projects other than the baskets that we are working on as well for the girls!  I’m excited to see what God is going to do through all of these projects and the one’s he continues to place in our paths. It’s so neat to see how he is already at work in each of these projects.

Thinking about all the projects we are working on, alongside other ones besides those that God sends our way daily, it’s amazing to think about how the biggest blessings come in small packages.  God sent His son Jesus as an infant who was born in a manger because there was no room for him anywhere else.  This same small package changed the world & saved you & me.  This here is my motivation for my work here.  If we are breathing, He isn’t finished with us.  He uses the small, weak things of this world to do the impossible for His glory.  It’s truly all about Him.

Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking today about the heart behind serving. It seems that when we bend down low that is where we find the fullness of joy. It seems that when we truly live like Christ we are bent down low. We learn that it’s not about us. Life with Him isn’t supposed to be safe or easy. We serve a Savior who bent down low for us. He didn’t come to be everyone’s friend. He didn’t come to fit in. He came to stand out. He came to serve and rescue us. Bent down low is where we can see His face. He lived, only to die for broken people like me. Could I die to self and just break open for this love? Will I spend myself on behalf of those in front of me for His sake?

Mold me Father, I can’t do this alone.

Can’t wait to be goofy again with Paola

I wore this shirt because I wanted Jeff to be apart of my trip.  It made it even more special to know that he was there in spirit serving alongside me in prayer.  Paola and I took this picture for Jeff and his goofy self.