Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm home.

I can't believe I'm home.  It feels SO weird to be back in the States, in my own house, and with my family.  It's good to be back, but I miss my team so much already.  I miss the beautiful country of Ecuador and I really miss the cool weather. 

Yesterday, my flight was changed from the morning to the evening, so I ended up not getting to the hotel in Miami until 2AM.  My flight to Philadelphia took off this afternoon and I arrived at 5:30.  My parents excitedly greeted me and took me out to a lovely dinner at Applebee's.  It's not the same as Crepes and Waffles, though.....;). 

It's hard to think that our work in Quito is done for now.  God truly started a holy revival there, and He used us to do that.  I wish I could still be there, but it's not where I'm meant to be right now.  For now, I belong in good ol' Pennsylvania with my family, and although I'm not able to minister to the people of Ecuador, I can shine God's light right here.

Thank you so much to everyone who supported me this entire time.  The prayers were most definitely felt by us down in Ecuador, and they were also greatly needed.  Don't forget to pray for Ecuador as God is still working through the people we ministered to and the churches already there.  The final salvation count was 1,024 (and this isn't everybody, because there is no way we would have been able to take count of every single person who accepted Christ).  That's 1,024 souls which are now saved. 

God is so good.  I'll be posting pictures as soon as I can.  Right now, I'm going to get some much-needed sleep.  Goodnight and goodbye for now :).   

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Last ministry day & a very bittersweet day

Yesterday was our very last ministry day AND our last full day as an entire team, as some people had to leave this afternoon.  Yesterday morning, we left for the orphanage.  It took about an hour and a half, and it was a bumpy ride.  Somehow, I got stuck sitting in the back with most of the guys from my team plus one of the guy translators, so it wasn't a very quiet ride either.  Still, we had lots of fun (we always do!). 

We drove into a little town, unaware that it was the town with the orphanage.  It was very small and kind of reminded me of something you would find in an old story about the wild west; run-down buildings and dust flying all over the place because of the wind.  Then we arrived at the orphanage.  Inside, it was small but surprisingly nice.  There were around 18 kids there, from ages 5 to 11 or 12. 

We split into two groups; one of the groups played with the kids and the other helped with whatever they could get their hands on (after a while, we switched).  My group took a bunch of kids to a park closeby and played games.  I played soccer with a few of the kids, and it was TIRING.  Then we went back and I helped build bunk beds.  Last night was the talent show, and, as always, it was lots of fun. 

Today was very bittersweet.  We got up, had breakfast, then left for a day of touring and shopping.  Our translators took us on a tour of Quito, and it was cool to see all of the historic parts of the city.  Then we went shopping at the market.  We only had a short amount of time, but I still managed to get lots of interesting things. 

When we got back to the hotel, we had a team party.  It was one of our teammates' birthdays, so we had cake, ice cream, and a pinata.  Our team leaders spoke for a bit, and then we said our teary-eyed goodbyes to everyone who had to leave.  We waved them off, and as I was walking to my room, I completely lost it and burst into tears.  If it was that hard to say goodbye to only a small amount of the team, I can't imagine how hard tomorrow and monday are going to be. 

To get our minds off of the goodbyes, I went to the market again with a leader, one of my teammates and his sister (who is on another team).  Then most of my team went to Burger King for dinner.  It was so good to have soda and french fries after two weeks of hotel food and pb&j.  Tonight at FUAGNEM was entirely worship and testimonies, and then a bunch of us went accross the street to Crepes and Waffles for ice cream one last time.  After that, we departed with the last one of our beloved translators, which, once again, was very hard to do. 

My flight was changed, so my lobby time isn't until tomorrow afternoon.  A group is leaving bright and early tomorrow morning at 2AM, and I'll be in the lobby to say goodbye to them all.  As much as I am looking forward to coming home and seeing everyone, I really don't want to have to say goodbye to the rest of my team. 

Through it all, God is good.  Love you all. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And yet, another amazing day has occurred.

How many amazing days can occur in a row?  Apparently a lot of them.  Today was great! :)

This morning, we had an early breakfast and then team time.  Then we left for ministry!  It's funny how God's plans are so different than ours.  Our first plan was to go to the Plaza (a popular spot in Quito) and do the drama three times.  Well, we went to the Plaza and did it once.  I was able to (for the first time on this trip) personally lead someone to Christ, which was SO great.  One of the leaders started this thing he calls a treasure hunt.  Basically, you ask God to bring to mind a few pieces of criteria.  For example; fence, blue shirt, glasses.  Whatever God first brings to your mind, that's the person you're looking for.  So, in the example given, I would look for someone sitting by or leaning on a fence (or something like that), wearing a blue shirt and glasses.  Anyways, the lady I led to Christ met my friend's treasure hunt criteria, and she was the one who grabbed my hand and took me ovre to talk to her.  It was a really great experience. 

Well, then we realized it wasn't a great time to be in the Plaza.  I won't say everything that happened, but it wasn't so great (nor was it safe for us to be there).  While we waited for the bus, the girls huddled against a wall and the guys stood around us.  Then we booked it for the bus.  So much for doing the drama there again! 

After lunch, we went in front of the Basilica, which is the largest catholic church in Ecuador.  It's GORGEOUS.  A group of us, when we originally ventured out to find a bathroom, were able to take lots of pictures :).  Then. we found a bathroom inside of a little store that we ended up shopping in for quite a while.  I bought a few little things for myself :). 

After that, our original plan was to go back to the Plaza, until we drove by to discover team 1 was already there.  Obviously, God didn't want us there.  We went to a gorgeous park and did the drama twice.  In the park, there were ice cream and cotton candy stands.  Do the math, and you could probably figure out that we ate a LOT of sugar.  But the best part of it all was that, even though we hit plenty of speed bumps, the salvation count for just our team was 27 for today.  God is so good!

My day only gets better.  After we got back to the hotel, two of our LITs took my roommates and I accross the street to a restaurant called Crepes and Waffles for dinner!  We had a LOT of fun spending time together.  Of course, after dinner we had to run to get to FUAGNEM, but it was totally worth it. 

At FUAGNEM, Susie talked about how we are to be the bride of Christ.  Then, we had a wedding celebration, and each and every one of us were wed to Christ.  We each recieved a sticker to put in our Bible with our "vows" and we each got a ring which is a nail bent into a circle.  It was so amazing. 

Tomorrow we get to go to an orphanage!  I'm SO SO SO excited!  It's going to be amazing.  It's also bittersweet, though, knowing it's our last ministry day together.  I can't believe how quickly the trip went by.  I'm going to miss my team so much, but I am excited to see my family and friends back home.

Another quick prayer request.  I seem to have misplaced my devotional book for the trip.  I had it last night at FUAGNEM, brought it into my room, and now I can't find it anywhere (i''ve literally taken every single thing out of all of my bags and I can't find it anywhere).  PLEASE pray that i'll find it by tomorrow night for FUAGNEM since I didn't have it tonight! 

Love you all.  :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

No words (:

Today has been SO amazing!  This morning, I got up, ate breakfast, and left for the excursion!  It was a two hour bus ride, during which I slept most of the time until we got about 30 minutes away.  As we were going through the mountains, I was astounded by the beauty of God's creation.  The way the clouds cover up the mountain tops and the river runs through the valley is so perfect and beautiful.

There  were two buses, and that is what split us up between the activities.  My bus group went white water "rafting" first.  It ended up not being rafts on which we were floating down the river.  Basically, there were 6 tubes tied together to form a hexagon type of thing, and we had to sit in the middle of where three tubes met, put our legs accross the tube, and hold on to the ropes.  It was a blast!  The water was FREEZING, but we still had a fantastic time. 

Then we had pb&j for lunch (shocker, eh? ;D), and prepared ourselves for zip-lining.  Oh, but the fun part was getting to the zip lining station,.  There were 5 pick-up trucks with bars around the back.  We stuffed into the back and rode on the very bumpy road to get there.  That was an adventure in and of itself!  Once we got there, I was ridiculously excited and kinda scared, but I just wanted to get out there and do it.  As soon as the guide let go of me and I flew over the canyon, I literally laughed out loud.  The entire day felt like an amazing dream.  I was able to view God's creation from way up high; and let me tell you, it was stunning. 

There were 13 stations for the zip-line.  We basically zip-lined from mountain to mountain and back to the original station again.  We had to hike from the end of one station to the beginning of the next, and somne of the hikes were quite difficult, but still rewarding in the end.  I had a great nap on the way back to the hotel :).

As soon as our bus arrived, I grabbed all my stuff and walked up to the door to see all of the guys from my team there to greet me (and the two other girls who went with me) with a bouquet of flowers, a bracelet, and a note for us.  They each had huge grins on their faces and were very ready to give us our gifts (and a hug, of course). I kinda wished I wasn't all sweaty and didn't have hair that looked like I just woke up, but it was still fantastic and so adorable. 

After dinner and a shower, I quickly threw up my hair in a random way for crazy hair night.  It wasn't very creative, but I'm always so amused by everyone else's hair.  One of my LITs, Glenn, shaved part of his head in the shape of a cross and then died other parts blue.  It gave us all a good laugh :). 

I have no clue what we're doing tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be awesome.  I can't wait to share with you all! 

Quick prayer request.  My back has been really sore all day today, so if you could be praying that I will be healed for the ministry day tomorrow, that would be great :D. 

Love you all! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another fantastic ministry day (:

This morning, breakfast was at 7AM.  I still managed to get 8 hours of sleep, which was lovely!  Last night I somehow managed to sleep through the leader knocking on our door for five minutes, the phone ringing, AND tuck-ins.  As you can probably tell, I was exhausted (and still am).

Today we went to a little church about an hour away.  We dropped off our backpacks and because most of us had to use the bathroom (the downside of drinking so much water), we were taken to a little building about the size of a port-a-potty that was made out of cement blocks.  In order to flush the toilet (which had no seat), you have to pour down a bucket of water.  It made me realize how ridiculously spoiled we are in the US to have sanitary, indoor plumbing. 

Then we walked up the road a bit to where the new church building is going to be.  We had to move rocks, dig up dirt, carry the dirt/chunks of grass accross the yard, and then flatten out the ground.  It was hard work, but extremely satisfying.  I'm not going to lie, though, I have never been so happy to take a shower in my life.  I was COVERED in dirt from head to toe.  It was a great day, though.  The pastor thanked us again and again and we also got to hear a little bit of his story. 

He used to be an alcoholic before he discovered God through a radio station and going to a church in Quito.  After seeing the change in him, his wife became a Christian as well.  Now, four out of their five children are believers and he's now the pastor of a church (they currently have about 80 people attending). 

Tomorrow I'm going zip-lining and white water rafting.  My lobby time is at 7 so I have to be up by 6:30.  I'll do my best to go to bed early again so I can be well rested! 

Thanks for the prayers & support :). 


Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 3 of ministry (and Sunday!)

Yesterday, we had a lovely day of "rest." I didn't feel so relaxed after Britt Nicole's concert, though.  It was AMAZING,  She has such an incredible heart for God and spent time personally praying for each person standing at the front of the stage (which was everyone who arrived late due to flight problems).  She also had a short message which was incredible.  Then I stood in line for an hour to get her autograph, but it was worth it.  She and her friend Gabby are so sweet.  It was a blessing to meet them both.

Today, my team went to an elementary school and did the drama.  We also played with them, made balloon hats/swords, painted faces, and just loved on them.  They were all so sweet and very welcoming.  After the drama was explained and the kids were dismissed to do whatever they wanted, they all basically attacked us and introduced themselves to us.  It was very sweet. 

Then it started raining, so we went back to the bus and had lunch.  After lunch, we were going to do the drama but it didn't work out, so we went to the highest point in Quito, which is a monument type of thing with a huge statue.  The entire team went up there and prayed over the city.  It was so powerful.  From where we were standing, we could see the ENTIRE city and all the surrounding mountains.  God's creation is so beautiful and I was speechless at the sight of it.  One thing that really struck me while looking over the city was how many houses and buildings there were, and in each of the houses and buildings are people, and God created EACH and EVERY ONE of those people.  He loves them and knows every detail about them.  They were created in His image, and yet most of them don't even know that.  They don't know how valuable they are, and that's why we're here. 

Of course we had to have a little fun as well.  We took plenty of pictures looking over the mountain and some other random ones.  But on the way to the monument from the school, a few of the guys had a little dance off.  We all spent lots of time laughing and enjoying eachother's company.  My team is SO great and we all have lots of fun together. 

Tomorrow I have no idea what we're doing.  But on wednesday, I'm going white water rafting and zip-lining!  I'm super excited and a bit nervous at the same time, considering I've never done either of those things.  I'm sure it will be lots of fun, though :). 

Thank you so much for all the prayers and support.  Please continue to be praying for all of us!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 1 & 2 of ministry

Well, the past two days have been AMAZING, to say the least. 

Yesterday, there were still a good chunk of people missing from my team because of flight difficulties.  At team time, we were informed that we were still going to do the drama.  The LITs filled in for all of the missing parts.  "Flexibility" has most definitely been the word of the week!  During team time, guess who came and joined us?  None other than Britt Nicole (and her friend, Gabby)!  They ended up traveling with us the whole day and ministered right beside us. 

Britt was one of the most amazing people I've ever met.  She's so bold for Christ and went right up to people and shared the gospel with them.  At one point, we were praying for a lady, and Britt was leading us in prayer.  Tears started pouring down the lady's face, and after the prayer, she said "I am content."  Three small words that meant SO much.  It was so great to minister to people and see how God worked through us.  We also played duck, duck, goose with a group of kids, painted faces, and played any game we could think of.  The kids had so much fun and the smiles on their faces were priceless. 

This morning, everyone from our team had finally arrived and we were able to go and minister as a full team.  We went to a GORGEOUS park.  There were swings, a zip-line, and these little car things that you pedaled to move around.  I drove in one, and it was so much fun.  We did the drama three times, all in different parts of the park. 

After one of the drama performances, I saw my friend Taylor sitting next to a guy who watched the drama, so I grabbed a translator and ran over.  We were talking to him and basically he didn't understand how God could love him.  He thought that God would have to punish him because of all the sins he has committed and what he's struggling with, and that he didn't feel God working in his life.  When we explained to him that Jesus paid the penalty for all of our sins, he said "what a sacrifice."  Then, after talking to him some more, he placed his hand over his heart and said "I feel it now."  (Turns out he spoke english and we didnt need a translator in the first place...haha.)  We prayed for him and told him that we would be praying for him, and he kept saying "gracias, gracias, gracias!"  Then he took off one of his bracelets and gave it to me.  We also got a picture with him.  When he walked away, he had a huge smile on his face.  It was so cool to see how God worked through us to bring this man closer to Him.

At the park, we also played with a ton of kids, which was so much fun.  They are so sweet and love to hang out with us.  One more quick cool story.  The leaders met a blind man and went to pray for him.  Turns out, he is so filled with joy and peace, that he was able to minister to the leaders and LITs who prayed with him more than they ministered to him.  God is so good. 

Tomorrow is a day of rest.  Hallelujah!  I can't wait to sleep in and take a day off of the craziness.  Sorry I haven't been updating much, I've hardly had any free time (which is why I'm so excited to take a day off tomorrow!). 

Love you all, and thank you SO MUCH for the prayers.  Ya'll are amazing :).

Thursday, June 30, 2011

After a long day of traveling...

I am absolutely exhausted.  I'm sorry I haven't been updating much, I've literally had no free time when it's not after curfew :P.  I will attempt to give you a quick run-through of the past few days...

So Tuesday and Wednesday we trained....and trained, and trained, and trained some more.  But it was still super fun and we had a lot of fun together as a team getting to know each other.  Yesterday we finished training earlier than any of the other teams so I just hung out with my roommates and some other people from my team.  Everyone on my team is so much fun and the roommates I had in Ft. Lauderdale and I grew so close in such a short amount of time.  I was supposed to have a lobby time of 7AM, but around 10PM last night, Barbara (one of my leaders) came in to our room and informed us that our flights were changed, so we had a lobby time of 3:30AM.  At that point, I still had all of my packing to do, and a shower to take, and all that fun stuff, so I only got two hours of sleep.  NOT a good idea...

This morning, my roommates and I went down to the lobby and I was informed that, once again, my flight was changed.  A bunch of us were on the same flight down to a city whose name I can't for the life of me spell.  It's pronounced guy - a - keel.  We had a layover there, but then after that, I was on a flight with 10 other people, none of whom are on my team.  Needless to say, that wasn't exactly the news I wanted to hear, but I dealt with it and got on the bus.  After quite a few unfortunate events, my morning was already awful once we got to the airport, but it only got worse. 

Out of nowhere, I felt ridiculously sick.  I was nauseous, lightheaded, and I felt like I was going to pass out.  It was the worst feeling ever.  I wasn't even able to stand up.  Thank goodness I have amazing team leaders who carried my bags and prayed for me.  I was given a bottle of water, and then once we got through security I got some yogurt at a little restaurant (which I left in the pocket of my backpack and then exploded all over the place so I had a sticky mess to clean up when I got to the hotel).  Times like that really made me appreciate having loving team leaders and really made me appreciate my parents. 

I ended up getting along really well with the girls from other teams who were on my flight, and we had a lot of fun in the airport together.  God sure has a funny way of working things out, but I'm thankful for that.  After a ridiculously long day, I finally arrived at the hotel.  It's freaking GORGEOUS.  Everything is huge and the rooms are amazing.  It's crazy to think this is my home for the next week or so. 

I ate dinner, talked to an awesome friend from last year for a bit, and then had an amazing conversation with one of my roomies.  I'm so thankful for the people God has blessed me with.  I'm also thankful for God's amazing timing.  Last night, there was a message about perserverance.  Boy, did I need that today!

Well, tomorrow is our first day of ministry.  Please pray for my team as a lot of them are still traveling here, and won't arrive until late tonight.  Also for culture shock, because everything is SO different here.  I'll post more about the culture differences later on, but right now, I need to get some sleep (my roomie is currently falling asleep on the computer table next to me). 

I love you all!  Thanks for all the prayers and support.  God is good. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I made it to Florida yesterday around 2:30PM!  My plane landed at 12:25, then we found the leaders who took us to baggage claim.  Then we had to walk all the way to the other side of the airport with our luggage which, as you can imagine, was SO much fun :P.  Once we got to the other side of the airport where we would catch our bus, Lahni attacked me and I saw a few other people I know, and met a lot of new ones!  It was so amazing to see familiar faces from last year and meet all the new ones.  The bus ride was about 45-50 minutes long, but it went by quickly because we were chatting together the entire time.  At check-in, I saw some other good friends from last year and met a few people from my team. 

We had pizza for dinner in our rooms, and I got to know my roommates a little bit (and they are all amazing).  Then we had FUAGNEM.  Oh my goodness, I had almost forgotten how amazing the worship was.  No distractions, just worshipping God with all you have.  It's incredible.  Then Susie Shellenberger introduced a few people and showed us an amazing video representation of the Gospel.  I'm pretty sure it was the best video I've ever seen. 

ANYways, then we got to know our team a little bit and had drama casting!  It was exhausting after a long day but still a lot of fun.  I was casted as a photographer, so I get to wear suspenders and a tacky shirt ;D.  Fun stuff :).  I didn't get to sleep until a little after midnight because my roommates are just as talkative as I am (we get along very well ;D). 

Today we have team time at 8:15 and then drama training begins.  I'll give you all an update as soon as I can :).

Love you all! 


Monday, June 27, 2011

It has come.

Day 10 - Pray for the entire trip in general, and pray for any anxiety the missionaries might be having will go away. 

I don't have much time to update, considering I have to leave in 30 minutes.  But I'm going to say this.

I cannot believe the day has come.....but it has.  Later, I'm going to see Lahni and some amazing other people.  I can't wait!

More later...sorry for the small post. 


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 9

Day 9 - Pray for God to work in mighty ways and that everyone will be able to see His glory, and that He'll shine through everyone as we minister to the Ecuadorians. 

I'm a bit late again, but better late than never, eh? ;D

I can't believe it's TOMORROW.  Is that insane or what?  It felt like just last week when we still had 100 days to go, and yet, in 8 hours I'll be on my way to the airport. 

Well, I will see most of you very soon!  And the rest of you, I'm looking forward to sharing my stories :). 

Our God is greater. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two days' worth of prayer requests, again :P

Day 7 - Pray that everywhere we (the missionaries) go, people will notice that we are different, not only during the trip, but when we come home. 

Day 8 - Prayer for unity among the teams; that we will come together as the body of Christ to serve the Lord with all we have. 

It's unreal that I'm leaving the day after tomorrow.  In exactly 32 hours, I will be leaving my house for the airport.  I am so excited, and yet I feel so unprepared for some reason.  But I know everything is in God's hands :).

Here's a little something I randomly made a few nights ago. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 6

I CANNOT believe we only have four days left.  AHH!  I'm so so so excited :D.  Anyways, here's the prayer request.

Day 6 - Pray that the lives of not only the Ecuadorians we will be ministering to will be changed, but that the missionaries' lives will be changed as well.

Today, some of my team and I are fasting and praying for the trip.  I'm skipping breakfast and lunch to take some time in prayer.  I can't wait to see what God has planned for us.  Love you all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 4 and 5...

Once again, my insanely crazy life got a hold of me and I was hardly able to get on the computer yesterday.  SO here are two prayer requests -

Day 4 - Prayer for the preparation of the hearts of the Ecuadorians we will be ministering to.  Pray that their minds will be open to hear the Gospel.
Day 5 - Prayer for health as we're in Ecuador.  It is VERY common to get sick during one of these trips, but when you're sick, you're not able to give everything you have in ministry (well, you can, but it's very difficult to do). 

That's all for now :) 5 days!  WOOOT!  :D

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Prayer request for day 3...I'm a little late, but oh well.

Day 3 - Prayer for the missionaries as we're all being spiritually attacked by the devil this week leading up to the trip. 

I have a cold and somehow managed to twist my knee a week before the trip.  And a lot of crazy thoughts have been going through my mind.  But I know it's only satan trying to mess with my head, and my God is stronger than him!  Satan only wants to get us down so we won't be at the top of our game when we serve the people of Ecuador for Jesus.  I know I'm not the only one going through spiritual warfare, so just keep us in your prayers!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Prayer requests 1 and 2...oops :P

Well, I forgot to post a prayer request yesterday.  HAH, my life is too crazy.  But here I am!

Day 1 - Prayer for the missionaries as we prepare for the trip.  Pray that everything would go smoothly.
Day 2 - Prayer for safety as we all travel to Miami on the 27th, and for the LITs who fly down on the 25th.  Also pray that flights will go as planned and nobody will forget their passport. 

Nine more days!  :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Diez dias...SANTA VACA

Ten days...HOLY COW

I CANNOT believe we only have 10 days left.  The rest of this week and next week is going to be crazy.  Later today I'm going shopping for supplies.  Tomorrow I'm setting out all of the clothing and supplies I need.  Saturday I'm going shopping for any clothes or other supplies I'll need.  I'm gone monday and tuesday.  Wednesday my friend, who is also going on the trip, is coming over all day.  THEN thursday, friday, and saturday are going to be spent finishing up packing!  The time is going to FLY by and it's still surreal to think I'm going to be in FL training with my team in a little over a week. 

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to try and post every day from now until the trip.  Each day, I will post a prayer request (there will be 10 prayer requests in all), so then we can spend each day before the trip in prayer. 

I can't wait to see what God has planned for us.  Love you all. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

20 days

20 days
480 hours
28,800 minutes
1,728,000 seconds
until our lives are changed forever.
Are you ready? :D

I am SOOOOOO unbelievably excited.  The littlest things will remind me of the trip and I'll get all bubbly and my stomach will explode with butterflies of excitement.  I can't wait to see what God has in store for us.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Team lists!

The team lists finally arrived yesterday!  I would have posted as soon as I got them, but I actually got the email while I was having a party at my house.  It was quite funny, actually.  My phone buzzed, so I knew I got an email.  As soon as I saw what email it was, I started jumping up and down and screaming because I was so excited!  Haha, I got plenty of strange looks from my friends ;D.  Although I'm a little dissappointed Lahni and I aren't on the same team, I do know a few other people :).  I know God has amazing plans for us this summer!

I am so excited.  Again, it's still very surreal that we have less than a month to go, but I can't wait until it arrives :).

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June 1st

It's June 1st!  Do you know what that means? 

We are now officially halfway finished with the year 2011. 
only 26 days until Ecuador!  AHHHHHHH.  <3

The team lists will HOPEFULLY come out later today!  It's currently 1AM.....I don't expect them to be posted for a while.  What am I even doing awake anyways?  I think the excitement has kept me awake....and a newfound addiction to tumblr. 

I'm just rambling now and I should really go to sleep.  I will definitely be posting whenever the team lists come out :). 

Friday, May 27, 2011

One month

Well, folks, we only have one month to go.  One month until we're united with each other (or in my case, reunited with old friends).  One month until we're overcome by exhaustion from working for the Lord (don't worry, newbies, the exhaustion is TOTALLY worth it, and you'll come home stronger than ever before ;D).  One month until our lives are forever changed, and we're NEVER THE SAME.  One month until we rock the country of Ecuador for Jesus.  One's so unbelievably crazy to realize that it's almost here, especially for the alumni such as myself.  Last July when I got home from Guatemala, I felt like it was going to be forever until the trip to Ecuador came, but it happened sooo quickly, and yet so much has happened since then.  It's all crazy.  It honestly hasn't really hit me yet that it's so close, and it probably won't until I board the flight to Miami. 
I can't wait to see what God has in store for us.  Don't forget to keep the country of Ecuador in your prayers!
Team lists should be arriving any day now, and so should the t-shirts and costume assignments!  I'm sure I'll be posting a very excitment-filled blog post when that happens ;). 
Love you all, and I'll see some of you very soon. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

39 days :D

So, am I the only one who finds it absolutely crazy we only have 39 days left until the trip?  It's still kind of surreal to we really aren't that close.  This year has gone by so ridiculously fast, and I feel like we should still have months to go!  But we only have a little over a month left.  Are you ready?  I am! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's funny how God works like that..:)

Well, God is awesome.  His timing is perfect, His plans are perfect, and He teaches you exactly what you need at the exact time you need it.  For me, Wednesday night was a perfect example of that. 

I'm going to be entirely honest with you all right now.  I've been struggling.  I've been going through a really dry time in my life, I haven't felt close to God, and I've honestly been feeling like I'm going through life alone (not in a depressing way, I just haven't felt the presence of God in my life).  At youth group on Wednesday, God really spoke to me. 

The teaching was on John 6:35 - "Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'"  Imagine something for me really quick.  Imagine that you haven't eaten in a few days (or you're just really really hungry).  Now, I come over and place your most favorite food in the ENTIRE world right in front of you, and I start describing every little detail about it to you.  How it smells, how it looks, how it tastes...everything.  You can see it, and you might even be able to smell it, but if you don't eat it, you are still hungry.  That's exactly what it's like in our relationship with God.  We can go to youth group and learn about God, and we can spend time with Christian friends, but if it's not on a personal level and we don't spend time in God's word or praying, then we're not fufilling that hunger. 

For the past few months, I've been spiritually starving myself.  That is why I felt so far from God, and why I felt dried up in my relationship with Him.  I wasn't spending time reading God's word and I honestly wasn't even praying that often (sure, I prayed at meals and before bed and what not, but I didn't specifically take time out of my day to spend time with Him). 

Have you been spiritually starved?  I encourage you to start reading God's word more often.  I encourage you to write down a list of things to pray for and spend time with God praying about them.  I encourage you to just talk to God as if you were talking to a friend.  He WANTS to hear from you, and He wants you to read His word.  A few people in my youth group have been following a schedule to read the entire Bible in 90 days, and I've joined them!  It is a HUGE responsibility, because there is a lot to read in such a short amount of time, but it's totally worth it.  I'm only on day 2, but to be completely honest with you, I'm starting to see little changes in my life already.  No, it's nothing huge that happened overnight, but I can see them. 

I hope this helped you as much as it helped me.  I will see you in 52 days :). 


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Keep Ecuador in your prayers

Last year around this time, a volcano in Guatemala erupted and caused a huge amount of damage.  A few days ago, a volcano erupted in Ecuador.  There isn't a whole lot of information on it, but what I do know I will tell you. 

Tungurahua volcano, nicknamed the "Throat of Fire," is located in Banos, Ecuador, a little over 80 miles south of Quito, where we will be staying during the trip.  Hundreds of families have been forced to evacuate, and schools have been closed. 

For more information, visit  Please keep the country in your prayers.  God is in control. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I forgot! :(

So, I was really looking forward to doing a "two months exactly" countdown post, which would have been April 27th.  Well guess when April 27th was?  YESTERDAY.  YES, I forgot to write a post yesterday.  SO, I am going to do that post today. 
Also, I apologize for not writing a lot.  I have been uber busy with school because I have finals coming up...

In case you were wondering about the strange choice of colors; yellow, blue, and red are the colors of the Ecuador flag :).

Before we know it, we'll all be greeting each other (and for some of us, tackling each other ;D) in Miami, Florida.  I can't wait!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

70 days, yo :)

70 days.  Can you believe it?  I certainly can't.  I mean, it felt like just last week when the plane landed in Philadelphia returning from Guatemala.  And we only have 70 short days, which I know will fly by.  That's 10 weeks, people.  I am so excited to see what God has planned for us, see everyone again, to be in constant fellowship with other believers, and to worship God with everything I have.  I get more and more excited as the days go by.  I recently got the packing list.  Next comes the t-shirt and costume assignment, and then team lists.  Is anyone else ridiculously psyched for this?  :)

I'll be hopefully posting something more in-depth later this week, so look for it. :)
God bless ya'll!

Monday, April 11, 2011

{Soul Surfer...Jeremiah 29:11}

Above:Bethany Hamilton today
Above: Bethany on a missions trip.
I went to the movie theatre last weekend to go see Soul Surfer, a hollywood produced movie about surfer Bethany Hamilton who got her arm bit off by a shark when she was just 13 years old. It was absolutely OUTSTANDING!!! I say this with kudos to hollywood for not leaving out what makes her story so inspirational...her faith in God, way to go Hollywood!

Without giving too much away, I just want to brief you some highlights of this movie. Bethany was only 13 years old when the shark attack happened, & at such a young age, her life was surrendered to Jesus Christ. During such a difficult time, she relyed on the strength of God to carry her through & today with one less arm, she is a professional surfer who proclaims her comeback all because of Jesus Christ, He who she can do all things through! My favorite part of the movie(and completely based on Bethany's real life adventures) is when her church youth group goes on a mission trip to Thailand. The trip was shortly after the attack & when she went, she was satisfied & her heart was FILLED with love and compassion for a poverty stricken country who she, with only one arm, could serve all for the glory of God. While in Thailand she brought laughter among one little boy who would not speak or smile by surfing & teaching him how to surf. Long,wonderful,story short...Our God is amazing & Bethany shines from the inside out with a radiance that comes from her Savior.

It was amazing & is now my favorite movie!At the end of the movie, people in the theatre were clapping, clapping...I have never seen that before, it was soooo moving & I am so proud of Hollywood for producing a Christian movie & putting it in the theatre for ALL people to see, Christians or not...just think how life-changing that movie could be to someone after seeing it, they could come to Christ because of that movie!Two thumbs up, & I'm stealing Heather's whether she's seen it or not, because I know she will!! GO SEE IT, such a blessing!

These were some of the verses mentioned in the movie(that she trusted in real life) that got her through & still does get her through her struggles:

"For I know the plans I have for you,"Declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." Phillipians 4:13

Have a blessed Monday & remember, YOU can do all that through Him who gives you strength! I encourage you to check out the link below as well!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Through Their Eyes

Last night at my youth group, we started a new study called “Through Their Eyes,” and it’s about what it was like for the disciples during the life of Jesus.  It really opened my eyes, and I would love to share a bit about it with you all. :)
1 Corinthians 1:27 says “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”  Back in Jesus’ time, being a Rabbi (which means “teacher”) was pretty much the highest rank in society.  When boys were very young, the Rabbis would see if the boys were qualified to be put into what was pretty much training.  In order to qualify to be put into Rabbi training, the Rabbis would have to see something in them that set them apart as different.  Those who didn’t make it would be told to study in the family practice (for example, fishing).  There would be more and more eliminations until only one or two “Rabbis in training” were left. 
So what was the point of that whole spiel?  Well, Jesus didn’t choose the “special” ones to follow Him.  He chose the ones who weren’t good enough from people’s point of view; the normal, ordinary, everyday guys.  He chose THEM to follow Him.  He didn’t choose the perfect guys, either.  They struggled with the same things everyone else did.  But He chose them, because they were special to Him. 
Do you know how many amazing things happened during and after Jesus’ lifetime because God chose to work through the disciples to perform miracles?  The lame could walk, the mute could speak, the blind could see, the lepors (people who had leprosy) were healed, demons were cast out of people, and so many other things happened because God worked through the disciples; those normal, ordinary, everyday guys.
Do you see what I’m trying to say here?  God doesn’t pick out the perfect ones to do His work.  He wants to choose people like myself, Lahni, and YOU to do His work.  We might not think we’re anything special; maybe we aren’t athletic, or intelligent, or maybe we seem to mess up everything, but God wants to work through us to do big things.  So, are you gonna let Him?  Or, are you gonna sit at home, afraid of failure?  If God is for us, then who could stop us?  And if God is with us, then what could stand against us?
So, I hope this made some sort of sense, and that it stood out to you as much as it did me.  Have an awesome rest of your week, and God bless. :)
87 days

Friday, March 25, 2011

{Your Feet Are BEAUTIFUL}

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."-Romans 10:15, the title of our blog. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L-beautiful, God thinks our feet our beautiful! That probably sounds, well kinda crazy, but it is sooo much deeper & beyond the words in this verse alone. Now, I am sure Heather would agree with me when I say our feet didn't always look or feel beautiful on our trip last year as this verse sais. We walked through mud, yucky water, unsanitary dirt & cobblestoned roads. I can even remember taking a boat ride across a gorgeous lake to a remote little village where on one side of the road they had dumped human waste down the side. Even past the physical part, we encountered ground where hurt & broken people gathered,where drunk & sick people were seeking after something. Our feet, I wouldn't consider them beautiful, But contrary to what I think, God tells me differently, He calls my feet beautiful. Heather and I are missionaries called by God Himself to do things we can't even fathom & I think that is the exciting part-not knowing, but embracing every STEP in the journey as it falls among me, even if it means walking through unidentable "stuff" or loving and surrounding myself with drunk, broken, & hurt people. As long as I can bring them the good news-GOD's unsurpassable LOVE, my heart is full & according to God, my feet are beautiful, and everything my feet encountered was worth it-ALL for the glory of God!!!

{94} days, it's gunna fly by & I am so excited!! A little overwhelmed, but more excited!! During this time I want my feet to "stay beautiful" because whether or not I'm in a desolate, remote, third-world country, still there are broken people waiting to hear that good news & it's my responsibility to serve as a missionary no matter where I am. The next 94 days or so that I'm in the United States are going to be spent preparing--preparing my heart, my soul,my mind, my strength--and of FEET!!!Hehe. Less of me, more of Him, that's what it all comes down to. Please join with me the next 94 days in preparing, because God is always waiting for people to step up and "BE" the body of Christ whether it be in Ecuador or in your hometown, someone ALWAYS NEEDS to not only hear about God and His love, but also SHOWN His love & the latter one is way more important, faith without deeds is dead!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

God is so good. :)

Yes, He is.  So good, in fact, that He has provided nearly every fund I need for the trip!  AHH! 
I'm not gonna lie, I was having a LOT of trouble getting the funds in.  Then, a huge donation came in and paid for almost everything.  I knew if He wanted me to go, He would provide everything...and He did :). 

Well, since that's over with, I'd like to show ya'll a super cool song my sister's friend's mom showed me.  Hahh :P I hope you like it, though!!  :)

Oh...and 95 days until we leave!! :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

99 days :)

It's true, folks.  Less than 100 days until we leave for Ecuador. :D

Monday, March 14, 2011

counting down in the midst of this craziness!:)

Hello readers!!!
Well, I hope and pray that all of you are doing outstanding and wonderful today and throughout this week!!! I know I have been struggling with some sh'tuff and it gets rough sometimes... but(just so you know there is ALWAYS a but & I am thankful for that!)...but, knowing God is with me through it all just makes everything outstanding and wonderful again:)) So anyways, I just thought I'd letcha knows that we only have l04 days until we leave..haha, so excited to see all God has in store:))Have a blessed Monday!
Lahni Blair<3

Friday, March 11, 2011

Woot woot!

Hey everyone!  Well, this is my first post (ever, actually, haha I'm new to this whole blogging thing :P), and I suppose I'll tell you a little about myself. 

My name is Heather :) I am 14 years old.  I love music, and I dislike math.  I try to be the best person I can, though I can't do it on my own.  Without God, I would be nothing.  He's pretty awesome. :)

Lahni and I are going on a missions trip with SUSIE magazine for our second time this summer.  We were on the same team on a trip to Guatemala last year and became wonderful friends, and we can't wait for this year!  As you can see, we're going to Ecuador!  We'll be performing a drama (which I will post videos of a little later).  There will be more to come, so stay tuned! :)

Hi everyone, welcome to our blog!!Just a quick post, but we leave for Ecuador on June 27...drum roll please...107 days!!!We are so excited!!!I'll do a longer post later, enjoy!!!