Peruvian Food and New Friends

Starbucks is one of the places that I tend to meet people.  Some of these people I already knew and some of them are new to me.

One of the new couples, John and Carmen, that I met first overheard me talking with someone else at a Starbucks.  It was at a different restaurant where they approached me and asked if they could follow my ministry. I gave them a prayer card and figured that I would never see them again.  However, a week later I found them at a Starbucks.

I was able to continue to meet with them off and on at different Starbucks over a month or so.  Carmen is from Peru and we got to talking about Peruvian food and what made it Peruvian.

Puruvean Food

Good Home Made Peruvian Food

I have enjoyed meeting many new people and had many great opportunities to share the gospel with them.  John and Carmen are examples of new friends and people that I have been able to meet and share the gospel with.  I look forward to many future conversations with people in the United States and Brazil who I will be able to evangelize and disciple in the future.

Puruvean Food 1

Me, John and Carman

 

Alvin Bible Church

I had the opportunity to preach at Alvin Bible Church on Sunday.  I enjoyed my time with the body and especially with my friend, Kurt Wise.  Kurt is the pastor and has been shepherding this congregation for the past 5 years.  A family in Alvin Bible Church also hosted me for the last 11 days.

Alvin Bible Church

Alvin Bible Church

I had the joy of not only sharing my ministry in Brazil but also preaching.  I preached the sermon on 1 Thessalonians 1:2-8, on the Results of a Gospel Transformed Life.  I enjoyed exhorting the body through the exposition of the scriptures.

Alvin Bible Church 2

Preaching during the Rain

Alvin Bible Church is a metal building and when the rain really pours down it is very loud inside of the sanctuary.  Thankfully the LORD has given me a voice loud enough to speak over the rain.  However,  it was great to hear the rain and be speaking about how the word of God transforms people’s lives through his power.  Isaiah 55:10-11 talks about the similarity between how the rain causes the grass to grow and the word of God accomplishes all that he desires.

Alvin Bible Church 1

Exhorting the Saints

Frustrations of Being a Missionary (Part 1)

Being a Missionary is something that I really enjoy.  (Please see the Joy’s of Being a Missionary) Part of being a missionary is raising financial and prayer support, this is called deputation.  Deputation begins when an individual is commissioned to be a missionary and then get’s onto the field.  I am currently in that process and have found a few different parts of deputation that I really frustrate me.  Here are some of the frustrations:

(Please note that the hints are only things that would help with my frustrations.  Not every missionary will have the same frustrations or be encouraged with these hints.)

Cross Country Trip '16.jpg

Cross Country Trip 2016

  1. Asking for financial support is by far the hardest part of being a missionary on deputation.  There are times that I wish that the money would just appear and I would never have to ask again.  However, this is not the case and I get to trust the LORD to provide the finances.  Hint: If you want to financially support me either tell me that you want to support me or go to my support page.
  2. If asking for support is the hardest part than the second most difficult is listening to people say they will do one thing and then do another.  As a street evangelist I have heard “NO” many times and will hear it many more.  On deputation I have heard “NO” many times already and will hear it many more.  Just tell me what you intend to do and I will deal with it.  Hint: If you want to encourage a missionary but are not able to financially support them. Please tell them that you can’t financially support them but would love to pray for them.
  3. A single missionary is a hard and lonely.  I can’t imagine being a single lady as a missionary.  I have a new respect for my sister who was a single missionary and all of the other single missionaries that I know.  The hardest part of being s single missionary is that the deputation journey is a very lonely and transient existence.  I have been visiting with so many different people that it seems like it is so hard to say that it is lonely.  However, I am definitely living a transient life that feels very lonely. Hint: If you want to encourage me you can call me and simply ask how I am doing.  You can also invite me over for an afternoon or evening where we just do normal stuff (play board games, talk as a family, or watch a sports event).

    Towsley Canyon Hike

    Lonely Hiking

  4. Travel is not only something that I enjoy but it is something that is very frustrating also.  As a missionary I will continually be traveling for either the purpose of raising awareness/support or for work of the gospel in Brazil.  Hint: I have no idea how you could do something that would lower my travel plans.  It may be something that you could help me pay for some of my travel expenses.  The total number of miles that I have traveled on this cross country trip is currently 7,500+ miles and I expect it to be almost 10,000 when it is all said and done.

Joy’s of Being a Missionary (Part 1)

Being a Missionary is something that I really enjoy.  Part of being a missionary is raising financial and prayer support, this is called deputation.  Deputation begins when an individual is commissioned to be a missionary and then get’s onto the field.  I am currently in that process and have found a few different parts of deputation that I really enjoy.  Here are some joys:

  1. Getting to meet with people to talk about the great things that the LORD is doing in Brazil.  Below I got to share with a bible study lead by a friend at a church I used to attend.

    Bible Study watching Video

    Sharing the Lord’s work in Brazil

  2. Having a great excuse to call friends to catch-up with what has been going on in both of our lives.
  3. Being a missionary allows for easy and quick transitions to gospel conversations with strangers.
  4. The opportunity to travel is something that I enjoy about being a missionary.  To be able not only travel to Brazil for the purpose of evangelism, discipleship, church planting and leadership training but also traveling all over the United States to raise support. I enjoy all of the sites that I have been able to see and all of the different people that I have been able to meet.

    Preaching at Anza 2

    Preaching at Anza Avenue Baptist Church

  5. I also enjoy getting to preach and share with different churches while on deputation.

Missions: Is it worth the cost?

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” – Jim Elliot

During deputation I get asked many different questions.  In some conversations people do not understand why I want to become a missionary.  Many do not understand why I would want to Brazil.  The questions that they ask all revolve around, “Is it worth the cost?”  The questioning typically begin with: “What will you miss most?” or “What are you going to give up?”  I normally try to answer their questions by getting at the main question of “Is it worth the cost?”

The short answer is yes, the beginning quote by Jim Elliott and the ending quote by Nate Saint quote summarize my answer.

I believe it is worth the cost because I can think of only a few things that I will miss but there is nothing in the following list that I would not joyfully give up to follow Christ.  Please note that this list is not in any particular order.

Privacy:  I have experienced that missionary privacy is a figment of my imagination.  Individuals believe that they are able to demand and expect an answer to any personal or financial question that they ask.  Not only do they believe that I should give a complete answer they also feel like it is their right give their two cents.   Financial questions about how much I will need to raise and for what the money will be used are common.  Their two cents are normally that they are surprised at how little or extravagant the amount is.  Personal questions about why I am single or who I am going to marry are also very common.  Most people’s two cents include when and who I should marry.

In-N-Out:  In-N-Out is a West Coast staple and the best of fast food hamburgers.  I will miss a double-double animal style burger and well done fries.

Double Double Animal Style

In-N-Out: Double Double Animal Style

Family: I love my immediate family very much.  We had a wonderful family picture time earlier this year and it may be the last time that we are together in the future. This is due to my sister and brother-in-law being missionaries to Australia and the possibility that we may never have overlapping furloughs in the future.

A Family Picture

Me, Joy (sister), Ryan (brother-in-law), Ellen (mom), Roland (dad)

I also love my extended family.  I love many of the traditions with both sides of my family over the years.  Some traditions are typical (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, ect.) and some of our traditions are unique to us.  One of the traditions that I will miss is tree cutting.  This normally marked the beginning of the Christmas season when I was growing up.  As the years have passed we have tried to keep the tradition alive.  I will miss participating in many of these traditions in the future.

Friends:  I have many friends all over the US.  It is a blessing to be able to call up friends and spend time with them.  Kurtis is a friend from seminary.  We reconnected 5 years ago at a random meeting while I visited a church in Hickory, NC.  A week ago I got to visit my friend in Hickory again.  We have enjoyed sweet fellowship over the years.

Kurtis and Me

Me and Kurtis

Family and friends are two of the things that I really prize and they will be the most difficult to give up.  However painful giving up family and friends will be this does not even begin to compare to what I may gain in following Christ.

New Family:  The bible teaches that we are a new creation and are adopted into Christ’s family when we repent.  Matthew 12:50 says that “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”  I am looking forward to spending time with the family of Christ in Brazil.

New Friends:  In every new place that I go I meet new friends.  There is a bond that is found only in those who know Christ as LORD and Savior.  1 John 1:8 says “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” I am looking forward to having fellowship with new friends in Brazil.

Christ is Better:  The entire book of Hebrews is a reminder that following and serving Christ is better than going back to life without Christ.  I am in complete agreement with with the book of Hebrews.  Following and serving Christ is better than anything else.  Hebrews 10:12-13 says “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.”  Serving the one who has the ability to pay for all sins and who will subdue all of his enemies is worth giving up everything.

“People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives … and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for many years they have wasted.” – Nate Saint

Knoxville Church Plant

In 2010 I was asked to pray about helping a friend plant a church.  I began praying about helping with the church plant and specifically for the people in the future church plant.  In early 2011 I moved to the Knoxville, Tennessee area to help start what is now Community Bible Fellowship (CBF).

CBF

Community Bible Fellowship

While helping start CBF I was constantly praying for all of the people who were at the church plant and who would come.  After less than a year I had to leave the CBF church plant.  I was not able to see the official launch but kept in touch with some of the leadership to hear what was happening at the church.

CBF 1

Singing with the body at CBF

While I was away I continued to pray for CBF and was excited to visit this past Sunday.  Seeing all of the people and building where CBF meets greatly encouraged me.  Over the years I mostly heard about the difficulties and trials so I was unsure of what I was going to see at CBF.  I left the service excited and encouraged by the stories of the people in the church plant.  It was a blessing to be able to visit the church, that I helped plant 5 years ago, and share about going to Brazil to help plant more churches.

CBF 2

Preaching at CBF

Luxury Camping

I have been camping many times in my life.  Normally I get to sleep on an air mattress in a tent.  This trip I got not only a tent but a cot.

Camping

The Tent

I left the rain fly off the tent so that I could see the stars as I slept.  It was a great night that I got to spend at Jacobs Lake.

Camping 1

The Cot

While in Kansas I also slept under the stars in a tent.  It was beautiful to see the stars.  In the morning I woke up to dew on everything.

Camping 2

Camping in Kansas

Fellowship and Family Worship

I has the pleasure of meeting with the Haffey’s, friends from California, in Moorseville, NC.  I had some sweet fellowship with Shane driving a pontoon boat on Lake Norman.

Haffey 2

Dock on Lake Norman

Not only did I get to fellowship with Shane but I had an opportunity to participate in family worship with the Haffey’s.  I loved being able to sing some worship songs and then listen to Shane read the bible to his family.

Haffey

Family Worship with the Haffey’s

After family worship I had an opportunity to read to the twins also.  We were able to do some light reading on The Atonement. Evidently without pictures the twins were a little less engaged but we were able to talk about some simple truths about The Atonement.

Haffey 1

Light Reading with the Boys

Essential Missions Components

On the last week of July I attended Essential Missions Components training at ABWE headquarters in Harrisburg, PA. At EMC I was at a table with two other couples going to Brazil.  We had a great week talking about missions work, evangelism, discipleship, church planting, reproduction, and missions movements.

EMC

EMC flow chart

The trainers at ABWE have tried to install a real sense of the role of evangelism and discipleship in the process of church planting.  At the end of the week they had a baton passing ceremony.  The baton symbolically represents the passing on of evangelism and discipleship principles which are key for church reproduction and multiplication.  I look forward to passing on the baton to others in Brazil in the future.

EMC 1

Pass the Baton