Remember Philippians 4:13

So I have to admit, while I’m ecstatic about going to Uganda in 2 days…that’s right I leave in 2 days…it hasn’t really seemed real. I’ve been nothing but excited and can barely contain myself! When I went to bed last night, I was counting down the days! “Two days, one day, whoa! There is no way I’m going to Uganda in 2 days.” Well there is, and I am. I started getting really nervous, scared, and was not ready to go. I was asking myself a bunch of questions. “What if I get sick? How am I gonna handle the heat? How will I deal with my 46 pound suitcase? Am I going to be homesick?” All these thoughts went through my head. I was talking to one of my friends about this. And he told me “remember Philippians 4:13.” That’s right, exactly what I told him a day previously. I’ve heard that verse so much and it usually doesn’t mean that much to me. But this next month of my life is a Philippians 4:13 month as I live in Uganda.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13

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Uganda…Here I Come!!

It says in Matthew 20:28, The son of man came not to be served but to serve. Well, that’s exactly what I want with my life. I want to use my days to love on others and share the amazing love of Christ with them.

For the next month I’ll be living life in Uganda, Africa. I’m so excited!!! It doesn’t even feel real to me. It doesn’t feel that next week I’m leaving! To me, I’m in the mindset, I’ll believe it when I’m there. While I’m so ready, I’m about to take a huge leap from the comforts America has to offer, to the poverty of Uganda. I’m about to leave my family, friends, boyfriend, home, church, town, state, and nation. Dude. That’s crazy. I am so ready to go. Who am I kidding, I have so much excitement, the minuscule nerves I have are extremely outweighed by all the excitement! Ahhh! I’m going to Africa!! I’ve been longing to go there for so long!! It’s finally here!

Soooo…July 5th-August 2nd, I’ll be living a journey in Uganda!!! Please pray for safety, health, contentment, travels, and ease during the trip for myself and my team of 13 other high schoolers and two leaders! I’m about to love on the people of Uganda as Christ loved the church! AHHHH!

So, Uganda…HERE I COME!!

The Global Orphan Crisis

One Mississippi…two Mississippi. Another orphan in the world just died due to malnutrition. Did you know that there are approximately 153 million orphans in this world and every 2.2 seconds another child somewhere around the globe loses a parent? Well, it’s true. The global orphan crisis is not just sets of statistics, it’s real children with real pain, fear, and tears. So what does the orphan crisis actually look like?

The Orphan Crisis:
-The seven year old boy in Rwanda, alone and afraid, because both of his parents have passed away from aids.
-The hopeless ten year old girl in Thailand trapped in the world of sex slavery, manipulated and used, as countless and faceless men “take their turn” at her multiple times a day.
-The disabled little girl living in a special needs orphanage in Peru wondering if she’ll ever be wanted.
-The teenagers about to age out of the orphanage system with no money, job, family, or place to go.

These aren’t just stories to make you feel bad, but the sad and truthful lives of many children around the globe. Once children have become orphaned, the society around them will see them as hopeless wanderers on the street. Often, in Africa, orphaned boys will be taken and made child soldiers. Girls on the other and, will be taken into custody by soldiers and become their “pride” for the night…their sex slave. In Eastern Europe, 50% of orphans will die before their twentieth birthday. Of the other 50%, most will become involved in crimes, drugs, or prostitution sometime in their life.

It is sad to think that less than 1% of orphans will actually be adopted. By 2015, there is a predicted number of orphans raising from 153 million to almost 400 million. We can’t ignore this anymore. I’ve had the privilege to babysit many ex-orphans from all over the world. Some deaf, some physically disabled, and others perfectly healthy without a single thing wrong. They are all so full of joy! We need more loved kids and less fatherless children in this world!

As one of my favorite songs says, Something here is wrong, there are children without homes, but we just move along to take care of our own. To me, there is something wrong, and that is why I’ve decided to become a voice to the ones who can’t be heard.

The Follow Up

So, I’ve had my blog for close to a year now, so I’m doing a poll to see what you guys want to read! So If you would do me a huge favor, PLEASE DO THE POLL!!!! Thanks 🙂

Withstanding the Attacks of Satan

Recently, I’ve been doing really well waking up early in the mornings and doing my devotions and getting time in with God. I’ve been learning a lot, and the best part is, my boyfriend has been encouraging me the whole way! We will talk about what God is teaching us and showing us through our personal time with him! Getting in God’s word in the mornings, caused my days to be wonderful! I was always in a good mood and was ready to be Jesus to anybody and everybody!

I knew that by living for God every moment of the day and really indulging in his word, Satan was getting mad. He didn’t want to see me getting closer to God and serving him with every breath!

The attacks started last week. The first three days of the week I overslept and didn’t have time to get in my devotions. By Wednesday, I was annoyed and just wanted to scream. I got to school and accidentally knocked over a stand in the middle of the band room. All of a sudden, all attention was displayed on me…exactly what i did not want. Next, I ripped part of my purse I got in Guatemala. That just put me over the top. Walking with my best friend down the lower science hall, I burst into tears. Embarrassing. The day just got worse and worse from there. I’m so thankful for a boyfriend though that has encouraging words to say during anytime in life.

I was so excited the following day when I woke up on time, only to find out that we had a two hour delay due to snow. This upset me, because the one day I woke up, I didn’t need to. There we go again, and my day went down hill, once more.

Satan was really trying to poke at my nerves. He knew exactly what he was doing, and I was letting him. Not only was he messing with my emotions, he was tempting with me in every direction. I was falling into worldly acts that I shouldn’t have been participating in. And to make matters even worse, I didn’t feel that these acts were wrong. I was straying away from what God would want me to do. I had given up on devotions with God, and rarely spoke to him in prayer anymore.

One morning this week, I was watching Pretty Little Liars on my laptop, and I realized I was crazy. These were the thoughts going though my head: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? ARE YOU LOSING IT? YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE LIVING FOR GOD NOT FOR THE WORLD! THE THINGS YOU’RE DOING ARE WRONG AND COULD LEAD YOU TO FURTHER SINNING. At that point I knew I was wrong. I knew the acts I had participated in were un-Godly. I knew I had become apart of the world.

After speaking with my boyfriend, and getting some insight from him, I knew I needed to repent to God. I had sinned against him non-stop for the whole week. As I became teary-eyed asking God to forgive me, I remembered that God’s unfailing love for me was always there. Even in times when I went well against him, he never stopped caring and loving me. My God is AWESOME!!!

I had a rough week, and turned my resentment towards God, and fell into the attacks and traps of Satan. But, with God’s help, I’ve been able to withstand these attacks!

Waking Up From the American Dream

I apologize if this blog is unorganized chaos! I’ve tried to put it into words as best as I can. All I can say is, it all makes since in my head!

A few years ago, Dnow, a weekend event for students at my church, was taking place. At the end of the sermon, the speaker asked three groups of people to come up to the front of the stage. The first group he asked to come and stand at the front with him, were the students who had just surrendered and given there life over to Christ. The next group were students who had strayed from the Lord, but he had been working in their lives that weekend. Last but not least, the third group. Students who felt God calling them to serve him in full time ministry. Whether it be becoming a pastor of a local church, starting a speaking ministry, or moving across the world to love on orphans who have no clue what love is, he asked the students to come forward. So, I stood up, not a bit hesitant, and walked up to the front. Now, my friends looked at me wondering why I walked up there. Everyone knew I was a strong Christian. But, I had felt that whole weekend that God was calling me to do something bigger and better with my life. I just didn’t know what.

A few months prior to all of this taking place, my mom had been to Liberia, Africa on a mission trip. Honestly, I had no desire for her to go and I was pretty selfish about the whole thing. That is, until she got back. When I saw pictures and videos from the trip…my heart started to change. I was starting to become more aware of the least of these. I was realizing that I was more blessed than many people around the world will ever be.

After Dnow was over, I shared with my mom my desire to use my life to share God’s love with other people. I had no idea what God had in store for me…and I still don’t know exactly, but this is when I began to wake up from the American dream.

The American Dream: Getting a decent job, marry your best friend, raise a family, live in a safe and secure environment, and retire happy. 

This is my definition of the American Dream. Now, don’t get me wrong. If this is how you want to live your life…I think that is fine, as long as it is not centered around you and your main focus is God! I have some of these same desires! I want to marry my best friend. I want to have a family. But, I don’t want to live in the comfort America has to offer. It’s eating me alive!!

After I went on mission trips to Atlanta, GA and Guatemala (which you can read about in my earlier blogs from July and August) I started to realize that I was falling in love with the world. I’ve fallen in love with places, people, and cultures I’ve never even seen or heard of! I know that God is calling me to go and serve him somewhere else in this world! I want to know that my life will make a difference, even if it means I have to take risks. I don’t want the security America has to offer me anymore.

I love the adventure of jumping into a new culture not knowing what they’re saying! I love the idea of building relationships with people through actions instead of words because of a language barrier! I am honored at the fact that God could use a sinner like me to shake people’s world’s for him. I’ve been blessed with a boyfriend who is open to the idea of living a life of danger, filth, and persecution.

I have no idea how God will use me in this life! But, I do know that he has something big planned for me! I’m ready to take the leap of faith for him!

Scripture Memory Verse #1

Recently, my boyfriend encouraged me to memorize scripture. So, I thought about the idea and decided it was a pretty good one! I realized to be able to share Christ’s love with others…I need to have scripture memorized to be able to use.

I didn’t really know where to begin with memorizing scripture, but I did have a book called 31 Verses Every Teenager Should Know. The book has devotions for each verse. So, I started with number one: Hebrews 4:12.

Now, I needed different ways to memorize this. I started by doing the books devotion. My boyfriend also shared with me a thing called S.O.A.P. (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) Below is my SOAP for Hebrews 4:12.

S: (scripture) For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

O: (observation) God is living and active and more powerful than anything or anyone else!

A: (application) God should be the main focus of my life! He is more alive than anything or anyone else will ever be!

P: (prayer) Lord, help me to realize when nobody is there you always are! You are the living and active one!!

So, after that, I put an index card with the verse in my agenda for school. I made myself read the verse every time I opened it and closed it. I became very aware of the verse, and this really helped me memorize it!

I also had someone to keep me accountable. Tonight I recited the verse to my boyfriend. He is helping me stay in God’s word, so there’s no one better than him to quiz me!! 🙂

So, I plan on sharing my memory verses with you, maybe you’ll start memorizing some too!

Also, be sure to check out my wonderful boyfriend’s blog, http://unashamedsheep.wordpress.com/! He is so full of insight on many topics! 🙂