Saturday, April 4, 2015


Tomorrow marks two months back from Christmas break and two month left here in paradise. It makes me cry and I know I am not the only one. This place has been more than I could have ever hoped. When I say paradise I am not referring to climate but rather the people. 

God has been doing some great things here! I have so many stories I want to share. If I could summarize February up into one word I would say HOPE. God gave me hope and He has been teaching me some mighty lessons about trust. 

My mother visited two weekends ago. It was so short but I loved having her and showing her the places that have stolen my heart. She pushed me in my Spanish and I realized how much I fake understanding something in Spanish. She caught on and I would have to ask the person to say it again and we would work together until I understood what they were saying and then translate for my mom. The truth is that I can understand more than I thought I could. 

While she was here we got to meet a lady who lost her son in an accident. One of the ministries is named after her son. My mom and I talked with her for a long time and there is nothing more I can say is that she gave us hope. I do not know how to explain it other than she just filled us with hope. I tried to share with my bible teacher and one of my roommates because they were in my prayer group for this month and just started crying because I am just overwhelmed at glorious and loving God is. His eyes were watering and he said "God is good all the time..." And we finished "all the time God is good."  

Last weekend we went whale watching as our big trip for this year. It was awesome. I am not being sarcastic because I like all those things that make the trip memorable. The four hour trip there was rainy but as soon as we got out on the boat it cleared up. The water was a little rough at first but it got better. I was so thankful that our leader brought Dremelin, because I would have gotten sick without it. We got to see a mother and her calf and they were very close to the boat. Someone joked that if the whale had surfaced any faster that they would have peed their pants because of how close it was to our little boat. It was great. After an hour they took us to an island where we ate lunch. We went shell collecting and found a ton of cool shells. I had a great time hanging out and exploring with our intern. Right before we left. Well we were actually waiting on the dock for them to pull the boat in, and it started down pouring. We got soaked. But it is the stuff that you can tell stories that make trips memorable. 

The night we got back I was walking back to my apartment when I walked my the missionaries' apartment. The dentist had just pulled up to his house and was getting out of his car when his friend stepped out and shouted "hey!" I knew immediately who it was even though it was dark out and could not see his face. It was one of the leaders from my trip two years ago. He lives in Santiago, which is three or four hours from me, and came down to spend a week with his friend. 

That Tuesday, we left for our mission trip. A five hour trip up to Puerta Plata. We were there for five days and put on a program at a school run by a ministry called Makarios, which is Greek for blessed. It was a great mission trip and we loved it. The school was very similar to the one the I serve at on Mondays. The school has both Americans and Dominican teachers. I was allowed to help in a class for a little while and I could not shake the feeling that I recognized the teacher so when class was over I asked her where she was from. She said New Jersey so I thought that there was no way I actually knew her but we kept talking and she said she went to college at Syracuse university, so I got back I friend requested her on Facebook. It turned out that we have a mutual friend, but I still do not know how I met her. But either way I thought it was cool and that God was at work. 

After we put on our program at the school, they took us out into the village and we went and visited the families of the children and shared our testimony with them. All around it was an amazing trip. 

This past weekend i went and stayed with a family that lives in the same place that I do ministry. The father is a pastor and I had been to his church once so I knew him a little so I was excited.  I had a great time with them. They made us some special, delicious, and different kind of foods. It was there first time host students so it was extra special for us. For the first time, i shared my testimony without reading it and then the mother told that she also lost a brother who was 27. I was so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to share our testimonies and build that friendship with her. 

God is at work here and I see it everywhere. From the smoothness of our ministry day this week to the fact the our Bible teacher this week surprised us with bring us our favorite candy from the states. Our Spanish teacher had given us an assignment a couple of weeks ago where we had to write about our favorite candy, and we just thought it was purely homework.

I have changed so much. One example is that I have been trying some new foods. For starters, i have been eating fish. My mom was shocked when I tried someones salmon when we went out to eat when she was visiting. We also tried blood sausage and we both thought it was delicious. Then the other day someone shared their fish. I do not know what kind it was but it was delicious. I think I like fish more than chicken! I was offered crab but I am not quite ready for that yet. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 27-11-14

Happy thanksgiving. I want to thank all of you for all your support while I have been gone. I appreciate all your prayers and staying in contact with me. It has been three months (one of the students told me 93 days). Time has flown. I want it back. But the time has been good. I try each day to live in the moment and with no regrets. I have had many great adventures while here, made lots of good memories, created inside jokes, and left my GAP with some good stories to tell when they go home... I have grown a lot, learned a lot, and fallen in love with the people here. I am so thankful God  brought me here.

I had a great Thanksgiving with my GAP family and SCORE missionaries. It was Thanksgiving! It was great. The food was great. After our dinner, some of the students had their small group and then one of our leaders had a meeting to give us some fundraising tips. As of right now i still need a little over $2,000, but my church has put the sunday school offering towards me this month so I do not know where that leaves me yet. But I am praying. God is so much bigger than 2,000 dollars.

This past month I was able to spend a weekend at the ministry God called me to. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed spending time with the lady who is encharge of us students when we are there, Adrienne. This past weekend we took a trip to the mountains to help a missionary family who just moved there. While we were there we put on a kids program and we did it all in spanish! It was hard, we triped on our words but with God's help the program was a success.

I love Emanuel House and I am so thankful that God called me there. The girls who serve with me are great. Our leaders are awesome. And the kids are... I do not know how to put but they have stolen my heart. I love talking to the short term mission groups about them and sharing with them about sponsorship. I have seen God move many individuals' hearts to want to sponsor kids that they have intertacted with while serving. It so exciting. Adrienne, Jaime, and I are thrilled.
This just one of the many ways I have seen God at work this month.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday 7-11-14

Last night I had a conversation with a high school student, who is here on a short term mission trip, about how he wishes they had taken the trip the first year of spanish so he would have been motivated to learn spanish for the rest of the high school years. I was thinking about that this morning and about Colossians 3:23. For me, Colossians 3:23 has come up several times this week so I know God is trying to get my attention.  Several of us students have said I wish I would have known that God was going to call me to a spanish speaking country or I wish I would have known I was actually going to use this one day. That is where Colossians 3:23 come in. We need to do everything as though it is for God (because for us Christians it is) not for people. We need to do our best in school not for our teachers or parents but for God because it might help you with what/where He calls you. - this is what God has been teaching me this week

Yesterday i bullot noted some things that God has been teaching me while I have been here. I was quite amazed not only by how many things but also how many times each of those things have come up. For example
- thursday 30-10-14 (start) Colossians 3 ( reading through Colossians at Carter's repeated suggestion to our Bible class, Jaime at huddle, Pastor Nate's sermon on Sunday, Adrienne's prayer before we started our day on ministry day. ) 
This is what my notes about what God has been teaching me looks like. God has been using all the adults in my life to teach me things and it was humbling to see that written all out in front of me. God is good.

One of the first things God started teaching me here was that He was going to redeem my weaknesses. You would not believe how many times 2 Corintians 12:9 has come up! It comes up at least weekly for me still. I know I have not journaled every time it has come up but I know the first time was when JAime shared it at huddle and the last time was this pasat week when she gave us each a little poster with a verse on it and mine was 2 Corithians 12:9. Lets just say I have the verse memorized now. God is so amazing. I love to see Him at work. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday 2-11-14

Recaping for last month... I am sorry I have posted in awhile. I have been away the pact couple of Sundays. This month I have started ministry, which has been going great. I have gone for three times and got to spend the night twice. We started host homes and have gone once. We will go a second time this month. The family I stayed with is known for serving his kids fish. There were all making jokes because I told them I did not eat fish. Lets just say that it was the best chicken i have ever had. He made fried and grilled. They were both delicious. I cannot believe I have deprived myself of something for so long just because I did not like the smell. He hosted a party at a lake and we were invited (us students) and the church. He fed us lunch and i was given the choice of chicken or fish. Everyone chose fish. They had all heard from me how good it was and they liked it too. Even the other students who did not usually eat fish.

We spent a week in the mountains. It was a much needed break for us and for our leaders. They banned homework and we had no wifi so it was each other, our Bibles or our pillow. It was great. We were near a beautiful stream/river which was a soothing sound to wake up to every morning. We spent hours reading our Bibles. It was an awesome weekend. God knew we needed it.

When we got back, we hit some hard patches. I have seen or heard about 7/12 students crying this past week. I also know four of the adults around here had a hard week too. We know satan is just trying to bring us down after an amazing weekend with God. My apartment pulled together for each other. They are awesome. When someone starts crying we gather together and start praying. I am so blessed. This past week was the second time I have dealt with being home sick. I was journaling and listening to K-love when i just started crying. I had been think about how much fun i had had with Sophia and Tuari last halloween that morning. I went back to my apartment and girls all gave me hugs and got me laughing about something. I cannot say it to many times. God has blessed me with awesome apartment mates. Also my small group really affirmed one another this week and a lot of,what we talked about hit home. We wrote each other encouraging notes and then our small group leader gave us a card with an encouraging note too. Their notes to me almost made me cry. I read them over and over again as I was struggling this week. They helped me get through. I love Wednesdays because of small groups.

Also this past week we had an exam and a oral test. Hard stuff. Amongst all the stress from homesickness, short tempers, studying and worrying about failing tests, we kept our eyes on God and the trip on saturday that we were invited to. It was prefect for us. I feel so much better. We spent our day swimming, playing games and talking with each other. It was great to hang out with some of the missionaries that we only see in church or at our ministry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday 15-10-14

Time is flying by. My GAP siblings and i are already counting down to Christmas. For you guys it might seem far off, because you have several holidays before then. For us it is just a short time away. We are excited but some of us are sad too because it will be hard saying goodbye to our GAP family for those two weeks. Yes we are taking bets on who will cry at the airport. But all those sad thoughts are brightened with the thought of seeing family and bringing back american food.

My ministry is going great. I love sunday nights when i get to have a sleep over at my ministry with three of my gap sisters. We have a great time together and getting to know the ladies who run the ministry. This past sunday i was able to attend a evening church service with one of the ladies. It was a great experience. We drove to the church in the dark so it felt like we were driving into the middle of no where so i was very surprised to see people i had already met at the church. I was excited. I also got to meet some people that i will probably see again throughout my time here. I am disappointed i will not be able to go to that church again this week because i will be staying with a family for the weekend. I do not know much about it but i am going with one of my gap sisters to a family's home for the weekend and the father's name is Jose. Life is always interesting but that is when my faith is strengthened. God is good. I cannot wait to give you a update next week about my weekend. Hopefully i will have some good stories.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday 5-10-14

I officially start my ministry tomorrow,  and i am very excited. I will be serving at emmanuel's house and help with their sponsorship program. We started last month with touring the ministries and praying about where God wanted us and what He wants us to do there. From the very start i felt God calling me to serve at the GAP compound and the sponsorship part of Emmanuel's house. I just did not know what He wanted me to do at the GAP compound. I spent a lot of time in prayer about it and slowly I felt God telling me that He wanted me to get to know the groups that come through on short term mission trips. I tried to pretend like i did not hear Him because i did not like the thought of trying to interact with all those people. I am an introvert. Those groups can get very big. I talked about it with one of the missionaries visiting for the marriage conference and she gave me jeremías 29:11 "For i know the plans i have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for destruction, to give you a future and a hope." I felt God was telling me that yes He wanted me to get to know people with the groups but it was going to be a good learning experience for me. He is pushing me out of my comfort zone not yo harm me but to help me become a better servant for Him. He is teaching me a lot. I cannot wait to see what else God has in store for me this year.

This past month has gone by so fast but i am trying to live in the moment and create lasting memories.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday 4-10-14

It has been a busy week. I am learning a lot in both spanish class and bible. This past week was evangelism. Our bible teacher, Mickey, came with his daughter, Cheyenne, who was a GAP student in costa rica two years ago. They were a lot of fun to hang out with. My roommate and i spent a lot of time talking with them. Cheyenne had some great advice for us and we got to hear about the differences between the two programs. She told us several times to live in the moment, because it will be over before we know it. The first night, his daughter cheyenne and I tied the two apartment doors shut. The girl in both apartment were trying to get out. It was hilarious. Yeah it was an awesome week.