Friday, May 29, 2009

This is peace!

Maribwe

I now officially have an African name, it is Maribwe which means peace. And yesterday as we went through the hospital and today as we preached in the slums I was constantly aware of the word peace and what it means. Starting with yesterday, Mulago is the biggest hospital in Kampala. It serves around 900 patients a day, 95 patients die a day, there is 1 doctor for every 150 patients, and at least 2 people commit suicide a month at the hospital (just some heart wrenching statistics). I definitely had prepared myself to see the worst and the best in this hospital. The worst was that there were so many people there that had been there for hours and probably weren’t going to see a doctor that day. But what amazed  me the most about God and the glory he brings is the fact that with 900 patients there a day, NOT ONE could be healed without his power, and he cares for EACH patient. As we were walking through the hospital and around the grounds you could tell there was a sense of peace which the Holy Spirit was bringing to those people. There were children leaving the hospital after being healed, women carrying there healthy babies out, and women preaching the gospel to sick women and children on a lawn. It makes my heart break to see what breaks His heart, the women who had delivery problems, the innumerable amount of people with AIDS, and the children dying of malaria, and yet through it all he brought peace to my heart through reassurance that he is the Maker, and the Creator, the One who can fix all of these things. He has the power to cure, and the power to sacrifice. And then we went to the medical school into an anatomy class room. This was the most fascinating thing to me. We walked into an anatomy lab and on the tables all over the room were cadavers. Now, I wasn’t too sure about making this adventure, but I decided to go in anyways. Walking around that room was hard as you can imagine, there were people ranging from 25 years old to 80 years old. And yet I missed it. All I could think about at the time was how many people had gone through that hospital and died. It wasn’t until I was out of the room that I realized how much of a blessing it is to think that those people are worshipping with Jesus in heaven! And then Catherine took it to the next level and opened up my eyes even more. She said, “ isn’t that great? That we walked in there and all of those bodies are trash. They are nothing. It just goes to show how our bodies do not matter on earth and that they are worthless.” I felt like somebody had hit me on the head and told me some big news. THAT IS UNBELIEVEABLE. We really don’t matter. We don’t matter at all. It doesn’t matter if we are white, black, big, small, what color eyes we have, how big our nose is, how tall or how short. OUR BODIES ARE NOTHING. They are purely temporary skeletons we use while we are here on this earth. We will have NEW BODIES when we go to heaven, Pure, matchless, beautiful, perfect, bodies! “But WE ARE CITIZENS OF HEAVEN, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour! He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into GLORIOUS BODIES LIKE HIS OWN, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his command.” (Philippians 3:21) I sit in silence as I read this verse. It gives me peace and understanding. It allows me to stop and look at the world and the bodies and the people we see, the people we judge, the people we encounter and all we see is that. We see there BODIES. I can’t even imagine what it is like for God. He doesn’t just see our BODIES, he sees our SOULS, he sees who we REALLY ARE, not the outer “temporary” covering. And o, how I long to see this as he does, to see the real side to these people I am surrounded by. And that is exactly what he did. He opened my eyes to allow me to see the beauty of people’s hearts, what really matters. As we prepared to go to the slums I spoke to God about opening my eyes as we went to speak to people about him. BOY did he open my eyes. As we started out treating the little kids wounds, more and more children came to see what was going on and then received care too. As we spoke to two ladies about Jesus my heart just cried out. I just wanted to share my heart with them, I wanted them to see Jesus, and to know that he would take care OF EVERYTHING. And, I know that is how God feels with us. He YEARNS for us to love him and to care for him just as much as he cares for us. As I kept on talking to them about Jesus I noticed that every time I smiled because I was thinking about how great it was to be there speaking to these beautiful women, the women smiled too. I will not allow myself to become discouraged if the conversation didn’t mean anything to them, because the smile on their faces was enough encouragement to talk about Jesus everyday, 24/7/365. God’s COMPLETELY and humbly allowed me to see what it is like to YEARN for somebody to love you back. Seeing through God’s eyes is the most humbling and remarkable thing to ever do. And at the end of the day, after all of these astonishing experiences it comes down to the peace God gives. He gives peace to know he will take care of these people, he gives peace in seeing somebody smile, and he gives peace in sitting in silence and thinking about his mind-blowing ability to see the exquisiteness of everyone’s soul.

This is peace.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

my one prayer.

My one prayer, the thing I seek most is for you, my best friends to understand the difficulty of life and the strength God gives us to move forward. I have NEVER seen God work in more mysterious ways as he has on this trip. In particular this little girl named Rebecca was talking to me yesterday at Bunga Hill Primary School, and she read me a poem about the difficulties of the disease they have here, how they kill their families, they make the strong weak, and they prevent this country from moving forward with their lives. I have not been put in such a place of humility ever. The difficulties I have been through have and will never compare to the difficulties of the Ugandans. And yet God gives them strength, he allows them to sing praise songs such as, “Jesus, Jesus my savior, I love Jesus, of course I do do do!”
This is Paul’s prayer for Spiritual Growth (and my prayer to you guys to remember for the rest of your lives.)
“When I think of all of this I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, UNLIMITED resources he will EMPOWER YOU with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is ABLE, through his MIGHTY POWER at work WITHIN US, to accomplish INFINITELY MORE than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
God gives this strength to each and every one of you, and I know for a fact that each of you is on your own mission, called by God. I just pray that you have seen and recognize that every day we should bow down to him and recognize that we are nothing without him. He is our shining light. He is the one people see FIRST when they look at you. I know that times are hard right now, we are all probably missing our friends now from college, getting sick of our parents, missing home, and being bored, etc. We all have different struggles but be reminded that THESE STRUGGLES are what make us stronger. We can’t understand VIRTOUS faith until we have been through trials and hardship.
This life is such a blessing. Today is a blessing. Realize God is moving and changing hearts all over the world, the angels are rejoicing, and heaven is longing for US to see the light! God is beautiful, all--powerful, and omniscient. He lives in you. He makes his home in your heart!
I have never wanted so many people to be here with me to see these things as I have seen them. But I know that God has a special place for each one of you! I love you all so dearly and I pray that God continues to open your eyes to things he sees. To be aware of the struggles of everyday life, and to recognize it as an opportunity to make his praise known!
P.S. Today and tomorrow are going to be really hard for us. We are going to the biggest hospital in Kampala and we have heard that it is quite a sight to see. I know that God is protecting our hearts, but we definitely need all of the prayers we can get. While I realize that God has placed me in this place of humility for a reason, that does not mean that the effects of today will be something I can handle. I FIRMLY believe God has given me the strength to carry through this trial with hope for these beautiful people. And I thank you for all that you guys have done for me! You are wonderful people!
As I humbly accept the trials he has presented and will present to me today I pray that you do the same!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This is joy!

May 23, 2009

Well I was going to write on my blog tonight but it looks like I might just be able to type it out and post it tomorrow. It is 10:37 P.M. here and I am just laying in bed about to go to sleep. I just tried to talk to my mom on skype but the internet here comes and goes, which made me homesick. (TIA). THIS IS AFRICA: 1. When you are on “African timing” 2. When your birthday present is wrapped in a trash bag and a balloon left overs 3. When it is normal to ride a boda boda to school or work 4. When you don’t go to the doctor until you HAVE to :--( 5. When you get used to the delay on the phone when talking to someone who is 8 hours behind you 6. When  you pay $1 for a pineapple and 50 cents for 10 potatoes! 7. THIS IS AFRICA when you see children happily playing right next to the road. 8 when you get over into the next lane which isn’t marked, when there is a car next to you. 9 when you don’t care about materialistic things 10. When you do a 120 foot bungee jump on the Nile river, not once but 3 times! 11. WHEN YOU KNOW YOU ARE IN AFRICA BECAUSE OF GOD.

I have to admit. Today was good but it made me a little homesick. Catherine and I have met some great friends here: David, Amos, Penny, Alfred, and Eddy, but it just doesn’t mean the same when you can’t speak there language. Even though they speak English it is hard to understand and therefore makes it harder to hold a conversation.

But I will go on. God has brought me here, no doubt, for a very special reason. And even if Africa gets nothing out of me you can be sure I have gained the world from it. This morning I happened to wake up right as the sun was rising so I decided to go out on our front porch and check it out. Low and behold…Lake Victoria in all its glory and splendor, and of course accompanied by a beautiful painting made by the one and only BiG MAN capable of painting such a magnificent picture. That is what absolutely stuns me. How every single day I have been here the sunrises and sunsets have been different and each one has been better then the last! God. God. God. How does he do it? Does he just take his hand and swipe around some beautiful colors? Does he point and say this star goes here and this star goes here? Or does he allow his children sitting by his side to each do there own masterpiece so that humans can see many different works of art in many different ways? However he does it, I know he has a special one for me each morning and each evening. A new breath of life. A reminder of the everlasting joy that is in my heart. A forgiveness of the selfishness I have tried to receive from this trip, an acceptance that God has indeed placed me here for a reason. And yet it isn’t about me. It is not about me at all. It is about the one who plans for me to take a month long trip to Africa with Catherine. It is about God telling Catherine to tell me the reason she is staying is so that she will realize we are on a mission trip longer than 10 days and that there is much work to be done before we leave. It is about God, Jesus, Lord, Father, Holy Spirit, Everlasting Joy, the kind of joy no man or thing could ever provide. The joy I receive when I see Simon waiting for me to get out of the bus in Buloba. The kind of joy I see when Justine cries as I leave Buloba. The joy I see in Sandra’s eyes when with God’s help I attempt to heal her wound that is so deeply infected, and the joy in her eyes as she tries on a Tiger Splashers t-shirt. It is the joy I see when Leslie tells me how excited she is her t-shirts will be given directly to the children in Africa! It is the joy I see as Courtney and I look at eachother, knowing we are thinking the same thing, that the tiger splasher t-shirts will be given directly to these kids. It is the joy I see in my father’s eyes as he does not want to let me go as I hug him goodbye in the airport. It is the joy in my mother’s eyes as she helps her daughter pack knowning she will not see me for a month. It is the joy in Jamel’s eyes as she turns her life over to Jesus and recognizes it is not about life on earth but life in eternity with an everlasting joyful God who presents people with opportunities to get a glimpse into the joy He receives as he watches the angels rejoice when another person turns to Christ. This is the joy I have seen. This is the joy I have received. This is the joy which makes my heart jump up and down. This is the joy that God gives. This is the joy Christ-followers have been given. THIS IS JOY.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TIA (THIS IS AFRICA!)

May 19, 2009

Well today was my birthday and I woke up this morning thinking it was going to be a “lonely” day because none of my friends and family were here, but it turned out to be one of my favorite days! When I walked into the family area I was so surprised to find decorations for my birthday! There were balloons and and a sign that said (happy birthday muzungu!) and they hung up the parachute to decorate the ceiling! It was great! Then we went to Buloba and gave out eyeglasses to the people who could not read and then I sat and read the bible with Simon! He read a whole chapter in John and I was so proud of him! Then I read the same chapter out of the Luganda bible! Simon had to help me a little bit but I helped him with English so it worked out nicely! We make a good team J then I sat outside of the school and talked to the Buloban women and they taught me many phrases and words in Luganda nkwalagonyo (I love you so much!) that one was my favorite! And because Simon can’t speak English a lot I was able to speak to him more today with the Lugandan words I had learned! Then tonight we went to Pastor Eva’s house to eat dinner and she had her ENTIRE family there to eat with us. Also the ladies from Buloba came into town to help her cook and eat with us! It was BEAUTIFUL all of the food they made was amazing! And then to top the night off Pastor Eva bought me a beautiful coconut cake! It was delicious! And everybody sang happy birthday to me! It was soo cool to have my birthday in Uganda! And quite the cherry on top of the trip! And then one thing I noticed when we were leaving, the ladies that live in Buloba are not very wealthy (comparatively) and so they were taking home all of the leftovers but they just threw it all into a plastic bag, not even worrying about separating all the different foods. That was amazing to me. They truly treated us like we were celebrities they even cooked a goat for us (which was a big deal because they only cook goat on Christmas, and Easter! ) so apparently it was an honor to have goat at dinner! And the team bought me a sculpture for my birthday too and wrapped it in a trash bag with a balloon tied around it (TIA :--)) 

May 20, 2009

Today was pretty awesome! When we woke up this morning we went straight to Buloba and handed out eyeglasses! We ended up handing out over 200! It was amazing how thankful the Bulobans were! Then this afternoon we did door to door evangelism! I think today was one of my favorite days! The first group of people we came upon were muslims they were all family but there were probably 5 adults 1 really old person 2 kids that were teenagers and 7 kids (at least). Morgan, Catherine, and I were put on the spot by Pastor Isaac when he told them in Luganda, “these girls came here to talk to you about Jesus!”  So we talked to them about Jesus! They didn’t have any idea who Jesus was so we started from the beginning. Then in the end one of the teenagers asked a bunch of questions about prophesies that pastor Isaac responded to. Then we all prayed for them. Some of them accepted Christ into their life and some of them didn’t but after we prayed they all wanted to sing with us so we sang a Luganda song! Then we went to a house with two older (70 yr. old ) women. The woman Catherine and I spoke to was not affiliated with any religion but she had never heard about Jesus Christ. SHE WAS 70 YEARS OLD AND SHE HAD NEVER HEARD ABOUT JESUS. That was so humbling. I can’t even begin to describe how humbling it was. I mean I knew who Jesus was as soon as I could learn anything and she was 70 YEARS OLD and she had never heard about Jesus. So with God’s help Catherine and I explained to her that we were in Uganda to tell her about Jesus and that God told us to come over here and tell her about Him! She was very eager to learn but she kept on telling us she wanted to live longer so we had to explain to her that we don’t care about living longer on this earth but that we will live for eternity with our Father in heaven! Throughout this whole process Catherine and I could not keep smiles off of our faces because we knew God was standing right next to us and speaking through us! We were just so excited to be talking to her! And then after she asked us some questions she decided she wanted to be saved! So Catherine and I prayed with her right then! And then she told us her legs had been hurting her so we prayed for her and right when we got done praying she said they felt better! IT WAS AMAZING! And on top of that we asked her if she had a bible or if she could get a hold of a bible and she said she couldn’t read because she didn’t have glasses! HAHA God is so funny! So of course we told her we would bring her some glasses and a Luganda bible on Friday! Then the next house we went to was a Muslim man and two of the ladies from the Buloba church we were with talked to him about Jesus. He would not ask Christ into his life because all of his family is Muslim and so he thinks he would be ridiculed for becoming a Christian. While we didn’t get to talk to him because the ladies were talking to him we did get to pray with him at the end of their talk! A seed has been planted J. Then we went to a house with a family of 3 a mom dad and daughter who was probably 15 years old. They had never heard about Jesus either, so we started from the beginning and told them all about it! We once again told them why we were in Uganda….etc! God was truly speaking through us because at one point I didn’t know what else to say but I kept talking!!!! Then in the end after they asked us a couple of questions they ALL 3 wanted to accept Christ so we prayed for him! Today was such a blessing! I am so thankful for the opportunities we were presented with. OOOO YEA and I almost forgot! Before lunch today we took  5 gallon jerry cans down to the well .6 miles away and filled them up. Then we walked up hill .6 miles back to the church with 5 gallons of water. I couldn’t believe these little kids carried these jerry cans 1.2 miles every single day. It was next to impossible. I will now think about that every time I turn on the faucet. I have a new found appreciation for the luxury of turning on a faucet. God bless you all! love youuuu!

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009 10:33 P.M.

Well I know I haven’t updated my blog in a while but I decided since I talked to my mom tonight and she asked me to I decided I would! We have been having long days so I have been tired every time we come back to the house! But for now. I have a little boy that I have been hanging out with everyday! His name is Simon. He is nine years old and he has a sponsor named Julie that lives in Auburn, but Friday morning we went on a prayer walk where we walked around the community of Boloba and stopped at some houses to pray for the people in that house or we just prayed as we were walking! We ended up walking about 6 miles around the town and the entire time I held Simon and a girl named Justine’s hand! I ended up talking to Justine a lot and she was telling me that she is 15, an orphan, and is not in school because she can’t afford it. Then I proceeded to ask her what grade she was in when she went to school last and she said primary-2nd which means she was in 2nd grade. When she was 6 her parents both died of AIDS. She was very fun to talk to, full of God’s love, and very giving. She made me feel very welcome and wanted me to have everything I needed. She told me her favorite bible verse is John 3:16 and then we recited it together! She is not as strong in English as some of the adults, but she new enough to hold a conversation! She told me she wants to be a preacher one day and preach in the U.S. and Kenya! I also taught Lydia, Justine’s friend who is also 15 how to play Frisbee! She loved it so much we played for about 45 minutes! Saturday after vacation bible school we were on our way home and a guy on a bike stopped next to our van, holding on to the van and he told us he was so glad to have us in Uganda and that he loved us. He was known as “the champion bike rider of Uganda!” He said he hoped God blessed the rest of our trip and that we love Uganda so much that we want to come back! I was so humbled that this African would come up to a van with a bunch of muzungus in it and tell us those things! Saturday was great! In the morning the children were having devotion when we got there so we went and sat inside to watch them doing their devotion! Then all of the kids divided into their 3 different classes (which made 30-45 in each class). I stayed with pastor Isaac’s class which were the older kids. He began teaching them by reviewing some verses in  John. Olivia and Sandra were my buddies in class! They sat next to me and taught me some Luganda words! And Sandra led the little children in worship songs and dance! I was very inspired by Isaiah 61:1 throughout the day, which says, “He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” This verse encouraged me to continue to be strong even though I am very tired! I am so excited to be here that I do not even recognize I am tired! Please continue to pray for me as my trip has pretty much just begun! I am so blessed to be here and I pray that God continues to increase the joy I have found from being here with and through Him!  I love him so dearly and I truly have seen Jesus’ face in these people! We did vacation bible school for all the little children and while it was a little frustrating at times because the children would crowd around us that was the joy of it all! They just want to be near you and around you touching you and knowing you care about them! They are the sweetest little children! I was on the craft team so I helped them make bracelets with beads on them out of fishing swivels! Yesterday after we went to church in Gaba and Buloba we relaxed in Buloba all day with all of the people that go to Buloba Community Church! I went on an adventure with Simon, David, Trevor, and Justine, we went to find some jackfruit to bring back for everybody and we stopped at Esther’s house. She was just getting back from rinsing off so she was still in a towel lol but she introduced me to her entire family, brought a chair outside for me, and even gave me some of their jackfruit they had already cut! It was such a humbling experience of how well she treated me. They just wanted me to be COMFORTABLE. She even brought out pictures of her daughter Miriam and of her when she was a little girl! Then we took the jackfruit back to the church to share with everybody! Simon read to Morgan and I out of his coloring books he received from his sponsor Julie! He was so good at reading English I was sooo impressed (because most of the kids can’t speak English well, let alone read it!). Then Sunday evening we danced to African music (Simon was my dance partner!) then we watched a movie about Paul! While I was sitting there watching the movie I had a little girl laying on my left leg, Hillary was laying on my left knee, Sandra was sitting next to me on the left with her arm around me, I had a baby on my lap, and Simon was sitting on my right side with his arm around me! I was so blessed to have these beautiful children surrounding me….but I was a little warm! J Anyways, today was a good day too! This morning we did door-to-door evangelism and I was with Morgan and Andi. We walked a long way to visit these people’s homes and it was so rewarding. We visited a man who was Catholic but he did not believe in having a personal relationship with God. He believed in the rituals that the Ugandan Catholicism teaches. His son was 15 when he died two years ago and he was killed because some people thought he was a robber and they shot him to death. This man could not understand why this would happen why a God that is loving would do this. When we first got there he would not accept Jesus into his life because Jesus would not raise his son from the dead, and he thought only rich people believed in God because God had given them everything they needed. Then pastor Eva shared Luke 16 with him about the rich man and Lazarus. Although the man did not accept Jesus right then I firmly believe Jesus was there with us whispering to him. God planted a seed in his heart that hopefully will reap many joys and healings! Then this afternoon we gave out free eyeglasses for the African men and women so they could read their bibles! That is all for now I believe….I am soo tired it is 10.30 here so I need to go to bed! I love you all and pray and hope God is doing wonderful things in your life in the U.S. I can’t believe I am on the other side of the world right now! LOVE YOUUUUUUU!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day #1

BTW it is 10:43 P.M. here NOT 12:44!

Sorry it has taken me so long to tell you what has been going on! We made it to Africa fine! It was quite a long trip but thankfully we got here when it was night time so we went straight to bed! We slept wonderfully then woke up to a beautiful African sunrise (P.S. they are the best)! Wow, I don’t even know where to start. This has truly been one God-inspired day! First we went to Bethany Village across Victoria lake from Kampala. We rode across on a little boat and the water was very calm. Once we got to Bethany Village Francis gave us a tour of the village. When he showed us the medical clinic in the village he told us that they only had one nurse for 474 children, then not long after I met the one nurse. She was a very sweet lady and she told me that she is on call twenty four seven. I guess it really hit me then that that was exactly where I wanted to be. So we should be going back to Bethany village after the team leaves. Then once we left Bethany village we road the boat to Gaba church. When we got there Catherine and I stayed outside and played with the kids while the team went in. Three little girls sang for us and it was absolutely beautiful. Then I taught some of the little kids how to play down by the bank and Jordan and I played with them! After we played games with them I was talking to a little boy named Immanuel who was 14 and he was telling me about his siblings and mother and how his father died of AIDS. It made me quite sad because I couldn't help but think of what could have been done to save his father's life. That is my biggest problem....wanting to help people when it is totally not in my hands. After that we went to lunch at a pretty fancy restaurant and had AMERICAN food lol! Then we went to Buloba and as soon as we got out of the van the kids pretty much attacked us! They all wanted to hug us and welcome us to their church! They all held our hands and stood right next to us! They showed us their church, their new office, and the well they use for all of their water! After that we played with the kids and then came back to the house! Once we arrived back here at the house Patrick got David to take Catherine, Morgan, and I on a walk so that I could know where I was allowed to run. Then we decided we wanted to go see the slums so we walked to them. As we were walking through I was so desperately seeking to see if any person we could see looked absolutely heartbroken that they were living in the conditions they were. NOT A ONE. NOT ONE SINGLE person to me looked sad. They are all just so joyful and happy to see anybody! The little kids followed us through the walkways and begged us for money saying, “Muzungu, Muzungu, can I have some money?” It was so hard to say no to them, but I knew if I couldn’t give money to all of them I shouldn’t give it to some of them! Then we came back here and had a wonderful African meal! I hope all is well at home! I love you guys so much! 


~ LB


P.S. thanks mom and dad for allowing me to come over here! This is definitely where God wants me to be! >>>so don't be surprised if I don't come home ;-)


O BTW if you want to see more updates more often check out Andi's (another teammate) blog:

www.andreacollette.com

Monday, May 4, 2009

I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify ALL that has happened. - Dostoevsky

Friday, May 1, 2009

check this out....

Check out this note by Travis - http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=77904593076&ref=nf

Then...this is my response....

I don’t even know where to start responding to this astonishing note. Where did you find the words to explain this? I know that God definitely spoke right through you and the funny thing is I have been thinking a lot lately about the facebook religious status or whatever –Christian, or there is Christian-Methodist, Christian-Baptist, etc. And it never ceases to amaze me how every time I add somebody new on facebook I go straight to their religious status to see if they are even okay with putting it on facebook that they are a “Christian.” And then the next thing I notice is the pictures they are tagged in and whether or not one would assume they are a Christian by their pictures. I have no idea why I do this, but I do know it is not right. That is why facebook for me is a failure. It is failure to see who people truly are, who they want to be, and who they want people to think they are. The decision is…will I make this my profile picture? Or is  it too “Christian” to put on here. Or will I even add my youth director as a friend because I am afraid my friends might post a picture of what I did last weekend and I am embarrassed by that? God knows everything ANYWAYS. If we are embarrassed to put a picture on facebook why aren’t we embarrassed knowing God is watching us screw up over and over again and watching us try to be happy by this world’s standards. It is crazy to me to see a person’s facebook, judge them by their religious status, and pictures and then meet them in person and they are a completely different person. Why is it so hard for us as “Christians” to put a “Godly” picture up or put a bible verse on our about me? Is it because we know certain people won’t talk to us on facebook if we have that as our status? So where does that put us in our walk with Christ? How could we be walking with Christ if we are afraid of how people will look at us? Are we embarrassingly walking with Christ? Terrified of who believers and non-believers will assume we are? If I were to say I am a Christian, would my life be a reflection of it? Absolutely not, because I am not perfect, I am nothing like Christ although I try to be. But Travis, that is DEFINITELY what it is about. It is about desiring to follow Christ, to selflessly and humbly attempt to reflect Christ’s perfect, marvelous life. That is the beauty of this life. That God desires for us to have a life just like Christ even though we don’t deserve it. And yet time and time again we choose to not have this life. We choose lies, cheating, gossip, alcohol, drugs, sex, opinions, judgment, etc all over the wonderful God-breathed life we could have. It is a constant battle between “Godly” choices and “worldly” choices. You said it perfectly, if God is the center of our lives, the dweller of our heart, the light in our darkness, his light will shine through us. “This attitude of Christ can’t be hidden, for as a candle lights a dark room, we are called to be lights in a dark world. This light is what truly defines a Christian.” Travis, there is NO DOUBT who you follow, and that is ABSOLUTELY remarkable! That note was very inspiring! Thanks!

i am a tiger splasher/i went to the doctor

well I just though I would inform whoever might happen to come on this blog at some point in time....I am not really sure if anybody has been reading it...but I guess that is the beauty of a blog....people who I don't even know could be stalking my life Lol! so God....wow...God. I just can't even begin to describe how divinely inspired i have seen my activities been lately. I am a tiger splasher...no idea why....it is a blast and I have met a ton of great people but I haven't really known why God has put me in my position of being a tiger splasher....but I am....and next year I am actually going to be t-shirt chair. Well Monday night we had our officer induction or whatever you want to call it..point being...i am officially on t-shirt chair and the girl who was on t-shirt chair before me gave me a HUGE box of t-shirts that were left-over from past years that people never came to pick up. And I brought them home....and COurtney and I looked at them and I said...why would I ever let these t-shirts sit in my closet for a whole year then give them to another girl for them to sit in her closet....and then at the same time Courtney and I looked at eachother and she knew exactly what I was thinking....take them to UGANDA! So I texted my tiger splasher president and she was soo excited! So now I am taking a bunch of tiger splasher t-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts over to these kids who are going to be SOO excited to get them! That was God thing number 1 this week.....then Tuesday I went to the doctor....and I was standing there after I received a shot because I couldn't leave just yet because they had to make sure I didn't react wrong to it....and I asked them if they had any scrubs left over that I could take to wear when I work in the hospital while I am over there....and they GAVE ME A PAIR OF SCRUBS! I was soo thankful (especially because they are actually LONG ENOUGH!) and that was God thing number dos (2)! anyways....GOd is more apparent then he has ever been in my life and I pray that whoever is reading this blog that God makes himself apparent in your lives too!

P.S. this is my first May blog...and I have 12 days till I leave!!!!