Thursday, May 14, 2009

Going to Panama as a country assistant!

Dear friends and family,

I hope this letter finds you well and full of joy in the Lord. I have been keeping busy with coursework in college, where I am a junior liberal studies major focusing on psychology and biology. Five years ago, in 2004, I had the opportunity to travel to Panama, in Central America, with Global Expeditions, a division of Teen Mania Ministries. In 2006, I again traveled with Global Expeditions, this time to Matamoros, Mexico. The Lord did a great deal in the hearts and lives of the nationals and missionaries alike on these trips, and on both trips I was able to be a missionary advisor, discipling a small group of younger missionaries throughout the trip.

This summer, I have the opportunity to return to Panama with Global Expeditions, this time in the leadership position of country assistant. As a country assistant, I will be working behind the scenes to assist the project directors (the ones running the entire trip) with anything that needs doing, whether it be making photocopies, running errands, or picking up food at a grocery store in-country. I think this trip will provide valuable training for my future missions endeavors, and I hope to have many opportunities to speak into the lives of the missionaries and the nationals alike. The support of country assistants is vital to ensure a trip runs smoothly. In Panama, Global Expeditions will be traveling into the Darien Jungle and to the San Blas Islands to minister to the Kuna Indians. The Kunas are known for their friendly nature and beautiful handicrafts, but many of them are engaged in idol worship and do not know the living God.

I hope to be leaving in early July to spend a week or so volunteering at Teen Mania Ministries’ headquarters in Garden Valley, Texas before my trip begins on July 12th. After a couple of days of training, we will head out to minister for several weeks before returning to Texas for debriefing, and finishing on August 6th. I anticipate that this will be an incredible summer in which many lives will be touched by the hand of our God and irrevocably changed. To accomplish this task, I am asking for your support. The trip will cost approximately $2500 for housing, airfare, food, and travel to Texas. Will you help send me to Panama?

Any support you can give will be greatly appreciated. I will be working hard over the next few weeks to fundraise, but if you are willing and able to help send me to Panama, you can make a donation online or by check. To donate by check, make checks payable to Teen Mania Ministries, and send it along with my name and ID number on a separate slip of paper to: Global Expeditions, P.O. Box 2000, Garden Valley, TX 75771-2000. Please do not put my name directly on the check (for tax deduction purposes). To donate online, log onto and click on “Support a Missionary” at the top right corner. Search for me by name or by ID number.

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me at You can also reach a Global Expeditions Specialist at 866.953.LEAD. Thank you so much for your time, consideration, and prayers. You are greatly appreciated.

May the Lord bless and keep you,


Thursday, May 7, 2009

I want a heart...

I found this on one of my xanga sites (yes, I had more than one) and wanted to post it here. I had entirely forgotten I'd written this piece but it reflects so much of my heart even today. Though I'm four years older than when I wrote this, the desire it reflects remains in my heart still, if tempered a bit by time and maturity. This was first written on 30 March, 2005, early in my year at the Honor Academy.


I want a heart that is so pure and broken and open that I can cry unashamedly in front of others, not caring what they think of me crying in front of them

I want to cry at beautiful things

like butterflies

sweet proposals

time in God's presence

How amazing he is

How beautiful

God, help me to maintain a pure and broken heart and to live a blameless life before you

That I may live a life pleasing to you

That others may see you through my life

Make me invisible so that I may not be seen, but you in me

Take my desires

Make them yours

Help me not to want things that aren't for me

I know your plans are better

So much better than mine

Take control

I am yours.

Friday, May 1, 2009

change of plans

So back in October, I signed on with Global Expeditions to go to *ahem* the Middle East. After looking forward to this for months, the B trip, which I was planning to go on, had to be cancelled. So I took a few days to pray and think and finally settled on Uganda. The last several weeks have been so busy I've been unable to do any fundraising, but I do need about $4,000 for this trip. In Uganda, Global Expeditions plans to do AIDS/HIV awareness education for part of the time, and for the other part of the trip, they plan to travel to northern Uganda to bring hope to the broken, hurting children who were once part of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The LRA has held central Africa in its grip of terror for a good twenty years or better and has resorted to "recruiting" children (by kidnapping) for its fighting forces because their souls are thought to be purer than those of adults. Now that the LRA has been driven from Uganda, there are many hearts and lives to be put back together and healed. I have long had a heart for slaves, prostitutes, and child soldiers, so Uganda would seem a natural fit for me.

This past Saturday, I drove 2+ hours (on three hours of sleep, mind you) to Greensboro for the TrueNorth Leadership Seminar. I had the opportunity to be interviewed by my Project Director from my Panama trip in 2004, the trip on which the Lord captured my heart for the nations and the people of this world (and on which I left a piece of my heart in a little village named Santa Clara with the beautiful Panamanian people). Tuesday I received a call asking me if I'd be interested in being a Country Assistant on this summer's Panama B trip! I love Panama dearly and I do desire strongly to return to this land that captivated my heart so long ago.

I write all this to say that I honestly don't know what to do! Either way, I've got fundraising to do, but since my Father can bring all that money in with one fell swoop, I am not particularly concerned about the finances. Being a CA would mean more behind-the-scenes work rather than active ministry, but would be a great opportunity to experience how the trips work. On the other hand, I LOVE being a Missionary Advisor and having the opportunity to disciple the missionaries in my care. I also love playing with the kids wherever I go. :) My heart does, of course, long to return to Panama-but I have long desired to go to Uganda as well. I am confident that the Lord orders my steps and I pray He will guide me in making a decision here-if what He wants for me is to be an MA in Uganda, that's where I'll be. If what he wants is for me to be a CA in Panama, I shall be picking up some molas and Kuna bracelets this summer. :)

If you would, please pray for me as I attempt to make this decision (it is always difficult for me to make decisions when I want both options so badly!). I want nothing less than God's best for me, wherever and whatever that may be.

In Him,