New plan for Update:

Posted: July 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

Today, July 28, 2018, I re-read my last post (December 31, 2015) and desire to bring people up to date with my life, as I testify to the Goodness of God in my life.

My plan is to write out some topics to include as I process now and then return to more fully elaborate on each specific item on the list. Hopefully this will result more successfully (for you and for me) than trying to include it all in one blog, creating a long post. In listing some topics, hopefully it will help me be more organized and inclined to return more often (and you too!) As I add the history of my journey and share my testimony of Jesus, lifting His name above all other names and drawing all people to Him, the author and perfecter of our soul.

You know, everyone has a story and many testimonies to share. It highlights God’s goodness in our lives and provides evidence that God is at work in our lives, desiring us to no longer be deceived by the countless lies of the enemy and connect with the abundant life He created for us.

In John 4:39-42, gives us an example,

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.

Her testimony, gave opportunity for Jesus to be revealed and they received their salvation and began their relationship with Jesus! That’s good news!

So I’ll leave you with my list of things yet to share:

Dec 2015 Mazatlan, Mexico Trip

Jan 2016, Hyderabad, India Trip

May 2016, Nanny-time ending with Krauts

Oct 2016, New Nanny job for 1 year

Aug 2017, BEMER and health focus

Oct 2017-Feb 2018, unemployment

Feb 2018, New Job, back to a 9-5 lifestyle, after 12 years.

Blessings to all you who have so graciously and lovingly have supported and encouraged me throughout my journey! I love you all!

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Sharing my heart!

Posted: December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

*Disclaimer: This post is a lengthy update that shares the heart of what I have been experiencing over the last several years. Yes, it’s lengthy but for those who are lifelong learners, I pray that by sharing my heart, it will be of benefit to you, in some way. Whether you can testify in agreement with what I’ve experienced or whether it’s food for thought; whether it helps to explain my decisions or allows you to the opportunity to join me in the journey, a little closer in spirit, I offer it.

I just reviewed my blog website (isaiah559.wordpress.com), realizing that the last time I posted something was March of this year. Back then the Lord was continuing to reveal to me what it is to wait patiently for His leading. What a mixed box of feelings regarding this past year I’m left with, considering the fact that I’m still waiting. But He has promised that He will be revealing my next steps soon, and I am reminding Him of that often because He is One who is true to His Word.

Let me do some catching up for you now.  Although I’ve already posted the outcomes of 2 trips to Haiti and 1 to Nigeria (Nov 2014-Jan 2015) in my posts, and a few general thoughts after that, I haven’t really shared where my heart has been during this time and throughout this year.  So I’ll take this time to fill you in on what I was thinking and feeling and then we’ll proceed with some additional follow-up reports, having just returned from 10 days in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Fall 2014:

After Summerlyn, one of my Nanny-kids, turned 2 in June and started pre-school that fall, I realized that I was coming into a new season. She wasn’t a baby anymore and I also was seeing the evidence of being restored (well, at least brought to a place where I was again familiar with myself). I was beginning to desire going…. somewhere, anywhere… and that was a healthy sign also to me that a return the mission field was still in my heart.

Desiring to work with a small, family-like organization, yet with at least a little bit of history already, but not having a clue where to find this, I did what any other person would do to begin researching….. I googled! Looking under international orphan care, the ONLY organization that popped up was Back2Back Ministries, headquartered in Mason, Ohio. So I read all I could about the organization and the founders….. Todd and Beth Guckenberger. They were missionaries in Mexico, who turned into foster parents and starting community outreach initiatives. After 17 years in Mexico, they moved back to Ohio and currently oversee the running of support programs serving locally run children’s homes in 4 nations (Nigeria, India, Mexico and Haiti) and in 6 locations. I was impressed with what I read and thrilled to read several books written by Beth about Global Orphan Care. Beth is a true story teller and several of these books are from a series sharing individual stories of lives not forgotten; lives that have been redeemed by the Lord which they witnessed because they were actively involved in the Father’s work.

After contact was made with them, it was suggested that going on a mission trip with the group might be a good way to get to know Back2Back to start. Yes, Yes, and Yes! Didn’t have to ask me twice. I had already committed to joining an annual trip to Haiti with my church family, but 2 trips are even better! And what made the invite even more interesting was the location of the country that was suggested…. Nigeria. Back in 2001, when I began hearing from the Lord through journaling, one of the first things revealed was a prophetic word about getting ready for full-time missions and Nigeria was specifically mentioned. At that time I was still living in my own house and teaching at Sherando High School. This thing I was writing was definitely NOT MY thoughts. Upon getting counsel, it was confirmed that it could possibly be a Word from the Lord. The walking out of it would be the proof in the pudding. Within a year I had quit my job and sold my home, something I never could have imagined previously. Within 5 years I was serving in full-time missions in Kenya, something I never could have imagined previously.  I have been waiting 14 years for this Word to come into fruition knowing and trusting that it would in God’s time. More about this later.

All along I had been keeping my employers abreast of what I was thinking and anticipating and they were on-board with me in walking it out together, so I was able to take the time off for the trips. God provided the funds on top of that for both trips! The Nigeria trip was a small group of adults, including the Director of Operations, John Guckenberger, so time would be available for questions and discussions. I knew that the seasons where a-changing and my re-entry to full time missions was in progress.

If you haven’t read yet, you can go back at this point and read the posts about not only 1 trip to Haiti at Thanksgiving but a return trip there for a week at Christmas, then the Nigeria trip in January.

January 2015:

So I returned to my Nanny position after the trip to Nigeria with kind of an anti-climatic conclusion. It was a great trip and I definitely had all good checks about Back2Back, but no definite understanding of what was next and not hearing a call specifically to Nigeria. I would later sense that the fulfillment of
God’s Word to go to Nigeria was kind of like an exclamation point added to the process of returning to missions. Confirmation that I was on the right track with hearing the Lord and a call to keep my eyes and ears attuned to His. It doesn’t sound like much but it increased my faith in many areas.

You know what’s funny? Right now, I’m realizing that the last post I wrote in March 2015, called “Patience, please” was a Word for me, as well as for the girls that day.  God is so witty… or maybe I am just so simple.

During the trip to Nigeria, I was able to share about my skills and experiences (missions, church, special needs education) but also about my new passion to serve the caretakers of orphans by coming along side them to encourage, minister and support them. God had birthed this new passion in me, as I healed from working in a hard place. Yes, what the enemy intended for evil, God uses for His Glory (Gen. 50:20); Yes, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for the good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rm. 8:28); And Yes, For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11). God takes our heart-breaks, our short-comings, our failures, our sufferings, all the effects of living in hard places at times, and He restores all things unto Him. He restores us to Himself, making all things new! (2 Cor. 5:17-19)

There was give and take conversation about possible options, one being the only home for special needs that Back2Back serves in Mazatlan, Mexico and then also John shared that a couple has just come on staff implementing new training in the area of becoming Trauma Competent in Caregiving. Jayne and David Schooler would be traveling to all 6 sites, in 4 countries, doing direct training with the caregivers of the homes supported by Back2Back. No definite conclusions were reached at this time for me but over the next couple of months I kept abreast of what was happening with this new program in the ministry, through their facebook posts and newsletters. I gained more insight as to what the Schooler’s were doing when attending CAFO2015, (Christian Alliance For Orphans) Summit in May and was intrigued and interested in receiving the training myself, so in June I took a trip to Ohio for just that.

June 2015:

Going into these training days spent with the Schooler’s , I hoped there was opportunity to discern if possible future work with them would be a good match for me. The training was awesome! Yet I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have personal time to talk with the Schooler’s, as I had hoped. My interest in a continued relationship with them and their work was definitely made known and even plans to talk over lunch one day were made, but what came from that was just a day scheduled to talk at a later date on the phone. I did volunteer to assist in creating some needed lesson plans in the near future, so it was a small start. By October, I had completed the assignment given and had just a brief conversation about that assignment, on the phone with Jayne. Feeling a lack in progress in any direction, I made contact with John to gain some insight and make a plan of some kind. Understanding that the further development of a Trauma Team for the program was still being sorted out, and clarity was not there yet as to how I could be utilized at this time, we again spoke about Mazatlan as an option.

I was REALLY READY to move ahead on something, so I jumped on the invitation and registered for the next scheduled mission trip to Mazatlan in December. Plans were made to arrive 4 days before the team, to give me an opportunity to scout the possibility there and then join the team for a week of service work.

Interestingly, I had just accepted an invitation to go to India for 20 days in January to help with speech and language training at a friend’s children home. This is not with SCH, my previous work assignment organization, but with a lady who was another volunteer with me, who had since left also and then started her own children’s home for orphans with special needs in Hyderabad, India. She currently has 18 lovelies, mostly infants!!! I guess it’s either feast or famine for me when it comes to short-term mission opportunities!  And once again, God provided the money before they were even scheduled. What a great Heavenly Papa I have. Some things in life are very easy for me. My faith for His financial provision is a gifting He has given me, so it seems to be an easy area. I guess that means that I have room for increased gifting when it comes to patience, cause it’s not quite as easy to deal with. But in spite of where I am in life, He is always Faithful and Trustworthy! This I can stand upon with confidence…… I call it Godfidence (I kind of stole it off a Todd White t-shirt)!

December 2015:

At this point I at least had increased hope that things were moving again in a (any) direction. If God wanted me to serve in the area of special needs again, I was willing to obey. As I headed out to Mazatlan with opportunity in front of me, I went there with an openness to whatever God had in mind… I thought. I prayed that God would make it obvious to me while there if this was the next place I was to serve.

As I walked through each step of the trip it appeared to be all checks! One after another each day, I listed all the positives I observed about Back2Back Mazatlan and it looked like a good match for me. So it was of great surprise on day 7 of the trip, during morning quiet time journaling. As I was writing out a letter of thanksgiving to the Lord for where I was and telling Him that I could easily already see myself living in Mazatlan, I was stopped in my tracks when I began writing a letter back to me from the Lord. “My dear daughter, this is not the place I have for you now…” WHAT???(If this was a movie, you would be hearing loud, screeching brakes inserted here) He went on to share that there was a place that would be better for me and that I would understand soon. He said it was all part of His bigger plan for me.

I was filled with such a huge, heavy dose of sadness like I’ve never experienced before so suddenly. Although I immediately accepted that this decision was from the Lord and was easily intent on obeying Him, the sadness of it followed me all day long and even intensified. By the evening, during the daily group debriefing time, when I began to share my update, I was feeling full blown grief and recognized it as such. I was able to share, through tears, and also explain that this experience was a testimony of an answered prayer. Let me explain (I digress)…

While I was serving in India I had the opportunity to attend a refreshment weekend seminar where the concept of grieving was presented. Until that time I hadn’t been fully been aware that I didn’t know how to properly grieve. I also realized that this was probably was the reason I stayed as long as I did in India. Up until then, with every disappointment or death of a child, I just went on focusing on all the other pressing needs at the time. But at the seminar I also learned that to the extent that you are able to grieve is the opposite extent to which you can experience joy. I did not want to be limited and miss out on one ounce of joy I could be experiencing so I left that weekend asking the Lord to teach me how to grieve. One of the last things that happened before I left India was the sad, early death of one of the children. He was very, very sick and has just recently come to the home. We were unable to know just how sick he was on the inside, when he passed. I was called over to the home and when I entered his room, I began to experience grief… no sadness leading up to it, just right into the immensity of the feelings of grief and pretty much lost it. One of the caretakers escorted me to the office where she began to pamper me and console me. I was so out of my comfort zone and I’m sure my reaction both shocked and scared the caretaker also, as this was not usual for me. It wasn’t long after this that I began to feel the weight of everything I had been living under and it was time for me to take a break and recover.

So getting this increasing feeling of sadness and then release was very hard but almost immediately refreshing to know that as quickly as I could attach to a good thing, I could quickly and properly grieve it as well. The pain was gone but the sadness stayed around the rest of the week, and I was OK with it. (Speaking of Mazatland now)

The Lord did give me encouragement the following morning, saying “hold on… I’m giving you My peace, patience and perseverance to walk this out” What joy to know that the Father gladly and freely pours over us what is beyond our human abilities. It reminds me that His other supernatural gifts of love, joy, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness AND self-control, are always available to me!

Today:

So I continue to take the next step that I know to, trusting the Lord to give affirmation and confirmation at His perfect time, of what is next for me. I am experiencing His peace, but also have a healthy dose of anticipation, keeping my eyes and ears open for His leading, knowing that opportunities are out there for me. (After reading my FB post after returning from Mazatlan, Jayne Schooler commented, “keep in touch”).  Please join me in prayers of thanksgiving, as the waiting continues for now. I will certainly pass along information as I know it.

Bless you all for sticking it out to the end of this post! Give yourself a gold star! I’m glad I have friends and family like you who are spurring me on to all God has for me. I remain a blessed child of God, for the purpose of sharing those blessings with others, for His glory!

I will be adding an additional post soon about the service work and experiences had in Mazatlan this month with pictures. It’s all about what God is doing in and through the awesome kids I had the pleasure to meet there! Hopefully I can get this all done before leaving on January 12 for Hyderabad, India. Stay in touch with me, please, as I covet the prayers of all who are willing to come along side me and join this amazing adventure with me. Blessings!

Patience, please!

Posted: March 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

We’re traveling by car to Nana’s. It’s gonna be a great day of swimming and playing with cousin, Laithan and just being spoiled in every way! Summerlyn and Mila were so excited and the 40 minute drive to meet her seemed especially long today. That familiar phrase rang out, “Are we there yet?”.

“No dear” was my response with a mention of remembering patience. I realized we would be passing the barn where the llama’s live and redirected her by asking her to look out for the llama’s. I further laid out the course of her patience. I said, “first we must get to the top of the mountain, then go over, then turn and we will see the llamas.

The mountains were still ahead of us in the near distance but within a minute Mila questioned, “Are we over the mountain yet?”. OK, well she realized the plan that was before her. I broke it down like this for her, “1 – we get to the top of the mountain; 2 – we go down the mountain; 3 – we turn, then we see the llamas”. I recalled how I sounded like Dora the Explorer as I narrated the steps, several times. Then I added a reminder that patience will help us do them all in their timing.

So to the top of the mountain we went, over the mountain and then turning right, checking off each step as we achieved it. At this point I was praying that the llamas would actually be outside, as it was a cold morning and surely they were kept in the barn overnight. My prayers were answered as we approached the barn and the brown llama poked his head out, as his master was opening the barn door. Just in time! Perfect timing!

Thank you Lord, for reminding me that the steps of my life are laid out by you and I then can practice my patience, joyfully enjoying the journey, checking off each step and seeing how you have led me. This is a glorious time, when I can see examples like this of putting my faith in Christ and seeing it come into fruition. But my most favorite part is when I get to share my stories, these testimonies of God and my walk with Him, bringing glory to His Name alone.

New American Standard Bible
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, (2 Timothy 3:10)

New International Version
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light (Colossians 1:9-12)

Who Am I?

Posted: March 27, 2015 in Teachings
Tags: , ,

Hello glorious people,

I’m really in a teaching mood, so since I don’t have missions updates to post here why not use it as my platform to share what the Lord is teaching me, or impresses on me to share to others. I am a storyteller. I love to tell the stories of what the Lord has done in and through me. This is one place I can do so. But I don’t think these posts will be my traditionally long storytelling, but more so devotionals or studies on topics. We’ll see as we go along.

I’ve been using video’s on Youtube during my devotion time with the Lord. This is just one way I worship the Lord, and hear from Him, as well. He brings to light His Truth’s AND areas of weakness in my life that He desires to grow me in. So I’d like to share what I’m learning with you. This perspective for my blog is a fun, new thought for me. Let’s see how it goes.

To start it off, I need to begin where I began in my life-changing journey; when the Lord clearly began to show me “Who I Am in Christ”. Knowing these Truths were key to me realizing that I was believing lies about myself, others and God. Opening myself then to expose the lies that I was currently believing was paramount in being able to bring these Truths from my mind (believing intellectually) to my heart (a life-changing perspective that daily effected my actions, responses and decisions)

This song by Jason Gray “Remind Me Who I Am”, shows us in so many ways how BELOVED we are, in God’s eyes! Watch the video and then come on back for more reflection time.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSIVjjY8Ou8&index=6&list=RDUvsqAPzOUNw)

So what’s your sign say…… rejected……. alone……. will never amount to anything….. confused….. not good enough…… sick…… lost…… tormented……. depressed…… unfulfilled…..

Take a minute and think about it. Then write it down.You may have more than one, that’s OK. Let’s get all the lies out!

Now that you’ve done that, I must tell you that you may be feeling these but these are NOT the truth about you! It is NOT what God believes about you! It’s not how He sees you!

“The enemy is empowered by human agreement. To agree with anything he says gives him a place to kill, steal, and destroy. We fuel the cloud of oppression by agreeing with our enemy. Praise, with rejoicing, cancels that agreement.”
Bill Johnson, Strengthen Yourself in the Lord: How to Release the Hidden Power of God in Your Life

Bill Johnson also says in this book “I can’t afford to have thoughts in my head about me that God doesn’t have in His. It’s impossible to be consistently effective in fulfilling His purposes unless I am continually training my mind to think of myself according to what God says about me.” (p98)

Now take a minute to read this list of Truths. As you read them decide one of 3 things:

1. Do I know this is the Truth?

2. Do I believe this is the Truth (believing intellectually)

3. Do my action, responses and decisions in my life daily reflect this Truth?

(If you’re like me you may want to print them out and write out your answers to refer to them later. I would reference this list over time, seeing and realizing how God was changing me. I encourage you to do the same.) Here’s the link: (https://www.ficm.org/handy-links/)

Take time to ask the Lord to prepare your mind to receive His Truths.

If you are a Christian, then the statements below are true of you.If you are not a follower of Christ and would like to know more, click here…

I am accepted…
John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.

I am secure…
Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

I am significant…
John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

I’d love to hear comments on how the Lord revealed Himself to you through this time.

Additional Resources:

Here’s some even more extensive lists of Truth Statements (www.risenking.org/_literature_125219/Who_I_Am_In_Christ)  (http://www.livingpromises.com/who-i-am-in-christ.html#.VRVv5PnF-8B)

Here’s a great blogpost about Bill Johnson’s book, sited above (http://prodigalthought.net/2012/07/23/strengthening-yourself-in-the-lord-bill-johnson/)

Abundant Blessings, <><Theresa

back2back-ministries

http://back2back.org/jos-nigeria/

Finally, the Nigeria Mission Trip post: sorry it took so long.

Here I’ve documented the posts I sent out from Facebook, as well as some additional stories along the way.

Pictures of me on this trip were really not very flattering but I’ve post some of them. Looking pretty narly with no hair and makeup doing!

Jan 12
Arrived in Abuja, Nigeria and are staying the night at a guest house before traveling 4-5 hours tomorrow to Jos. Unfortunately 2 of the guys on the team, didn’t make it on the last flight so they’ll catch up with us when they get here. Just learned that there are over 500 languages spoken in Nigeria.

This story on our way to Jos, I think, is the most intense experience I can remember ever, while in any foreign country:
We were traveling from Abuja to Jos on the 2nd day of our arrival. Along the highway, there are frequent stops by military and police, checking registrations and seeing that the person has purchased the tons of stickers that are required to have a vehicle in Nigeria. We were told briefly about the possibility of coming upon the “Nail Boys”, as they are called. When we came to that portion of the highway, there they were. 3 young men with yellow traffic vests on. Two of them had 4-5 foot long 2×4 boards with nails sticking out in a long continuous line. A rope was attached to the board and then to the wrist of the boys. Both boards were laying in the road in from of us and we were flagged down to stop.

The lead boy spoke in English to our American driver, Back2Back staff, Tracy. They began the conversation concerning the stop and pretty quickly Tracy declared that they had no authority to stop us and to let us pass. This intensified the tone and volume of the boy as he argued with Tracy over this point. Other cars were being waved past and the two boards were moved to new positions, one directly in front of the car and one directly in the rear of the car. The conversation was getting nowhere but Tracy was holding his ground to just keep declaring that he had all the proper stickers and we must be allowed to pass. Then Tracy saw the boy getting a screwdriver for the purpose of letting the air out of the tires. He yelled to him not to touch his truck as he jumped out the vehicle and ran to the other side of the truck where the boy was. At the same time, Emmanuel, a Nigerian Back2Back staff, got out of the truck also. Both doors were not open and I was feeling a little vulnerable. I began praying in tongues; the only thing I knew to do. I just kept praying aloud and loud.

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As quickly as it started it ended as Tracy and Emmanuel held their ground but got back in the truck and the boy ordered the nail boards removed, realizing he was not going to get a bribe from Tracy, which was his intent. An intense way to get initiated to Nigeria, huh? But let me share that we NEVER had any other problems with traffic stops and most of the time we were just flagged on. This was not a good introduction to Nigerian people but I’m glad that everyone else we met, including the traffic police in Jos, were just delightful and friendly people; a happy, funny, joyful and precious people! This trip was a delight and such a blessing!
Jan 13
We walked through the village called Kiysiep B. We visited and prayed with a doctor and his patients, families, and widows in the community. I met two people who were deaf and got to chat with them (photo of me with a man and woman) because they use American Sign Language. More pics coming!

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jan 14
I had a group of the younger ones who weren’t into soccer so we were the cheer squad. Hope you enjoy one of our cheers. I had a group of the younger ones who weren’t into soccer so we were the cheer squad. Hoping to get this video uploaded here.

Here’s Coach Steve sharing important scripture that says that playing soccer is God’s work. “…in whatever you do, worship the Lord”. That means soccer too! And this info on the whiteboard gave us all a chuckle. The rest of the board was about present and past tense but I think they meant Singular and Plural for this particular list. We had fun filling in the answers as stated, wife=ex-wife; leaf=dirt; loaf=full bellies; etc

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Jan 15
Day3 in Jos. Another full day visiting children at school. We hiked the hill to see the flatest area they use for their soccer field. Then we spent time with kids doing homework and having funtime, where i had 2 girls trying to plat my hair. We also saw the home that will be the new Hope Home Program helping those get ready for college during their senior school days (high school). Tired but blessed. Having wireless each evening is fabulous!

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The girls loved the fake long hair on a head band that i brought for them. And they did an awesome job sharing them. Should have brought more than 4.

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Jan 16
Had another full day on day 4 in Jos, Nigeria. We were able to visit and pray over a new site for Destiny Home, which houses 55 orphans. The will moving to another house that is 3 times the size with lots of extra benefits. It’s gonna be awesome! So great to see how Back2Back is partnering with the nationals to care for orphaned children. A very special time was when album covers and vinyl records were found in a room of the new location left by previous residents. Two Nigerian ladies were pictured and the album was entitled “Back 2 Back”. What a glorious prophetic surprise!

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here’s the new house Destiny Home will be moving to. Lots of work is needed to get it ready but it will be awesome. And some pics of the market where fruit and veggies are sold, and dried fish.

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And it’s never a good mission trip without a vehicle in a ditch! check!

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Every country seems to have their own interesting flavors of Lay’s potato chips. Yum!

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Jan 17
Today was the big soccer tournament on the field of the private school for ALL the children supported through Back2Back. Over 80 kids enjoyed a fun day of sports and most all the kids played, even the little ones. I enjoyed personalizing their shirts by writing their names on the backs. And also allowed some girls to plat my hair today. Pictures to follow. The nights are less chilly and the days warmer but comfortable. Btw, Nigerians have the best sense of humor!

The big soccer tournament day where I started the day getting the boys hurts and arms personalized. Then had fun with letting the girls plat my hair and passing out long hair headbands to wear.

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Jan 20
No internet so here’s the catch up post. Sunday went to church in the village. No surprises there. Typical African service with incredible singing. They are such friendly and joyful people. In the afternoon got to spend more time with kids at Destiny Home where there are 55 kids. Bubbles was the hot activity there. Getting to know them more individually was precious. Lots of hugs and laughs. They had special envelopes for the offering. Then we each danced up to give our offering. I love that!

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We witnessed the harmattan which is a fog of sand from the Sahara. Mango trees are plentiful and we saw turkeys in the village. At church I wore a head covering and helped with homework and bubbles at Destiny Home.

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Jan 19

Monday. We visited the Our Lady of the Apostle, a Catholic organization who has a medical center, farming projects and orphanage. We visited the 6 children presently there, 3 toddlers and 3 girls who are wheelchair bound. Lots of bubbles again with them and lots of smiles. I got to visit the maternity ward where there were 4 new mothers. One baby was 24 hrs old and all were bundled up tightly. Didn’t get to hold them but was wonderful to pray over them. In the afternoon we visited another home that partners with Back2Back; Kids with a Vision Foundation with 20 children. We did homework with them and then colored and did puzzles. The home staff were so funny and we joked around a lot. A great day!

Visiting Our Lady of the Apostle and their 6 orphaned children. Also walked the compound and saw thefish hatchery and the maternity ward at their hospital. In the afternoon visited Kids with a Vision Foundation. Played with the 20 kids there and prayed foe the director Grace.

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The team I am traveling with are just a riot. Lots of joking and fun. It’s been awesome to be in their presence and see such Godly men pouring out so much love on all the kids and nationals. Two on the team have lived in Nigeria before (all are Back2Back staff) so there have been lots of reunions filled with hugs and laughs. I have been so blessed by the Back2Back staff and the staff of the partnering ministries! Wonderful things are happening here in Jos and hope is here for the orphaned child!

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Jan 20
Tuesday we visited Grace Gardens, a ministry that works with girls rescued from enslavement. It was a beautiful home with precious girls. I most enjoyed loving on a 4 month old baby boy named Destiny. Pictures to come when I get home. In the afternoon we visited the Rukuba House of Refuge with 8 children we had previously met at school. We played with play-doh and puzzles. Cute kids!

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Visiting Grace Gardens who rescues enslaved women and children, then schools them, counsels them and vocationally trains them. These children shown were there off-spring. Most of the girls were in private school but some who have never been to school begin their classes here.

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Jan 21 Got to visit yet another home supported by Back2Back, called K-WAVF, Kid’s With A Vision Foundation. Was impressed by one little boys letter writing to his friend, for his homework.

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“Dear Maren, I Love you for helping me how to read. I want to tell you thank you. May God bless you and you will live long and you will fulfill your destiny and God will cover you with his blood. I pray that you will continue to believe in Jesus forever. Amen” He is 8 years old!

Security of the home is important in most third world countries. I was impressed with theirs. They even have a watchtower!

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Jan 22
Have arrived in Dulles! Notice: To the best of my knowledge I did not come into contact with anyone having Ebola nor anyone suffering with illness. I did hold a baby goat. FYI, there has been no Ebola in Nigeria since Oct 2014. I am healthy and in good spirits!

After 24 hrs of travel, I’m ready to get some sleep on my Egyptian cotton sheets! (Should start traveling with them) will work on descriptions for photos tomorrow and post the final ones.

After 2 trips to Haiti and 1 to Nigeria, I thought it would be good to get a foot washing… and manicure!

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I got back from Jos, Nigeria this past Thursday, all safe and sound. Have been uploading my photos to my Flickr account and will be making a post very soon with all the details of the trip. I was able to make a daily post to FB while there. Check back here soon.

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Christmas in Haiti!

Posted: January 6, 2015 in Haiti, Missions, OphanCare

It was a fast but successful trip to Haiti over the Christmas Holiday, leaving Dulles early on the 23rd, going through Charlotte, then to Nashville and then to Miami for a 24 hr. layover. You may be asking, “Why so many cities?” Well this is how one gets a more inexpensive ticket at the last minute. It worked out well, as I was able to find a clean, modern hostel in Miami for only $24, staying in a dorm-style room with 8 beds. I was also able to take the bus and rail to the airport for $2.65. Well worth it, if time is not a factor for you.

During my stay in Miami, I strolled the pedestrian mall, Lincoln Road, and enjoyed an evening of twinkling lights. I came upon a huge menora and dradle decorated in seashells with a Rabbi and worship leader, to discover that it was Channakah. I stuck around as they sang and lit the menora. It was joyous remembering that Jesus was brought up among these customs.

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Then off to Haiti to arrive in the late afternoon and get to Montrouis a couple hours later, due to lots of traffic. Keith dropped me off at Annie’s house and I got settled in before retiring early. Annie’s electricity runs off a generator that is turned on at dark (6pm) and then turned off at around 8pm. Annie shared with me during the last visit that using a generator has been the best for her, because if electricity is connected to the house neighbors will tap in and run the bill up with their uses. This works for her and it was fine with me. By 8pm I was ready to lay down by candlelight and process the day before falling off to sleep. Annie sleeps out on the terrace when she’s there (she was in the states for Christmas), so I decided to move the air mattress out there the 2nd night and it was such a great experience watching the bright, star-filled sky as I drifted off to sleep.

I walked to Keith’s the next morning to give my greeting to Datty and Annah and found it a good resting point on the way to Bonnie’s. From Keith’s I called Bonnie and discovered they were spending the day at the beach with plans for dinner to be prepared and served there, so David (Bonnie’s Haitian ministry partner) came to pick me up in his truck and transport me to the beach. David continued to make trips back and forth from the house to the beach bringing children, friends, speakers and equipment to play music and needed supplies.

Meanwhile the children began they day of play in the ocean. They splashed and jumped and had a grand time playing together. Some boys found a piece of driftwood that resembled a jet ski and they had a blast with that. Kids played in the sand and went back and forth from the water to the beach area. I didn’t get in the water this day but enjoyed getting to know the babies a little better. Later we ate a delicious dinner and the kids enjoyed dancing until it was dark and time to go home. Christmas on the beach was a new experience for me and one I will remember fondly.

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The next morning I arrived at Bonnie’s I began to make balloon hats for everyone until they ran out, then Bonnie gathered the children and had their official Christmas. She shared the story of Jesus’ birth in Creole and after sharing about the gift Jesus was for us, she shared gifts with each child. The kids were so excited to get a car/truck or little doll along with a new outfit. They played the rest of the day with such excitement. The girls requested material and tools to make some new clothes for their dolls, so Bonnie passed out some old clothing for them to use. The girls were so creative in making dresses, pants and shirts for their dolls. I helped a few children who were having trouble with the sewing skills to get some new outfits, as well as feeding and caring for the babies whenever possible. Bonnie was on the go continuously with someone calling out, “Mommy”, every second of the day. I talked with Bonnie about her day of rest and although she was excited to receive the offer, she was struggling with leaving the babies. This day also brought a few sick children so Bonnie has spent most of the night up with them. I know she wanted to enjoy a day of rest but didn’t want to leave with sick children and the babies.

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I continued to go to Bonnie’s each day, helping her with the babies or playing with the children and trying to encourage her to take rest. It wasn’t until Saturday until a viable plan came about. A group from North Carolina were going to be doing an outreach with most of her children on Monday and she thought if I could watch the babies at the beach with her while she enjoyed her day, she would feel more comfortable, so that was the plan. She couldn’t separate herself from the babies. And I understand that.

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On Sunday I went with Bonnie to the English Church service but no one was there when we arrived. Someone was to bring something for Bonnie at the service, but when we found out it was cancelled she decided we would take a drive to the next town to try and find this person and get what she needed. It was a nice ride and a beautiful drive along the shore to get to the home of the other missionaries. Their house sat way up on top of the hill and the view from there was incredible. We decided to stop by their beach site on the way back and came upon the visiting team from North Carolina who would be working with Bonnie’s kids. It was a joy to meet them and share stories. And as usual it seems, I met someone from VA there. She was from Stephens City and had moved to NC for a couple years. She was back in VA now. I’m sure I must have seen her at some point in my life when I went to Fellowship Bible Church years ago, which is where she attends. We laughed about knowing the same people and made plans to have lunch after the trip. I hope we do. Yes, the world is smaller than you think.

While I was in Haiti over Thanksgiving, the Lord pulled all my passions together as He gave me a blueprint of ministering rest and renewal into missionaries who care for the overwhelming task of being moms to groups of orphans. I had hoped to give Bonnie a complete day of rest along with a complete day of renew ministry. The second didn’t happen this time but I’m still convinced this is a plan that will play out in the future.

Even though it was my last day in Haiti, I was happy that at least part of my plans happened and Bonnie got a day of rest at the local resort. I realized from the beginning that due to the short time in which this trip was planned and the lack of communication I had with Bonnie in between my trips because of internet challenges, that it may make it difficult to smoothly play it all out but that was fine by me. I was able to bless her in helping with the kids and babies during the week and for one day she got specialized rest… although she kept coming over to me and scooping up the babies to love on them. Each time she would say, “I miss them, don’t know what to do without them”.

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I snapped a picture of Bonnie shortly after we got there. Rose was asleep when they arrived so Bonnie said she could sleep on her until she woke. Bonnie did some reading (books that were part of her gifts from me) and then took some selfies. Here’s one pick:

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We stayed until after dark and I was beginning to think that Bonnie was not going to leave. She was taking her time in leaving and I’m glad. She was realizing the need to rest and accepting it (as long as the babies were near).

I’m ready to head to Nigeria to see how this piece of the puzzle will fit in my future. I will be going with the ministry Back2Back and working with orphans there as well. This trip will also be an opportunity to meet and dialogue with the Operations Director and see if there is a place where I and my talents/skills would fit in this ministry. Will keep you updated.

It was surely a blessing for me to be in the midst of this wonderful family. The adults and the children were all so kind and loving. It was a joy to spend Christmas with them in Haiti. I walked a lot and it was most enjoyable, especially in the coolness of the mornings.

I’m not (exactly) sure what the future holds but I know who holds my future. And I am blessed!Christ