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Showing posts from August, 2012

My bracelets, my life...

"Oh where is this one from?"
"How do you make these?"
"Who gave them to you?"
"Why do you have so many?"

Favorite questions.

I wear my bracelets for a reason. Each one has a meaning. It seems silly really, to have so many on at once, but I can't depart from them. Each bracelet stands for something, makes me think of someone who I need to lift up in prayer. A few of them were just bought on the streets, but I remember the face of the woman who I gave money for the bracelets, I remember my surroundings, I remember the smells and I hear the noise-Uganda. One of them was from a friend, and I remember the night it was given to me-Haiti.

I wear 8 bracelets on my left wrist and one long one on my right, all a mix from both countries that have captured my heart...

How do you live here while longing to be there? Its beyond me.

The bracelets are great conversation starters. I get to talk about Jesus everyday, I get to share His love for the people…

Matthew 18:20

"....For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."



 "Hello all,
Much prayer is needed for heartbreaking situations here in Haiti in the Child Hope Community. Top on my list is the possible destructive hurricane due to land here possibly Friday eve. There are many that won't even know there is a storm and preparation is so limited here. We will be safe in our strong stone homes with a generator and food but , most of Haiti will not.Many tent city families will be in the path of the torential
rain which causes mud slides and winds that will blow away  tents and weak structures. Child Hope if needed will offer shelter at the feeding program shelter.
We ask for limited damage, safety, provision to get food and water and the Lords protection for all.

Second prayer request : A little girl that comes to the feeding program is abused by her father and recently whipped her in the face with his belt when she asked for food and water. She is looked after…

You give and take away....

....and I will chose to say "Blessed be Your name."

Sunday service wasn't the same without the loud Ugandan music, people dancing, kids on every side, and a lot of clapping. It wasn't the same.

Just seven days ago, my feet were covered in red dirt. Just seven days ago I loved on Grace, I watched a little girl get on her knees, with arms raised high praying for me at my feet. Just served days ago...

It's sinking in...I'm not where I want to be. I'm not doing what I want to do. God has given me the people to love and He's taken it away once again. First my beautiful Haiti, now this...yet I will chose to say "Blessed be Your name."

Although it is hard...I must. I must not get so wrapped up into what I can't do now and where I can't be now that I forget my mission field right here, right where I live. I must not love my people in Uganda and Haiti so much that I forget to love the people right in front of me. I must not get so dissatis…

Taking off

Customs, bag checks, lines, the usual airport stuff. Finally boarding the plane, sitting down, surrounded by Ugandans...it was good. I felt like I was keeping myself together.

Taking off.

What a fool. I lost it. As if it finally clicked in my heart that I was leaving...again. Leaving everything I've fallen in love with. All the people. Here we go again...that familiar pain.

"Daughter, remember I will restore you" -God spoke to my heart. Through my dear friend Nicole God wiped my tears away, reassuring me that He has great plans for me.

I sat back and thanked Him. Praised Him.

Now I await to see my family that I love, I can't wait to share my experience with them. Praying that they will be blessed as much as I was.

Thank you everyone for supporting me and sending me! You all made my trip possible, all of you are just as part of this beautiful journey as I am! May you be blessed!

<3 Nat

The pursuit of happiness

Nicole- a woman with a HUGE compassionate heart, on a search for her little boy that she sponsors. Never gave up. Didn't give in. We found the boy named Daniel with in an hour. Blessed? I think so. The village was full of kids to whom we gave candy and dresses. Each child was so happy...all because God called Nicole to find Daniel. Through one person, God blessed a lot of little children and the rest of us.

The mother was beyond thankful, smiles everywhere, hugs and so much love. Blessed. Heck yes.

Raining Hope is the orphanage where I felt so at home. Bonding with the girls was the best. Nikity, Rita, Esther, and Maria. <3 It was the perfect way to end my time in Uganda. Praying this isn't the last time I see my friends. We played games, we kicked a soccer ball around...which wasn't much of a ball, deflated, with holes in it, but it was a blast. Laughter, Joy and Love.

Leaving was them was hard. But I love them and they will be in my heart forever.






On my knees

On her knees she was praising and praying. On her knees, at my feet she raised her little hands and prayed.

That's where I need to belong. On my knees at my Saviors feet. Faith of a child.

Today I had to say goodbye to the kids I've grown to love so much. I heard for the last time "Jesus loves you Natalia." I heard for the last time "I love you." Felt that familiar ache. Just like the one when I left home and Haiti.

Short term mission trips break you over and over, all different hurts. You hurt for them because they are so in need of Jesus. So in need of love. Being here and being able to be used by God to provide both of those needs has been a tremendous blessing. Then you begin to feel a different kind of hurt, the kind where you see some other needs and you know you can't do anything about right now. You then feel the kind of hurt that requires you to say goodbye. Your heart begins to break. Not just in half, but over every child and each relation…

Jesus loves you...

"Jesus loves you Natalia"-says the Witch doctor's daughter Grace. The first sunday we met her, she was rough, she was mean, and a bully. She stole things from the kids, she bragged, she got so comfortable with us that she would just say "you give me water" or "you give me__________" fill in the blank. This child was not so pleasant to be around. But with a little bit of discipline and love now she is a different child.
Grace, beautiful little girl, who so desperately needs love. Not my love only, but His love. She has 2 brothers who are theives, and I am pretty sure they teach her to steal. The children in the village call her "Mzungu" which you all know means "white person." So you can see why she's the way she is. She however, doesn't miss a sunday in church, she wants to find Jesus.

Grace makes my day now, she runs up to me and tells me "Jesus loves you Natalia, I love you Natalia." I repeat those same words t…

Nostalgia...

Psalm 27:10 "Though my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me."

I shared my testimony with the women today. It brought me back to the past...

Watching these kids run around, listening to the teen girls talk about how their moms and dads left them...kept bringing back memories of my own past. I got a chance to share how God received me, how God healed me, and how God has transfomed me. My small group was a lot more open with me, because we had a lot to talk about. Their beautiful brown faces starred at me as I was talking about how I learned to call God my Father. They listened to me as I talked about how Jesus healed my heart, and we prayed for one another.

"I love you, I will miss you, you have blessed me so much"-said a girl in the pink sweatshirt. I don't recall her name, but she was a beautiful young lady, maybe 15 years of age. Living in an ophanage with 26 other people in the house. Joyful, happy and bubbly gal. Literally brought me to…

Everything you've got

Big brown eyes, little hands, dirty with the Ugandan red dirt, holes in his shirt and pants, barefoot-walks through the doors of the church we do VBS at, as we mark the kids to keep track of them he opens the palm of his hand and I see 250 shillings. (worth 10 cents maybe) Probably thinking he had to pay to get in so he brought what he could. Nicole and I knelt down so he can see our eyes, closed the his hands, gave him a kiss and welcomed him into VBS.

This image is forever engraved in my heart...offering everything you've got just to hear the word of God. He couldn't have been any older than 4. I was tearing up as we let each child walk in, hugging them and loving on them. I couldn't do anything else but praise God for allowing me to take part in all of this.

Debira was her name...
After Jodi and Nicole taught at the Women's conference, teaching about forgiveness. Debira was the quiet one in our group. The leader asked her "is there anyone in your life that yo…

KIDS EVERYWHERE.

Chaos, chaos, chaos...pretty much described today. yet, I had a blast.

Guys how many kids heard the gospel and got fed today at VBS? ----- 620.

I had so much fun.

Today was a great day also because I made some friends...Vicky, Connie and Sarah. My age girls, we have so much in common and we had some really good conversations. All day we hung out together, joked around, sang song about Jesus, shared our desires for our future, learned about each others cultures...ahh it was beautiful!

Please be praying for my new friends, that they would strive to know Jesus more and more each day! That they would give all their worries and burdens to Him. Pray that Jesus would protect their hearts!!

Favorite noise: kids singing Jesus songs, and walking into the church or just walking through the village, hearing the kids shout my name and shower me with love and hugs. FAVORITE!!!!
Jesus Loves ME!

Sarah, Me, Connie, and Vicky <3

I've got Joy, Joy...

"I've got joy joy  down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart..."
This morning at church this little girl sat next to me, as we danced to the Ugandan worship music she motioned for me to come close to her face, and she whispered "I love you" I couldn't help but kiss her all over, literally exploding with joy. Then she preceded to sing in my ear "I've got joy" with her broken English. heart melter!!

Church in Uganda is like a big dance party for Jesus, honestly I got a glimpse of heaven dancing and worshiping with the people of Kakira-which is a village near Jinja. It was a blessing to hug and love on those kids. The smell was awful, the kids were dirty as can be, loud as can be, bare footed, clothes with holes...but it was heaven. Their little hands in mine, one child on each side, one on my lap, three behind me playing with my hair...seriously? Words cannot even convey how I felt at that moment.

Leaka-a 6 year old boy…

Beyond blessed

Two boys and a baby goat completely distracted me from what I was planning to do...thank God.

Hassan and Ashfal just finished with their daily chores saw us Mzungus and offered to take us to go see the Nile river. With no hesitation we said "lead the way." My prayer was the same "Jesus, lead the way." As we walked with the two boys, we learned about their family, their dreams, their likes and dislikes, and learned about their church.

Hassan really touched my heart. I don't know what it is, but his quiet, gentle spirit was so touching. He held my head the whole way back as we joked around and talked about God.

After leaving the boys, we felt compelled to do something for them. My friend and I went and bought some rice, beans and bread. Then we got some clothes for them and in the evening we took it all to them. The family was so blessed, beaming with smiles, and so thankful that we took the time to come back. We took pictures, and then they invited us into th…

All for You

Letting go of the familiar and stepping out with no expectations.

As I gave my family hugs at LAX, something inside began to break, I started to cry. I cried because I was leaving everything familiar to me, things that I was comfortable with, and stepping out and doing something I've never done before. I also realized that its going to be just me and God. That's the place I long to be, yet it was with great difficulty that I had to let go.

My team is amazing, each one is different and unique with their own God written stories; we were beautifully brought together for one reason-to serve Him and to bring Him glory. I can't wait to serve God as we get to know one another.

Traveling. Oh goodness, I've missed the thrill. I've missed the craziness. so 10 hours to London, 3 hour lay over, and 8 hours to Uganda-I'm here. Then we all pile into a small van with all of our luggage, and we're off, 4 hours later we arrive at the hotel- Paradise on the Nile.

During …

GO

Today's the day! UGANDA here we come! I am beyond excited, yet nervous and anxious to see what Jesus does. Thank you again for all your prayers and support, I thank God for all of you! I am so overwhelmed by all the love that you guys pour out onto me! thank you!!

As I'm spending the few last hours at home, I  keep trying to imagine what the trip will be like, but I can't even begin to imagine. Literally I have no clue what it is going to be like. I mean I have an idea, but since when are my ideas even close to Gods?

Although I am nervous and anxious, I have peace, I know for certain this is what God wants me to do.

I am made for this.

"GO therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, I am with you ALWAYS, even to the end of time." -Matthew 28:19-20.

"Now that I have seen I am responsible...."

I have no choice…