Monday, January 18, 2010

new blog

Most of you already have heard of my exciting news, but for those who don't, I am going to be going back to Africa for 6 months. I am excited for this new journey and can't wait to start getting my hands dirty for Jesus at BG.

Because of this, I am retiring this blog and have started a new one. I am not sure how often I will be able to update in Africa, since Internet connection is "touch and go" most days. But I can't wait to use this tool, to keep everyone informed of prayer requests and stories of my trip.

The new blog is called Leap of Faith, because that is exactly what this trip is. I am not sure all the details, but I am trusting God does. In order to to I am quitting my job at Starbucks and trusting God will have something for me when I come back.

Please join me in prayer as I take this leap of faith. I pray that through this whole situation, God will be exalted on high.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


where to begin...

Africa has taught me a lot. In fact EVERYTHING in my life has been affected by my 8 days in Lesotho. The way I look at things is different. I am not saying that I have it all figured out, because to be honest, after Africa I am more messed up. I saw the most extreme poverty. Kids raising kids. Not because there parents were gone, but because their parents were dead. I saw life still living without the things we see as necessities in America.

My heart is convicted everyday with my new way of thinking. One would think that after seeing and experiencing the things I did, I would stop the greed cycle. But the fact is I haven't. I still like things. The only thing is now that I have seen life without stuff, I feel so sinful when I go and buy a new shirt or jeans, that most of the time I return them the next day. A few weeks ago, my grandma passed away and I thought I needed some retail therapy, but after shopping for some things to wear to the visitation and funeral I felt so dirty, because the money I spent could have feed 4 kids for a month and that was only $50.

I am trying so hard to enjoy the Christmas season, but the fact is I am surrounded by the commercial Christmas that it makes me sad. At work I am surrounded by the business of the season. I don't mean to sound negative, but people don't really care about others. I have gone home from work MANY times in tears because of something a customer has said. I am not saying people in Lesotho are saints, but they care about relationships with others. Something that would take 30 minutes in America to do, would take a few hours in Lesotho, because the people want to get to know you and a "quick" question is never quick. I crave to surround myself with the birthday of Jesus and celebrate the life He has given us.

Now on to the great part of Africa...the children. I find myself starring at the pictures a lot. Their smiles and eyes are so beautiful. I wish I could post them for you to see. Their little lives have gone through so much more than I have, but the JOY they have is so contagious. There was a boy at the orphanage I stayed at, that adopted me. His eyes looked deep into my heart and I melted. I loved the feeling of his hand in mine. It was fun to see him interact with the other children. He didn't like it when I would have other children on my lap. He didn't fight them or push them off, but you could tell, that I was his and honestly he is mine. When I think of Africa I think of him. I hear him singing as he would sit on my shoulder and we would walk.

I love to share Africa, but I have a hard time. I am finally able to put some words to my experiences, but my words don't even compare to what I saw, smelled and lived in. I have a hard time living after Africa. There are moments I want to run up to everyone and tell them all about it. There are other times when I just want to hide because I am confused about the way we live compared to the way they live.

With all of that said, I am letting everyone know that I have applied to go back next year for 6 months. There are moments when I want to drop everything and leave now. Then there are moments when I am so scared about going. I covet your prayers through this process. Once I find out that I am accepted, I will be busy raising support, making travel arrangements, working on a visa, saying goodbye to those I will miss dearly and so much more. It is all very overwhelming.

I find myself just craving to know what is next. Am I going? Am I not? I also find myself avoiding large groups of people, in fear that the conversation will go to Africa. You see I LOVE to talk about Africa on the surface. I love to share stories about the trip and share the joy the people of Lesotho have. But I am scared of what God is calling me to be a part of. I am scared of the next step. If I am honest, there is a part of me that would love to stay in "safe" and "comfortable" Michigan. But the fact is my heart is forever changed and I can't be quiet about what God is doing and what He is directing me to do by the strength and grace he gives.

Again, I covet your prayers through this whole process. It is a VERY emotional one.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

happy birthday Jacob!!!

I can't believe my "little man" is 5 today. I was so excited when he was born and fell in love right away. He is a walking, talking miracle. The day after he was born, he had many seizures and was rushed to DeVos Children's Hospital. His little body went through so much at first. It was determined that he had a stroke which caused the seizures. That Christmas was filled with tubes and wires coming out of his body and alarms going off all the time. This year we are blessed with a completely healed 5 year old who loves guitars, drums, singing, hunting and watching movies in his auntie's bed.

Love you Jake! You are my favorite jam partner!!!!

I know it has been 2 months since I have updated this blog. I apologize to all of you who love to read about my boring life. :) Check back in a few days about how life after Africa has been and a new adventure in my life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

life after Africa...

I am back. It is hard to be back. I feel like I left a big part of me in Africa.

It is hard to explain my thoughts and feelings about the trip. There were a lot of great moments when I knew God was right there. There were also moments when it was painful to see what I saw, but I am glad I experienced it.

I apologize to all those that see me in the next few days, weeks, months. I am not ready to or able to put into words what happened. I have a hard time describing my time in Lesotho. Plus I have MAJOR jet lag. My body doesn't know when to sleep or eat. I am still on Africa time, so right now at 6:50pm, my body thinks it is 11:50pm and I should be in bed!!! Or like this morning at 1 am I was wide awake, since my body thought it was 7am.

I can't post the pictures of the kids online. Their faces are a direct reflection of God's masterpiece.

sala hantle
(Stay well)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1 year to 48 hours...

A year seemed so long, when I first began to think of going to Africa. Now it is 48 hours away.

In 48 hours, I will be at the airport getting ready to board the plane.
In 48 hours...

I just can't fathom that. The past 2 days have been great. I was overwhelmed at the commissioning service Sunday. (I learned that next time I speak about Beautiful Gate again, the video is going to be after we talk, not before.) Walking into church that morning I felt so humbled that God was choosing me to go. I kept looking at the 8 luggage bags full of supplies that are going to help the people of Lesotho so much and I was overwhelmed. Haven, like I said in the morning, you are coming with us. With your donations of clothes, toys, medical supplies, school supplies and financial support, you are coming with us. As I stood before you on Sunday, I just had to look at your faces. After seeing the video of the children smiling and looking at you smiling back at us, I felt God's smile. I felt His peace. I felt His joy. I felt His grace and mercy. I felt His love.

Father may I love you by loving the children of Beautiful Gate. May I bring you a smile that never leaves your face, because you are so good. Thank you God for allowing me to experience what you are going to show me. Thank you for giving me a team of people to go with that will walk through every joy and frustration with me. Thank you for loving me with such a crazy love that makes me want to do nothing else, but love you back. love you Abba!!!

I am not sure how often I will be able to update this blog, but check our team blog for updates. team blog.

thank you everyone.

1 year...

48 hours.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

8 days

Yup... 8 days...

I am not quite sure what to think about that. People keep asking me, "Are you excited?" I am. But I am also nervous. I am not nervous about the trip or fearful of what is going to happen, I am just nervous about what God is going to show us.

To be honest I don't feel ready, but I don't know if I ever will. I don't think anyone can be ready to see the face of God. I truly believe that, that is what is going to happen during my 2 weeks in Lesotho. I just don't know when He will show up. Will it be in the face of the children? Will it be in the servant hands of the care takers? Will it be in our team? Will it be in those we meet in the villages?

I think the answer is YES!

I sat down today with our new Pastor and worship leader to plan our commissioning for Sunday's worship service. He asked a lot of great questions that I wasn't prepared to answer. Part of my role in the team is leading devotions and group prayer time. I have been trying to focus for months know and dream about what God wants to share...I have nothing! Every time I sit down and focus, I am blank. I have this feeling that when we get there, God is going to speak and any plan I had will get in the way. Some might think of that as procrastination, but trust me it is not. I would love to have a plan to go by. I am not to comfortable with the unknown. But one thing I have already learned is, in Africa, there is a lot of unknowns.

Please be in prayer for the team. My best friend looked at me today and said, "God is going to do something huge, because Satan is fighting hard." Because of safety reasons, our living conditions have changed and are not really nailed down yet. Also personally I have be VERY overwhelmed in getting ready. My computer has been having major issues (which I was suppose to bring with me) and I woke up yesterday with a bad head cold. I am tired and weak and I think that is where God wants me to be.

There has been one song that has been in my heart and mind the past few weeks. It is Hosanna by Brooke Fraiser. I believe the lyrics in the bridge of the song are exactly what God is going to do to me in Africa.

"Heal my heart and make it clean.
Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like You have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause.
As I walk from Earth into eternity."

8 days...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

21 days...

I can't believe I am leavin gin 21 days...

This week we packed up extra suitcases of clothes, medical supplies and school supplies to take to Beautiful Gate. Our plan was for each team member to take 2 suit cases, one for their personal things and the second would be supplies and gifts. WELL, God should up through Haven (once again), instead of having 8 suitcases, we have 10 or 11. We are not sure exactly how we are going to get these to the children, but we will find away.

Things are starting to set in as far as travel. It is going to be a long flight!!! At least the biggest portion is in the night so sleeping might be easier. I never have had an issue with flying, but 18 hours is a long time!!!! I might take the advice of my friend Kim, Xanax and a good drink, then repeat half way through.

We did find that blogspot works in Lesotho. So for updates while we are gone, go to It isn't much know, but in the next few days we will introduce the team to you.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. It is my hope that God is very clear while we are there. The need is huge and seems impossible at times, but the Christian faith is simple...LOVE.