Monday, December 22, 2008

some good news, and Merry Christmas...Feliz Navidad...Feliz Cumpleanos Jesus!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I am actually enjoying this Christmas season, and I hope that you are too.  If you aren't into classic Christmas carol's I highly recommend that you take a listen to Relient K's Christmas CD...a great rock kind of take on Christmas carols.  It's really interesting because I had a revelation about 2-3 weeks ago while singing Christmas songs.  I was actually enjoying singing and listening to them.  Then I remembered that for 9 years of my childhood, I had to perform multiple Christmas songs in front of the congregation and the school I attended (Kindergarden- 8th grade) each Christmas.  It was fun at the time, but it's a little scarring, or at least it will make a person not care much for Christmas songs.  For two years (5th & 6th grade!) my class also performed this full on choreographed dance down the church pews instead of singing.  But I am happy to say that there's been a change this Christmas!  I'm enjoying old-school Christmas carols.  
Well, I have some good news to speak of (in addition to the birth of Christ).  We had a meeting for India last week, and we have officially rescheduled the trip for March!  It is so exciting and relieving and an answered prayer that we are for sure planning on going back!  It's amazing to see how God is working through all of this.  And in March we'd get to spend a lot more one-on-one time with the orphans Rockharbor sponsors.  We will also be able to go to the Bible College graduation and bless and pray for new graduates who are going to pretty desolate places to start churches.  So, I urge you all to pray for the country and the people of India as well as our team (our safety, our unity and our hearts after the first trip being postponed).  

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let My Shadow Prove the Sunshine

For some reason, today I was looking at pictures from people on Facebook and realized that I am really desiring to do something fun, something adventurous.  I don't know if that is coming from not being able to go to India right now (meaning actually travel outside the country) or it's because I am bummed because I'm not going so I want to get out and do something (so maybe just an emotional get away).  Going to New York sounds fun (minus any drastic weather) or even somewhere in Europe.  Maybe it's also wanting to spend time with friends in going on such an adventure.  For now though, I may have to settle with a day at Disneyland (lol).  Anyway, this week has been enjoyable and has also definitely had its challenges.  But the good thing is that I have a great family who cares about me, loves me and encourages me and makes me laugh a lot.  I have great friends who I am blessed to care about and who care about me; and God is helping me so much.  This week at my Lifegroup (small group/Bible study) we were reading the story about Abraham sacrificing Isaac, Noah building the arc, as well as the Isrealites marching around the walls of Jericho for seven days (Hebrews 11:8-123).  God spoke to me and gave me some insight.  These people were bold in following God, but they did so with amazing faith and trust in the Lord... they did not know what would eventually happen with what they were being called to do.  What a scary thought, but it is something that I personally can relate to and realize that it's okay if the "ends" isn't known yet.  But I am called to have hope, faith and also be faithful along the way and rely on God for strength and understanding (and that starts with simply going to Him first!).   His plans always, always end up better than my own.  So, I'm excited to see the closeness that will take place and what other insights, adventures and growth is going to happen along the way!  I'm really looking forward to this Christmas as well...spending time with family, letting people know they are loved, and celebrating the birth of Jesus (and also realizing the significance behind his birth and the humility in it as well on a newer level).  I hope everyone is able to be still this Christmas and really "prepare Him room" in our hearts.

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (2)Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3)Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   --- Hebrews 12:1-3

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The "Now and Not Yet"...a "to be continued"...I'm in a state of waiting..."there's good news and there's bad news"...however you wanna say it

To those who may know, the last week or two in India has been quite a whirlwind.  Our India team met on Sunday and the leaders had made a thorough and thoughtful decision to postpone the trip.  A large reason for this is because the leaders checked into travel alerts issued by the US government and the alert issued by the U.S. describes a lot of the reason.  Here's the link for the India Travel Alert.  Suresh would be advertising the crusade we would have done and our arrival on a pretty large scale, and our safety would be pretty jeopardized because of this at the current time.  The leaders have gone over a dozen times in the last 9 years, and a warning like this and high security has never occurred.  Another factor is that 7 Indian airports were noted as high risk, and Hyderabad (the airport we would have flown into) was one of them.  To be honest, the fact that we won't be going this month is very disappointing and considering the journey it's taken me to get this far (I've applied to a few other global mission trips before and due to few spots didn't get in) I am so sad.  To make it even more difficult to deal with, I found out at the same meeting that all my support for the India trip has come in.  Two weeks before we're suppose to take off, I was in such a mindset to go and so was the whole team.  It feels like the rug has been taken out from underneath me.  But here is where the good news comes in and the "not yet" part.  As long as things are safe for us to go to India in March/April there will be a trip planned and I fully intend on going then.  If that does not happen, I will very very like go to on one of two Africa trips through Rockharbor this summer and all my funds can be used for the trip I go on from those choices.  Our airplane tickets are actually exchangeable and the funds can be used for the trip that I am able to go on.  (And heck, I have the malaria prescription already picked up and the 4 immunizations needed.)  I will say that today I am in a good place with all of this...I know it was the absolute right decision and I am hopeful that I will be going on a trip in the upcoming months.  I hope all of you who have supported understand, and of course if you are no longer comfortable giving right now and would like to get refunded, let me know....but do know that I have been in contact with the main organizer of the Africa trips already, and if I don't get to go to India then what I have raised so far will go to that (so the funds will not be used for anything other than my trip).  Thank you all for your love, your care and your enthusiasm and support; and keep checking the blog for updates because we are going to have a India team meeting either later this month or early January about the next steps for everyone.  I have hope that through this God will use all of our hard work and dedication in another way (and in a safer time).  I had an epiphany today thanks to the little cutie I was babysitting.  The little girl I was watching was upset that her mom had left, and I told her (and I don't know how I though of this myself) "I know it's sad, but you don't have to be sad".  Like, there is something that's a bummer that has happened but I don't have to dwell on that and I trust in the Lord and His timing, His protection and His provision.