Saturday, August 31, 2013

Extra Measure of Grace

Since I am an awful blogger, I thought I would preface this by saying I wrote it over a week ago. haha!

How many times have we prayed, "Lord, just give me an extra measure of grace today? I need it."

I caught myself saying that yesterday. I was weary and I knew what was best. Surely, since I felt so sick and was so tired, God had somehow messed up. At least that is how I was acting.

Now, go back and count how many times I just used the reference, "I". At least 5 times, right? Perhaps yesterday, I failed to even look for God in any of the situations I found myself in. The God that was, is and will be faithful to me as I was constantly reminded this summer.

"But, I didn't get to say goodbye to Michala before she left for GSU!"
"But, Lord, thank You for the five years I DID get to spend with her having fun and walking through life together!"
"But, how am I supposed to be held accountable and grow in my walk with Candler in Mississippi?"
"God, thank You for the Holy Spirit and all the work He does in the lives of Your children. Thank You for preparing sisters in Christ that I can serve and disciple!"
Conviction. Not condemnation, but the Lord is blessing me with conviction that I desire to share. By witnessing situations in my own life, I have come to realize that by asking for an "extra" measure of grace, I am denying the biggest and most satisfying amount of grace that has ever been given freely to me- a resurrected Savior. It is time that I rest in the Gospel that our pastor describes every week!
John 7:37-39
" 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified."
Hebrews 10:23
" 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 11:39-40
" 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."
Hebrews 13:5-6
" 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' 6 So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, March 24- 8:01 AM

Well, yesterday was great. In the morning, I chopped up carrots for the soup we made for the kids. The width of these carrots was at least 3 inches wide. They were huge. The rest of the soup had jalapenos, onions, garlic, beef, and potatoes and yuka. Then, I hopped on the back of the truck with Brooke and some of the other guys and we headed into the village to deliver 15 sinks. That was incredible! Each sink was 200 lbs. Tony and Debbie have a list of people that need them and they draw names to see who gets them.

The first place that we went is Carmen's house. Carmen is a 12 year old first grader who was funded by an American to go to school last year. Her mom looks so old and her name is Sophia, but she is so sweet. She's missing teeth but her expression of gratitude was precious. I can't even describe it. They were stunned and grateful. These concrete sinks have a washboard built in to one half of the sink. They can use water from their well to wash clothes, children, or food in it. Another place we went to was all sand roads and we walked up and a lady was holding a chicken upside down.. and from mom's farm stories, I knew what she was about to do! We all wanted to watch her kill it but she didn't do it. Everywhere we go, it's shacks and dirt floors. It smells horrid in the places where they live right next to the slaughtering pens.

9:13 AM

After we delivered sinks, we came back to the ranchos and served the soup to about 100 kids. They brought Rubbermaid containers, beach buckets, cups.. There were a couple naked babies and several that were just in rags, but it was special because these were the kids we were getting to make a connection with because they were always waiting on us to come back from errands. They made the soup in a huge iron bowl over fire and it was SO hot. Really hot. And it was hot outside, so Tony promised us we could go swimming at 2 in the bay. We walked to the bay where the current is weaker and we played so hard. It was salt water. Somehow we ended up in a huge sand fight between the teenager Nicaraguan guys and our team. It was so silly, but so much fun. I would never let someone throw dirt at me in America, but it was one of the funniest things ever and that made every person there laugh.

I found out more about Victor today. He's 9 and he sleeps at the ranchos in a hammock because he's an orphan and he belongs to his grandparents now. His grandpa is an alcoholic that abuses him. So Tony and Debbie have basically taken him in and he goes everywhere with us. An American came and brought him $500 worth of clean clothes one year. But, his grandparent's sold every bit of it and bought more alcohol. It's horrible!

Last night, we played on the beach and looked for crabs with flashlights, but I did not last long, due to being chased by guys with crabs, and they were speaking spanish faster than I had ever heard. haha

Today, we went to the highschool. Their cafeteria is a little food stand outside and their classrooms look like jail cells and are basically outdoors with barred open windows. I gave my testimony and Rosa translated. I think Rosa is awesome. Most unbelievers go into prostitution to try and get out of poverty according to her. She is 26 and so pure and waiting for the right man to come along. Short David's sister is 16 and married and pregnant. We came home from the high school and then went to the community's soccer field and they played until dinner. Me, Michala, and Kayla Millikan were going to play but when we walked up there were so many Nicaraguan guys there, so me and Michala went to watch with the other girls.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday, March 23- 7:10 AM

Yesterday was phenomenal. Once we got here, Rosa (translator) was leading children's church and the fun began. The kids were so energetic and I was able to communicate with so many of them. We gave them Peeps and Smarties and it was precious to see them figure out how to eat them.

"Puedes ayudarte?" Can I help you?

Then, we took them all down to the beach and played games with frisbees and soccer balls and we ran and gave piggy back rides in the water. We played our hearts out! We were so filthy. Their sand is really dark because of volcanic ash and it sticks so easily to your legs. It looked like we were wearing knee socks!! The little girls loved the piggy back rides but some refused to go in the water for fear of getting in trouble with their mamas. Well, we're about to do our morning devotion.

McBrayer wedding
Haiti team
Tony and Debbie

Friday, May 10, 2013

More Pics- Friday, March 22, 11:40 AM

Mission: Nicaragua- Friday, March 22, 11:40 AM

Yesterday, we flew into Managua. It was a 3 1/2 hour flight in the evening. Today, my allergies got way better but yesterday they were awful on the plane. I thought my head was going to explode! But, thanks be to God, I am so much better today. Tony and Debbie (hosted us- they're missionaries there) are amazing. They are so hospitable and are caring for us like our parents would. This trip so far has been like the Dominican Republic, except for what I am seeing now as we drive to Padre Ramos (this was a 3 hour drive, all on paved road except for the last 30 minutes.. and those 30 minutes were spent driving down a rocky 6 mile dirt road). The farther we drive away from the capital, the worse the poverty seems, well, is. It's pretty extreme and I'm thankful Tony is in our van so I can ask him questions. He pointed out a village we drove by where there were "squodders" (I don't know how to spell that because I had never heard of them). They live in groups of people similar to the nomads I learned about all throughout history in school and their houses are made of cardboard/ tin that are smaller than my family's van. In Nicaragua, you can plop your house down on whatever land you want, so they move as a group whenever the law officials come.

My Spanish has improved so much. I was able to communicate with the begging children at the airport last night when it was very late. It broke my heart because there was a special needs boy who was talking to me. Then a security guard grabbed him and started pulling him away since they're not supposed to beg. They had little plastic bowls of mini- skittles or starbursts, or some of the kids had made flowers out of grass. It made me tear up and I thought, "We're not in America anymore..." We didn't have to change over our money which was nice. We just got change for large denominations in their currency.

We're stuck in traffic and we just had some kids jump on the windshield to start washing the van! Now, they're asking for money.. some kind business they've got going on down here. haha

We just passed some gold mines. Tony said that they hire 8 boys there that are paid $3/day to dig for gold.

Nicaraguans are supposed to paint on their fence what political party they support. I've seen some red/black posts and blue/white posts. Not really sure what they represent or what parties they have here. This isn't in my journal, but I remember a slogan that was on our country entry tickets and I saw it painted on walls along sections of roads.. (in spanish, it said, we believe in Christianity, Socialism, and Solidarity) I had to get my spanish teacher to see if I was translating correctly, and I was correct. Wow. Very corrupt government there, but I will explain more on a later journal entry.

Their harvest begins during rain season beginning on May 1 and lasting until November. They gather stuff out of huge fields by hand- no machines. That is how many citizens get jobs down there.

We're passing by volcanoes that are really cool. There are 7 live volcanoes in Nicaragua! Well, here comes a really nasty dirt road. Time to quit writing, or I'll be sick. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Strong Rock's First Flash Mob

Just last week on Monday, Strong Rock started off exam week with a Christmas flash mob! It was a huge success and the entire high school crowded around to watch as the chorus performed! Click below to watch! It's really long though so don't feel like you have to watch the whole thing :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Since it's been a month since my last post... :)

Well, the last time I looked at my blog, I didn't have anything to write about. But, it's been a month since then... I think a couple of things have happened since then!

First off, our school had an amazing thing called RUSH week 2 weeks ago (R U Seeking Him?). It is a fun week to have dress down days every day and have chapel every day. In all the years past, it has just been something to kind of get you back on track in your walk, if you know what I mean. This year was different though. It was genuinely salvations of the lost and seeking answers for big questions to many of the students. There were 13 known salvations and about 30 that came to seek counsel on things. My dad was able to lead at least 1 for sure that I know of. I was able to be a part of prayer for many of my friends. Two of our football players were saved (and we won that Friday night too!!!). One of the freshman girls were saved. A girl in my grade was saved that I've been praying for, for a long time. It was just a really good time in the life of SRCS and will be a day never forgotten. September 7. :) We were also able to pray for the speaker as a student body- for his ministry and for he and his wife to be able to have kids after trying for a while.

I also wanted to say that our missionary friends from Kenya are finally back!!! They will be staying with us the weekend after fall break. They have 4 little girls that are so awesome. :) I have known them since 5th grade I guess. The two youngest were born while they were over there.

Have a great week!!