El Salvador: He Redeems

Going into El Salvador my team and I kept repeating, “Finish strong. Finish strong. Finish strong.” We wanted to finish this amazing two month journey better than we started, and I can honestly say that we did. The Lord was so evident in my teammates, in the ministry we were working with, and with the people of El Salvador. While in El Salvador we were working with an organization called Project RED. RED stands for Reintegration, Education and Development. This organization only exists because El Salvador passed a law a few years ago banning all orphanages. So all of the children who were previously in orphanages because their families could not provide for them are now forced to go back to their families. The Lord has given Kara Wilson, the founder of Project RED and missionary in El Salvador a passion for the people of El Salvador and for these families the law affects. Project RED serves these families holistically by providing them with their basic needs–whether that is food, building them a house, a shower, etc. They provide counseling for the families, considering many of the families see the children coming back as a burden that they cannot provide for. Project RED works not only to provide an education for the children who were previously in an orphanage, but also for the parents of those kids. Lastly, the development stage is helping the family become self-sufficient. Some of the families have gotten micro-loans to open up small restaurants. All the while the staff and volunteers of Project RED are pointing back to Jesus and sharing Christ with the families they work with. Hearing the stories of these families and their brokenness, the sexual abuse and neglect that affected their families so before, but then getting to go and meet them, and see the joy of the Lord that was in them, it was truly beautiful. We got to see in front of our eyes the Lord make beauty out of ashes. It’s so sweet to know that Christ is our Redeemer. There is no situation too bad, or person that is too far gone to receive God’s sweet mercy and love.

I was so impacted by Kara, the missionary and founder of Project RED. She is only 28 years old and is running a successful and authentic organization that is serving orphans and families of El Salvador. She is an American girl in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Yet she lives her life unafraid. She told us that the making of Project RED was not all bows and butterflies. There were plenty of times that she cried out in anger to the Lord, but He never left her nor forsook her and because of that Project RED is thriving and serving so many families that desperately need them today. Kara along with the other missionaries we worked with are all under the age of 30 and are on fire for the Lord. They long to serve their community and to help them see Jesus as the Redeemer and Provider. It was so inspiring me because creating an organization, funding an organization, getting employees for an organization all sounds like an incredibly overwhelming task. If I were in her shoes, it would be easy to shrink back in fear, thinking that God will bring up someone older, more equipped to provide for these people He’s burdened me for. Nope. In 1 Timothy 4:12 it says, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” In 2 Timothy 1:6-7 it says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into the flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” God’s will shall be done in our lives, regardless of how old we are. It is our job to be obedient to His calling. We must fan the flames of the passions He’s lit inside of us. He’s called us not to live in fear, but rather to trust in Him and in His perfect plan for our lives. After all, we are more than conquerers in Him. Glory to God whose plan for my life far exceeds my wildest dreams.

 

In Him,

Becca

Sweet boys and girls that we got to play with while they helped make the Project RED. So blessed by their joy.

Sweet boys and girls that we got to play with while they helped make the Project RED. So blessed by Christ’s joy on display in them.

Taylor, Kathryn, Molly and I posing triumphantly on our mountain of sand.

Taylor, Kathryn, Molly and I posing triumphantly on our mountain of sand that we eventually conquered.

Global Journey makes a chicken coop! Love my team.

Global Journey makes a chicken coop! Thankful for every member of this team.

Slovenia: Beauty of God’s Creation

In Psalm 96:3-7 it says, “For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God.”

Slovenia is unlike any place I have ever seen before. When we asked the former team members to describe Slovenia they said, “Imagine what Heaven looks like and that’s Slovenia.” At the time I thought they were being dramatic, then I arrived in Slovenia. We are surrounded by breath-taking mountains, bright blue see-through rivers, brightly colored flowers. Slovenia is such a beautifully, dark place. The missionary we worked with the first half of Slovenia, Jay, said it best when he explained the watchmaker theory. He explained the theory as a man walking through a field and finds a watch. He picks it up, examines it, marvels at the beauty and detail of the watch and automatically assumes that there is a maker. This should be the story of Slovenia. One should walk outside their door and look around at the beauty of creation and at least wonder about the Creator, but this is not the case. Slovenia is a dark, dark place spiritually. There are churches in every town but they are nothing more than empty buildings used for weddings and funerals. There is no true church in Slovenia. The missionaries that we have worked with are the only believers in their villages. There is no fellowship here. Slovenia is a place that was once salty, but has now lost its saltiness. They have lost their love of the Lord. Our purpose in Slovenia was to remind them that God still loves them. He has not forgotten about the people of Slovenia, they are a chosen people.

Most of our time spent in Slovenia has been spent evangelizing. In Idrija our time was spent prayer walking. We walked around in groups and spent time praying for people we saw, apartment buildings, etc. We had a lot of time to just love on the local believers by playing games with them and spending time with them. My heart was broken for them listening to how the are the only believers in their village. God is a god of relationship. He never meant for us to do this life alone. When he created Adam, he soon after created Eve. God himself is community with the Holy Trinity, Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Walking with Christ would be so difficult if I was not surrounded by a group of believers to spur me on. People who pick me up when I stumble and point me back to Jesus.

In Bovec we were hosted by the Kelley family. They have been gracious enough to help us save money by letting us camp out in their backyard. Joe Kelley has a pretty extreme ministry here in Slovenia. He shares the Gospel through leading people on trips canyoning, rafting, hiking, and biking. Our main task was to pass out devotional booklets to all the people in Bovec and in the surrounding villages. Half of our team biked to villages and towns outside of Bovec, while the rest of the group walked through the town of Bovec and the nearing villages to pass out the devotionals. We had to be on guard while we were passing out the devotionals because we were all weary, and at times somewhat cranky because we are literally walking or cycling up and down hills for about 4 hours straight. We had to constantly remind each other to be in prayer, because the devil is quick to attack. If I wasn’t praying or talking with someone on my team it was easy to think about home, or let my mind wander to things other than the ministry that I was contributing to. I am thankful for my teammates who spurred me on in my moments of weakness and grumpiness.

Our amazing campsite at the Kelley's!

Our amazing campsite at the Kelley’s!

Joe was kind enough to take us all rafting in small groups throughout the week. He showed us what his ministry looks like with the people he led rafting. I was in the first group to go. As we were rafting on the crystal clear blue Soca river, Joe explained his rafting parable. He explained that in rafting your guide is like God. The guide is always giving commands “forward, backward, stop” etc. and it is our job as an individual and as the church to be obedient to God’s call. The guide is seasoned and knows the river. The guide is constantly looking ahead making adjustments, moving the boat this way and that without the team even knowing. This is similar to the way that God orchestrates everything in our lives without us knowing. A lot of the time we can simply enjoy the fact that God is sovereign and has it under control. As he explained the parable I listened and thought to myself, yeah that makes sense-good parable, and kind of moved on. Soon after Joe called us to row forward, which we did…until we saw that we were heading straight for a huge rock. Amelia and I were in the front and kind of looked at each other and freaked out and stopped rowing. Afterwards, Joe lectured us (in a loving way) about how no matter what lies ahead, if he calls forward, we have to trust him and row forward. He related this to Christ in our lives. No matter what we see in front of us, we have to obey what Christ is calling us to do. We have to trust that God knows what he is doing, and that he knows what’s best for us. After Joe explained this to us, the parable hit me a little bit harder. How often do I look at a situation in front of me and deem it impossible before I even give God a chance to show up for me? The rest of the rafting trip I was not only obedient to what Joe said, but I was in prayer the whole time. Asking God to forgive me for the times that I turned from him instead of fixing my eyes upon him and trusting him to do the impossible regardless of the situation. I want to trust that “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9.

Beautiful waterfall we got to see one of our days passing out devotionals.

Beautiful waterfall we got to see one of our days passing out devotionals.

Slovenia has been a country of seeing God’s beauty on display. It has been a country of sowing seeds. Our prayer for Slovenia is that God will raise up one. One person who is bold and unashamed in their faith willing to go out and spread the love of Jesus through this dark place. That our prayers and devotionals will help people to come to know their Creator and lover of their soul. Our prayer is that our seeds will fall on good soil and that strong believers will rise up out of Slovenia and that this country will be redeemed. Trusting that God can and will do the impossible in this country. He will come.

Alexa, Shelby and I at the Soca River

Alexa, Shelby and I at the Soca River

 

 

In Him,

Becca

 

 

Uganda: The Lord’s Favour

Uganda was the country I was most excited about because before arriving I read the book Kisses From Katie, which talks about a girl my age who leaves a life of comfort in America to accept God’s call on her life to move to Uganda and love on orphans. I was excited and anxious to get here because I thought to myself, what if this is it? What if this is my calling? What if I am supposed to forsake everything and move to Uganda to love God and love these orphans. Then I got to Uganda…

To be quite honest, Uganda was difficult for me. It was difficult for me because it was so great. I know that doesn’t really make sense, but let me help paint a better picture. As we stepped off the plane we felt the cool Ugandan air, which was a welcome change from the Indian heat. As you look around you see the red dirt roads, lush green grass, and beautiful mountains. The people of Uganda are kind. They care about you, they do not skip over formalities the way that American’s do. When you say “Hello” to someone, it is always followed with, “How are you? How was your night? How is your family?”…etc. It was so cool to drive around in the van and see African people staring at you, essentially mean-mugging, then we’d wave and the biggest smile would spread across their face as they smiled back. African people are happy people. The food in Uganda. Oh my gosh, don’t get me started. Seriously, the best food we’ve have had all trip. Fresh mangos, bananas, and pineapples. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! The missionaries we worked with Natalie and The Palmer Family were amazing. Getting to know them and hear their heart for these orphans and hear what God’s done in their lives to get them here is incredible. I truly did not expect to love missionaries as much as I loved these people. Then there’s the orphanage we worked with while we were there. The orphanage is called Lulwanda Children’s Home. There are about 100 kids at this orphanage. Around 70 live there and go to school there full time. The other 30 kids come from the surrounding villages. This orphanage was beautiful. This children were well fed, well dressed, well taken care of, most of all well loved.
This is why Uganda was difficult for me. Everything and everyone was so great. There didn’t seem like a dire need the way there was in the other countries. Because the children at the orphanage were in school we were not able to interact with them the same way we did in India. So Natalie gave us a list of projects to do while we were at Lulwanda. Our team painted the outside of the school, dug trenches, scraped paint off of containers, transferred files and hung mosquito nets. I am a very task-oriented person. I love having a to-do list and then getting it done. The only issue is this quickly becomes my idol because I no longer see Christ, only the task before me waiting to be completed. God showed me such grace this week because each time I tried to make it all about the task, he stretched me and made me do more.
For instance, most of my week was spent scraping paint of a big container. It’s about as excited as it sounds. Not to mention, it’s on the corner of the compound and we had to squeeze in between the container and a fence to scrape. It was not comfortable in the least physically, but it I could easily zone out. It was seemingly mindless work, away from people. Well God had other intentions with the container. It quickly became heart to heart central. Rather than scraping in silence and thinking about what everyone is doing it home, Christ urged me to be fully present. I spent a full day scraping with Kathryn and Shelby, both of them I was close to before, but thanks to God’s urging I was much closer to after. I was able to hear their hearts. Hear their testimonies, their fears, their futures, what Christ is teaching them. It was incredible.
On Friday’s they have Friday Fellowship which is like a worship service and short message before they begin classes. John, the father of the missionary family urged us to hang around afterwards and talk to the children and the staff at Lulwanda since we didn’t have a chance to otherwise. Normally I am a people person, but truly all I wanted to do was go and work. When we worked there was no expectation, just tasks. But yet again, God had other plans. After Friday’s Fellowship I walked down where all of the kids were and watched them fill up their water bins. Many children smiled and waved, but unlike India they did not flock to me, they kept to themselves. I walked up to the school’s librarian whom I later found out was named Favour and started asking about the students. Then the bell rang and the students went inside. Favour invited me into the library where I offered my assistance since we were out of work and paint for the day. We sat down and literally 3 hours later we were in tears hugging one another. Christ’s love knows no boundaries. Through our conversations about the children lead to our love of Christ which led to the call of taking the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, to which she shared her experience with sharing the Gospel with Muslims. She told me about her small ministry with single moms. She told me about how there is no place for them in the church-not in the youth, young singles, married couples, etc. These girls just have no skill set and therefore they just continue to give themselves foolishly to men because they feel as though they can’t say no. Favour’s heart in this ministry is to give these women a skill set-salon, sewing, typing, etc. and a sense of worth founded in Christ so they know that they don’t need an earthly man to know their true worth. The more I asked about her ministry, I found out that she simply does not have the funds to get this ministry off the ground. Right now it is just a prayer group essentially. As she was talking God was like, “Becca this is it. This is your Luke 12:48 after GJ Mission.” Luke 12:48 says, “…to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” I could easily go back to America and forget everything that was said, but instead, I am going to go back to America and and tell people of Favour’s heart. I want to tell people about that this woman who grew up an orphan, raised by her grandfather who learned to read by looking at the Bible. This woman who married a pastor that left her for another woman when she was pregnant. She knows the hurt and heartache of being a single mom, but she also knows God’s goodness, faithfulness and redemption. It was an amazing moment when I got to share with her that I wanted to be apart of her ministry and wanted to help fund her. I was so reminded of how good God is and how necessary each member of the Body of Christ is.
Another team from America called the Thrasher Team joined us on Monday. They brought a team of 19 people, many of them teachers. They came to paint the inside of the school, revamp the library and train the teachers. We only had about 4 days that we got to spend with them, but during that time we assisted them in doing a campus wide bible study. The first day they arrived the staff and children at Lulwanda had a “Hallelujah Day” for Mike Thrasher, the leader of the team. Just five weeks earlier Mike was  in the ICU unable to walk, much less feed himself. The doctors did not know what was wrong with him and the medicines were not helping. Mike and his wife Mary told the doctors that they had better figure it out because in 5 weeks he was going to walk off a plane in Uganda. The children, staff, and his wife Mary were unwavering in the faith in God and relentless with their prayers and glory to God Mike was healed and walked through the gates of Lulwanda. It was such a beautiful sight. Mary Thrasher later said, “this must be what walking into the gates of Heaven is like!” All of the staff and children were lined as Mike walked through. They were all smiling, singing, hugging, PRAISING the God who healed Mike Thrasher. There was not a dry eye in sight. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. How amazing that people all the way around the world prayed so hard for something to happen. God is faithful. He hears our prayers and was glorified in the healing of Mike Thrasher.
As we helped with bible studies me and two other girls on my team helped one of the Thrasher leaders with the youngest children which were ages 4-6. Most of these children do not speak English so it makes carrying out a bible study a bit more difficult. The first day me, Evan and Shelby sat with the kids while the Thrasher leader Cathy led the bible study. One of the student’s who I later found out was named Solomon was constantly hitting the students around him. Cathy was getting quite frustrated trying to redirect him. Immediately I knew, he was my boy. God has so confirmed my calling in life time and time again. I get to love the unlovable. The kids that nobody wants, I get to love them and show them that not everyone is the same. I get to show them the love that Christ showed me when I was unlovable. The next day we went to do the bible study and all of the kids were asleep. Cathy, Evan and Shelby were all split up between the other two classes and I was with the youngest group. My mind immediately starts racing a mile a minute. In my head I’m thinking I could be doing so many other things instead of just sitting here while these kids are sleeping. I didn’t have a book, a bible or anything. I just had to sit. For a whole hour. God is so good to me. He truly knows me better than I know myself. He knew that this entire week had been so task-oriented that he made it where I had to be still and process. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Which is exactly what he was asking me to do. I sat there for an hour and got to pray over each one of the 9 beautiful African children sitting in front of me. I got to thank God for all that he was doing at Lulwanda and in Uganda. I got to thank God for loving me enough to force me to be still and see him for who he truly is.
We are set to leave Natalie’s house at 5:30 in the morning to get on the road to make it to Kampala to do 30 mins of souvenir shopping and then to Entebbe where the airport was. I woke up at 3:20 AM feeling super sick. I woke up took some medicine, got some water, and went to the bathroom and started praying. I prayed that God would heal me of this stomach ache, that he be glorified in the healing. That I would trust in His sovereignty no matter how bad the pain got. Well shortly after, we tested this. I immediately started throwing up and didn’t stop convulsing until we were leaving. Around 3:45 my teammates came to my rescue. Amelia came in and immediately started praying over me as the rest of my team rushed to get Natalie, Ryan and Sarah, water, medicine, etc. Satan is vicious because a couple of hours after I got sick another one of my teammates Kathryn also got sick. She and I shared the bathroom while the team packed the van and took care of everything for us. At 5:30 we all loaded into the vans, Kathryn and I both had vomit bags in hand. Uganda does not have paved roads so a sick stomach and bumpy roads do not make a great combination. Kathryn and I both got sick multiple times on the ride, but the beauty of it was that I knew the whole time that my team was praying for me. I was praying, I knew Kathryn was praying. Never before have I prayed, nor been prayed for aloud the way that I was during this sickness. By the time we got to the airport Nussty was also feeling sick. The flights were rough, but after we were able to sleep a full night in Dubai, all three of us woke up feeling much better. Christ was and is the ultimate healer. He heard our prayers and answered them. I am thankful for such an amazing team that took such great care of Kathryn, Nuss and I. For being all the way around the world, I did not cry for my parents once-which if you know anything about me, you know this is a huge deal! If you are still reading, thank you for the prayers! God hears every one.
Psalm 9:9-10
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
Thankful for a God who will never leave me nor forsake me.
My loving team that at a waterfall in Uganda. Thankful for all these amazing people that took care of me when I needed them most.

My loving team that at a waterfall in Uganda. Thankful for all these amazing people that took care of me when I needed them most.

Meet my sweet, pain in the butt to everyone else, Solomon:)

Meet my sweet, pain in the butt to everyone else, Solomon:)

Where Kathryn and I spent most of our week in Uganda.

Where Kathryn and I spent most of our week in Uganda.

In Him,
Becca

India: God is Still Sovereign

I’m finding it really difficult to find words to convey all the emotions I have felt in the last 10 days. India is such a unique and amazing country. From the outside you see run-down buildings, streets that are trashed and people living in extreme poverty, but the people of India aren’t in a constant state of depression. It’s quite the opposite actually. Everywhere our team went people stared, smiled, waved and asked to take pictures with us. These people know joy apart from worldly possessions.

Emmanuel Children’s Home is the ministry we worked with in Kota, India. This orphanage is home to over 500 children. Many of the children we found out have parents, but their parents do not have enough money to provide for them, so they are sent to live at the children’s home. There was a boys dorm and a girls dorm with 15 kids per room in about six twin beds. Most days when we entered into the rooms there were children sleeping on the floor because the tile was the coolest place to sleep. The swing set and play ground the children had was rundown and unused. They had taped up board games and used rocks for playing pieces. The girls did not have clothes for dress up and the boys did not have nice equipment for sports, but that did not matter to them. One of the days I watched a room full of girls play pretend. The older girls acted as the ghost, the teacher and the doctors as the younger girls ran around the room screaming, saying their a,b,c’s and acting like patients. The boys often ran around barefoot as they used their sandals for goals kicking a piece of tied up trash as a soccer ball. As I looked around at the orphanage and at the means they lived in I felt a sense of despair. Yet, as I played pretend with the girls and screamed and laughed along with them as the older girls tried to scare us, and as I ran around chasing after a soccer ball until I was out of breath with the boys, it hit me. God hit me hard with the reality that I don’t need worldly things in order to be full of joy and full in Christ. All week I was able to see children with so little live a life so spiritually and emotionally full.

As a team we are reading through the Gospel of Luke and the day before we got to the orphanage we read the Beatitudes in Luke chapter 6. How perfect. Luke 6:20-21 says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” As the week went on and I meditated on this verse, God reminded me that though the world has forgotten about these orphans He most definitely has not. At times I was overwhelmed at the task of loving on 500+ children. I mean even learning their names seemed difficult at times! But God knows them, each and every one. He knows each hair on their head and he loves them relentlessly.

In a book I was reading on this trip called Kisses From Katie, this missionary in the book named Katie uprooted her life and moved to Uganda at the age of 19, she is now my age and has adopted 14 children. In her book she talks about how at times she can feel really overwhelmed at the task of caring for so many people, after all she is just one person. God gently reminds her the way he gently reminded me all week, “Stop for one. Trust me with the rest.” Every day in India I chose to stop for one. At least one child I loved well that day. I did not focus on learning 500 names, I did not focus on playing with as many kids as possible. I stopped for one each day and trusted God with the rest.

The first day the one child I stopped for was named Gungathree. She was a beautiful girl about five years old. The entire first day she was attached to my hip. She would not let go of my hand no matter where we went. She did not speak any English. She was only able to tell me her name and call me “Auntie,” which did not stop me from loving on her. The children had prayer time every day from 5-7pm. I went back to the house to get my scarf and told Gungathree I would meet her at prayer time. When I got there a few older girls pulled me to sit with them. A few rows up I saw Gungathree sitting by herself. I motioned to her to come and sit by me (unbeknownst to be, they all had assigned rows and could not switch seats). When she did not come up to sit with me, I quickly went to get her to come sit by me before prayer time started. When I went up to her she wouldn’t look at me. She hid her face and her tears. This completely broke my heart. This little girl who I had only met hours before was already ripping my heart out. My team and I went and put on a program for the children singing songs, sharing testimonies, and teaching them bible stories. When I came back I sat next to Gungathree. This time she sat close to me. As they put on a movie in the church for the children to watch Gungathree let me put my arm around her. As the movie played I felt her breath slow down and her head start to fall. I picked her up and held her close to me in my lap. Gungathree slept soundly on my chest throughout the movie. As I sat in the church watching a Bollywood film I did not understand, I began to think of what life must be like for Gungathree. Has she ever felt this kind of affection from a mother? Will she ever be held like this again? Who will love her well? Who will take care of her? All of my anxious fear began to creep up, so I decided to pray over her while I held her in my arms. I prayed that she would know Christ as her true father and that she would experience his faithfulness and unfailing love. I prayed that she would trust in God’s great plan for her life. It was in that moment that I was drenched in sweat, not wanting to move because I would wake her up that God reminded me that I could trust Him. That he goes where I cannot. He will hold her. He will show her affection. He will love her well and take care of her.

This is my beautiful Gungathree.

This is my beautiful Gungathree.

Even with 500+ orphans at the Children’s Home God showed me that he is still all good and all sovereign.

This is a picture of a ton of sweet boys who let me play soccer and hackey sack and wall ball with them, even though I was terrible. Talk about showing me grace!

This is a picture of a ton of sweet boys who let me play soccer and hackey sack and wall ball with them, even though I was terrible. Talk about showing me grace!

And lastly, here's my amazingly awkward team in front of the Taj Mahal. The more time I spend with them, the more grateful I am that God uniquely called each and everyone of us to this amazing journey.

And lastly, here’s my amazingly awkward team in front of the Taj Mahal. The more time I spend with them, the more grateful I am that God uniquely called each and everyone of us to this amazing journey.

In Him,

Becca

It’s hard to believe this journey only started 11 days ago. So much has already happened in such a short amount of time! Our team of 11 has already become like a family. Our leaders, Ryan and Sarah have already taken on the names and roles of Mom and Dad. I’ve made fast friends with my teammates. Image

Haha, but seriously it’s incredible how fast and strong a bond is when it is founded on a shared mission in Christ.

Hong Kong: Our ministry in Hong Kong is focused primarily on getting Bibles into China. Many people think that because China prints bibles that there is no need for this ministry. This is untrue. Bibles are not sold in bookstores in China and are only given to the registered churches. This is one of the ways that the Communist Government in China tries to exercise its rule over the church. The underground house churches recognize that only God can be the head of their church, and therefore they refuse to register with the government. Because the house churches do not register the government does not support them or give them bibles. The house churches are exploding, these are the people that our bibles are going to. The people of China are hungry for the Gospel, desperate for His Word. So much so that when they receive these bibles they literally weep. The people of China cherish God’s word. This has been one of the things that I have been most convicted about since I have been here. I have multiple bibles and at times I act as though they are a chore to read. This is the bread of life we are talking about here! The people of the house churches of China truly understand the importance of God’s Word. Our first day taking bibles into China I got stopped and they took all but 10 of my bibles. I felt discouraged as the rest of my team made it through no problem. I went to pick up my passport and saw that another one of my teammates Amelia got stopped also. This made me feel much better because I did not have to be alone. Later in the evening Amelia and I went to buy back and then wait for the bibles they took from us. We waited in a line that was more like a mob. The people in the front were yelling and pushing one another, to the point where a man who was working behind the window came out and yelled at everyone in Chinese making them all line up in two single file lines. At this point Amelia and I had already been waiting for about 30-45 mins. As we stood there, feet hurting, surrounded by pushy people and cigarette smoke I said, “Okay where can we see God in this?” Just then a little Chinese boy ran up and started doing some karate moves at us, we died laughed at how cute he was. As we waited we were able to talk to another man in line about what to do. This man was so helpful, he told us where to go and when. After we finally paid for our bibles we decided to just sit on the (disgusting) floor because it was probably going to take another hour. The man we had been talking to brought us over some bags so we didn’t actually sit on the gross floor. All the while we waited Amelia and I talked. The more we talked we were able to see how similar our backgrounds were and how God has been at work in our lives. Ever since she and I spent this time together she has been such a source of encouragement for me. If nothing else I was able to see Christ through Amelia that night as she shared her heart and let me share mine.

Day 2. On day 2 we were mixed with an Amish team. My first run was successful and on our way back I was feeling so good about getting through, then I reached down for my subway card and realized that I didn’t have my purse. My leader told me they’d wait as I went back to get it. I essentially ran through China attempting to remember my way back to where I left my purse. My leader said she’d phone one of the other leaders to bring it down. I can honestly say that I have never prayed so intensely and intentionally in my life. As I struggled remembering how to get back I asked the Lord to please just guide my steps. As I made it back I waited at the lift for at least 5 minutes before I decided to go up. As I got on apparently my leader was on a different elevator going down. Finally, I made it back down and was praying that when the doors open I would see my leader’s face. The doors opened and there he was, just as relieved as I was, because he thought that I had somehow gotten lost in China. As we hurried back to the train station I started getting really flustered, because at this point I had made my team wait for at least 20 minutes, putting all of our second runs behind schedule . When I got back I apologized profusely and one of the Amish women reached our her hand and said, “Becca, don’t worry about it. It’s okay.” And as she said those simple words to me I was overwhelmed by grace. God’s amazing grace. Here I am sprinting around Hong Kong and China offering up all these good works to Him saying, “is this good enough? Am I good enough?” The verse from scripture comes to mind in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of christ then, I am content with weaknesses insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” It’s as if God is just shaking me saying, “Don’t you get it? My grace is enough. End of story. Your good works will never be good enough and that’s okay. Rather, boast in your weakness so that I may shine all the more brightly through you.”

Let All Creation Sing His Praise. Early Saturday morning we woke up and were on our way to the Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls. We took taxis on the way there, and for a moment we though our taxi got lost, but thankfully we were just taking a different route to the same location.

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 As we began our hike all 11 of us one behind the other a few of us in the back began to talk about how beautiful God’s creation is. It’s incredible that what we were looking at was beautiful, yet so fallen. We began to marvel at how beautiful the Garden of Eden must have been and how indescribable heaven must be. On our way up to the waterfall half of us stopped and rested while the rest of the group continued on. As we waited, the 5 of us took in the beauty that was around us. Ryan Nuss aka Nussty began to sing over us, “I exalt thee” and “set a fire”. It was amazing to hear Nussty sing over us a prayer that I have had all this year- “set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain. that I can’t control. I want more of you God. I want more of you God.” We climbed for another 10 minutes or so until we heard the waterfall and saw our team waiting below. We all took pictures in front of the waterfall and then tried to ease into the cold water buy most of us (me) fell in or jumped in. After being in the refreshing water for about 20 minutes we all found a rock to sit on and just worshiped. It was truly a moment I will never forget. Being in God’s beautiful creation and singing with the birds and the other sounds of nature to God. Wow. Glory to God who gives me these amazing glimpses of heaven.

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Church in Hong Kong: One of the missionaries that we were working with let us join her for church in Hong Kong. A woman who was one of the leaders in the church came up to us and informed us that we were going to be singing in Cantonese. They would have the Cantonese characters and then the English pronunciation below them. As we stood to worship and the music began to play I immediately started to get overwhelmed. Here I was in Hong Kong singing to God in a different language. I looked around at all of these people with their hands raised high, singing at the top of their lungs for Jesus. I began weeping as I looked around and realized, this is what it looks like. This is God’s love. We are all God’s people. All of us. Here I am thinking that I am the one with all the knowledge of the Gospel, doing them a favor by being here, when really they are the ones showing me what it looks like to truly love Jesus and worship him unashamed. As I cried and worshiped one of my teammates Molly prayed over me that God would continue to give me knowledge of him. Right now I know the God of my life, but I will learn that he is the same God who is doing work in all of these people in all these nations. It was so encouraging. I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to come on this trip and see Him in all his Glory.

“Come and hear, all who you who fear God, and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16

Humbled,

Becca

Hong Kong

He Provides.

“Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always.” -Ephesians 3:20 Today I am thankful that I serve a God who can do far greater things than I could ever ask or imagine. This trip, this opportunity, this journey of a life time is far greater than I could ever ask or imagine. For 60 days I get to go to 5 different countries and share the Gospel. How incredible is that?! I get to show people of the world the love that Christ has lavished upon me. It’s hard to believe that in three short days I will finally embark upon this journey. The official start to Global Journey may be in three days, but Christ started this journey months ago when I was faced with the daunting task of raising $8,000 to go on Global Journey. In the beginning this amount of money seemed impossible to come up with. I am thankful for the community that God provided me with that spurred me on by reminding me that this was such a visible way that I could put my faith in God and he would show up for me. Glory to God, here I am five months later fully funded!!! Raising money was not easy, but this trip opened up so many opportunities to share the Gospel with people I would have not otherwise talked about Christ with. Ever since I stepped out in faith and obedience and accepted Christ’s call on my life to Global Journey the Lord has provided in abundance. People from all walks of faith, in all walks of life, in all parts of my life stepped out in faith and supported me and what God’s doing in my life. I am so thankful for the faithful people Christ put in my life to support me.  I have been overwhelmed with God’s faithfulness, love and provision he’s shown in my life. So although the journey has not technically begun, I am thankful for a God who has been readying me and transforming my heart all along.   In Him, Becca

He Provides.