Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Missionary Miscarriage

Hello, so I'm not going to Argentina in the near future with Campus Crusade for Christ.  At base, I was only at 51% support raised and I cannot go underfunded.  I've been describing this process of coming to terms with not going as a miscarriage.  I have never been pregnant and so I have never miscarried, but I have often heard of things being 'spiritually birthed' and that's what I'm basing this on.  I hope, and don't think it will, this analogy doesn't offend anyone, but it's truly how I feel.

As many women have felt called their whole life to be mothers, to have lot's of babies with their amazing husband: I have felt called to be a missionary, to do lots of things with and for my amazing Lover.  When the time was right, the moment finally came, she became pregnant and she knew it: finally I was called to be a missionary to Argentina when I graduated from school, I was so excited!  She went to the Lamaze classes, ate the right food, did a gift registry at Babes-r-Us: I went to Intern Kickoff Weekend (where I signed a bunch of papers and learned how to raise support), read lots of books, raised support.  All along she was trying not to stress out/worry or overexert because she didn't want to taint the beauty of the pregnancy and the birth: I tried to depend on God to bring the money in, instead of me trying to worry it in, because I didn't want to become jaded amongst other things.  Matthew 6:25-34 tells us to not be anxious/worry, we tried to adhere to that.  As the pregnancy progressed, she noticed a few discomforts, but she didn't want to over-analyze, so she trusted that things would be fine:  as I continued to raise support, I noticed how hard it was coming in, but I didn't want to worry and therefore distrust God.  Some people discouraged her about being a mother, saying that she should just put the child up for adoption or should have just adopted, but she's felted called to be a mommy for as long as she can remember and wants it more than anything else: some people said I should just call it quits because there was noway that amount of money would come in, others said that it was wrong for me to go overseas because there are plenty of people that need God here in the States, but I have felt called to be an overseas missionary for as long as I can remember and I want it badly, probably more than I want anything else.  Towards the end of her pregnancy things didn't seem to be going well, she didn't feel a lot of movement and feared the worse, but she didn't want to throw in the towel, she'd fight for her child because she loved it:  towards the end of support raising things weren't looking good, money had been coming in slowly and unsteadily, but I didn't want to quit because I love missions and that call hasn't gone away.  She panicked when others told her that it wasn't looking good and she should abort, but she trusted in God to give her a healthy child; I panicked when bosses told me to quit, but I didn't want to stifle God if He so chose to move and work.  So here she is on her due date scared and confused and anxiously waiting to see what's going to happen: so here I am at my deadline scared and confused and anxiously waiting to see what's going to happen.  She goes to the hospital...but low and behold the baby is not alive; she's terrified and confused and ashamed and hurting:  I am sitting at the Father's feet...but low and behold I am not going to Argentina soon; I'm terrified and confused and ashamed and hurting.  We're exhausted.

But the good news for her is that this isn't the end, she can try again, that call to be a mother is still there: this isn't the end for me, I will try again (I don't know in what capacity), that call to be a missionary overseas is still there!  While we don't understand why the Lord brought us through such a hard season we trust in His sovereignty in our lives and love Him no less because we cannot fully understand Him.  She didn't go through this alone, she had an amazing husband and an even more amazing God: I did not go through this alone, I have excellent friends, family, and supporters and an even more excellent Lover.

I don't know what the Lord has for me in my immediate/distant future, but I will do my best not to fret over it.  God is no less sovereign, good, or wise when we do not understand His plan or when we are hurting.  There are a whole slew of emotions and questions that I have, but the above is the big picture and a very accurate one of my journey through this season in my life.  I have learned much about God and my's relationship, and our relationship has changed for the better.  I do not know a lot/anything about my life right now, but I know God holds my future and that will have to be enough for me.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters.  Amen."  Galatians 6:18

In Christ's Love,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Single and Free!

Hello, I apologize for not posting in so long, I've been busy raising support; I'm currently at 50% and must be at 100% by the end of this month, so I've been working and praying very hard!

Today I spoke at a former church of mine; I went there with my family when I was a little child.  I was so grateful to come back and share how the Lord has been working in my life and where He is taking me.  Afterwards, I was talking to a member about my ministry in more detail and told her how grateful I am to be available to do this.

I'm so excited to be able to serve the Lord in this capacity, especially since I've wanted to be a missionary for so long!  What a great time it is in my life to go abroad; I have no children, husband, mortgage, etc.  While all those things are not wrong and are great at the right time, in the right order, God hasn't chosen to given those to me just yet, which is great because it makes me available for serving in a way Paul talks about to the Corinthians.   In First Corinthians 7:17 Paul tells us to "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him."  God has called me to Argentina, I am assigned to be a missionary there for the time being.  He goes on to say in verses 34 and 35 "...And the unmarried and unbetrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in the body and spirit.   But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.  I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord."  Since I have no husband to tend to, I am free to secure my undivided devotion to the Lord!  How great is that?!

As a single woman, I intend to give God my all; when/if I get married, I will serve the Lord by being a godly wife to my godly husband.  Either way, I want to be obedient to what the Lord has called me to, single or married.  No one knows what their future holds, but we can all be sure, as believers in the Most High God, Who holds their future.  As

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 30 of raising support

Hello, this was my 30th week of support raising.  How exhausting, I've been raising support for over half a year and I'm only at 35%.  What is the deal?  I got a call from someone I admire greatly and she was encouraging, but also broke the news that if I'm not at or above 80% by December 15th I won't be going to Argentina.  This put me in a tizzy and made me cry and made me feel a little crazy.  But it also lit a fire under me.  I've working hard, but now I'm working harder.  I have nothing else to really say, other than please pray for the support to come in, please give so that the support does come in, and please give contacts for me to contact for me to go.  I cannot do this by myself, it is impossible, you can be an important part of this ministry.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I hope your Thanksgiving was full of reminders of how the Lord loves and provides for His children.  My Thanksgiving was pretty great, spent with lots of family and lots of noise!

Okay, this summer at STINT Briefing we watched a movie called Outsourced; the movie was about a man, Todd, that was sent to India to help improve a call center for the company he worked for (it sold novelty items).  He came there to simply get the job done, but he knew nothing of the culture.  This lack of knowledge put him in some very uncomfortable positions.  I won't spoil the movie, but it did put a lot of things into perspective for many of us at STINT briefing.  Well now this movie has been made into a show on NBC (I think), called Outsourced.  This show has quickly become a favorite of mine, even in the short amount of time that it's been on air; every episode, Todd learns something new about India (the people, place, culture, and religion) and sees the USA more objectively.  Every episode, he offends someone(s) and has to relearn the way he interacts/treats others.  For instance, one episode he had to teach about sexual-harassment, so he showed a video that was considered porn in India because the couple kissed.  In India, couples don't kiss on movies or in public.  A lot of his employers walked out on the video because it was offensive/uncomfortable to them, but he didn't understand what the big deal was because we view far worse in the States.  Once someone explained to him the immodesty of the video, Todd apologized and never showed that video again.

Each time I watch this show, I ponder what things I will learn and adjust to in Argentina.  Todd had to quickly learn that different cultures aren't necessarily wrong, they're just different.  I understand that and look forward to living in the Argentine culture, I think there will be somethings that I really appreciate and enjoy about the culture and there'll be somethings that I will have to adhere to but don't necessarily get/like.

In 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul says : "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.  I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some."  This is what I want to do, I want to go to Argentina and be a part of their culture so that Argentines will learn what it means to have a relationship with the Creator of all cultures, Who loves all cultures!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

random stuff i'm excited about: spanish

Ever since Kindergarten, I have loved Spanish.  It's a beautiful language that's attached to a beautiful culture with a rich history.  In elementary school we had a resident Spanish teacher, Señora Maria, who would come to our class and teach us basic Spanish, like: good morning/afternoon, hello, how are you?, colors, and other stuff.  I always looked forward to her visits, but halfway through elementary school, she was no longer 'allowed' to teach us Spanish, but she was still at our school; so what she would do was come under the guise of giving our teacher a break and when the teacher was gone (she knew what was going on) she would give us a brief lesson on Spanish.  So it was early that I developed a love for Spanish, and this love led me to study it on my own and to take classes, and at one point try to minor in it.  There are many memories of my childhood that point to my love for Spanish and the people of Latin America; looking back now I realize that it was God preparing me for Costa Rica and Argentina and beyond.  All that to say that I am excited about speaking Spanish in Argentina, I am excited about hearing it and learning it.  A lot of people ask me whether or not I'm fluent and the answer is NO!  I will be taking Spanish class(es) in Argentina to learn the dialect of Spanish which is called Castellano (kast-e-shano).  This Spanish dialect and accent is very different from others in Latin America and I look forward to learning it.  I have been studying Spanish for a long time, but there's nothing like learning by immersion and that's exactly the experience of STINT; I was talking to some teammates who are already down there, and they say that we get thrown straight into ministry and meetings that are, of course, all in Spanish!  They said that it's really taught them to depend on the Lord for even their communication skills.  So...I'm so excited about the language aspect of STINT; I used to always say that I wanted to learn the language of the people so I may minister to there very hearts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random stuff I'm excited about: cars

So sometimes I'll be dealing with something, serious or not so much, in my life and I think " I can't wait to be in Argentina, so I won't have to deal with this."  As of late I've thought that about my car; I'm grateful for it and I definitely need it.  BUT I sure do hate car maintenance; it makes NO sense to me, all those liquids you got to keep pouring/pumping in, all those lights to look at/understand in the dashboard, the insurance stuff to worry about, ick!  I'm just no good at it.  So in addition to ministry in Argentina, I'm uber anticipatory of not having to deal with a car for a year.  I know it's silly, but I seriously despise that car stuff, there are so many other things I'd rather be doing with my time and energy than dealing with my car!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Peter & I

I have to be honest, I've been struggling with doubt lately.  I KNOW that the Lord has called me to Buenos Aires, Argentina as a STINTer post graduation, but I often feel so discouraged to the point of doubting whether or not I'm to go.  I then feel scared and ashamed; scared because for those instances I really doubt that I ever heard God call me to Argentina, and ashamed because I'm being prideful by worrying about how I'll look/feel if I don't go.  Then I feel remorse for doubting God's sovereign plan.  Ministry Partner Development (aka MPD, aka support raising) is uniquely one of the hardest things I've ever done.  This is all very new for me, and while I'm raising support for something I've felt called to for most of my life, I still feel the weight of doubt.  That's really scary and frustrating for me.

This point in my life reminds me of Matthew 14:22-33, when Peter walks on the water.  Peter said "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You in the water." (verse 28) in faith.  "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me.'" (verse 30).  This is an illustration of what I've done/am doing; in faith I said "Here am I, send me." (Isaiah 6:8), but then I saw the number $33,000 and embarked on the task and began to sink in doubt.

How silly Peter was to freak out and doubt in the midst of walking on water and already have seen Jesus reveal His power in various miraculous capacities.  How silly I am freak out and doubt in the midst of MPD and already have seen Jesus reveal His power and provision in various capacities.

But the good news is Peter was rescued by Jesus: "Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?'" (verse 31).  So even though Peter doubted and worried, Jesus still rescued him and protected him from the approaching storm.  And even though I doubt and worry and try to rely on my own strength, Jesus still carries me and provides for me.  How lame of me and how wonderful of God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Information on the Vida Estudiantil Ministry (Campus Crusade for Christ) in Buenos Aires

Hi all!  Here's a link to a blog posting from one of my teammates in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Here's how to give!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reliance Upon the Lord

Sooo...first of all: sorry for not updating.  Second of all this post is a long time coming.
Psalm 56:
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.  When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can flesh do to me?  All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil.  They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life.  For their crime will they escape?  In wrath cast down the peoples, oh God!  You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?  Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.  This I know that God is for me.  In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.  For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

The Lord showed this verse to me this Summer, when I was struggling to depend on Him.  Reliance on God is something I've never thought about until I began raising support for STINTing in Argentina.  All my life I have depended upon others for what I needed: my parents for food, shelter, and clothing.  When I got to college, I looked to myself as provider because I've put myself through school and paid for most of what I need/ed.  Up until this Summer I really only thought of God as Comforter, Judge, Father (but not a holistic One), and Lover, but never really Provider.

The truth is that God has always been Provider in my life, but it looked like my parents were the providers or like I was the provider.  Now that neither my parent or I can provide for this next season in my life, I am confronted with the truth; and the truth is that GOD IS PROVIDER and He always has been.  I know this post seems similar to my "God the Provider" one, and it is.  But this subject is inescapable.

Raising support has this constant theme of learning to trust/rely/depend on God to bring the money in and prepare you for ministry in another culture/country/language.  And He does this anyway He pleases: for some support raising was a fairly easy and speedy process, for others it was simply an okay process, and still for others (me) it's a somewhat treacherous process that I equate to a roller-coaster ride (by the way, I hate roller coasters).

One Sunday afternoon, I was with my women's group and we were sharing our lives and I finally exploded with crying; I had been stressing and worrying and obsessing over MPD (Ministy Partner Development, aka support raising).  My sisters in Christ encouraged me and gave me words from the Lord.  Basically, what they said was that I am trying to do it all and be it all myself with no help; I'm striving and trying to single-handedly raise support and deal with other things in my life (sin, family, money for school, etc), I'm trying to juggle everything and I'm losing control.  Everything they said was true and all Summer I had been trying to take steps of faith, but I was (am) trying to control everything.  I'm not a control freak by human standards, but when it comes to my relationship with the Father, I grip tightly the reigns of 'my' life and just want Him there for love and moral support.  That afternoon, I went home and had a talk with God (well He really did most of the talking) and He told me that I was treating Him like I see/treat my earthly daddy.  I love my earthly daddy,  and he loves me, but when it all boils down to it, I am the one who provides for me.  I pay for my: school, food, gas, rent, clothes, and phone.  The only thing he pays for is my health and car insurance, which, don't get me wrong, I'm quite grateful for.  I was transferring the relationship norms of my earthly relationship with my daddy to my Spiritual Relationship with my Daddy.  By earthly standards, my providing for all my stuff (school, food, etc) isn't a big deal, I am an adult and my daddy does have four other children, a wife, and two dogs to provide for; but that's not how things work in my Father's Kingdom, and boy am I glad.

When God, the Father, tells us to do something like, oh I don't know, STINT in Argentina, He provides a means for us to follow His plan.  So with my earthly daddy, if I was going to do something (that he and I both wanted) like go to university, he would cheer me on but I would have to make a way for myself to attend.  Not so with the Father, He will provide when I am being obedient.

Back to reliance/dependence on God; I need to relax and rely on God when I am being obedient to His plan for my life.  I thought this was just a support raising thing, but I talk to some members of my team already in Argentina, I am quickly realizing this is a life thing.  They are asking for prayer to learn to depend on the Lord more, just in a different way.  They've already got the support raising process out of the way, but now they're learning to depend on Him for their language (they are learning Spanish), for their ministry (teaching, discipling) and more.  So basically, theirs no escaping it, I must depend on the Lord for any and everything.

The Lord equips us for the tasks that He's called us to, we've got to fix our eyes on Him and trust that He'll catch us when we fall, trust that He will comfort us when we cry, trust that He will come through when we can go no further, trust that He will empower us when we must fight.  We must trust the Lord with every breathe we breathe, with every step we take, with every thought we think.  That is how we can honor Him and bring Glory where it's due.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ministry Partner Update

Hi all! So currently, I am still right around 19% and need to be at 50% by this Friday.  Please be praying for the Lord's provision for that and remember that giving something is more than giving nothing.  That may seem like a silly statement, but I've realized that a lot of people feel like because they can't give 'a lot', that they shouldn't give anything at all.  No amount is too small.  It's a blessing to share this ministry with others, this ministry isn't just me it's all those who give of their financial resources and their prayers.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Boldness in Asking and the Three Parts of Missions

Possibly one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had is Ministry Partner Development.  I talk to people I have never met and couldn't pick out in a crowd, I talk to people I've known for months or years.  But one of the strangest challenges in MPD is boldness in asking.

Basically, I'm supposed to ask everyone; which, at first, didn't seem so challenging.  But the more invested I got into MPD, the more of a challenge it was for me to simply ask people, familiar or not.  Don't get me wrong, I love people (I'm such an extrovert), and I love talking about what I'll be doing, but asking people to join me in this ministry is pretty tough for me at times.  It's not the sharing what I'll be doing and those details that makes me nervous, it's the asking people to financially support this ministry that can be quite the obstacle.

The truth is: people are defensive about their money.  If they/we feel like someone is trying to finagle money out of them, they get pretty offended and offensive.  I understand, I can get the same way if I feel like I'm being scammed...but the great thing is that I'm not finagling money!

There are three parts to missions: praying, giving, and going.  I have been fortunate to be a part of each of these and intend to continue forever and always in some capacity!  Prayer is important because satan doesn't want the Gospel to spread and so we must "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication..." (Ephesians 6:13-18a).

Lets face it, 'everything' needs money, missions isn't excluded from this.  Transportation, shelter, food, visas, etc, all these things take money and who else to fund them but people who have the resources and/or who are willing to make sacrifices so that they can give to God's Kingdom.  Giving to missions is just as important as physically going to missions.  It truly is a partnership because without one, the other would not exist.

Finally, there's going...which is what I'll be doing this coming year.  I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory, I mean people GO to the far corners of the earth.  Jesus told us to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19-20a).  John Piper said "Missions exist because worship doesn't", this means that because there are people and parts of the world that do not know the Living God and who do not worship the True God, missions are necessary to help make this happen.  Missions are the Heart and Hands of God going to His beloved Creation and offering His Love, Grace, Forgiveness, Mercy, and best of all a relationship with the Creator of all things good!

So when I'm asking people if they would like to join me in this ministry, I'm not asking them to fund a soul-searching-post-graduation trip for me (this is, in fact, not about my soul, but about the lost souls), I'm asking them to help advance God's Kingdom by taking part in missions.  I'm asking them to be a part of something bigger than any of us could imagine.  I'm asking them to help fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day

As I write this entry, I am dealing with a lot of emotions, mostly (if not all) unpleasant ones.  Today was Labor Day, my long weekend was the best in a while, but there was one big spoiler: today the Argentina STINT teams left for Argentina.  Obviously I am not with that group tonight as I have student teaching this last semester and will be joining them post-graduation in January.  "Oh well, that's only a few short months away" some have said to me; but the truth is, it doesn't feel short to me.  I have wanted to be a missionary in this capacity for my whole life, so having "a few short months" in my way is a bit too suspenseful for me.

Today Bridgette (who will be STINTing in Chile come January) and I went up to Raleigh-Durham Airport to see off two members of the La Plata, Argentina Team.  I've known this day would come for several months now, but it actually happened!  At the airport, were the STINTers' mom's and brothers, and some friends, and then Bridgette and I.  I didn't expect for it to be as emotional for me; I didn't cry like others there, but I certainly wanted to go with them on that plane!

Perhaps it seems strange that I would be so emotional, or you wonder what emotions are plaguing me right now.

At STINT Briefing a few weeks ago in Chicago, the Argentina (and Chile) STINT teams spent every moment together.  It was like old friends getting together and making the best of their short time together.  To me, it felt like we had been friends forever and that we were all simply meant to be together.  In four words:  We make sense together.  I can't recall a time when a team that I was a part connected so easily and so organically; it's beautiful to have that type of relationship.  So when I say stuff like "I miss my STINT team", I legitimately do.  I don't just want to be down in Argentina, I want to be with them in Argentina.

And now the more complicated part, the emotions!  It's hard for me to put my finger on one exact emotion, there's a whole slew, even ones I don't know words for.  I feel sad that I won't be able to join them until January.  I feel frustrated because I still have a lot of support to raise (around 80%) and I have been working hard and feeling very little progress.  I feel scared because I don't know what these next few months entail with student teaching and Ministry Partner Development; I'm also scared that it'll be too much for me to handle and balance.  I feel disappointed in myself because if I had been better in school I would have graduated in May and would be on that plane right now.  I feel anticipatory of how the Lord will provide the $33,000 total; and I look forward to seeing what this semester does to His and my relationship.  I am hopeful that I will continue to learn what it means to truly trust Him for everything and to authentically live that out each day.  There are more emotions that I can't explain, but these are the big'uns!

When I returned home from RDU (airport), I finally cried.  I felt embarrassed that I would cry over something so unavoidable and predictable, but then I realized I wasn't just crying because I would miss my team, I realized I was full of somewhat unresolved and unrealized emotions.  After a brief (but still too long) pity-party I turned to the Lord for comfort and guidance.  I told Him a little of how I was feeling, about how badly I wanted to be in Argentina with my team right now and how I want to trust Him with everything.  He told me this: "Beloved, I have you here for a purpose.  Let your life shine while here, this isn't a holding tank/room.  Be obedient and love here. I AM in control, you can trust Me.  I AM faithful.  Coléa, I know you're sad, but I bring joy not sadness.  It's okay to want to join them, but don't feel like you're not supposed to be here.  I have you right where I want you.  Trust Me!  Jeremiah 29:11, trust Me with every bit of you, beloved.  It'll be okay.  Stay focused on Me and everything will be fine.  I love you, My child, and I am sovereign.  Trust Me." After hearing from Him, I felt much better; He comforted me.

I still am bummed that I'm not leaving now, but it delights me to know that God is still using me here in Greensboro.  I am now happily anticipatory of looking back at what the Lord has done in my live and others this semester.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

funny video about Ministry Partner Development

Here's a funny music video someone made who is in the process of support raising (Ministry Partner Development) to join staff with Campus Crusade for Christ.  It's pretty funny, but this is how it feels at times.  Enjoy!


Monday, August 30, 2010

if home is where the heart is...

At STINT Briefing we had what was called AOA, Area of Affairs (I think), and in those meetings we learned about the culture we would be STINTing in.  I, of course, was in Latin America.  During one of the times we met, we talked about the differences in the values of US culture and Latin American culture.  Of course not everyone in the USA or in Latin America are the same, but these are generalizations that somewhat outline values of each of these cultures.  So below are the list of comparable values of the USA and Latin America (USA on top and Latin America in bold):
1)Task Oriented: productivity
1) People Oriented: relationships
2) Time Oriented: scheduled
2) Event Orientation: here and now has full attention
3) American Dream: corporate ladder
3) Limited Resources: social status stays
4) Consumerism: trading for bigger and better
4) Conservation: use until can't use anymore
5) Efficiency and Convenience: save time and get more done
5) Tradition: done how they're always done
6) Future Orientation: goal oriented
6) Past & Present Orientation: tradition and live in the moment
7) Justice: everyone is entitled to rights
7) "It just is": not much can be done
8) Emotional Control: rationality
8) Emotional Expression: if you feel it, express it
9)Nuclear Family: mom, dad, siblings
9) Extended Family: grandparents, aunts, uncles
10) Privacy: independent (mine)
10) Sharing: no personal space, share everything

As we were learning these different values, I couldn't help but think how much mine align with those of Latin America; and they really always have.  Now I can see how having different values than mainstream culture has effected me as I grew up and interacted with US culture.  Even now, I can feel a sense of 'other' as I live here, where I'm from.  I love here (USA), but my heart often feels out of place here.  I feel like I belong in Latin America.  Now don't worry, this isn't me saying that I am never returning to the US once I leave, I'm just saying how nice it is to know where I feel like I truly belong.  I don't know where God will put me, but I know where I love to be.  Ultimately, I won't feel completely at home anywhere, I belong with the Lord and one day I will be basking in His presence. 

Quick Update!

Hi all!  So I just did some math (strange right?) and I am 18%!  This is such a pleasant surprise considering the last time I calculated I was around 5% percent.  Praise God, the Provider.  I need $540 to reach my deadline of 20% ($6600) by September 1st and I am trusting in God to get me there.

Please continue to pray for me to trust in the Lord for support raisin as well as other things; and also pray for the Argentina STINT teams who will be reporting to La Plata and Buenos Aires on September 6th (Labor Day).   Some of them still are not at 100% and must be before they get on that plane.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The 4-L's of a STINTer

Hi all! So I am back from STINT Briefing in St. Charles, Illinois and boy was it an exhausting blast!  We had different sessions and services that prepared us for our jobs as STINTers to the world.  The main objectives given to us for effective ministry are what are called the 4-L's, they are: Love the Lord, Love My Team, Launch Movements, and Learn a New World.  Some of the main sessions were how to go about doing each of those.

Love the Lord
What an amazing job I have to be paid and 'required' to love the Lord!  I, myself, cannot change the world for the betterment of His Kingdom; I, myself, cannot glorify Him as I was created to do.  But if I am always coming to the Lord, seeking to be guided by Him and be obedient to Him, then I can love Him the way I am supposed to.  To try to help build a stable, Christ-centered movement without doing so for with love for the Lord, is foolish and dangerous.  It's dangerous because it becomes about ourselves when we don't keep our focus on the Lord, and when that happens we're not working in the Lord's will, this means we're being disobedient.  In John 14:15 Jesus says "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

Love My Team
I don't think that's going to be a challenge.  I have met all but two of them face-to-face, and the other two I have met via Skype (they are already in Buenos Aires).  The whole Argentina STINT team (Buenos Aires and La Plata) and the one person Chile STINT team hung out for the whole week at STINT Briefing.  We roomed together, ate together, traveled together, learned together, and had fun together.  It's amazing how close a week can bring people.  One of my favorite sessions concerning loving our team was the one entitled "Singles"; we were all uneasy about what this session entailed because we're not allowed to date on STINT so we had no clue what this session would talk about.  The session turned out to be quite excellent and informational.  The session was basically about encouraging and interacting with team members of the opposite sex.  There were 3 main points on how to love (platonically) our teammates of the opposite sex, it was quite helpful!  For loving and affirming our male teammates I have three main points: 1)Affirm them in risk taking and being bold; 2) Thank and appreciate them for being gentlemen and allow them to serve in that way; and 3) Give them words of affirmation, especially let them know that you appreciate and respect them in front of their peers (especially in front of their male friends). Hopefully I am remembering these correctly, these are the tips for loving and affirming your female teammates: 1)Insist upon treating her like a lady (even though we often have a hard/awkward time accepting such treatment, we secretly like it even if we don't act like it); 2)Observe and appreciate her (pay attention to what she does well, like cooking, and express to her that you appreciate that about her); and 3)ask her questions (women like to feel worthy of attention, so if you ask her questions that show she's worth your time). Our STINT men on the Argentina team did a great job of putting the tips into practice and us women did the same.  Ephesians 4:29 says "Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as it fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Launch Movements
Campus Crusade for Christ, International's mission is: Helping build spiritual movements everywhere, so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.  We believe strongly in the Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20: And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Learn a New World
This is part of effective evangelism.  What works for some cultures doesn't necessarily work for others, it's important to be cognizant of that and operate within that.  We're called to take the Gospel everywhere and to everyone, part of that job is to help put it in a context that helps them grasp it and leave the results up to God.  Cultural relevance is key; in 1 Corinthians 9:22b says "I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I might save some."  We should follow after Paul's example.

I will make these my goals for STINT year because I want to bring glory to God's Kingdom and God Himself; these are some ways that I can live a life that points to the beauty of Christ.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chi-town tomorrow

Well folks! Tomorrow two of my friends and I fly up to Chicago, IL (we'll be in St. Charles for the week) for STINT briefing.  We'll be amongst all the STINTers from the USA who'll be reporting to their assignments (in August, September, October, and January), some of them will even be reporting to their assignments directly from the briefing.  This is another reality check for me: this means that I am one HUGE step closer to actually being in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hooray.  At briefing, there'll be sessions that will help prepare us for our internship this year.  We'll be worshiping with people who are being sent to the corners of the Earth to help fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and will be meeting most, if not all, of our teammates that we'll be serving with in our assignments.  I am very excited about having (almost all) of the Buenos Aires team together before we report there.

Here's how you can pray:
> that all those who need 100% by today will be provided for
> that we will be brought closer to God and to our teammates during briefing
> that we all arrive safely and in a timely manner to briefing

Monday, August 9, 2010

email from a future team member

Hello! This is part of an email a future team member of mine sent to us future Buenos Aires, Argentina.  It was so encouraging to me on a tough today like today.  I desire to have faith like that, there's no reason that I cannot.

I recently got word that some of you may be feeling slightly discouraged in the area of raising finances. We’ve all been there and understand you completely. I wanted to include a few paragraphs from a book that I recently finished reading, It’s Not Death to Die – the biography of Hudson Taylor – because they immensely expanded my concept of faith and understanding of God’s faithfulness. Below is a memory he recalled of inspiration he received from another famous missionary – George Muller: 

“A story that encouraged Hudson was of the time when there was no food on the breakfast table for the orphan children being cared for by Muller.
The tables were set, but the plates were empty and there was no money to buy food. With the children seated and waiting for their meal, Muller lifted his hands heavenward and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for the food the Lord was about to provide. No sooner had he finished praying than there was a knock on the door and there stood the local baker with an armful of loaves of break. He explained that he couldn’t sleep that night as he was concerned that the children were without food. As a result, he rose early in the morning and baked some fresh bread for the orphanage.
A few minutes later there was a second knock on the door and the local milkman announced that he had cans of fresh milk for the children. His milk cart had broken down outside the orphanage and as he had to unload the milk to make repairs, they could have it all.

The God of grace had come to Muller’s aid when his need was greatest, answering his prayer of faith.”

In another part in the book, Hudson Taylor comments to those who worry about money: “He (God) is too wise to allow His purposes to be frustrated for a lack of little money.”
So I just want to encourage each of you to pray a prayer of thanksgiving for all the money that God will raise for you, and to say the prayer in true faith, sincerely believing it.

When I was raising support, I received $700 in cash in an anonymous envelope. God is capable of all things.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

generocity from me

This Summer I have been thinking about generocity a lot more than I usually do.  Mostly, I have been thinking about it in terms of people being generous when giving to this ministry which in turn is being generous to God's Kingdom.  But this note isn't about the generocity of others, it's about my being generous with money that's not mine.  Everything that I have, and ever have had belongs to the Lord; I haven't fully realized that until this Summer. Haggai 2:7-9 says: And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts.  The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.'"

I've always thought I was exempt from giving tithes, offerings, or helping in general because I was a child, or because I am a 'poor' college student that's paying for my own education.  That's neither true nor okay.  The Provider, Jehovah-Jireh, tells us to give out of need and sacrifice like the widow who gave her last bit of money in Mark 12:41-44: And he (Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.  And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."  Like the Haggai 2:7-9 verses say, everything belongs to the Lord so who am I to decide what to do with it?

This 'revelation' has led me to be more generous, not frivolous, with the resources God has given to me.  I have been making it a point to trust the Lord with not just the support raising process for STINT, but with the everyday expenses and monetary needs of life.  It's been a tough process, learning to trust God with this type of security, but it's proven wonderful and adventurous.  Trusting in the LORD can be a scary ride if you don't let go of the reins and hand them over to God; He's omniscient (all-knowing), so He know's what is wisest when it comes to your finances (and everything else); He's omnipotent (all-powerful), so He controls all money (and everything else); and He's omnipresent (present everywhere at once) so He's already on the other side of Him providing.

As I learn more about who God is, I learn more about who I am.  I am His daughter, and just as a good  father provides for his daughter (food, money, clothes, shelter, love, etc), He provides for me, one of His beloved children.  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

God the Provider

Only within the past year or so have I become interested in Theology (the study of God, the attributes of Him), but I've quickly fallen in love with it and come into an understanding of the necessity.  (The reason being, my discipler in Greensboro MADE me read Knowing God by J.I. Packer, and I've been hooked ever since...thanks Michelle).  As I continue reading this book, for it is a very dense read, I fall more in love with the Lord.  Quite simply, He's great and we're not.  It amazes me that this God that's so big and intricate and lovely would choose to love us puny, stupid humans.  But that is just me rambling.

God is Provider.  Countless times in the Bible God provided for the needs of His beloveds:  the Hebrews' food and water in the desert is the one that stands out to me the most.  God chose them, He was their God, but when things got to be uncomfortable they whined and wanted out of the journey.  God continued to provide for them, because He made a promise to them and because He loved them.  So often it's easy for us to get used to being maltreated (like the Hebrews being the slaves of the Egyptians) that we loose sight of the possbility of us being free with true happiness.  At times when the Hebrews were displeased with their nomadic(ish) condition, they would complain that it was 'better for them to be in Egypt still because they had the food and shelter that they desired'.  Seriously?, they were saying that it was better to be in bondage to the ruthless Egyptian pharoah than to be en route to the Promised Land that the Lord had prepared/reserved just for them.  What's wrong with this picture?!?  But, despite the Hebrews being whiney ingrates, God continued to provide for them; He rained manna (ingredients used to make bread) from the sky, He gave them water from a rock, He provided leadership, He lead them with a Pillar of Fire (night) and a Pillar of Cloud (day), He pushed back the Jordan River for them to cross over into the Promised Land, He split the Red Sea for them to escage Egypt...and they complained because they were tired of manna.

Now it's easy to say that we'd never react that way if we were in their worn dusty sandals, but really think about yourself.  I think you'll find the answer is 'yes I would', we all would and we all do.  We're grateful for our car, BUT a newer one would satisfy us more;  we're grateful for our clothes, BUT a better brand would feel better; this job provides what we need, BUT a promotion is what we deserve.  And all the while God provides.

He provides because that is who He is, not just what He does.  In God's very character, being provider is wrapped up with all His other glorious, perfect traits.  Kind of like I am not a woman because I do womanly things, but because I simply am a woman, to my very core.  Nothing and no one can take that away from me; if someone calls me a man, I am still a woman.  If I got a sex change, my very DNA says that I am a woman.  Such is this with God.  No matter how little or how much I trust God, He is no less the Provider, He is no less phenomenal!  I could say that He couldn't possibly raise all the support needed and He is still able to provide; I could lose complete faith in Him and He would remain that same Provisional God He forever has been and will be.

Isn't that comforting?!?

So why is it so hard to trust God?  Well looking back at the Hebrews in their journey to the Promised Land, they were uncertain; they had never been free.  Because of the sin of Adam we are in bondage to sin, but because of the sacrifice of Jesus we are free (1 Corinthians 15).  The thing with this freedom is that we have to USE IT!  What if pharoah had actually decided to let the Hebrews go, but they decided to stay because it was familiar and they didn't know what any other life looked like.  Foolishness right?  We do the same thing, we say we want a deeper walk with the Lord, but we're too chicken to shed the bondage that is our sin, AND THIS SIN WE'VE BEEN SET FREE FROM!

Knowing freedom isn't enough, the REALIZATION of it is key.  By realization I mean, the utilization and ownership of it.

That is what has been on my heart for the Summer; I have to continually remind myself of God's provisional character.  He has, countless times, proven Himself to be who He said He is, now I have to trust Him and His Word.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 12 of Ministry Partner Development

Hey y'all, whoa three posts in one night, good deal!  Well this week marks my 12th week of Ministry Partner Development...whew!  Boy has this been a journey, learning to trust in the Lord for everything, with no 'Plan B' is tough but worth it.  I am still in the process of raising support and in GREAT need of monetary support and more people to contact.  There's no other way to put it:  I need you to give both contacts and money.


The Great Commission is real!

Matthew 28:18-20:  And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
That is what's called the Great Commission, and notice that it wasn't a suggestion.

It's exciting to be a part of that; it's exciting to know people who are a part of that.  I can see how God has surrounded me with people who have a similar passion for sharing God's Love and Truth to said nations; this has been a blessing and a learning experience for me.  It brings true joy to my heart to think of all the places and people that will be changed by these people who have effected and affected MY life!  My friends and I have been called to go overseas to do the Lord's work and there's no greater honor than to obediently serve the Lord with our time, bodies', minds', souls', hearts'...we get to serve the Lord with every ounce of our being!  No greater calling exists.

I have friends in or going to: China, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Hawaii, not to mention here in mainland USA, and other places; what a priviledge it is to be among them!  There are 216 countries in the world, which ones will you pray for, give to, or go to?

Here's how you can give:

Argentina information

Hello!  Here's a great link to some information about Argentina, pretty official stuff.


If you would like to give:
http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929 (Aris Henderson)

In Christ's Love,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

in the month to come

Hey all. So almost exactly a month away all the STINTers who will be beginning work in their assignments (for example my assignment Buenos Aires, Argentina) this STINT season will be reporting to Chicago, Illinois for the annual STINT briefing! Hoorah! (By the way, STINT stands for Short Term INTernational.) Some people will be leaving for their assignments straight from the briefing! What this means to me is that 1)my LAST semester in school is quickly approaching and 2) the urgency of support raising is becoming more real.
 If all of my support does not come in, I do not go. There is definitely a great need in Buenos Aires, Argentina for STINTers (in fact there are around 900,000 college students in Buenos Aires, Argentina) , so we don't want to let them down!

If you would like to learn more about what I'll be doing as a STINTer in Buenos Aires, Argentina send me a message at colea.henderson@uscm.org. Also, if you would like to give this is the best way http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929.

ministry update

Hey y'all!  Boy has this past week been great; people have (actually) been calling me back!  When people call ME back, it's so encouraging and helps me out immensly because I have a list of people to call and it adds to my ever growing/changing list when I have to call them again.  Not only have I been encouraged by people calling me back, but I have had two great appointments since Saturday.  Both have ended in the blessing of a commitment to give to this ministry (!) and one has ended with a solid handful of referrals.  While it's been greatly encouraging to have these two appointments as well as a decision to partner by the phone from a family a little further away, I'm still not where I should be in the Ministry Partner Development process.  Typically, 6-8 appointments are recommended for each week of support raising and I've only been doing (if any at all) a small portion of that per week.  There are times when it's really hard to feel encouraged and to continue in this challenging adventure, but, nevertheless, I feel optimistic and encouraged, and that only comes from the Lord.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about this ministry please let me know, I love sharing about it and it's such a blessing to be a part of it and to invite people to be a part of it.  Email me at colea.henderson@uscm.org.  Also, if you would like to give, go to this site: http://give.ccci.org/give/View/0632929 (P.S it says Aris Henderson, because Aris is my first name).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

this week

It never seems to amaze me how the Lord keeps me and loves me and how He expresses His love.  My mind is so small, I put these limits/expectations/plans on God because that's what makes sense to me.  But God is bigger and better, in fact, He's perfect.  So when my plans and expectations don't go the way I expect for them to and I feel frustrated, confused, and maybe even a little cheated; God comes in and reminds me that He's had it all along.

At times I feel frustrated, confused, and maybe even a little cheated about Ministry Partner Development; I didn't expect for it to be this hard.  But even on days when I'm feeling so very discouraged and disappointed, the LORD reminds me that He takes care of me.  He reminds me, constantly, that this isn't up to me.  This is not the Coléa show, this is and always will be about God.  This is about God being glorified, from the process of building my Ministry Team to the day I return to the US from Argentina.

I love the Father sooo much!  Every week at church, college-young adult group, small group, quiet times (which are everyday), and random encounters, the Creator of the Universe shows His love for me!  He delights in me, and everyday He wants to spend time with me.  He wants to show me His love and wants me to love Him.  What a great King!

I'll be honest, support raising has not been going well, but God will provide.  All I can do is be obedient to Him and trust that He will follow through with His plan for my life.  Easy as pie, right?  If you want to give, this link is what you're looking for: http://give.ccci.org/View/0632929.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

truckin' along

Hello all!  This past week has been strange and awesome.  Last Saturday was a very tough day; I woke up with the ringing thought of "You're not to go to Argentina".  This made me panicky, scared, and confused.  I tried refuting that thought with using [my] logic:  why would the Lord change my heart so drastically for Argentina?, couldn't this be a lie from satan (he is called the father of lies after all)?, am I just feeling discouraged?  So I decided to go to the Lord, He knows all that answers.  I voiced my fear, that He wasn't calling me to Argentina like I knew He was, and wasn't even going to bother reading my Bible, but I did.  Right now I'm reading Daniel in my quiet times with the Father and that book is full of goodies!  By no coincedence, I was at Daniel chapter six, this is where King Darius made a rule that no one should pray to anyone that was not his god(s) or else they would be thrown into the lions' den to die.  Daniel was obedient and not in private either; he prayed as he always did, multiple times a day, with windows wide open.  What a brave and faithful servant he was!  Well the people plotting against him, found out about his praying to the Lord of all Creation and King Darius, regretfully, threw him in the lions den as he had ruled.  When Darius went to check to see what had become of Daniel, he found him safe, hanging out with the lions.  Completely in tact.  Daniel 6:25-27>
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: "Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

for he is the living God,
enduring forever;
his kingdom shall never be destroyed,
and his dominion shall be to the end.
27He delivers and rescues;
he works signs and wonders
in heaven and on earth,
he who has saved Daniel
from the power of the lions."

What a change of heart for such a big shot, huh?!

This passage really spoke to me; Daniel was facing some serious pressure, but he kept his faith in the Most High God and the Lord not only protected him, but He blessed him even more and he changed a ruler through him as well!

After reading this, the Lord spoke to me, and in short said that I am going to Buenos Aires, Argentina as a STINT missionary next year.  He said that He is always faithful and that is it me (Coléa) who has to learn to trust Him.  And He reminded me that He only speaks truth.

After this time with the Lord, I felt 1) exhausted and 2) encouraged that the Lord has a great plan for my life and 'all it takes' is for me to keep my eyes locked on Him and trust Him every step of the way.  I know that there will continue to be times when I don't trust Him as I should, but I also know that His ability, strength, and character never waivers even when mine does.  That is the God I get to serve!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week 8 of Ministry Partner Development

Hello!  This is my eighth-ish week of support raising, whoot whoot!  The Lord has brought me so far and still has a lot further to bring me.  I have learned so much about trusting the Lord and what I was doing that I called "trusting the Lord".

A couple Sunday afternoons ago, I was together with a handful of ladies from my college-young adult group and we were sharing what was happening in our lives; I began sharing what had been building up for a while.  I shared my frustrations and struggles with Ministry Partner Development and life in general (but mostly about MPD).  I had been feeling anxious, spastic, overwhelmed, and exhausted!  None of those feelings are awesome to feel, I think everyone can agree on that.  After my neurotic spill, my friend said 'you're trying to micromanage God'.  At first I didn't want to believe that I would do such a thing; I am the person who doesn't dig details and who likes to go with the flow.  The reason I had picked up these qualities was because I realized how involved MPD would be and I wanted to make sure that I was diligent with MPD and did it in excellence.  My intentions were nice, but they were misdirected.

Another friend told me that: yes, I should be responsible about this whole process, but I SHOULD NOT be stressed about the process.  This is a time for me to see how God provides for His people; when we are obedient to what God says, He makes a way for us to carry out His plan for our lives.  This was a comfort to me: to know that God's Sovereignty takes precedent over my anxienty, and micromanaging.  This isn't to say that it's okay for me to worry, because by me worrying, I'm taking my trust from God and placing into my work ethic.  Well that's not right!  Since that day, I have truly begun to trust in the Lord with His plan for my life.  It feels good; now, when someone says no, or I cannot get in contact with them, I don't feel anxious.

Although, each day takes me consiously trusting in the Lord to provide through people, that I may or may not know, it's an adventure...and I like a good adventure!

There'll be more later!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

no pressure, just be awesome!

As a future teacher (I'm studying Music Education), I am constantly reminded of what is proper dress and decorim for the classroom;  things like dress/skirt length, proximity with students, vocal inflections and pitch, and the list goes on.  Well, I've felt a lot of (self-inflicted) pressure to maintain this "persona of a missionary".  I thought of missionary women as long skirt wearing, loose bun wearing, living with Pigmies (in Central Africa), and bug eating women; and I was okay with all of that, because I have always wanted to be a missionary!  But this self-inflicted pressure to be as close to perfect is not healthy, and thankfully I've been delivered from that.  Since this internship is with a non-profit organization, I have to raise all of the money for this job, I do this by contacting a whole array of people.  Some of the people I know, and others I have never met before.  Impressions, whether they be first or not, are very important; so I have felt the need to talk a certain way at all times, and to dress a certain way at all times.  Yes, I am an ambassador of Christ so I should represent Him well; but, no, I shouldn't put on a facade of who I think others expect me to be.  I am reminded of the people God used and uses to do His work and it comforts me to see that they, in fact, are not perfect or even outstanding by worldly terms.  Everyone thought Noah was crazy and yet the Lord loved Him and used Him.  I will no longer try to live up to the assumed expection, because ultimately I answer to God; I want to live my life so that it's pleasing to the Lord.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

support letter

Hello!  Below is the letter I've sent to people asking them to become part of my ministry team,  I've taken off some information (like my address).  Enjoy!

Hello, I hope this letter finds you well! I am so excited to share how the Lord has been moving in my life. I am a senior music education major at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and will be graduating with my Bachelors in Music Education in December. I have grown immensely in my relationship with the Lord throughout college, and one of the main contributors to the growth is an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ, an interdenominational Christian organization founded in 1951 by Bill and Vonette Bright. It is through this group (Cru for short) that I have learned how to deepen my relationship with God and how to effectively share my faith. I have also lead Bible studies and discipled ladies on my campus. This organization has helped equip me to share my faith and to live my faith.

Since returning from a Summer Missions Project to Costa Rica in 2009, I really felt like the Lord was leading me into something different than I had planned for when I graduate. Through a series of events, my graduation was pushed back to December instead of May. Over the Winter Break last year, God really made it clear that I was to apply to minister overseas after I graduated. When I submitted to His will, I finally felt at peace about my future for the first time in a while. The anxiety and frustration about the future went away because I knew that the Lord would provide and protect when I chose to be obedient to His plan for my life. This obedience led me to apply to intern with Campus Crusade for Christ as a Short Term International (STINT) missionary. I will be STINTing in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and is in South America. I will be in the capital, Buenos Aires, and will be working with their Cruzada Estudantil y Profesional para Cristo (their Campus Crusade movement). Although, the country is Roman Catholic for the most part, many people do not practice their faith and, like many places in the world, many of the people do not have relationships with Jesus Christ. My vision for the Argentine students is for them to learn to live a Spirit filled life leading to obedience to the Lord. This obedience and sensitivity to the Lord's will will lead to the nationals taking ownership of the Cruzada Estudantil y Profesional para Cristo movement and continue to trust the Lord to "win lost students to Christ, build them up in their faith and send them out to do likewise".

I am so excited and humbled to be used by the Lord in such a way; this is something I have dreamed of since I was very young. I get to trust God with using me and others to “win lost students to Christ, building them up in their faith, and sending them out to do likewise” and all in another country, and in another language!

Officially, I leave the 1st of January in 2011 and until then I am working to find a team of ministry partners who will enable me to serve in Buenos Aires next year. Like 72% of missionary organizations, Campus Crusade for Christ has no central pool of funds and thusly relies on the consistent financial support of concerned individuals and churches. Would you prayerfully consider becoming part of this ministry by financially supporting me with $100 dollars a month or some other amount? All donations go to Campus Crusade for Christ and are tax deductible.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

some great information

I found this website recently and was really encouraged by the information I found.  It's a website that reviews Christian charities and non-profit organizations, it shows numbers on money and and assess different aspects that are important.  Check it out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

...a wave tossed in the ocean...

Hello!  So lately I've been thinking a lot about death; there have been a lot of deaths that I've heard of or known a person that it more directly effects lately.  Me dying is something that doesn't frighten me or even make me feel uncomfortable, and even the death of others doesn't typically bother me.  Death is a part of life, everyone will die, I've grown up dealing with death; ever since I was a little child people in my family (grandparents, great aunts, friends of the family, parents, siblings) have died.  But I keep thinking, what if your death doesn't matter.  Now of course one's death matters, there are (hopefully) people that love and care about them that will miss them when they're gone; but what if one's life was so unawesome, so uninspiring, the people and places left behind are not changed?  Does that not terrify anyone else?!?

When I die, I want people to remember not so much me, but how the Lord changed the world through me.  This isn't to be the "Coléa Show", I want my life to be filled with evidence of the Lord moving and shaking the world!  I want people to come to Christ, to open the door of their heart, because they saw a life that was exciting and purposeful, because they saw a life that they wanted.  I want my life to inspire others to live life the way it ought to be lived.
Looking at what I just typed, it seems kinda vain; am I saying that my life is so awesome, or that I'm doing everything right?  Surely not!

What I'm saying is that I want to leave a lovely footprint on the hearts and lives of people that I've know throughout my life here. Not so that it hurts more when I leave, but so that they can say that they have truly know someone who served the Lord with all their heart.  Now the trick is, in order for people to say that about me, I have to actually do that.  No pressure, just be awesome!  This puts a great responsiblity on me that I know I literally can't do by myself; I must constantly depend on God to live such a life that speaks loudly of Him and His Glory.

When my momma, grandmother, and brother died, we had a collective funeral for all of them (because they died at the same time), and people literally had to be turned away from the funeral.  The church was huge, but there were people standing in the aisles and in the doorways!  The peopke that came to give condolenses  to us, the family, were people who were touched by one of them in some capacity.  Some people, my momma had only met once, but boy could she leave an impression; she loved people and allowed the Lord's love to burst through her.  It was impossible to come in contact with my momma and leave her untouched by the Truth and Love that comes only from God.  My grandma had former students and whole communities come to her.  She did so much for her community and left such an impact on her students that people from decades ago came.  And my brother, although only six when he died, had many people from his school come and was made an honorary Tiger Scout by his troop.

Like I said, I've been to MANY funerals,  and there's nothing worse than going to one where the person was liked by those obligated, to one where no one has anything good to say.  I want my funeral to be of one that celebrates all the great things God has done in my life and in others' through me; how fantastic would that be?!?  A funeral where people say stuff like: "man did she love Jesus or what",  "she always talked about God's love and truth", "she helped me deepen my relationship with the Lord", "she served the Lord with every ounce of her being".

Serving God always turns out well, even when it doesn't makes sense to us, or when we don't get the results that we want/expect; I want to obediently serve God to bring Glory to Him and help better His Kingdom.  I am being obedient to God by serving in Argentina and I hope the Love and Truth of God bursts through my every seam and invades the hearts and minds of others around.  I want people to undoubtedly know that I love God and desire to serve Him. 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week 4 of Ministry Partner Development

Hello all!  This week is my fourth week of Ministry Partner Development and boy has it been a roller-coaster!  I've had three MPD appointments this week.  I've called more people this week to set up appointments and to follow up with letters that I sent them.  That takes a lot of faith, at least for me, because I am really putting myself out there.  A good handful of the people I've called have inaccurate numbers so I can't follow up with them in that way.  Some of the other people that I've called have said no to supporting me and gave me no referrals.  Referrals are really important in this process because I need to contact and work with as many people as possible; I want lots of people to serve God's Kingdom through this capacity.  This is a great ministry, not because of me, but because of God!

If the call ended in an appointment or a commitment of sorts, I'd feel really encouraged and happy; but if it ended with a "no" and no referrals, I felt a little defeated.  I know I shouldn't base my feelings on these circumstances, but I have a hard time understanding people that say no.  Isn't this important to them?  I know that not everyone has the same passion and calling to missions as I do, but I do beleieve everyone should help with missions (stateside or over seas) any way they can (financially or or through prayer).  I DO believe everyone is called to at least that.

I'm understanding more and more that my passion for missions is different from others'; the Lord has handcrafted each of us, inside and out, and because of that we have different wants/desires, likes and dislikes, etc.  I think it's a beautiful thing, that God created each of us so differently; it shows His creative side!

I feel so blessed to be called to missions!  To me it's a dream come true, I can't beleive that I get to serve the Lord in this manner.  BEST JOB EVER!!!  Despite the challenge of Ministry Partner Development, I believe it to be worth it.  Missions is necessary, so necessary, and there are different ways to be involved: praying, giving, and going.  I have done all three, but  I understand that not everyone can go, but most everyone can give (even if "only a little", any amount to the Kingdom of God helps build it up) and certainly everyone can pray.  Missions exist because God loves us, all of us, and He wants everyone to hear and understand that Gospel.  Hel oves us that much.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

oh yea!

So this week I've gotten more stuff done for STINT than usual (I plan on increasing this) and this really excites and comforts me.  Today I talked to my Ministry Partner Development coach, Alison (who's wonderful, by the way), and told her all the stuff I'd gotten done, and stuff that I was working on, and planning to working.  We also talked about how I am doing spiritually and emotionally and otherwise.  I was talking to a friend of mine who is raising support for STINTing in Chile and a wave of excitement came over me.

Sometimes, just out of the blue, I get really excited about Argentina!  I'm perpetually happy about it, but then these waves of excitement and anticipation about STINTing spontaneously come!  This is real!  I'm really getting to do this!

Yesterday was my college-young adult pastor's birthday and he said that he's literally quit jobs over having to work on his birthday; but what he said after that struck me: even though technically he was working on his birthday, he feels like he's doing what he was born to do.  I can understand that fully: even though I am working really hard, and feel lonely, frustrated, and overwhelmed at times concerning STINT, it's all worth it because I feel like I'm doing what I was born to do, at least for that amount of time.

We are created to glorify God, this is how I'm fulfilling that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Raising support...eh

Hello!  I wanted to give y'all an update on how I'm doing and feeling thus far.  I have to raise support for STINT; this means that I depend upon different people, organizations, groups, companies, or whoever to give financially in order for this ministry to work.  I build this team of people, Ministry Partners, by writing letters, making calls, going on appointments, maybe even doing fundraisers.  Once a week my Ministry Partner Development coach and I have a phone appointment (she lives in a different city) and talk about the process: what I'm doing, what I need to be doing, goals,  and accomplishments.  She has been WONDERFUL and I am so glad that that's she's walking me through this process.

I am not the best planner, nor do I enjoy making schedules for myself, especially during the Summer months, so this has already been a great challenge for me.  Each day I have so much to do that involves STINT and non-STINT related activities; just the thought makes me stress out.  For me, the toughest part about support raising is starting and getting in the swing of things; but since this is a little different from the support raising I've done before I almost feel like I haven't quite caught my balance just yet.  Support raising before, involved sending out letters and making phone calls to follow-up those letters, this STINT Ministry Partner Development is much more involved because I meet with some people face-to-face and remain in consistent contact with Ministry Partners to keep them in the loop with the ministry they are investing in.

I trust the Lord, and even though I am constantly challenged in this wonderful process, I know He will provide.  One thing I remind myself of constantly is that: when we're obedient to what God tells us to do, He provides a way for us to carry out His will.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For the Bible Tells Us So...

Hello! So I love the Bible and what the Bible says about God's heart for "the nations".  When I and other people say "the nations", they mean anywhere but their homeland.  Here are some verses that really are strong reminders for me, and hopefully you, of why missions are Biblical.
>>>Matthew 28:18-20~ And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
>>>John 3:16-17~ For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
>>>Romans 10:14-15~ But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
>>>Revelation 7:9-10~ After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

There are definitely more where that came from, but these are some of my favorites!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My calling to and vision for Argentina

Hello folks!  I wanted to take some time to share more deeply how the Lord has called me to missions in Argentina, so here is my CALLING STORY
     My story starts when I was a child, even before I was a Christian.  When I was around kindergarten age, 5 or 6 years (perhaps younger), I told my mommy that when I grew up I wanted to travel around the world and learn about/explore/live amongst the different cultures and languages and religions of the world.  But, I said, I also wanted to tell them about Jesus;  I asked her if there was such a job and she told me yes and it's called a missionary.  All throughout my life, this has been a consistent desire of my heart, to: go into all the nations and tell them about the love of Jesus.
           Fast forward to Summer 2009 where I went on a Summer Missions Project to San Jose, Costa Rica with Campus Crusade for Christ.  It was there that I was reminded of my love and passion for Latin American culture and the Spanish language.  The Fall semester of 2009 was a challenging semester for me, but not so much in the academic sense.  I was really wrestling with life after graduation, I just did not feel at peace about what I had planned (to go directly into teaching) post-graduation.  At the end of the semester, I learned that I would not be graduating in May, but in December instead.  At first I was really bummed and disappointed, but then I said to the Lord "well something awesome better come out of this".
     That Winter Break the Lord really was dealing with me and letting me wrestle with all the exectations I had placed on the future I thought was mine and for me to decide.    On Christmas Eve, the LORD woke me with a dream that clearly told me I was not to return to Costa Rica on Summer Project, this saddened me greatly because I had a true desire to return.  I went to the Winter conference, Encounter '09, of Campus Crusade for Christ and on an innocent whim went to an interest session for STINT (Short Term International); upon leaving that session I thought "I could apply to STINT" but I did not really intend to. One night I was at a friend's college and young adult group and was taking time to listen and respond to the Lord; as I was doing that, the Lord simply asked me "Do you trust me with your life?"  I was taken aback by this question, almost insulted.  Why of course I trusted Him with my life, right?  It took about 20 minutes of me trying to say yes, but always attaching conditions to the answer until I was finally able to say yes without if's, and's, or but's.  Once I did that, instantly all the weight I had been carrying, all the worry, all the confusion, all the frustration went away instantaneously!  24 hours later, God told me to apply to STINT and so I did.  This made things suddenly make sense, that's why I wasn't graduating until December, God had other plans!
    I applied to STINT in 1)Costa Rica 2)Argentina and 3)Mexico City; I applied "knowing" that I would go to Costa Rica if I went at all.  I got a message and calls explaning that the STINT year for Costa Rica was being adjusted to the point where I would not be able to go because I would still be in school; they encouraged me to pray about STINTing in Argentina.  I was not happy about it but the Lord made it apparent that that's where He is sending me and I chose to be obedient.  I chose and choose to give up my comfort for His Kingdom.
    The Lord has trully changed my heart and my mind about Argentina and now I am excited and find it to be such a priviledge to be used by God in a way that I have dreamed of since I was young.  He is consistently confirming His will by reminding me of all the times when I originally wanted to go Argentina and by putting people in my life to help me prepare.

          My vision for the Argentine students is for them to learn to live a Spirit filled life leading to obedience to the Lord. This obedience and sensitivity to the Lord's will will lead to the natives taking ownership of the Cruzada Estudantil y Profesional para Cristo movement(the Campus Crusade for Christ movement in Argentina)(http://www.facebook.com/CruzadaEstudiantil.Argentina) and continue to trust the Lord to "win lost students to Christ, build them up in their faith and send them out to do likewise".

I hope this was helpful and clear, please let me know if you have any questions or comments!

en el amor del Cristo (in the love of Christ),

Monday, April 26, 2010

Comming soon to a blog near you!

Hello Hello! Welcome to my first blog ever; I feel so tech savey!  Soon I will have information on why I am going to Argentina, my vision for the Argentines that we will be working with, along with details of what we will be doing in B.A., Argentina.