Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Completly on Overload

I don't even know where to start or even how to start to tell you how the last 3 days have been. Feelings are stiring and I am overflowing. Today is our last day at the High school and the last day I will see some precious, precious people.
Last night was crazy madness with rooms wanting pictures upon pictures of the americans with them lol. After attemping to pack and taking tons of pictures I went up to my old room to say goodbye. As I was sitting there talking to them I told one of the girls that next time she came to America (her mom lives in the states) that she needed to let me know and I would come visit. Her eyes swelled up with tears and she couldn't stop crying. "I don't want you to go away." she said. At that I started the flood works as well and then shortly after the majority of the room was crying. I sat there thinking "Lord, I want to see these girls again, if not in this life in the next." I know there was an impact from our stay here and the tears reafirmed that. I am ready to start my journey back to the states and then all the sudden I visit some girls and I could stay here for another month to share the Love of Christ with them. We are going to a hotel to start debriefing the trip tonight and I will probably never see these 15 and 16 year olds again in this life. So I ask you to pray with me that we will see them in the next. Pray that what God have done here will soften hearts enough for Him to be Glorified in their lives.

See you all very soon.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

A movement of the Nations for His name and renown!

Hello to the other side of the world! Ni how ma? (For those of you are wondering what that means it is how are you in Chinese). I am absoutly amazing! God is my joy, my peace, my comfort, and he is my rest.
This weekend was a pretty miraculous weekend. We left the school on Thursday by bus to head to Kuala Lumpur for the weekend. They were having and conference on Friday and Saturday and the Passion KL on Sunday night. It was so great to get to worship God through music this weekend. I really miss getting to do that as often. So many things ended up differently then they were suppose to be here, esp. from our lives in India, but I am so glad it is different in many ways. I love worshiping God through music! It is where I feel that I can best tell about my God and as a friend said speak truth over people. Not getting to do that has been hard. But it my alone time the other day it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like God was saying "Amber, I know you love worshiping through music, but I want you to understand that I am God and I am worthy to be worshiped in all ways. Don't fix your eyes on only one way to worship me For I am worthy of More!" Though this truth has been a hard one to wrap my mind around I praise God for it. And for letting me have a piece of closeness in him this weekend.
As I was talking about the conference this weekened it truly was amazing! God was truly there and MANY MANY MANY lives were changed and accepted the God of life and life in him! When the speaker was counting hands that were raised to say they had accepted Christ I sat there and sobbed like a baby. I didn't think he was ever going to stop counting. I am still in awe and humbled by the power of the Holy Spirit and the way he grabbed hold of so many people this weekend.
On Sunday morning we had the oppertunity to lead worship at a local church in KL. We got a late start and church started ealier then we thought it was starting so our time to practice the set was about 5 minutes. But God's name was magnified that morning. Even though we were tens and stressed and irritated HE was bigger then that. It was like he grabbed hold of us, gave us a huge hug and calmed us all to come into the throne room of Christ. I praise God for the oppertunity to lead worship and to sing the word of God over people. It is such an amazing blessing to be a part of!
Then is was time for the big night. The time had come that so many people in this country were waiting for. Passion Kuala Lumpur had arrived and let me say right here and now that not just the conference of passion arrived with musicians and a speaker and sound guys but GOD arrived and met us there! There was a croud of about 4000 people from all over the world praising one God. In a place where I have definetly realized that Christianity in the minority it was indescrible to see that many people meeting the Heavenly Father. I still really don't have words to describe it but just know that is was something BIG real BIG for the city and country to get to experience. At every passion event in the beginning we always break off into groups of three and pray. There was a chinese guy in our group and he didn't want to pray because he couldn't speak english very well but we told him to speak in his language. Again I sat sobbing at how beautiful my God is while he prayed. Knowing that that man was praying to the same God I was and that God understood all languages is so so cool! The evening went on with Chris Tomlin, Charley Hall, and a great talk by Louie about a precious girl named Ashley.
As I sit here in the computer lab I have been back at the highschool for about an hour and a half now and filling so refreshed. As many of you know I first felt called to be a part of the mission field at Passion '07 in Atlanta so to get to start the final week of my trip here at Passion brought it all full circle. I have often thought on this trip "Is this really my life? Is God really letting me be here and do these amazing things for His name?" and the question has became even bigger after this weekend. Is this relaly me life? Am I really here? And the answer is- YES! I am here. I am here for another week. There is a reason God had this weekend Planned for us. Because he expects even greater things from us this week... even bigger things then he has already done.
We are coming upon the end of our 40 days in Malaysia very fast and it has been Good and it has been hard. Wierd right that we will have been in this country for 40 days and God has had so many obsticles for us while we have been here. 40 days. WOW! That in itself is Truth spoken over us that this trip was God planed. Is this really my life?~ It is and I praise God for it!

Greater things are yet to come
Greater things are still to be done in this city
Because there is NO ONE like our God!


P.S. I am writing this on Monday even though it says Sunday. lol

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stoked about Passion!

Hi everyone!My journay here seems like it is winding down and yet I have another two weeks. Yesterday was my last time teaching until this coming Monday. We are leaving tomorrow morning to go to Kuala Lumpur for the Passion conference and I am so excited to see what God has in store for thisvent. Most of you know that the Passion movement has a huge place in my heart so the oppertunity to go in another county is so amazing for me!
Things at school are pretty normal. There are some major things that I am not going to write about on here and that I would love for you to just keep the student in this school in your hearts and pray for them. We moved rooms again yesterday and my room now nice, though I really miss my last room. These girls are 14-18 years old so a wide age ranch. I don't get to spend as much time with them because of our schedule here for the next few weeks.
I don't really have a lot of time to write today though I have alot to say so just know that things are well here and God is still continuing to move and amze me. :)

Love you all and see you soon!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Declaring His Name

Okay, so I know I just wrote yesterday morning but yesterday was such a packed day I had to write about it and share it with you. God is GREAT! Thank you Lord for always knowing what we need when we need it. Thank you for putting us where you want us.
So Yesterday after classes Melissa, April, and I took bikeshaws (the Malaysian version of a Indian rickshaw) to the mall to get away. Classes were overbearing yesterday so we just needed a little time to ourselves.
After getting back I went to my room to and got a book to read. I am reading a book called "Don't waste your life" by John Piper which has turned out to be extremely appropriate for this trip and everything life has to offer right now. While I was reading a girl came over and started talking to me. The conversation started out like many before and ending up in a remarkable place. She is buddhist so we were talking about he temple. I went on to ask her about Buddhism and some of the things that they do and believe. She started by saying that there were lots of things they had to memorize and practice and the she didn't like it. (Here whatever religion your parents are that is what you are, even if you know nothing about it. So even when kids here say they are Christian they might not have a clue what that means.) She then said this... "I like Christian better the Buddhist". I went on to ask her if she even knew what Christian meant and she said no but she knew that we had more freedom. I asked her if she wanted to know more about it and what I believed as a christian. Her answer was not just a sure but an emphatic YES!!! I was blown away by her enthusiasm and the huge door God had just opened! This girl was craving to know what I was about and why it looked so much different then what she has always known. We went on talking for a while and the conversation had to come to an end for manditory study hall. BUT she want to know more she wants to talk to the other women on my team about what they believe and what this all means to us.
I just sat there in awe of what had just happened. What had just happened is why I came on this trip. Even if there isn't another conversation or another time where God works through me to her, That moment was worth this entire trip. God is amazing! I just sat and talked with a 16 year old Buddhist about My God for an hour.
So I write you this not only to tell you about the awesomeness of God but to ask you to pray for this girl. I am not at liberty to give you names for their safety but please pray that God will move in them. I also ask you to pray for us that are going to be talking to them more about Christ and our relationship. That the light of God will shine down through what we say, do, and think. That those times will be divine appointments for the Holy Spirit to move.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!...Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
Psalm 96:3,10


Sunday, July 20, 2008

dancing like a mad women

Hello All! My journey is halfway over and I am so in awe of who and what my God is! HE is blowing my mind every second of this trip and I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was when I left you all. Who I am is Gods child to be molded into a reflection of him.
Alot has happened this week and it has all been wonderful! There was a basketball team here from America for 3 days. It was so nice to get to talk to other Americans! Thank you Lord for such a great blessing. Wednesday Melissa came! Melissa is a team member that had to come later because her sister was getting married. I am so excited that she is here. I feel like our team is more complete. On Wednesday Omar and I got a chance to go take some pictures which I haven't taken many and go find this casmier store... Everything in it is handmade and awesome! I have to admit I couldn't help myself and I bought a Pearce lol.
This weekend was Packed full!!! Saturday morning we went to a couples house and they fed on breakfast. It was the strangest breakfast I EVER had. lol Rice (of course), friend chicken, pepper sauce, omelet, homemade cranberry muffins (YUM) and the best chocolate cake I am had in my entire life. Yes I had chocolate cake for breakfast. lol.The after breakfast we had worship practice for Sunday morning and then there was a youth event we attended and led games for. Lots of fun. Then we were so beat that they took us to someone house and we had a nap. After our nap we went to a think called African Night. It was really cool. I now REALLY want to go to Kenya. Then one of the funnest things I have done this entire trip happened. The African were playing music and they had some dancers dancing an african dance. Then April and I decided we were going to dance with them! It was a blast even though we were white americans who couldn't dance it was so so much fun.
Sunday was a typical Sunday. I thank God for the typical days that help to keep me sane. Last night (Sunday)was GREAT! I was able to hang out with the girls in my room and just get to know them a little better. We talked about music and what american music they knew. They are so excited about learning English (most of them) so it is fun to see them try to communicate. Along with them learning English they are trying to teach my some chinese. I am horrible at it so they laugh. At one point last night I was putting ointment on my legs in spots. I am ATE UP with mosquitoes so I was putting stuff on my bites. They laughed so much because well I did look ridiculous. Then I was able to talk a little about my God. Most of the girls are Buddhist so it is great when they ask about what I believe.
When we first got here I was so upset because we aren't doing what I signed up for this summer. But I am here, where God wants me, doing what he wants me to do (teach alot of english). but us teaching english opens up doors with the school that we wouldn't have otherwise.
God is a gracious God!
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing amoung you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.
Colossions 1:5

May you understand God's grace in all it's truth,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sorry its been so long

Hey all! Sorry it has been ages since I have blogged! I am so extremely busy I barely have time to sleep! I am having the time of my life out here and I have got to experience things that I have dreamed of doing and seeing. We have been putting on Sunday services since we have arrived and I preached at Sunday service about 2 weeks ago. It was definitely a new experience for me. I am not one to stand infront of a congregation and give a sermon but with God's grace I got through it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I preached about trusting in God and his plan for your life. God has changed my heart so much since I have been here and I think that that is a big reason that he called me to come here this summer.
I recently got to go white water rafting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on the snake river a couple weeks ago. It was amazing! I have been on about 5 hikes in the past 2 weeks. I have hiked about 76 miles since I have arrived here. I got to see a moose and her baby out at a lake one night and I have seen tons of bears! It is truly amazing to see these animals.
I have about 4 weeks left here and I have mixed feelings about it. I am anxious to get home and see everyone but at the same time I don't know how I am supposed to leave all of these wonderful friends I have made and leave Yellowstone. It is truly an amazing place and I will be lost without the mountains, elk, bison, and all the other wonderful aspects of Yellowstone. I am so blessed to have gotten to have this experience and make life long friends.
My mom, Cassie, Jason, and Jadyn are here right now for my cousins wedding. It is so great to have them all here and get to see them. It is there third day here and they have about 4 days left. We are going to go explore Yellowstone in the next 4 days and I am excited about that and showing them some of the secrets that only people who live here know about :)
I hope all is well back at home! I will be home soon to see everyone! I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It is greatly appreciated! See everyone soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

All I Need

Hello GBC Family and everyone else!I first want to start by saying that this isn't going to be just a simple blog. Alot has happened to me and through me since I got to Malaysia. Before I came on the trip I asked God to Stretch me and boy has he. I asked him to Grow me into a reflection of him moreso then ever. God is stretching me over and over and I seem to constantly fight back and let self get in the way. I am continuing to pray this until I stop fighting back.
This past weekend we as a team led worship as a church on Sunday morning and then the youth program that night. I am the vocal leader here and in a huge way that has so much responsibility that I don't feel ready for. God is stretching me in trusting that HE is God and the HE has control. I have no control here. I have no control over what I do, who I am with, or where we go. Being a person who likes to have a since of direction It has been and is really hard to give over that control to God. I am not in conrtol HE IS. I am not here for me I am here for HIM to do whatever he asks of me.
So many times I could bottle up and not do anything because I have such an urge to be confortable and feel at home and then God will push me. I praise Him for Not giving up even when I have. Don't get me wrong, I am loving this trip. I have just felt a little lost this past weekend. It has for sure been the hardest days on this trip for me so far.
I am so thankful for a simple statement that a good friend told me before I left. He said "A majority of what God is going to show you and grow you in this summer isn't going to happen until after you get back home". That statement has been my sanity alot lately and really something I have tried to remember the entire time I have been gone. Right now I don't know why I am here, why certain things are happening, and I am so lost in what God is showing me. But I am so excited for that day when God gives me his answer.
He is also stretching me in my relationship with people. Everyone on this team is so different and we all have very stong personalities which has been very interesting. We are all here for one purpose... to be a part of what God is doing in all the nations. Please pray for us that this is will be the echo our hearts. That God will lead us instead of us attempting to lead ourselves which I have to admit I have been trying to do ALOT lately. Please pray for out team leader Josie. She has a hard role to fill and like I said we all have strong personalities so as you can imagine that doesn't make it easy to lead. Pray that we remember each others feelings. and remember we don't have a right to ANYTHING.
Our God is a GREAT, MIGHTY, and POWERFUL God! I am humbled today by the grace of my Savior and just in the fact that he is my savior. HE is ALL I need.
May God bring you peace in knowing that you are His precious and beloved child,

P.S. Thank you Hebron Vactation Bible school for you Prayers and Support... May Got bless you all.


Hey all,

So I found out two days ago that I will once again be trekking to the Pacific coast, leading 45 high school students. It will undoubtedly be intense; however, in preparation for this upcoming session of Trac II, I have felt an overwhelming sense from the Lord that this session will be unlike any others I've done, specifically from a spiritual perspective. I really feel as if a lot of these guys that are coming (I have 12) are bringing with them many many questions, burdens, and uncertainty. Getting to the point, I ask you all, my GBC family, that you would begin to pray into the lives of these guys. My prayer is that they would be so overwhelmed by Christ that they would lay claim to the victory and the ability to overcome these things in which they are currently held captive to. Family, WE ARE OVERCOMERS in Christ. Be encouraged.

Many things have occurred since I last posted. For those of you that are familiar with the band Phillips, Craig, and Dean, Dan Dean was out here this past week with his daughter, Dani. Awesome, awesome people. I had the opportunity to get to know them very well, so that was cool.

3 weeks left and then it's back to Gassaway. I have to say that it's at times easy to fall into that mode of simply wanting to escape and go home; however, I know that the Lord is not done with me here, so I am continually grateful for the opportunity to serve at the Ranch. For those of you that miss my smiling face and for those of you that don't, the picture above is for you. I praise God for you all!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

This is the Trac II guys for the first session of Second Wind here at the JH Ranch. I was beginning to feel guilty for not posting any pictures. So here is one.

God Bless...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

GBC family,

I apologize that it's taken me so long to sit down and write another blog post. I believe the last one I posted was in early June and it's already July, which means that I have less than a month remaining here at the Ranch. I have come to the conclusion that it will be a bittersweet ending when the time comes. I can, without hesitation, say that I am a different person than when I came here in May. I have been stretched physically, emotionally, and spiritually since setting foot on this property, and though it's been hard at times, I wouldn't change anything. I came here with so many questions about life, about my relationship with God, about what the next step is, and ironically, the Lord has quieted my questioning. I'm not saying that my questions have been answered, nor am I saying that I no longer have them. Rather, God has taken me to a place of abiding in Him. It's a place of desperation, but paradoxically, it's a place of freedom. So before I ramble on further, praise God for His faithfulness!

Trac II Session I has just finished up. For those of you that didn't know, I, along with 3 other college students led 33 high school students 109 miles on mountain bikes to the Pacific coast. In short, it was a phenomenal trip! The Lord literally transformed these students' lives, and I'm not just talking about overcoming a physical feat. We, as a staff, emphasize the difference between living out your flesh and living out of your spirit. Jesus talks about this when he blatantly says that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit. It's so cool to watch God transform the lives of these students from operating out of the flesh, and learning to depend on the Lord, all the while being transformed by the renewing of their minds.

One awesome story is about this guy I had the opportunity to get to know and to minister to over the course of the two weeks. His name is Jannie (that's pronounced "Yawnie"). He's not foreign either. It's just a cool, original name. Anyways, we had a talk about surrendering and dying to yourself, in which the Lord prompted me to ask this guy, straight up, if he was ready to die to himself. Immediately, this 6'4 All-American broke down, started crying, and just hugged me. He told me that he hadn't been able to sleep or eat in the last 24 hours and that he was miserable. We literally talked for about 2 hours in which he came to the conclusion that he couldn't honestly say that he wanted the Lord, nor did he want to die to himself. The Lord is so, so good, and so faithful to us! After praying with him, I told him that I was going to fight for him and that the Lord would not loosen His grip on him.

The following night Jannie came up to me, crying, and looked directly into my eyes, and said, "Travis, I'm ready to die." He began to say how he realized the God was on his side, that he didn't have to prove to God that he was worth His love, because the fact of the matter was that God already loved him, point blank, for no reason. It was incredible! That night he surrendered his life to Christ, and we ended up baptizing him in the swimming pool at 11:00 pm.

I cannot tell you how the Lord blessed me through this entire ordeal. I have the type of personality where if I see something wrong, I want to fix it; however, God forced me to place this into His hands, to trust Him and let Him deal with it. We are foolish to think that God is unable to meet people exactly where they're at. We are also foolish to think that God is not big enough to handle the honesty of the desperate heart of an individual. Is this not walking with the Lord? When we come to God out of complete desperation for His Spirit.

Another ordeal out here, of which I am sure you have heard about, are the forest fires in northern California. There is smoke everywhere. They'll come to an end soon.

I praise God for you all. Thank you for praying for and beside me. I am grateful to be in this with you all! Praise be to the living God!

"But when their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. And the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. But we all with unveiled face are beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord." (II Cor. 3:16)


Uncomfortably in the will of God

We have made it to Malaysia in one piece. I have so much to tell you so I will start with leaving India.
When we got to the airport we had to say goodbye to Wes and Ted which was especially hard for April and I because so many times those boys were are sanity and we had all became really attached. We didn't get a proper goodbye either because of the schedules and such as well. But I do know that I will be making often trips to Dayton to see them both.
We made it to Kuala Lumpur and found out we weren't staying in the city. BUT while we were there we got to see the tours in KL and they were HUGE and beautiful! Then were started on our way to Malaka which was a 1 and a half hour drive from the city. When we got to the school all I wanted to do was break down.... I was actually home sick for India! The first evening here was really hard and the team had so many feelings and they were all over the place which was making us all but heads. But we realized it, sat down and talked and got everything out in the open. I was having some MAJOR culture shock that day but it is slowly getting better. Thursday night all the girls we fasinatd with us! April and I at one point had about 25 girls in one room attempting to talk and singing songs. It was GREAT but yet very overwhelming at the same time. On Friday a lady name madem woe took us on a walking tour of Malaka which was great and pointed us in the direction of the mall where we had starbucks and I was super excited lol. When we got back April and I went and played volleyball with the girls from our rooms. It was GREAT fun and helped me alot in feeling more comfortable. One of the girls asked April how long we were staying here and when she told her six weeks the girl (Febi) was sad because she thought it wasn't long enough which made us feel great lol.
After playing volleyball the team had a great devotional time and then went walking around town again and ended up stumbling upon a street carnival which aparently happens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night! It was so GREAT I loved it!
Okay so now to fill you in on the nitty grity. Food- I really have a picky pallete I have come to the conclusion. BUT I love food so God is really stretching me in the since that I can't find much to eat. They have tons of fruit normally so that is really exciting. I am eating watermelon and amazing pinnaple like it is going out of style (yes Jerad, be jealous).
Our rooms... The girls, in fact everyone here, are very welcoming and super sweet. I am a heavy packer as you know so the one little space they gave me really wasn't enough because I had so much stuff.... so I came back from team time on Thrusday night and a girl who told me to call here Eva because I can't pronouce her name corectly (lol) had clean out her cuby for me to put more of my stuff in... This is also the same girl who has given up her bed for me to sleep in while we are here. They are a very giving culture and the everyone else comes before themself which is totally apposite from alot of the american culture and way of thinking. So therefore me being a person who has a hard time filtering before I speak soon realized that I was going to have to work on that.
Bathrooms.... WOW... I am getting use to the squatie pottties! lol In fact I find them very much so intertaining lol. There is only one western style toilet in the entire school. I have gotten it down pretty well BUT I did buy some toilet paper lol.
Shower rooms are insane here. The water is freezing which is actually GREAT because it is so so hot here. Also while we are in the shower you take a bucket with you and wash your clothes that you wore that day. Mom- I am doing my laundry in a bucket! lol with a wash board HAHAHA... I am just going to have to take pictures of all of this to show you.
When we got here we soon realized that the school thought we were certified Enilish teachers lol and if you know my english you know that is very far from the truth. And they had nothing musically planed for us. I think they thought "oh Americans... they can teach English" not realizing that we came for music. This has been really hard for me to swallow especially coming from India where we were averaging at least 1 show a day. Music is my passion not English. and as I was complaining to myself I remembered that I had prayed over and over again that God would stretch me, take me out of my confort zone and mold me into his daughter more so then I had ever been before. and BAM there is was. God was answering my prayer exactly how I had asked him to and somewhere within the lat two weeks I had lost sight of that. God is stretching me with food, the hostiles, communication, teaching, with the schedule, spiritually, and mentally. I realized I was getting exactly what I wanted and was yet fighting God about it. Remembering that God has placed me right here and right now even if I don't see why.. it is for Him and His bigger picture. I am uncomfortable here... but who said I ever had the right to be comfortable? Thank you so much for you prayers and love and support. I don't know what I would do without it.

Romans 12


Monday, June 30, 2008

Beautiful Creation

Thank you so much for your prayers and messages! It is relaly nice to read them. I think in a way is relaly fuels me.
I have been in india for almost two weeks now and our work here is almost over. We will be leaving on Wednesday night to head to Malaysia for 6 weeks and I am sad to say we will be loosing Ted and Wes during the transission.
This weekdend has been an amazing and overwhelming one! I really don't know how well I can put the trip into words but I will try. My heart is completily overwhelmed right now with the grace, power, love, and truth of God. Saturday we headed to an orphanige to do a show for the kids there and then hang out with them for a little bit. This little girl(I can't remember her name) came up to me and put henna on me! It blew me away how good she was at it.
There was one little girl that wouldn't let go of me. Her name was Camilla. i was really excited that is was a name I could pronouce and remember since she wouldn't leave my side. She kept grabbing my hands and rubbing them and staring at my skin and hair. In the indian culture light skin is consider beautiful and they envy it very much. The lighter-there prettier and also I think the lighter the higher Kast you are. I just sat there thinking to myself the girls are beatiful and they have no one to tell them this! Being a girl I know how easy it is to wonder if you are loved, if you even worthy of love and how easy it is to forget that though maybe not in your eyes, but in Gods eyes we are beautiful. While we had the chance April and I had little girls huddled around us we decided that we would tell them something that they really needed to hear. That they were beautiful and we princesses and royalty in Gods eyes-no matter what this world told them differently and sang Beautiful by Bethany Dillon. It was such a sweet and humbling moment. I am not going to lie, it was hard to get the whole thing out 'cause I was tearing up. But what's knew, you all know I am a sap lol.
After leaving the orphanige we headed back downtown. I don't know why bt it seams that as soon as the team gets in the car together everyone comedic personality tends to come out and no one is able to be serious! I love our car rides, they have really become a highlight of this trip.
that night we led part of the worship at a Y-WAM meeting which is highschool and college age kids who getting together and just worship God through music. It was amazing worship and God truly met up that night. Loved it!
Sunday was a VERY packed day. We had three events to do and We were all ready for a long day. We went to two church services which were really great messages! And then afterwards.. I GOT MCDONALDS! I was so excited lol I totally needed some american fix of some sort.
Today we are going to go sightseeing with the guy who is getting everything together for us this week and last. His name is Paul and he is sucha great guy. You might hear us talk about him in our blogs as the "Rick Priest" as well. Then after sightseeing we have a show and then either more sightseeing or we were asked to play at a dinner party yesterday so we might go do that. I have realized that I never know what the schedule is which is a good thing I think because it makes me rely on God a little bit more.
This has already been an amazing eye opener of a trip and I am only two weeks into it! Please keep praying for this City and this country as a whole. It has really been har to see so many gods being worshiped when there is only ONE!

No on is like you, O'Lord;
YOu are great
and your name is mighty in power.
Jeremiah 10:6

Peace and love,

Monday, June 23, 2008

The great life!

Ross, Wes, April, Melissa, Me, Josie, Ted, and Omar

So it is Monday and it is our free day! I am so excited to just walk around and take pictures. Bangalore is like nothing I have ever seen before or experienced. Like one of the guys on my team said " I can't put it in a box". Saturday we did our first two shows and they went really well. Esp. for us being together for only a week! God is totally blowing my mind at this point. He has opened up the door for tons of relationships with people and a friend and I might even go bowling with some indian girls we met this week. How crazy is that. I am going to go bowling in india! HAHAHA
At the same time we are able to build friendship with people, I have never had so many people try to get me to change my religion or my point of view at the same time I am sharing mine with them. It breaks my heart to see so many gods being worshiped when their is only ONE. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers with that.
Sunday we,"De La Paz" (hehe) led worship at a local church for people living here from all over the world. The last thing I expected coming into this trip was to feed those who already knew Him. They were so thankful for the time of worship. One girl even said "It has been so long since I have got to experience God in worship like that I almost forgot how amazing it was". I just stood there totally humbled by the fact that something I get to experience everyday, people here in the field NEVER Get!
We as a team have decided we are the Real World India. lol how funny is that! Anyways I am seriously loving living with these people! They are my family. We laugh constantly together (the fact that I am normally the punt of the jokes has not changed for those wondering), play music like 17 out of 24 out of the day, we talk about God so so much and the rest of the time we soak in the culture and country! This is the life!!! I would not be anywhere else with anyone else then these people (plus Melissa). Please keep us in your prayers and pray that God Moves in mighty ways. Also one of our team members, Wes, woke up sick this morning so healing for him would be wonderful. May God bless you all!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Ready to do this!

After 40 hours of traveling (including the out of control Delhi airport) we finaly made it to India! We had pretty good travels. Amazingly by the grace of God EVERYONES luggage made it except for one guitar which we went and picked up tonight. It is midnight on Friday and jet lag in finally kicking in. Today was our first full day here, and I am soaking it all in. My team is amazing and we work so well together, which you have already heard and I am sure you will hear again. I am going to give you names and gifts so you can pray over us individually if you like. It is always great and I am sure we need it.
Ted- guitar and lead vocals
Amber-lead vocals
April-guitar & vocals
Ross- Percussion & vocals
Josie- keys
Omar- photographer & design
Wes- techi

At training we REALLY got to know each other well.. I seriously think I know these people better then most people I know back home and they know more about me then most people as well but that is so important. We hide NOTHING, which is how I think it needs to be esp. since we are all living together for 2 months.
Today we went to a mall here in the city and I am getting used to the driving... It is very intense! This city has around 10 million people!!!! And the weather is GREAT! We are staying in a guesthouse at a baptist hospital and it is so much more then I could ever have dreamed. God has totally blessed us. They are treating us like we are famous! I have a feeling Malaysia is going to be a way different story though.
Anyway tomorrow starts our shows. We have two main streams tomorrow, and a show everyday but two for the next two weeks after that. We met a guy called the Rock Priest who is Great. He is the one who actually got us all the shows. We're doing lots of churches, and cafes and some pretty cool venues I am so excited! and still in awe that God has let me come here. I would love to write more because there is so much to tell but I am falling asleep typing this. Love you all and thank you so much for you thoughts and prayers! The prayers are at work everyday and I love reading your blogs! They are such a lifter.
Please remember I am here for Christ. He is already revealing himself to me and show me that HE is in control. I am in a third world country, though i am safe it gets pretty intense on the streets at times. But God has control!
"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world!"
John 16:33
How awesome is that!

Love you all!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

From Etna to Africa

First off, let me begin by thanking everyone for the comments, encouragement and prayer over the last month. You have no idea how these things propel me forward in the summer. Before I go any further in recapping this last week, I want to reiterate God's Word where it assures that "[we conquer] him (the evil one) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of [our] testimony, for [we] love not our lives even unto death" (Rev 12:11). While this may sound extreme to some, we have got to take confidence in this, that we literally overcome the evil one by the sacrifice of Christ and our testimony, our sharing of our experience(s) of what the Lord's done and is doing. It is my prayer that this blog does just that. That every post, whether it be submitted by myself, Carrie, Amber, or anyone for that matter, be uplifting and facilitate further the undeniable conquering and overcoming of the evil one in each of our lives as well as in the body of Christ. So, in saying that, I encourage each person who views this blog to begin sharing what the Lord is doing where you are at, whether it be through a blog post or a comment on any of the posted blogs.

The first Parent-Teen/Husband-Wife program of the summer has officially come to a close today. For the sake of time I'm not going to give a detailed description of everything the Lord's done thus far, though I wish I could. However, I will share some highlights.

Though I am uncertain of his last name, I am going to tell you about a guy named Steve. He brought his son, Steven, to the Father-Son program this past week. Both are from Kenya, Africa. Little did I know that the sole purpose of their presence here was to see if JH would work in a place like Kenya. After the week was up, they both assured that in the next two years, efforts were going to be made to begin what we call an "Outback" in Kenya. Praise the Lord!

Also, this past week there was a lot of healing of relationships between parents and their teens. A verse in Malachi talks about how "he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers," and to see it take place right before my eyes is an amazing and uncompromising thing.

I'm sorry I am at a lack of words to type right now. It's my day off, so I am kind of in "chill-mode" at the moment.

Happy Father's Day dad. Wish I could be there for it!

May we seek Your face with unwavering faith, God. May we not forsake our walk with You because we are so fixed on our work for You. May we know and believe the love that You have for us. That you are love, and if we abide in love, we abide in You. And You abide in us.

I am here!

Hello GBC family and friends!
Okay, so as many of you know I am a VERY heavy packer if you have gone a recent missions with the church. So finding out that the two extremely heavy luggage’s that I have brought wasn’t going to work and that they only recommended one bag for the trip was not only in my mind out of the question, but impossible. How in the world was I supposed to pack two months worth of stuff into one bag that was less the fifty pounds?!? But miraculously by the grace of God I have one pack that is going to be VERY close to the fifty pound breaker. Praise God for that!
It is 1:30 a.m. of day one of my training here in Owensboro, KY and from the moment I got here I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was exactly where God wanted me to be. The butterflies are gone for now and I am having a blast! We will be here is Owensboro until Monday and then Driving down to Nashville to catch our flights on Tuesday.
Walking into the church where everyone met for dinner last night I was wondering how in the world we were all going to be prepared to fly out on Tuesday and go lead worship on the other side of the world only knowing each other for such a short time? But God is revealing himself in such a profound way through each testimony from the team members that I hear. Our hearts have been softened and our lives are being poured into each other in such a real way. I honestly have to say I haven’t felt the Holy Spirit in such a powerful way in a long time and with people whom I just met but yet know so completely. The stories of each of our lives are so completely different and yet have led us all here for this summer.
I am so excited to see what God has in store in and around me this summer. I am ready see GREAT and POWERFUL things! I am ready to be transformed and ready to be led by the Holy Spirit. Know that I have not only made eight new friends but have added eight amazing people to my life that are going to be my family for the next two months. Please keep us in your prayers and know that God is profoundly moving already. Also know that I am where I am supposed to be. God is making a path for not only a new and amazing part of my life that is his, but opening a door to the path that I am supposed to be on. I am not just here to sing songs this summer but I am here to be transformed into the person God has birthed me to be and make His name famous.
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1-2

May God bless you and transform you,

Friday, June 6, 2008

Stage Breaking...

Hey GBC family,

The first official program of the summer here at JH Ranch has come to a close. Basically, the CEO of this insurance company (Primerica) brought 500 of his associates with him to the Ranch for a "leadership retreat". Many of these associates were unbelievers. Cutting the story short, these 500 individuals had the time of their lives this past week in that the gospel was shared and lived out in front of them on a daily basis, or at least we as a staff strived to make it happen. Last night was the Life Purpose and Forgiveness talk and it was an incredible site to see around 400 of these guests storm the stage during the invitation! Literally, the wooden stage that we build every year, surrounded by hay bails, started to crack there were so many people standing on it. Praise God!

One heartbreaking and yet freeing story was shared by this 21 year-old woman. She was in tears when she described how her mother was a prostitute when she was younger, only for her life to be cut short in a tragic murder by a man she didn't know. She talked about how she struggled her entire life to come to a place of forgiveness toward her mother, how she struggled with being relational with females because of her mother's abandonment as well as with men because of her lack of trust. Last night she said was the first time she'd been able to come to a place of forgiveness, not only toward her mother, but for herself as well through Christ.

I think it's amazing how the Lord is continually bringing me and even pushing me to a place of intercession. As Christians we tend to throw this word around and equate it with prayer requests for individuals besides ourselves. However, what I'm learning is that intercession is literally seeking the success of others. To put it another way, we are the body of Christ, and if I come to the realization/perception that I am part of that body with the same goals, the same desires, then I will undoubtedly be prompted to seek the success and growth of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Their success is essentially my success, in that we are all part of this same mysterious and liberating body of Christ. Look at Jesus when He washes his disciples' feet. He served them. He desired that each one of them would have the same, intimate relationship with the Father that He had. We should do the same, not out of duty, but out of the overflow of the Spirit.

On another, more light-hearted note, one of the associates from Primerica wanted to give back to the staff in some tangible way. So, he and his wife took us all on a Wal-Mart run where each of the staff could get three necessities (i.e. toiletries, blankets, FOOD, sunglasses, medicine, FOOD, shorts, pants, sweatshirts, FOOD). That was a fun time!

I praise God for you all!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hello From Yellowstone!

Hey everyone! First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone that left me a really made my day! Thank you all so much for all the prayer and support! It means so much to me. I will try to do better on blogging more often but i've been super busy since I have arrived in Yellowstone on trying to adjust to everything.
I will start by updating everyone on my past 2 weeks here. First of all, it is absolutely gorgeous here and I can never get tired of looking at the mountains. It's been pretty cold, in the 4os and snowing. My job is really enjoyable. I love all of my co-workers a lot, most of them are from China or Thailand. Two girls from Thailand trained me and their names are Nut and Oil (unique, I know). I work 5 days a week and I have Sundays and Mondays off to do things with the Christian ministry team. I get off work every day at 3 so I still have time to enjoy all of my evenings.
I have made a lot of friends, on and off the ministry team. Everyone here is so nice and supportive. This upcoming Sunday I will be putting on my first service at the Chapel in the morning and at the campground in the evening. I am the only girl in my group this week and I will be leading prayer at the services. There are 40 ministry staff throughout the park and there are 9 in my location (Mammoth). 4 girls - Kathryn (Yellowstone), Jacqueline (Pennsylvannia), Amy (Texas), and me and 5 boys - Michael (California), Alex (California), Joseph (Maine), David (Yellowstone), and Derek (Ohio). We all get along really well and I am excited for what God has in store for our group this summer.
I have also got to do some exploring. I've been on a 5 mile hike (which was beautiful!) and I saw a grizzly bear with 2 cubs. She was off in the distance and didn't notice us but it was so cool to watch! I also got to go out to Lamar Valley in Yellowstone where there is a wolf den and we saw a black wolf. I have went to Norris Hot Springs and walked the whole trail and got to see Steamboat geyser (the largest exploding geyser in the world). Tomorrow I am going white water rafting with some friends so I am really excited about that!
I will try to blog again soon and keep everyone back at home updated! I miss home a lot, but I am enjoying myself. I appreciate everyone who is supporting and praying for me. It means so much to know I have support not only here, but at home too!
How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number-living things both large and small. (Psalm 104:24-25)

Much love,

Healing and Authority

Hey everyone,

In the last 48 hours it has probably rained a total of 30 hours. It's also cold. My phone doesn't work and the pay phones are out. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have it any other way. There are around 120 on staff here at JH and we are gathered from various states and denominations across the country. Granted, it has its challenges, but it's also exciting. It's exciting to see how the Lord is not only bringing us together and unifying the staff as a whole, but also how He's changing each one of us individually. Myself, I've never felt more free and more confident in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Perhaps one of the neatest things that the Lord has emphatically iterated over my life in the last week is the power of His name. Yeshuah, YHVH, Jesus Christ---all are His name. What is amazing about the name Yeshuah is that it literally means, in Hebrew, "I Am Salvation". I think this is absolutely phenomenal. Judaism denies Yeshuah as the prophesied Christ, and yet the man's name means "I Am Salvation". I love it! I have also become really good friends with a fellow staffer named Peter who is a Messianic Jew. He spent 8 months in Israel literally debating with the religious leaders there. It's so cool to hear his stories about the challenges, successes and failures that he endured through the entire experience in that the Lord used those challenges, successes and failures to increase his faith in Himself.

There are no guests here at the Ranch as of yet. Currently, my known responsibilities include being head of the Alpine Tower and Screaming Eagle, which are two of the ropes challenges offered here. Also, I serve on the pastoral team. This includes the responsibility of serving 5 of my fellow staff guys through intercession and bible study. I am excited about what the Lord is already doing here and what He is continually teaching me and bringing me into. He's stretching my mind and my faith. Thank you for all the prayers and am praying for you all as well. I am leaving you with a testimony that was shared this past week regarding a guest that attended the ranch this past year.

A man's son was found at the bottom of their swimming pool. By the time this 5 year-old boy was retrieved from the water and transported to the hospital, the doctors estimated that the boy had been submerged for at least ten minutes. It was under this assumption the the doctors declared the boy brain dead and told the parents that survival was unlikely and that if the boy did survive, he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

The parents didn't know what to do. Friends and family supported them through prayer and encouragement. One family friend mentioned that he'd heard about a pastor in southern Florida who raised people from the dead. Skeptical but in a corner, the parents contacted the pastor and he agreed to come in. After arriving, the pastor went into the boy's room by himself and prayed. After several minutes the pastor emerged from the room and told the parents that their boy would be well in 72 hours. Without anything or anyone else to hope in, besides the Lord and the words that this pastor spoke, the parents agreed to keep their son on life support for the next 72 hours.

Sure enough, in 72 hours, the boy was sent home from the hospital.

Months after the accident, the dad was driving his car with his son in the back seat. Without warning, the boy asked his dad the question, "Daddy, do you want to know what Jesus looks like?" The dad was taken off guard by the question, but agreed t hear the boys answer. After listening to his son's brief description, the dad responded, "Can I ask you a question? Did Jesus talk to you or say anything to you while you were with him?" The little boy looked at his dad from the back seat and said, "Yes Daddy He did. He said that I needed to go home, so I did."

***This father and son attended the Parent/Teen summer program in the summer of 2007. I hope you are in awe of our Lord after reading this, as much as I was at least. Bless you all!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

JH Ranch - Take III

As most of you know, I am about to embark on my third summer out to the ranch. For those of you that are unfamiliar with JH Ranch, it is a Christian, high-adventure leadership ranch that offers various programs for both high school/middle school students as well as adults. It is my intention to keep you (my GBC family) posted as to what is taking place in Etna, California this summer and how God is working and teaching there.

To most of you, I say both "hi" and "goodbye" in that I have only been in WV for 2 1/2 weeks. New York was eye-opening to say the least. If there is one thing that I feel the Lord has been emphasizing in my life over the past few months, it has undoubtedly been His grace. I don't want these blog postings to be another cliche outlet for someone like myself to paint a "pretty picture" of the Christian life. I'm not going to lie. It's hard, and I'm not simply talking about obedience and the constant, life-long battle between right and wrong. I am referring to those dark times. Those times where you feel alone or even abandoned. Or even those times where you feel that all eyes are on you and then you fail, and yet those eyes don't shift. Or what about those times where you simply feel numb to the world, like it's passing by and while you want to make a difference in some fashion, it's not happening, so you begin to look at yourself and pinpoint all the negative characteristics or qualities about yourself, repent of your sins, and then try again hoping that you won't screw up this time around? It's a cyclical process and when you step outside of this cycle, you get frustrated.

I feel like the Christian life can be like this, and yet I don't think that it was ever meant to be. A lot of times, we adapt this "save the world" mentality where we forsake and even compromise God's power/ability to do so and replace it with a burdensome, oftentimes self-absorbed motivation to appear obedient or even "Christian" in the eyes of onlookers. I can only say this because this has been my life many times throughout the last 21 years.

My prayer for this summer is that we, as a church family, would draw ourselves near to our First Love. Oh that we would yearn for the intense and overwhelming grace that we've all tasted and seen! I pray that we, as Christians, would stop trying to prove to God that we are worthy of His love, because the fact is that we are not. Know that you are loved and desired! And may it be out of a posture of knowing that we are loved by God that we serve those around us this summer.

Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hello everyone! This summer I am attending ACMNP (A Christian Ministry in the National Parks) and I have been asked to keep a blog of my experiences while I am gone. I decided to go ahead and write my first blog to let everyone that reads this know a little bit about this program and what I will be doing. I will be working at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park while providing Christian ministry in areas which otherwise would not have one. ACMNP brings people from different denominational traditions together to provide a service of worship, which no one of the denominations can do alone.
ACMNP is held in several National Parks throughout the US every summer, some even provide ministry in the winter. All the parks try to provide a national structure through which participating denominations of the Christian church can cooperatively carry out their mission in the National Parks. We organize services of worship which will include a Biblical understanding of creation so that worshippers will both appreciate and care for God's created Earth. The mission statement for ACMNP is: To extend the ministry of Jesus Christ to the people who live, work, and vacation in our National Parks by providing opportunities for Christian worship, nurture and fellowship.
Each staff member that works in the parks this summer is also required to lead a worship service at some point. We are placed into groups and we are to provide scripture, sermons, music, prayer, creed, offering, and a benediction. Every Saturday, before the services, we are to go out into the parks and invite people to come to our service. This is called campground calling and it is the most successful means of publicizing the services of worship in areas where campgrounds are located. Our task is to always inform, not to proselytize. My Uncle Bill Young is the pastor of the church in Yellowstone so I am so excited to have him there with me this summer, as well as my Aunt Debby (who is my mom's older sister).
On our days off, when we don't have to work or have worship, we get to do activities around the park if we so choose to. Some of the activities we will get a chance to participate in are: camping trips, hiking trips, campfire gatherings, kayaking, rock climbing, biking, and tons more. We will be living in dorm rooms with a specified roommate. My roommate's name is Jacqueline and we have already met at the training conference in Ohio. We are also required to take a bear training class when we arrive in Yellowstone because of all the wildlife, especially bears, that are present in the park. It is suggested that we bring bear spray (the bear version of pepper spray). So everyone pray for me! :)
I hope that everyone has a better understanding of what I will be doing this summer. If you have any questions just leave me a comment and I will post the answer! I am so excited for what God has in store for me and all the fun stories I will have to tell when I arrive back home. I am flying out on May 14 and will be flying back home on August 12. I want to say thank you to everyone for their support and prayers!
"Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer." -Hebrews 10:24-25
"But the time is coming-it has, in fact, come- when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter." -John 4:23
My address for the summer:
Carrie McMillion
Yellowstone National Park: Mammoth Hot Springs
c/o General Delivery Xanterra
Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone NP, WY 82190
* I will post my phone number later.