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!