Sunday, August 31, 2008

Paige Harmony - Bringing People Together!

So, yesterday was a special day because two wonderful friends got married...and, they met through my myspace! Yep, I really had very little to do with it, but Cori Leigh is my friend from ORU, and I know Adrian from day Adrian was on myspace and looking at my friends when he saw a cute girl (Cori) and clicked on her profile. He emailed her about the song that was playing and when she responded an emai coorespondence ensued.

I actually was oblivious to this for a few weeks when I received an email two days a part from both of them - Cori asking my real opinion of Adrian and Adrian asking the same thing. Well, a year later! Here they are - happy, in love and now husband and wife!

Someone asked me at the wedding if I might go into the match making business, and for now all I can say is my myspace is open...don't know if there are any other matches to be made...

Adrian wanted a picture with me in the middle since I was the initial link!

Happy Couple

Friday, August 29, 2008

zoe is back!

So, zoe officially started back last night, and it was fabulous! We had 67 people come out and we had so much fun that we finally had to shut things down at 10:45pm (Josh and I aren't as young as we once were and needed to go to be). Anyways, if any of my zoe people read this, I wanted to say thank you to our leadership team who made it a great night.

Worship team - can't believe you only had a week to put everything together - it was powerful!
Greeters - you were the friendliest people ever!
Coffee Girls - Thanks for making yummy coffee and practically giving yourself carpel tunnel just so we could all have ice cream!
Here are some pics...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beware of Arby's on 82nd

So, it somehow feels wrong to transition from my trip to Thailand and India to a blog about Arby's, but here it is anyways...

Leslie and I had a little sister lunch yesterday and went to Arby's - we both secretly love us a Beef N Cheddar...Anyways, as we walked through the doors I was hit by a horrible odor and we also couldn't help but notice that there were flies zooming all about. We had conditioned our stomachs for the Beef N Cheddar so there was no turning back...other small issues continued - the soft drinks were messed up (too much syrup), the tables were dirty, etc...

Anyways, we both politely ignored it until the end of our meal when I finally mentioned the smell...So, Leslie tells me that a few months ago she went through the drive-through for a meal for Ava and found that the milk was expired by 10 days! It was as if my eyes were genuinely opened to the reality of the nastiness that we were in, when at that moment we literally had two flies tumble to our table. These were not any two flies, however, oh no - they were in the process of mating! Have you ever seen two flies mate? It's not pretty - and they bounced all over our table...

Well, one look at each other and we lost it! Literally we were laughing so hard that I began to tear up and Leslie said, "I think that about sums up our time here..." We left. So, just wanted to warn all my Lubbockite readers about the Arby's on may get more than a Beef N Cheddar.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thailand Community Outreaches - Thailand 04

So, this is my final mission trip update...although I completely forgot about some fun pics that I will post later on this week from the trip. This blog will highlight our time ministering within the community in Thailand. We went to two different locations where Pastor Simon is regularly meeting with people & children. We mostly worked with kids at these two events - teaching a lesson, making crafts, and singing songs!

It was a special time, and as always our team did a fabulous job! Enjoy the pics...

I had the privilege of praying blessings over this precious girl...I just love how she closed her eyes and clasped her hands ready for whatever I wanted to pray!

"Uncle Joe" is very loved by in Thailand and he had lots of fun with these kids.

After our first community outreach, we took a group picture with everyone that came!

Vanessa was our FABULOUS teacher this night and shows off the crowns that they made

Josh with our driver and one of the leaders at the church

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thai Ladies - Thailand 03

So, I'm trying to wrap up these updates so I can move onto the many exciting things happening now that I want to blog, zoe starts THURSDAY and Josh and I are more excited than ever before! Come join us at 8pm if you happen to read this...Also, Josh and I are going to do a book review from all of our summer reads (he read 5 books on our trip alone)! Yada,, two more updates and then we will move on to the present!

Oh, and if think about it, would you comment? Not every read, but occasionally...Someone told me Sunday that they are loving my updates, but I told her that I was about to quit because I just don't know if anyone is even reading them!

So, back to the topic of this blog...the amazing and beautiful women of Thailand! Our team had the privilege of leading a women's conference for Simon Lee's church and we also had some ladies come from the Southern provinces...if you ever keep up with Thai news, you might know that the Southern portion is quite tumultuous right now because of terrorism and the influx of Muslims into the area. There are literally bombings everyday in that region, so it was an immense pleasure to spend a couple days with these brave ladies and just get to love on them for a bit!

Two things that I loved most about this conference: 1. Our team taught all of it, and everyone did a fabulous job! Those who said they were not speakers just shared from their hearts and it touched the ladies deeply. 2. I personally had the privilege of teaching with Missy Hall & Vanessa Brandiger on the topic of friendship. We shared about vulnerability, trust, and accountability and our reason for this topic is because these ladies really need each other as they walk in freedom and in confidence in their faith. After we shared, we decided to have them pray for each other instead of us praying for them. It was a powerful time that followed as these ladies shed tears and took time to agree with one another.

So good! I will follow this with pictures & hope it explains itself!
PRAYER: Everytime that we offered to pray with these ladies they jumped on it...they were just hungry and ready for God to touch their hearts...some of our most precious times

Our team is praying for a pregnant lady here...she was experiencing some complications, so we agreed together for the health of her child

We concluded our conference with a special banquet...literally 10-course meal that most of these ladies would never get to experience - our goal was to make them feel pampered and loved! Hannah, Erin & Kyla shared this night on "Living Life Loved." It was so powerful, and here, the girls are showing the ladies the power of the armor of God...get your sword out!

At the banquet with Lisa, Missy & April!

This precious lady gave her life to the Lord that night. Her entire family converted from Islam!

So, until next time! Hope you all enjoyed the first day of school (if it applied to you)...can I just say that I am so excited that after YEARS of school I'm not going this year! Yipee!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thai Schools! - Thailand 02

Our goal was two fold with these schools: 1. to connect students with our partnering pastor's church & to give them a good face within the community 2. to expose students to the gospel...we couldn't share all that we wanted, but through mini-testimonies we talked openly about Jesus which most likely was the first some of these students have ever heard. I'll let our pictures share the rest of our experience!

I've learned over the years of doing school programs in other countries that there are a few key ingredients to a successful program:

1. Crazy guy who doesn't mind making a fool of himself

2. A random game of some sort

This game was courtesy of Joe was called "find the Thai"

3. Getting students' teachers involved - students love to see their teachers act goofy

Erin shows a teacher how to do the Macarena

Vanessa & Kyla do the Chicken Dance with another teacher

Side-note: in Thailand, on Mondays, people wear yellow shirts to show honor and love for their king...after this school, I was in the car with Joe, Terri, and Lisa and we started talking about this...I mentioned reading Lauren Winner's book "Girl Meets God" and how she talks about Ash Wednesday & how it was so hard for her that one day to walk around with ash on her forehead...and I knew that it would be hard for me too...and yet, these people understand Kingdom life in a way we can't even much we have to learn...

4. Teach students to an "American dance"

Heather Reed does the Macarena with students

Andrea Hamilton shows students how to do the chicken dance

5. And if all else fails...bring out Chubby Bunny! It's a crowd pleaser EVERY time!

Kyla demonstrates proper form for Chubby Bunny

So, I think that they liked us, which is good...but if I'm completely honest, part of me hates these performances on mission trips because sometimes they mess up our thinking so that we start to think that missions is about us...I understand that we are sharing what Christ did in our hearts and connecting students with a church, which is why I will continue to do school performances anytime a pastor's my prayer that sometime - when they are at home or daydreaming in class - that these kids can forget about the cool Americans and that something we said will spark a question or a desire to search a little more...

So, if you think about it, pray with me today that at least one of the students we met will start to question and think and then seek some answers about Jesus.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Colorful Thailand - Thailand 01

So, I'm moving to the Thailand portion of our trip and just wanted to show some of my favorite colorful pictures while we were there. Definitely some of our team's favorite moments involved discovering some amazing fruits as well as meeting the scrunchy lady!

First, the scrunchy lady...there was this precious woman who came to our women's conference and on the second day she came armed with headbands and scrunchys for everyone! Not only that, but she would look at each of our outfits and choose the perfect complimenting color! I was eating breakfast when Kyla, Vanessa, and Hannah came in to show off their accessories, and then I got a scrunchy of my very own!the girls showing off their headware!

We also tried all sorts of fruits. Mangosteens were definitely the favorites, but we also tried something that looked like hairy strawberrys and the horrific smelling durian...

I hope to tell you more about our time in Thailand, but for now, here are just a few colorful pictures!
Our lovely ladies giving the peace sign - a favorite stance in Thailand...

Thailand is called the "Land of Smiles" and it was even on their Coke cans

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lovely Ladies...Friendship...and a Rat! - India 04

So, this will be my last post that focuses on India...I will move next to the Thailand portion of our trip, and I want to end by focusing on the amazing ladies that I met while in India. Women were my focus this trip, and I walked away from India with so much hope but also a renewed passion to pray for the women of India.

I met the amazing women of Bombay Teen Challenge, but I also had the privilege of speaking at three other Women's Events through New Life Churches in Mumbai. Interestingly, they asked me to speak on the topic of friendship for each of these events. I have to be honest - when I first heard that the topic was friendship, I was a little disappointed because it felt like a small topic in light of all that these ladies face. My religious self wanted to speak on something juicy like unforgiveness or fear, but I said okay and then asked the Lord what this was all about...

It turns out that friendship was the perfect topic for me as I've often struggled letting people into my life and preferring to busy myself with duties rather than relationship. After the first night of speaking I realized that most Indian women are just like me. They choose to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their families, jobs, and ministries. They are busy from sun up to sun down and yet when they stop and think about their lives they will admit that there is nothing in their lives that pours back into them. Instead, they give out constantly and even think that receiving is a sin.

As I spoke on friendship, the Lord revealed to me that this may be one of the most spiritual truths that they can learn - because it is a practical step to choosing relationship over ritual and duty. Their martyrdom (and mine) is just a trap of is not a sin to stop and take time for ourselves. And we all need friends who pour truth and joy and love into our lives. If we don't have outlets like true friendships we will look up and be not only burned out but resentful towards our families and minstries that have taken and taken.

So, all this to say, speaking on friendship ended up opening some wonderful conversations with some precious ladies. I ministered to them, but I also walked away with a fresh understanding in my own life about just how much I need to stop and allow God to pour into my own life through friends and other avenues.
My two favorite "Indian" friends - Donnabelle & Christie
While I'm here...a couple of funny stories...the first ladies meeting was held at the "Spastics Society"...hmm...I think I fit in quite well. And, while after the meeting we were eating with all of the ladies outside when 10 feet from where we sat a friendly rat scurried out to steal a dropped piece of bread. Yes, a rat...and a couple of minutes later, a mouse actually ran right under our feet! I was proud of our team...we screamed as quietly as we could and moved in doors.

Hope you enjoy the pics! Aren't they just lovely?!

This precious young Hindi woman was at my last women's meeting...this one was held in the North of Mumbai, which has more poverty, but these ladies were so warm and loving...

A picture from our young women's conference. It was all day Saturday, and we had 650 ladies attend. Christie and I spoke together for 3 mini-sessions on frienship and this day was such a picture of the fact that God is in control not me. I had a fever all day and literally felt horrible...before our first time to speak, I was off to the side of the stage and had this conversation with God. "Seriously, I came all the way to India to talk to these girls and I just want to go lay down! You have got to help fact, just speak through me..." He did more than that. From the moment I had the microphone in my hand until I handed it back, I felt perfect! This happened all three times and then I went back to the hotel and was horribly sick for the next 24 hours! Ha! What a nice reminder that it's really not me - we're just vessels...

The all-girl praise band at the young women's conference. They were wonderful! And this is the first time that they have had an all-girl's the start of something great in India!

This is Rachel - the drummer for the girl's band. I met her last year at our young women's conference and it was so good to see her again!

While I talk about amazing women, thought you should see a picture of my AMAZING team!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Destiny Schools - India 03

So, I'm going to keep this blog short & sweet and mostly just show you some pictures of the beautiful children we met at the Destiny Schools in Mumbai. These schools are for kids ages 3-5 and they were amazing! In India, students have to pass a test in order to be accepted into the first grade...the test requires that they are already able to read and write in either Hindi or English. In the slums there is no way for children to learn basics, so Sower of Seeds and New Life Churches have started these schools to teach young children to read and write. What was most amazing though, is this statistic. 93% of every child who completes all three years of school not only get into the 1st grade, but their families receive Christ! Seriously, 93% of the kids they have impacted now see their entire families saved! Amazing!

Hope you enjoy this pics...they are just the cutest kids ever!

Erin Louder hands out food in one of the classes - oh yeah, these schools also provide a hot meal to every kid each day...
Kyla gives a kid high-five when he shows her his spelling work!
I remembered this little girl from last year...just love her smile!
This little boy cried for several minutes until we found that he LOVED looking at his picture on the digital camera...
This little boy was attached to Josh in one class...they bonded and then enjoyed a dum-dum!
This is Bartholemew...isn't he just precious!
These two little girls were my favorites, and Josh said that they were just like me...teacher's pets. Notice that they had the job of folding everyone's hand towel after meal time. Swerta & Angelia did a very good job, and from teacher's pet to another...I think they are fabulous!
Had to get my pic with these beauties...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...