Monday, November 28, 2016

Perfect Peace

"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of separation," Ephesians 2:14

Moving back to Maui and getting settled in really has been a blessing and so smooth. I enjoyed about 3 weeks of "vacation," then decided it was time to look for a job. Craigslist. Gotta love craigslist. There were a couple restaurants hiring so I applied at 3 or 4 and got a call back. The manager on the phone told me I was going to have my interview with the owner! She said he is a little apprehensive about hiring people without "fine dining" experience and that I need to study the menu (which is pretty much all in Italian) and wines (which I know NOTHING about). I was excited that they even called me back and considered taking me on as a waitress, but at the same time I was so nervous and felt really under qualified. So I started to study. I did my best but prayed that God would do the rest. I didn't really think I would get the job. I was scared. And as I went in for the interview, I realized I had no peace. I talked to the owner- he wasn't as scary as I expected. He was very honest. He told me that to work at his restaurant you needed to have a "deep knowledge" of wine. So he politely told me that I just wouldn't fit in. And at that moment, I was put at rest, I knew this wasn't the Lord's will. 
Why did God let me go through that? I study wines. Ew. I don't care about old grapes. When will I ever use that information? It's not for me to figure out. God taught me an important lesson though. He spoke right to my heart the next day as I opened my bible to Ephesians 2 for my devotions. He showed me what a massive gift it is to have peace with the King of Kings. He is the creator and owner of all things. I am not scared going into His presence, I have full access. How? Peace. Peace literally means to take two things that have been broken apart and put them back together as if they were never apart. I have that perfect peace, that perfect union with God. What a blessing! I don't have to be nervous in my relationship with God. Through Christ Jesus I have peace. Such a relief. 
Not only do I have peace with God, but I can experience peace from God. I have peace that I am where He wants me to be right now. I know that He will give me the perfect job in His perfect timing. But sometimes I let things steal my peace. I get nervous or fearful. I over think things. I try and plan out my life and see all the uncertainties and I forfeit my peace. 
There is a great hymn that I love called, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and part of it says this:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
  All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Sometimes I forget that I have peace with God that allows me to enter into His throne room and lay all my anxieties at His feet. When I loose sight of the fact that I have peace with God, I block the flow of peace from God. 
He is the source of my peace. Fear kills peace. Selfish thinking kills peace. Bring it all to Him who is your peace and freely receive the peace of God that passes all understanding. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mark 5:19

New seasons are always hard at the beginning, but not bad… Actually really, really good. 
To say it plain and simple, I am not coming back to Guatemala in 2017. I am not going to be a missionary on the foreign field. I am not going to be sharing the gospel with 320 kids a week. I am not going to be speaking a different language everyday. 
I can tell you what I am going to be doing. I am going to be living life on mission no matter where I am. I am going to be living in Hawaii with my family for the first time in 3 years. I am going to be serving in church. And I am going to be following God’s voice. 
I am honestly blown away. I am in awe when I think of the past three years. Even when I think of the past month. God is working here in Guatemala. And that’s the thing, it is HIS work. Did He ever need me? No. But in His grace He chose to use me here and allow me to be a part of His work. If there is one thing that I’ve learned about missions since being here is that missions work is NOT about what I can do for God. Missions work is about what He is already doing and how I can be a part of it. And I am so excited to be a part of what God is doing on the island of Maui. 
I leave Guatemala October 26th. These next days will be difficult as I say goodbye to my students, friends, and church family here. But God has given me SO much peace and I can’t explain it. I am ready to go back to the states and do whatever the Lord has for me. I still know the Lord has called me to missions- I truly believe He will call me back onto the foreign field one day, I just don’t know when. But, I want to live true to this wise saying: Wherever you are, be all there. The last 20 days or so, I want to live fully here, investing and pouring out. And when I arrive in Hawaii, I want to jump in and be all there. The past is a great reminder, but it is not meant to be lived in. Greater things are yet to come! And my mind thinks so small! I think, “God, what’s greater than ?” and He always blows me away and fulfills Ephesians 3:20. 
God has given me Mark 5:19, “And He did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” This is what God is asking me. And my heart cries out, “God! I will follow You wherever!” And He says in His loving voice, “Go home my daughter.” It is a question of obedience. Not what I want. Not where I think I am useful. Not what I like or don't like. And I’m not complaining ;) how could I?? It’s Hawaii! It’s my family! It’s God’s will! And I get to go back and tell of all that the Lord has done! How merciful and compassionate He is! I don’t know what He has in store for me, but I know it’s gunna be good! 
I want to say thank you to all who have been praying and supporting me for the past 3 years as I’ve been on the mission field. You are a part of this just as much as me. Please continue to pray for Guatemala as a country. They are enslaved in religion, the government is so corrupt, there is lack of education and hunger. But God is working!!! He loves Guatemala so much. Please pray for the students who are being taught God’s word, that they would be transformed and washed by His word and that a new generation would be raised up who loves the Lord. God has shown me that every word from Him does not return void. I praise God for all He has done and all He will do. 
If you have any questions for me, feel free to shoot me a message or email me at: 

^to God be the glory now and forever ^

Friday, August 5, 2016


This month the bus ministry started up again which means lots and lots of kids. Not just kids, but students from the 6 schools that PFM teaches in. Kids Club has been super fun with all of our students. It is awesome to be able to see them more than just in the classroom, but at the center for club. The kids eat, play, sing, dance, and hear the word of God every Wednesday.
The property is also more full because the second week of July, IGNITE class 11 arrived! It has been cool getting to know them and see them learning. It is the first time I am not an RA for a class because I am living off property. So it is a whole different way of getting to know the interns, but it has been a blessing already. Keep them in prayer as they continue to this time of training.
To be honest, moving out has not been all that I expected. Some good, some bad. Over all, its been a huge growing experience and I am so thankful for this season. I've been struggling with what God wants me to do! There are a dozen things that I can try and do and start, but I want it to be the Lord. I have 3 months left here this year, and if I start something, I can't just leave it. So I have been praying and asking the Lord what He would have me to do. And through the prompting of the Spirit, other people, and the word of God, I've been doing a small bible study with the 4 girls who are on the field right now. We are going through the book of Ephesians together and it has been really cool. God often takes us out of our comfort zones, and I am definitely out of mine. But the coolest part to me is how me meeting with them and wanting to disciple them was an answer to their prayers! They actually were praying for someone to spend time with and glean from. How crazy is that? It's not that I am anything, it's all God's grace. If He wants to use me in this way, I am learning to just say, "yes." I am really excited to get to know these girls more and glean from the word of God together. 
In July, we had the opportunity of collaborating with 3 other churches and go on Calvary Chapel Antigua's first youth retreat!!! It was a blast! I helped cook food for 100 people all weekend. It was tiring, but such a blessing. The theme was, "el precio correcto" which means, "the right price." The verse was 1 Timothy 4:12 which says, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." In Spanish, the word "despise" comes from a word that means give a lower price or value, so that's where the theme comes from. There were a number of sessions on each aspect of the verse. I didn't get to sit in all of them (cooking for 100 people takes some time haha), but what I did hear was super encouraging and I know the kids were all really enjoying the lessons and learning a lot. One I did hear was on "spirit" and this verse isn't just talking about any spirit, but the Holy Spirit Himself. God had been bringing this up weeks beforehand, and He was showing me the necessity of being filled with the Spirit. And isn't that cool? We can be an example to others by being filled with the Spirit. It is the Spirit who does the work in us, and it shines through and encourages others to live a life filled with the Spirit! Being away for those 3 days was super tiring, but also a motivation. God showed me that there are youth who love Him, God is working in this next generation, and I get to be a part of it!
In the public schools, we just finished the 3rd quarter and are now entering into the last one! It is insane how fast time flies. These kids have grown so much- physically, mentally, and even spiritually! Please continue to pray as we finish out this school year together.
Every Thursday morning I spend about an hour at the local hospital volunteering in the children's ward. I play with the kids, sing songs with them, or help feed them bottles. It is always so great to go and spend time with them and pray with them. Not only do I feel the Lord giving me a burden for the kids, but also for the nurses who work there. It is cool getting to know them a little better and just show them they are appreciated.
Well, I think that's all for this month! God is good and I am so thankful that every month I can look back and see what HE did and look forward to what HE will do in the months to come!
Prayer requests:
- always, pray for the salvation of my students
- pray for my health, I've been a little sick lately
- pray for IGNITE class 11 as they continue learning and growing in training
- pray for the leaders in PFM

To God be the glory now & forever

Little Pre-K learning weather... that smile :D

More smiles from my students

Okay Monica, english class isn't that boring haha

after school

Waiting for the bus to come

The empty bus before kids fill the seats

kids club games

my students enjoying kids club 

the boys are crazies!

youth retreat

youth group girls
3 of 4 churches gathered together to pray before going to the retreat

mi amiguiiiiiii :)

girls bible study

studying the book of Ephesians 

outside of the hospital that we visit every week. it really is beautiful
This month i had the privilege of skyping in CC San Juan
for mission's night. It was so cool to be on screen with 4 other countries! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

To the End

Now before the Feast of Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour has come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
John 13:1

Jesus had been living on earth for around 33 years. I wonder how it felt to be constrained by time for the first time ever. But Jesus knew without a doubt what was coming. And in a sense, so do we. I know this world is not my home. Every day is a step closer to abandoning this world and going home to be with my Father. The question is, can I say what Jesus said? Can I say that, “I loved to the end”? Ministry gets hard. Not just difficult, but hard. Stale. Mechanical. It can become this if you don't have love. So many Christians focus on how our lives should be lived, what we should do, where we should go, how we should talk, how to be more relatable to the world, and the list goes on. But how is it that our highest calling of LOVE has been neglected and ignored? It is usually an afterthought, “Oh yeah, and let it be done with love.” But that isn't what the bible teaches. Without love we have nothing. Nothing. But what is this love that Jesus had until the end? It is Galatians 5 love. “The fruit of the Spirit is love…” Only through the Spirit can I live in this love. Am I lacking love? I can have a free filling of the Spirit and be filled with His love.
I want to be able to say like Jesus that I have loved to the end. The end of my time here on earth? Yes. But even in smaller segments too. Can I say that I loved my students to the end of the school year? Can I say I loved the Guatemalan people to the end of my time here? I don't know what’s next. I don’t know what God has for me here on earth, but every season I want to look back and be able to say that I gave my all and loved to the end. I want to look back on my life and be able to say that by the grace of God, I loved to the end. Not my love, but His love through the Spirit. That is the only way. It is impossible to love in my own strength. IMPOSSIBLE. But the bible tells me that with God nothing will be impossible, that His strength is perfect and available for those who recognize they can’t do it. 

Jesus came to earth as a baby, a human being. He grew up, He knew why He had come. But He didn't take a step into ministry until He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Remember? He was baptized by John, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, He was driven into the wilderness, and then started His earthly ministry. He was a man of many sorrows, yes. But He was a man who LOVED. That is what I have been seeing as I read through the gospel of John. Religion uses people. Jesus loves people. Religion sets up traps and makes people stumble. Jesus loves people and laid down His own life for sinners. And the bible says that His Spirit has poured this love out on our hearts (Romans 5:5), we have it! We need to walk in it! Time is running out! We are one day going to leave this earth and go to the Father. I want to be able to say that I loved like Jesus through the power of the Spirit to the end. Are we lacking love? Be filled with the Spirit. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016


June! How did it go by so fast. Seriously though.
The first half of the month was spent in Antigua doing the normal things in ministry. Exciting things happened too! My sister in Christ, roomie, and friend Lydia got engaged! It so such a blessing to be here with them both to see the Lord work in their relationship. I am so excited for what is to come! God has so great things in store for them.
Everything is going really well. In the schools we gave exams and did all of the grading for the quarter. My classes all did really well this past quarter and on all their tests. We started the new quarter off with a whole new memory verse and we are learning all new information. The first two quarters were all review and now the last two will be new things in english and the kids are really excited (so am I!). All the schools have their mid-year vacation break so that's when I left to renew my visa and take advantage of the time with no classes.
So I started my 19 hours of travel to get from Guatemala to Maui. It was such an incredible gift that God provided for me to be able to go to Maui to spend 10 days with my family. It was busy with my family, but the good kind of busy. I got to meet my new niece and nephew for the first time! I was able to spend time with all four of my nieces and nephews, my siblings, parents, grandparents, and even my aunt who was visiting! It was so much fun and the beach was beautiful with warm water (: And of course, I fellowshipped with Calvary Chapel Central Maui. I was able to be there for 2 midweek studies and one Sunday service. Pastor Sean is going through Psalms on Wednesday nights and it was really a great message for me personally. It convicted me and spurred me on to continue going deeper in my relationship with the Lord. My 10 days came to an end and I boarded a plan, starting my 28 hours of travel. I had a layover in Texas and got to see my grandma, aunt and cousin for the first time in over 5 years! They picked me up and we got to go to lunch and just catch up. It was a blessing for sure.
I made it back to Guatemala safely! It feels good to be back. I have 4 more months left until school is out and I go home. I am ready to finish out strong and I feel more focused than ever to be bold for the Lord and the gospel. I pray for opportunities, and God gives them to me everyday. And as I said, I have freedom to make my own schedule and choose what to do with my time. Lydia and I are official volunteers at the local hospital and we go once a week to play with the kids, show them love, help feed them, or whatever is needed. We have been helping out with another ministry that goes to a school about 30 minutes away and has a feeding program and after school program where the kids get english class, help with homework, play, and, most importantly, a bible study. This group of kids have become so dear to me. I love going and helping and seeing that they truly do have a relationship with Jesus and are hungry to know more. I have also been helping more with Building Guate, the ministry at the dump in Escuintla. I was able to go 2 times in June and help out. I can't explain how much I love it. I am getting to know the kids better, and they know me too which is super cool.
God continues to show me that He cares about the minister more than the ministry. He shows me His love and care in such personal ways. I know the work I does pleases Him, and that I don't have to do what I do for His acceptance. It has been a season of growing for me I feel like. He has taught me so much and I have a lot more to learn!
Prayer requests:
- I always ask for prayer for my students, the request remains the same, for their salvation. That's the reason I am in those schools, to share the gospel. Pray that His Word would fall on hearts that are ready and that these kids would bear fruit and know the Lord as their Savior.
- Please pray for the youth group! In July they will be going on a youth retreat with other churches in the area and a church from Florida is coming down to help serve. God willing, I will be going as a leader and helping with all the food for the weekend! I am really excited about that.
- Ignite class 11 will be arriving early July, so please keep them in your prayers!
- Pray for me that I would continue to rely on the Lord and not get distracted or discouraged that my time is kind of winding down. It's a weird reality, but God is good and He never leaves me.
To God be the glory now and forever

The engaged couple... and me ;p


Having fun at the beach
Meeting little Emery

Having fun with my pops 

Meeting Nyomi


My momma and her grand baby 

Shaved Ice... I missed it

My brother and his baby girl

Happy birthday Daddy!

Big sister Sailor & Emery

My last day with my sister

Bye momma

Back in guate!

Playing in Escuintla with the kids

Sunday, June 26, 2016

God's Word and what hinders me from delighting in it

And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.
Psalm 119:47

As most people know, Psalm 119 is famous for the in-depth explanation of God’s word and how important it is in our lives. I once took about one month studying this Psalm and writing down all of the benefits and results of meditating on His word. It was a really cool thing to do. 
In Psalm 138 it talks about how God has magnified His word above His name. When God says something, He means it, and we should listen. His word is so so so important. It is something that we are taught from the moment we get saved. New believers are usually told 3 things to do once they get saved: read your bible daily, pray daily, and fellowship with God’s people regularly. Reading His word becomes something we just check off a list. But why? How did the Psalmist write 176 verses all referencing God’s word without running out of things to say? Because he loved His word. God’s word was his delight. 
I often wonder why it takes so much for me to get motivated to read His word some seasons and other seasons I have this excitement and hunger for His word. The issue isn't the book I'm going through. The issue isn’t with His word. It is with me. 
When I went back to Hawaii for my short visa trip, I attended the midweek service. My pastor was actually teaching out of Psalm 119 and he said something that hit me pretty hard. It was in reference to this verse. He said something along these lines, “It is hard to take pleasure and delight in His word when you find your pleasure in so much of the world and what it has to offer. Cut it off. Fall in love with the word of God.” Ouch. Yeah. The issue isn't His word, it’s me. When I am not crying out with the psalmist saying, “I love Your word!!! It is my delight!” it’s because I am finding too much pleasure in other things. And that just makes so much sense, doesn't it!?! If you are waking up not hungry for the word of God, it is because you have been finding temporary pleasure in other things and don't have an appetite for the things of the Lord. 
So what’s the answer? Cut off those things that bring you pleasure, the things that take away and distract from Him and His word. 
Now I’m not saying we are called to live miserable lives with no pleasure. No! The bible doesn’t teach that. Psalm 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” It is a life filled with pleasures that are eternal, not fleeting! How do I find these pleasures? His word is what guides me on this path of life that leads me to a life full of joy and pleasures. They are found in His hand. He opens His hand and satisfies the desires of every living thing (Psalm 145:16). I just memorized Psalm 103 which talks about just a few of the benefits we have in the Lord. He forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, satisfies and renews us; He has removed our sins far from us, He has been merciful, He rules over all. Bless the Lord! 
The only way to fall in love with His word is to find pleasure in Him first and let the things that this world has to offer grow dim in the light of His wonderful word. My desire is to not just seek Him first, but to seek Him only. I want to have an undivided heart that can say confidently that His word is my delight and that I truly do love His commands. It’s a beautiful cycle that I don’t want to get out of. The more I read His word, the more I love Him; the more I love Him, the more I long to hear His voice through His word. 

Friday, June 3, 2016


Life is very different living in an apartment with one other person instead of living on a big property with 30-70 people. 
Lydia and I are doing great and really loving it. I've gotten used to the change and I am learning how to use my time wisely. Having to cook and clean and go grocery shopping, I don't have as much time as I expected. But I have found myself taking the time I do have free to go out to the park and talk to people, play with my students, and pray. Making our own schedule has been a blessing. We still go to the schools three days a week, we go to kids club, attend church; but there is more of an opportunity to be in the community and make friends and invest in friendships that already existed. I can't believe our first month has already gone by and now we only have 5 more in the apartment. 
In the middle of May we went to Xela with the bible college students and Pastor Luis. Xela is about 4 hours away in the department of Quetzaltengo in Guatemala. There is another Calvary Chapel there that we worked with. The week was filled with evangelizing, outreaches, kids programs, painting at the church, and fellowship. It was an amazing experiment to go on a missions trip to another part of Guatemala with a group of people who only spoke spanish and about half of them are Guatemalan. I think it is what every missionary longs for- to see the locals doing ministry and sharing the gospel. It was truly a blessing a privilege to go with them. God taught me lessons personally and showed me things that I am still processing. 
Teaching in the schools has been incredible. Honestly, it has been such an amazing month. Teaching the bible lessons every week has gone so well. God has given me boldness to proclaim the gospel and He has literally given me the words to speak in spanish. With one of my first grade classes I was teaching the bible lesson then I said we were going to pray. And with their little eyes closed, I asked if anyone wanted to accept God's free gift of salvation. Almost all their hands went up and we prayed. This is all in a public school!!! It blows my mind! But just because they are young doesn't mean that they didn't mean it, I was 3 when I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and it stuck. I am so excited to see how the Lord works in their lives. I have had so many other similar experiences this month. And you know what? It all stems from prayer. Waking up early and seeking the Lord, asking Him to fill me every day. I love every single one of my 304 students so much and all I want for them is to have hope. They live lives that I will never understand. Waking up early, studying 5 days a week, going to work shining shoes or selling to tourists, then going home to broken homes and doing it all over again. Just to be with them for an hour a week, to show them love and teach them not just English but Jesus! That is why I am here. God is working in me, showing me more and more that without the gospel being proclaimed there is no point. And the honest truth is that a lot of "missionaries" are simply just doing humanitarian work. And God is teaching me what the priority is, and it's sad that I get off track easily, but it's the truth. God has set my heart on fire afresh to share His gospel and I am so thankful. 
When Lydia and I moved out, we talked to Pastor Luis about being more involved in church. And it was so cool because he said he was praying about offering children's ministry for the wednesday night study. So Lydia and I are in charge of it, so far kids have only come once. So pray that kids would come! On Sunday we are going through the book of Hebrews and are almost done. This month we had a guest pastor from California who has a black belt and all that stuff- basically he is really good at martial arts. But he taught all on Ephesians 6 and the armor of God. He had these nunchucks and used them to demonstrate prayer. Wow. My prayer is not intense like that. So often, I enter into prayer so casually, not like I am on the battle ground. God seems to always convict me in the area of prayer. So I stood that Sunday, acknowledging that my prayer life wasn't what it could be and committing to do something to fix it. As humans, we try and complicate it so much- but it is just communing with out Father. It takes discipline though and the devil always trys to attack us in the area of prayer.
At the end of the month, the bible college had their first graduation! It was such a fun night with all the students and their friends and families. It is exciting to see what God is going to do with each of them individually. 
Also in May, Lydia’s parents had the opportunity to come down here for one week! It was so fun to have them and show them all around. We did a lot of fun stuff like going to lake Atitilan, eating typical Guatemalan food and just hanging out together. They also got to go to church, school, and kids club to get a glimpse of the ministry that we are a part of. 
This month has gone by fast, like every month really! Time is flying and I can't believe I only have 5 more months here. But I am taking day by day. I have been trying to memorize a lot more scripture lately. The past two weeks I memorized Psalm 27. God's Word is so real and alive. It doesn't change even when the world around is constantly changing. I am learning to hold to His word and place it higher than anything else- my thoughts, my plans, other people's words. I am a flawed human who has doubts and fears and worries, but day by day He is teaching me to lean on Him and hear Him above all other voices. 
To God be the glory now + forever
Prayer requests:
- pray for my students! We are over half way through the year. But every week they hear God's word and some of them have made the decision to make Him their Lord and Savior. So pray that those seeds would grow and that God would continue to give me boldness.
- pray for the local church here, that God would draw people to His church and that people would be saved and mature in Him. 
- pray for me and my health please (: allergies and sinus infections are a normal part of life for me haha but I had some natural treatment and I am hoping it will help.

I've been reading a lot lately about missions and this quote really
stuck out to me. We've got to keep the main thing the main thing!
Share the gospel, pray, God is moving! 
We had our first dinner guests at our little apartment (:

Kid's club. Narissa is so beautiful <3 she sits on my lap every week and always holds my hand.

Lydia and I twinnnning (:

My students

A gloomy day in Xela

Facepainting with the kids in Xela. Apparently it is more fun for them to
paint my face then for me to paint theirs haha


Picking up trash and evangelizing in Xela

Lake Atitlan. One of my favorite places ever

Little pre schoolers learned family 

OH and did I mention my nephew was born!!!!!!!! I can't wait to meet him (: