Tuesday, June 8, 2010


"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, it does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

-1 Corinthians 13: 1-7

As time has passed by and now leaves me with only 5 days left until I embark upon this new adventure with God - this mission trip to Africa - I've been thinking about love. Not what the world defines as love, but what God defines as love. It's a lot to live up to... and I'll admit that my first instinct is to despair, because I know there is no way that I can ever fulfill this call to love on my own. But thankfully, I don't have to do it alone...because God is right here with me. He's called me for this: to love. Will I be perfect at it? Probably not. Will I always feel like loving? Definitely not. But what's important is that I give my all to Him, and trust in His power to do a good work in me. I love this song by Johnny Diaz called "Love Like You Loved." It really is my prayer as I get ready to head across the world to share what God has done for me with the people of Africa...hoping to somehow help them find the gift of life that I have been so blessed to find in Christ. The main lyrics to the song are:

"Help me to love like You loved,

To serve like you served,

To speak only words of truth.

Help me to care like you cared,

For a world in despair,

Help me to love like You."

The theme for this summer's Global Expeditions mission trips is One Million Acts of Love. In John 13:35, Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." My prayer is that, preceding, during, and after this trip, God will teach me (and the people going with me) what it truly means to love...and that through this experience millions of acts of love will be poured out to touch millions of lives. It's not enough to just say we love others because Christ loved us. We need to find ways to show that love, even if it involves sacrifice. Especially if it involves sacrifice. Christ gave all of Himself for us...shouldn't it be reasonable, then, that we be willing to give all of ourselves for Him?

In a nutshell: I am totally stoked and feeling very challenged right now. Africa will be a huge mountain to climb, but I'm ready to be pushed...I'm putting my trust in God and I know He is going to provide the strength I will need to come through this...even if he has to carry me up the steep parts. God bless South Africa and Zambia!

Countdown to Africa: 5 days

Outside temp: 96°F

Verse of the Day:

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Monday, June 7, 2010

FD in CO

I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to you... but yesterday I went on another ride-along! This one was extra special, though, because I was in Colorado and so I got to do it with the Department in Woodland Park, which is a definite change of scenery. This was my third ride-along, and I stayed from 8am - 3pm. The morning portion was slow... and so in the down time I watched two movies with one of the firefighters, and we talked a bit. For lunch we had some kind of delicious sausage pasta that one of the firefighter's step-dad had brought by, and as I was about to head over to the dessert (some kind of fluffy, chocolately heavenly dish), we got a call. A little boy had fainted at the museum in town, and when we got there he looked okay but not great. After going through and discarding the list of reasons why he might have fainted, they checked his blood sugar and it was pretty high, and so they sent him to the hospital, saying that he probably has diabetes. Poor kid - not the news you want to hear when you're on a vacation with your family.

As we left that call we got another one while still in the truck. A male had crashed his ATV somewhere up in the forest, and it was reported that he had a possible break. Since we were already headed in that direction, we set out real fast...but finding the place where he was at was a whole other story. It was a total maze up in the forest, with all these different dirt roads, and after turning back, then turning back around, then turning back, we finally saw a Sheriff coming up the road and he pointed us in the right direction. We had made just one wrong turn - so we were close! In our turn around, the ambulance got ahead of us, but we both arrived on the scene at the same time. The guy had crashed into a tree and been flung off his bike. No blood, but when they checked his leg it had a bulge and they said he had definitely broken his femur. Ouch. Strange enough, the kid was more concerned about getting poked with the needle for an IV than he was about his wrecked leg. A helicopter came in and transported him to the hospital. That was my first time seeing a helicopter land and take off so close-by. It was pretty cool!

And that was pretty much it. By the time we got back to the station it was almost 2:30, and my dad was picking me up at 3:00, so I just hung out and then said my farewell's when it was time to leave. Hopefully we'll come back to Colorado again next year. I'll definitely go on another ride-along with them if we do! Oh, and I did get to eat some of the chocolatey heavenish dish...if you were wondering. I got it "to-go" and shared it with my family and cousins. Delicious!

Sadly, this also concludes our stay in Colorado. Yesterday was our last day. My alarm was set for 6am this morning, and we headed out by 7am...Now we've stopped for the night in some town in New Mexico. Las Cruces, I think. Anyway, what a trip! It's really been a blast, and yesterday was a great way to end it, I think. Plus our hotel room is great, and we ate at the best pizza place for dinner tonight. It was called "Zeffiro: New York Pizzeria," and it was amazing!

Countdown to Africa: 6 days!

Outside Temp: 92 degrees! (Getting close to AZ!)

Verse of the day:

"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!"
Luke 12:4-5

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It's amazing where a 15-hour drive can get you. First I'm in the flat, cactus-filled desert that is my home, and now I'm enjoying the beautiful forests and chilly weather of Colorado! My uncle and his family have an amazing home up here (the picture above is the view from the living room), and my family is visiting them for a week just for fun. And it has definitely been fun! I have my own private room up in the office - well, not totally private, I have some fish for roommates, but they don't say much.

We got here Sunday evening, and monday morning we saw two bears just outside the house. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me so I don't have any pictures of them. I have been hoping they would come back, but so far there's been no further sight of them. Yesterday we also went on a hike, where we discovered some small caves in the rocks, and then me, my sister, and two of my cousins spent the night outside in a tent. It got a little chilly, and we were a little afraid of mountain lions and bears, but we lived and it was a lot of fun.

This morning was a little lazy. I slept in until 9am, hung out with my cousins for awhile, and
then went into town with my parents for a short shopping excursion and lunch. We ate at this little deli and it was delicious! As we were driving back up the mountain toward the house, I saw the Fire Department and asked my parents if they'd mind if I stopped in. They said they didn't, so I got a tour of the station and met the people working on C-shift. It's a pretty cool station, and they invited me to come on a ride-along this Sunday, so I'm looking forward to that. There are two women on the shift, so I thought that was pretty cool as well.

Right now we're watching AVATAR and I'm drinking a Chai Latte. I'm going to sign off for now, but I'll probably write again sometime this week. Have a blessed day!

Outside Temp: 60°F (But it will get much colder later...)

Countdown to Africa: 12 days...Lord prepare me.

Verse of the day:
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12