Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meet The Team: Becci

Here is an opportunity to meet the rest of Team Red: Czech Republic for the MO5 Short Term Missions Project.  I'm sure there will be others, so stay tuned for them!

First up is my prayer partner, travel partner, and partner in silliness, super-preparing and 'crime', (lol) Becci!

Who are you, and where are you from? 
I'm Becci and I'm from Levittown, NY.  I'm currently a full time graphic design/ photojournalism student. 
Who are you at home?  
I'm an army wife (not like the show), 'mama' to a very cute, but very destructive corgi pup, and avid adventurer. 

How long have you been a Christian?  
I have been a Christian all my life (raised in a christian home) but I made the decision to give my life to The Lord and was baptized when I was approximately 11 years old.
What small groups are you involved in at Mountain? 
I am involved with the Mountain Riders, the motorcycle ministry and small group at mountain.
Is this your first mission trip?  If not, where else have you gone, and when? 
This is not my first mission trip. I have also been to Kentucky, West Virginia and Reynosa, Mexico.
What made you decide to take this trip to the Czech Republic? 
 I have felt God calling me to go on another mission trip for years, but it was tough to find the time and the means since I was in the military.  I originally thought I was going on the trip to Southeast Asia but  during my interview, it was thought I would be more well suited for the Czech trip. 
How are you feeling about the trip as of today?  
I am absolutely psyched for this trip!  It really feels like God handpicked this team, and He really has a plan for us. 
What are some of your worries about the trip?  
Hmmm, worries?  No, I really don't have too many and the ones I do have are mostly irrational. 
What are you hoping to see/do while we are there? 
I'm really hoping to building a lasting relationship with not only the Czech People, but also the Mudrik family. I certainly want to see Prague too; I hear it's absolutely gorgeous. 
Do you have anything you'd like to add?  
I'm not sure what to add...I'm just really excited. :)

So there we have it!  The beginning of the interviews with Team Red.  I am excited to have Becci on the team, since she and I share so many things, and are growing in our relationship.

Just a note, our team of 10 has dropped,and we are now a team of 9.  One of the members felt that now is not the right time for them, and I am sad to see them go.  We are still a small team, however, I know that we will still make a HUGE impact on the Prague community, in His name!!

Once again, we are asking for your support.  Through prayer or financial assistance, we are grateful for any help you are willing to give.  Please click the link at the top left of the page to offer your support.  We thank you for the support that you have already shown by reading this blog, and would love to know you were here...please comment below, and let us know!

Friday, March 23, 2012

More information!

Had another big group meeting, where we got LOTS of information.  I am now scouring these internets for more on the Czech Cultures, traditions and rituals.

As for you, take a look at the MO5 website, and check out the information about our Europe Trip.  You will get to see what M)5 is all about, and should you feel so inclined, DONATE (hint hint :D )

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Let's get to work!

Last night, we had our first Team Red meeting.  A couple of folks were missing, but it was a great time anyway, especially since it was Pi Day (3/14, get it?  I thought it was funny), and Sherrill brought in an AMAZING Caramel Apple pie in to share.  Now, you may not know this, but anything Caramel, and Apple has got my I made sure to express my fondness of that amazing masterpiece to Sherrill!

*Sidenote:  Because I was in a hurry to get out of the meeting last night, I forgot to ask our new members for permission to use their names in this blog.  Forgive me, please.  I will try to do so at our next meeting.

Anyway, we did a couple of things last night, all of them exciting in some way or another:

~We found out who our Prayer/Travel partners would be, mine being Becci!  I know that I was fired up about this, since she and I have been chatting back and forth, giving advice and tips, and building a friendship.  I look forward to sharing some of her insight, since she has LOTS more travel experience that I do (she's backpacked Europe cool!)...not to mention, some of the other Team Red members already know what the 'trouble' will be, lol! (It's all in good fun though!)

~We then made a prayer bead reminder, so that when we see each bead, it represents a team member, and we can remember to pray for that person specifically.

~We wrote down our biggest worry/fears for the trip, shared it with our partner, and prayed for them.  Mine was not being able to keep in contact with my kiddios, and not sleeping well.  God seems to know exactly what he's doing, because Becci has a phone that can be used worldwide, and is equipped with Skype as well, so I will be able to keep up with the kids while I'm gone.  As for the sleeplessness, once again, it seems I have the perfect partner, because she said she'd be willing to walk the fields in the middle of the night with me, if needbe!  (BTW: Becci's was pretty funny, she said I'd laugh at hers, which I did...but it is something that I know we can handle!)

~We then had a brief devotional as to why we were called to be missionaries.  Basically, it all stems from the Abrahamic Covenant, found in Genesis 12:1-3.  We are blessed, to be a blessing; we are to go to countries around the world and bless those who are in the dark in His name....  There are SO MANY things I want to say about this right now, but can't...but not to worry, I am sure that will be another blog for another day!

~Next up was a update from the Mudrik family (EXCITING!).  Our trip leaders, Liz and Sherrill had a Skype session with Marek and Elaine, and got to find out some great information.  My mind was put a bit more at ease in finding out that we would not be camping out under the stars, but rather in a hostel.  I am no stranger to hostels, and look forward to hanging out in the one that will be chosen for us.  They Mudrik's are still building on the retreat center, and will need lots of help with that, which we will be doing...but also, we will be engaging with local college-aged people who are interested in speaking basically, we will get to talk to them (ABOUT ANYTHING!) all day while doing our work.  YAY!  Also, we will be worshiping, singing, praying and whatever else they want us to do while there. 

~We also worked on scheduling our meetings, setting up a Skype session for the whole team and the Mudrik family, learning the language, and fundraising....

...which leads me to fundraising here.  Dear reader, I humbly ask that if you are at all moved to support our team efforts to spread the light of Jesus in the Czech Republic, I invite you to click the link at the top left of the page, and give as you may.  At this point, every person on our team is behind in fundraising, but not due to a lack of effort.  We are all very prayerful that we will reach our goal amounts, but as of yet, we do not even have enough to begin reserving plane tickets.  Any amount will do, no matter how small, and we are grateful for every cent.  If you are unable to give financially, then please support us in prayer.  I thank you in advance.

So now that we know what some of the plans are, everyone is eager and ready to get to work!  I am in the process of planning interviews with my teammates, and will be posting them here.  If you are interested in asking any questions about the teammates, please leave them in the comment boxes below, and I will be sure to ask.

In the meantime, keep praying, and stay excited!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just a word...

Have you ever felt like you were "jipped by God"?  Like God gave you something, but it turned into a 'womp womp' situation?  Heard yourself saying "C'mon God...REALLY?"

(...sharing this from personal experience...)

Were you jipped by God?  Did you pray for something, and only got some/part of it?  Did you lay your expectations before him, and He not come through the way you wanted?

NO. (<<THAT was a period)

No...He answered your prayer.  And you got what you asked for (maybe more, but were so blind that you didn't see it for what it was!).  It just wasn't what you Thought, Expected or Hoped it would be.  But know the truth: HE ANSWERS PRAYER*.  He knows the desires of your heart** and never gives you more than you can bear***, nor does He harm you****!

Just as an example, for examples sake...remember how I prayed specifically, "Send me where I can best serve Your needs", which to me, meant Nairobi, Kenya...yet here I am going to Prague?  Yeah...that was one of those  "jipped by God" moments.  Amen though, I was able to get over myself, and I am completely fired up that He truly answered every word that I prayed specifically.

What are some of your 'jipped by God' moments?  Were you able to see what He has done for you, as opposed to what He did not do?  Howso?

*Matt 21:22:  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
**Psalm 21:2: You have granted him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips; Psalm 37:4: Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desire's of your heart.
*** Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you..."
****1Corinthians 10:13: ...And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear...

Correction!  Within that last scripture there, 1Cor10:13, it does state that He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear...not "He will not give you more than you can bear".  As my friend Juniper stated to me " actually it never says that in the Bible. We WILL have more than we can bear on our own sometimes, because otherwise we wouldn't need Him! We won't ever have temptation beyond what we can bear though. He will always provide a way out of temptation. Our study said this is one of the most misquoted verses by Christians (myself included!)".  Thanks so much, Juniper for that clarification!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seek Ye First...Matthew 6:33

Hey there...

I know I've got things I need to catch my readers up on, pertaining to Team Red (our new team members)...but I need to meet with them again, and get their permissions first.  We meet again as a team on Wednesday, so hopefully, I can bring you up to speed after that.  I am hoping to learn some things about them myself!

So, lately, I've been in 'super planning' mode.  I mean, at the last meeting, we got a bunch of information, including packing lists, etc., so I've been all over the internet, searching for options, pricing things out, looking for deals and things of that nature.  I've been looking at cash options (for spending money once I get there), checking with my bank for their international policies; checking international calling plans with my cell phone provider; studying all kinds of things, trying to be prepared, and almost over prepared for this trip.

And of course, I took a minute, and thought to myself "I must be crazy".  Who else does all of this planning 4 months out still?  Who else is combing details like this?    My teammates are gonna think I have OCD or something, lol.  Who else does that?

Well, today at church, I talked to my teammate, Becci.  As it turns out, she is in super planning mode as well! 

Yay, for real!  I'm not the only crazy one!

Seriously, though...for a little while, I had to admit that I was feeling insecure.  I had no idea how I would fit into the chemistry of my team.  I mean, with the exception of Taylor, all of my teammates are married; most have traveled overseas before (well...I've been to Cancun, and Toronto...but those don't count since I didn't need a passport).  Most have serve on missions teams before, and know what to expect.  Not me, on all accounts.

So I prayed.  I prayed for Him to ease my mind, that I would fit exactly where He needed me to.  I have NO IDEA, honestly, of how I will be used when I get over there, but He made a way for me to be on the team, and I specifically prayed "Lord, send me to where I can serve you best" He knows how I can serve best, and I know I will be used.  I also prayed for great relationships within my team, and after today's conversation with Becci, I feel like I am making progress.  See, she too, is thinking about the same things I and what to pack...our sleeping situation...Euros or Czech Krowns?...

and I immediately felt at ease!  She told me that she sees my posts sometimes, and thinks to herself "okay, WE can be friends".  YAY GOD!

On a sidenote:  I recently read a book called Kabul Beauty School, written by Deborah Rodriguez.  In the book, Deborah is volunteering to go on a missions trip to Afghanistan after 9/11.  She goes on the trip with doctors, nurses and therapists, and wondered what would be her role, being a lowly hairdresser.  Her heart was in for the work, though she had no idea what her job would entail.  When she was introduced to a large group that she would help serve with, she was introduced, and was found to be a hairdresser.  Hands shot up; so many people wanted haircuts, hair color and styles that she found herself busy for days on end.  She decided to stay in Afghanistan permanently, and began teaching Afghan women hairstyling, eventually opening a beauty school, and helping women start their own businesses.  Of course, this story helped me, since I kind of feel like I have no place on my team.  But who knows what God has planned for me (Jeremiah 29:11); I just need to allow Him to do His work on me, and follow Him in life and service.  Great book!

So we meet again on Wednesday...I'll be updating soon.

Thanks for reading my blog!  Should you so feel inclined to comment, please do so below!  If you are interested in supporting our trip, click on one of the links at the top of the page (on the left) to help!  Anything you can do is greatly appreciated.

See you soon!

Thank you God, for hearing my prayers.  Thank you for knowing the desires of my heart, and fulfilling them so that I can serve you with the confidence that a disciple of Christ needs.  You are merciful and wise, and have the master plan for how this entire trip is gonna go, and I am honored that you chose me to be on Team Red.  Thank you for my team,and watch over us as we begin team building; help us to be transparent and flexible with one another.  Thank you for Becci...though she be only one person, I appreciate you giving me someone to relate to, bounce ideas off of, and hold me accountable, and vice versa.  I pray that we grow not only as teammates, but as friends as well.  Lord, I ask that you help us in fundraising, so that no one is left behind due to lack of funding...but thank you for everyone who is supporting us, not only financially, but through prayer as well.  Team Red was put together by you, and we are traveling and serving WITH Jesus, and for that I cannot be more grateful.  Thank you for being an amazing God.  In Jesus' name...amen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Retreat highlights....I'm tired!

I just returned from a beautiful Women's Retreat weekend with my sisters from church.  I got to stay with my new friends, mother and daughter Barbara and April.  And while it was a wonderful time away with them, I am WORN OUT!

So, just a few highlights, so I can go an focus on my work (it IS Monday, afterall!).

Tracy Tiernan from 95.1 SHINE FM was our keynote speaker and worship leader for Friday and Saturday...and boy, was she challenging (I was openly sobbing by the end of the first session!).  As a worship leader at my church, I was immediately convicted by some of the things she scratched to the surface within me.  I have already begun putting her practicals to work.

Sandy Cove Retreat Center is truly a wonderful place (no TVs in the room, so you can focus on the people you came with...I'll admit, this was hard for me, since I usually fall asleep to the TV, and let the sleep timer turn itself off)...HOWEVER, the wall are thin.  I could hear my neighbors having regular conversations through the walls, and would be afraid to take my kids to stay in the lodge while visiting there.  However, they do have cabins, bunkhouses and campgrounds, so I would take them.  Also, this is how my group became known as "The Noisy Girls", lol (but I PROMISE you, we weren't anymore loud than anyone else!)

There was an amazing Commissioning and Annointing Service while we were there, where we were asked to listen to His voice, speak our Mission Fields, and be Commissioned to Go Forth and begin our works.  I have been commissioned as the leader of my children in pointing them towards Christ, and I have been commissioned to dedicate my life to the Worship Arts Ministry.  I am excited!

Finally, the thing that strikes me most as I think of this weekend is a snippet of a scripture that I memorized years ago, and how it is now burned onto my heart.  1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.". 

There is no fear in Love. 

There is No Fear in Love.

I woke up thinking about this, and am now sitting here at work, thinking about it as well...

...and drinking this coffee!  I'm TIRED! {I will discuss my feelings on this with those who comment :) }

I'll be back later this week, to talk about more things from Team Red, the MO5 team going to Prague.  We've got 3 new members that you need to meet...and had a large group meeting, discussing conflict resolution and spiritual warfare...but for now, I need rest.

In the meanwhile...tell me what you think of that quote, "There is no fear in Love."  What do you take away from it?