Monday, November 30, 2009

All Will See Our God

I am humbled and blessed to the point of tears by all the notes pouring in of people praying for me, Susannah and the team this week.  There are even people I do not know praying for us.

 I woke up today with the weight of the world on my shoulders.  So much dancing around in my head and heart and so many details needing my attention.  Instead of spending time with God, I got right to work and the weight and emotion became heavier and heavier.  I found myself sad and scared at all that lay ahead and feeling completely inadequate.  Something my sister Rachel told me this summer before I left came to mind; "Anna times of discouragement will come but if you will lift up your head, God will lift up your heart."  How thankful I am for that reminder.  I dropped all I was doing and just began to worship out loud here in my apartment.  Over and over I sang,
"How great is our God
Sing with Me
How great is our God
All will see how great, how great is our God."
and then I sang
"Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to Thee
How great Thou art
How great Thou art"
I promise no matter where you are at this moment if you are reading this, take one minute and sing these words softly to yourself or out loud.  The feeling of His peace that surpasses all understanding will flow through your heart and you will know exactly how I felt at that moment.

God has not brought Susannah and I this far to leave us or fail us.  He never will and I know my God is bigger than darkness.  My God is bigger than government officials.  My God is bigger than time restraints.  My God is bigger than financial obstacles and this week all will see How Great is Our God!

On Tuesday December 1st we are going into the darkness for the first time, literally and spiritually.   We will go out around Tuesday evening at 7pm to meet and witness to the kids and invite them to the event on Saturday.  We are told that many of them come out at night dressed in black to sneak into the border and prostitute themselves.  The government at the border has chosen to not arrest one child so that we can talk with them and that they will trust us!  How awesome is God!  However they will be close by for our safety and protection.
Please pray for myself, Susannah and Nina as we go out into the dark.  We are going to be stepping on many toes of people who profit from these kids.  However, I will not back down in fear because the love of God has compelled Susannah and I to reach these kids.  He will protect us and guide us.  Thank you to all of you that pray and partner with us.  This is the only note I will post of facebook the rest will all be on the blog!

Love and Hugs to all of you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Susannah and I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support!

This past Tuesday morning we woke up at 3:00am to catch the 4:00am bus to La Cruz, Guanacaste.  We needed to finalize plans for the Fiesta being held December 5th.  For those that do not know, this project/fiesta is for the children and young girls in prostitution at the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The fiesta will be held on Nicaraguan ground technically inside the border because the spot of land we want to hold it at is on their turf.  Their cooperation was just as crucial if not more than Costa Rica's.  I had this gut feeling that we did not have Nicaragua's permission for the fiesta. We had been told by Nicaragua originally that it was no problem, however I could not shake the thought.   Everyone kept telling me that was not true but still in my heart I knew we needed to go talk with them again.  Turns out, God had been leading my heart because when we got there, they denied having any knowledge of talking with us. At first the border police would not even let us through into Nicaragua because of a lack of proper documentation.  Pastor Rudy, a friend and Nicaraguan swooped in and saved the day right as they were giving Susannah and I a hard time.   All I could do was pray as Susannah and the pastor reasoned with them.  God moved and the next thing I knew, we somehow managed to bypass several hoops and twenty minutes later, we were sitting in the office with the man with all the power. We had tried several times before to meet with him and always got the second in command, who was the one denying he knew of the fiesta!  However, the head of all of Immigration was so accepting of our project!  He was a sweet man and so easy to talk to.  We shared our heart and our project and it took him all of five minutes to agree.  When he did the second guy in command looked shocked! ha ha!  (He must have felt bad for giving us the run around because later he acted like our best friend.)  The head of Immigration  told Susannah and I that on behalf of the government he welcomed us with open arms and we were free to work with the young girls and he would do everything in his power to assure us security and help.  In front of us, he ordered the men under him to see to it that every time we were on their side, we were taken care of!  I could have jumped across the desk and hugged that man!  How easy he made it and how easy it seemed that Susannah and I marched into his office as if it was the most normal thing to do. 

By the end of the day, we managed to have security clearance for the fiesta from both countries and special passes by the head of Immigration for both nations.  Despite the heat and exhaustion, Susannah and I could not stop smiling.  Through God, we obtained victory. 

Later that night we met with a group of people from surrouding local churches on both sides of the border to finalize our plans.  The youth has prepared a drama, in which they are so excited about and the women are all chipping in to help us cook all the food for that day to feed the kids.  I am blessed by all the different churches helping and the unity we all feel.  As Susannah and I walked back to our hotel, we reflected on the power of God's goodness in all we had witnessed that day.
On this coming Tuesday, we will once again head to the border to go and personally invite as many kids as we can.  A group of women from the church will come with us to speak with the young girls, who only really come out at night to solicit their bodies, while a second group of women will remain at the church to pray and intercede while we are at the border.  Then later that week we will return again with our small North American team consisting of Susannah, myself, Nina, Brian and Jake.  Those three are flying in to help us and Susannah and I could not be more grateful!
Next week, will no doubt be awesome.  However, please keep us in your prayers for safety, provision, wisdom and that every heart would be moved by the love of God.  I am believing for God's glory to manifest in mighty ways all next week at the border.

Friday, November 20, 2009

My beautiful family :)

 My time in the US was bittersweet.  I was loved on, pampered and spoiled by my friends and family.  It was wonderful to drive my car (as simple as that little pleasure seems), eat at all my favorite places and curl up on the couch with my parents watching movies.  For the first few days I pretended that I lived there again.  I went running in my favorite park and it was so nice to not worry or look over my shoulder every five minutes!  However, reality would come crashing in when I would talk about my life here in Costa Rica and the children Susannah and I will be working with at the border.  As memories of my life here in sunny Costa Rica would come back, I would begin to miss being here and with my friends here.  After all, life was in Costa Rica now right?  I was not a Kentucky girl anymore, however I was not truly a Tica either.  I had never felt so torn between two worlds.

One day I went for a run in the park near my parent's house.  This park has been there for twenty years and I had been going there since I was a little girl to swing and play.  That day, I wanted to be a little girl again who could swing and play without a care in the world.  The park was empty and the weather was beautiful.  I sat on the swing, closed my eyes and began to just simply swing.  I began to sing softly and just worship.  In that moment such peace flooded my heart and I was home.  Then it hit me, I am not supposed to belong anywhere in this world.  In John 15 Jesus said, " do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world."  I realized the only thing that was comforting to me was Kingdom culture.  I don't belong to Costa Rica or Kentucky or Cornerstone Church.  I belong to Jesus and in His culture. This was the first time I truly understood and related to that verse.
After this revelation, visiting my old life in Kentucky was so much easier.  My sister Erica's wedding was beautiful.  Being apart of her and John's special day was a privilege.  I was so blessed that God worked it out for me to be there for everything!
The morning of my flight back to Costa Rica, I kissed each one of my little sisters' cheeks goodbye as they were all still sound asleep.  (Three of them still live at home.)  I hugged Mom and Dad goodbye at the airport and waited for my flight.   I felt tears begin to build up in my eyes and the ever familiar question ring in my heart, "Why?"
Why leave again? Why go alone? Why have to say goodbye? Why me?  The reassuring answer always replies with Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."  I have been given so much and God has entrusted me with much.  That is Why I must go.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

If my heart has grown cold
There Your love will unfold
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand
When I’m blind to my way
There Your Spirit will pray
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand

Oceans will part nations come
At the whisper of Your call
Hope will rise glory shine
In my life Your will be done

Present suffering may pass
Lord Your mercy will last
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand
And my heart will find praise
I’ll delight in Your way
As You open my eyes to the work of Your hand 

Many years ago I prayed that God would truly open my eyes and allow me to see the world through His eyes.  I never dreamed that my life would take on the wildest adventure of touching His heart through various places and faces.  I am now able to say, I have seen the hand of God at work daily in mighty ways.

I am so blessed by everyone who has prayed, served and sowed into my life and the lives of the children here.  The song above describes my heart.  God can call a nation by a mere whisper.  I am so in awe of God and His majesty.  Today, nothing special necessarily happened.  Today, there were no mountains moved, no miracles to tell.  Today was just a simple day I spent with Jesus and I love Him so much that my heart could burst.  Those are the moments with God I enjoy the most, when He and I can just BE.  The fact that He loves me, that He never leaves me and that He died so that I might have life in abundance is enough to stand up and shout His fame.  Today, I needed no other reasons than those to be so awestruck.

Four months ago, a scared and nervous girl boarded a plane to a country and life that was unknown.  In two days, that same and yet now very different girl will board a plane for a country and a life she used to know and live.  How that contrast of living has changed my life in just four months.  God has done so much and I know many will want to talk with me and want to know all I have learned.  I often think, how would I ever begin to explain?!  

One thing I know, I have learned and seen over and over here: God is Good. 

I will be in Kentucky for two weeks and I look forward to seeing as many faces as I possibly can and hugging as many of you as I can.   I also want to say a special thanks to Brea Kaiser who does all of the work and picture posting on this blog/website for the ministry!!