Every mission trip is different and every mission trip the same. Different countries, different teams, and different agendas. The same? There are always service-oriented people, always spiritual growth, and always, always love. Of course, there are always difficulties, too.
For the ladies on this mission trip to Nicaragua, our goal was to minister to women from the villages near the dump at a teaching conference called “Valuable Women”—teaching that women are precious and important to God. No matter their past, their culture, or their views: God loves them as they are. Some awesome teachers from my church, HHBC, taught about marriage, parenting and service. About sixty sweet women attended.
I gave my testimony, speaking about how I looked everywhere for love and grappled with loneliness and guilt, believing no one truly cared. Then God’s amazing love changed me. His love filled up my heart where no one else could. He is such an awesome God!
Some of our ladies team
We had difficulties during the trip like last minute handouts needed, printer running out of ink, and our leader too sick to attend the meeting after her hard work putting it together. One teacher got sick on the trip home. Oh. But I believe God was with us because we obeyed and shared the gospel as he asks us to do.
So I have been touched once again by ladies on my team and the Nicaragua women who were so gracious even amidst their poverty, trails and hardships. I long to be as kind as they are, so that the true Spirit of God may shine through. I was certainly blessed.
Sharing with women, walking through the pine trees, eating delicious spaghetti chicken, what more could you ask for? And yes, God’s Spirit was certainly there. He led us to understand more truth about Him. More understanding of His awesome love for us.
Women from Antioch Baptist Church met at Pa’s Cabin in the Woods for a retreat on April 1st and 2nd. A special candle light dinner on Friday night and all day teaching on Saturday. Long day for me as I taught because allergies gave me a terrible sore throat, and since I don’t have strong vocal chords anyway, the women had to be quiet to hear me! Tough duty. But they pulled through and opened up and shared from their hearts. Saturday, it seemed, was much more relaxed. I love teaching, especially to women who love the Lord so much. Thanks to all the wonderful women who put this together! You did an awesome job!
My sister, Kay, drove with me down there ( about 6 hour trip one way!) which made the trip easier. Thanks, Kay! Here are a few pictures taken from the retreat.
True love versus false love. How can we tell the difference? Both may be as attractive as roses, but one is the dime-store plastic kind and the other a fragrant red beauty. We need something more substantial than a temporary solution, wider than an Oklahoma sunset, and deep enough to fill the void inside. Actually, we need a God’s kind of love. Nothing else will completely and always satisfy. Nothing.
I’ll be driving to Shawnee once a week to teach a wonderful group of women at Temple Baptist Church. My Bible study, Love From the Inside Out, is about true, godly love, the kind Jesus exemplified. Part of the study evolved from women prisoners I counseled and the amazing truths they taught me about love.
Please pray for me and these 21 women as we study and share together – and as we learn to love others, even those difficult people in our lives.
We carry junk around in lives. I call it rocks—like carrying heavy rocks in our backpacks. Stuff we don’t need. Stuff that weighs us down – hurts or grief as we travel through life. The things that hold us back from doing what we want to do—what God might want us to do. Keeps us from being free. Just imagine a woman bent over because of the burden she carries. That’s us sometimes.
So how do we get rid of the rocks?
First, we have to admit they exist, don’t pretend we have no heartaches or burdens. And don’t, I repeat, don’t act like we can handle it on our own, because sometimes we can’t. It keeps reoccurring. Pay attention to what exactly causes the pain. Is it when someone calls me “stupid?” Or when I you feel overlooked, rejected, put down? When, exactly, does that negative emotion spring up?
Second, we must take those hurtful feelings out of the dusty, dark backpack and examine them. I know, I know. It’s hard to do. We’d rather keep them buried. But determine why you hurt, what beliefs are associated with the feelings. Put a specific name to that feeling. Not just “I’m hurt” but “I feel . . .” And then you might ask yourself questions like – When did I first start feeling this way? Have I felt this way before?
And third, we ask Jesus for help to see the anxious thoughts and get rid of the rocks. Actually, be willing to hand them over to Him. Ask for truth about our feelings. Only when we see our lives from God’s point of view can we exchange the hurt for things like peace or kindness or forgiveness.
You wouldn’t believe the difference! Our journey can be so much easier without that big pack of boulders on our back!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23
I was so excited to be able to speak at the WMU/Women’s Ministry Northwest Summit on April 9th and 10th of 2010. What a joy! The dear women accepted me, Jeannie, their cook, prepared food fit for the Queen of England, and the high school ensemble sang with talent to match any church I’ve ever visited.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and pray that many women were blessed. Carol, as president, did an outstanding job putting the program together. She is amazing!
I hope Mr. Bill forgives me, but I told the ladies I fell in love while in the Northwest — with the countryside, the people, and of course, with the gorgeous flowers. Maybe next time I go there, he can go with me. Just maybe, he’ll fall in love too. 🙂
Thank you for all your prayers. I certainly felt well and more at peace after you started praying. It made a huge difference. Thank you. Thank you.