Living Water/Agua Viva

Let me explain my personality, and maybe you can relate:

Ever since I can remember (and my parents tell me I was like this from the moment I was born), I fight to get what I want. If there’s something I want to go after, there is no convincing me that I won’t get it if I work hard enough. This has it’s redeeming qualities – I fight for what I love and don’t give up when things get tough, I go after things that frighten me just to conquer them, and I’ve accomplished things out of pure determination not to fail. I compete with myself constantly to show that I can be bigger and better.

However.

When there are obstacles in my life that I truly can’t do anything about, when I can’t convince someone of what I think they need to know or feel, and when situations are completely out of my control to change, I get frustrated and defeated. I feel like I’ve failed.

I go hard and I go fast, and my entire life I’ve been an intense person. As fierce as I love, failure is just as earth shattering.

When I come to road blocks in the places of my life where I want to continue, it’s very hard for me to accept. I feel drained, spent, burnt out. I put all my energy into something, and all my energy  isn’t enough.

Does anyone else feel this way?

These past couple weeks I have been doing some heavy reflection on my heart and from where I’m drawing energy to go so hard at the main challenges of my life right now. Why have I felt so insufficient lately?

I was reading John 4 and it jumped out at me so obviously that I couldn’t miss it.

Jesus has such a kind and gentle way of explaining these huge mysteries to us, that I think sometimes they seem so simple that we don’t look for the big message He’s trying to get to us. In John 4, He explains to a woman at the well that the water He offers, living water, is so much better than anything she could get from that ordinary well. He says,
“Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”

I have my own personal well inside me. I draw from my own strength and energy and reservoir of love, and sometimes, I hit the bottom of the well and it’s completely dry. Many times, I am stretching out that last bucket of water and making every drop count.
I am left feeling hurt, because I wasn’t enough.
I’m tired of loving, because what I give from my own well is my personal supply, and I’m doling it out bucket after bucket.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago what my purpose in life was, what did I feel called to do with my one life.
My first instinct was to say, “Help people!”, because that’s what makes me feel useful. I love feeling useful.
But a few days ago, God asked me if I remembered what He first told me years ago when I was starting to ask Him what He wanted me to do with my life.
And I remembered that what He told me He created me for wasn’t to “help” people.
I was called to love. To love and to love and to love and to pour out even more love, and through that God was going to work in His way and in His time.

Truthfully, no one needs my help. It’s impossible for me to “fix” anyone. But what everyone needs is love and grace. Once you start to love someone and see them as God does, it’s easy to see how you can be useful in their life.

The past couple years I have been drawing from my very limited supply of love. I’ve tried to love people my way and with the few resources I have. That love has an end to it, a limit that I seem to reach over and over again.

So this week God has been gently reminding me to draw from His well that He provides me. He has been inviting me to drink of His living water until that well becomes a part of me and I never feel thirsty again. He’s encouraging me to love on people but not from what I think I can give them. He’s showing me that when I draw from His unending supply of living water, love doesn’t have to hurt, it doesn’t have to drain me, and it can be the most beautiful, liberating thing.


Permítanme explicar mi personalidad, y tal vez puedes identificarse:

Desde que puedo recordar (y mis padres me dicen que yo era así desde el momento en que nací), yo he luchado para conseguir lo que quiero. Si hay algo que deseo, no me puedes convencer de que no lo conseguiré si lucho lo suficiente. Esto tiene sus cualidades redentoras – lucho por lo que amo y no me rindo cuando las cosas se ponen difíciles, enfrento las cosas que me asustan sólo para conquistarlas, y he logrado metas solo por la pura determinación de no fallar. Compito constantemente con mi misma para demostrar que puedo ser más grande y mejor.

Sin embargo…

Cuando no puedo hacer nada con algunos obstáculos en mi vida, cuando no puedo convencer a alguien de lo que creo que necesitan comprender o sentir, y cuando las situaciones están fuera de mi control para cambiar, me siento frustrada y derrotada. Siento que he fallado.

Voy duro y voy rápido, y toda mi vida he sido una persona intensa. La intensidad con que demuestro amor es la misma con que caigo cuando fallo.

Cuando llego a las barricadas de la vida en lugares donde quiero seguir, es muy difícil para mí aceptar que me tengo que detener. Me siento agotada, gastada, quemada. Pongo toda mi energía en algo, y toda mi energía no es suficiente.

¿Alguien más se siente así?

Estas últimas semanas he estado haciendo una pesada reflexión en mi corazón y de donde estoy sacando energía para trabajar tan duro en los desafíos de mi vida en este momento. ¿Por qué me he sentido tan insuficiente últimamente?

Estaba leyendo a Juan 4 y lo que encontré se me hizo tan obvio que no podía perderlo.

Jesús tiene una manera tan amable y gentil de explicar los enormes misterios para nosotros. Creo que a veces parecen tan simples que no buscamos el gran mensaje que Él está tratando de ayudarnos entender. En Juan 4, Él explica a una mujer en un pozo que el agua que Él ofrece, agua viva, es mucho mejor que cualquier agua que pudiera obtener de ese pozo ordinario. Él dice,

“Cualquiera que beba de esta agua volverá a tener sed, pero el que beba del agua que yo le dé, no volverá a tener sed jamas, porque dentro de él esa agua se convertirá en un manantial del que brotará vida eterna.”

Tengo un pozo personal dentro de mí. Saco de ese pozo mi propia fuerza, energía y amor, y a veces toco el fondo del pozo y está completamente seco. Muchas veces, quiero utilizar la última gota de agua en miles de cosas.

Me siento mal, porque no soy suficiente.
Estoy cansada de amar, porque lo que doy de mi propio pozo es mi provisión personal, y lo estoy gastando balde tras balde.

Alguien me preguntó hace unas semanas cuál era mi propósito en la vida, qué era lo que me sentía llamada a hacer con mi única vida.
Mi primer instinto fue decir, “Ayuda a la gente!”, Porque eso es lo que me hace sentir útil. Me encanta sentir útil.

Pero hace unos días, Dios me preguntó si recordaba lo que Él me dijo hace años cuando yo estaba comenzando a preguntarle qué quería que hiciera con mi vida.

Y recordé que la llamada no fue simplemente para “ayudar” a la gente.

Me llamó para amar. Amar y amar y amar y derramar aún más amor, y por medio de eso Dios iba a trabajar a Su manera y en Su tiempo.

La verdad, nadie necesita mi ayuda. Es imposible que yo “arregle” a alguien. Pero lo que todo el mundo necesita es amor y gracia. Una vez que empiezas a amar a alguien y verlo como Dios lo ve, es fácil entender cómo puedes ser útil en su vida.

Los últimos dos años he estado sacando de mi muy limitado reservorio de amor. He tratado de amar a la gente a mi manera y con los pocos recursos que tengo. Ese amor tiene un fin, un límite donde llego una y otra vez.

Esta semana, Dios me ha estado recordando suavemente a sacar del pozo que Él provee. Él me ha estado invitando a beber de Su agua viva hasta que ese pozo se convierta en un manantial dentro de mí y nunca volveré a sentir sed. Me anima a amar a la gente, pero no con lo que creo que puedo darles. Él me está mostrando que cuando yo saco de Su provisión interminable de agua viva, no tengo que sentir lastimada cuando demuestro amor, no tengo que sentir agostada, y puede ser la cosa más hermosa y liberadora.

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Have it all/Tenga todo (English/Español)

(Después en español)

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When children hurt themselves, often they go running to their parents, tears streaming down their faces as they cry for help and healing.
Other children get hurt, and they hide it. They know that the scrape they have on their knee, the twisted ankle that is starting to swell, they know that it’s going to hurt more to get better. They are the too wise for their years children, the ones that don’t have that shiny bright new innocence still planted in their hearts.
So they hide the hurt. They hide the dirt filled scrape that needs cleaning and the bones that need setting.
And it gets worse.
And their parents ask the child to show them what’s wrong, because a parent always knows.
But they hide, because they know it needs to feel worse to feel better.
The parents can work with the child and give them medicine for the pain, but they can’t get to the root of the problem if the child doesn’t offer that hurt part to them and allow them to heal it. The child will never fully heal if the messy, painful part isn’t taken care of.
•••
We are children, you guys. We know perfectly well that God can heal and restore us and put us back together to be whole.
But we are too wise, and we know it will hurt first to get better, so we refuse to show him the worst parts of ourselves and offer them to be healed.
This is the sacrifice God desires. He doesn’t want perfect performance, He doesn’t want a fake version of ourselves that we put on to hide our deepest faults.
He desires that place in your heart that’s been stored away maybe all your life. He wants the thing that makes you cry and scream at night because you can’t control it.
He wants the most vulnerable parts of you that you can’t fix on your own and you never will.
Only when you give him your worst can he begin the process to heal you.
Only when you decide to let him have what you most want to hold on to can He redeem you wholly and completely.


Cuando los niños se lastiman, la mayoría van corriendo y llorando a sus padres, caras llenas de lagrimas, buscando ayuda.
Otros niños se lastiman y lo esconden. Ellos saben que el raspado en la rodilla, el tobillo doblado que empieza a inflamar, saben que esas cosas duelen primero para después sentir mejor. Son los niños que son demasiado viejos por sus años, los que ya no tienen esa nueva y brillante inocencia sembrada en su corazón.
Así que, esconden su dolor. Esconden la tierra incrustada en el raspado que ocupa limpieza, y los huesos que necesitan ser fijados.
Y las cosas se empeoran.
Y los padres piden que el niño enseñe su herida, porque los padres siempre saben qué hay algo mal.
Pero lo esconden, porque saben que primero tiene que doler más para sentir mejor.
Los padres pueden hacer algunas cosas con el niño, le puede dar un analgésico para el dolor, pero no pueden llegar a la raíz del problema si el niño no ofrece esa parte lastimada a ellos y dejarlos sanarla. El niño nunca va a sanar completamente si no deja que le sanen la parte dolorosa y terrible.
•••
Amigos, nosotros somos niños. Perfectamente bien sabemos que Dios puede sanar y restaurar y arreglarnos para ser personas completas.
Pero somos demasiados sabios, y sabemos que primero va a doler para poder sentir mejor después, entonces rechazamos mostrarle las peores partes de nosotros y rechazamos la oportunidad de ser sanados.
Y este es el sacrificio Dios desea; Él no desea un desempeño perfecto, no desea una versión falsa de nosotros que ponemos para esconder nuestras fallas más profundas.
Él desea el lugar en tu corazón que ha sido guardado tal vez toda tu vida. Él quiere la cosa que te hace llorar y gritar en la noche porque no la puedes controlar.
Él quiere las partes más vulnerables de ti que tú no puedes arreglar solo y nunca podrás.
Solo cuando das lo peor de ti, Él puede empezar el proceso para sanarte.
Solo cuando decides dejarle tener lo que más quieres guardar para ti mismo Él puede redimirte completamente y enteramente.

Lost In Glory

Sunday thoughts!
I’ve spent a lot of time crying lately. 

But they’ve been such good tears. 

They’re tears of so many toxic things that I believed about myself for my entire short life being broken and shattered to pieces. 

This new transition has brought such new life in my heart that I can’t even begin to explain it. I hardly understand it. 

These tears are watering the new life growing in my heart, and it feels so rich, so sacred. 

Today the Lord brought the revelation of beginnings to me. How everything has a root, it all starts somewhere. For example, the transformation I’m going through right now didn’t happen all at once, out of nowhere, He began this work years and years ago. 

He amazed me with the thought that who I am was being shaped when I was still be formed inside of my mother. 

He astounded me with the knowledge that nothing I’ve done has detained or deterred His purpose for my life. 

 I wouldn’t be where I am without the nurturing of my parents. 

The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He put me in the family I’m in. 

The deepness of my parents’ love takes my breath away. Their dedication and perseverance has no limits. 

I know that each time they found out about one of our existences, they staked claim in heaven and on earth for our souls. 
It all makes me feel so small, but so beautiful lost in the glory. 

It just amazes me to think of all that’s going on around us though we are unaware. 
The billions of things that have led up to this point in my life, when I’m doing something so very unextraordinary but so deeply fulfilling makes me feel another layer of His love, how hard He works on and designs our lives. How much detail He goes into so that we can just live.

I’m All In

In the same vein of what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, that my view of my God for the longest time has been me expecting a prize when I do something right and expecting punishment when I do something wrong…
Still pondering that a lot and enjoying getting to know my Father all over again for who He truly is, a God who is good no matter what I say or do or how I act. I know that He prepares the way before I know where I’m headed, but I’m also learning that He wants me to do some preparing as well.
He says in Isaiah 54:2,
“Enlarge the site of your tent, and let your tent curtains be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deep.”

Knowing that He is good, I can anticipate His coming. I can expectantly not only wait, but get ready for His arrival.
I can set up camp with deep assurance that He will move.

I have a very hard time letting things go and going after something I’m not sure of without knowing in advance if it’s going to work out, if it’s worth making a commitment or a big break.
If I’m being honest I’m measuring myself up to a big standard and not really knowing if I deserve something good, even great.
My tiny human mind truly believes in punishment for “bad behavior”.

Something the Lord has been calling me into lately is this: I give you good things because you are my child. I treat you like a treasure because that’s who you are.
The biggest gift of love He gave to me was not a prize for living perfectly, but because He saw me as worthy.

I can drive my pegs deep into this place of security.
I can believe these crazy, beautiful promises He’s making me because He is trustworthy.
I’m not scared He’ll take back His love anymore.
I’m all in.
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He is GOOD

I had a friend ask a really interesting question, and I was kind of uncomfortable that I didn’t know how to answer it in the moment, so I spent some time figuring it out. He asked me what was solidified as truth in my heart that God is good, and is good to me.

I’ve come to realize over the past few years that it’s not about the outward situations. It’s not about what’s going on in my life or what is working and what’s not. The circumstances that happen to me aren’t what define God and who He is to me. I lived so long subconsciously believing that what happened to me was either a reward or a punishment for my choices and actions. But I’m starting to believe that that’s not the way it works. My true purpose in life is to grow closer to my creator, I want to spend my life getting to know Him. And the more I’ve gotten to know Him (which is so little in the big picture), the more I see His goodness is found in who He is, not in what He allows to happen. And each time I get beaten down by the world, it’s an opportunity to get even closer, to trust Him in the midst of pain. I have to remember that I will never truly understand how He works while living in my human body and thinking with my human mind. I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on 2 Corinthians 4:18: “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

and 5:7-9 “For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to Him.”

I truly believe on of the best ways we can be pleasing to Him is by seeking Him, spending time understanding His ways, and looking for new aspects of His nature. I’ve never been disappointed by anything new I’ve found out about Him.

I’ve read a lot of verses about how we need to trust God and you know, not lean on our own understanding, but I couldn’t do that until I truly believed that He was trustworthy. And that was built up by a lot of time being quiet and listening. I spent (spend) a lot of time asking questions and asking Him to come. And reading Psalm upon Psalm upon Psalm.

Now, instead of asking God, “why are you letting this happen to me?”, I can trust it’s just part of the process. I know God loves me. I know He is good to me. And I know that it’s not a goodness that depends on my actions. It’s who He is. I still ask WHY sometimes, but it’s more curiosity. What can I learn from this experience? Where do you want me to grow?

I can’t tell you I’m like this 100% of the time. There are moments when I feel too broken to say even one word. But I can tell you that even in those moments I never feel alone or abandoned.

I hope this doesn’t give the impression to anyone that I think I have it all figured out. Ooooohhh man I know I’m not even close. But I’m excited that this is the beginning, and there’s so much more to learn.

It’s funny…

It’s funny…5 years ago I certainly didn’t think that at this point in my life I would be 22, just starting an 8-year degree, about to live completely alone, and yeah, honestly, single. All of this happening in a foreign country by the way.
5 years ago, I expected that in 5 years time I would know SO much about God and be SO sure of who He is, and that my life would revolve around joyfulness and community and strong relationships.
I dreamed that I would be singing in churches with a baby on my hip and a steadiness in my heart.
I dreamed that I would be settled.
I dreamed that my heart would be so full of love that I would drown in the bliss and be the kindest person to everyone I met and have a strong tribe that walked through life with me.

I never imagined my heart would get so bent up and bruised that I wasn’t sure it would ever be the same.
I never imagined I would be starting over again for the 100th time.
I never imagined that at the end of the day, it would just be me and Jesus, not a single other soul in sight.
I never imagined I would be so TIRED.

I’ve pleaded with God these past years for stability, to be able to just settle and get comfortable.
But it’s been a roller coaster. Passion and heartbreak and overwhelming joy and indescribable sadness.
My heart has burst, deflated, grown soft, been tender, and felt hollow.
I’ve seen the Lord’s hand move so powerfully and heard His voice speak so gently.
I’ve felt the weight of my unworthiness, my incapability, my ignorance, and I’ve felt Him hold me through it all.
“I’ll teach you,” He says.

As you may have read, I made the decision recently to take a break from full-time missions and pursue a medical degree that I believe will be the start of the ministry the Lord has been preparing me for all this time. In the beginning, when He starting nudging me, I was like,
“Noooooo, I think I’m good here!”
This is the longest I’ve been with a ministry, and my original plan was to be involved with it for at least 5 years.
I am head over heels in love with the small beach town I live in and the people who have made me family.
I couldn’t bear the thought of having to start over again.

If you know me, you know I’m an extrovert, and humans are my life. Seriously, I could make friends with a rock…and probably get it to talk back, let’s be real.
I am most content when I am having conversation and talking about everything and getting to know the beautiful inside of a person. A lot of nights, I go to sleep thinking about all my incredible friends and all the wonderful things about them and how completely awesome they are. You guys are my collection, by the way, and I treasure it with all my heart.

I hate leaving people behind. I love making new friends but it gets exhausting. I seriously cannot have a surface-level relationship…we’re either best friends or you probably hate me, WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!
Haha…my friend and I like to call our type of personality “dog people”. I am literally a puppy that all day long wants to know how you’re doing, what you’re doing, when can I see you, and LET ME LOVE YOU.

So….this starting all over – beginning at the university, living in a different city, having no free time from studying and classes – this has made a hollow in me.

Awhile back I read “Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet” by Sara Hagerty, which I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about before.
I just came back to it because, well, IT’S MY FAVORITE BOOK EVER.
And there’s a part in the first chapter that always hits me so hard. Ok, every part hits me hard. It’s all good.
But this specific part says, “Pain had created space. Space to want more. Space to taste a sense of being alive.”

As angsty as this post is, I hope you know that I’m not discouraged. I’m excited about starting a new adventure because I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest I’ve been on yet.
I’m not discouraged but I am feeling a lot right now. It’s not a very happy feeling, honestly, it’s those stupid growing pains that are so fruitful but so uncomfortable.
This hollow that I feel is the space in me that’s my being getting ready to be filled. I’m not trying to make this soul a hoarder’s house, if you feel me.

So, my dear friends from afar that I miss and love, let’s pray through this together, yeah?
Let’s be praying that God gives us hunger for something radical that He wants to fill us up with. You can’t be hungry without clearing some room out in your stomach though, so, as much as I hate dumb analogies, let’s de-clutter!
Nope. I hated that.
Ugh.
However you want to imagine it, think about making some room to taste joy, and peace, and grace like it’s your first time again.
My prayer for you is that you would be aware and accepting of things that need to be let go of, and that you would have hopeful anticipation of the Lord blowing your mind in an area you least expect it.

And if you want to FaceTime, I would love to immerse myself in some good English language time. Seriously.
Or if you have any amazing video devotionals or series that you are loving lately and that’s inspiring you in all kinds of ways, please give me suggestions!

Big Ministry Update for 2016

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Friends, Family, Supporters,

I’m writing to you about some BIG changes that are happening with my ministry. Finding Hope is doing better than ever and flourishing as we are truly flying through construction. God has been so good and faithful to provide donations to continue work on the building. Unfortunately, and sadly for me, I have not gotten to be a part of the construction crew for the past few months. As I shared in August last year, I began studying to become a CNA in Honduras. It was supposed to be a 2 year program, but since I had one-on-one classes, it went much faster than expected, and I’m 2 ½ months into my year-long internship at a private hospital in La Ceiba. It’s been really difficult not being able to be in the ministry 24/7 and seeing so much happen without getting to be a part of it. It has been hard, but I know that the Lord put it on my heart to learn something that could be valuable towards helping those in need. In addition, I’ve really loved my internship and different practices so far. I’ve actually been liking it way more than I thought I would.

I’ve always loved helping people, and it’s been the true passion of my heart for my entire life. I think at this point, (and yes, I know I’m too young to say this) I thought I was done finding all the big passions, the things that make me feel like I’m living out my calling. But I was wrong. I never realized how beautiful it would feel to help heal someone’s body while making the real focus on the Great Healer who restores our hearts.

After spending months praying about this new desire to be able to do more, learn more, and help more in the medical field, I made a decision. In June of this year I will be leaving Finding Hope, finishing my Nursing internship, and in the Fall, I will begin studying Medicine at the private Catholic university in Honduras.

The goal is to be a missionary doctor in Honduras, specifically to the remote areas where healthcare is unavailable. My heart aches for my friends and Honduran family, and their humiliation and frustration with the only healthcare they can (barely) afford that, most of the time, doesn’t resolve any of the problems they have. My hope is to provide quality healthcare to those who can’t afford it, treating them with the love and respect they deserve, while also using that opportunity to share about the only One that can truly heal them.

So, details! It will be 8 years of school – 1 year in Ceiba, 6 years in San Pedro Sula, and 1 year in whatever location they give me for my residency. I will still need to keep up my costs of living, which is about $400 a month, plus an additional $250 a month for costs of school. It’s a big commitment! And to be honest, slightly frightening. But I am committed, 100%. This whole journey and experience that I’ve had in Honduras has shaped and grown me for this next big step, and I am fully trusting in the Lord’s faithfulness that He will guide me through to the end.

I am leaving Finding Hope with a sad, but thankful heart. The past two years have been some of the best of my life, getting the opportunity to work with this incredible ministry and be a part of something beautiful that is happening in the little town of El Porvenir. I will always be their biggest cheerleader and encourage you to support them and follow their ministry after I leave.

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Read about Katlyn McConnell, the Director of Finding Hope’s new ministry changes HERE
She’s about to become a Foster Mom and continue on with ministry, so she needs your prayers as well!

The Best Ministry Moment Yet

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Last night was one of the most rewarding ministry moments of my entire life.
This past weekend we took a group of over 30 people (mostly youth ages 14-27) to a retreat/conference with the new church we are helping to plant and minister in.
To be completely honest, the weekend started off slightly uncomfortable, with much of the ministry being something I’m not used to.
I think what changed it for me was seeing the youth we brought having encounters with the Lord that were ROCKING their world.
Youth that were either new Christians or not Christians at all.
Youth that were using drugs every day,
youth who worked with a gang,
youth who had been abused by their family,
youth who had so much hate and resentment in their hearts,
youth who are desperately searching for love in all the wrong places.
They came back changed in a way I have never seen before in my entire life, and I’ve been going to church since I was a baby.

Everyone says, and the truth is that it usually happens: That people, and especially youth, will come back from a retreat on a spiritual high, and it won’t last. They’ll just go back to the same habits and life they were living before.

I chose and am choosing every day to believe and pray that this will not happen with our new warriors.

Last night we had our first church service since coming back from the retreat.
Our usual attendance is never more than 20 people on a good night, and Mario’s family makes up the majority.
Last night we had over 50 people attend.
And they weren’t people that had just heard about our church…they were family, friends, acquaintances, and neighbors of all the youth that went on the retreat.
They brought their mothers who at one time had said they don’t love them, their siblings that they had denied for years, their children who had never seen the inside of a church building, and their neighbors that they had gossiped about and laughed at.

Their faces are changed. There’s an actual physical change in their appearances and the way they carry themselves.
They couldn’t stop smiling, the mouths were full of AMENs and GOD BLESS YOUs.
They had been watching the whole retreat how the leaders would be the first to lay hands on those who need prayers, the first ones to start singing and lifting their hands up to heaven, the first to help and support the pastor with whatever the Lord put on his heart.
As the message ended and we entered into a time of worship and prayer, and an invitation to be a part of this revolution, our warriors took on their new roles without anyone telling them what to do. They worshiped the Lord with all their hearts but kept an eye on the others, scurrying over to someone who was crying to lift their hands up and pray blessings over their soul.

I was humbled beyond words. Youth that I, before, would have never even dreamed about even inviting to church stood in front of the congregation and told their testimonies of how God changed their hearts. In front of everyone they asked their families to forgive them, they asked to be held accountable to not return to their past, and they declared their commitments to the Lord.
They cried as their siblings that they had invited stepped forward and accepted the challenge of living for Christ.

It was incredible.

Afterward, the pastor got the youth together and we went to three houses to pray for families that the Lord had put on the pastor’s heart. That was a whole OTHER experience.
These youth were not all friends before the retreat. Some of them were even enemies. They had some serious beef with each other.
But the last day of the retreat, and from then on, that hate and resentment was banished from our group.
Walking down the roads of Porvenir, everyone was holding hands, and telling each other I LOVE YOU and I CARE ABOUT YOU and WHAT’S WRONG and WE’LL PRAY ABOUT THAT!
After prayer, we had a meeting and the pastor explained what the next few weeks would look like.
We are so passionate that this fire will not be put out.
These warriors have their schedule, their jobs, and their responsibilities. I truly think structure and taking ownership will be the keys to not losing the “spiritual high”.

I NEED YOUR PRAYERS!

More than ever these guys need prayers. God took them out of some HEAVY stuff, and it could be so easy to return.
If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time, you know that although many things become more easier after letting God take control of your life, the devil comes in SO strong to tempt and destroy and take back what he thinks is his.

Help me in proclaiming DELIVERANCE and REDEMPTION over these new lives and for the Holy Spirit to transform their minds and old ways of thinking.
Pray for their unity, and for the direction the group should go in.

Pray for our church building! The one we don’t have yet!
Right now we’re meeting at Mario’s house, and we don’t fit anymore. There aren’t enough chairs or space.
We’re looking at a couple of properties, but we also need the Lord to provide the funds.

You guys.
I am SO EXCITED.
I am SO HONORED to be part of something so extraordinary.

Thank you thank you thank you for helping me with your prayers and financial support to be able to live here and experience the Kingdom of God in new ways every single day!

********

SUPPORT  FINDING HOPE, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to Haille’s Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

A Season of JOY

Well, this has been quite an interesting “season” as we say in church talk. Hah.
The past couple months have been really strange emotionally, and it’s all really taken me aback. See the truth is, I have just been SAD lately. I was waking up not wanting to see a single soul, and not feeling worthy or able to take on anyone’s drama or problems. I realize the only “fixer” of these problems is the Lord, so that takes a lot of stress off of me, but at the same time I like to think of myself as a pretty good “fixer” too, and that takes me on an emotional rollercoaster ride if I let it get away from me.

I cried a lot, I felt indescribably but also unreasonably lonely, and all the things that normally make me happy didn’t do anything for me at all.
I wracked my brain trying to figure out why this was all happening, and in the process went to the Lord a LOT, and prayed almost every waking moment. I spent so much time in the Bible, because something in the back of my mind (oh yeah, hi, holy spirit) was sure (and rightly so) that God’s words were going to be the only comfort I could find.

I am discovering that the whole season was a time to find comfort in the Lord….it was time to get my heart wrecked and refined by fire, and time to search deeper than I had ever before inside my soul and see what I was really living for.
The Lord did some serious cleansing of my heart, and changing it to want GOOD, HOLY things. I am literally just in awe, no words to describe grateful. This is what I have been praying for for so long, and it’s finally starting to take place in my life.
I read a book about King David and spent a lot of time thinking about the reason for “suffering”…for these times when it seems like problems and bad news just keep piling up.
Sometimes God does things to break us, to test our faith, and I think He really does it to a chosen few. I think the amount of people who go through hardship and strife and use that time to find their weaknesses and make themselves stronger is very small, actually.
I am the first to tell you that normally, as far as hard times go, I suffer through the darkness, feel sorry for myself, and once I get back into the light I just try to forget about how badly I felt. Honest truth.
But what I’m learning is that I need to be encouraged that God is intentionally working out my kinks and sanding off the rough edges. It means that there’s something worth saving underneath all of this, and God thinks it’s worth His time to fix me up. There are small and big things that the Lord can use me for, all equally important, but I need to be in the right place to accomplish His tasks with the right attitude and motives.

When in crisis, sadness, distress, etc….Going to the Lord and asking for His opinion and direction and WAITING for answers is infinitely more reliable and brings more peace than sharing my struggles and asking for solutions from people. Which is not to say I’ve not had amazing encouragement…because people are actually really awesome and bring a lot of joy to my life.
But I tend to go to everyone looking for answers to my problems when trustworthy guidance from someone who knows every corner of my heart would be much more trustworthy.

The season ended well. Last Sunday I felt the Lord clearly saying that I was released from that time, that I was no longer going to feel sorry for myself or play the victim, but that I was going to choose JOY every day when I woke up. Instead of waking up thinking about all my troubles, I was going to wake up thinking about and thanking God for all the blessings in my life, and I was going to get excited about all the possibilities of a new day and what God could do with it.

So, THANK YOU so much if you’ve been praying for me during this time without knowing what was going on…I would like to be the perfect missionary and christian, and have a brave face on all of the time, but the truth is that all of us are always growing, and there’s always something the Lord can change to help better ourselves and help His work be done on a greater level.

I’m excited about this new season of JOY. It’s been going so well so far! The drama is never ending here, and it’s worse since I’m by myself until Katlyn gets back from the States, but nothing is changing my joy.
Ugh, joy is just so deep. I love it. It’s a state of peace and trust that no matter what happens, there’s blessings at every turn and so many possibilities of literally anything and everything wonderful happening.
It’s sunshine and still waters and new hope.

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VERY IMPORTANT:
I will be coming home to the States from June 16th – July 17th. I NEED to do some major fundraising for Finding Hope in that time, but I need your help!
I am looking for churches, organizations, clubs, schools, small groups, etc. that are interested in supporting Finding Hope here in Honduras.
We would like to open up the first floor of our Women’s and Children’s Center by the end of the year, but we can’t do that without having monthly supporters to cover our costs, which will be about $1600 monthly.
I can go anywhere in Michigan to speak about our mission and what we do here, I just really need contacts!
Would you speak to the leaders of your church, group, school, etc. and ask if they would be interested in hearing my presentation?

I also would like to do several fundraisers like a night at a restaurant, garage sale, etc….whatever you can think of, any ideas you might have or you’d like to head up, please let me know!
It’s so difficult to fundraise from Honduras, and I want to be somewhat prepared before I get home, but I will definitely need some help.
Thanks for your consideration!

SUPPORT  FINDING HOPE, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to Haille’s Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes

Adiós

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Trying to write a note to the parents of our Sunday School kids in La Invasión and I’m bawling my eyes out.

I know God has a plan in everything, and I can already see where He’s working and how He’ll do such amazing things with the direction of where Sunday School’s going, but my heart aches.

This note is a goodbye note, an Adiós to the precious families who live in the LI barrio. We’re not moving, our ministry’s not going anywhere, but Sunday School is re-locating. It’s been such a hard decision! Katlyn started this Sunday School over a year ago in this particular neighborhood because they didn’t have one. It’s held out of a local pastor’s house where he also meets with his congregation. She started small, but the Lord really blessed it and now anywhere from 30-50 kids show up every Sunday.

We love our time with them! They are a handful at times but so joyful and eager to learn.

A couple months ago, we started having some little problems within two churches – the one we meet at and the one next door. They do not get along, but for so many complicated reasons that it’s not worth explaining. All you have to know is that they have  a messy past together.
They tried to get us in the middle of their fights and make us choose a side. The next door church wanted us to bring our Sunday School to their property, but doing so would put a big strain on our relationship we already have with the pastor and his family at the location we currently meet.
We tried meetings and compromises….explaining that we were not affiliated with either church but that we came for the children, that they were our purpose and mission. We tried suggesting having a neutral location, at neither of their churches but with the understanding that both would support us and come to help out twice a month.

The result? Church next door decided to start their own Sunday School in the morning (ours is in the afternoon because of morning conflicts). Now, it really doesn’t make any sense to have two Sunday Schools in one day, in the same neighborhood when there are plenty of other places that don’t have a single one, right?
Also, we have nothing against this new Sunday School, they do a great job! It just wasn’t necessary to have two.

So, after much prayer and logistics planning, Katlyn and I have decided to let this new Sunday School have the area, and we will start a new Sunday School in a new neighborhood where there is none. We cried about it, screamed our frustrations, and went insane trying to find a way to stay. I realize this must sound just SO dramatic, with all the emotions and seriousness, but our hearts are really invested in the kids and the community.
However, as we began to talk about what could happen, how we could turn a negative into a positive, the light began to shine. What if our purpose is to do some sort of Sunday School planting?
God had blessed our efforts in LI and grown the group in big ways. All those kids will continue going to Sunday School, just at a different location and with different leaders. That’s not so bad.
Now, we have this great opportunity to do the same thing for a different neighborhood. And really, we could just keep on going. The possibilities are endless!

We feel so much peace about the decision and know it was the right one. It also came at the perfect time, since this is the last Sunday we’ll have before taking some big trips. I’m leaving for Nicaragua for 2 or 3 weeks on Monday, Kate’s leaving for the States on Thursday, she won’t get back until June 10th, and then I’ll leave to do some fund-raising in the States. After the dust is settled and we’re back at home, we can get started on this new venture.

Please be praying for understanding and respect within the community for our decision, and that they’ll continue sending their kids to the new Sunday School.
And just pray for our hearts too, because this is SO bittersweet. Like I said, bawling my eyes out here just thinking about not getting to see those cute faces every Sunday.

Thanks as always for your prayers, encouragement, well wishes, and good vibes!!!

SUPPORT  FINDING HOPE, CLICK HERE

Subscribe to Haille’s NEW Honduras e-mail updates

Thank you for your continued support of the journey God’s put me on! If you would like to see pictures, feel free to add me on FaceBook. They upload faster on there. If you feel led to make a donation, there are a few ways you can go about that:

1. Write a check and send to Life Church. Make check out to Life Church, put Haille Krieg in the memo line, and send to 7001 Haggerty Rd, Canton MI 48187

2. Send money electronically through Life Church’s PayPal account. You can find that here: http://www.lifechurchcanton.org/#/about-life/financial-contributions. Make sure you specify that it’s for Haille Krieg.

3. Set up an Elexio account to have an amount taken out of your bank account each month. Log into Elexio Pulse https://lifechurch.elexiopulse.com and click on the “My Giving” link to the far right, you’ll see not only your history in giving, you’ll see a large link in the upper left that says “click here to Give Online”.  If you don’t have an Elexio account you will go to the above link and click on “need an account?” and follow the prompts.

All donations are tax deductible, which is one of the reasons for me going through my church. Life Church does send out donation statements for your tax purposes