Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas in Paradise!

This is my last update from Belize until February! 

We're in our final week here as we prepare to head to our outreach locations. I'm blown away by how fast the time went here. Sad to leave my YWAMDP family and this beautiful country, but my outreach team is so great. I'm excited. :)

Christmas is the day after tomorrow! What!!! I can't believe it. It doesn't feel anything like Christmas here. But we've been doing things throughout December to put us in the Christmas spirit a little bit. Last night we went around the island to sing Christmas carols! Mixed reactions. Apparently everyone doesn't love Christmas carols as much as I do. 

Our outreach team will be leaving on December 26th at 6:30 AM. We're taking so many different types of transportation and staying two nights in different countries. We're even exchanging a ride to Honduras for hot sauce. Sketchy. But awesome. We'll arrive in Costa Rica at some point on Monday. We hope. :) There are so many variables. Haha. 

So far all we know is that we're going to stay at a place that hosts outreach teams and its on the side of a volcano!! We're going to take a day to hike up to the top to see the lava! Coolest ever!!

Team Costa Rica!!! (Our leader isn't pictured here, but he still loves us. Josh is in the back center, and he's the assistant leader.)

Quick emotional paragraph::

Guys, I can't thank you enough for your continued support through prayers. Your finances helped me get here, but your prayers have carried me through one of the most significant seasons in my life so far, and they will continue to be my lifeline as I'm experiencing new things in a new culture. I wouldn't be seeing the growth and healing that I am if it weren't for your prayers for me. I'm beyond blessed to have you all as my prayer warriors. I pray extra blessings on you at home as you invest on me down here in Central America!!

Here are a few pictures from my time here in Belize to close the post with. :)

"This trusty snowman shows up here every year!" Spotted on a resort on our walk to town. 
Team building activity. Taking our unconscious leader to the hospital through treacherous conditions with a "local" who can't speak our language or read body language. (I'm in the background!!!)
We do yoga sometimes here. :)
Mermaid Alyssa!
Our wonderful staff put on a fancy dessert night for us last week. We dressed up and they escorted us to our seats and served us so well with wonderful food and coffee drinks. Favorite night ever. Such a thoughtful group of people.
Pictured above are the girls of our DTS. :)
I got to live with these four WONDERFUL girls in the "Bonita Casita" over the past few months. So many laughs and so few arguments. I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything. We pray together, laugh together, and sing together on an almost daily basis, and I love how well all of them shine for Jesus. (It's okay to be cheesy because we have Aly Cheese on our squad.) 
I took this during my quiet time this morning, and while it's not the best quality of picture, I love the bright sun in contrast to the darkness of the ocean. Such a good representation of life. :)

Merry Christmas from the land of the Palm trees!!! I hope your holidays are full of joy and you give an extra hug to those you love! Because I wish I could this year. :) 

Hugs and kisses!
- Alyssa - 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Great Divorce

For my final book report, I read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. (READ IT!! Because there is no way I'll do it justice.) 

It was about a man's journey in a dream from a grey world, which represents hell, to a heavenly world where the ghostly creatures who are traveling from Hell meet solid people in this new foreign world. 

The ghosts are only there temporarily unless they make the decision to journey up the mountain which will cause them to become solid and enter "heaven". The problem is that most of them are not aware or refuse to believe that the top of the mountain holds eternal glory, so most of them choose for one reason or another not to make the journey. If they don't choose verbally to go back to hell, their lack of choice is the decision itself. 

The book is fictional, but it tells of scenarios that we see every day in which people are choosing to refuse the gift of eternal life in heaven. Whether it's because they can't believe in an absolute heaven and hell or they are too chained to their fractured self to let go and gain freedom, all of the characters have their reasons for not making the journey, and the ghost telling the story is present to witness many of the conversations that determine their final destinations. 

I loved this whole book, but one part stuck out to me more than others. In this part, the one experiencing the dream - a ghost - is asking one of the solid men in the new world about those who never make it to heaven. He is concerned that people won't be able to experience this incredible place. 

The man responds:

"Never fear. There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."

It is portrayed here that there is no one who hears of heaven that simply misses it. Either he wants it, or he rejects it.

There is no way to know when our time on earth will be over. I pray today that those who are waiting for a huge revelation will receive it. 

I pray that those who are holding onto bitterness or mistrust will let it go and claim freedom over these things. Those negative thoughts were put there by the enemy. He wants you in hell. But they were nailed to the cross with Jesus so we don't have to carry them.

I pray for those who are dragging their feet in this area in order to experience "life". That they will realize that there is no joy in life without God. He is the source of joy. He is the source of freedom. He is life. 

And I pray that people will be awakened to the fact that an indecision in this area is a decision to spend an eternity separated from the Creator. 

The very one who breathed life into each of us in the womb wants us to join him. We have been invited on an adventure!! And let me tell you.. It's so much fun. 

Sorry to get preachy on ya. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Perceptions vs. Reality

Background Knowledge
Last week for lectures we had Jeff Pratt come and talk about God's heart for us. It was my favorite week of lectures so far. Not only is Jeff an incredibly talented speaker, but he revealed truths to us through his experiences and through movie clips that so closely related to our lives. (Fun fact: I would do DTS all over again just to hear his teaching again. So impactful!!!)

During the week, we were given questions to answer that helped us identify our "false self" - the person we want people to see us as, but not our true selves. After coming together and revealing our false selves to the rest of the group, we discussed who God sees us as. Then there was a time of prayer and affirmation which was super powerful. (These things took place over three days.)

One of the last things Jeff had us do was to write the things we falsely believed about ourselves -our false selves/old names- on one side of the paper, then on the other side what God believes about us in regards to the words we wrote down. He wanted us to have "new names" that we could go back to when we were feeling attacked in those ways again. 

I want to write some of the things that have been revealed to me in my time here. Not all of these are from last week, but I'm realizing all the time that the way I see myself isn't always how God or other people see me.

Introvert vs. Extrovert
I've seen myself as a complete introvert for so long. I always thought that I would rather be alone than with other people, but I'm realizing that I'm not that way at all. There are definitely times that I need to get away and recharge in peace, but I'm generally one who loves being around people. I think my retreating has been more about insecurity than it has been about being an introvert. My time in Belize has been spent mostly with lots of people all the time, and I absolutely love it. But I still won't be the first to speak up in large groups. :)

Bad Speaker vs. Competent Speaker
I have always told people that I'm bad at public speaking. I don't love it, but in the past few months I've been pushed to do it (a ton of times), and I have found that I'm not actually bad at it at all. When I spoke at the churches before coming to Belize, people told me they couldn't tell that I was nervous, and all my presentations here have had comments on the feedback forms about me being a clear and confident speaker. That was a shocking discovery for me.

Tall vs. Short
I know this sounds funny, but until about two weeks ago I thought I was tall. I always thought it was funny that my Auntie Robin called me petite because in my head I'm as tall or taller than most. Two weeks ago in line for lunch I discovered that I am in fact NOT taller than all my "little" friends. I'm the shortest one in my casita and one of the shortest on base.

Rude vs. Friendly
This one was hard to label. I basically believed that people saw me as a rude person because I'm not super outgoing when I meet new people. This stems from high school when I had a friend who told me he thought I was a snob before he got to know me. I realized while talking to a friend at home about this that people don't actually view me this way. I've spent years assuming that people all viewed me as rude, so I rarely made an effort to reach out to new people in fear I would come across wrong. 

Since being here, I'm realizing that people truly don't see me in that way, and it's changing the way I interact with people. So crazy that I let someone's opinion of me become a truth. 

Weak vs. Strong
I came to DTS very guarded. I didn't want anyone to see my emotions because I believed that emotions showed weakness. For whatever reason I felt that I had to be strong all the time and that meant I had to hide myself in order to portray that I had it all together. 

My small group leader and I were talking in a one-on-one and this came up. She asked me some questions then said, "you don't want people to see you as weak, but you're afraid to show your strengths." She challenged me to talk to God about it and to write the things God loves about me so I could find my strengths. 

There is absolutely no way I can write all of the transformation that happened in this area of my life, but God has shown me that many of the things I viewed as weaknesses were actually planted in me on purpose and FOR a purpose. He's showing me that the emotions help direct me to a passion and a purpose, and I will use this information to impact people in crazy cool ways. They're not weaknesses at all. 

In closing..
Like I said before, I'm realizing new things all the time about myself - which is a really cool thing about DTS, but I'm also learning so much about God. There are only two weeks left of lectures and that kind of breaks my heart, but the closer we get to outreach, the more excited I get for that phase. 

Thank you for your continued prayers as we dive into the rest of our week of teaching (on spiritual warfare!) and as our leaders figure out details of our outreach. We still know nothing. Ha! I'll update you when we get answers.

Thanks for reading! If you made it to the end of this monster of a post.. Kudos. 💜

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We're over halfway through our DTS which is CRAZY!! In so many ways it feels like we just stepped onto the dock here. Seven weeks in, and I have yet to spear fish, I still occasionally forget to show up to my work duty, and despite our weekly cooking duties, I think the kitchen here will always be a mystery to me. 

On the flip side, it feels like I've known these people so much longer than seven weeks. I'm kind of fond of them if I forgot to mention that before. :)

Also, my sand volleyball skills are improving immensely. Although I still make a weird grunting noise when I need power in my hits, and I can't serve overhand to save my life. 

The downside to my newfound love of sand volleyball is that there are little bugs that live in the sand that fly, and they have followed us into our casita. They apparently don't bite, but they have acid on them, so when they land on us, it's a sudden stinging feeling, and they're so small it's hard to kill them! Ugh! We're living through it, but I want the little bugs to die. All of them. Be in prayer for that, if you wouldn't mind. ;)

Last week was called RRR week which stands for.. Something about recharging?? The students from the last DTS were back on base after their outreach all of last week, so we used the time to meet them and reboot our systems in a chill week without lectures. We got to know around 25 other students (who were such sweethearts) and hear all about their outreaches. They went to Uruguay and Mongolia. It pumped us up for our upcoming outreaches! DECEMBER!!

Last weekend held the long-awaited ADVENTURE DAY!!! We started the day at  5:15 AM with a [rainy] two hour long boat ride to Belize City where we then hopped in vans and rode another hour or so to a rainforesty area where we got to go on lots of ziplines!!! It was GORGEOUS! And tons of fun.

Then we went to the Belize Zoo. Way different than American zoos. We touched a lot of animals we probably shouldn't have been able to touch, but it was a really neat place. We had fun. 

We took a break for lunch before going to climb all over Mayan temples! That was way cooler than I expected it to be. And our tour guide was hilarious. "Come, white people!" And "We're walking." Were common phrases she used to get us moving. We were cracking up. 

In other news..

Monday night there was a base-wide worship and prayer night for those who were still lacking in funds for outreach. At the beginning of the evening, they still needed more than $4,000 USD. An hour later, all funding needs were met! This was such a cool time of prayer and celebration as we came together as a family to lift those up who were needing help and doing what we could to fill in gaps. $4,000 seems like a lot of money to us, but God has such a huge wallet. And he LOVES providing for his children. The whole thing got me really emotional. Guys.. God loves us SO MUCH!!!

I hope everyone at home is doing well!! I still miss my family and friends, but now I'm starting to miss things like hot showers, Starbucks (I know.. classic white girl), and Taco Bell. So eat a burrito in the shower while brewing Starbucks coffee in memory of me. I'll be home to do it myself soon enough!! :) 

Love you all!! 
[Potentially. Depending on who reads this.]

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Hello again! I'm writing you from 80 degree temperatures on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Belize. :) It's hard to believe that it's November. I miss fall!!! But I truly enjoy the consistency of the weather here. Aside from the torrential downpours that bring armies of mosquitos with the intent of sucking our blood till we die. 

Not to be dramatic or anything. Ha!

The last week and a half have been crazy. Busy, but also restful in a weird way. I've been learning a lot from God, and it's been awesome to see the things that he says to me during my quiet times confirmed throughout the day in other conversations and through the teaching. Often times what he says is word-for-word what others will say, and every single time, I'm blown away by how cool that is. I'll never get used to it. But I really don't want to either.

A week ago on Friday, I was baptized in the Caribbean by two of my [many] favorites on staff. I have felt a push to be baptized over the past year, but because I had done it as a child, I didn't really feel the need to. 

During freedom week, we went to God in prayer to ask who we needed to forgive. Forgiveness is something that I didn't realize had such a negative spot in my mind, but God quickly showed me that I've only ever forgotten about being hurt and never forgiven those who have hurt me in the past. I always viewed forgiveness as excusing actions. Like saying "it's okay", when it actually isn't okay. I didn't want to be fake about it, so I never forgave people. I just decided to move on and get over it. But doing life that way caused me to go numb. 

Numbing is something that I also overlooked. Instead of feeling sadness or acceptance for what happened in my life, I went straight to anger and stayed there. I felt that sadness was the same as weakness.

When I made the list of people I needed to find forgiveness for, I opened wounds that had been numbed and covered up - some since I was a little kid - and saying the things out loud that I thought I had "gotten over" brought feelings that I didn't even know existed to the surface. It was raw. There was a lot of praying and handing it over to God and offering forgiveness aloud and crying that took place in a super short period of time. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting, but afterwards, I felt physically lighter. I can't describe it any other way. I felt like I was almost floating. 

In an effort to embrace the forgiveness and freedom that I experienced, I decided to be baptized. It was a visible way to show that I am no longer in the place of numbing and heavy anger, but that I am free! I declared aloud to my new family that I am a new person and won't go back to who I was.

I fully believe that I will be used to teach others how to find freedom at some point in my journey because I can so easily relate to holding onto unforgiveness, yet was able to experience the intensity of freedom when I gave it to God. I let it go!! (Elsa status!)

Every week challenges me in a new way. I'm sure I'll have more to say next week. Stay tuned. :)

Love you all!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Hola from Belize!!

I'm absolutely loving my time here. I have so much love for my new family members, and I find new reasons to love them every day. I know.. Cheesy.. But I'm already dreading the day I have to leave all of them!! Trips to visit have already been discussed! Haha.

(Photo Cred: someone sent it to me after stealing it from someone else?)

A little bit about what we do here:
Our week day mornings start at 6:45 for breakfast. We rotate between intercession and worship every morning at 8, then start class at 9. We attend class for four hours a day Monday through Friday, then have an event every afternoon or evening depending on the day of the week. Our days are full of learning in lectures, reading books for assignments, memorizing a map of the world, writing reports for oral presentations, and sand volleyball. Plus a few other things here and there. :) We also all have jobs we do on base, and we are assigned one night a week where we join a team to cook dinner for everyone. 

Even with so much going on here, I go to bed every night excited to wake up and do it all again. 

During the first week in lectures we re-learned the foundations of our faith. We studied truth, God, man, sin, and salvation. The topics seem broad, but even as a church-goer since birth, I was able to get a lot from the teachings. Much of what was said felt so personal to me and where I'm at with God. 

Last week we studied the seven spheres of society: family, religion, economics, education, media/communication, celebration, and government. We learned about cool ways to study the bible using these lenses and how our different passions and callings in regards to these spheres can be used to further the kingdom outside of just the church realm. It was such an inspiring week, and I can't wait to learn more about how God will use my talents and passions to fulfill some portion of the needs of the world in relation to missions whether it be local or international. 

The topic this week is freedom, and the leader of our base, Lynn Toney, is speaking. She is such a crazy/awesome lady, and we're all really enjoying what she has to say. 

Last week was a big week for all of us because on Monday we got to choose our outreach locations! The staff prayed about which countries they felt God calling us to, and on Monday they told us the three places they landed on: Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Japan. Then they gave us fifteen minutes to pray about it and see which location God placed on our hearts. After we wrote down our choices and handed the papers back, the staff went off to pray about the teams before coming back and revealing where we would be spending our two months after lecture phase is over. 

So God and I talked, and I felt like he kept bringing Costa Rica back to my mind. I don't know why yet, but I feel He is leading me there. So I'm going! Yet another step in the journey that God has planned out and I am clueless about! :)

Once again, I'm way excited for the next phase. Not at all ready to leave the other two teams yet, but happy to go where He wants me. Luckily, I still have two months with all these wonderful people. 

They don't have details on the trip yet, but I hope to have more information soon about where in Costa Rica our team will be going and what we'll be doing there. For now I'm totally cool with trusting that to God and spending my days learning and growing closer to my creator. 

Thank you guys for your continued support through prayers. You all are so valuable to me, and I wouldn't be on this amazing journey without you. I'm so excited to let you know that - thanks to all of my wonderful supporters - I am now fully funded!!! It is such a relief to be all paid up and ready to change some lives! :) Starting with mine. 

I miss you all at home!! Specifically my sweet family! Being a long way from them has been the hardest part of being here by far. 

Because how cute are they!! :)

I love you, friends!!! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Don't Stop Belizin'

Hello, lovely readers!! 

Here is my first Belize update! Yay!!

I obviously made it here safely, but a little shaken after leaving the plane to find that my ears had popped so much I could hardly hear anything. I was in my own deaf world for the first night, but woke up with one working ear which was suuuuch great news!! They still pop when I swallow sometimes, but they feel very normal now. Makes me appreciate the gift of hearing even more. 

Belize was a little different than I expected, but I like it a lot. We have geckos and iguanas running around everywhere - including in our rooms. Mosquitos attempt to kill us every day. And we've seen scorpions, tarantulas, and snakes around base. We have no air conditioning where we sleep and no hot water for showers (which is really fine since we're so hot already when we shower. Most of us actually enjoy the cold showers). But it's such a beautiful place, and I really really love the people I'm getting to know here.

I feel so blessed to be able to spend three months in this place with these people learning about our God who absolutely blows my mind and rocks my world every time I ask him to. 

We had the opportunity to go on a snorkeling trip for free the other day, which was so so cool. We saw sharks (who don't eat people here!!), stingrays (who also don't kill us), and a cute little sea turtle. :) I also learned how to sail!! 

Mostly our days are made up of classroom time in the mornings, a group event at some point in the afternoon or evening, and chill time for the rest of the day - which often includes reading books for our book reports or preparing an oral presentation of some sort. 

I am enjoying this week as we're going back to the basics and learning about our faith again from the bottom up. As a group, we've experienced a lot of healing so far. 

I'll try to update more often, but our internet isn't consistent at all, so no promises.

Love, Alyssa :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Hey everyone! Here is my last update from The States for awhile seeing as I'm ON the plane headed to Belize.

What a whirlwind this last week has been. Quick updates:

I spoke in Plevna Community Bible Church a week ago last Sunday and was INCREDIBLY blessed. I hadn't met many of the attenders, but they were so welcoming and encouraging, and many of them told me they would be praying for me on my journey.

I soaked up time with my family this past week. It seemed to flee so quickly, but I loved having quality time with them at the corn maze and at the football game. There were lots of extra hugs involved, and some of them squeezed tears right out of me!

My mom and Aunt Laraine drove me (along with two baby sisters) to Lawrence to meet my oldest younger brother. We ate dinner in Lawrence before they headed back home and I went to brother Brett's house for a few hours. He drove me to the airport at 3 o'clock this morning. Like a champ. He's such a sweet brother!!!

A prayer request right now would be for health for me. I developed a cold in the last 24 hours, and I'm struggling today. TERRIBLE timing!!!

Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. I would not be on this plane right now if it weren't for your generosity. I know I will be blessed by your kindness, and I believe God will bless you as well.

I'll talk to you in Belize!!! Adios!

Monday, September 21, 2015


Hello again!

I received an email today from YWAM informing me of what to pack, what not to pack, that I need an entire new swimsuit wardrobe because mine all have strings, and... WE'RE ONLY FIFTEEN DAYS FROM DEPARTURE!!! Oh my lanta.

Time seems to be flying by. I seriously was telling people yesterday that I was 19 days from leaving because somewhere in the whirlwind of life, I lost four days. Ha!

Thank you all for your prayers for my speaking on Sunday. I shared my journey with Westside Baptist Church in Hutchinson - the church I grew up in - and was immensely blessed by the people there. It was so great to see familiar faces from my childhood, and they were all so supportive of my decision to do missions.

I won't lie to you and say that it was easy to get up and talk, but I don't want to downplay the work of the Holy Spirit either. He eased my nerves in such a supernatural way. I love walking through life with Jesus because I am able to do ANYTHING through HIM who gives me strength. And courage. And wisdom. He has been pushing me along through every step in the preparation process, and I am constantly amazed by the ways he speaks to me. I am already learning so much.

Prayers for these last weeks at home:

  • I'm speaking at another church this weekend. I'm not nearly as nervous about this one since it's a little country church (smaller crowds, smaller nerves), but prayers for a smooth delivery and confidence in my message would be awesome!
  • I became nervous today by the fifteen-day mark. I keep telling myself that God has walked with me in everything I've done so far, and he won't stop when it's time for me to board the plane. (Because did you know that God flies too?!) But anxiety has a way of creeping into my thoughts. So please pray the anxiety away in Jesus' name!!! :D
  • My car still hasn't sold. It's come close, but I'm nearing the end of my stay in the U.S., and it's crunch time. Since God told me very clearly that I needed to sell my car, I know it'll be sold. It's hard to wait it out though. Pray for someone to come along who's looking for a new-ish car that goes really fast and has shiny black paint. :) She really is a beauty.
Talk to you again soon! Adios amigos!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Just Keep Swimming

Hello lovely people!

I've been bad about posting updates because my life is absolutely crazy right now. But all the running around will be worth it in ...

22 DAYS!!!

Time is absolutely flying by. I'm so excited about this journey. More than ever.

A few updates from the life of Alyssa:

Uriah, Kaycee, and I had our fundraiser at Gambino's Pizza last Thursday.
It was a long day, but so stinking cool to see how people came together in the community to support our cause. THANK YOU to all of you who showed up and bought food/left donations for us last week!!! We feel incredibly blessed to be part of such a generous community!

Over the weekend, I drove to Oklahoma to drop Uriah and Kaycee off so they could hang out with Uriah's family a little bit before flying out of OKC to spend nine months in South Africa. I was happy to spend time with them during this time, but I totally underestimated how God would use the weekend to refresh and encourage me on this part of my journey.
We spent all of Saturday with some friends of Uriah and Kaycee - the Caviness family. I wasn't even going to hang out with them, but last minute I figured I would tag along for a little bit. EVEN THOUGH being the fifth wheel isn't my favorite.

Let me tell you, these people didn't make me feel anything but loved the entire day. They encouraged me through example, conversation, and prayer/intercession. They confirmed things that the Holy Spirit had revealed to me previously and helped me release feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty. I felt submerged in Jesus all day long, and it was marvelous. Like fitting a week of camp into a single day. I've never met a couple who are so in tune with the Holy Spirit. I think Cam is a lot like what Jesus was like when he was walking the earth. There is so much love and compassion in him, and it shines through in everything he says and does. Mom pointed out that that's how Christians SHOULD be. They are awesome examples of what it looks like to have a heart like Christ.

Another thing I loved about our time together were the worship sets that randomly broke out throughout the day. Cam and Christine are talented musicians who have hearts for worship, and it was so fun to love on Jesus with them.

This picture was taken during the final worship time of the day. Cameron's dad is also a musician, and he kept stopping the music in order to split us up into four part harmonies. We were laughing so hard, but it actually turned out to be really good! And so much fun!
I'm thanking God today for the refreshing weekend he gave me without me even asking for it. I got to spend time with Uriah, Kaycee, Cameron, and Christine, as well as my Sunday Night Supper friends in Edmond. I love the people God has so generously placed in my life!!!
If you want to pray for me, I have some requests!
  • I was asked to speak about my trip and what God is doing in my heart at a couple of churches these next two weekends. As you may know, I am an introvert who absolutely HATES attention being put on me, so this is a big time of stretching in my life. God is putting me out of my comfort zone so I can grow. I'm excited about it, but also a little terrified. Pray for courage for me please!! And for God to give me the words to say.
  • Pray for sanity during these last few weeks as I figure out what needs to happen in order for me to be ready to live outside of the United States. I've never done anything like this before, so it's completely new territory!
  • Funding is coming in thanks to many of you, and I am patiently awaiting the selling of my car which will help tremendously. Pray for someone to come along who wants my beautiful Scion!

    Feel free to spread the word!!! Here's the link: 

Thanks everyone! :)
Have a wonderful week!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gushing of Emotions :)

Just over a month before I leave the country! I can't believe it!!!! It seems so far away because I'm so excited!! But also way too close because I feel like there's so much to do, and so little time to do it.

If I haven't given the impression that I am a little bit overwhelmed with the idea of leaving the country for five months to spend time with people I've never met before in a place I've never been to, I'll tell you now. I'm not as calm on the inside as I look on the outside. I haven't been outside of the country many times, and the times I have been, they were short periods of time with people I knew very well. This is completely out of my comfort zone. Which is also why I know that God wants me to go. Because I've been working on getting out of my bubble.

I don't believe God intended for us to be comfortable. The Bible tells us to go out and make disciples of the nations, and I've heard very few stories of disciple-makers who didn't undergo tough situations in order to get the desired end results. But these stories end with testimonies of how God stretched them beyond what they imagined. I can't wait to experience that on a new level.

Being in a situation I'm not comfortable with will push me to further rely on the Lord to provide for me in various ways that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to experience if I stayed home and lived my normal life. I have no doubt that God will provide everything I need - emotionally, financially, and otherwise. It's a huge step for me, but I'm not doing it alone.

While I'm anxious to get out there and start work, I'm resting in this time of provision. People are sending donations and telling me all the time that they are praying for me, and these acts of kindness are overwhelming (in the good way)!!! My heart is so full as I see God providing in such cool ways through all of you. He is also showing me things all the time through scripture and through sermons Jayme and I listen to at work every morning. :) I love trusting in Him because He loves me so well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blown Away!

Hello again, friends!

Only 42 days until I board the airplane and head to Belize, and I'm SO READY to go!!! (Aside from the little things like packing and paying. Ha!)

A few updates:

My plane tickets are officially bought, and I will be heading out of the country on October 6th as planned! EEEEEEE!!!!! (EXCITEMENT)

I got vaccines last week for yellow fever, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and tetanus. So that was [not even a little bit] fun. But they made sure I didn't pass out which was a WIN in my book! :)

A couple of days later, Kaycee (my sister) and I put on our second fundraising garage sale at our wonderful grandparents' house with the help of our already busy mom. (Thanks mama!!!) Grandma and Grandpa were such sweet hosts and provided lots of laughs, and the sale made a dent in the funds.

We are so thankful for God's provision!!!

I want to say a special 
to all who have given towards this trip so far. I have been completely blown away by the support I've received so far both by close friends and by people I don't even know very well. You all have been so encouraging, and while I hate asking people for money, I love seeing God's people come together to support those who have been called to missions. You may never fully know how appreciated you are. I can't thank you enough.

If you have been considering donating, follow the link below, and thank you in advance!!!

If you are interested in checking out my sister and brother-in-law's website click here! They are heading back to South Africa in less than a month in order to study the Bible. This is their second trip to South Africa this year, and they are excited to be given the opportunity to return. Check out their story on their blog!

I can't wait to update you on more awesome things God is doing in this season of my life. 

Stay tuned!! :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Drift

Hello All!

Today I am doing something that I swore I would never do - starting a blog. I am entering the blogworld in order to give updates on my most recent adventures and the uber exciting things God is doing in my life.

When I began thinking of names and titles for my blog, my mind kept coming back to the words floating, wandering, and drifting. 

I label myself as a floater because I am rarely in the same spot for very long. I enjoy moving from place to place without making plans for what I'll do next. I love having the freedom to go where I want to go when I want to go there and not having any reason to stay home. In fact, oftentimes when people ask me what I'm doing with my life, I tell them that I don't even know what I'm doing tomorrow!

I guess that's why it took me by surprise when God asked me to plan.

Here's a short version of the story:

One morning at work, we were listening to the song Oceans by Hillsong. I had heard this song so many times, but when I listened to it this particular morning, God told me it was time to start planning to do missions work. I wrestled with it for a few minutes before I finally committed. But that wasn't enough. He told me to text my sister - who is always off doing missions work - to tell her I was going. He wanted me to be held accountable. 

My sister kept me moving through my searching period, and I finally landed on YWAM in Belize. A lot of people have asked me why I chose Belize, and I honestly have no other reason than the simple fact that I didn't feel peace about any other location (or organization) before discovering this one. I asked for further confirmation through the selection process after turning in my application, and when the YWAM people called to accept me into the program, they said God told them that I needed to be there without a doubt. 

So I'm headed to BELIZE!!! 52 days!

For those of you who aren't familiar with YWAM (Youth With A Mission), it is a program that includes three months of discipleship training school which is a lecture phase where I will dive into God's word and learn more about what being a disciple means. The next two months will be spent putting into action what was learned during the lecture phase. We will travel in smaller teams to other locations around the world where we will show others the love of Jesus in different ways. For more information, go here!

I fly out of the country on October 6th, but my full tuition of $3,950 is due in the third week of September, and the $2,650-$7,450 needed for outreach fees are due my third week in Belize. Sometimes this amount seems overwhelming, but I know that God wants me there, and God will be faithful to provide what I need in order to get there.

That being said, if you are interested in helping me out with these costs, I won't turn you down. :) Here is my fundraising website: 

A donation of any size would be so appreciated! However, I realize that people don't always have money to spend on other people, so don't feel pressured to do something that you aren't able to do. What you CAN do is pray

Specific prayer requests for today include:
  • funding
  • closeness with God during this crazy time
Thank you for joining me on my adventure! I can't wait to update you on the incredible things God is going to do!!