Please click the pictures to visit my other blogs:
Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Monday, June 30, 2008

Chrissy Briles -- A Lifetime of Pain in Only Four Months

Please continue to lift in prayer Chrissy Briles, and her family. Chrissy is eleven-years-old and was admitted to Riley Children's Hospital in late January because she had extremely high blood pressure and had suffered damage to her kidneys. After being released from the hospital, Chrissy was readmitted with a bad allergic rash from her medication. In the last 4 months, Chrissy has gone through a rollar coaster of life-threatening health concerns. Chrissy is in tremendous pain, and as each day passes, she wants to go home more, but she remains strong. Please pray for Chrissy, Jon & Jill, Matt, Andy & Steve. Chrissy's family has a blog here::

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Speaking of babies...

My precious goddaughter, Kiara Sofia Saltos, in Ecuador will be five-months-old on Saturday. She is a beautiful miracle and I am so anxious to be blessed with the opportunity to meet and hold her. Maybe late July in Kansas.. maybe? We're praying. =)

Kiara at 10 weeks

Kiara at 4 months

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fatty Mc-No-Feet

Last weekend I was able to escape the responsibilities of the office and homework and spend 2 days with my prego sister in Fishers, fatty mc-no-feet herself.  Joni is due July 17th, but I'm definitely ready for my first nephew/niece (the gender being a mystery to ALL) absolutely any day now.  I slept in the cute cute nursery in the guest bed next to the crib.  I looked into the crib and imagined a tiny baby and got so excited for his/her arrival!  Jessie, Joni and I made quite a few scrapbook pages for the baby book.  Of course there are no pictures yet, so we made the templates and glued matting for the pictures.  I think we watched like 3 episodes of home renovation shows; and, of course, if you know either of my sisters, Food Network.  Our waiter Friday night thought he was seeing double, and maybe triple, and I was like umm.. I mean we don't look anything alike, I have glasses and long hair, Jessie obviously doesn't and her hair is way short, but ok.  His name was Lafayette (mm.. I like that) and he has 19-yr-old twin sons (mm.. I like that) haha.  I cannot remember too many other monumental things from the weekend at Joni's, except that I got alot of much-needed and much-coveted sleep, 12+ hours one night, and almost 10 the next, and I feel like everytime I laid on the couch (which was a frequent occurance) I fell asleep.  Also, Sunday afternoon we had lunch on the patio (as it was quite beautiful) and there was a huge (we're talking like thumbnail size) hairy black spider frolicking quite comfortably in the rafters of our umbrella.  I feel like no one cared except me.  My brother felt it necessary to remove the wasps nest, but left the spider nestled above my head.  I couldn't eat.  I simply couldn't.

These are my siblings- Jeff, Jessie and Joni.  Please ignore the fact that I look atrocious in the ghastly, though customary, graduation hat and gown.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Day in Cambodia is Worth a Month in the States

Here is a video I put together of pictures and clips from Cambodia.  It is the first video I have ever made, so I feel quite proud despite a few little mistakes. Yes You Have by Leeland is one of my favorite songs, and one we taught to the Bible College students, so I chose it for the soundtrack.  On Father's Day I shared in Sunday School and in the evening service at church, and used this video in my message.  Brookhaven has always been so supportive as I travel, in prayer and in fundraising, so it's great that I had the privilege to share my heart with people who would not have otherwise heard my testimony of Cambodia.  My mom and grandmom's Bible study hosted a spaghetti dinner for my sister and I on a Wednesday evening and raised $1001!  Incredible.  God has always been so good to me, and has surrounded me with incredible stewards and prayer warriors.  Thank you to all of you who have supported and/or prayed for me!  I hope you enjoy the video.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rain Drops Keep Fallin On My Head

The past three weekends, we have been having incredible rough weather.  On the bright side, my dad has had lots of business repairing and replacing TV towers and antennas.  On Sunday an electrical pole was struck by lightening on our street, and we lost power for 4 hours.  I was just bragging about my town and how we never lose electricity, while many other areas do.  I suppose it wasn't their fault, but it wasn't exactly fixed quickly.  I had a paper due for World Lit on Monday, that I still hadn't started at 7:30 Sunday evening, 10 minutes before we lost power.  My faithful MAC held charge for about an hour, my notebook lit by the flame of a lantern, then it was time to venture across town to Grandmom's.  Mom had a powerpoint she needed to finish for the morning, and Jessie was bored, so both went along.  Grandmom wasn't sure how to feel about having 3 laptops on her dining room table, haha.  It's been quite a month for wind and storm clouds.  The Iowa/Wisconsin area has experienced tremendous flooding, and many many areas have been evacuated by boat or helicopter.  I can't imagine.  What would I take?  What would I leave?  I am very sentimental and cannot imagine the fear of leaving my house in full knowledge that days later, when I return, many irreplaceable things will be ruined.  Keep the area and these residents in your prayers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Don't ask me, I just work here.

Another day at the office...My 82 binders are finally complete and ready for the nursing conference next week!
The division chair (my boss) asked me to lead a prospective transfer student on a tour through our simulation lab this afternoon.  I've been through of course, but I am by no means qualified to lead a tour.  I don't know what things are, and I don't know what they do with them or where.  I hesitated then agreed, my boss asked if I had ever lead a tour before, I replied no, she said, "Perfect!  You can learn together."  Wait a minute... excuse me?  What?  haha.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Of course I don’t look busy, I did it right the first time!

After returning from lunch, this is what I found on my desk.  Of course this is in addition to three similar already-existing piles.  Someone, tell me when it ends!  Oh yeaa.... it doesn't!  I work in the Nursing Division at Indiana Wesleyan and we are preparing for a large nursing convention on campus next week.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cause That's What Soldiers Do

Here are lyrics to a new song by Monk and Neagle that I really love.  I do not have much else to say about them, but that they are pretty touching.

Cause That's What Soldiers Do
Come and walk with me, my son
I need to share my heart
Tomorrow when the morning comes
I'm headed off to war
So take care of your mother
And your little brother too
I'm praying that I'll be home soon
So I can be with you

I know you're only 10 years old
I know that you're afraid
But I need you to be brave for me
And for the family
I know it's hard to see me cry
But put your mind at ease
God is watching over us
So we can be at peace

With all my heart
I can't wait to tuck you in
And sing a song to you
Son, stand strong
Love is the reason I would give myself for you
‘Cause that's what soldiers do

Remember what I taught you now
About how to be a man
Talk with God throughout the day
He will help you stand
With faith to see, hope to believe
And love for everyone
Know that I'm so proud of you
And I will always love you, son

With all my heart
I want to take you to our favorite place
And catch a fish or two
Son, stand strong
Love is the reason I would give myself for you
‘Cause that's what soldiers do

And as I go, I want you to know if I don't make it home
You are gonna be alright
I'm telling you, son, you're gonna touch the sky
Don't lose hope, just lift your eyes
We'll be together again some day

So with all my heart
Hold on to Jesus, son
And He will lead you through
Son, stand strong
You may never go to war
But you're a soldier, too
And when you have a son like you
Teach him to fight for what is true
‘Cause that's what soldiers do

The picture in this blog is of my friend First Lieutenant Mike Brown, currently stationed in Iraq, with his son Ben.

Friday, June 06, 2008

All the gold in the world has no significance!

It's amazing how no matter how many times you do things, God always has something to teach you.  I've been on 7 missions trips now, and God continues to teach and show me incredible things.  This is not to say that I've done it all and I know everything there is to know, but rather is a statement of God's incredible goodness.
I went to Cambodia May 1 - May 24 with 6 grand girls from IWU and it was an incredible experience. I think you could assume that.  God taught me many lessons, and here are a few things that touched my heart:
The first afternoon we went grocery shopping.  It was my 1st experience in a foreign food market and it really was a struggle. The conditions were
gruesome and I really thought “How am I going to do this as a missionary?”  I saw an unbathed vendor lying on her table, inches away from her meat product, feet dirty and bare, simply resting and waiting for customers.  I talked to Tim (missionary host) at lunch and his words seems simple, but it influential.  He said something like: “You will be amazed at what God will help you do.”  Only THEN I felt comfortable about being a missionary woman in 5 or so years and going to the market.  It is not easy, but there is joy in sacrifice.  Joy in serving Christ and loving His people.
Our main ministry was at the Wesleyan Bible Institute and also at the various surrounding churches where the WBI grads are now pastors and English teachers. There are only 8 students at the Bible college, and we hung out a lot,
taught them a lot of English worship songs and dramas, and played a lot of games.  It was a lot of fun forming relationships, with the 5 girls especially. All the students and workers were so kind and loving and it was really hard to leave them. The afternoon before we flew home we were all in a circle and took turns sharing a message, and one of the students, So Phol, shared a really special message and thanked us for allowing God to love her through us. She was so sincere and it was special.
We were there for 3.5 weeks and on each weekend we traveled 3-4hrs to a different province where we stayed a couple days.

We visited the grad’s churches, sharing, doing children’s programs, and also teaching English on weekdays if classes were offered. One of my favorite things was traveling, and seeing new churches, and meeting the believers. The churches were all distinct, but very similar in the aspect of simplicity.  God really reminded me of what church really means. It isn’t a decorative building or a large crowd of people – it’s a gathering of believers whose hearts are focused on Him. I felt His presence in a little shack house church, acapela worship, only 10 in attendance.  The other things aren’t bad, but we can’t let them be distractions of what is most important.
The same day, Tim gave a sermon on the Great Commission and talked about baptism like I had never really heard it talked about before, but I realized something even greater. I almost didn’t expect to be challenged or to change, I mean.. the Great Commission?
I was on a missions trip, my heart’s desire is missions, I’m obviously “going and making disciples of every nation,” but I was reminded like never before that this needs to start here, IN MY HOME as Dad isn’t living a righteous life. I was thinking about the testimony that I had prepared to share just after the sermon. I was prepared to talk about how great God is, how he is my strength, joy, and peace, and how amazing He truly is; and I realized... if He is truly this great and I love Him this much, why have I not affected my father’s faith in 19 years of living? For the next thirty minutes, until the conclusion of the sermon when I was called up front, I fervently and passionately prayed for my father like I never had before. It was the first time that I really felt the love that would sacrifice myself for his salvation, a salvation that means he is fully surrendered, and striving to do God's will. It’s easy to say (that I would give up my life that my father would find true life), but was not easy to truly claim.
On the same trip, we rented a 15 passenger van, and with it came a *Buddhist driver. Although he never openly admitted or
asked questions, it was awesome to see him gradually be vulnerable as we prayed over dinner and visited two churches. I believe our purpose in going to Seam Reap may have been meeting Cherat and praying with him, opening the Cambodian-translation Bible for him in one service, and displaying Christ's love.
Lamentations 3:19-24 says:  I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."  I encourage you to remember where God has brought you and what He has taught you.
More to come...