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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can't believe it...

She turned 70 last week. I wish our office had given her a once-in-a-lifetime kind of celebration.

Two weekends ago, we sat together at Laura's wedding. Yesterday afternoon, we had a good thirty-minute conversation about life, school, graduation, work, etc. Now, she's gone. She was old, and her heart was weak, but her spirit was strong. I'm still in shock... I can't believe it.

Please pray for Professor Sprinkle's family. Her husband, John, is currently on a cruise with his brother. Her mom, a 98-year-old lady, was placed in the ICU after all the trauma on her own failing heart.

1 Corinthians 15:42-57 (New Living Translation) --
It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Fave. Five: Thank you Jesus!

Log on at Living to Tell the Story and share your own Friday's Fave. Five!

1. On Tuesday, one of my closest friends in Mozambique called me. I could not believe it! My twin sis, who was with me when I received the call, can attest to how excited I was that it was CALISTO! I have received phone calls from three or four other friends already, but not yet Calisto! Calisto and I shared breakfast and lunch everyday when I was at the Bible college in Xai Xai; he always fought the other students to bring my meal from the kitchen... memories I cherish! While he is at the Bible College, Calisto is working on a project to provide an audio Bible in his language; he estimates that it will take three years.

I miss you Calisto! Praying for you every day.

2. I finally have my Cambodia blog (Jewel in Cambodia) published. I have written 10 posts since late September, but I waited awhile to publish it. Check it out! New post coming tomorrow. :)

3. My nieces in their Halloween costumes. (Click to enlarge)

Miss Leah as a giraffe and Baby Mal as a monkey

4. I spent more than 5 hours in the library yesterday evening, and I finally have a good start to my sermon-preparation.

5. My Redeemer lives!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Cobra in a Toilet

If you saw the title and doubted that this post would actually be about a cobra in a toilet, you're wrong! Jason and Rachel Helm, my missionary hosts in Mozambique, recently found a cobra in their toilet for the second time. Imagine...

Yes, it's true, snakes can climb into your sewage pipes and up into your toilet! I imagine Rachel is very insistent that Jason repair those pipes ASAP! They flushed this guy out with five gallons of scalding hot water.

"Lot's of problems with snakes here in Africa!" - Jason

Monday, October 25, 2010

...I will try my utmost to be that woman.

Daily, I am challenged.

“The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the woman who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that woman.” [- D.L. Moody]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Break

A three-day weekend isn't quite long enough to get the true feeling of "being on break" but it certainly was wonderful to spend a three-day weekend at home.

On Friday, my first oppportunity to sleep in, I woke up at 8am to go to Zumba class, only to discover that it had been canceled. I spent the afternoon and early evening doing homework and updating my Cambodia blog, then at 6 I met two new friends for dinner at Culver's. I can't quite remember how Jess and I initially connected, but I know it was related to her interest in my interest in going to Cambodia because her mother was raised in Cambodia and fled during the Khmer Rouge. Anyways, it was wonderful to finally meet Jess and her mother, Dana, in person, and to share with them a love for Cambodia. After dinner I returned home and joined my family for a few games of Nertz. So fun!

As of Saturday morning, I have the rest of my coursework for History & Contextualization of Missions finished!!! THAT FEELS GOOD! I slept in until 10:30 on Saturday, and then for lunch I met the girls at Aunt Sue's Tea Room and we celebrated Suzanne's birthday. Jessie and I celebrated our birthday's there last month with some of the same ladies, and we're looking for people with November and December birthdays! HA. At left is the lovely Elayna and I, and below is the 7 of us with Suzanne at the head of the table. Aunt Sue's is a fabulous locally-owned and operated restaraunt. The food is wonderful, but a little expensive, and the environment is quaint (I think that's the best word.)

Saturday evening we went to Grandmom's house for pizza, and then returned home for two more games of Nertz. This morning, church was wonderful, and I am anticipating a fantastic service tonight. Tomorrow.. class....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Fave Five: International Treasures

Woo hoo!! It's Friday! Today is Fall Break for my university -- not today and yesterday, not today and Monday, but just today. It's not a break really, but rather just a pause from the routineness and business of classes and life on campus. Jessie (twin sis) and I came home for the three-day weekend; campus is only ten minutes from home, but in order to feel like we had a break (rather than just a weekend,) we needed to come home.
I love home and everything about it. The stains, the creaks, the tears.. everything. It's home. I especially love my room and its serenity. Why? Because it's my room. I painted and re-decorated my room just a few days before returning to campus, so it felt like I was coming home to a new place. It was hard to limit, but I have chosen five things from my room to highlight this week. Maybe later this week I'll post more.. I have a room full of souveniers from at least thirteen countries!
I want to preface this post by saying that it is not so much the "things" that I treasure, but the love and memories that they represent.
Log on at Living to Tell the Story and share your own Friday's Fave. Five!

1. I found this beautiful conch shell on the bottom of the Carribean Sea while snorkeling on the Isla de Caja de Muerto (Coffin Island) in Puerto Rico - July 2010. When I found it, it was a nasty dirty color and filled with sea gunk. I broke off some barnacles, and carried it to the surface, hoping it would clean off. I carried it home the following week, and soaked it for three days in bleach. Now it is a nice ivory white color, with soft pink in some creases. Beautiful! It's a reminder of how God pulls us from the dark depths of sin, prunes us, and purifies us clean.

Thank you to my dear PNG friend Kari (Sea, Sand and Shells) in Thailand for sending me the elephants, gorgeous ceramic pot, and scarves (not pictured.)

2. I bought these pictures from a young boy at the Russian Market in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in May 2008. They were painted by his grandfather, a landmine victi who had to have one leg amputated. Left there by the Khmer Rouge, there are still some 6 million landmines scattered around the Cambodian countryside and alongside boarding Vietnam. These pictures are representative of Cambodia's colorful beauty.

3. This box from Haiti is part of my Granddad's collection of souveniers from his many missions trips around the world. I look at it everyday as it sits on my desk at school, holding all of my jewelry (in fact, much of the jewelry that I wear is from around the world too!) Granddad is my hero and, many times, my strength and inspiration in ministry. His legacy continues in my passion for missions, God's hurting world, and preaching the Good News.
4. This is a simple piece, though the detail in the carving is incredible. It pictures the chapel at Escuela El Sembrador in Catacamas, Honduras, where I first accepted my call to life a life of missions. El Sembrador is a home and school for boys; the school provides vocational training, and woodwork is one of the largest programs.
5. Finally, because this is one of my most-cherished posessions, I am highlighting the larger of the two elephants - another piece from Granddad's collection. When he traveled to new countries, Granddad collected elephants and dolls... now I collect elephants, and some dolls also. I believe the larger elephant - crafted from wood, with small decorative jewels glued on - is from India, and the smaller from Zambia. The box at left was also his, but I do not know its story.
Thank you for visiting my room!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Never give up...

It's midterms week.... my sweet man shared this with me on Saturday.

Friday is fall break... looking forward to a three day weekend!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Congratulations to 9 of my 35 students who graduated from the Wesleyan Bible College in Xai Xai, Mozambique today. I wish I could have been there to celebrate with them; they have been on my mind all weekend. I am so glad that I was able to send notes and pictures to each of the students through a visiter last week. Many of the students and their families made a significant impact on my life, and I know God is going to use them to do incredible things.

Mario and Abrão were my two best friends in Mozambique.
Abrão, Alima, and their baby girl are returning to their province of Nampula tomorrow; it is a 5-day trip by car. Soon, Mario, Cristina, and their two children [their son Japhete is my little angel] are moving to South Africa to begin their ministry. One day I hope to return to Xai Xai, and though I may never see these two friends again, they will always be in my heart.

Abrão's wife, Alima, and their baby girl. I loved making this baby girl smile!

João's wife, Idenia, was my translator when I visited tsongan speaking communities, during my evangelistic tour one afternoon, when I taught community health at the Bible College, and when I preached in her church. Idenia really is a powerful woman, and when she prays, it is as if the clouds roll back, the Heavens open, and the hand of God literally touches each person that is present. I truly was blessed to have her pray over me during my going away party; it is a memory that I will carry forever.
Here Idenia is presenting me with a beautiful capalana from all of the students. I will cherish that simple piece of cloth for many many years.

One of my favorite pictures from Mozambique because it illustrates one of my favorite memories: sitting down to chá (tea) and building relationships. Second to the hours spent with my babies in the cheché every morning, this was the best part of my daily routine! I miss it.

Although Abrão, Mario, and Idenia were three of my closet friends, the others are equally special, but I don't want to bore you with too many stories of past memories.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Fave. Five: #19

Woo hoo!! It's finally Friday again (commence celebratory dance!) Log on at Living to Tell the Story and share your own Friday's Fave. Five!

1. Tonight's Fall Fiesta
Tonight I am having my freshmen group over for a Fall party. Last night I baked German chocolate cupcakes and pumpkin spice cookies, and this afternoon I'm making snickerdoodles. We will be eating caramel apples, candy corn and peanuts, baked cookies, and drinking kool-aid of various fall colors. We are going to paint mini pumpkins, enjoy autumn decor, and listen to the sweet melodies of Nathan Metz's new cd: PLAY THE MAN. So excited!

2. Dr. Jolly
Yesterday I had a wonderful visit with my favorite professor, whom I sadly do not have class with this semester (hopefully next!) We had a wonderful chat about life, love, and culture. He is a man of great wisdom; something I am really going to miss when I graduate from IWU in April.

3. Laura's Wedding
Tomorrow afternoon I will be attending a friend from high school's wedding. I will even be wearing a new dress that I bought for the occasion! I love weddings. Can't wait for my own. ;)

4. Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World"
I did a 10-page research paper and presentation on Louis Armstrong this week for Fine Arts class. His voice is so unique; love it!

5. A weekend alone
My sister is going on a weekend retreat with the girls in our youth group. While I enjoy living with her and wouldn't ever prefer to live alone, having the room to myself this weekend will be nice and will hopefully lead to some great productivity in taking next week's assignments.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Message in the Trees

It seems over the past few days that I have had quite a few friends attending funerals. Over the weekend a man from our community was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. Another friend's grandpa died, and one of my housemate's boyfriend's grandpa died. A lady at work took a vacation day to attend her best friend's mother's funeral. People die; it's a sad season of life. Please don't stop reading, this isn't a gruesome post, but rather a message of hope.

As I see the trees -- and the colors changing from green to reds, oranges, and golds -- I am reminded that we have hope. For although the leaves wither and fall, we can have confidence that after Autumn and Winter pass, Spring will come, and with it, new life. God is faithful; He always has been and always will be. Spring has never failed us; the leaves always return to life -- life glorious.

If I can take the analogy a step further, God spoke something else to me. Autumn is beautiful, winter is not. During this season, the trees are absolutely gorgeous, but within a few weeks they will be bare and ugly, and the grass will be closer to brown than green. I love the Autumn leaves and I hate to see them pass. In fact, I love the entire season, and I hate to see it pass to the bare cold winter season. I cherish he cool (not cold!) autumn breeze flowing through my open windows. The cherish the crisp and clean smell of fresh hair. I cherish the way God paints the yellow, orange, and red landscape in the trees, and the deep blue in the sky. I cherish the crunching sound of newly fallen leaves beneath my feet as I walk to class in the morning. Because soon, all of these will come to pass.

Cherish each day, because it's another opportunity to learn, to grow, to experience joy and fulfillment, and to pass time with loved ones.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot..."

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This girl has a feeling!

This girl has a feeling... I'm on top of the world!! Have you ever had it? I have had it only a few times before.
1) When I flew over the Grand Canyon.
2) When I rode a mountain up an elephant an elephant up a mountain to watch the sun set.
3) When that special guy revealed his undying love for me.
4) A few other times.
5) And now, having researched, written, and completed two research essays in one weekend (less than 48 hours to be exact!)

I cannot be defeated

[No, I don't actually wear my hair like that in public. It was just thrown up in a moment of stresssss. K, thanks.]


EDIT: Boy, was I wrong! Just two hours after posting my blog, I logged off, brushed my teeth, washed my face, put sweats on, arranged the covers on my bed, and then lifted my pillow for fluffing.
What did I find under my pillow? An ipis - filipino for cockroach, - a large, black, flat, oval-bodied monster! Not an ant.. not a spider.. not any normal resident of our townhouse. A cockroach.
What did I do? I jumped, screamed, and ran in defeat. Come to find out, it was a fake.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday's Fave. Five: #18

Woo hoo!! It's finally Friday again (commence celebratory dance!) Log on at Living to Tell the Story and share your own Friday's Fave. Five!

1. Yesterday I turned in a significant assignment that consumed nearly all my thoughts and all my time this past week. What a relief it is to have it accomplished and the burden lifted off my shoulders! Of course there is always something else to do next -- i.e. two research papers due Tuesday -- but that great feeling of accomplishment is just what I needed to keep working!

2. I am reminded of God's incredible grace as I received news this week that a friend has been making wrong decisions and choosing an unholy lifestyle. Restoration is possible by God's good grace. Praise the Lord! We serve a God whose arms are always stretched open, waiting for us to come home.

3. My friend Silas just uploaded his pictures from our missions trip to Puerto Rico in July. What sweet memories those pictures held.

4. Wearing my beautiful bracelet that my dear friends in Cambodia sent me for my birthday almost 3 weeks ago. Thanks Vandy and Tess! Love it and love you!

5. Tonight I'm going to a friend's apartment to spend the evening with the girls from my suite last year. I haven't seen Traci, who I lived with for 2 years, since the middle of the summer, and I haven't seen Laura since April. So. Much. Fun!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Aside from washing my chapstick...

Aside from my favorite chapstick going through the washer and dryer, today was a great day.

I well-overslept my alarm, but God knew I needed the sleep and He woke me up with just enough time to make it to Zumba class on time. I spent the majority of the afternoon preparing for tomorrow's children's church lesson, and replaying my music videos from Moçambique. I also cleaned the bathroom and did two loads of laundry with Sister.

Then, for the first time ever, my dearest Moçambican friend, Abrão, called me. I hate to think what he scarified to afford to call me, so I will cherish the call forever.

THEN, Jessie and I went to our friend Nathan's cd release party. For three years he has been working on the album Play the Man and all profits are earmarked for Nathan and Jade's adoption of their Ugandan prince, Samuel Ezra.

Great Food. Great Fellowship. Great Music.
Check out!

I cannot believe it's already October. I cannot believe we are one-third of the way through the semester. I cannot believe I graduate in seven months. I cannot believe that I leave for Cambodia in 79 days!

I am blessed.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday's Fave. Five: #17

It's finally Friday again (commence celebratory dance!) In honor of Friday, here are five things that added joy to a stress-stress-stressful week. Log on at Living to Tell the Story and share your own Friday's Fave. Five!

1. God's Promises

‎"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14
♥ ♥ ♥

2. Memories

I miss my babies moçambicanos very very much, but I am grateful for the vivid memories that I have of them (and the pictures and videos too!) I cherish those precious faces! ♥ ♥ ♥

3. Multi-Lingual
After skyping Mario and Abrão in Moçambique, receiving a surprise call from Wilson in Honduras, and emailing Nary in Cambodia, I officially used all five of my languages on Sunday. ♥ ♥ ♥ Mario in Tsonga (mother tongue of Maputo, Moçambique's capital,) Abrão in Português, Nary in Khmer (language of Cambodia), Wilson in Español, and of course, my daily conversation in English.

4. Babies for my Birthday

Jessie and I are traveling south tonight with Mom and Dad to celebrate our belated birthday with sister and brother-in-law and these two gorgeous babies - Baby Mal and Baby Face Leah

5. Good News

A friend going to Cambodia this month has agreed to bring home another load of scarves for me to sell for fundraising for my next trip to Cambodia.