Saturday, June 22, 2013

My first mission trip: Swaziland 2007

June 2007 was my first trip to Swaziland. I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since I traveled to Swaziland by myself. God called me to go and I’m so glad I obeyed because this trip 
changed my life. It’s amazing how God can use people in your life to steer you in the right direction. He can use anyone, even a kindergarten student in my class that year. 

It wasn’t until one of my students’ parents traveled to Swaziland, South Africa that I discovered I was capable of pursuing that same journey. I asked the student in 
my class what her parents were doing in Africa and she replied, “They are feeding the orphans”. At that moment I knew the Holy Spirit was working – it touched my heart. 

That day I announced to the rest of my class what I had heard and we immediately found Africa on the map. I knew God was working in my life. I knew He was telling me slowly 
what I was supposed to do.

If you ever feel “called” to go on a mission trip whether in the states or internationally- I urge you to listen to that voice and go! If He wants you to go, He will make a way. 

Soon before I left before my trip I was feeling kind of down and insecure about going. I kept hearing a voice saying, “God didn’t call you go to Africa. You are crazy!”. I tucked that voice away and kept pursuing what I knew I was supposed to do. The  amazing thing was that when I set foot into Swaziland I had an overwhelming confirmation that I listened correctly and that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I also knew that it wasn’t going to be my last trip to Africa. I immediately started crying with excitement and amazement. 

Three years later I went back to Swaziland but this time my husband came with me! :) (I’ll write more about this trip on another post). 

I traveled with Heart for AfricaHere is a little bit of information about Heart for Africa from their website:

"Heart for Africa is a Christian non-profit 501(c)3 public charity. Working alongside churches and children's homes in Swaziland, we are providing care and hope for a future for children in this small African nation. Through short term service trips, child sponsorship, and large fund raising programs, we are working to deliver quality care, shelter, food, water, clothing, health care, and education to the orphaned and vulnerable children of Swaziland."

On my trip in 2007 we worked at the New Hope Centre orphanage. 

This was taken from my journal when I writing about my trip while I was in Swaziland, “I knew I would learn and grow and plant a seed in others. I never knew how much I would learn and yearn for more of you.” 

You see on this trip my perspective on life changed. When you go to a third world country everything changes. You look at things differently. My heart broke for the orphans that lost their parents to HIV. They lost hope but at the orphanage they got saved by God and He healed them. I could see God in their eyes and how He was working in their lives. God made me travel all this way to have my heart broken for these children, these beautiful, wonderful children. He revealed to me on this trip that I have a heart for orphans. 

We are all called to do different things but it’s just remarkable how when you listen and obey something small that God is telling you to do there are blessings there. If 
I had not listened I would have missed the blessings He had for me. I went to serve these children and the people working at the New Hope Centre and I was blessed. 

There is so much more I could write about this trip. I could write about every detail of what we did and the interactions I had with the children. I could tell you specific things about how my perspective changed. But I really want this post to be encouraging for people to step out in faith in whatever it may be that God is telling them to do. It may not be to travel to Africa on a mission, it could be somewhere else. It may not be a mission trip at all. He may be telling you to say "yes" to that job offer or say "no" to that job offer or stay home with your baby instead of going back to work. Whatever it may be that He is calling you to do, step out in faith and listen because He will provide. Sometimes His way seems scary but have faith that He will provide; you’ll be so thankful you listened to His plan for your life because it is so much better than your own! 

He had the sweetest smile

Won't ever forget this little guy

Out in the comnmunity

Safari ride

I met and became friends with these ladies on the trip and we still keep in touch. 

An emotional evening - the night before we left. I won't ever forget this moment. 

Thank you for reading.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Today we celebrated Father's Day at Catoctin Creek.
We love being active and getting outside to hike or kayak in  our free time. We've visited the Catoctin Creek many times but this was the first time we actually got in the water and walked around. It was such a beautiful day to be outside. 

Did you get outside and enjoy the day? How did you celebrate Father's Day?

Can you see the tadpoles?
We love our water shoes

"Get me off this rock!"
Happy Father's Day daddy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer excursions

June is my favorite month. It just represents the start of summer and new beginnings. And, it also means-warm weather! I think I could live somewhere where it stayed warm all year long. 

June in pictures...

This picture sums up Sophia. My little adventurer who loves to have something in each of her hands.

Graduation picture :)

Georgetown trip with great friends! 
Thank you girls for such a fun time!

Beautiful view

       At our friend's wedding. We had a great date night.

Patrick is becoming her best friend lately.

My little ladybug girl

What about you? Are you happy it's June also? I hope you have an awesome summer filled with joy and summer adventures.