Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cycle4Compassion 2014!!!

Well, the time is coming for the third annual Cycle4Compassion!  I am so excited for what this year will hold.

Here's some of the highlights from the last two years:

Cycle4Compassion 2012 

The bike-a-thon began in 2012.  After going door-to-door for donations, I rode twenty-five kilometers in the rain with my dad and sister.  It was the hardest bike ride ever!  It was also very rewarding, though.  God led me to sponsor Eduardo in El Salvador with the funds raised.

(The ride: Cycle4compassion  Sponsoring Mainor Eduardo: Mainor- Part Two)

Cycle4Compassion 2013

The ride was easier last year than in 2012 but the actual fundraising was more difficult.  I went door-to-door as I did the year before, but hardly anyone was home or wanted to donate.  The night before the ride, I was about $90 short.  I prayed that God would provide.  I woke up the next morning and checked for online donations - none.  I went to church, but no one handed me donations.  I came home and found out that my grandma's friend had donated!  That combined with after-the-ride donations brought me to a total of $582!

(The ride: Cycle4Compassion: an Update!)

As I said above, I know Cycle4Compassion 2014 will be amazing too!

Stay tuned - I will be posting later this week about Eduardo.

Until then though, would you please check out my fundraising page and prayerfully consider donating?  I can't do this without you!  Thank you so much!!

Cycle4Compassion 2014! (fundraising Page)

Monday, September 1, 2014

The 10 Best Things about Mexico

In no particular order, here are ten of my favorite things about Mexico:

1. the cheese.....seriously, the best. cheese. ever.  I've heard it called queso fresco, which is fresh cheese.  Just imagine mozzarella but a million times better!

2. real fajitas.....I hate to tell you all, but until you've had a Mexican fajita, all you've had are fake fajitas (or tacos, etc.).  Real fajitas have queso fresco, chicken with peppers, and wonderful, small tortillas.  Friends, it doesn't get any better than that, and you can only get that in Mexico!

3. the people.....they were so friendly, gracious, and helpful.  I met a Mexican uni student on the plane down to Mexico.  She was so friendly and interested in what we would be doing.  She even gave us her contact info and told us if we needed anything, she would help us.  Every individual I met was just as thoughtful and gracious.

4. the church.....on Sunday, we went to a church service.  It was incredible.  Everyone was so full of joy.  It was a blessing to be at the church service!

5. the music.....oh my goodness, the music!  Mexican Christian music is the most beautiful music ever.  On Sunday, the worship team did an incredible job.  The music just had so much energy.  Then in the taxi to the airport on Friday, the driver heard that we were Christians and put on a Mexican Christian music station.  Already emotional because of all that happened that week and because I was leaving, I could hardly keep from crying.  The music was beautiful.

6. the kids.....okay, I love playing with all kids.  The kids in Mexico though were so gracious despite my inability to speak or understand their language.  They were precious, and I miss them every single day since I've been back.

7. el espaƱol.....let's be real, Spanish is beautiful, and we all know it.  Hearing it spoken every day was tough because I couldn't understand (and that's frustrating!), but it was also wonderful.  I so miss hearing it every day.  I miss saying "gracias" and "hola" and "Dios te bendiga" and it being normal.

8. laughing.....with the language barrier, there was sometime quite the confusion.  Perhaps the instance that I smile about the most was when a sweet mom came up to me and spoke in Spanish.  She said something that was long.  And I did not understand a single word.  (I often could catch one or two words.)  I must have looked so bewildered because when I looked at the pastor's son and his friend, they were laughing at me.  I was laughing too because I realized how silly I must have looked.  But, we laughed a lot.  Going to Mexico with the best people ever, the reality is...you are going to laugh a lot.

9. Starbucks.....I had never been to a Starbucks in the US.  We went to one in Mexico City.  I did not get anything, but I found it amusing to hear about Starbucks all week long.  I am sure that if I did get something, it would have been the best one ever.  That is how Mexico is....everything there is better than it is here.

10. family.....in Mexico, I met some of my family in Christ.  It was such a blessing.  They taught me so much.  They are wonderful people, and I miss them so much.  I loved working alongside my amazing family.  It was my favorite part of the trip.

Mexico will forever be in my heart.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Love Like I'm Not Scared

Summer is almost over.  I can't believe how fast it has flown by.  In just two weeks, I will be starting school again.

While I very much looked forward to this summer (who doesn't?!), I very much dreaded it's end.  I knew that this summer would be very special and very tough.  I knew I would meet people and go places that I would love and have to let go.  And I was scared.  I almost wished that I could not let my heart love because I knew that these dear people would be leaving.  But I knew I could not do that.  

So I chose to love.  I chose to love my Mexico team, to love the Mexican children I served, to keep loving my friends even though much too soon they would leave to begin college. 

This summer I heard a song by for KING & COUNTRY that encouraged me to love like Jesus even when I knew that the people would not be in my life forever.  It's called "Fix My Eyes," and the chorus goes like this....

I'd love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you

Love like I'm not scared.

This summer I chose to love like I'm scared, and I don't regret it!  Because I did, I was able to experience love that goes beyond borders and barriers and distance.  I was reminded of how great God's love is for us and how He'll never stop loving us no matter how far away we may run.

1 Corinthians 13:8a 
"Love never fails."

Friday, August 1, 2014

I'm Home!

I have so many thoughts about my time in Mexico right now.  But, for now, I won't use words.  Instead, I will let these pictures speak for me.  :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

The World Cup

I don't watch sports.  Ever.

However, I heard about the FIFA World Cup and was interested.  Eight Compassion countries had teams playing.  In some of those countries, I have a Compassion child.  So I followed the stats on Google because we don't have the tv channel to watch the games.

Of course, I routed for Mexico initially.  I was really bummed out that they lost to the Netherlands.  But Colombia was still playing, so I began to cheer them on.  They had to play Brazil, which I didn't think was a big deal.  My sister then informed me that Brazil has amazing soccer skills.  For example, Brazil hadn't lost a competitive match on their own soil in 39 years (since 1975).  Following the online commentary for the last couple minutes of the Colombia-Brazil match confirmed that I once again routed for the losing team.  However, Brazil was down two players and I was interested to see how it would turn out for their next game.

Brazil's next match gave them only a chance to get third place in the 2014 World Cup.  I was amazed!  I thought they would win even though they were down two players.  Germany beat them 7 to 1, which was the highest scoring game in the whole tournament (that I know of)!  Surely I thought they would end up with third place, but again they lost....this time to the Netherlands.

The final match of the tournament was Germany vs. Argentina for first and second place.  I figured Germany would win because they seemed to have won a lot of the matches they were in.  After a long game with overtime, Germany scored the winning goal (which was also the only goal of the match)!

It was really interesting to see the World Cup stats and read about some of the games.  I learned a couple things and had fun seeing which country would take home the honor of first place!

Did you watch or follow the World Cup?  Which match interested or surprised you the most?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Some Thoughts

I was scared to look at the date of my last post, and yikes! it was scary.  I haven't posted in two weeks.  I guess I've been more busy thinking about things than writing about them!

Anyway, I came across these verses today....

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV)
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

I found it encouraging to know that I'm not the only crazy one God chose!  As I think about going to Mexico (in just 18 days!!!!!), I sometimes wonder what I am doing.  I mean seriously, I'm not very brave or outgoing and I'm definitely not eloquent with my words!  But yet, God still has a plan that involves me.  That's pretty exciting (and scary)!

As each day passes and I am one day closer to boarding that plane, I ask that you would remember my team and me in your prayers.  Pray that God would prepare us for what He would have us do while we are serving Him in Mexico!

Thank you, friends!  I am so blessed by each of you! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Today is June 17, 2014. Three years ago today, Compassion assigned me my first correspondent Aprila! So I celebrated that today in a very unique way.....

I got shots.

didn't get a pretty band-aid - oh well! ;)

I guess it would be normal to have a nice meal or do something fun on an anniversary, but I think getting shots today was perfect and special.

You see, three years ago, I never imagined I would go on a missions trip. I never thought I would leave the country. And honestly, I didn't know Jesus very well. He was just a far-off Person to me.

Over the past couple years, God has grown a desire in my heart to know Him and make Him known (as the familiar Casting Crowns song "Thrive" says). God has used Compassion to draw me closer to Him and teach me many things. Compassion planted a desire for mission work in my heart. As time went by, the desire grew.

And now, three years later, I get shots for my first mission trip. I think it's super awesome how God had it all planned out all along. I am so excited to see what He does in Mexico because I know that He has wonderful things planned! I can't wait!