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Prevent Disease Before It Bites

prevent-disease

My 20th birthday was coming up, and I thought, why not start a myGFA campaign? So I did!

You can check out my campaign at www.mygfa.org/prevent. I choose to raise money for 100 mosquito nets because they can prevent malaria, a disease that threatens so many lives. Right now I am getting over being sick with strep throat, and I have been blessed with easy access to medical care. Can you imagine being so poor that you can’t afford medical help, let alone ways to prevent sickness? So that’s what I’m doing for my birthday. :)

Find out more information at www.mygfa.org/prevent, and donate 1, 2, 3, or 5 mosquito nets to help someone prevent malaria from attacking their family.

Seasons of Change

I’m excited to be doing School of Discipleship year 2… but instead of returning to snowy Canada, I’ll be staying in Texas! This unexpected change of plans happened just this week, and I miss Tim Horton’s and my Canadian family already. It’s always an adventure to follow wherever God calls and I want to keep trusting Him and His plans for my life, like I’ve been reading in Jeremiah 29:11-13.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

So Texas friends, I’ll be seeing you more often!

PS – to find out more about what School of Discipleship Year 2 is… check out my most recent newsletter right here. Also, I’m raising financial support for this year of discipleship. You can support me at www.gfa.org/sd/elch.

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Angst… or Peace

Coming home, and coming down with the flu was not part of the plan. Expectations? Shattered.

That’s a little dramatic, but feverish sleep, forced rest, and doing nothing was not what I expected for my Christmas break.

It is an in-between season right now. A year in Canada, 3+ weeks with family in Texas, and then another year in Canada.

My roots have grown down, and people-roots have grown too. They’re pulled up, abruptly but gently – and it is for a greater purpose.

I know that I can trust my Creator, my Saviour, my Grower. His big master plan is more beautiful and magnificent that I can see on this side of the tapestry.

Philippians 1:6 – His work is going on in my life, and He will carry it to completion.

I may not understand the why of this sickness, or the how and what of this in-between season – but I can trust. And that’s what I’ll do.

Jesus is my hope, the anchor for my soul, firm and secure.

The Doxology:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Amen.

And Merry Christmas! This time of slowing down and rest and refocusing is so important, even if this flu forced it on me.

Just like there is a reason behind the seasons God leads my life through, there’s a reason for Christmas. Let’s reflect on the reason for this season… And it’s about Jesus. His first coming, His love, His life. Also is sacrificial death, and the reconciliation we can have with God the Father. He died, and He rose again. That’s why we celebrate Easter in the spring.

And Jesus Christ, our glorious Saviour Messiah, will return again, so very soon. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus! Now, I live my life for Him, through every crazy season that He brings in my life.

What is my life?

Last night, I was laying in bed, trying to go to sleep. My lips were dry, so finally I put on Chapstick. As I lay back down again, now comfortable and ready for a good night’s rest, I thought how the moment was tweet-able: “can’t fall asleep before I put on my Burt’s Bees #firstworldproblems”

And then I thought — how LAME is that. How arrogant, how self- and comfort- centered.

I can’t fall asleep because my lips are dry. And I know there are people who can’t fall asleep tonight because of the gnawing hunger in their stomachs, because they have starved all day. And there are children — abused, beaten, taken advantage of — maybe they live in fear of their own father, or an adult they were betrayed by. Those kids can’t sleep because they live in fear of when the next beating will come. The mother who cries because she can’t feed her own children. The man who goes to sleep, with no hope to wake up to, because he has no purpose in life.

And here I am, inconvenienced by my lack of comfort.

What is my life? For what do I live?

“For in Him all things were created… All things have been created through Him and for Him.” -Colossians 1:16

God created me for Himself. The purpose of my life is to glorify Him.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10

God knew me before He created me (see Jeremiah 1) and He has a plan and a purpose for my life.

And that purpose is much bigger than simply living to fulfill my selfish desires.

What I’m Thankful for Today

I’m thankful for:

•learning and growing so much with my SD classmates and the GFA family
•learning self-discipline and time management
•spring!
•studying books that draw me closer to Jesus
•encouragement from other people

You can pray for me!

•to continue to grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ
•to trust God’s promises
•to be an others-centered servant
•to find my confidence and strength
in the Lord
•enough sleep at night and energy during the day

A Testimony of God’s Provision and Confirmation

Before I even came to Canada, God used two things to totally confirm that I was supposed to come. While I was raising my support, I was
praying that I would have 100% pledged before I came. Looking at my support report a few days before I left for Canada, I realized that God had answered that prayer! Many people had been generous with one-time gifts and monthly pledges, and God showed me His provision by bringing in my support.

Six days before I was set to fly to Toronto, I got out my passport and had an awful realization. My passport had expired last August! Oh no. Mom and Dad and I began praying, and looking into getting my passport renewed. It was easy to blame ourselves for this mistake, but we had to choose to believe that God is sovereign and is in control. Romans 8:28 and Matthew 19:26 were promises that encouraged me.

The normal route to renew a passport is to go to the post office, make an appointment, apply for renewal, and wait a few weeks for the new passport to come in the mail. But I didn’t have the time to do that – I needed to leave in 6 days!

It was a situation that seemed impossible for humans, and that was just the place for God to do a miraculous work! The leaders of GFA Canada and an auntie who helps with travel things for GFA gave us good advice about renewing my passport quickly, and directed me to go to the Federal Building in downtown Dallas. And I got my passport just three days before I left for Canada!
Every time I tell this story, God’s provision completely blows my mind. He completely confirmed that it was His plan for me to come to Canada, and it is so exciting to be here, right in the centre of His will.

Life recently.

What if time is relative? Wrapping my mind around that concept is difficult. Like trying to comprehend infinity or the size of the universe.

Nevertheless. Time goes faster for me these days – maybe it’s because there is so much to do, and almost every moment of my day is mapped out.

But I’m enjoying this time. Building relationships with wonderful people, learning so much, growing so much.

And enjoying a few donuts while I’m at it.
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February 12 was Pancake Tuesday. We made bacon pancakes for supper.
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Susan and Sharlena and I went to a social justice event and shared about how Gospel for Asia is bringing hope to children in Asia. And about School of Discipleship.
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Eight people make up our School of Discipleship class: Crissy, me, Daniel, Sharlena, Ashley, Abbey, Michelle, and Chris. We don’t always make it to lunch at the same time, but that day we did :)
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We eat some delicious food around here.
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Three times a week, we have class. Reading, listening, learning, and discussing.
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And taking random selfies. Just for fun.
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Happy Saturday!

The Creed of the Church

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God,
Begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man;
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered and was buried;
And the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into Heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father;
And he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life;
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son;
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified;
Who spoke by the prophets;
And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
And I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Amen.

This is what I believe.

2013 is the year that I have dedicated to growing more like Jesus. I’m part of Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada. Striving to know Jesus more fully and intimately.

The mission of Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship is to assist men and women to become devout followers of Christ and to fulfill the great commission by enabling them to know Jesus more fully and intimately through the careful study of God’s Word along with practical teaching and training relevant to each individual God given calling.

What I’m studying currently: the core values of Gospel for Asia and the Bible from 30,000 Feet by Pastor Skip Heitzig.

developing a roll of film

Learning to develop black and white film was one of the best things that’s happened to me. I love shooting film, and have loved it for a while. Learning to develop it on my own made it so much more awesome.

Last semester I took Daniel Rodrigue’s News Photography I at Brookhaven College. I had cool assignments that weren’t really work, because taking photos is awesome and fun. My kind of class, for sure. I made a camera out of a can, I shot with instant film, and spent hours in the school darkroom. Brookhaven has a black and white photo lab, and all of the equipment and space you need for rolling film onto reels, pouring in the chemistry to develop the film, and making enlargements and prints of your photos.

One Thursday I was at the photo lab at Brookhaven, developing film. (Standing at a sink for an hour and shaking a film tank intermittently is not the most interesting thing it the world. It’s a little boring [except that you know that what you’re doing is making photos, so it’s worth it.] I have small hands, so my fingers cramp up from holding onto the film tank. Then there are chemicals spilling, and dripping onto your hands, and then drying just enough to make it uncomfortable. [I’m making this sound horrible. It’s not really this bad.])

So I was at the lab, developing film. I decided that I would instagram the different steps of developing film, just for fun, and for something to do while I wait. I decided that I would hashtag it all #photolabthursday to group all of the photos and tweets together.

And, now I’m going to share the film developing process with you, via my instagram posts. Just a fraction of all the photos that I posted though!

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