Tuesday, September 7, 2010

India~July 26, 2010

Flew into Hyderabad after our overnight stay in Dehli. We were amazed by how cool the weather was! One of the drivers who took us to our hotel said that we must've prayed really hard for cooler weather before we got there because it was unseasonably nice for that time of year. Hallelujah! Went straight to our hotel (which is not too shabby) and then went shopping for some authentic Indian clothes in order to "fit in" as much as this white- skinned, blonde-haired girl can:-) We then piled in our 3 vans and headed toward our first destination...a school. Now the driving here is literally indescribable. They drive on the opposite side of the road than in America, but not really because there are no lines and therefore they are all over the place. And they're going FAST! And there are tons of people walking, goats, water buffalo, motorcycles, cars, buses, rickshaws, and other cars on the road who are going as fast as we are. It.was.CRAZY!! It's only by the grace of God that we haven't hit anything or anyone and that no one has hit us! And the fact that I'm feeling okay is amazing! Thank you Lord!

Okay, so we got to the school and the children were sitting on the ground in perfectly straight rows quietly waiting on us. I couldn't believe how well-behaved they were! We did our hygiene/sanitation training (which included the water cycle, how to keep water clean, and how to protect our bodies against disease. Alicia and I did a whole bit on not pooping near clean water and making sure your hands were clean after you went to the bathroom and demonstrated how to wash your hands...it was enlightening and they all got a kick out of it:-) We got to pass out candy to the children once we were done and get our pictures taken with them. They absolutely LOVED seeing themselves on the camera. They wanted us to take their pictures over and over and over. I began to wonder how many of them had seen their picture before. I'm sure many of the homes don't even have mirrors...

We then went to a church where Pastor Daniel and his family live and teach and sing about the Lord. They had received a well that Neverthirst, Brookhills, & 4bserve sponsored and said it had been a struggle to talk about Jesus before the well was built, but the people in the village had been more receptive since the well was drilled. So neat to see how God met their physical need and in turn people turned to Him to meet their spiritual need. That the God of heaven (not many gods) provided for them and they give Him praise! Oh that we would thank Him for providing for our every overindulgent need in America!

We went to one last village where another well had also been sponsored and the people were waiting on us to come dedicate it! They garnished us with flower-wreath necklaces and you could tell they were just so, so happy we were there. So cool how God used our church to meet the need of that village...to hear their laughter and see their smiles was unforgettable. They also wanted us to take pics of them, but many wanted pics of us with their camera phones-lol! The partner here, Stephen, has been so good to usher us in and out...it's seriously like we're movie stars! HA again!
On our way back we stopped to get Chai and use the "latrine" or bathroom. I took a dramamine for the bumpy ride back to town (this village was about 1.5 to 2 hours one way) and slept. We stopped at Dominoes and had pizza and breadsticks...not too bad, but not like in the good ol' US of A. God has been so good to me physically on this trip! Praise Him for no nauseousness, diarreah, dizziness, etc.!!! only by His doing too considering the flights, lack of sleep, and food options. I am so amazed at how He is working this all out...even down to the cool temperature:-) Thank you Lord for providing in this special way...in awe of You!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

India~July 25, 2010

This was the team that God so wonderfully orchestrated to go on this trip together (minus our leader, Spencer, who have must have been figuring out how to get us through the airport or something.) God did so much through us and it was more and more evident as the days went by how he hand-picked each of us based on our backgrounds, talents, gifts, and personalities for a trip such as this. I kept a journal that I wrote in every day, so thought it would be cool to share some of that with you:-) And in order for you to understand my prayers for this trip especially concerning my health, I can't reiterate enough how much my physical body needed to be lifted up in order for me to be able to function there. I know this might be TMI, but in order for you to understand what God did for me on this trip...I need for you to understand the magnitude of my digestive issues. I have lived with what one might consider an extreme case of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Gastritis my whole life. There is not a day that goes by (even on my meds) that I do not experience issues with it in some form or fashion. I have learned to adapt to it, so it's nothing out of the ordinary for me, but I knew going to India with the spicy foods (and my finicky eating habits) that it was going to be a challenge. Also, something to keep in mind as you read about my trip is the fact that carsickness is pretty common for me...windy roads, fast driving, and long distances have ALWAYS made me feel queasy...and I mean really sick! Had no clue we'd be doing all the riding around that we did...but I will get to that later. Okay! On to the trip!...

Journal entry for Sunday~July 25, 2010
I know God is up to something BIG in India. I have been going through the study Believing God by Beth Moore and the Lord has been teaching me so much about faith, unbelief, and how the reason we don't see God in certain situations is our lack of belief. I hope my faith grows stronger on this trip. I pray that God uses me to do something supernatural in India. I pray that I am so attentive and so in tune with His Spirit that I can discern His voice while in India. I pray that our team will act obdediently even if we're not totally comfortable with whatever it is You would have us do!...I feel surrounded in prayer and comforted ( friends from my Believing God study and small group peeps sent me off with a huge envelope of encouraging notes:-) I know God is going to take care of me in India. My body is going to be okay, and I am NOT going to get sick!...What a huge deal this is for me to travel around the world so far to share about Christ with people who don't know and that I don't know! (as if this has just hit me on this 14 hour flight! lol) Like what am I doing? This is a long way to go! But I am SO honored to be doing this. I don't know why Christ uses me, but I'm so grateful He does! {I was behind on my Bible reading, but the Lord had me reading many verses I will quote throughout the trip at just the right time I needed them.} Micah 4:5 was one of them..."for all the peoples walk each in the name of it's god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever." I have been reading a lot about Israel rebelling against the Lord, idol worship, and God remaining faithful. Many verses state how idols will be shattered-please shatter idols in India Lord! Anxiously anticipating what you'll do...

Monday, August 30, 2010


I have literally had one of the best Summer's of my life. Between graduations, beach trips, family & friend gatherings, weddings, doing a dance/devotion time with some girls who live in Marks Village, and traveling to India I must say it was pretty exciting! My original intention with this blog was to post my fostering journey, but I feel the Lord leading me to express more...fostering is only one aspect of my life, so why not share it all right?! :-)

In regards to fostering, I have consistently been able to have the same girl come and stay with me on a monthly basis. This little girl in the pic is my cousin, Addie, who has hung out with us quite a bit. She's a super fun chick and just the girl who can relate to my little foster friend on a level that I can not:) I prayed that I would be able to build a relationship with the same child, and the Lord provided just the kind of unique opportunity to do just that. God has taught me quite a bit since I've known this foster child. Without going into too much detail- I will list some things that have stood out: I must word what I say in a firm but nice tone, making sure I go over all the rules up front, unconditional love, teachable moments always come at just the right time, and the most important (and duuuh moment for me)...when God's Word is brought into play-no matter the situation or circumstance...whether discipline or encouragement-it always sounds SO MUCH BETTER! I do a nightly devotion with her, and it's amazing to see how whatever happens in a given day I can always relate it back to Christ and His character and how we should live like Him no matter what. I still have so much to learn, but praise Him for all He is revealing to me that I should share with her!

One of my biggest supporters throughout this whole fostering time has been my boyfriend, Adam. He definitely came into my life at just the right time...a time that I truly needed a dude...no seriously, I was taking on foster needs AND the guest toilet was messed up ha! He is such a sweetheart...I couldn't have asked for a better boyfriend:-) He is an amazing, godly man who puts my needs before his own. I have never experienced such joy in a dating relationship. He is like a breath of fresh air! I am one extremely lucky girl who praises God continually for Adam's presence in my life. God is teaching us what it means to seek after Him and have faith that He's got it all worked out. We are following His lead and are so excited to see what the future holds for us as a couple:-)

Okay so India...lots to share! For all of those who prayed for me thank you, thank you, thank you!! They worked!! Let me first share a letter I wrote before my trip that explained why I was going and what I would be doing there, and then will explain how God brought it to fruitition:

"Our pastor challenged the church to participate in a “radical experiment” in 2010 and one of the components entails spending 98% of our time spreading the Gospel locally and the other 2% beyond Birmingham. Another component of the experiment is to sacrifice money for a specific purpose and Brookhills drastically cut their budget in order to give to the poor and needy. After much prayer and research, India was chosen as the country in which $1.1 million was given in order to meet the physical and spiritual needs there. India has been on my heart for a while, and that just sealed the deal. So doors have swung wide open for me to be apart of this July team with other members from my church, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I am confident that the Lord wants me to go to India at this time, with this team, in order to make His presence known in a country that is considered to be amongst the most unreached places concerning the gospel. I was cut to the core as I read these words from John Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life. Let them soak in…

This is God’s design in world history-that people from all nations and tribes and languages come to worship and treasure Christ above all things. Or as Paul put it in Romans 15:9, “that the Gentiles [all the peoples] might glorify God for his mercy.” There can be no weary resignation, no cowardly retreat, and no merciless contentment among Christ’s people while He is disowned among thousands of unreached peoples. Every Christian (who loves people and honors Christ) must care about this.

I want to care about what Christ cares about and the lost are at the top of that list! So I encourage you to pray. Pray for how God would have you respond in order to make His name great among the nations. Pray for spiritual, physical, and mental strength as my team and I prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies for major spiritual warfare. The people of India worship thousands of different idols, so pray for God to show them their need for Him and Him alone. Statistics show that nearly 50% of the world’s hungry live in India and thousands die daily due to preventable diseases mostly caused by unclean water. Our team will be sharing material in schools and villages that teach the importance of clean water. Pray we can help them understand the importance of having clean water to help save their physical lives, but even moreso help us relay to them that through Christ their spiritual souls can be saved.

My most important prayer is that these people see Jesus and not me. That He receives all the glory and honor for anything that He chooses to accomplish with me as His vessel. The mere fact that He chooses to use people to carry out His purpose of saving a lost and dying world is astonishing! But that’s how He planned it from the beginning. I am going to need the body of Christ surrounding me during this time like never before"...

I look back in amazement to see how God answered those prayers...I want to be able to describe my experiences in detail, and I'm afraid I won't do it justice if I do it in one long post. I'm going to try and post more about it this week. As you can tell I don't post very often, but going to give it my best effort with this trip!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Answered Prayer:)

God is sooooo good! My time with my first foster child was such a neat, fun, funny, and learning experience:) About 15 minutes after I picked her up, she asked if I had thought about adoption...my heart melted. She was very easy to talk to and was very agreeable with everything I suggested about our weekend plans. We went to Wal-Mart and bought foods she liked. She's a very creative child...we mixed peanut butter cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies together...it wasn't too bad! She also accidentally forwarded all my calls on Saturday...oh the things that can happen when you bring a child into your world! I kept her busy with lots of activities...most of which she enjoyed (besides the hiking). We went to the movies, went bowling, had a picnic at the park, went hiking at Oak Mountain, went to church, and before I took her back on Sunday we went to my parent's. She loved playing with my niece:) It is so amazing to see Him provide exactly what I had been praying for...a child who needed encouragement and praise and family:) A child that I will be able to consistently build a relationship with...she should be able to stay with me one weekend a month. A child who needs an adult to love her and a sense of belonging. I can't go into much detail about her past or present, but please pray that God continually surrounds her with people who can encourage her on a path to follow Him:)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First call...

So I will have my first child coming to stay with me March 18th-20th! A social worker called yesterday and asked if I would take a 10-year-old girl who lives in a group home. The other children in the home are all siblings and are going on a trip, and she needs somewhere to go for a few days. She said the girl is super sweet, aims to please, and really just needs someone to love on her...just the child I've been praying for:-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I am officially approved as a foster parent!! I received my fingerprint results on Friday and got my letter in the mail yesterday stating that I have been formally approved to receive foster children by Alabama Baptist Children's Homes (ABCH). I saw the director of ABCH on Sunday at church, and she said to be expecting a call soon! I will keep you all posted in the days to come (and try really hard to write at least a little something) so you will know how it's going:) Such a great way to start off my birthday week!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Patiently waiting…

So obviously my GPS classes were over and done with a while back, but I wanted to let everyone know where I am at this point in the process. Basically everything has been done that needs to be done on my end. My case study and home study are complete, all of my paperwork has been turned in, and now it’s just waiting on the fingerprint results. For some reason the department of education doesn’t share, or I could have been approved a long time ago, but alas, I wait. I received an email today stating that the fingerprint results should be in by next week. Once the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home receives them they will give me a call stating that I have been officially approved as a foster parent☺ YAY!

I have decided to start out doing respite, or emergency care at first. I think it would benefit not only me, but the child I might get for more than a night or weekend if I have some sort of experience before jumping in full time. I really still have no idea how this respite thing will work, but from what I’ve been told I could get a call at any point night or day to take a child for a night, or multiple nights or a week or a weekend. Since there are SO MANY families from my church who will be getting foster children, ideally I would like to try & team up with a family & consistently keep their foster child when they need respite care. That way I could build a relationship with a child and see how it goes with them visiting me regularly. I will of course take children at random, but in my “perfect world” this is how it would work majority of the time☺

I am very excited & pray continually for the child or children that may come into my life and how I can impact them with Christ’s love, but please continue to pray for me as I wait. The longer it takes for me to get “approved” the more I question, not necessarily if this is something that I can do, but I guess just anxious about how this is all going to work out. Right now I do what I want, when I want…simple things like running to the store, going to small group, working out, and doing things with friends are going to have to be methodically planned out. Just want to hurry up and get this going so I can see how it will really be!

Of course, when I read Katie’s blog (Kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com-please read her last post it is WONDERFUL!) I want to kick myself for even thinking how having a foster child on a short-term basis might inconvenience my world. I know that ultimately it will be one of the best things I could ever be apart of! Which makes me want to sing. . .

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I surrender all…

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

I surrender all…