Wednesday, December 31, 2014

14 Stretches and Blessings for 2014 [subscribe]

While we were in India, we would do a daily debrief with teams called "stretch & bless," where you would go around the dinner table and share one thing that stretched and bless you that day. Somedays your list of stretches would be so prevalent that the only bless you could think of was nap time. Other days you would be so overwhelmed with blessings that nothing seemed to stretch you that day. I can say without a doubt Caleb and I were stretched and blessed this last year, but through every stretch and blessing we have been able to see the goodness of our God and how He loves us. 

14 "Stretches and blessings" of 2014

  1. Stretch: The conflicting feelings of at times feeling lonely, but feeling sad to leave the family and community you've grown to love. 
  2. Bless: Living in community here in the Bay area and being so blessed by our church!
  3. Stretch: Fighting feelings of inadequacy as a wife, woman of God, and servant of the Lord.
  4. Bless: Feeling the freedom that comes with God's grace and strength to fight the lies of the enemy.
  5. Stretch: Being confronted with so many unresolved sin issues in dealing with conflict and communication in our marriage.
  6. Bless: Constantly being reminded of the covenant we made before God that sustains us to push through that conflict and work towards glorifying God in our marriage. 
  7. Stretch: Letting go of so many plans and control and following the Lord to India.
  8. Bless: Following the Lord to India to serve with Rahab's Rope and being blessed by the people who He grew our hearts for. 
  9. Stretch: Being pushed out of our comfort zones day in and day out for 11 weeks. Feeling unqualified in teaching and leading positions and knowing we had no idea what we were doing.
  10. Bless: That it is the Lord doing the work and is leading us through the things we know we cannot handle on our own merit!
  11. Stretch: Getting lice 4 times in India and after....praying that I don't get it again...
  12. Bless: Getting hugs and cuddles from the kids in the slums. As much as I hated lice, I could not think of not loving on those kids. 
  13. Stretch: Playing the waiting game. From applying to Rahab's Rope and waiting for a reply and then waiting to get all our funds in and now waiting to see where the Lord leads us next, it leaves one with constant butterflies and anxious feelings...
  14. Bless: After the waiting, came all the blessings of this last year. Experiencing new places with my husband (Bellingham, Canada, the Alaskan highway, Pennsylvania, New York City, India); ministering to the beautiful people of India; being used to the max for the Lord and His kingdom; leading a group of girls to Christ and discipling boys to be the next leaders in the Indian church. So many blessings. I know soon into 2015 those anxious feelings will fade into excitement for what the Lord will bring us next. I can't wait to see what He does this next year.

Blessings from the Sharps into this new year!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

India with Rahab's Rope [VIDEO]



Caleb and I have been home for a little over a month. Can't believe it was only last month that we were here...it feels like ages ago. India feels not only like another world, but a dream. It hasn't been so difficult adjusting back to America this time around, but it's been hard waiting for what's next. Even with all the down time, it has felt overwhelming to look back at the 11 weeks we had in India, but I want to share. I don't want to forget our time in India, and I want to proclaim God's faithfulness. His leading. The work He has done in India. We are so thankful for this time. And so thankful for the support and prayers from you all. So here's a video of our time in India to show a little bit of the work allowed us to do. I am still wanting to share stories and photos and proclaim God's goodness.


And if you're wondering what's next for us, so are we...one thing we were reminded in India was that no matter how much you plan, God will take control, so that's where we're kind of at right now. If you could pray for us, we are waiting on the Lord to show us just what's next and how it will look. At this point, I wish I could jump back on that plane and go back to India, but another thing I was reminded was when God takes control, He works far greater than I could have ever planned for.





Happy New Year from The Sharps

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Week of Lasts

A little red and yellow boat sways back and forth in the sea.
The waves roll over the shore with two bobbing heads.
Crows caw overhead with the bread man riding past, honking his horn.
So much of the sights, the sounds, the tastes of Indian have become home the last 10 weeks.
And I sit, taking it all in. Grasping onto each last moment as they zoom past me like an Indian bus down a winding road.
I have anticipated this week as it is a week of last. Last time in my home away from home. Last time grasping onto sweet little loving hands. Last time sitting and laughing with the women in the stitching center. Last time running around with the school children and trying not to pull out my hair. Last time sitting and crying and praying with the beach ladies that I love so dearly. Last time holding my husband's arm across crazy Indian traffic. Last time watching and listening to these waves crash against the shore. A week of lasts.

And as much as I not ready to go home, I am ready. I am ready to meet the last moments and go home. And I am glad there is sadness! Because that means that my heart has been stolen once again. It means that the Lord has been working and growing my love for these people and this place. It means that I have been filled with the compassion and love of the Lord. And in these last moments, I pray that I would be overflowing with that love and grace of the Lord and would pour myself empty onto these people.

Be praying for us during our last moments.

Blessings from the Sharps

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lacking

I've been bad. I'll admit.

I've gotten lazy. Tired. And distracted.

Blogposts and updates haven't been coming, which I apologize for. We have been on holiday for the last 2 weeks, and it's been far too long since I've shared with you all what is happening here in India. It has been over 3 weeks since I've shared and so much has happened. Though it is still holiday time in India, we see so much and fight against tiredness or sickness or discouragement, and when the time comes to want to share, I can't think of the words. I have been journaling the last 8 weeks that we've been here though, and I have been reminded of all that has been done so far--sharing the Gospel with different groups of people, being encouraged in unexpected ways, being stretched in unwanted, but welcomed ways, and leading people that we dearly love to Christ. We only have 3 weeks left, and I want to finish our time well. We have had to fight against being weary in doing good, but the Lord has been giving us strength and the words to say, each and every time. I feel the Lord pulling me to really share Christ with these people that we minister to every week. I know that in the last few weeks we have left, He will continue to be working through us, and soon enough, I will share some of these stories with you all that have been praying for us and supporting us. 



Here's a little of what has happened the last 3 weeks, where I hope to share some of these memories in detail soon: 
October 7th - 9th - We attended a Youth Conference in the state of Karnataka with our Rahab's Rope staff. It was a bit difficult for us spiritually and we had to work through a lot of discouragements to get the focus back on Christ. In the end, I was reminded that the Lord hears and Christ will be glorified!
October 10th-15th - We hosted our first team almost entirely composed of people a generation older than us! So it was challenging, but rewarding. Regardless of the challenges, the Lord's will was done and we were able to witness and be a part of the Lord's blessing to the people we minister to everyday. 
October 18th-20th - Caleb and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary in India! We had a little "staycation" retreat at a resort nearby (with a/c and a pool!!). On the day of our anniversary, we shared lessons we've learned from 2 years of marriage and cake with a group of women from the slums. 
October 24th - In a small cramped room in the slum, we led a group of girls through the Gospel message and they accepted Jesus into their hearts. Tears well up in my eyes still as I think about it. 
October 30th until now - We have been visiting a YWAM kid's camp where some of our kids from our programs are attending. Some of our girls from the class that accepted Christ last week are in the camp and already we have seen a change in them and their faith. 

More to come soon...Please keep praying!


Monday, October 6, 2014

I am Not Here To Be Comfortable

Honesty time.

India is uncomfortable.

It's hot. It's humid. You have no personal space. Very little people speak your language. So you are often jumping around playing charades and just trying to get the right amount of change. Or even the right amount of snacks. Do you know how many times we have come home with like 20 deep fried chilies when Caleb has attempted to ask for 4? Apparently however many fingers you hold up mean that's how many rupees worth you want times 10. 40 rupees worth of deep fried chillies? Really???

Don't get me wrong. I love India. For most people that come here, it is very much a love-hate relationship with all the craziness that it holds. Because as crazy as it is, it is always an adventure. Getting on the morning bus and buying deep fried chillies is always an adventure. So I am not at all complaining. But this has been our life for the last month. 1 month. All this crazy is just..normal now. Which just BLOWS my mind. But with normality, those feelings of being uncomfortable often creep in and you just start missing the joys of America...

Sleeping in a nice cushy bed.  Donuts. $5 pizzas. Fast food. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Dare I say ---GROUND BEEF. Back home, we gloried in the days we could save enough money every week to buy Costco chicken. And now here we are. The chicken capital of the world.

And so, often in the midst of ministry, I just want to hop back on a plane to my cushy bed, eating donuts and pizza with ground beef all over it and indulge in shows like Once Upon a Time and Law and Order: SVU. Not because I desperately miss those things (even though I do), but because I want to be comfortable. And let's face it. I am not comfortable. I am unsure of myself. I often am tripping over my own words. I am figuring out the different dynamics of the groups of people we are ministering to, trying to find topics and activities that are engaging. And I find myself failing miserably. Or so I feel like I am.

There are 5 different life skills classes that I lead here in India. What is a life skills class you ask? Well, it's a class where you teach skills for life....?? I didn't really know when coming here either and then after looking at our schedule, I came to find I basically taught at least one class a day for 45 minutes at a time. To say the least, I felt unprepared, unqualified, and uncomfortable.Who was I to be able to teach about life? I am still trying to figure life out!

And so how did I cope with these feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty??? Well, I cried of course. I tried to take control and I couldn't, so I would cry and become discouraged and just question my whole reason of being here and just felt like going home, where it's comfortable. Where I could cry and have my pizza too. (I don't think that's a saying, but I just made it one.)

But God. He is so gracious to me. And so gracious to give me a husband that just keeps pointing me back to Christ. And through Caleb, God spoke to me. He said,
"You are not here to be comfortable."
The reason I am here is to share Christ. He is what I know. He is what I am sure of. He is the one in control and the one who brings comfort to my soul. And here, I am bound to be uncomfortable because the Lord is stretching me. He is using me. And He is the one that is equipping me to do the work I cannot do on my own. That is where I find comfort. It is not I who does this work, but Him who called me and whose Spirit lives in me.

So I have been doing something that is very much against my nature.
I have been letting go.
I haven't been over planning. I haven't been obsessing and staying up into late hours of the night, stressing and crying and trying to maintain some form of control or comfort. I have just been going into my days, trusting that the words God has given me is enough. Because He is. He is enough. And the Lord has given me a wonderful thing --peace. More honesty time. I am 5 weeks into this ministry and I still don't know what I'm doing. I still am all jumbled with my words. I still feel uncertain. But I have peace that the Lord's will is being done and that He is using us to fulfill that will.

So though I miss these comforts of home, I have been scared, and felt incompetent, I have not wished my days away because I am uncomfortable here. We have already been here for one month. Exactly. And before we know it, we will be home (we only have 6 weeks left, which is crazy). Until then, we will endure the heat and pizza-less days coupled with the days we feel inadequate and discouraged and take in everyday of discomfort we have left here to share Christ with these beautiful people.



Bringing the comforts of America to us every once in a while doesn't hurt either.  


Blessings from the Sharps





Saturday, September 27, 2014

Light in the Darkness

We have been in India for almost 3 weeks now, but it seems like we have been here for months. There is so much to tell. So much we are taking in. So many people we are getting to know and getting to re-know.

There is the woman on the beach who is so full of joy in the Lord. We go to encourage her with the Word of God that she desperately wants to here, but come out more encouraged by her faith and hope in the Lord despite the hardships she faces. She is known as Hope. How I've missed her laugh and smile.

There are the children in the slums who have grown a little taller and a little chubbier, but still have the same hearts that are full of life and child-like faith. As they have grown, they have been a little more self-conscious/shy, as all junior high/high school aged students are, but they have also grown in the understanding of the Gospel that we pray they come to full faith in. And the talking and laughter they do, never ends.

There are the leaders who do so much for their communities. They invest in these people day in and day out without much rest and without much resources. But despite the things they lack, they live out how they have everything they need. And we are always amazed by how God uses what little they have to plant seeds into the hearts of the people here.

It seems this trip is all about building relationships. I feel like my last trip to Goa was only a taste of India and all the complexities that it holds. Though I knew the darkness is here in India, and so many people are trapped in it, I see it more now as we are spending more time with so many different people. It seems we cannot escape it.

There are children being abused and their family and community just turn a blind eye. Women being beaten by their husbands. Boys who walk miles and miles to leave pooja for their gods hoping God hears them so their father will get a job. Women who think the only worth or ability they have is to pick up trash or offer their bodies for their gods. People doing empty rituals over and over again. Girls who are told they can't by themselves or their families. So many lost yet hear the truth of Jesus everyday.

Sometimes the darkness seems too much bear. It so often makes me feel just...heavy. What good are we really doing here when there is so much darkness? But then I am reminded...
 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
"I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." 
"Because of the tender mercy of our God...the sunrise shall visit us from high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Jesus is the light, the hope that we have. There is a reason all these are being revealed to us. For the Lord is exposing them with His light. The light He has given us. He says to us, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God."

And thankfully, the Lord has already saved so many that were once trapped in darkness. That these lights will continue to shine onto these people in hope that they will no longer need to remain in that darkness.

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How to pray:

  • For the people who are in darkness and following the empty rituals of Hinduism
  • For the believers and staff here who need encouragement
  • For the people we minister to that have just started hearing the Gospel or have been hearing it since being in all our programs
  • For us --that we would be encouraged and gain our strength from the Lord to do this work. I have been struggling with feeling inadequate in the work I am doing and Caleb has been struggling with finding his place in the ministry here. We have also been very tired and it makes it hard to be present when we are out in ministry. 
Blessings from the Sharps




Monday, September 15, 2014

Religious Curry

"In the Garden of Eden," said the man sitting opposite me, "good and evil are united in the form of a fruit...Since that time, we see the division. Good, separated from evil, is written on every man's heart. You, my friend, must listen to your heart to know what is good. And when you do this, you will know God because God is good." I was astounded by the diversity in this man's world views. Trying to help untangle this fishing-line of truths and lies, we debated for almost 2 hours.

IMG_1254

His soup of theology contained an unwavering belief that he was saved through Jesus Christ, but also through his childhood devotion to the Catholic saints, heavily salted with New-Age belief that you decide what is right for yourself, and peppered with Hinduism claiming that doing good is the essence of knowing God.
IMG_1054
"You see a man stealing." He continued, "I say that is wrong; YOU say that is wrong. We are agreed. You look at it from one side; I look from the other side. We both are correct..."Stories like this one seem to come up everywhere. A land steeped in Hindu thought has little resentment for the name of Jesus. Accepting the gospel is not a stretch; removing all previous religious orientation is. As well, knowing that being a sold-out believer is considering to be the most embarrassing of religions.

Still I am deeply encouraged by the faith of those who have none by Jesus. There are three of us on the field, and the work we are doing stretches and blesses us every day. The heart cries of Believers praying for their neighbors living in demonic darkness and the laughs of school children torn away from troubled lives for a few short hours a day; it makes our hearts melt.

It is the end of the first week. Lack of sleep and a head cold are testing two of us. God is faithful. We have had many first experinces and I'm sure they will not end soon. Biggest culture shock for me was lack of personal space. Every other experience has been fascinating.

Will we ever see the fruit of these Gospel conversations or witness the life changing power of our bible stories on young children and unbelieving teachers? Maybe not till the end of time. India has already pushed our prayers into high gear.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

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Vegabonds

We are on our way! Or rather have been on our way. We leave for India TODAY!!! It is so surreal and still doesn't  feel like reality. Caleb and I have been traveling for essentially the last month, but more seriously the last week. And it has been a whirlwind. 
Going from plane to train. Van to cab. Foot to subway. The only mode of transportation we didn't take was the bus! And everything has been quickly passing us by. We took advantage of our across the world travel and decided to have a long layover in Pennsylvania and New York City, and it's been exciting, but so tiring. All the traveling and walking is one thing, but adding all that extra stress to a marriage is another. So again I say, it's exciting, but yes, oh so tiring and HARD. I have learned more about my husband and us the last month and last week than I have ever. But I know God is using this time to refine us and sanctify us, which sanctification is always HARD. Married or not, it's hard. And even through those moments where we're both lost and confused and blisters are bursting and backs are aching, we know we need each other through this journey as we are living like veganonds. To see our weaknesses. To see in just what areas do we need to become more like Christ. To be reminded of the Gospel. That it's a hard, but a beautiful, exciting journey that only the Lord in His grace can get us through. 

And now, as we continue on this expedition. To India, the place we have been anticipating for the last 6 months. We know just how much we are NOT ready. But we also know and are so thankful that God does not call the equipped, but He equips the called. And we know, He will continue to continue to grow us in our marriage, grow us as individuals, and grow us closer to Him. It will be hard. But I know I can't wait to look back 3 months from now and see all the crazy adventures (and modes of transportation and stress) God has brought us through. 

Keep us in your prayers. And next time you hear from us we will finally be in INDIA!

Blessings from the Shrarps <3


Monday, August 18, 2014

What are we doing??

 Life has been a blur the last 5 months as we have been prepping and anticipating for India. We are nearing the end of summer, which means we will soon been heading off for India. That. Is. Crazy!! For those that have been keeping up on Facebook, our life has looked a bit...well crazy and confusing to those that don't know what we've been up to the last 5 months. In order to clear up some of that confusion, we will answer the question just what in the world are we doing??? Here's a timeline of our plans through the year. It is very true that man makes plans, but the Lord determines his steps! Because it is very clear the Lord has been directing our steps from the very beginning!...

Last year (2013) we began looking into doing a missions trip together. Originally we wanted to do the World Race, 11 countries in 11 months. India wasn't even on my radar because at this point in the year, all their long term missions were only for women. We had some trials towards the end of our year that put pursuing missions on the back burner. We knew we were just supposed to wait on the Lord to for the right timing. 

Beginning of January - Healing came. The Lord brought us through our trials and we saw that we might be able to do missions, but maybe not as long as we were originally thinking. For the first time, Rahab's Rope was opening up most of their long term trips to men volunteers. inquired about being a husband and wife team to Goa through Rahab's Rope
Mid-January - officially applied to be interns with Rahab's Rope
February - Our applications were accepted to be fall interns. Sent in our deposit to secure our spots. The only people that knew was our family and pastor.
Mid-March - decided to move to Alaska after we returned in the beginning of winter. We had always talked about it, but never seriously until then. We knew we had to quit our jobs and give up our apartment to go on this trip, so we thought going to my hometown would be a perfect place to start over. We wanted to drive up, since we had just bought our car and didn't want to sell it yet. So we knew we would have to drive in the summer before our trip, since we did not want to drive in the middle of winter when we planned on moving there. began saving for that portion of the trip.
April - made it public we were going to India. Began fundraising, sending out support letters, and getting support from our church. 
May - applied for our passports. Participated in "Everywhere Missions" at our church where we set up a table at our church every Sunday for 5 weeks to talk about our missions trip. Got a bit burnt out this month and discouraged about fundraising. 
June - 50% supported. The Lord reminded us that even if we didn't do anything, if He really wanted us to go He would provide. There was no need to worry or burn myself out. Started slowly packing for our move and having so much fun with our family and friends in Livermore.
July - The Lord provided above our goal of $10,000!! Applied for visas, finished packing for our move, spent last few weeks with our family, got our vaccines, and said goodbye to San Francisco. Was blessed with the most amazing summers in California because of the community we were in.
August 1st - left on our #Alaskabound road trip! Left bright and early at 7:30 in the morning. Anticipated the rest of the 3,500 miles ahead. Stops on the U.S. side: Crater Lake, Salem OR, Portland, Vancouver WA, and Bellingham. 
August 5th - made it to Canada. Hoped to take 5 days to get to Alaska. Lots of driving. Lots of adventure. 
August 8th - pushed through the Yukon and made it to Alaska in 4 days! We had some stresses 
and conflict on the road. The Lord was most definitely teaching us patience. Looking back now, I see  how our conflict was an answer to prayer, because we really had to work on communication and fighting to be on the same team. Next destination was Anchorage to relax for a couple of days.
August 11th - made it to Homer. Stayed in an amazing treehouse bnb for our "last night" on the mainland. Our ferry was scheduled to leave the next night to get to Kodiak. Lies. 
August 12th - got stuck in Homer because the ferry had maintenance issues. See how the Lord determines our steps? This time was hard because I so wanted to be home and was mentally done with being a nomad. It was also hard because we didn't know if we would be able to get our car to Kodiak which was the whole reason for the trip.  Looking back, I know the Lord was 1) teaching us to trust Him and 2) teaching us to be okay with the unexpected. I mean we are going to India for heaven's sake! 
August 14th-15th - successfully made it on our rescheduled ticket with our car. Finally home in Kodiak. 

We are now in Kodiak, catching up with friends and nature and doing little acts of service and ministry here and there when needed. It is good to be home, but I am ready to get to India. I realize after this how I will neve stop longing for ultimate rest and "done with being a nomad". I see now more than ever how I am a foreigner in this world and the home I am longing for is with my Heavenly Father. So as I travel on this life-long "road trip", I pray I live to the hilt of every moment the Lord provides (both expected and unexpected moments) to bring Him glory and bring people along on this journey. It is also encouraging for as long as I "travel" on this earth, Christ is with me! 
I  really want to say thank you to those of you that have supported us financially and through prayers. This would not be happening without the body of Christ that has surrounded us over the past couple of years! I apologize for my lack of updates. So often so many things are running through my mind that it is hard to slow it down and share it with others. I want to make sure when we are India we are sharing our journey and the Lord's work there with you all that have supported us! We do not leave for India until Saturday September 6th, so we still have a couple more weeks of prepping spiritually and mentally for our trip. We aren't really done traveling as only we leave to spend a final week in California to spend time with our family and church family before leaving for our trip. We will also be spending a week traveling on the east coast right before we depart on our 14 hour flight to India on August 6th. I will never be done being a nomad. Again, thank you and keep us in our prayers! 

Ways you can pray:
- that Caleb and I would grow in being further united in this mission. 
- that we would have joy, even in the unexpected.
- our trust would continue to grow in th Lord. 
- That we would fully rely on Him. 



Blessings from the Sharps


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Now Why This Faith


For the few months, our church has been going through the book of Hebrews and we just began diving into the Faith chapter of Hebrews 11. 
Faith. \fāth\ the assurance of things for. the conviction of things not seen. 
It is not a blind leap. or wishful thinking. It is not determined by circumstances. or measured by size. 
It is something more than all this. It is an assurance based on who God is and what He's done through His Son. It is concrete based on a true hope. Not wishful thinking hope, but a living hope. 
Jesus is the centerpiece of which our faith is based on. He is the reason we can trust. 
You can have enough faith to go through trials. to doubt. to really struggle. but still trust. even in the midst of it all. Not because you have a large enough faith, but because you have faith in who Christ is. In what He's done. And in the faithfulness of His promises.

As we have been going through Hebrews 11, I have been deeply encouraged, and strengthened in my faith. I am reminded that God is one who is worthy of all my trust. That following Him and His leading is the only thing I need. That by living for Him, I will find my greatest joy. That because of what He's done for me I know with full assurance, He is faithful. 

This faith is why my heart has been so at peace as we have been preparing for India. In my past, I would be the worrier when it came to funds. I would obsessively punch out numbers, plan and replan, and freak out, and then start the process all over again. I didn't have faith in God in this area of my life. I didn't trust Him and I thought I could do better. I couldn't. And I didn't. I struggled. and I fought. And still freaked out. But God was teaching me to trust Him. To surrender. To give every area of my life to him.

Fast forward to applying to my first missions trip after college. I punched in numbers. I had a plan. I had a goal I was striving for. My plan: waiting 6 months to raise money to go on this missions trip to India. God's plan: Go now. I applied in May (2 weeks after I graduated), was accepted in June, and didn't start fundraising until July. I had only 2 months to raise over $5000 in funds to go to India. I don't remember remember if there were little freak out moments here or there, but I do remember God saying, "Just trust me. Have faith in me". That gave me peace.

And God. God was faithful

And now. Caleb and I are very much in the same timeline as I was just 2 years prior. We applied to Rahab's Rope in February, worrying that it would put a strain financially in our marriage, but just seeing where the Lord would take us. We were accepted in March, and were so excited and unsure and overwhelmed about going, but really feeling this is where the Lord is leading us. And have, now, less than 4 months to raise $10,000 to go back to India to work with this amazing ministry and invest in the amazing people of Goa. But I have full faith that He will provide because I have no doubt in my mind that this is where He's calling us and all of this is His doing. Really, it is! Because this was no where in our plan when we first got married, let alone January 30th when we were just talking about applying. 

God reminds me seek first His Kingdom. He's got the rest covered.
My only job is to follow Him. To obey Him. To love Him and to have faith. In who He is.    
I am ecstatic to share that God has indeed been faithful. We are now 20% supported for our trip to India. Our first goal is to be 25% supported by the beginning of next month. Would you consider supporting us? Check it out on our support tab or go to our YouCare site here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Journey to India

Two years ago, my heart was stolen.
 
I went on a life changing trip to Goa, India to spread the Gospel and work against human trafficking.
And while I was there, I met beautiful, wonderful people. 
Though I gladly gave it, these people stole my heart. 
 
It's been two years since the people of Goa have stolen my heart. 
And now, He's calling me back.
But this time, my husband is going with me. 
And I am beyond excited. 
We will be going back to Goa, India to intern for 11 weeks. This has been something I've been praying for since I was in India. Back then Caleb and I were dating.
Here we are on one of our Saturday morning/Friday night skype dates. Being 8,290 miles apart was pretty hard, but it was amazing to tell Caleb of all the awesome things that was happening in India. It was back then that I knew I wnted us to explore missions if we were to ever think about marriage. 
From our conversations, I knew it was something that would take lots of prayer and trust in the Lord as Caleb had more of a heart of settling down and I had a heart to explore and adventure in missions. You see, he had never even been out of the country before, let alone has gone on a missions trip, but the Lord had revealed to me that He would use Caleb and I in great ways, no matter where we were. I had lots of fears going home towards the end of those three months about marriage, but the Lord gave me peace about it right before leave for home that when Caleb proposed a month later, I was ecstatic to say yes and begin a life with him. 

But I knew, even if it were for a little while, any type of missions was on hold.

Fast forward a year later. Caleb and I had been married for about 4 months and a missions trip was posted on the Adventures in Missions World Race site. This was a trip for 11 countries in 11 months in all Spanish speaking countries throughout Central and South America. That had always been a dream of mine. To do missions where my family had come from and actually be immersed in the culture to learn the language. The World Race allowed married couples to go on their trips, but they had to be married for a minimum of two years before launching on the field, so we knew it wouldn't be something we could do anytime soon. Though this isn't the trip Caleb and I would be able to take, this opened the door to start talking about missions and if it was possible for us to do it while we were married without any children. For the rest of the year, we planned on going on this trip though, with India always being in the back in my mind, since most of their longer short term trips were only open to women volunteers. Up until this year that is.

While we were in India, my team and I prayed that men would stand up in India. That they would stand against taking advantage of women. That they would stand to love and respect their wives and children. That they would stand as men of the one true God. We prayed that God would bring more than just missionaries, but would raise up Indian men, and we prayed that God would use Rahab's Rope to extend their ministry to boys and men. This year is the fruition of those prayers. 

Most Rahab's Ropes programs are aimed at children and women in the poorest areas, but this is the first year that the ministry has allowed men to join their teams. 
{Women's Stitching Center}               {Kids Tutoring Program}             {Women's Nutrition Program}
  
     {Aiding Preschools}         {Ministering to Shopkeepers on the beach}      {Youth Programs}      

They hope to start new programs aimed at young boys and men in the slums. We don't fully know what that will look like yet, but their desire is to reach out to young boys and men that need mentoring, discipleship, and the Gospel as much as the women in their programs. 

As interns, we will be able to do different work that Rahab's Rope couldn't do through their shorter-term teams, and building relationships like this is part of it. It also amazes me that many of the youth boys Caleb will be reaching out to and working with are the same boys that stole my heart years ago!
Seriously, they are precious aren't they? 

I can't believe both Caleb and I will be part of this work. Together! I have dreamed about this since I left. I seriously though it would be YEARS down the road, but am so glad the Lord is control and knows what He's doing. So Caleb and I will both be ministering in Goa to many of the same people I worked with over 2 years ago, and again I expect our hearts to be stolen. But really, how I can resist being taken by India again? 
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