My Story…and it all started with a mission trip

Today I’m linking with Andrea at Momfessionals Blog for Show and Tell Tuesday. We are telling about a mission trip or service opportunity we’ve had. So today, I’m so excited to share my story…

I was raised in church my whole life and always served in my church. I always thought of missionaries as courageous Christians who braved the jungles of Africa spreading the Good News. Ha ha! That’s SO NOT true!

Fast forward to February 2009. On one particular Sunday at church, they announced that they were putting together a group to go on a mission trip to Spain. My 12 year old son leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I want to go on this mission trip with you, mom!” Bless his tender heart for listening to God’s calling. You see, I was unable to commit to a trip of this sort because of some physical issues, but was torn. How in the world could I tell my son, “No” when he was being obedient??? I began to pray and seek God. That is when God spoke to me. He said, “GO! Our time is short.” I immediately put my doubt aside and said, “Yes!”

Little did I know at the time I had one of the deadliest forms of cancer growing in me.

Over the next few months, I faced the biggest trial of my life. I won’t go into details, but by the grace of God I AM HEALED AND CANCER FREE!

I love my church’s mission statement: Making God known by making disciples who are changed by God to change their world.
I’ve been a Christian since I was a little girl. I had never felt I had a big testimony to share…until 2009. That’s the year He changed me! He not only healed me, but He really gave me compassion for the lost. When He changed me, I made a commitment to Him that I would do all I could to change the world. After all, that is the Great Commission.

Scripture Art - Matthew 28:19-20 ~ World Map GraphicTo Such As These Designs Scripture Art
A precious friend of mine has a neat Etsy shop with beautiful scripture art.

Now here’s more of my story…

2009
Spain 2009
We partnered with local churches in Spain and put on Western Festivals. We bring a little bit of Texas to them…cowboy hats, boots, line dancing… the whole works. The locals can’t believe these Westerners have games for the kids, animal balloons, candy, etc. – all for free. They don’t do that kind of thing over there. We attract quite a crowd. Then the local pastor presents the Gospel Message. It’s crazy to think that in such a beautiful country, where people are not lacking for much, there are some who have never heard the name of Jesus. I love to watch the crowd and see faces light up when they hear the story of Jesus and what He did for us.

Spain 2010 181Spain 2010 & 2011
After the first year, I was hooked! There’s something so fulfilling about spreading the love of Christ around the world.

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East Asia 2013
In 2013, I decided to get outside my comfort zone a little more. On this particular trip, we traveled throughout East Asia. We had the opportunity to teach Bible stories and hold a VBS type event to children while their parents were being ministered to; we loved on orphans; shared the Gospel to hundreds on the street; even ministered to missionaries being equipped and trained to go into other hostile parts of the world. The people in this part of the world are so hungry for the hope that only Jesus can give. In the picture above, we are at a popular tourist area, hiking up a mountain. The entire way up the mountain, we were able to stop and witness (through interpreters). We even witnessed to a soldier in the army. One of the things we shared with the new followers was the word, “Hallelujah”. Hallelujah is a universal word for “praise”. It means the same thing in every language. It was so cool to hear in the distance all day long, “Hallelujah” being shouted from all over the mountain!

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On the same trip, we randomly walked into this salon. I don’t know why – it was one of those Divine appointments. In this particular part of the country, very few people had ever seen “a real live American”. They were enamored with us, especially one of our team mates who has tattoos up and down his arms and legs. As our team mate began to share about his life before Christ, and how his life has been changed, the people in this salon literally pulled up chairs to listen to his story. Almost every person in that salon accepted Christ that night!

2013-2
Spain 2013 & 2015
My son and I have traveled back to Spain a couple more times. The Western Festivals never get old. This time, my best friend went with us. It was her first mission trip. Of course, she loved it!
2013

YWAM
Tijuana, Mexico 2013
My husband can’t travel during the summer months when our church usually takes mission trips. This one was later in the fall, so we were able to go as a family. We worked with YWAM and helped build a house for this sweet family in Tijuana. What a blessing it was to help provide a home to them. We had such a great time as kids and other adults in the neighborhood came to pitch in.

2014
East Asia 2014
I was able to go back to East Asia and did things similar to the year before. But this year, we hiked up a mountain to this leper colony. The country doesn’t recognize these villages even exist. So sad. These tender men and women were banished from society when they were young children. Most are in their 70’s and 80’s now. When we arrived, this sweet man walked away and hid his face in shame. I couldn’t speak his language, but I knew I could still show Christ’s love to him. If there was one place, one time I could go back, this would be it. I cannot wait to see him in Heaven one day.

Church on the Hill3
Ethiopia 2015
Oh my word – Ethiopia – such a beautiful place and beautiful people. They can teach us a thing or two about joy, connecting with others, and being content with what we have. Here I am, teaching some local children how to say their numbers in English.

Lydia
Lydia, such a sweet orphan. When we were handing out little toys, she snuck two toys – one for her, one for me. She tried to sneak it in my pocket. This little girl that has NOTHING tried to give me her extra toy. What I realized on this trip is that these orphans don’t need “things” – they need LOVE and COMPASSION.

3 New Sisters
While walking down this muddy road, we came across three women. They stopped and struck up a conversation. Our translator shared the Gospel with them. When asked if they would like to pray, they said “yes” and immediately FELL to the ground to pray. I learned through these women to be more humble.

Korah
We walked through the village of Korah – one of the poorest places in Ethiopia. The smell of garbage is almost sickening because these people – 120,000 of them – live within a one and a half mile radius around a trash dump. The poverty this little girl lives in is unimaginable. But, you would never know it by the smile on her face. Matthew 6:25-34 comes to mind here. God reminds us, “Don’t worry – I’ve got this!” I am so thankful in 2009 that I put my worry aside and trusted Him. He is faithful – always has been – always will be!

  I have found that it’s outside your comfort zone where God grows you. Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith – He’ll be there to guide you!

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Honey Crunch Pecan Pie

Honey Crunch Pecan Pie

A sweet friend shared this recipe with me about 10 years ago and it is by far THE BEST pecan pie you will ever sink your teeth into! Even friends and family that say they don’t like pecan pie LOVE. THIS. PIE! It is super easy to make and is {almost} too pretty to eat! Go make this pie today ~ you’ll be happy you did!


Honey Crunch Pecan Pie

Filling

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ C. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ C. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 C. light corn syrup
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 1 T. bourbon or Jack Daniels
  • 1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
  • 1 C. chopped pecans

Topping

  • 1/3 C. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 T. melted butter
  • 3 T. honey
  • 1-1/2 C. pecan halves

Directions

Heat oven to 350. For filling, combine eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and nuts. Mix well. Place uncooked pie shell on a cookie sheet. Spoon filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Then cover edge of pastry with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

For topping, combine sugar, butter and honey in medium saucepan. Cook about 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add nuts and stir until coated. Spoon evenly over pie. Keep edge of pastry covered with foil. Bake 10 to 20 minutes until topping is bubbly and golden brown. Cool to room temp before serving.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

This cake is by far my most requested cake. This recipe was given to me by a sweet friend in college. I prefer to use fresh lemons. But if you don’t want to mess with those, you can use ReaLemon. This cake is perfect for Spring & Summer. It’s so moist, so yummy, and SO […]

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Here We Go!

I’ve been contemplating starting a blog for some time now. I am not a writer. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite things to do. I have a lot of great things to say, but getting my thoughts into writing is a different story. Anyway, I’m learning to enjoy life outside my comfort zone. […]

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