Thursday, August 3, 2017

GRACE :)

Every day is a NEW day to See, Learn, Grow and Engage in Jesus!!!

Snippets  from the last few weeks in Las Palmas.
Tomorrow we set sail for Cameroon!

A day of Exploring HIS Mighty Creation :)........Not sure if this was part of His plan for the fish, but it sure felt "interesting"
Today and everyday I am so Thankful for HIS Amazing Grace!!!
I deserve none of this abundance that surrounds me, yet everyday I am blessed with more JOY :)

Blessed in the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 
But his delight is in the law  of the Lord, and in his Law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 
Psalm 1:1-3

What I have come to believe and trust is that God desires to inhabit each of our hearts and lives 100%. In return, HE fills us and surrounds us with HIS LOVE :)

I am reminded of this as I read through Psalms and also through the book "Boundaries" by Cloud & Townsend. I like the following that David speaks of in Psalm 51:6
"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." 

IF I am open to allowing HIM in "all parts" of my life, HE will show me ALL of Him!

Townsend and Cloud share "The good news is that when God brings us out from the alien land he does not leave us untaught. He rescued his people from the Egyptians, but, he taught them his principles and ways. These proved to be LIFE for them, but, they had to learn them, practice them, and fight many battles to internalize these principles of faith."

In addition, they share "God has probably led you out of captivity also. Whether is was from a dysfunctional family, the world, your own religious self-righteousness, or the scatteredness of being lost, he has been your redeemer. But what he has secured needs to be possessed. The land to which he has brought you has certain realities and principles. Learn and set forth in his Word, and you'll find his kingdom a wonderful place to live."

In short (my take)......See, Learn, Grow and Engage in Jesus and you will See, Know and LIVE in the abundance of our AMAZING, LOVING CREATOR!

Snapshot of my present journey these last few weeks in Las Palmas

Shipyard........Lots of work going on in this port
Prepared to disembark quickly! Lots of practice drills and instructions :)

Friendships........God set in our hearts desires for friendships. I prayed and asked him to send me a few good friends when I arrived on the ship.
ANSWERED PRAYER IN ABUNDANCE!!!

Ann, from Texas! Ann Loves Life and Thinks Deeply, Loves Her Husband and Loves Gelato! What more could I ask for in a friend :)
Cecily.......My friend that I met in the Congo and was blessed to spend time with in Kauai :)
Cecily Loves God and Desires to Walk in His Ways. I love her outgoingness and willingness to always try "new"
This gal is not afraid of change and TRUSTS God for her entire life and I love that about her :)
My roommate - Merryl, from Australia
We are both nurses, LOVE God and recognize our need to rely on HIM daily to navigate life!
Gudrun, from Norway :)....She is a nurse, but because her English was not good enough, she chose to spent her 5 weeks of vacation serving in the Dining Room! She is filled with JOY, Laughter and Full of Adventure, not to mention, she is  a VERY HARD Worker!! She makes working in the Dining Room lots of fun!!
Exploring Las Palmas on my Days Off. 
God has surrounded us with Abundance of Beauty and Gelato :)

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11






Building Relationships in order to Serve :)
In between each country, Mercy Ships sails to the Canary Islands for Maintenance. They have formed a very good relationship with the members of the Port in Astican. The Astican members challenged our Mercy Ship Football (Soccer) Team to a friendly match and served us a delicious and fun B-B-Que.




Yes, I am working :)
I was reassigned to work in the dining room for a month prior to the hospital opening. I now have a much greater appreciation for the "work" that goes on behind the scenes!! Hard work and long days, but truly blessed to be able to do the job with strength, energy and a Smile :)

"Blessed are they that put their trust in him" Pslam 2:12



My desire is to See, Learn, Grow and Engage In Jesus, and in the process  draw others to See, Learn, Grow and Engage in Jesus All over the world!

Together, WE can make a Difference in the Heart, Souls & Lives of Others.
Please join me in prayer and/or financial support as we journey together being the mouth, hands and feet of Jesus.


Thank You!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Final Project - Onboarding Texas 2017


I've said it before and will share again, Mercy Ships is truly a "God Ordained" vessel utlized to Share the Love of Jesus in the poorest areas of Africa. The free surgical care that is provided to the patients is life changing for all. The whole reason the ship functions is out of LOVE from others! Each that enters the ship, provides their own funds to support the mission so that FREE care can be given. 
This totally AMAZES to me!!! 
Thank you to ALL that are supporting Gods work here!!!!!!

Those of us that have committed to one year or more with Mercy Ships are required to attend a 4 week training in Texas. Of course my first thought was "Why?" as I have already served on the ship twice. The necessity was apparent as we dove into learning about the foundations of Mercy Ships the first week. In order to keep the "system" flowing well, there needs to be consistency in "ways of doing". Volunteers are blessed to have many options to serve, from 2 weeks to many years. But, in order to offer this flexibility, there needs to be a steady stream of volunteers woven through a variety of departments that are trained to be the "cultural gatekeepers" to allow for a consistent follow through of the core values of Mercy Ships.
Mercy Ships Core Values
Love God
Love and serve others
Be people of integrity
Be people of excellence in all we say and do

My time was well spent! We were in class Monday through Friday for 4 weeks. The wisdom was intense, deep and personal! We explored our selves, our cultures and the culture of others; our personality styles; confiict management, and learned how to have crucial conversations :). By the end, we had a pretty solid grasp of living in "community" and how to manage the diversity. 

Key Take Away......."It's not wrong, It's just different".......the key was accepting and learning to live and work amongst so many differences!

Each of us had to do a final project. The direction was to pull together four weeks of intense learning into a 2-3 minute presentations. I LOVED the diversity! Some worked in groups and did skits, some did dramas, rap songs and others took on a more serious tone. ALL were excellent!!

The following are the slides from my 3 minutes :)


For me, I am on a journey of transformation, of CHANGE! I have learned that our God LOVES us immensley and created us to LOVE others just the same. My mission for this four weeks and for this season in my life is to SEE what the LOVE of God truly looks like SO THAT I can reflect HIS LOVE

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".....Genesis 1:26
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them" Genesis 1:27
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replensish the earth" Genesis 1:28
"And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31

During our first week we were asked to create a cover page for our journal that we would write in for the 4 weeks. I chose this blossoming flower with the heart of Jesus in the center. The petals were representative of what God's LOVE looks like...........My Onboarding Mission was to grow in HIS LOVE:)

As with all transformation, we have to evaluate what our challenges and barriers are that keep us from reaching our goal. For me, it was ME in the World!
 Thus, the necessity of LOVING as God LOVES is to KNOW HIM, to soak in all of HIS Word and to learn HIS way of navigating humanity. The 
entire scripture shares the love of God amongst the fallen world.

My expectations in every day life are to SEE, LEARN, GROW AND ENGAGE IN JESUS in Humble Awareness!!!
The Key is the HUMBLE AWARENESS!!.......I learned through On-boarding that even though we are all created in the image of God, we all come with differing personalities, backgrounds and cultures. We have the same goal, yet "SEE' through a variety of lens. Back to the first take away..........IT IS NOT WRONG, IT IS JUST DIFFERENT!!
For me, I wore a set of glasses that distored the true LOVE of God, thus, I've changed glasses and now I'm on a mission to SEE the TRUTH!!

For my presentation, I added a 1 minute video just showing some "AHA" moments (doodles) that I jotted down in my big, thick On Boarding Book. These are just a few!!

We learned, played, sang, hiked, swung in hammocks, went to a rodeo, attended a cowboy church and enjoyed some good Texas Fixins. I even threw a pie in Jenny's face :).

"Blessed are they that put their trust in HIM." Psalm 2:12

WOW, A Totally Amazing Group of People that Shared their Wisdom with Us!
We were Truly Blessed!!!!

I feel so Blessed to Spend the next few years with this Group!!!!



Off to Cameroon in one week! I think the sail is 12 days??

Please pray for Safe Travels!! God has so much planned for us in Cameroon. We need to arrive safely :) Also, Please pray that I do not get sick on the sail :). I have never sailed before and have to work in the dining room during the sail! I NEED to be on my feet and not laying horizonally.
Thank you!!

If you like more pictures, I do post on Facebook L:)






Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Time for ME to Journey with God


Some that know me may understand this and some may not J

This week in class we explored the “Kingdom of God” and what its looks like to “Advance” the Kingdom of God. We pulled apart the 10 commandments and truly opened up a much larger perspective of what God was trying to teach us through each. Woven through was God’s amazing LOVE for us. He demonstrates HIS Merciful LOVE for us as HE sets up boundaries in which we are to live. HE knows the big picture of life.  HE knows the human heart.  HE knows the outcomes of our choices and then sets us free to live with FREE WILL. As we follow within the boundaries of HIS commandments, we learn to walk in LOVE and advance HIS LOVE throughout the world.

 Then, midweek, we advanced to applying HIS commandments into every domain of life including Government; Economics; Church; Science & Technology; Family; Education; Communication, and Arts & Entertainment. We were required to read the book “The Old Testament Template” by Landa Cope. I read it twice, took many notes and absorbed the wisdom that she addressed. I was going along in class today, loving all the wisdom that was shared, and then we came to family. This one hit way too close to my heart and I had to excuse myself, as I could not keep myself composed.

Through some tears, and rampant journaling I remembered Gods Word sharing “Come to me all ye are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”.  I have come to believe that HE is giving me rest! HE has brought me to Mercy Ships to “Live and Love in Community with like minded people. He has placed me where I can LOVE without resistance. Patients are in need of God’s LOVE, and I desire to LOVE. It’s a WIN/WIN for all of us.

For those who do not know me, I grew up in an environment that did not know the love of God. We said we “loved” each other, yet it was mixed with so much confusion and conflict instead of peace and joy. I was that undisciplined, wild girl running around looking for love in all the wrong places. I settled for whatever gave me a glimpse of love. The outcome was years of trying to glean “love” out of non-loving thoughts, behaviors and actions. True, Godly love was never cultivated in me, thus, I did not have the ability to cultivate it within my own family. The outcome of course, has been lots of pain, sadness and a broken family unit.

Then, one day, 14 years ago, I heard the gospel. I learned about the LOVE of God and have been soaking up HIS absolute truth ever since. I love the verse when Jesus says ”Come, follow me”. I hear him saying, Come, follow me. I will forgive you of the past. I will give you a new perspective. I will clean up your heart and reveal TRUE LOVE to you.

Psalm 51 resonates so well with me at this point in my life!! This is the “time” HE is cleaning me up, blotting out my transgressions, washing away my iniquity, cleansing me from my sin, and cleansing me with hyssop. He is allowing me to hear joy and gladness and renewing a steadfast spirit in me. He is creating in me a pure heart and promises never to leave my side!

Rodeo with My On-Boarding Group
Then, scripture says “I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you”. I smile, as I know that HE has given me a passion and skill set to teach others, but for now, I can table it and allow HIM to cultivate a new spirit in me J

Cultivating a New Spirit in Me :) Benin 2017
HE IS AMAZING and HE has REVEALED all to us!!! He has provided all of this for me!! HE provided lovely renters at the last minute and friends and family that are helping to subsidized HIS mission to advance HIS Kingdom of LOVE and Salvation for all :) He has provided me with prayer warriors back home and surrounded me with Loving, Godly People. 

For now, I am choosing to sit back and absorb ALL of God without so much facebook sharing and blogging. For all of those praying and supporting me, please know your love, encouragement and financial support are being well utilized even if I do not share much. This ole gal just needs some time to absorb and process all that God IS!!!

Psalm 51
Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.
May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

xoxoxoxox
Mercy Ship Headquarters, Texas

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Moving Forward to LOVE Him and Serve Jesus Christ :)

God is so amazing and wonderful. He tells us in scripture that if we call and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He will give us a new heart. Jesus will cleanse us from the past ways of seeing, thinking and doing and reveal LIFE to us from HIS perspective.

I move forward tomorrow on another phase in my journey with my eyes completely focused on our Amazing Lord! I "Go" with the desire to LOVE and Serve God with all my heart and soul. I desire to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ and learn from HIS Word.

I sing praises to the name of Jesus Christ as I thank him for giving me HIS absolute truth in scripture to guide me in my journey. I thank Jesus for strategically placing Godly people in my life that are pursuing Jesus and desiring to serve our Lord with all their heart and soul. I am blessed with the encouragement, wisdom and prayers that each have shared with me. I am blessed with the courage to "let go" of the old and move forward with Jesus in the forefront of my heart, soul and mind. I know that Jesus Christ is always at my side guiding me along the way :)

xoxoxoxoxo

Monday, June 5, 2017

Some Go, Some Send & Some Pray.......Wonderful Model :)

I call it "Journey to Glory" because as Believers in Christ, one day, we will be in HIS presence, HIS ultimate Glory for Eternity. Until then, we journey with our loving God :)
While home I've been blessed to have the opportunity to share the Story Of Mercy Ships with others!!
I pulled my thoughts and all the questions that were asked together into a brief slide show..........I hope you can catch a glimpse of:
"God"..........Working in the hearts and souls of others!
 "ME"..........Why I desire to serve in Africa
"Mercy Ships"......Why they desire to serve in Africa
"The Patients".......Their need for Hope and Healing
"Financial Needs"............What is needed for me to Go and Serve for two years without a paycheck
Together........WE can make an impact :) 

40 years of walking without "Knowing" Christ......Walking Blindly in my own path, following the culture and the ways of the world.

At 40 years of age, the Good News of Jesus Christ was shared with me! MY eyes, ears, heart and soul were open to LIFE from the perspective of God. I chose to Trust, Repent and Believe in the Wisdom of Scripture to navigate my life!


Baptized..........Cleansed.........ANEW!




Yes, the needs are here in Akron, Ohio as well........but for me, my heart is pulled toward Africa. I cannot explain why, it just is :)

God provided the ship........30 years ago Don Stephens had a desire to help meet the needs in West Africa, yet had no knowledge in the Medical or Shipping Industry. One by one, God opened the doors, and provided the wisdom and resources to make it happen :)


I am truly stepping out in Faith, Following HIS lead, Knowing that there is a need and venturing outside of the "box" and trusting that my life will be of "use" for others.
I can only "Go" with God directing me every step of the way :)

The Good News of Deliverance
Isaiah 61
The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit.
He has chosen me and sent me
To bring good news to the poor,
To heal the broken-hearted,
To announce release to captives
And freedom to those in prison.
He has sent me to proclaim
That the time has come
When the Lord will save his people
And defeat their enemies.
He has sent me to comfort all who mourn,
To give to those who mourn in Zion
Joy and gladness instead of grief,
A song of praise instead of sorrow.
They will be like trees
That the Lord himself has planted.
They will all do what is right,
And God will be praised for what he has done.
They will rebuild cities that have long been in ruins.
My people, foreigners will serve you.
They will take care of your flocks
And farm your land and tend your vineyards.
And you will be known as the priests of the Lord,
The servants of our God.
You will enjoy the wealth of the nations
And be proud that it is yours.
Your shame and disgrace are ended.
You will live in your own land,
And your wealth will be doubled;
Your joy will last forever.
The Lord says,
“I love justice and I hate oppression and crime.
I will faithfully reward my people
And make an eternal covenant with them.
They will be famous among the nations;
Everyone who sees them will know
That they are a people whom I have blessed.”
Jerusalem rejoices because of what the Lord has done.
She is like a bride dressed for her wedding.
God has clothed her with salvation and victory.
11 
As surely as seeds sprout and grow,
The Sovereign Lord will save his people,
And all the nations will praise him.




Come and See What the Lord is Doing through Mercy Ships




















This question Haunts me all the time........"What if" we did not go? What if "I" was in need, or my sons were in need, and those with the resources did not come to help? I tremble at the thought of being able to help, but choosing not to! That would definitely cause me insomnia!!!

We do not have to be overwhelmed with a world full of need. We can make a difference one person at a time :)