Tuesday, October 21, 2008


This past week the school ventured out on, once again, another adventure. Two weeks after returning from Austria as a family, we all spread out and conquered our own journeys. Four went to Scilia to encourage and pray with a group that desires a church to be started there and three went to Rome to help with a new church plant. Meanwhile me and six others trekked opposite of the heat and headed North- to Kvitsund, Norway. After roughly ten hours of bus, train, and plane we arrived at a christian boarding school... in the middle of no where.
Before leaving Italy, we were informed of little of what we would be doing and participating in at the school. All we knew was we had a few nights to do whatever we wanted with the students, but nothing was mandatory for anyone to attend. So basically, we could of gotten there and all 180 students completely ignore us and the trip be awkward and pointless. Thank the Lord it was anything but.
Over those 7 days, we were part of a major work that the Lord is doing in a very dark country. As we ate four (yes four) meals a day, played dodge ball, prayed and worship with the students- our minds were opened to something we never would have expected. We were all enraptured into the lives of these people- and for some reason they grabbed onto us as well. Through out the week we had opportunities for the students to come and we would do worship (with a guitar, not an organ) and just share our hearts and lives- being completely open and available for whatever they needed. As I mentioned before- nothing was mandatory and was optional for everyone. Yet, every time we had an event- our jaws would drop and our hearts rejoiced as the students and staff pilled in.
I strive to write about the experience and the feelings that happened in Norway- but sometimes, words just can’t come. Sometimes you experience something so joyful and satisfying that you don’t even know how to explain it to yourself. You think about it- and you hit this wall of frustration cause you can’t express what is going on inside of you. All you can do is praise the Lord that He chose you. All I can do is thank Him for the privilege He gave everyone of us in going to Norway. I look back on all the people I met, all the encouragement I got and the fruit that came from our prayers- I see that I have no idea what I did. When we can sit back and look at the fruit of a work and not be able to see how it all came to pass- that is when you know it was anointed. I can honestly say- I could have been anyone. I did nothing. I am honored and astounded that the Lord would choose us to encourage the lives of the students.
“And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’
Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’” Exodus 33:14-15
Just as Moses prayed that he would not go alone- I pray the same for my own life. I desire nothing if the Lord’s Presence is not evident. These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotions, a speratic out cry of desperation and tears, and a realization of how empty I am. But then- I remember that I am not alone. That I will continue in the walk of my life and will not go forward alone.

***check out the pictures on the website to your right.. there are a ton!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Valley Girl

Standing there, looking out of the window of my room, my eyes trying to take in the scene that stood in front of me. As another fall breeze swept through and the changing leaves fell down below, I had to remind myself to breathe. I had to remind myself that, yes, I am in an ancient castle in the mountains of Alps and have had the “Sound of Music” soundtrack playing in my head since I stepped off the train. For the past week we took the students to the Bible College campus in Austria- which so happens to be in an ancient castle. This week, known as “Speakers Week”, was a time for all of us- students and staff- to get out of the routine for a bit. With no ipods, no computers, no Internet and just each other- we spent the week getting our focus back on Jesus and just relaxing out of our routine.  The castle is gorgeous, peeking through the trees of a mountain and facing a lake with the Alps enclosing you in. It was a great week to really just sit back and listen. We were on top of the mountain- but you can’t stay on top of the mountain forever.

When we leave a certain time or event, usually we learn more from that experience once we look back. Once we are no longer in the midst of it and begin start to examine it from the outside in, then do we realize all that happened in that time. Once I came down from the mountain and we were heading back to Italy, I came to the realization of something: I like the mountain. I like the times when we are on top, when we are all taking in the moments of joy and the refreshing time with the Lord. Selfishly I like the moments where it is just me and God- and I can see things from the top of the mount and not be in the valley. 

" We have all had times on the mount, when we have seen things from God's standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have the power to rise only, something is wrong. It is a great thing to be on the mount with God, but a man only gets there in order that afterwards he may get down among the devil-possessed and lift them. We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle. Spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount. The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something. The moments on the mountain tops are rare moments, and they are meant for something in God's purpose."  Oswald Chambers

How humbling it is to realize that we weren’t made for the mount. We were made to for the valley. To be amongst the “devil-possessed and lift them up.”  To the be light in the darkness and to bring glory to our God. We all long to be on the mount all the time, but when you really look at it, what greater joy is there than to know that you are doing what the Lord has asked of you. What greater fulfilment of Joy is there, knowing that you were used to help someone get on the mountain and catch their breath.

To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. John 10:3-5

This valley girl longs to hear the voice of her Shepherd call her by name.