My Mission:

Engaging, Equipping, and connecting children and their families to their most strategic role in completing the Great Commission.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bring on the New Year

If we win, we'll praise Him. If we lose, we'll praise him still. I'm going to resolve to give God everything I've got."
 -from Facing the Giants 
The count down to New Years begins. Every year, starting after Christmas, I go back the the previous New Years and read all my journal entries to date. It's a time of reflection and evaluation and remembrance. I found myself incredibly discouraged last night as I began to read and notice that I seem to be in the exact same place I was last year...afraid of the future, worried about support, unsure of what God was going to do. I wrote to my best friend in Korea and she responded with some good food for thought. Two things stuck out the most 1) God's faithfulness and goodness are not defined by the fulfillment of our expectations, and 2) Seasons repeat but our ability to handle them changes and increases. 

    I stopped reading to soon last night. If I had continued one more page (which I did today!) I would have seen hundreds of beautiful threads of faithfulness begin to appear. Although the struggles in my personal life never ceased, ministry grew in ways I never dreamed and fathomed. And through both highs and lows, I grew and changed.

   I had no idea the gloomy and hopeless 2009 New Year what 2010 would bring. It turned out to be the greatest and most defining year of my life. I got to TASTE and see that the Lord is good. So...

Let us praise him for the million great things: Global Xpress growth, new staff and volunteers, conference's and teaching workshops, VBS's and outreach programs, and a million other amazing moments.

Secondly, please join me in starting off 2011 with 30 days of prayer for His financial provision and change in my personal life. You can pray or you can fast or do whatever the Lord leads you to do. Feel free to share verses or words or pictures the Lord gives you along the way. Let's pray that all hearts, mine as well as those who are or will be giving, will be willing and open to learn the lessons He is teaching us along the way.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Becoming a fictional character...

I just wrapped up production on our January issue of Global Xpress. Our feature country is Malawi, a place I traveled to back in April 2007. Normally, Kiersti writes all our stories for our magazines, bringing each place to life and connecting kids with the people there. Usually, the stories are fictional.

This month I was blessed with the opportunity to write the stories for Malawi, but there was no need for fiction. Instead, Conductor Courage became me. Through my stories, I was able to share the real life adoptions of both Lauren and Gift, two children whose parents both died of AIDS. What a blessing it was for me to be able to share my heart and my experiences. It reminded me of why I do what I do. Our magazine isn't just a geopgraphy and culture lesson. It's an opportunity to connect kids here with kids like Lauren and Gift. We do it for them. We do it so an army of little faithful prayer warriors will petition to the Father on behalf of the lost, broken, lonely, and confused. Thank you Jesus for all the ways I get to serve you.

Here's our older kids story on Gift, along with actual pictures of him and his mom. Enjoy :)

    The Global Xpress pulled into the station in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. A man stood there waiting. He was holding a sign with my name on it.

    I walked up to the man. “Hi, I’m Conductor Courage.”
    “Moni.” He smiled. “My name is Moses. The orphanage sent me to pick you up.”
    Moses, Charcoal and I climbed into the van. As we drove, I couldn’t believe how beautiful Malawi was! Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it did not look like a place of poverty. Lush, green hills rolled out as far as my eyes could see. Banana trees lined the sides of the roads. The sky was bright blue with giant, puffy clouds. As we drove, I saw small red clay huts along the road. Children played soccer in a nearby dirt field. Once in a while we would pass a truck filled with people sitting on top of bags of wood and grain.
    As the sun was setting, we finally pulled into the small village of Mzuzu. As we pulled in to the orphanage, an older woman walked out smiling.
    Dr. Helen greeted me with a warm hug. “I am so glad you are here! We have a long day tomorrow. Let’s get you inside so you can get some sleep.”
    Dr. Helen led me to a small brick house. Inside my room was a bed with a large, blue net hanging over it.
    “What is that for?” I asked Dr. Helen.
    “It is a mosquito net. It keeps the bugs from biting you while you sleep. You can get very sick from bug bites in Africa.”
    As I snuggled into my bed, I thanked God for little things like mosquito nets.
    I woke up early the next morning. Beautiful shades of red and orange streaked across the sky as the sun rose. Dr. Helen was waiting for me.

    “Today we are going to a nearby village. We are adopting a little boy named Gift. His mother is very sick with AIDS and will die soon.”
    I silently prayed for Gift and his mom as we drove down a long dirt road. Monkeys called to each other in the trees above us. As we got out of the jeep, I saw several small square homes made with clay. There were no windows. Inside the house was only a small cooking pot and a wood chair.
    Gift was sitting next to his mother. A Malawian social worker talked with Gift’s mom about the orphanage.
    As the adults talked, I looked at Gift. He was small with big brown eyes. He had no shoes, and his clothes were torn. As I watched him, I thought about all the times I prayed for orphans around the world, asking God to help them find homes with people who would love them. God was now answering my prayer.
    “We will take good care of Gift,” Dr. Helen said as she held his mother’s hand. “We have been praying for him.”
    Gifts mother nodded her head as the social worker translated for Dr. Helen. Then he handed her a pen and helped her sign her name on the adoption papers.
    I held Gift’s hand as we walked back to the jeep. I thought Gift’s mom would be very sad. Instead, she smiled and clapped her hands.
    “God has taken care of my son!” she sang out in Chichewa. “I can die happy knowing he is loved!”
    That night I crawled back under my mosquito net with a big smile. God had given Gift the greatest gift of all: His love.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What's Your Next Move?

God moves me like a chess piece. One small move at a time, He is laying out His plan. I am anxious to call out "check mate!" but He is such a grand and patient chess player. He is making carefully thought out and calculated moves so as to not just win the match, but to win beautifully.

God has made a major move, a move that has changed my original game plan.

What was the original plan?
I joined the Frontier Mission Fellowship in July 2009. I was to first raise $2800 in monthly committed support. Then I was to pack up my bags and move to Pasadena where I would work full time at the US Center for World Mission (USCWM) as a missions mobilizer. My job was to continue running the Global Xpress, a missions magazine for kids.

What is the new plan?
I will not be moving to Pasadena. Instead, I will be staying right here my hometown. I will still be on staff with the USCWM, working from Redlands. My primary job will continue to be to run the Global Xpress. As Creative Director, I wear a lot of hats. I see to the production of each month’s magazine, manage our staff and volunteers, keep up on all the administration, and do everything else that falls in between. In addition, with this change, God has opened up several new doors. Starting after the new year, I will be working with a colleague to establish the USCWM’s first Global Desk for Children. This will be a place where people can come to find help and resources for anything relating to kids and missions worldwide. God has also opened the doors for me to do three separate teaching sessions and workshops in the spring at various churches and conferences.

When did you notice that God was changing your plans?
It was June 6th. I was speaking at a local church in Redlands. A volunteer came with me to help. On the way there, she shared with me that she felt God was leading her into a full-time position with Global Xpress. After some discussion, she moved from volunteer to full-time volunteer staff. We started working 25-30 hours a week together in her small apartment in Redlands.

What happened next?
A few weeks later, I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting me to attend Sunday evening service at Packinghouse church. The sermon was on the last chapter of Corinthians and Paul’s flexibility. He had a direction, but he was willing to change it as God lead and opened doors elsewhere.

Did you know then what was happening?
No, not at all. The rest of the summer played out in a series of small events. First God impressed upon my heart to leave my church, the Red Barn. I wrestled with that a lot. I thought I’d just leave and move on to Pasadena, but I lacked peace about it. I could only sense God telling me to be ready. He wouldn’t give me any specifics. In late July, I finally announced that I was moving on to a new church. Two days later, I meet an amazing woman who owned both a printing company and a professional fundraising company. We had a series of meetings and the floodgates flew open. Her husband offered to print the Global Xpress at 1/3 of the cost we were paying before. She offered to help us raise money for the ministry.
     One morning I woke up and just knew that everything had changed. I wasn’t going to be moving to Pasadena. There was no pre-thought about it. There was no stopping to pray about it and think through the decision. God had already made it. I could hear Him loud and clear saying “Forget the former things. I am doing a new thing. See, even now it springing up before you.” (Is.43:18-19)

So how was the final decision made?
After several weeks, I surrendered to the changes God was making in my life. I turned in a proposal explaining my request to be relocated from Pasadena to Redlands for the benefit and growth of the ministry. The USCWM personnel department responded within 24 hours and said they fully agreed. Where I am is the healthiest place for Global Xpress. I need to be in Redlands with my small staff and group of volunteers.

Why are you raising support?
Without prayer, missionaries are not effective; without funding, they cannot devote their full-time energy to the cause of Christ. Raising support allows me to do ministry full-time and focus all of my attention on the Kingdom. I was able to have a job and do Global Xpress on the side for several years, but the ministry has grown beyond that. It requires my full attention. The money I raise is the money I live on and work with.

Are you fully supported?
No, not yet. It’s been a long road, but I am still trusting God for provision. If everyone who has committed to give continues to do so, I have $1700 a month coming in. I still need $1100 more in monthly support…that’s people giving any desired amount every month. I have supporters who give anywhere from $10 to $300 a month. Every amount matters.

How does someone become a supporter?
It begins by just sending the first check to Ministry Accounts at the US Center for World Mission (1605 E. Elizabeth St. Pasadena 91104). Once Ministry Accounts receives your check, a receipt, along with a new envelope, will be mailed to you for continued giving. There is also an option for automatic giving. Checks are made payable to USCWM with MA164 in the memo line (not my personal name). The ministry account number signifies that the check is for me.

How can people be praying?
-Pray first and foremost that God is glorified in all I do, both personally and in ministry.
-Pray for the kids who are getting our materials every month, that they would fall in love with the Savior of the World and desire to make Him known.
-Pray specifically for God to provide the remaining $1100 a month I need to be fully supported.
-Pray for wisdom and guidance as I move forward in this new season of transition.

A life of faith is a life full of surprises. New doors and opportunities come with every move. I am excited for what fruit lies ahead as we move forward in obedience. I love watching God work.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Extra, Extra!

Man do I have big news! Lots of changes, lots of new opportunities, lots of reasons to keep praising the Lord for His faithfulness!

Come here some exciting updates and changes:

When: Sunday November 7, 2010
Where: 7842 Rose Ct Highland 92346
Time: 1:30-3:00
  *Kids welcome. Presentation begins at 2.

See you there!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit's power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down or back away. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity, I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now love by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, life by prayer and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I wont give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus!

I must go til He comes, give til I drop, preach till all know and work till he stops me. And when He comes from His own He will have no problem recognizing me- my banner will be clear.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A whole new year; a whole new look!

A  few weeks ago I told you all about our Global Xpress Vision Retreat. Through the combination of that event and input we had been receiving from families who use the Global Xpress, we redesigned our magazines and gave them a fresh new look- one with the same great information but more engaging, fun, and age-appropraite. We launched our new look for our October issue. Here is a glimpse (you can click on each image to see a larger version!):

Global Xpress Magazine (3rd-5th grade)

Lil Engines (K-2nd Grade)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tighty Whitey Worship :)

Carissa... you look like a whole new person.

This was the comment I received from a long time friend after speaking at morning meeting today at the US Center for World Mission. I only had a 30 second notice before I gave my 25 minute presentation on the growth of Global Xpress since January and what we were accomplishing while there in Pasadena for our 2-day vision retreat.

She was right. I feel like a whole new person! SO much is happening, so many things that are good and wonderful and praiseworthy, that I just can't keep up with telling you all. But I want to highlight just a few so you can partake in the fruit with me!

-We just finished two days solidifying out vision, our mission, and the spiritual fruit we desire to produce through this ministry. We also came up with some fresh new looks and ideas to jump start our fourth year. We had 8 people participate in this event, and although many strangers to one another, came together as one well-oiled team.

-Out of the Box printing has stepped on board and is rallying behind us, reducing our expenses and helping expand our quality. We praise God that in the two weeks they have been working with us there business has been incredibly blessed!(

- A beautiful and wonderful lady name Petty Thomas (co-owner of Out of the Box) has also rallied behind me and GX to fund raise to meet the last of my support goals and further provide for the ministry!! This is a HUGE praise report and a giant burden lifted from my shoulders! This week she was able to raise $300 in one time gifts. She has just began a 30-day trial run to see what kind of response she can get.

- Our volunteers are growing more and more committed. We are seeing them take ownership of Global Xpress and give full commitment to the tasks at hand. This is an incredible thing for me to witness as I watch this ministry grow.

I could keep going and going. I'd love to take you out to coffee and fill in all the rest (just let me know you want to!)...but these big praise reports should be enough to make you want to dance around in your underwear just as David danced...uninhibited, unashamed and utterly in love with God!(2 Samuel 6:14-15)

God is crazy, it's hard to believe, you almost need courage to accept it, good.

Thank YOU for all you do to support me and the minisrty. You help make all this possible.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A new chapter begins

One chapter ends. A new one begins.

Tomorrow will be my first Sunday morning at a new church.

After church, I will be heading to Pasadena to meet with 8 other staff and volunteers for our Global Xpress vision retreat. We will spend two days praying, discussing, and making changes for a more fruitful and effective future.

It is a strange thing to think of the many different people who will be there and the individual investments they have each made. And they're not their as a benefit or favor to me. They will be there because they truly believe in this ministry, have taken ownership of it, and have committed to play their part to make it happen...

Beyond my wildest dreams....I can't wait to see what lies ahead.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Good-bye Little Red Barn

"So, how can we pray for you Miss Carissa?" John Deming, our children's pastor asked.

He was interviewing me in front of our preschool through second graders on my very last Sunday at Calvary Chapel San Bernardino. I had called this church home for 8 years, and I had sat in front of these students as Missa Carissa for 7. Today I would say good-bye.

"Well, most importantly, pray that I would never stop loving Jesus and that my life would always bear much fruit."

John Deming asked the kids what it meant for me to bear much fruit. He needed to be sure they knew that Miss Carissa didn't want to have grapes growing from her arms!

Then he he asked, "Hey kids, if you love Jesus, raise your hand!"

About 45 little hands shot up like arrows into the air. I was sitting in the front of the class with John D watching their smiling faces.

Just then, he leaned over towards me, and in the smallest whispers said, "Miss Carissa, see that? There's your fruit."

That's when I lost it. All the composure I have maintained that morning went right out the door and the flood of tears broke forth. As I looked at each kid, I remembered all the amazing mornings I had spent with them. I remembered talking about Heaven with Lexi, and how she said one day I would see her there. I remembered the countless mornings Freddy came into my class crying and begging his parents not to leave him only to leave laughing and begging his parents to let him stay. I remembered the day when Luke and Ethan went from rebellious 4-year-olds who wanted nothing to do with me to two lovable boys who always wanted to play and joke.

The Red Barn was more than just a church to me. It was my home for the first 8 years of my walk with Jesus. There I was feed and loved and supported. There I was given the courage to grow into the woman I have become today. I would not be who I am without the people and teaching of the little Red Barn. It saddened me greatly when God first prompted my heart to tell me it was time to go. It was unexpected. I hadn't planned to leave until I had reached full support and headed to Pasadena. But I am reminded time and time again that God's ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. So I obeyed, even through tears, knowing that God had a purpose even if I didn't see it.

By the time class ended this Sunday, I was filled with such joy and excitement for both what had been and what is to come. Since deciding to leave the Barn, some gigantic doors have opened in my life and a new paths are unfolding. I have a great confidence that this was indeed the right decision. I am ready to pour new wine into new wine skins, to embark on a new journey of faith. I am ready to experience God in new ways, falling more and more in love with Him.

I will always cherish the many beautiful faces that make up the church at the Red Barn. And don't worry...I'll be back to visit sometime soon. But for now, it's time to say good-bye.

Good-bye little Red Barn.
Thank you for all that you have done for me.
Thank you for being a refuge from the world and a place of love and truth.
I feel incredibly honored to be a part of you,
to serve you and be loved by you.
Thank you for being the wings to my dreams and giving my the courage to fly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Party Pictures

We had a great time celebrating Global Xpress' 3rd Birthday! Here's some pictures:

Monday, August 02, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of Global Xpress! What a thrilling day in history that was for me! And we're going to celebrate! Join us for some fellowship and fun! Party starts at 7pm!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Everyone loves pictures

Here's some more pictures from my first debut as Conductor Courage! (Yep, I even wore the red shoes!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good doesn't even begin to describe it!

So much is happening! I've been meaning to come and tell you about it more often than I do (to whoever, if anyone, who reads this) but time is a precious commodity during this season of life!! Here's some exciting snippets from this last week:

- I received a long-prayed for anchor donor last weekend!!! There significant monthly gift brings me up to 63% support! I only need $1,000 more in monthly giving and I'm on my way to Pasadena!!

- I had two AMAZING opportunities this month! First, I spent the week at Packinghouse's VBS- Egypt File! Each day, I got to dress up as Conductor Courage (from Global Xpress) and come running on stage with a train sound and spend about 5 minutes teaching kids about different mission topics relating to Egypt. Then, on Friday, I was asked to teach the Bible study rotation. We went through the 10 plagues and how the whole time God had one main purpose: that they would KNOW HIM!!! I spoke to over 500 kids all week! And on Friday, I had there complete attention. It was so incredible!!

- Secondly, I also spent this week running an around the world program for Novaland Youth Development Center. I wrote the program to mirror the Amazing Race (a reality show on TV). This week, kids explored areas of Africa and the Middle East. Through several activities and challenges, the kids learned about culture and tradition, along with tribal religion, Islam, and orphans. At the end of each day, we spent time debriefing and talking about God's love for them and for the whole world. They are responding so well, and they keep showing up each day! These 15 kids come from an area of San Bernardino known as "Little Africa." It's an area that, just a few years ago, was also considered one of the most dangerous, drug infested areas of our town. Next week, we will be exploring Southeast Asia, Asia, and Latin America.

Please join me in praying for these 500+ kids that I was able to teach this week and will continue to teach next week. Pray that the seeds that were sown take deep root, growing and multiplying into a life that seeks to make Jesus known in all they do. Pray that what they've heard this week will create within them a desire to play a part in the story for His glory!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Lessons in Mokpo

Hello all!

Right now I'm sitting in a small apartment in Mokpo. I'm miles away from home in the beautiful country of South Korea. It feels so strange to be overseas for vacation rather than missions, but even in vacation I find myself still on mission.

I find myself still praying for the shop keeper we passed on the street, for the little boy I saw kneeling before a Buddha statue, for the gigantic Christian churches that hold their banner high across the city.

And still God is teaching me, whispering to my heart and helping me to heal and grow and change. It is still my story of grace.

I heard a quote yesterday at church that rocked my boat...

"The best thing we can do for God is let Him love us."

Let Him me. Hm. How often I DON'T do that! How often I work and plan and work some more in order to feel worthy of his love and affection. But all the working in the world does not had one ounce of extra love. I already have it in it's fullness.

And then I think, what would the next six months look like if I determined to just let God love me. Period. Forget the support raising and the ministry and all the things that I work and work and work for. What if I just let Him love me? If He provides, perfect. If He doesn't, perfect still. Either way, He is doing what He, in his infinite wisdom, knows is best. Why? Because I just let Him love me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I place it your hands...

For a long time God was painting with blues, and now he's painting with reds. I'm not sure what it all means and what the purple it is creating will be.

The crazy adventure continues. So much happens every day, both big and small, that I find it impossible to communicate it all to you!

I wish I could though. I wish I could capture it all in movie form and play it before you. There are so many treasures to enjoy.

I continue to walk one foot in front of the other, following that path of open doors that keep unfolding before me. I have reached 47% support, and have one church currently considering supporting me. Apart from that, I have reached an end for contacts and ideas. I'm not sure where the support will come from, but I trust WHO it will come from.

Ministry, however, is at no dead end. I will be appearing as Conductor Courage at the Packinghouse VBS July19-23, doing a 5 minute mission spotlight on Egypt each day and teaching the Bible lesson Friday. The last two weeks I will be coordinating a two-week around the world adventure program for Novaland Youth Development Center. We will be taking the kids around the world, experience culture and traditions and learning about the unreached people of the world. Global Xpress continues to grow with 5 new sign-ups this past month. One of our volunteers stepped up to a full-time volunteer staff member, committing to Global Xpress on a whole new level. We also picked up another long-term volunteer this week in the area of administration and have one college student praying about interning with us full time this summer.

I am so curious to see what He's up to, to see the story continue to unfold. I never know what the next page will be, where the story will go. I am eager to know. Aren't you? :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doors wide open

It was an exciting day. I heard word that a church in Muerrita has invited me to come and speak about the US Center and Global Xpress to assist in my support raising. The pastor and elders just want to meet me in person first. In addition, I still have my up coming speaking opportunity at Packinghouse on June 6th at 6:30 pm.

God is doing what He does best. Opening doors no one else can shut and shutting doors no one else can open. I am all out of stops, all out of ideas and contacts. I am just waiting for Him to bring in that last 55%.

I was just working on a bible study for Global Xpress' June issue. We are starting our focus on David. I was reading through 1 Samuel 16 and the anointing of David. It touched my heart so much that David was the last one called. He didn't come from a palace but from the field with the sheep. He wasn't the oldest or finest choice...but He was God's choice. As the Lord said to Samuel several verses prior:

"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (v7)

God saw something in David that no other human eye could see. I hope that whatever God saw in David, He sees in me too. I'm so humbled by what He's called me too, so fully aware that I am the LEAST qualified and equipped to do it. But here I am anyways. Oh Lord, you are so full of mercy and grace. Who is like You?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Blessed by the unexpected

A few weeks ago, I told you about an amazing, crazy opportunity that had been placed before me and the Global Xpress. At the time, I didn't know what would happen with it, but I was willing to watch God do something I never imagined.

God very clearly asked me to step out in faith and obedience and pursue sending the very first Global Xpress team to India. It was completely illogical from a human perspective, but I knew I had to obey. So I did.

In the end, it didn't pan out exactly the way we were thinking. We're not able to send the team and some other issues surfaced. However, God sometimes has an unexpected and unseen purpose. Through obedience, I met a girl who was planning on going. She began talking to me through email, asking my opinion on her being the only girl on her team going to India and what things she should expect. I was vulnerable and honest about my own experiences and temptations, and tried to advise her on what to prepare for.

Those initial emails lead to a whole series of conversations about opportunities, motives, and listening to God's voice. I was able to speak to her from my own struggles, and failures, and life-lessons. In the end, she replied:

I really do not know what I would do without your advice. I thank you so much for all of your prayers and your wisdom. It has been good during all of this stress. If you don't mind, I'd like it if you played somewhat of a mentor role in my life. I think it would be cool if you were a mentor for me as far as mission stuff goes. I don't have one and I have been in need of one.Yet, I understand that it's another responsibility, and if you are too busy then that is okay, I really understand. I'll leave that up to you. Thanks sooo much again. - A

I don't know how to express how much this request meant to me, that God would use all that He has patiently taught me in the last three years to impact someone else. And that she would want me, of all people, to mentor her in life and missions!

Thank you Lord, for using the weak and foolish things of this world. May others be able to imitate me because only because I imitate Christ!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Conductor Courages First Big Show!

"Conductor Courage" landed her first job today. I had a wonderful meeting with Packinghouse in Redlands. I was expecting only to meet with their children's pastor about our Global Xpress Sunday School program. There wasn't much discussion needed. His son has been using it for almost two years and loves it. It was all for adding it to their church.

But he ALSO wanted to know if Conductor Courage would come to their VBS in July!! I am so excited! I get to do a missions moment all five days of VBS. In addition, I get to teach their Friday Bible study on Moses and the Exodus, focusing on how God's purpose in all that was to make Himself known!!

I better get shopping! I need some red shoes and overalls!

P.S. In addition, No More Crumbs Ministry ( and a children's missions resource center in Tennessee ( have posted Global Xpress on their websites!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm not in Kansas anymore

Today was a strange day, like a day in Oz that seemed so real yet so dream-like all at the same time. I awoke early for a meeting with No Crumbs ministry in Brea. Before I could even get out the door, my phone was beeping at me, reminding me I had 3 new emails regarding Global Xpress. Once I picked up a collegue and headed out to Brea, I spent 3 hours enjoying the fellowship of one extremely liked minded sister in Christ who also values the signifcance of children in the Kingdom. If that wasn't enough, she informed me that she wants to let everyone she knows know about the Global Xpress.

After the meeting ended, my phone was flashing with more messages and reminders. Three more emails and two voice mails had come through...all regarding Global Xpress. Just now, another email came through with contact information for several families who are interested in Global Xpress.

I am rather stunned, and yet can't stop smiling. It wasn't lomg ago when we would go months before receiving a single sign-up or inquiry. I used to only check the Global Xpress email account once a week. Now I have to check it hourly!

God is on the move. I only hope I can keep up. He is opening doors that I have been knocking on for two years. I am so excited to see what more is ahead. Just this weekend,
...I reached 40% support, as well as receiving 2 unexpected one time gifts.
...had 3 new kids sign-up for the magazine,
...had 5 churches sign-up for a 30 day trial through our presences at the CMTA conference in Pasadena,
...and began a partnership with No Crumbs Ministry.

This is only a small taste of what is happening everyday. Thank you for making it possible!

P.S. Don't forget! Global Xpress 30th Celebration party is this weekend, 2-6pm!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Great and Unsearchable things

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful..." Jeremiah 31:3-4

I am dancing again. It feels so amazing, the wind in my hair as I twirl and spin in my Saviors arms. The days since quitting my job have not all been easy and smooth. In fact, they have been quite opposite. But even in the midist of it all, I am dancing again.

God is at work in ways I don't even fully understand or see. An unexpected, possibly great and amazing opportunity fell into my lap today and I am speechless and still before Him as I seek His will about it. I don't know if this is indeed something God wants me to do or where He's leading Global Xpress, but the idea and reality of what He could be doing blows me away.

Although I do not know what tomorrow holds regarding this opportunity, I find myself with a willing and trusting heart. This moment is so sweet. I realize that I finally know and trust that God could do this even if I feel I can't, know that I can trust Him whether the door opens or shuts.

"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

I am calling.

I am waiting to hear.

Will you join me in praying for wisdom and direction this week? I will share more details as (and if) it pans out, but for now, let us just call out to know those great and unsearchable things!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Happy Easter!

I received an Easter email from a co-worker at the US Center for World Missions. I was in such aggreement with his words that I am sharing them with you. He writes:

Twenty years ago, while in the Air Force, we were flying through Texas at 43,000 feet, usually high enough to go over or skirt around most thunderstorms.That day, they were the blackest I'd ever seen and towering up to 65,000 where airliners do not roam. (Around 60,000 feet human blood begins to turn to gas or "boil.") On the ground, hail was reported the size of golf balls and bigger.

Difficult periods in human history normally had precursors, storms rising on the horizon. Today, we see rain beginning to fall as black clouds are billowing over many spots around the world. Nations are more in debt than ever before, plunging deeper every hour. Humans are referred to as "carbon foot prints." America kills 1.3
million babies a year and China, 8 million. In the West, traditional marriage, family and enduring love is passé. North Korea has nuclear weapons. Iran isn't far behind. In the last 10 years, we've seen an unusual number of tsunamis, once in 200 year earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons.

1,977 years ago, the sky also grew black at noon when a bright, young Jewish teacher and healer,was nailed on a cross to die. Corrupt and ambitious leaders ruled the day. Jesus' meager band was scattered. Defeated. Or were they?

The message of Passover is about a God who rules in the midst of the storm. Our role is to trust and obey. Paradoxically, the power that raised Jesus from the dead is boldly moving in Iran, China, the Philippines, Korea and other locations. At the US Center for World Mission we are privileged to hear about such work, promote best lessons learned and encourage those who are passionate about the unreached of our planet.

We pray for you ardent faith in the coming days and new wonder in this Passover season.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dreams Become Reality

My dreams have become reality. I still can't believe it. Every night this week I have shuffled off to bed trying to remember all the things I need to get in order before work the next day, only to remember there is no work! It just so unreal!

But no pinching necessary. This isn't a dream. It's reality. For the first time ever, I am free to give my FULL time and attention to Global Xpress as well as support raising. No more left-overs.

I am so incredibly thankful, excited, humbled, overwhelmed with joy, and so much more! God is at work!

Monday, March 22, 2010

One BIG Week

It's a big week in both my personal life and in ministry.

In 5 days, I will no longer be an employee of DPS. It's hard to imagine that after being here for 2.5 years, but it's really happening.

Today, Global Xpress' 30th issue goes to press. I can't even explain what that means to me because I find myself speechless. God has sustained this little ministry through so many highs and lows. I am so incredibly excited to see what this next season will bring!

Prayer Requests:
- Pray that I will be faithful every remaining minute I have here at work, leaving a memory of goodness, hard work, and love.
- Pray for God's provision for the remaining $1800 in monthly committed support needed to get to Pasadena and serve full time.
- Pray that God would use this 30th issue to impact an entire generation for His global Kingdom and glory among the nations!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Tribute To My Friend Bob

Thursday, March 11, 2010, my dear friend Bob Albright went home to be with the Lord.

I was at home sick on Thursday morning. I had woke up around 7 o' clock anyways. As I laid on the couch watching t.v., I couldn't help but wonder why on earth God would allow me to get sick and miss work when I only had 3 weeks left! About an hour later, I got the answer to my question. I received a text message announcing that Bob had a blood infection and that the doctors said he only had an hour left to live.

My first instinct was to fall on my face and pray. After pleading for intervention, I threw on the first pair of clothes I could find and headed for the hospital. When I arrived and walked into the room, his heart stopped.

On my way to the hospital, one song kept playing through my mind, and now it echoed even louder...

I stood there thinking as I said goodbye,
today is the first day of the rest of my life

I'm gonna stop lookin' back and start movin' on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, with out any net
That's what I'm gonna be about
Yeah I wanna be runnin'
When the sand runs out

My friend Bob was running when the sand ran out. He was running hard, too. He may not have been a Billy Graham, but he was a faithful servant. He always had a smile on his face. He always welcomed you in and encouraged you. He loved every child who walked through the doors of our church. And he made us all laugh!

Any second thoughts I had about quitting my job went out the door Thursday. Life is far too short. I want to live each day for His kingdom, pouring out every ounce of my life for His glory and renown.

As the song goes on to say,
And when they carve my stone they'll write these words, "Here lies a [girl] who lived life for all that it's worth."

I want to be like Bob. I want to be running when the sand runs out..

I'm also gonna stop lookin' back and start movin' on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, with out any net
That's what I'm gonna be about
Yeah I wanna be runnin'
When the sand runs out

Monday, March 08, 2010


Today could have possibly been one of the most pivotal moments of my life. Five days ago, God prompted my heart. I fasted, prayed, sought Godly counsel, laughed, cried, jumped for joy, and hid in fear. I never could relate to Noah having been told to build a boat without ever even seeing a drop of rain, but now I do. I'm running full speed ahead towards a brick wall and praying like crazy that a hole appears!!

Today I quit my job....yeah, my only paying, make-me-feel-secure job. That was NOT the plan, not til I reached 50% support anyways. But with only 30%, and another $1997 monthly commitments more to go, I did it anyways!

I'm free falling...and I've never felt so alive. It's sheer abandonment to the cause of Christ. I can't even begin to explain every emotion and the overwhelming love I feel for Jesus and the children of this world.

I am playing a part in making my Savior famous among the nations...there are few sweeter words!

If you haven't already, I invite you to join the journey. I realize this is one of the most wrong ways to do so and the books would slap my hand for it, but God is doing some AMAZING things with and for children. Global Xpress is a small part of that, but an important part. And it expands so far beyond Global Xpress too. You don't want to miss it! It's a investment with far greater value than I even can wrap my mind around! Let's get together and talk about it...

When we are motivated by goals that have deeper meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life. -A calender I looked at in Kinko's today!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Exciting News from the Xpress

God is at work!! There is no doubt about that. In the last month He has provided in so many ways! This month, we redid the Lil Engines magazine, making it more effective and age appropriate for kids! We also were blessed to receive an AMAZING artist to do some cover work and materials for the magazine too! Here are the paper dolls she did for March's issue on Iraq!

Not only is our team growing, but our member base is growing too! We had several past GX kids come back this month and rejoined us on the journey, along with 3 others who renewed! We rejoice in these, because it tells us the Global Xpress is working, drawing these kids deeper to the heart of God and the world He so loves!

Keep praying!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Found that Which Makes Me Come Alive

I arrived at The Grove Church in Riverside about 5 p.m., and people all around busily went about their work. The day had finally come. The church was hosting the AIDS Experience, a real-life simulation from World Vision that allows adults to experience the lives of children infected or affected by AIDS. The Grove had decided to recreate the experience for its Wednesday night children’s program, and I was invited to be a part of it.

Their main worship room was turned into a miniature African adventure. Colorful photos and fabrics adorned the walls. Six stations were in place for the kids to experience culture, food, sounds, and everyday life. My assignment was to visit two classrooms and share about life in Malawi and my experience there.

Dressed in my hand-made Malawian dress, I set up in the first-grade classroom. About 25 kids listened intently as I shared about the village of Mzuzu, the wood cravers, and the moms who carried their young on their backs. I taught them one of the orphans’ favorite worship songs, and told them about some the kids I had met.

I had the attention of every little pair of eyes in the room as I shared about Lauran and Gift, the young boy and girl who were adopted into the orphanage while I was there. For many years prior to my trip, I explained to the kids, I had prayed often for the orphans of the world. I had asked God over and over to bring each one into a loving home and family. I closed our time together by telling the kids that God let me see the answers to my prayers that day when I witnessed firsthand both Lauran and Gift being rescued and brought into a new family full of God’s love.

I shared with these young disciples how prayer is like a wartime walkie-talkie (a phrase coined by pastor and author John Piper). We discussed how prayer was our direct line to the One in charge. We closed our time by picking three volunteers to come forward and lay their hands over the country of Malawi on my large inflatable globe. Chris, a young and eager blond-haired boy, went first.

"Psssh. Jesus. Come in. Psssh. This is Chris. Psssh. Kids in Africa need help. They need families. Psssh. They also need a good house and food and a bed. Psssh. Take care of it. Psssh. Over and out. Psssh."

You can imagine the smile that spread from ear to ear on my face. This kid got it. He knew who was in charge and who could help! He prayed in great confidence and faith, knowing that God would answer him, just like He answered me.

Driving home that night, I felt so alive. I LOVE doing what I do. Nothing brings me more joy and excitement than teaching kids about the world and opening their eyes to their God-size role in His kingdom work. Watching the excitement in their faces when they are told they can be warriors through prayer now, and not just when the "grow up," fuels my faith in so many ways.

John Piper also once said,
"Whatever you do, find your God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life."

I have found that passion, and I am more excited than ever that God is opening the door for me to live it out full time. I look forward to so many more opportunities to come, opportunities to "say it and live for it and die for it." Thanks for helping to make that possible.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mission Spotlight

On January 24th, I will have the opportunity to share about the USCWM and Global Xpress at my church, Calvary Chapel San Bernardino. I will be the focused missionary that day for Mission Spotlight! I am so excited to share about my life and passion with my family there!

Please be praying God stirs the hearts of the people there to give and get involved! I am asking for 100 people at $30 a month.