My Mission:

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

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.