Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Catch Up

I think more than ever we get caught up in the busyness of life. We run from one thing to the next and try to fit in as much as we can to our days. If we aren’t “doing” something we’re thinking about what we need to do or making lists in our head. (This is me anyways.) Trying to remember what I’m “forgetting.” Kind of crazy, right? I host a Bible study with a small group of women and we recently did one that mentioned the reason for doing what we do, the people. Sometimes we get so caught up in our “jobs” or “ministries” that we loose opportunities to impact the people we’re doing things for. I care deeply for the students that come through our school and I work very hard to make things the best they can possibly be for them, but sometimes I miss opportunities because I’m preoccupied with things in the office. Now, this isn’t just my work but life in general. The people are the important part, I know we know this but it’s good to be reminded and refocused on why we do what we do.

I mentioned busy life, yes it seems to only get crazier every year! I cant’ complain though because it has been a great year! Some highlights so far:

We had a wonderful class of 7 students this year. At first I think we were a little disappointed that there were only 7, but we also realized that God brought those exact 7 and because there were so few it was an extremely close knit group. Every year feels like a family when we’re all together, but this year was exceptionally so as there were two young kids who drew us all even closer. God continues to use the school to train church leadership. We were so happy to not only see all 7 students graduate, but the changes that took place during their time at school was incredible. I love that we all encourage and challenge one another….students and staff alike leave changed. 

During our school session I had two cousins get married, I could only make it to one wedding which I was the maid of honor and also did the decor for.  We all had fun celebrating with Brent and Jodi, it was a pleasure to be there and witness this new phase in their lives! I have been missing Jodi now that she’s moved away, but am so happy for her and excited to see how God uses them as a couple in Papua New Guinea. They are heading out with New Tribes Mission in the nearish future, Brent flying and Jodi nursing. They have much to give, I know they will be used mightily. 

And now summer…wow I can’t believe how the days have flown by! My days are currently filled with spending time with people, the women in our study, family, mentoring, and friends. In what I shared above, I feel God calling me to walk alongside different people in different circumstances. I have been able to see God at work in lives, even in terrible situations. He is faithful and I am continually challenged to trust Him and I get to see first hand how He works in our lives. Even if it isn’t easy we can see Him in the midst of the craziness. I am thankful for the people God has placed around me and am trying seize the day and moments with each one. 

As we look to the future we’re constantly planning! Our next year will bring with it a second term, so that is very exciting! We have been trying to put it together for a couple years but it just wasn’t the right timing. But we feel that now is the time and the planning continues to come together. My job will be a lot crazier with organizing two programs at once but I’m excited to see how God will bring this all together. It will be like a small reunion having students return! It will be very good to be able to do more teaching, but also to be able to encourage them as they head back into ministry. We all need a breath of fresh air, spiritually speaking, as ministry can be draining at times. 

And near future, I am planning a trip to Canada to visit friends and family. My first stop will be in the Yukon to visit Brent and Jodi, and then the rest of the time will be in BC. I decided to get away in August this year because it’s about then that the heat REALLY gets to us down here!! Canadians are tired of the winter by spring and we’re tired of the heat by fall! Just looking at a pair of jeans in summer is enough to make you start sweating! This morning we were able to enjoy some clouds and rain, it was wonderful and refreshing. 

Well, the fact that I have started talking about the weather says something….yikes! Thank you for your prayers and continued support. I hope this finds you well and encouraged! 


Friday, November 29, 2013

He is good...

Jorge and Angelica
My mind races with a ton of things zipping in and out as thoughts run wild. …. I’m meeting my beautiful sister for a lunch date, which we haven’t had for a long time; I can hear my new neighbors/co-workers moving in upstairs; we’re planning a Christmas/Italian fundraiser for the school so details and ideas are unending; I was contacted about backpacks being given out and if we have a place we know could use them, yes we do, Arizpe; and on and on the list goes! Are you still with me?! :) 

Surprise! We're going to a hockey game!
In the midst of the racing I am overwhelmed with God and His goodness...I left the dishes in the sink in the midst of washing and have come to sit down and write a much delayed note to you. The last time, I wrote on His faithfulness and how evident that has been in my life,  but now I want to ponder his goodness. I am blown away with how GOOD He is. So often we wonder where God is in the bad times, or why He allows things to happen, but might I suggest we fail to recognize Him in the GOOD times? As we’re in the season of American Thanksgiving and approaching Christmas, I am once again reminded of how very blessed I am. And not only that, but how God lavishes His goodness over my life.

I see His goodness in the way He provides for my physical needs, providing me with a place to live and settle into. I recently moved downstairs into my parent's former house as they’ve moved into their new house! Just for the record, let’s just say that everyone moving at the same time isn’t a good idea, I don’t recommend it! :) We didn’t really have a choice as everyone needed to be out so others could move in, but still!

My sis and I
I see His goodness in the way He’s allowed my family to be together. I am going to be an Auntie for the first time and I am absolutely THRILLED!!! I love that I live close to Hannah and Kyler and I look forward to welcoming the newest member to our family into this world when that day comes! :) 

I see His goodness in my walk with Him day by day. Tho I come, imperfect and simple, He uses me for His glory and has compassion on me. I love how He chooses ordinary people to carry out His plans because otherwise I know I would never qualify to serve Him! Isn’t He good? He does’t wait for us to “have it together!” (Good thing!) 

My Bible study ladies minus one
And I see His goodness in holding me up when I can’t walk on my own. There are circumstances and hard times that come into each and every one of our lives and you know what? We don’t have to walk it alone. I am so thankful because God isn’t a figure way up in the sky that sits on a throne and wags his finger down at us sinful! He is among us, active and ALIVE in us! He loves us so very much and wants to be a part of our every day life! He wants to bless us and have a loving relationship with He is GOOD

I hope this finds you well and encouraged, take heart because we serve a good God. I leave you with this, Psalms 27:13-14: 

“I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart

    and wait for the Lord.”

                                         With much love,

Friday, September 13, 2013

There and Back Again: Katie’s Tale

It’s hard to believe I was in Canada for three weeks and now I’ve been back in Mexico for over three weeks already, CRAZY! A friend of mine recently commented about the way the time flies by so quickly and if there’s any way we can slow it down...enjoy each moment, each day, and give God the glory for whatever He brings our way. Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday tasks and our tired bodies complain at times, but taking the time to enjoy and look for the blessings in the midst of the craziness. 

While in Canada I was blessed to be able to spend time with family from Venezuela, North Carolina, Ontario, California/Arizona, and Salmon Arm. It was like a mini reunion and we were all heading out on little “dates” to visit one-on-one with people and I loved it! I am blessed to have family that wants to go deep, that cares about my life and is interested in where my Spiritual walk is at. I also had really good visits with friends, so once again, I am so grateful for the people God has placed in my life to challenge me, encourage me, and walk beside me...even if it’s from Canada! :)
Wups...I’m blabbing a bit. Onto a new topic! So where to begin with the now!?! Just a quick idea of what I’m keeping busy with these days! First off we’re VERY excited to be building a kitchen/dining hall/nursery building for the school!! We need this building desperately and by faith we decided to plan on building it this fall and low and behold, the blueprints are in hand and we hope to start in the next week or two! Our God is what a powerful word meaning loyalconstant, and steadfast. That we can rest in Him...Psalm 108:4 For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Other projects of late are moving. My parents are hoping to move into their new house and I am moving down into their old house! Exciting times! As well we’re putting together some thoughts on a conference for November, we will be meeting with a gentleman soon to make more concrete plans. And then there’s other random things such as; visiting alumni, planning baby showers, hosting a weekly Bible study group, leading worship in church, and so on! 

But I don’t want to bore you any longer so I will close here just so this isn’t a novel! Until next month! :) I hope this finds you enjoying your September. Blessings....may we enjoy each moment as it comes and be able to see the blessings God has placed in our lives, whether BIG or small. HE is faithful, don’t doubt it, look for it! 

Friday, July 5, 2013



There aren't very many of us that stick around San Carlos ALL YEAR around, meaning through summer, but those of us that do get acquainted with quite well with three words; hot, humid, and sweaty. You can't avoid any of these three words during summer because they go together.'re probably wondering why I'm talking about all this sweatiness and so on? Well no reason really, just wanting to give a little idea of summer here. But sweat and all we keep plugging away.

At the moment we have a former alumni family staying at the school for some respite, recuperation, and refreshment. Jesus had an accident with a thorn going through one of his eyes and he is in the process of healing, and will be undergoing some more surgery to see if they can save his sight. It always amazes me how God is a family living in extremely poor conditions. They have been living outside under a tree, yet working hard in the ministry God put before them. They're always excited to show the pictures of all the children they have coming out to their children's ministry and you see their faces light up when you ask them how it's going. Though the parents of their little village are closed off to the God they allow their children to attend and be taught the Word of God. How cool...they have hope that one day these children will rise up in leadership to lead this town in a new way, walking with the Lord Jesus Christ and in the will of God! Some people say children's ministry isn't enough, or worth staying in a small town for, but they are the future! How much better to start with the children!!

It is good to have Jesus, Maribel, and their 3 kids here for a couple of weeks! Pray for them as they come to mind, that God will heal Jesus's eye and he'll have his sight returned, but also for their finances as these accidents are costly. they will have a hard time as Jesus won't be able to for a while.

Another key part of summer is planning. We're always scheming and brainstorming for this up-coming year, the direction we feel God leading us. We're still such a young school, trying to get the hang of things, so it's exciting to see how God puts things into place. Even teachers He has brought our way! So the planning continues and we're even pursuing a new project of a kitchen/dining hall. Sometimes we wonder how in the world it will happen, or doubt it happening any time soon, but then we remember who's in charge and you know what?? It isn't us! God has been in this ministry from the start and He will continue to provide for it....I love seeing how he works! is full of them. We will keep you posted on how God provides and when we "break ground!"

Travel...another part of summer. My parents are both taking time to visit their parents, one set in Tennessee and the other in British Columbia! I am going to have the opportunity to go to both places this summer. I was asked to do the driving from San Carlos to Lake Tahoe for a lady in our church so while already in the States I flew over to visit my grandparents in Tennessee. God had orchestrated that timing perfectly because my Granny had just had knee replacement surgery, my Mum was there helping, so I was also able to give some relief and help out! Thankfully my Granny is on the mend and working hard at physical therapy for her knee's recovery.

And now in August I will be heading up to Canada! A very unexpected blessing, to go to a friend's wedding, visit friends, and also get to spend some time with my grandparents!

My next few weeks will be filled with organizing our school office....also doing inventory on school supplies! We always do our school supply buying while on sale for the school year in the States, as things are WAY cheaper!)

You may notice you're subscribed to a mailing list....this is my own list, so I will be sending out notes more regularly and not as long-winded. Hopefully my parents and I aren't too repetitive....kinda crazy when your co-workers are your parents and we will write similar updates!

If you want you can unsubscribe at any time, no worries! I appreciate you and know so many of you pray for us and let me tell you, it works!! Please keep praying!! 

Until next time....

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's all about LOVE...

As I was about to begin this letter I was going to start by saying “Happy Easter,” but I then began thinking about what that means and implies… instead I would like to say “May you be able to remember the true reason for the season, that Christ not only was crucified, but the best part, that HE ROSE AGAIN and is living today!”

Last night we celebrated the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. We read verses from the Bible talking about light and that when Christ is real inside of us, when we are walking with Him and enjoying a relationship with Him, light shines through Him out of us! WOW! I don’t know about you, but I have met many people whom I know are Christians and living out their faith because I see it in their eyes! I've also met people for the first time and seen a spark in their eyes, a joy….wow I want to be like that! I want Jesus to be so real to me, so vibrant in my life that it can’t help but shine through all my faulty cracks. To be known as someone who glows for Jesus!

We have a full weekend with our students coming up, and then our last week with them. It’s crazy how 14 weeks can fly by! I am sad to see our time together coming to a close, but I am excited to see how the flame is going to catch as they leave this place…..just like last night. 

We as staff are busy as we get ready for the small graduation ceremony we’ll be holding on Friday, and all the ending activities and classes we have this next week.  We’re also thinking of our next term that we’re already starting to plan and thinking how we can better do what we do. How we can better facilitate those the Lord brings to us at the school. Pray for us as we have evaluation meetings after school ends, as we seek the Lord and what HE has in mind for next year! Exciting times, and yet a huge responsibility…..we don’t want to take it lightly but be wise with the positions God has placed us in for such a time as this.

May this find you blessed in remembering the sacrifice the Son of God made on our behalf….humbling Himself to death, not just any death, but death on a cross. Oh how He loves YOU and ME!
A scripture that has been repeatedly stuck in my head these days is the following….well known, but are we living it? Do we love others like Christ loved us?

"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Will Never Forget THIS for the Rest of My Life

Date: January 19, 2012
Place: CEC classroom/living room area
Preface: Class on Spiritual Discipline of Service
Previously that day, in class, Eric and Roxana (our head teachers) shared from Matthew 13:4; 13:14-15 on Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. They shared how he did not come to this world to BE SERVED but to SERVE. Eric and Roxana showed this example like Jesus did, putting on the towel then washing the feet of two students. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. The impact of this class will forever change the students and will forever be remembered by all who were there.

Present/Evening Class: Sharing the Lord’s Supper
If one was looking in from outside you would see people gathered together in a small living room. You would see what looked like a large family, even though different cultures are represented. You would see joy, tears, sorrow, and especially a light shining in the eyes of each face.

This is what was experienced from inside the room.

Jesus Miranda spoke first, which is different because he's usually really quiet. But he went on to say that when Eric and Roxana were washing Mary and José Luis's feet, he was changed. He saw this action at this time for what it really meant, how Jesus at one time had performed this same service and humbled Himself with a towel around him, washing his disciple’s feet. Jesus Miranda said that he sees people in a new light, that he saw how much the Father loves his people, and that he (Jesus Miranda) will love people in a different way because of today. “I will never forget this for the rest of my life.” 

Then Beny shared that this last week has brought to his attention the need to forgive people in his past. Family members and close friends who have hurt him incredibly. He started contacting them, letting them know that he's forgiven and loves them.
Luis shared that he was touched by the feet washing, and that for him was special, that these teachers would lower themselves in this way....he went on to say that it brought an even clearer perspective on Christ lowering Himself and how much He went though, and what all He did for him.

Noé, another student, through tears and sobs led the Lord's supper. He was so broken, humble, and in agony over the pain Christ went through on our behalf. I have never seen a more broken group remembering together what Christ did on the cross for OUR sins. The price of HIS perfect life paid for OUR sins. I will forever remember this sacrifice, and forever remember the night we shared with these precious students.....a night of openness, honesty, brokenness, humbleness, and joy.

This is what we're experiencing here at CEC...God is doing awesome things and I count it a privilege to be a part of training up missionaries and workers to head out into our world to share the life-changing news of what Christ did for each and everyone one of us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Katie...Her Journey to Canada, Guatemala, and Home Again! 

Ready or Not

It was the night before departure and Katie was madly packing for her week-long stay in Canada and then her three week-long stay in Guatemala. Her mind was fuzzy with tiredness and kept going back to her office at the school, wondering if she had forgotten anything. She had been busy preparing for a pastors seminar that would start three days before she returned.....yes, she had everything done.....except for her packing......“focus Katie,” she thought. Finally, not nearly finished, house not nearly cleaned up and straightened, a deliriously tired Katie fell into bed and slept, only to wake up tired in the morning, but ready to embark on a new adventure that would first take her North and then South to Guatemala! So ready or not, she was driven to the airport and flew out, heading to Kelowna, B.C.

Orchestrated Meetings

Now the average person will talk a bit to the person next to them on the flight, do the “where are you from, and where are you going?” thing, but Katie this October 21st met and talked with people ALL DAY! Her first flight, from Hermosillo (MX) to Phoenix (USA), she met an interesting gentleman who worked for Ford as a consultant, he was very nice and was heading back to Chicago to his family. The second flight Katie took, from Phoenix to Seattle, she sat beside a woman who works for Microsoft and a young man who is in the Army and is a parachutist is a special unit that goes around training men in other countries military building foreign relations. The four hour flight was quickly taken up with stories or places and adventures, ALL three talking equally and enjoying each others company. And lastly, on the lay over in Seattle Katie ran into a business woman twice and sat down to talk to her. She had recently gone back to church with her husband after not attending for 20-some years and she was very excited to hear about the ministry going on in Mexico! As Katie reflected later on all the people she had talked to and met, she knew that God had orchestrated each meeting and that the tapestry we call life, had somehow been added to. What a trip!

Oh Canada!

Upon her arrival in Canada, Katie was greeted by the mission's trip leaders. They were very down to earth and the three of them hit it off right away! (To all their relief!) So though the visit short, Katie's time in Canada was very good. She was able to catch up and visit with her beloved grandparents, visit with friends, enjoy some good Canadian food, and prepare for her time in Guatemala!


As Katie arrived to the meeting place, Anchor Academy, others too started to trickle in.....the team that would be spending three weeks together in a foreign country were meeting face-to-face for the first time! All were excited, nervous, and ready to head out on a new adventure, a rented bus took them to the Vancouver airport. After two long flights, an already long and then delayed layover, Katie and the team arrived in Guatemala City at 9am the following morning! Katie's thoughts upon arrival were something to this affect, “I am getting too old for these kinds of flights!” The exhausted team was met by missionaries who would be their leaders and guides. They went for breakfast and then made their way to the mission base which was about a 2 hour drive. (Longer because the main highway had a washed-out bridge) Katie realized the humidity was a little higher than Mexico had been when she left, and the heat was up there as well, but compared to the cold Canada they had just felt good!
Drive. Eat. Orientation. Rest. After an early bedtime, the next morning most were feeling refreshed and ready to begin! So begin they did with planning a children's outreach. The team went out on visitation in the neighborhood inviting children to come later that afternoon for a Bible story, songs, games, memory verse, and crafts. And thus closed their first “actual” day in Guatemala.

Casa de Esperanza

FeViva (the mission organization) has a home for children taken from their own homes by the government. Most of their situations are extremely sad, but they have a good Christian home now at FeViva where they learn how to behave, obey, love and be loved, and most importantly they learn about Jesus and what He did for them on the cross. The children are happy and LOVE to sing and hang out with people who come to visit them! They also enjoy soccer, riding their bikes, and swimming. As Katie and the team worked in the home, called Casa de Esperanza (House of Hope), they were able to get to know some of the children and love on them a bit as well. While at FeViva Katie and the team were able to paint 5 rooms, sand the rust and paint off 3 metal doors to be re-painted, and remove the paint from cement walls and flower beds in order too re-paint. They quickly found out that Guatemalans are always needing to re-paint because it is so humid there and mold grows abundantly and paint chips quickly! One could have spent days painting and there would still be more to do! Thus the team became quite capable with paintbrushes, rollers, ladders, and grinders!

Friends of Jesus

The women/girls on the team were invited to a breakfast called, “Friends of Jesus”. This breakfast was put on by a couple who do ministry with people who are alcoholics, street people, and prostitutes. The breakfast that Katie attended was for women who have been caught in the horrid work of prostitution and who can't escape. As Katie sat at a table with two of these women, visiting with them and translating for another woman at the table, she couldn't help but be grateful for the life she was leading, and the path she had not only taken, but been born into. Her heart broke for these women as they shared their stories of coming from other countries to work and make a living in order to feed their families.....NEVER expecting to get into prostitution. The women were trapped into contracts, sleeping in the back of bars not allowed to leave freely, and made to feel like there was no hope for them to ever leave or get their lives back again. The service and breakfast shared together was beautiful. There were two testimonies, Katie and the women from her team sang two songs, and there was a message from the Bibles that was powerful. A heart full of love and brokenness for these women is what Katie left with....that and the thought that, “they never chose this, these women as little girls didn't dream of becoming this.” As Katie left them standing on the side of the road, after hugging them and saying her goodbyes, she realized all the times she had unconsciously judged, and God opened her eyes to see that we're all equal in His sight.....He loves those woman as much and He loves everyone else......may we never forget that.

Go Deeper

During the three-week stay in Guatemala there were many outreaches, youth events, and visitations done. Katie felt a real burden not only for the Guatemalan people they were ministering to, but also for the youth on the team. The Lord opened her eyes to different needs the young women had and gave her the burden of not only praying for them, but mentoring them. She came to realize that she also needed to change. God began to give her a desire to go deeper, to learn more, love more, feel more, and do more! She prayed for wisdom, patience, and love for the girls she was mentoring and God did a work in and through her for which she saw some fruits but is praying that seeds will continue to grow, and that God will bring other people to continue the work HE started.

Don't Get Comfortable

As Katie sat alone, waiting for her plane to leave in the Guatemala after she'd seen the rest of the team off who were heading back to Canada, she thought of the trip. She thought on how she had gone into this trip with experience, the knowledge on missions, the Spanish expertise, and how her goal had been to help others along as much as she could. Oh how God has a sense of humor and oh how much Katie had learned in return! God used this experience in her life to show her how much more He had in store for her, how much deeper she could go with Him. He didn't want her to be content in her experience or knowledge, but to seek and ask for more. May that be a motivation for us all...don't get comfortable....go deeper!