Foreign Friends – Part 3

One of the best parts of going on short-term missions trips is meeting so many wonderful people and having some truly divine connections. I’d like to share just a few stories of some of the people who impacted me during our outreaches in Lima, Peru. In two of the cases, I didn’t even know the people’s names and I only spoke to them for a brief moment but those memories were some of the highlights for me on this trip.

The Guy in the Crowd

It was Day 2 of the trip and we were ministering at a marketplace. A crowd had gathered to see what all the commotion was about. My team was there dancing with folks from the crowd, performing skits and dramas, and preaching the Gospel. I noticed a young guy had cut into our team’s circle. He must have wanted to get closer to all the action, but he also looked like he might be drunk or might be a pickpocket. Whatever the case, he was too close for my comfort. I kept an eye on him from a short distance.

At the end of our presentation, the team split up into groups to pray for people. Immediately, the guy came up and asked me for money. We’re always instructed not to give out money, so I wasn’t sure what to say. But I was reminded of the story of when Peter and John were approached by the lame beggar on their way to the temple. Peter replied, “…Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6).

So I told this guy that I couldn’t give him money, but I could give him Jesus! So in my broken Spanish I started to talk to him about God’s love for him, but he soon got defensive. I don’t even remember why, but he blurted out that he was an orphan. So I shared that God wanted to be His Father. That God had not forgotten him. God was with him and He had a plan for him.

Before I knew it, tears started welling up in his eyes. I was surprised at first, but I knew it must be the Holy Spirit touching him. In that moment, I knew that he was one of the reasons why I had been sent to Lima, Peru. This lost sheep needed to hear about God’s love. I love being the bearer of this Good News! I was thrilled to be able to connect him with a member of our host church so they could follow up with him and get him the help he needed.

The Last-Minute Girl  

That same day we went to visit two schools. At the second school, I was asked to hold one of the sides of the “Dream Wall,” which was a long sheet of paper where students could write their dreams with markers.

Honestly, when the team was out praying for the kids it was hard for me to just stand at my post holding the paper. I wanted to be out mingling with the kids and praying for them. ThankfulIy, I did get to chat with a girl. She said she was already a Christian, which was nice. She was extremely shy about writing her dream or even saying it out loud. She finally shared that she wanted to be a chemical engineer! I happily prayed for her and encouraged her.

I was content that I got to at least speak with and pray for one student. Soon it was time for us to go to our next site. As we were leaving the school, out of nowhere a girl came up to me and said she needed to share something with me that she couldn’t tell her friends. Huh? Now? Me? We had been at her school for a good 30 – 40 minutes. We were on a tight schedule so I asked her to keep walking and talking with me, but she couldn’t leave the area. Now what?

I asked her what she needed prayer for and she shared that she was battling feeling fat. This slim girl was having issues with her weight and food. Oh my! I quickly prayed that God would help her and show her how much He loves her. Really, it was a very simple prayer. But when I was done, the girl was beaming. You would have thought that I had prayed for her for hours. She helped to remind me that it really isn’t about the length of our prayers. Even a short prayer in questionable Spanish can make a difference!

I marvel that she had the courage to stop me right before I left and had the guts to share something so personal. Looking back, she kind of reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood who pressed past the crowd to reach Jesus and to get the help she needed. (Mark 5:24-32)

I’m touched that she chose me, out of all my teammates, to share her private struggle. I wonder if she knew that I was one of the few who spoke Spanish and wouldn’t have to waste precious time (that we didn’t have) trying to grab a translator to help out. I’m so glad that I had time to squeeze in a prayer for her. I’m so blessed that when I couldn’t go out into the crowd to find someone to pray for, the Lord sent someone to come find me!

Twice in One Day

The morning of the big crusade, all 136 of us went to Lima’s main plaza and did a combined presentation and invited folks to that afternoon’s event. During the prayer time, a guy, who I’ll call Bernardo, came up to us and started sharing in Spanish that he was a Christian. He had lived in the United States for some time, he was intrigued to hear our team speaking in English, and he was interested in coming to the crusade. He was so happy to meet our team that he gave a few of us stickers with Bible verses on them. So sweet. We prayed for him, encouraged him, and told him where the event was going to be held. Then we went on praying for other folks.

A few hours later, we were at the stadium. The worship teams were on stage warming up. The locals were entering the stadium and getting seated. Suddenly, a familiar face appeared. It was Bernardo, our friend from the plaza! He had to ask three people how to get to the stadium! He was determined to attend the crusade!

It was such a great feeling to know that at least one person that I helped to invite to the crusade actually came! And one of the main reasons why he was able to find me was because he spotted my teammate Aaron who is a whopping 6”8′ tall!

We again got to chat with Bernardo and he surprised us by breaking out in perfect English!

It was such a blessing to run into him again and to take a photo with him. It was so cool that out of some 50,000 people at the crusade that night I knew at least one of the guests by name!

As you can imagine, there are tons of stories from each site. Perhaps I’ll do a post just on the park that we went to on our last ministry day. That was a blessing in itself!

For now, I hope these stories have encouraged you to once again stop for that One! Yes, it’s great to want to touch the lives of many people all at once, but sometimes the best moments are when you get the chance to speak life into an individual. It can make all the difference to them. It can bless you in unexpected ways as well!

So, who is that One that God is placing in your path? I pray God will give you the courage to reach out to that One! And then another, and another, and another….

To read about some of my Foreign Friends in other countries, click here.

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For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Loving on Lima, Peru

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A snapshot of the crowd at the Crusade on July 26, 2014

God did it again! He showed up and showed off. This time it was in Lima, Peru.

This July I had the honor of being one of 136 people who answered the call to go on a short-term missions trip to Lima with Missions.Me.

I had traveled with Missions.Me last year to Honduras, but this year I was the only New Yorker on the team. I didn’t know anyone, but no matter. God once again connected me with a super team and wonderful roommates!

Every day my team of 33 (Go Dream Team 3!) would travel to schools, marketplaces, and parks to perform skits, dramas, preach the Gospel, and pray for young and old. The people were so warm and friendly. And they were hungry to receive Jesus!

A combined total of 1,000 people came to the Lord each day! Every day, all six teams were coming back with testimonies of how God was saving people, setting the captives free, and healing the sick.

I was personally blessed to be able to minister to people in Spanish, which is usually like asking a righty to do everything with her left hand.

I’ll share more about some of the people I met in another post. For now, I’d like to rejoice that some 50,000 people came to the Crusade we held and that 13,001 people made decisions for Christ that day!

I’m so grateful that we got to preach Christ freely and openly! I pray that the seeds we sowed will be watered for years to come!

A special thanks to Agua Viva church for making us feel so welcome! God is doing an amazing thing in their church, which has 80,000 members!

Whenever I see God do miraculous things in foreign countries, I come back hoping and praying that He’ll do the same here in the United States! Jesus is Alive and Active my friends! May you see His Miraculous hand working in your daily life as well! And may you never tire of sharing the Good News about Jesus with others!

“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)

To read about the other missions trips I’ve been on, click here.

Did this encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Summer Greetings

It’s been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks so I haven’t had much time to write, but I have shot a few more videos. I pray you will be blessed by these two short videos I shot during my recent vacation with my family. I pray you’re having a wonderful summer!

Did these videos encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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Greetings from Lima

What an AMAZING time we had in Lima, Peru! It’s going to take me a bit of time to process some of my thoughts from this short-term missions trip. In the meantime, I’d like to share two of the short videos I shot from there. Blessings!

Shot on our last morning in Lima:

Shot on the morning of the Crusade:

To read about the other missions trips I’ve been on, click here.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8)

Did these videos encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Path to Peru

I’m excited to be on my way to my 5th short-term missions trip. Praise God! Thanks to all of you who are praying for me! I’m looking forward to seeing what God does in Peru! I hope you enjoy this short video I just shot. Blessings to you!

To read about the other missions trips I’ve been on, click here.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8)

Did this video encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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6 Fave Verses About Missions

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I’m just weeks away from my fifth short-term missions trip! Glory! I find that amazing especially considering the fact that while I was growing up, the thought of going on even one missions trip never even crossed my mind. Ever.

Sure, I liked to travel. Years ago, my goal was to travel to different Olympic stadiums around the world. God graciously allowed me to visit four. Not bad!

Once I got saved though, God transformed my passion for travel into a desire to reach the lost and to encourage and pray for hurting people not just around me but in other parts of the globe including in Brazil, Ecuador, Ethiopia, and Honduras!

This year, God has opened the door for me to go to Peru. I’ll write more about my trip in the weeks ahead.

That God would allow me to be His ambassador or witness anywhere is both an honor and humbling! It’s also pretty exciting! That’s why the sign in the store window above has been speaking to me lately.

Serving God can be an adventure for sure!

Now that my trip is so close, I would like to share 6 of my favorite verses that help to inspire me leading up to my short-term missions trips. May they help to encourage you to say, “Yes!” should Jesus call you to Go Forth!

  • “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
  • “…’Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:13-15)
  • “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” (Isaiah 6:8)
  • “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” (Joshua 1:3)
  • “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
  • “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Interested in short-term missions trips? Then feel free to read “Why Go?” and “Short-term Missions Trips 101″.

May you also remember that you don’t have to wait until you board a plane to be Christ’s Ambassador. You can be “A Sermon in Shoes” right where you are today!

Did this encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

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For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Let Freedom in Christ Ring!


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“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’” (John 8:34-36)

This week as you’re celebrating Independence Day, why not take some moments to thank God for the freedom we have in Christ.

As you can see from the verse above, we are free from being slaves to sin. That’s cause for a major celebration by itself!

Here’s a few more freedoms to celebrate:

Freedom from Condemnation - “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

Freedom from Your Old Ways - “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Freedom to Let Go of Past Hurts – “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)

What an honor and privilege it is to be a child of God! Blessings to you as you walk in those freedoms and more today and every day!

Did this encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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A Sermon in Shoes


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“You’re just like Jesus.”

I was both surprised and deeply touched as my friend said that to me over lunch earlier this year. We had been chatting and catching up. As she shared how much she appreciates that we can be friends even though we are seemingly from two different worlds, she whispered those words that are perhaps one of the BEST compliments I could ever receive!

“I’m so not, but thank you. I’m trying to be,” is all I could eek out.

I don’t share this moment to boast. I share this to encourage you and remind you that some people will read your life way before they ever read the Bible. Your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors are watching your life to see if you practice what you preach and if you are the real deal.

That could overwhelm you or it could inspire you.

People are hurting and they’re looking for answers. As Christians, we have the awesome privilege of pointing them to Jesus.

If your friends seek you out in times of trouble for prayer or counsel, count it an honor and a joy! Ask God to give you the grace, wisdom, and courage to share a word in season.

Of course we’re not perfect, but we can all be the hands and feet of Jesus. It can be through a kind word, a smile or hug, a listening year, running errands, praying, forgiving (or even asking for forgiveness). The list goes on and on.

When the moment is right, don’t be shy about sharing your testimony and telling others about what your life was like before Christ and what it’s like now as a born-again, blood bought child of God!

Here’s just a friendly reminder that we’re called to be:

Salt - “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13)

Light - “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Witnesses - ”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Ambassadors - “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

We’re not called to hammer people over the head with the Bible. We’re called to love them, live out our faith walk before them, share the Gospel with them, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

I hope you’ll take some time to reflect on this: What is your life saying to others about Christ?

If you don’t like the answer, please don’t fall into condemnation. Ask God to help you be that salt, light, witness and ambassador right where you are!

Blessings to you as you let your light shine before others!

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)

Did this encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my new website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Lessons Learned from My Dad

Ecuador

Photo taken during my visit to Ecuador in 2003

In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned over the years from my Dad. I hope they will bless and encourage you as well.

Be Courageous - My Dad is the youngest of seven and the first of his family to leave Ecuador to move to the United States. He was in his twenties at the time and only knew one person here in the states, but that didn’t stop him. He still said, “Yes” to the adventure.

Don’t Forget Your Roots - Over the years, my Dad has stayed very connected to his extended family in Ecuador. He visits them often and is proud of where he came from.

Fight for Worthy Causes - My Dad has dedicated much of his later years to championing the rights of Ecuadorians living abroad. He’s helped get legislation passed in his home country to protect the rights of those who have emigrated from Ecuador.

Keep Dreaming! - My Dad has traveled far and wide. He recently came back from Italy. It was his third time meeting a Pope! He’s still building and doing construction. He’s still active in different civic organizations.

Use all Your Talents - My Dad has been successful in the field of mechanics as well as in real estate and politics. He’s written, he plays instruments by ear, and he’s got a very green thumb. In high school he enjoyed roughing it out in the Andes mountains with his friends as one of the leaders of his school’s mountain climbing club.

Find Time to Laugh - There’s a time to be serious, but then there’s a time to relax and share a joke or humorous story. My Dad has a healthy funny bone and enjoys telling stories. His laughter is pretty infectious, too.

I’m grateful for all these lessons and more! Thanks Dad, Love You!

 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)

Did this encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my new website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Jesus is the Same Forever!

I shot this short video last week to remind you that your circumstances may change, but Jesus is the same forever! He’s still in the miracle working business! Amen!

P.S. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wear a scarf or jacket for this video! Hooray for new seasons!

Did this video encourage you? Please hit “like” and be sure to sign up below to have my weekly encouraging blog posts e-mailed straight to you for free. When you subscribe below, you’ll also receive the free “12 Journal Writing Prompts” PDF I created to help inspire you as you write/journal.

For more encouragement and to learn how I can come alongside of you as your Life Coach or to invite me to speak at your event, visit my new website www.aboundingfaith.com. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest.

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