“Moving Beyond the Fog” Special Video

As some of you may know, I recently won Our Daily Breads Facebook Contest for Readers. I’m so honored and delighted to have won. I have been reading them for many years. Their inspirational words have encouraged me many times and their writing style has influenced me as well. They recently asked me to film a short-video to share at a staff meeting. I hope you enjoy the video. I’ve also included the devotional below. Blessings to you!

Moving Beyond the Fog

Read: Psalm 119:105-107

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

Over the years, I’ve gotten accustomed to driving from New York City to Upstate New York to visit my sister and her family. Usually the ride over the Tappan Zee Bridge, which is the longest bridge in the state, is one of the most scenic parts of the trip. I love seeing the beautiful mountains and the Hudson River. But that wasn’t the case the day I got caught in a downpour and was blinded by fog. It was so thick that I couldn’t even see the cars beside me! All I could see were the taillights from the car directly in front of me, so I followed his lead until I safely crossed the bridge.

In our daily lives, how often do we get blinded by the fog of doubt, despair, discouragement, or disappointment? Something happens and we lose sight of God’s Word and His plan for our lives. We forget God’s promises and are tempted to give up in the middle of our journey. It’s in those moments that we need to cling to God and His Word. He will show us the way to go. His Word is “a light to [our] path” (Psalm 119:105), which helps lift the fog.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will guide, protect, and love us every step of the way.

Thank You, Lord, that even when we’re tempted to give up, You don’t give up on us! Help us to trust You and keep walking by faith and not by sight.

What seems foggy to us is crystal-clear to our all-knowing God.

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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If A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words …

This week I’d like to let my pictures and the Bible verses do most of the talking. I hope that you will be blessed by these photos that I took during my vacation this summer. I pray that you will take time to stop and enjoy the Miraculous Lovely sights, sounds, and smells in your everyday life. They are a reminder of God’s Amazing Love for Us and a display of His Creative Hand at work!

PK Lake pic

 

PK Cross pic

 

PK Kayak

You can find more images like this on my Pinterest page.

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, King James Version. Cambridge Edition: 1769; King James Bible Online, 2014. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/.

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Celebrating Life!

cake

Those who know me well have heard me say that I don’t just celebrate my birthday, I celebrate my birthmonth. Yes, the Roctober celebrations are in full swing. I’m enjoying dinner and dessert with my family and friends. I’m finding ways to pamper myself as well. Why limit the party to one day when you can celebrate all month long, right?

But along with rejoicing, I tend to get very pensive and do a lot of reflecting around my birthday. I take inventory of the highs and lows of the past year and then future focused me likes to plan and set goals for the upcoming year.

Trying to figure out the future though can fill anyone with worry, doubt or fear. That’s why I’m learning to not fret so much and to rest in knowing that God has everything under control.

The verse that comes to mind is found in Psalm 139. That’s one of my favorite Psalms and the verse I’m referring to is, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)

Let’s stop and think about that for a moment. Before we were even born, God knew us. And before we ever took one breath on this earth, God had our lives all planned out. Nothing surprises God!

Sometimes we get so stressed trying to figure out God’s will for our lives or what our next step should be. We worry about missing God’s plan for our lives or get upset that we haven’t achieved certain goals yet. But as a dear friend recently reminded me, God is not limited by time.

I can be content and enjoy today because I know that I’m right where God wants me to be for now. I can praise God and celebrate what’s to come because I know that God has ordained beautiful things for my future.

The same is true for you! Continue following Jesus and let Him unfold His good plan for your life day by day.

Blessings to you! May you find plenty of reasons to laugh, smile, and sing 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.

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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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Favorite Bible Verse Episode 4

I’m trying to take advantage of shooting videos outdoors while the weather is still nice. I hope you enjoy this short video. If you’re going through a tough time, remember that God is working things out for you. You may not see it right now, but He is working it out behind the scenes. Blessings!

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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Living Beyond the Fog

Kayak 2014

One of my favorite pics from Summer 2014

A special welcome to those of you who are joining me after reading my post on Our Daily Bread’s Facebook page on Friday, September 26th. It was truly an honor to be featured there. I pray you will feel at home here and that you will be encouraged. Blessings!

I had such a lovely time vacationing with my family at a lake in Upstate New York this past August. It was such a time of refreshing especially for me as I love being by the water, and I had just come back from my short-term missions trip to Peru.

I made sure to go kayaking several times while I was there. The more often I went, the braver I got and the further out I ventured.

On one particular day, I kept feeling led to keep Moving Forward. All I saw ahead of me was the open sky pictured above, the peaceful water, and the outline of Vermont’s skyline in the distance. I could have stayed out there for hours.

As I kept paddling, I felt the Lord showing me that this is what’s ahead for me. Just a wide open place that He has prepared. The recent storms I have been going through are over, Praise God! The fog has lifted, Amen! Now I can walk in some of the promises I have been waiting on God for. Glory!

I don’t share this to brag, but to encourage you. Whatever storm you may be in right now please know that things get better and brighter. It may not happen overnight. Your situation may not change in an instant. But do trust that God is working in you and through you during your tests and trials, and that He has a beautiful plan for your life!

Keep paddling forward even if the water feels choppy at times. Keep following God even if you can’t see a clear picture of what’s ahead. He will lead you to still waters and safe pastures! He knows the way. In fact, Jesus is the way so let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)

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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Favorite Bible Verse – Episode 3

Need some encouragement? I hope this short video will help to remind you that you can trust God no matter what!

This is actually my 20th video for my YouTube channel. I’m a bit amazed, but I’m also excited to have reached my unofficial goal!

I didn’t quite know what I was doing when I started shooting these videos, but I stepped out in faith and continued recording them. My hope is to encourage you in your faith walk and to remind you about God’s Amazing love for us! Feel free to check out my YouTube channel to watch the other videos, and please tell your friends about them as well.

I think I’ll keep shooting videos as the Lord leads. If you have ideas for topics that you’d like me to cover, you can leave your thoughts in the comments below or e-mail me at Info@miraculouslovely.com.

Blessings to you!

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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7 Myths About Short-term Missionaries Debunked

atlas-62742_640

I thought I’d have some fun this week debunking some common myths that people have about short-term missionaries. I hope you enjoy this list. Perhaps it may even help give you a fresh perspective on missions.

  1. They all like to fly. Not so. Some have to battle the jitters to jump on planes. For others, a missions trip is the first time they’ve ever left their home country and gotten a stamp in their passport.
  2. They’ve all felt called to missions since childhood. Wrongo! I can speak from experience. I didn’t grow up learning about missionaries. I never dreamed I would go on even one trip, let alone five.
  3. They’re all fearless. Nope. Many go with fear and trembling. They have to push past the fear of insects, safety concerns, and leaving behind loved ones.
  4. They’re all “people” people. Think again. Some of us are 100 percent introverts. We don’t necessarily like the spotlight or being center stage. We just have a passion to help others. We’re daring to step out of our comfort zone and saying, “Here am I Lord, send me!”
  5. They all have rich relatives that finance their trips. As if! Yes, we’re grateful for any and all donations we’re blessed with. But many skimp and save and spend hours organizing creative fundraisers to help raise support. Others forgo spending money on other items to pay for their whole trip on their own.
  6. They’re all seasoned believers and mature in their faith. Wrong again. Some are just starting out their faith journey. Others are still working through doubts, fears, insecurities, and a myriad of questions. We’re all a work in progress.
  7. They’re all serious and don’t know how to have fun. Are you kidding me? Gather together a group of adventurous, like-minded folks out on a mission to help impact the world for Christ and see how much fun we can have! Laughter is good medicine. After long days out in the field, it’s great to unwind as a family.

Did I miss anything? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

What is God saying to you about your possible future in missions? To read more about how to decide what kind of trip to go on, feel free to read Short-term Missions Trips 101.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

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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An Ode to My Short-term Missionary Teammates!

basheertome / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

I’ve met some incredibly brave souls during my various short-term missions trips. I’d like to take a moment to share some of the obstacles they faced and overcame, with the help of Jesus. My prayer is that if you are on the fence about going on a short-term missions trip, you will be encouraged by hearing about some of the giants they faced down in order to answer the call to “Go Ye”. Blessings!

What does a short-term missionary look like? So glad you asked! Take a look in the mirror. You might just be looking at one.

There’s nothing super special about short-term missionaries in and of themselves. They are ordinary folks just like you. They have jobs and families, are students and professionals, and many have to trust God to provide the finances for their trips. Lots and lots of prayer is involved before they ever get on the plane!

My teammates over the years have inspired me. It’s been an honor serving with them! Here’s a glimpse of what a few of them had to contend with during our trips:

Age is Really Just a Number – I’ve had teammates as young as 12 (accompanied by a parent) and some going on their first trip in their 60s! If you’re worried that you’re too young or too old to go, rest assured that God is well aware of your age and He isn’t fazed by it!

Not Always What the Doctor Ordered - One of my brave teammates went on a trip while being on chemo for a certain condition she had. Another went while battling mononucleosis. Still others have gone despite being allergic to bees or having extreme allergies. Of course, always check with your doctor first, but know that when God calls He also protects you!

There’s No Distance Between Family - Some of my teammates have temporarily left behind spouses and teens. Others have left behind their kids as young as 2 years old with caring family members. It’s never easy to leave your loved ones behind, but we go knowing that God is protecting our families while we’re away!

Faith Trumps Fear – Some of my teammates have pushed past extreme fears of insects or of being on long flights. Others have gone despite not getting the emotional support from their family, friends, or church. It’s not always easy to say, “Yes!” to missions, but oh what joy it is to be in the center of God’s will for your life!

What is God saying to you about your possible future in missions? To read more about how to decide what kind of trip to go on, feel free to read Short-term Missions Trips 101.

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

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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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.

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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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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