Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm beginning my fourth week of being home and it's about time that I did one final update or a closing post to for my trip.

First, I would like to thank you all for praying for me and all the support. We couldn't have accomplished what we did if it wasn't for everyone praying for us back home.

I'm so glad for the time I had in HI as well as India. God used it to teach me a lot and I think in some ways change me in ways I don't even realize all the way. It's been really good to be home again and I think I appreciate what I have more now and the country I live in. Seriously, I have never seen such poverty as I did in India. It's like a totally different world there and I see how wonderful and blessed this country is even with all it's problems.

One of the of the really amazing things that happened was what God did in the red light district. As many of you know after being in North India for just a week we found out that we had to find another contact and a different place to stay. We had been told that ministry in the red light district was tough. That we shouldn't expect to see a lot a fruit so the last thing we needed was no contact; or so we thought.

Looking back we could see that God had different plans. He knew that if we had a contact we wouldn't be at freedom to do all that we felt like we were suppose to do. We had a translator who told us that he was surprised at how much progress we had made on our own (we only had a translator like 3 or 4 days out of almost 3 weeks) and how much the women loved us. He also said that when he work in that area for 5 years they would always just go prayer walking and never let the teams actually talk to the women. We are hoping that God uses us having been there to not only affect the prostitutes but the Christians in that area.

We were able to connect with two groups of women. We spent time with them, gave them a bible, brought them flowers, took pics of them and got them printed. One group of ladies we asked the madam if she could make money another way would she want to leave this life. She said yes and that 11 other people would come with her. My leader ending up taking her to a restoration home where they talk to someone about her leaving. Now it's up to her about what she does. I look at that time and praise God for what happened! Even though at times it didn't make sense what was happening He was still in control and had a plan.

Just in case you are wondering how else God used you in India I'll give you a list. (I view my time there like you were there as well because of your prayers and support in more than one way; I think God does as well.)
  • You fed the poor and beggars
  • You prayed for lepers
  • You brought good news to the a hindu girl who will never be the same again
  • You played, danced, sang, and hugged orphans
  • You left an umbrella for a homeless man sleeping on the street in the rain
  • You prayed for, hugged, and loved prostitutes and showed them people can love them for who they are not just for people can get from them
  • You gave money to those who have nothing
  • You brought a smile to faces by simply taking their photos or throwing a smile their way with a silly little Indian head bobble
  • You danced a hawaiian dance in a slum making a fool of yourself
  • You met with a dentist student for coffee who's a hindu you met on the train; and to talk about your beliefs
  • You cried for the people in India as you saw a young man sitting in a chair looking like he was on drugs or was physically sick knowing that his life will probably not change his whole life
  • You gave a scarf to a little orphan girl named Deepa.
  • YOU MADE AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE IN INDIA
Thank you again! If you would like to meet anytime and hang out or have coffee just let me know and I'd love to meet with you. God bless!!!

Love Chrissy

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mumbai Update #2

Hello,


So we've made a little headway in the red light district but not much. It's an interesting area to work in. Like I said in the last update our first contact didn't work out. Our second contact sort of fell through as well. The second man I believe really wanted to help us but he was so busy and communication with us was difficult since our phone wasn't working at the time. God is faithful though and gave us another man who is willing to help us.


We've gone down to the red light area probably around a total of 6 to 7 times total so far. The first 2 times we went down, we went down when it was still light outside. It was good to get an idea of what the area was like and meet a few people and take some pictures. We also tried prayer walking but it didn't work so well since it's so loud you can really only walk in two's and sometimes single file. After it not really working out with our second contact we just started going down on our own. We communicated as best as we could with out little Hindi and their English. There's some people who were very friendly to us and others who tell us to leave.


One night when we were out we met a woman who said she's been a prostitute for somewhere around 20 years. She lived in a village but she needed money so she came to Mumbai. She now has 1 daughter and 2 sons. We met her mother and daughter because they live there with her. She said that she wants to go home but I don't think she can because of money. She doesn't have a pimp so no one is telling her she has to stay. She love my leader and was crying the first night we met her.


There was another woman who Kelsey and I met one night and we thought her name was something like Judy but now we're not sure. We were both really drawn to her after speaking to her. She had really good English and she seemed so very sweet. After not very long at all of speaking with her a crowd of young men was gathering and they (her and another girl with her) started acting really nervous. I asked if we should go and she said yes. We turned and left down the road to met the rest of our group. After not going to far I turn to look back and couldn't see her anymore. It was like she disappeared out of no where. We have looked for her since and asked the other girl who was with her through a translator but we've gotten no where. I'm a little concerned for her and can't help but wonder if something bad happened to her.


Last night was the first night that we went out with our new contact; who is really great to work with. We were thinking about not going out once again because of rain but decided we were going to anyway. I think that some of the ladies were really impressed that we still came even in the monsoon. I hope that it showed them that we really care. As we were walking through the area today I started tearing up. We were going to meet some of the ladies who were really happy to see us last night and especially Kailyn. Some of them told us it was better to come 3 to 6 because they're not busy then. We were going to go have tea with these ladies but didn't find them. We were met with a lot of opposition today partly I think because of our cameras.


We ended up leaving the red light area and just walking down the street taking pictures. We seem to attract crowds at rapid rates. LOL It's okay for a while and in some areas but after a little bit it becomes overwhelming. We ended up meeting a very nice business muslim man who invited us into his office. He gave us pepsi and introduced us to his son. He told us a little about himself and his beliefs and we also shared a little of what we believed about Jesus but not much. His wife was roman catholic but converted to muslim. He ended up wanting a pic of each of us individually. It was pretty gross because I he posed pretending to kiss my cheek. So I pretty much got lipped by an old Indian man. I guess I can mark that off my list of things to do before I die. Just kidding. He was very nice though and told us before we leaved that if we needed anything at anytime to call him; even at 12 at night. "I will come and get you and take you to my house. You are not friends or even good friends but family now!" This is what I love so much about the Indian people. They are so hospitable!


Another thing that's happened in the red light district that I wasn't expecting at all was ministry to male prostitutes. They are cross dressers and at first glance and even meeting them you can't really tell. What got me wondering was his voice for one of them. He is obviously on hormones and/or has had surgeries. One of them speaks very good English so be we've been able to talk to him quite a bit. He's the prettiest man I've ever seen and it's really sad that he's there. He's told us that he's only been here a month and that he's in college or was in college. I'm not really sure I believe the month part at all. He also said he started doing this because of family problems. That's really sad if that's truly the case.


As you can see from the what I've written there's very people who need freedom from more then one thing. The red light area isn't at all like a pictured it would be. It's basically women living in a certain area sitting or standing outside of their home selling themselves as life in India goes on around them. It's not like there's big bars with lots of prostitutes in them or anything. It's like these women living with other women and maybe a pimp or with their children and husbands. Some stand on the main road on the sidewalk. Others sit in front or stand inside tiny little dark ally ways. I've never seen a western man down there all these times so I'm thinking there's somewhere else westerners go.


Please pray for the women to have open soft hearts and their pimps so we can talk to them. We are planning on giving flowers with verses out to the women soon so we're hoping this will open the door up for us a little more. Please also pray that the man who is helping us right now would get a heart for this area and carry on the ministry here when we leave next Tue. Thank you!


From the crazy country of India,


The Traveling Iowan :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mumbai Update...



So much has happened since we left for Mumbai. We met our contact after around a 26 hour train ride. We were living in I would say the most getto conditions so far. We worked with this contact for around a week before we found out that they wanted us to leave. We really don't understand all the reasons why we had to leave but that's okay. It's sort of sad that it didn't work out with that contact since the women in the red light district were starting to like us and open up more to us.

We had to find a new place the same day we were asked to leave. We ended up finding a hotel that is over our buget for housing but we figured it out so it will work. So for the past week we have been staying in a hotel in downtown Mumbai. We had to find a contact and see if God wanted us to stay or not. It appears that He did since that's what He impressed on all us and he provided somewhat of a contact.

As for ministry here, our goal is to work in a red light area about 15 min from our hotel. It's much larger than the one we were working in before. We need your prayers because we need motivation as well as direction. I have only spent one evening down there so far and we're going down again tonight. Pray for openness in the people and leading from Jesus. Please pray that we would finish strong as a team as we've been struggling this this.


Our team has had quite a bit of opposition since arrive here. Everything from lice, weird illnesses, head colds, parasites, losing a contact, getting kick out. Please pray for health as well and protection.


Thanks you so much! I can't wait to be home again and see everyone I love so much and care about. Plus just being in my home country again is going to be amazing! If you ever want to appreciate all God has given you just live in leave the country for awhile :)

Here's a few fun facts for you:

"You Know You're Indian When...."

- You cross the road even when there's oncoming traffic.

- You don't look for a trash can but throw garbage on the ground without hesitation

- You don't say yes by shaking your head up and down but side to side

- You don't know what a line is most of the time and if there is a line you shove your way as close as possible to the counter hopefully before the other hundred Indians try to do the same thing.

- You don't really grasp the concept of time but operate on a event mindset

- You will give up your plans for the entire day just to help a foreigner who you just met and really is a total stranger

- You will pay a stranger on the side of the road to clean out your ear wax with a wire and cotton

- You shove your way through crowds to get to where you need to go; and considered it normal

- You willing invite total strangers into your home serving them tea and cookies (aka biscuits)

- You live with cows, chickens, goats in and around your house like they're one of the family

- You use your horn to let people know you're passing, to get out of your way, to let them know your coming around a corner, and of course just for good measure

- You might drink tea religiously everyday and will stop everyday life to have it

- You think nothing of riding in a overly crowed bus or train where you might have to hang halfway out the door.

- You can successfully fit your four person family on your motorcycle

- You'll call a total stranger Auntie or Uncle instead of Mr. or Ms.

- You don't even blink when you see a full grown man peeing on the side of the road or a child taking a dump on the train tracks

- You are so very generous and will share even a small packet of cookies with a "rich" westerner when you earn the small living by prostitution

- You still have a smile on your face and can laugh and find joy even when you're so poor you really have nothing at all

- You love having your picture taken even if you'll never get a copy but only see in on the LCD screen of the camera

- You know that there are probably as many smells in India as there are hindu gods or languages

- You know what a samosa is

- You eat rice three times a day and still like it

- You can successfully eat with the right hand only. Rolling, tearing and popping your food into your mouth.

- You are amazingly good at water-falling drinks into your mouth instead of touching the glass or bottle to your lips

- A cup of good tea can be as small as dixie cup

- You pay around 33 cents to 1 dollar for an hour of internet service

- You will stare unashamed at a white person even when they stare back

- You are accustom to seeing people begging with deformities that you know they weren't born with

- You find it normal to live in a country that lives in mad chaos and hardly any order at all

- The first and maybe only phrases you know in English are: Hello!!!, What is your name?, My name is..., How are you?, What country?.....

- You most likely know more than one language

- You are most likely very friendly and welcoming to strangers/foreigners

- You've learned to watch where you walk if you don't want to step in mud, poo, or a hole

- You love your country and you're proud of it even if you can see many things that need to change


Monday, August 9, 2010

Hello Everyone,

I decided that it was definitely time for a longer update. I will start with updating you on our 3 week stay in Vellore before I move on to our current news here in Dhurmapuri and Mumbai. I briefly mentioned the Hindu girl who excepted Jesus. I was able to go back to her house with the pastor's wife and one of my good friends, Dawn. She wasn't there the first time we went to her house but after doing our programs we checked back and she was home along with her mother and sister. Her face was still glowing because of what Jesus had done in her life. One of the most encouraging things was that she wasn't wearing the hindu dot on her forehead anymore. I was worried about this but God totally took care of it. Even though her mother and sister were wearing it she wasn't! Praise the Lord! I gave her the bible and told her to read John with her family. She had told her family about what she did and then Ruby and I talked to them about Jesus for just a few minutes because we had to leave. I was hoping to talk to them longer and had been praying about it but I have total peace. I feel like God wants to use her to lead her family to Christ. That He wants to her as a new disciple to make disciples. This is His heart I believe and this is what I want to see as well. I don't want to come to India and make a disciple who doesn't then make a disciple. I want to be involved in a life being change who will change another and have the ripple affect! I truly believe that mother and sister will be saved and that they will read John together. I prayed for them before we left and the sister I guess was crying. She was the one who ended up with the bible and she was clutching it the whole time. Dawn took a pic so I will put it up at some point. She is so beautiful!

Another really cool thing that happened in Vellore and was totally unexpected was one day when we had decided to go shooting. Dawn, Kailyn, and I decided that we were just going to go down town and get some pictures. To make a very long story short God led us to a business man who showed us a hindu temple and who we ended up talking to for around 3 hours. He is very intellectual and he's searching for truth. He doesn't really believe in hinduism yet he practices it somewhat because that's what his parents taught him. We shared the gospel and talked and talked. He invited us out to eat so we could talk more other day. We went two days later and had another 3 hour talk. He was very kind and reserved a separate hotel room so we could talk in peace. He also gave us presents. We ended up agreeing to disagree but I believe that someday before he dies he's going to find Jesus and believe that He's really who He says He is. God is totally after this man otherwise why would we have met him? He's searching for truth and one day he'll find it in the Truth!

Okay, so on Friday we came back her to Dhurmapuri after a very good fruitful time of ministry in Vellore. I think most of us if not all of us loved our contact there! Pastor Caleb and his wife, Ruby, and three little children are wonderful! They took such good care of us and we had wonderful times of ministry where we saw God's hand move. Just a quick side note of a vision that they have: They would like to start an orphanage. I don't believe that this would be an orphanage that people could adopt from since supposedly you need a license but it's a home for children none the less. The start up cost is so cheap that it really surprised me: $1,100. If you would be interested in helping them, email me and I can send you his email address.

Nine or ten people from our group of 20 are going to Mumbai on Wed. We are going to be working in brothels. At this time we're not really sure what this is going to look like since we don't know much about the contact. That's pretty much how things seem to go around here. We usually find out what we're doing the day of or the day before we do something. Sometimes here in Dhurmapuri we find out sooner but that's always given to change at any moment. LOL We are going to be working with prostitutes and then the children of prostitutes. From all the people that we've talked to who have done this kind of ministry we've found out it's not usually very fruitful. People don't usually see much happen. Please pray for us that we would continue to see the mighty hand of God move in great ways! I would love it if you would pray along with me. This is what I'm going to be asking for one woman who I can be apart of getting her out of the brothels and her heart away from satan. and if God gives more, praise His name!!! Also pray for our team. I guess this is really hard ministry to do. Like some of the toughest stuff people have done before.

Okay, well it's about 1:30 am here in India so I'll call it a day and I'll post this in the morning when I go to the internet cafe. God bless you all so much!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello Friends and Family!!!!

I did have a long post all written but my computer has been acting really funky lately and it turned off on the way here so I lost everything I had written. So once again you'll have to put up with a short post.

I think the biggest and most exciting thing that's happened is that I got to help lead a Hindu girl to Jesus. I was pretty bold and she ended up deciding to believe in Him!!!! I and the translator prayed with her and after we got done praying she was so happy and you could tell by her face that something was different! I'm going to go give her a bible sometime this week. Please pray we have a chance to talk to her family about Jesus as well. I know that I could go home now and feel like it was totally worth everything for that one girl's soul.

Life here is always interesting and you really never know what to expect. Somedays I love being here and other days I feel like I'm going to go crazy. But really it is such an honor to be able to experience this. I really think the trip is going to start going so fast now. We have about 40 more days here before we begin debrief in Singapore and then back to HI.

I'll write more later. Thanks for all the prayers once again!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hello Everyone! This is the first time that I've made it here to the internet in a week and a half. We're in Vellore India right now. Please continue to pray for us for strength, grace, and joy. We've seen God's hand move in our team. We've also seen Him move in the people of India and seen people come to Jesus!!!! Praise God!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An Indian worker who was more then happy for me to take his photo.


Dear Friends,


Right now I’m sitting here on my bed sweating at 9:45 at night. We don’t have internet where we are staying so I’ll write part of this now, the rest later, and send it in the morning when I take a trip to the internet cafe.


Things have been going well here and it’s hard to believe it’s only been a week. It feels much longer but I’m sure that the weeks will begin to fly by as we get used to life here. It’s been a pretty crazy first week beginning the moment we landed. I won’t go into detail but I’ll give you a quick overview of some of the stuff we did:


Sat we arrived here in India Dhurmapuri, India after traveling for around 50 straight. Needless to say we were beyond tired but our contact here, Pastor Daniel, took us to what we first thought was a birthday party but found out it was a period party :) LOL They were celebrating their daughter/niece beginning puberty. The Pastor wanted us to sing, dance, and give a message. We did all but it was disaster since we were hungry and falling asleep. We laugh at it now.


Sunday, was insane as well but so touching for me. We went to Pastor Daniel’s church at 11 and a couple of us spoke after we sang a song and introduced ourselves. We also prayed for the people. Later that day we went to a leprosy colony and spoke and sang there as well. That was really something to see not only the poverty but the disease that’s slowly taking these people’s lives. Last we went to what they call the beggar’s church were we spoke and sang once again and then helped pass out food.


Monday, we went shopping for India style clothing which ended up being more stressful than I think a lot of us were imagining it was going to be. We had no idea of how to shop for these types of clothes and what to look for; but now we do. After a few hours of that, we went back home and did whatever we felt like napped, pictures, internet.


Tuesday, we spoke and attending part of the weekly pastor’s meeting and prayed with them for the different parts of India.


Wednesday, Pastor Daniel was out of town so we had a day off. (I'm not sure if my days are right or not. Too long ago :).)


Thursday or Friday (I don't remember which one), we also were free until evening when we went over the the girl’s home that the church runs. It was fun spending time with the children and then we got to pray for them at the end. I was blown away by the intense prayer of a little girl.


Saturday, we drove to Pastor Daniel’s children’s boarding school. We ending up eating lunch up there on the mountain which was really nice because it was so cool up there. After we hung out there at a park for awhile we went back down to a village to do street ministry. There was a new and neat experience. We were received really well and a little girl with good english invited me to her house.


It's been a pretty good week and but I'm going through a little bit of a rough time right now. I would love your prayers as it's only the beginning of the 2nd week. We're all looking forward to another part of our team arriving here on Thursday and our team should be complete at the end of this month. Thanks to visa problem our team is broken up into three different groups. But it's fine and God's in control!!!


God bless you all and thanks so much for all the prayers! Our team is switching locations next Sunday so I'm not sure what the living/internet conditions will be there at that time.


Love, Chrissy

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dear Family and Friends!!! I'm loving life here in India and the food is amazing! The heat isn't something I'm so fond of especially when there's no fans because there's no electricity during part of the day but it's okay. It's definitely tolerable. So much has happened already!

I don't have much time left right now so I'll write more later. Thanks for all your prayers! Things are going really well here and we only have one more girl left who isn't feeling well out of several. God bless!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

India!!!

I'm here and really enjoying it!!! Love you all!! Please pray for health as some of our team is struggling from sickness. Thank you!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beginning a New Chapter....

In one way it's hard to believe that it was already 3 months ago that I said goodbye to friends, family, and my home. It's been an amazing time. It's been life changing, challenging, encouraging, one of the most difficult times of my life, fun/ blast, exciting, and stretching. But this has all come to an end and I will be leaving tomorrow morning. I need to be ready at 4:45 so I probably won't sleep much tonight; I'll have many hours to sleep traveling to the other side of the world. This has been an amazing time and a gift from God! I'm so ready to go though. I've been wanting to leave for somewhere around the last 2 weeks and it's finally here!!!

We will be traveling through Japan and Singapore before we get to India. We could arrive to Dharmapuri as late at Sunday morning depending on whether we take the train or bus from Chennai. We will stay with our first contact for 2.5 weeks, go to a new location, go back to the first place, and sometime half of our team will head to N. India to work in the red light district. Please pray that I would be one of the people who get to go. This is something that I said I wanted to do before I even arrived here in Kona.

I'm a little apprehensive but I think that it will be better once we're there. I can feel myself getting really excited that it's finally D-Day! I'm so excited to be heading over to Asia once again!

Please pray for unity in our team. I think that we can have a really powerful outreach if we are unified but if not, it's really going to hurt us. We have a large team of 20 including our leaders so this can make it more difficult. Thank you so much for your many prayers. God has definitely been working on us already.

I'm not sure what the internet service will be like over there at this time. I will try and make time to post updates when I can. As always, thank you for the support, love, and prayers!

Love, Chrissy

Pictures from our last ending celebration for lecture phase:
Dawn, my beloved friend and fellow India teammate

Dork :)

Our Leader/PhotogenX President, Paul, doing a New Zealand traditional dance the "Haka". He's really a wonderful, funny, down to earth guy :); really. LOL

Dawn, presenting her idea/the classes' house warming gift to Paul, Susi, and their two children. We got them a trampoline :)

The India team provided some of the entertainment for the night. We attempted to share our new learned hula for outreach: Parte Parte. It was a blast!

The meal was amazing!!! Complete with Hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, salad, main meal, and dessert! It was so very wonderful after eating YWAM food for most of our meals.

Roomies aka the three musketeers!


Two more of my beautiful friends. Kailyn was my work duty buddy and she is also going to India!!! Hooray!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Men and Women...

This week our speaker is talking about "Battling your Sexuality". It's been really good and I think at least most of us have been enjoying it. Today we talked about porn and then the 4 core needs of a man and a woman.

We learned about why porn is addictive. Our speaker said that it's one of the most unfair things satan does to us because he takes advantage of the way we are made. One thing that Kenny taught us and had us repeat is: "I am a sexual being and that's okay; because God made me that way." Porn feeds how God made us in the wrong way. It also promises to satisfy but it never delivers because it's not the real thing; it's only 2D. It's not how God meant it to be. It's also done in secret/private.

Here's so statistics involving porn/internet:
56% of divorces are because at least one party's actions can be traced back to porn.
47% of divorces are due to excessive time on the computer.
68% of all divorces involved at least one party meeting a lover over the internet.

Our speaker was talking about photons, the smallest particles of light. He said that these photons travel at a crazy speed of 186,00 miles per second! Do you remember the part where Jesus says something about if your eye is full of light then your whole body is full of light? Our speaker had such a good point from God. He said that those photons bounce off the image in front of you and into your eyes. That light stimulates the rods and cones (I think that's what he said) in your eyes which sends a message to your brain. What God showed him is that you don't just see that image, it actually goes into you. This was such an amazing way to view it. It's true! I, as a human, am made in a way that what I see affects me. I then reflect that in my life and body.

Okay, now for the core needs of a man and woman:

Men:
1. He needs a Reliable, Consistent Male Role Model. (We find this encouraged in Titus.)
2. Consistent Discipline and Accountability in his life. (Someone asked if it needs to be a male and he gave this example: When his mom would spank him not a big deal but when his dad did he got the message.)
3. He need the Appropriate Respect of those around him. (Especially from a wife and a mother when he's becoming a man.)
4. Mothering

Women:
1. She need to FEEL loved. (Even if she knows it she needs to feel it.)
2. She needs to know she is Cherished.
3. She needs Confidence that her Environment is Safe and Secure.
4. She needs to know that her loved ones have what they need.

After the speaker finished with the core needs of women he reminded us that there's no man who can fulfill all of these needs or at least, I would say, perfectly or all the time. There's only one man who did and can....Jesus.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you all. I thought it was really good and I hope that you found at least a little bit of it encouraging or helpful. I hope everyone is doing well!!! God bless!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baptisms on the beach!

Some of the my fellow students have never been baptized or wanted to be baptized again for various reasons. We all met at eight in the morning and made our way down the the beach. It was neat because instead of everyone just watching them be baptized we all chose a person to pray for after they were baptized. It's interesting seeing what different people shared before they were baptized. It's just shows that we are all individuals and we have our own personal relationship with Christ. It was a beautiful day and a special time for our classmates!

One thing that was really neat was some locals and/or tourist stopped to watch what was happening. I wouldn't be surprised if one group of them were actually Christians since I think I saw them taking pics.

I hope that on our outreach God gives us the honor to baptize one or more people who we see come to the Lord! That would be amazing and I would love it if you would pray for us to be able to see that come true. Thank you as always for the prayers and support!

From Hawaii,

Chrissy













Monday, June 7, 2010

Having Fun with my new wide angle....

Hello Everyone,
Thanks for the for the continued prayers and support!!! I really appreciate it and am realizing slowly what a huge blessing this time in my life is. It's really a gift from God to grow me in many ways; some of which I didn't even know I needed to grow in.

So I bought a used wide angle lens several weeks ago now and I've really been enjoying it. I love how it just captures the landscape so much better than a regular lens. And also how it distorts the pic when you're close to the subject. I hope you enjoy the pics:

Another waterfall complete with cool refreshing water! It was Bliss!

Erika from Brazil who loves hugs:)

A few good example of the craziness of a wide angle and the way it distorts.




Waterfall, my friend Kailyn, sky and clouds = all amazing creations of God!



One of our wonderful German classmates.

Friday, June 4, 2010



Okay, it's only 4 weeks until we go now. We're getting ready to go and a lot of our lectures are going to be geared towards our outreach. On the first of July we will be flying from Kona, to Honolulu, to Tokyo, Japan, to Singapore, and then to Chennai, India. It's going to be quite the trip!

This week we are suppose to research and write about the country that we are going to. So here's a quote and some info about India:

"A burden of contradictions held together by a strong but invisible thread." - The first prime minister of India said of his country.

Populations and Economy:

In 2000, India reached the one billion mark for their population. Only one year after the world reached the 6 billion mark. India is second for population next to China at this time and it is predicted to pass China by the year 2030. As of the summer of '09 the population was 1.15 billion. It's amazing to me that close to 1/6th of the world lives in this country.

The economy in India is booming yet the people still remain in poverty. The main factor or at least one of the top factors of this reality is that the fertility rate is increasing at a faster rate than the economy.

The top 5 historical sites of the country are:

1. The Taj Mahal, which took 22 yrs to build and 20,000 workers to complete. It's actually a ode of an emperor's love her his wife. Funny what love will drive people to accomplish. Another really cool thing about it is the color appears to change in different lights during the day.

2. Hampi, which used to be the capital of Vijayanagar was an amazing Hindu empire in the history of India. These ruins stretch over 10 miles and date back to the 14th century.

3. The Khajuraho Temples, these were devoted to sexuality and sex. (This reminds me of the goddess ashera that God commanded the israelis not to worship but they did anyway. Some of the followers of this goddess worship her with the act of prostitution.) These are Hindu temples and there are 20 such temples remaining.

4. The Ajanta and Ellora Caves, are caves carved out of rock hillside in the middle of nowhere. They are very old and some date back to before Christ (according to the website where I found this info). They boast of extraordinary architecture.

5. Fatehpur Sikri, was also once a capital city but is now deserted. After only being a city for 15 short years it was abandoned because there wasn't enough water. This city is complete with palaces and courtyards.

History:

Thinking of India's history I can't help but think of Mahatma Gandhi. I remember watching the film with my mom one night years ago. He was born in 1869 and died in 1948. It's interesting to me how quite a few people and maybe even most famous people (excluding Hollywood) chose a life that is difficult and where they have to faces opposition during their generation. I'm not saying that I agree with Gandhi or what he stood for, I don't know enough about him or his life, but we can learn that if we want to make a difference it's not always going to be easy.

Social issues:

A very big issue in India (not just India but the whole world) is prostitution. While we are in India, part of our team is going to have the chance to go up to Northern India and work in a red light district. I have included a youtube video about an organization that rescues and helps recovering girls who have been in this modern day slavery. I don't believe that this organization is Christian but I think this video gives you a small look at some of what is going on. There are three videos in this series but really the first two are the more important than the third.

With so many people living in India, it's overwhelming and discouraging to think of all the girls/women are being forced to have sex, those in extreme poverty, and the orphans. Where do we begin and how can we even begin to scratch the surface of making a difference? Well, they told us a story one day during class that I really like:

Sometimes, I guess, in certain areas along the ocean the tide will wash tons of starfish up on the beach. If they don't get thrown back in, they will die. One day this happened and a man was walking along the beach wishing he could do something to save them. However there were too many and he realizing this was impossible so he began to step over them. As he continue to pick his way down the beach he saw a little boy. He watched as the little boy bent over and took one starfish and flung it back into the ocean. As he continued to do this the man pointed out the obvious to the little boy. "There's no way you can save them all and there's just too many!" As the little boy stooped down once more and flung another starfish into the ocean and back to life, he said "well, it's made a difference for that one didn't it?". Wow! That's powerful! When we are overwhelmed by the hugeness of the problem before us and think about how small of an impact we will have, lets not look at that. Lets focus on being faithful in the little things and giving every human life the unmeasurable value it desires!!!

So inclosing, right now I feel like I know so little about this amazing country and it's people. I'm looking forward to learning more and building relationships with the people we will meet. Please pray that I would know whether or not I'm suppose to go up north and work in the red light district. Also please pray that God would prepare the hearts of the Indians and also of our team. India, here we come!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank you!

Brandon with His Mom the day he left.

Brandon and I.

Dave and his family the day he returned.

Thank you so very to the men and women who have put their lives on the line for us and our freedom! Whether they agree 100% or 0% with the war they still have chosen to serve. Some of them and their families have paid the ultimate price. Today, we remember them and pray for their families. We also thank/pray for those who have served and the ones serving right now.

I would like to say thank you first to my wonderful Man for willingly serving his country last winter in Iraq. Not only did you willingly go and serve but you went over and beyond the call of duty. You held to a higher standard than many, reached out to the Iraqi people, and always did your best!!!! I love you, Brandon; I want you to know you're my hero!

I would also like to thank Dave McDill and his amazing family for their sacrifice and patients during his time in Afghanistan! They gave for our freedom. It wasn't easy but they gave that we might have. Thank you!

You are the true heros of America and we can never thank you enough. Not only did you, Brandon and Dave, serve your earthy country but also your heavenly one while there as well. Thank you and God bless!!!!

::::Chrissy::::


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pictures from our recent retreat in a beautiful part of the big island.....





Waving Goodbye to Week 6.....

Wow, it's hard to believe in a way that we just finished our sixth week of the lecture phase of DTS. That means we are half way through and a 1/4 of the way through the whole school. I'm sorry that I have been so bad about communication during this first part. It's been pretty intense and the Lord has been teaching me a lot as well as digging deep into my heart.

During these weeks God has been challenging me and shaping me and stretching me. It's been a painful process at times yet, as Brandon would say "It's a good hurt". The topics that we have covered are: Hearing God's Voice, Character and Nature of God, Lordship, Freedom in Christ, Father Heart of God, and Worldview. That was quite the line up and definitely no messing around. lol It's caused me to struggled over things that I've wondered about off and on through the years. This has forced me to think about these issues more than I have before. I've learned that God is a lot bigger than I thought He was and realize I put Him in boxes that He's way too big for.

During the Lordship week God threw me totally out of my comfort zone and really did some work in my life. I felt like He had some big things He wanted to do in that week. And He did work; one night all I could do for awhile was cry because of how wonderful He is and how much He loves me.

Freedom in Christ I thought was going to be an easy week at the beginning but it ended up being one of the toughest weeks yet. That week was complete with soul searching and confession. It's one of those things I desired just about as much as a swift kick to the butt; however, it was really good and necessary. It's humbling to see the depravity and deep dirtiness of my own soul.

Then Father Heart of God was emotional as well but in more of an encouraging/build up way than weeks previous. I think it was refreshing for some of us and healing as well. The speaker was just amazing and had such a heart for people that only God can give someone. His name is John Leach and he's a pastor in CO. You can listen to his sermons online at JFC.org . I think most everyone in our class loved him and it's like he actually became to us the like the Father Heart of God. It was amazing! God's love was just so clear through him.

At the end of the week the staff, leaders, and John prayed for us and blessed/spoke into or over our lives what they felt God was saying. While I was waiting my turn I desperately wanted John's group to pray for me. At times I had faith I would get his group and then other times I tried to prepare myself mentally that it was okay if I didn't. I know God can speak through others just as much as the speaker. God was merciful to me though and his group did pray for me! I was so very happy! What happened next even more encouraging and exciting. Everyone prayed for me a little and then John spoke what he felt like the Holy Spirit was telling him about me and my life. Then others also spoke out. What John and Christian (one of my school leaders) said just really lined up. They lined up with things from my past and what I believe God is showing me about the future and what He's given me a heart for. I believe that day was to encourage me, show me once again God's deep care and love for me, and then to give me direction for the future :)

Worldview, wasn't at all what I was expecting but that is okay. I was expecting more of the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement style for those of you who know what that course is. It ended up being a very hard week at times for me as well as boring. I highly disagreed with things our speaker said at times and my beliefs were challenged. It ended up being so very good for me to experience this. She had some good points as well just incase you get the impression that she didn't have anything worthwhile to say.

There has been a lot of fun that's been going on here as well. Because we are in the PhotogenX DTS we get to go on trips at least every other Saturday. It's been really cool to see some of the island that a lot of us wouldn't have seen if it wasn't for these outings.

I would ask you to pray for me that I would continue to be open to everything God has to teach me the second half of this lecture time. That God would bless our photography, prepare and unify our outreach teams (there's teams going to India, Philippines, Latin America, Haiti/Dominican Republic), and for God to prepare the way for us and the people's hearts. Also, for myself, my family, and my man, Brandon, during the rest of the time that I'm gone.

Thanks you so much once again for all your support!!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

"The Irresistible Revolution (living as an ordinary radical)" -Shane Claiborne

book.jpg


Okay, well, this was the title of the most recent book we were suppose to read for DTS. I was really excited to start it from looking at the cover but as we all have been taught, "Don't judge a book by it's cover". It was a lot different than I expected. I was somewhat disappointed but I can't say that it was a waste of time either. I'm glad I read it and got to see through someone else's glasses for a little while. I don't think that I've ever really read a book where I didn't agree with it and the ideas so much as with this one. Not that I disagreed with everything or maybe even the majority? but to not agree 100% or 90% was different/refreshing!

The book is written by a man who has had the guts and the radicalness to go against the norm and live on the edge. He has a real heart for the poor and those who are hurting and for that I think the church definitely has something to learn from him.

Once I got into the book I really was liking it. He talked about how in college him and some friend would go hang out with homeless people. He told about how he was able to contact Mother Teresa and go and work with her in India. What they did there was really cool. One of my favorite ministries that they did was to take soap and first aid stuff and set up a cleaning/medical place for street kids to come to. There they would just take the time to wash kids, play with them, love them, and clean their cuts. He said that sometimes the kids would scrap themselves on purpose so that they could be taken care of. Wow, I believe that this is what Jesus was talking about when He said when you do something for the least of these you do it for me.

Then I got to the middle of the book and it wasn't so good anymore. First, I started disagreeing with things that he had to say about our armed forces and then it became bored with his stories and repetition.

There is a story in the book that I strongly disagreed with. It was the way he went about getting his message out about being concerned for the poor. One time when Bush speaking at a Republican National Convention he went dressed in a suit complete with an elephant pin but underneath he had a homemade shirt on. He had written some bible verses on the front and back of the shirt."Woe to you who are rich.... but blessed are the poor." (Luke 6) "Woe to those who deprive the poor of their rights." (Isaiah 10) After Bush got there and everyone stopped applauding he proceeded to rise, tear off his outer layer to reveal his shirt, and began quoting scripture at the top of his lungs! This makes me mad to know that he did this. Not just because it's disrespectful but because I don't believe this gives Jesus or Christianity a good name. What did this accomplish? Well, it gave secret service something to do and him a good story. Whether anyone actually thought more about the poor from what he did or if they were just turned off from this rude demonstration only God knows. I feel like this was definitely a lack of good judgement and showed no respect for the authority he is commanded to respect (in the bible).

Towards the end I started being more interested again. He has a different take on the story of the mustard seed Jesus told that I had never heard before. He explains it more in the context of how a Jew at that time would have viewed it. It's very interesting and makes sense.

Okay so the ending conclusion is: I agree with some of what he says and I think his heart is in the right place. He has lots of good ideas and has a heart for the poor and points out flaws in the church and american mindset. I think that at times his execution is poor and lacking but I applaud him for believing something and going after it with every fiber of his body! If you are looking for a book to make you think, then this is a good one for you. Just remember when you get to the middle don't stop but push through and finish it; you'll be glad you did.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

aloha

Here's some pics from HI. Cliff diving was amazing but I paid for the fun with 5 days worth of headaches. I'll be posting a update this week :)