Another Update from Pakistan

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generous donations!

Your gifts have made it possible to continue the aid and outreach in Pakistan. The following photos are of Christians in a southern area of Pakistan receiving food supplies. Our partners found out about this struggling area after hearing that Muslims had gone in and delivered food to those in need unless they were Christian. Christian families received nothing.

Thanks to your generosity we were able to respond and bring aid to our brothers and sisters.

If you would like to contribute to other needs around the world, you can click on the link below to be taken to our secure giving page. The funds collected will be used to respond to needs presented to us by other SGWM missionaries around the world.

What is What?

As I am sure you are all aware, the world is being rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and it has greatly affected everyone of us and our daily lives. This past month has been interesting as I have transitioned to working from home and have experienced a drastic change of pace. 

Ministry

All of my ministry responsibilities have been on pause as we are unable to meet in person on Sundays or throughout the week but our church leadership has been very intentional in reaching out via technology. We are meeting with the youth of our church through Zoom- an online meeting platform that allows up to 100 people to connect via video chat from their own computers. We have also utilized this resource to connect with the guys and girls separately according to age group (high school girls with high school girls, etc). The high school girls are meeting twice a week to go over a short devotion together, exchange prayer requests, and keep one another accountable. It has been a total blessing to be able to see all of their faces and briefly connect during this time of social distancing.

Life in the Midst of COVID-19

I have also found the change of pace to be very beneficial for my brain- I have few to no headaches and I feel much less stressed. Praise God all of my tests have come back normal-the doctor thinks it has been stress and now that things have slowed down and I feel better, I 100% agree. 

Another factor that has contributed to the decreased stress is the pause on wedding planning. Isaac and I will be getting married on July 18th, 2020 but at this point, we don’t know if we’ll be able to have a wedding so I haven’t been worrying about details. 

Regardless of if we can have a gathering, we won’t be able to afford much as my mom was laid off during this time and without my parents help we will only be able to afford a very modest wedding (which I am totally ok with!) So in the strangest way that has relieved a lot of stress. I’m not worried about finding a caterer or arranging details or ordering and sending invitations because there may not be a wedding to invite anyone to. 

We hope and pray that all of this is cleared up long before then and that everything can go off as planned (or dreamt of) but if it doesn’t, we know that the only details that are important are the two of us standing before God and entering into a covenant to honor Him and love one another for the rest of our lives. The other details of the day are insignificant and unimportant.

We would still LOVE to include all of our loved ones in our special day but it may not be the traditional American wedding we’ve come to expect. It might be dessert and coffee only, it might be a potluck, it might be a small ceremony broadcast live on Facebook because we can’t have more than 10 people in the room. Whatever it turns out to be I am just so thankful to have a marriage to prepare for regardless of what the wedding looks like. 

The Urgency of the Gospel

I know that the coronavirus has many of us floundering for a new “normal” and that it has shocked many, if not all of us but I also know that God is working in the midst of it and preparing people’s hearts for eternity. 

In my own family I have seen this. My uncle, my dad’s little brother, passed away last week and he received Christ just 24 hours before he died. The circumstances of our world and his life caused him to realize the frailty of his life and his great need for a Savior and by God’s grace, he accepted Jesus before passing into eternity. My dad had the privilege of witnessing to him for the upteenth time, expecting rejection, but he was obedient to the Holy Spirit, shared, and asked if Mike wanted to receive Christ. He was ready and now he’s in heaven because of God’s grace and my dad’s obedience.

So in a way we see great blessing flowing out of great hardship and I want to encourage all of you to keep sharing Christ with those around you! Even those “hard nuts” who have always been hard to crack. You never know if they might be primed and ready to receive Christ in light of our world events. Don’t let coronavirus become an excuse for not doing what God has called us to do, but use it as an opportunity to shine the light of Christ in an ever darkening world.

With love,

Hope

Delight Yourself In the Lord

…and He shall give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4) 

FEBRUARY 29,2020
The day we got engaged

Ever since I was a little girl, the greatest desire of my heart has been to be a wife and mother. To be the wife of the man God chose for me, who loves Him with his whole heart and loves me with the rest of it. To walk alongside that man and help him be all God has called him to be, to edify, exhort, challenge, and encourage him all the days of our lives. 

Some of you may know more of my story than others of you, but to make a long story short, I have been given the privilege of saying “yes” to that very man after waiting on the Lord for most of my life.

When I was a little girl I decided that I wasn’t going to date until I was ready to get married but going through high school and college “alone” was difficult! There were so many seasons of wrestling with the Lord and crying out to Him but ultimately He helped me trust Him to bring the right guy in His perfect timing. 

When I was 21 years old, I met Isaac Douglass. 

At the time I was dating my first boyfriend and Isaac was just an acquaintance. I quickly realized that my boyfriend was not the man I wanted to marry so we broke up after dating for four months. Shortly after that, God brought Isaac center stage and we quickly fell in love. I saw in him so many of the qualities I have always dreamed about in my future husband; he is kind, compassionate, outgoing, fun, intelligent, personable, friendly, trustworthy, patient, generous with his time and money, and so many other things on top of being 100% devoted to following Jesus and serving His people. 

He’s the whole package and I am so excited to see the Lord continue to write our story as we plan our wedding and prepare for a life-long marriage that is focused on magnifying the person of Jesus Christ to all who know us. 

I love serving God alongside Isaac and I’m in awe of the grace we have been shown.

We got to lead worship together the day after we got engaged (that was SO special!) and these are some of the youth we have the privilege of ministering to at church.

Thank you to all of you who have encouraged us, exhorted us, and poured into us throughout this journey as the Lord has brought us face to face with our sinfulness and each others’ and helped us work through so many struggles. We are so grateful for the body of Christ and the way you have all surrounded us and celebrated with us this past week.

Here’s to a lifetime of many more struggles, victories, and celebrations in Christ TOGETHER.

With love,

The Future Douglasses

Coming to you SUMMER 2020

January Update

January proved to be yet another great month of serving Jesus here in Tijuana, Mexico! We are in a new year, 2020, and the vision of this year from our pastor to all of us at CC Pedregales, is to reach, disciple, and send out others, and to have 20/20 vision–a clear vision from the Lord in all that we do for Him! 

I was blessed to be able to attend this year’s Mission’s Conference at Murrieta Hot Springs, and what a great conference it was. It’s always nice seeing old friends and making new ones. To hear how God is working all around the globe–well, there’s nothing quite like that! Definitely, the best conference of the year for me!

Our after school program, “Amigos del Rey” (Friends of the King), is still what takes most of my time, and I love these kids more every day! The library is a hit, (they are loving the books). We just saw a movie, “The Little Prince,” and I had my class do a journal entry in their journals, and they are improving so much in their writing skills, I am so proud of them! A sixth grader asked me recently how and when to use commas. Her teachers have never taught her this and she’s going into Jr. High! I sometimes assume that they know these basic concepts but they don’t! It’s still not too late to donate a book to add to our library. Just click above on the link that says “donate a book to Amigos del Rey.” (You can also choose a used book in good condition from the list).

Jeremy’s Journal Entry

The parents of the kids have mandatory meetings every three months, and the next one will be a little different. We received a donation, and so we decided to bless them with a fancy dinner and gospel message from our pastor. They have heard the gospel many times, but they simply don’t want to give up their lifestyle of sin! We know, however, that God has His perfect timing, and we just continue sharing the love of Jesus with them and God is in charge of the rest.

Amigos del Rey, (Friends of the King)

I continue to disciple young adult single gals from our church; currently, there are 5, and it is a great blessing! We are becoming close and being able to share and pray together intimately is something very special to me. They all know that when they finish the class, they each will take a girl and do the same: disciple them. I’m excited to see how God will use them in the future.

Three of the five girls from the discipleship group

There is currently construction going on here. We are making the children’s play area a little bit bigger by shortening our basketball court. (It was huge). This will be nice for the kids, as the trash area will also be separate from the play area instead of a part of it! I am praying for a brand new playground structure for the kids. 

construction of new play area

As I’m sitting here writing this post, it is 39 degrees outside and I have a new heater! I’ve never had heat here before and it is so nice to finally have one. It was a blessing from a friend, and I know it’s not much, but it’s the little things sometimes that mean so much. Although I can’t help but think of all the homeless people here in Tijuana that I pass by when I cross the border. It’s supposed to be 30 degrees at 3:00 am tomorrow morning!!!

My new heater

The Lord gave me a verse for 2020, and it is John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” I so very much need the Holy Spirit in my life and desire to be led by Him!

I truly am blessed by all of you and cherish and thank you for your support and prayers for me and the saints at CC Pedregales 

Prayer Requests:

  • For my upcoming trip to Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Michoacan to do teacher training. I will be gone from Feb. 16th until March 8th. That all would flow smoothly in my absence, and blessings on the teachings at the different Calvary Chapels.
  • For my health, specifically migraine headaches.
  • For continued blessings on the discipleship with the young ladies
  • For the parent dinner in March, that they would come to Christ and give their lives to Jesus!
  • for the Children’s Ministry–we are currently in need of several teachers
  • for a new playground structure

Lovin’ Jesus,

Deanna

Jorden is in Jordan

Hello to all my friends and family reading this!

On the Mount of Olives

I usually publish my updates in the last week of the month letting you know what has occurred in that month. However this time I purposefully waited until the first week of February. That is so I can write to you from the land of Jordan! Around 3 o’clock on the 3rd of February, Jorden crossed over the Jordan river from Israel into Jordan. I am so excited about this vision tour and to see how God will speak in our time here. Thank you so much for all of you who have supported me, prayed for me, and encouraged me as I have taken the steps of faith that have led me here. To Jordan!! 

I Hit the Ground Running

Already the year 2020 has been extraordinary and I’m so excited for all the Lord has for the rest of it. When the clock struck midnight and 2020 began I was halfway between Northern California and Southern California on Interstate 5 driving through the night so I could be at a church staff meeting and a missionary gathering the following day. So from the beginning of this year, I hit the ground running. The first week being back from Northern California there was a Missions Conference at Calvary Chapel Bible College which I attended for the week. As a graduate of Calvary School of Missions, several fellow interns and I were asked to come to the conference to host a table for the School of Missions. So for that week, I was back at a Bible college dorm, rooming with some friends. It was such a blessing to be able to catch up with friends as well as meet many new people. For the whole week, I got to share with others about the school and how it changed my life. I spent the week hearing teachings on church planting, and meeting and talking with Pastors, missionaries, and fellow believers from around the world. The Lord also blessed me with some amazing chances to pray with others and encourage them. The following week was a week of fasting and prayer at church. Each morning and night we had an hour set apart to meet and pray in addition to whatever times we decided to pray and fast. It was an amazing week and the Lord showed me so much through that time and prepared me for this trip. Then this last week before entering Jordan I had the life-changing opportunity to tour Israel. This trip has changed my life forever! It has opened my understanding of God’s Word and deepened my love for the Lord and His Word. I will never read the Bible the same way again. Every time I read of Galilee, Jerusalem, En Gedi, the Dead Sea, or any of the other locations I was able to visit they will no longer be just a name. Now I have been there, seen the landscape, and I am able to understand the Word of God in a new way. The Lord has already taught me so much in this week and prepared my heart for Jordan.

Jorden in Jordan

Jorden at the Jordan River

Since August 2018 I’ve been praying for a door to open that would allow us to reach the Middle East with the gospel of Jesus Christ potentially from Jordan. Now I am here in Jordan to see what the next step God may have me take is. Please be praying for the Lord to make it clear what I am supposed to do next. For the next 7 days, the team members and I will be spending much time in prayer and seeking the Lord through His Word as we meet with local ministries in Jordan. All of us are praying about moving to Jordan to be missionaries and potentially to start a bible school. We have of course been praying for this for some time but now we are here in the land of Jordan. We are here for the purpose of hearing from the Lord to see what His will is for each of us. I would appreciate all of your prayers for direction and wisdom concerning the future. I’m confident this trip will bring about so much change in my life and I know it has already changed me. So please be praying for the Lord to lead all of us as we take this step of faith to see what God is calling us all to next. I look forward to updating you all more and showing you pictures of Jordan after I return. Thank you all and God bless

For His Glory,

Jorden Skiles

The Hills of Jordan

Praise Report 

  • I’m in Jordan!!! The Lord provided all the finances I needed to go on my trip and I’m here seeing what God has next. 
  • I have begun, as part of my internship, to help co-lead a life group as well as teach once a week in a hermeneutics class. Both of these are further preparing me for pastoral ministry. 

Prayer Requests

  • God’s clear direction on what is next 
  • Continued Monthly Provision 
  • For myself to continue to be disciplined as well as opportunities for me to disciple others

Every Day I’m Ministering

January was an awesome month of seeing God work and move in my life and ministry. Every day comes with its own ministry opportunities and every day I see God’s hand at work.

I serve in the youth ministry at my church and I had the privilege of seeing 6 youth get baptized, one of them receiving Christ just a few weeks prior. I had the opportunity to sit with, listen to, pray for, and counsel one of our students as she shared her burdens with me, I just started meeting with one of our high school girls for discipleship and am excited to see how God uses me in her life and how He uses her in my life, and I will begin meeting with another girl this month. It is such a privilege to walk with God and be used by Him to plant seeds in the lives of these high school and junior high students who are just beginning to seek God for themselves and make their faith their own. I love seeing God transform and restore lives! 

The six youth who got baptized this month. Photo credits to Erin Thiemann of Captured Grace Photography

We have our youth winter camp this month and I ask you to pray with us for the salvation of the youth coming who have not yet accepted Christ as Savior and Lord and for the growth of those students who have. God has provided in amazing ways through our church body so that even students who would not be able to go because of finances are able to attend with full scholarships! Thank you to all of you reading this who were a part of that, it is such a blessing to see God’s hand move on behalf of these precious kids. 

I also had the opportunity to attend a few sessions of the Calvary Chapel Missions conference at the beginning of the month and I am excited to be able to attend a Youth and Young Adults Missions conference this February in St. George, Utah. A few interns and I will be representing Calvary School of Missions at the conference and we ask for your prayers! Please pray that God would stir people’s hearts to step out in missions and be equipped for the work. 

I want to send out a special thank you to my financial supporters- your gifts are such a blessing to me personally and I am incredibly humbled to be able to serve God in this capacity thanks to your faith and faithfulness in donating. I pray that God would be glorified through every penny and that you would be abundantly blessed through seeing the fruit of this ministry which abounds to YOUR account! I wish I could quote all of Philippians 4 because I feel it is so applicable but I will summarize with Philippians 4:19 which says,

“and my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

That is what God has done in my life through you and what, I’m sure, He continues to do in your life as well. 

I love you all and treasure your prayers!

Remember, please pray for:

  • Youth Winter Camp on February 21st-23rd: salvation and growth!
  • The Just Go Missions Conference in St. George: Safe travels, sweet fellowship, productive conversations.
  • God’s continued financial provision through financial partnerships.

With love,

Hope

December Update

I have been so blessed these last few months here at Calvary Chapel Pedregales serving with so many awesome people. We are a very active church, small but united, like a family, and the cool thing is that almost everybody in the church serves in some capacity!

Here are a few events that I would like to share with you. Below is a picture of all of us who were able to attend our annual servant’s breakfast in November each year to honor all of those who serve in the church. It was a delicious meal prepared by some of the men of the church.

Servants Breakfast, pastor Federico in front with his wife, Nidia

We were affected by the recent fires in Tijuana, the picture below is my neighborhood, and the fire that you see burning damaged 5 properties, affecting in total about 45 people. The house that was completely burned to the ground, (dogs and all), was a family from our church. They are currently living here at our church and rebuilding their house with donations that have come in by many gracious people. We are also helping the other families with food and clothing and some funds as well. We are showing the love of Jesus and the people are responding positively.

I have just begun discipling these young single gals and it is wonderful. We are going through a book on being a Proverbs 31 woman. We are praying, studying, and sharing together, and I am so excited to see what God will do through this study!

This little guy is Gael, and he was our neighbor and good friend who went to be with Jesus this month. He was battling Leukemia and I was able to minister to him and his mom and see him accept Jesus in his heart before he died. 

These 12 kiddos attend our after school program. One of them is Gael’s cousin, and the Lord touched their hearts as well and through Gael’s death, they also chose to follow Jesus and accept Him in their hearts as their Lord and Savior–God truly does make beauty from ashes! 

This is our new library that we have been working on for months! Little by little the children are beginning to enjoy reading for pleasure and not just to get information for their schoolwork. We desire to grow this library to offer a variety of books to the kids. If you would like to help out, there is a button that you can press above and it will take you to our list on Amazon where you can purchase a book. 

Thanks for reading this newsletter and praying for me. Here are my prayer requests:

  1. Blessings and provisions for my trip to Guadalajara and surrounding cities in Mexico in February to do teacher training at the local Calvary Chapels. I will be gone for three weeks.
  2. For continued provisions for those who lost their homes in the fires.
  3. For much-needed wisdom from the Lord in every decision that I make, and that I would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all that I do.

God’s blessings to you all and a Merry CHRISTmas to you and your family!

BACK IN AMERICA

Greetings my dear friends and family!

I am back from Mexico! I can’t believe my six weeks at Calvary School of Missions has come to an end. The time went by incredibly fast. Although I was sad to finish the school, I’m excited to start a new season of preparing to go out as a long-term missionary. I know that the School of Missions was only the beginning of what the Lord has in store for my life! I am excited to announce that I will be interning at Saving Grace World Missions, a missions agency started by Calvary Chapel Saving Grace. As an intern, I will be taking Bible classes in order to strengthen my foundation in the Word of God. I will be learning how to prepare a Biblical message and will get to practice delivering it in front of leaders and other interns. I will also be serving in the children’s ministry! The reason for this internship is to help prepare me to serve in similar ministries when I am a part of a church plant in the near future.

Learning Surrender

My last two weeks in Mexico were filled with ministry and learning. We attended a church planting conference at Calvary Chapel Rosarito where I was able to learn from experienced church planters. While I was there, the Lord confirmed His calling on my life to be a part of a new work! Just as Paul made it his aim to preach the Gospel where Christ had not been named (Romans 15:20-21), so I know the Lord is calling me to do the same. It has been unbearably hard surrendering my plans for the future to the Lord. As many of you may know, I had been planning to move to East Africa with my best friend to serve street children and orphans. Of course, I still love the children of East Africa with all my heart and would love to be with them again, but the Lord has also been burdening my heart for the billions of people who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ (this region of the world is known as the 10/40 window). East Africa, for the most part, is saturated with the Gospel. Of course there are still so many physical and spiritual needs there, but for the most part, the Word of God is accessible to the majority of East Africa. I desire nothing more than to be in the Lord’s will for my life. I have come to a place where I am willing to go wherever the Lord leads me. If He wants to send me to a people that have never heard of Him, then by His strength I will go! But if He wants me to return to Rwanda and pour my life into the children there, then so be it! He has a perfect plan. I must trust Him wherever He leads me. The Lord has been speaking to me through these scriptures:

“For you shall go to all whom I send you.” –Jeremiah 1:7

“I have found David the son of Jesse a man after My own heart, who will do all my will.” –Acts 13:22

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God…” –Acts 13:36

Surrender isn’t a one-time thing (though I wish it were!) Surrender is something we must do every moment of every day. I want to do all the Lord’s will and serve my generation by His will, just as King David did! This will require that I continually surrender to Him. If I’m honest, the idea of surrendering to Him used to be torturous to me. But when I stop and think of how He gave His life for our salvation, I am reminded of how He truly is worthy of my all. 

The small town of Colonet, Mexico.

An Open Door

With that being said, a door has been opened for me to go on a short vision tour to the country of Jordan in late January. For quite some time now, my heart has been stirring for Muslims. Even when I was in Rwanda, my friend Nancy and I were drawn to a Muslim neighborhood and I was able to share the Gospel with a Muslim in the market.  The Lord has put it on the hearts of the leaders at Saving Grace to plant a Bible School in Jordan in order to raise up Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees as disciples of Jesus Christ with the vision of sending them out to surrounding Muslim countries to make disciples. This vision tour will be a time to see the country and the people and meet with the pastor of a small Jordanian church who is partnering with Saving Grace to start this Bible School. I will continue to update you as the time approaches and I have more details!

A Divine Appointment

There are so many stories I could share about what the Lord did in my last two weeks in Mexico, but the one I’m choosing to share is one of my favorites. We spent one afternoon serving a woman in Puerto Nuevo by cleaning her yard and putting new steps in it. My task was to clean up the trash surrounding her home and it didn’t take long to finish. There were more than enough hands working on installing the steps, so once I had finished my task I felt pretty useless and didn’t know what to do! I prayed for the Lord to give me something to do and not too long after I met a little 8 year-old girl named Britani who happened to be in the neighborhood. I started talking to her and noticed that she was sad. She then shared with me that her mother had died of an illness 2 years ago. I asked the Lord in that moment for a word of comfort to share with the girl and He gave me Psalm 56:8: “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” I shared this verse with Britani and she began to tear up! I know that it spoke to her heart. Thankfully, one of my leaders had brought her children’s Bible along, so I borrowed it and shared with little Britani about how Jesus came to the Earth to save us from our sins. She said it was her first time hearing any story from the Bible! She was excited to hear that Jesus will give us eternal life if we put our faith in Him. Afterwards, Britani and I played together and before parting ways I wrote her a letter of love and encouragement. She left with the biggest smile on her face! I am so thankful that God used me to share His love to this young girl grieving her mother’s loss. It was no doubt a divine appointment.

“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” –Ephesians 2:10

Little Britani and me. 

I’m so excited to see what other divine appointments God has for me not only here in my country, but among the nations! 

I would LOVE to meet with you over coffee now that I’m back to share more about what the Lord did at School of Missions with you AND to hear about your summer! Please message me if you would like to meet!

Again, thank you for coming alongside me to support me in the Lord’s calling on my life! I appreciate your prayers and financial giving. I could not do it with out you. Together, we will bring the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to those who have not yet heard! 

Love,

Andrea Manor

A few of the School of Missions students back in the States!
Jorden, Nancy, Lacey, and me.

David and Michelle’s August

It is so amazing that Michelle and I are able to serve as fulltime Missionaries.  This couldn’t be done without the help of all your prayers and continued financial support.  Each and every one of you is part of the ministry work that we are doing. We thank you so much as we continue to give all the Glory to God!

We continued serving weekly in the neighborhoods of Tijuana, Mexico. This month, we not only did weekly baths and shampoos but also did some VBS (Vacation Bible School) with the children. It was so special to see the joy on the children’s faces. Along with the Bath and Shampoo Ministry, we went to the dump a couple of times this month. We came alongside a church from Irvine, CA. We made lunches and handed out food to the over 400 people that call the Tijuana dump their home. The word of God and the message of salvation was spread throughout the day. Please continue to pray for the men, women, and children that live in these conditions that they may find Salvation and hope in their lives in this very dark place.

Please meet Pastor Fernando and his wife Liliana.  They have been married for 10 years and Pastor Fernando has been a pastor at Calvary Chapel Rosarito for the last 9 years.  They’re being called to leave the country they love (Mexico) and plant a bilingual church where entire families can attend together.  There is a great call for a bilingual church where children that speak primarily English and parents that speak Spanish can worship and learn the entire Bible verse by verse together, in Northern Las Vegas, Nevada.  Michelle and I have been praying for direction.  Through prayer and others, the Lord has spoken that we are to go and serve this new bilingual church. In faith we will be moving for 12 months as fulltime missionaries to help in any way the Lord calls us, to reach the lost and broken in Northern Las Vegas.  

Being a missionary staff member at Calvary Chapel Rosarito Beach, Michelle and I were able to attend a medical outreach with Grace Calvary in Tijuana. After people were seen by the medical staff, we were able to pray for their needs and give them the message of Salvation. Glory to God!

Prayer request:

  1. That Michelle and I will be bold in everything we do in Christ’s Name.
  2. To give us guidance on our move to serve as Missionaries in Northern Las Vegas.

For personal Support, you can give through electronic funds transfer or direct deposit. Simply click on the button below to be taken to our secure giving page.

For further info, you can reach us at Mullinsfamily1@icloud.com.

In His Name,

 David & Michelle Mullins

TORNADO!

Do you ever feel like life hits you out of nowhere like a tornado without the tornado warning? All of a sudden, your rosy, cheery existence is interrupted by a whirlwind of upsetting change and chaos that leaves you windblown and chapped as you try to fit together the remains of what you once knew as normal?

That’s how this past month has been for me.

I have just experienced a lot of personal loss that sometimes feels debilitating. My younger sister (who is also my best friend) got engaged and went away to school in Arizona, my uncle passed away, and I said good-bye to the high school ministry at my old church as I now transition to Calvary Chapel Saving Grace. 

None of these things are necessarily bad. My sister’s fiancé is wonderful and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect match for her. She is going to school for nursing and is pursuing her passion. My uncle was mentally disabled his whole life and is now in a better place. The High school ministry will proceed just fine without me and I still get to maintain relationships with the girls and leaders there. Plus, I am gaining a whole new family as I transition to Saving Grace.

So why do I feel like this?

Maybe it’s just because I’m human and change is hard for humans. I am reminded of a verse from one of my favorite Psalms, which says,

Deep call unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me.

Psalm 42:7

What is the psalmist saying? He is saying “God! Life just keeps hitting me! It’s one wave after another and I’m getting hammered over here!” And then, of course, I imagine the psalmist saying or thinking (because this is what I sometimes say and think) “aren’t You going to do anything about it?

But what I love about Psalm 42 is that the psalmist doesn’t stay there. In verse 11 he says,

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”

So yes, sometimes life beats you up with one thing on top of another so that you feel like you just can’t take one more wave, but the cure isn’t God reaching down from heaven to stop the waves before they hit you, it’s learning to ride the wave all the way into God’s arms. Spurgeon puts it perfectly,

“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”

I’m still learning that. I’m figuring out (slowly and with many failures) how to step on the bricks that are flying about in this tornado so that I can keep moving toward Him instead of standing there with bricks hitting me in the face or worse yet, turning around and running away back to the “safety” of a tornado shelter. 

It’s exciting and terrifying all at once but I can’t bunker down and hide from tornados. I have been called to step out of the tornado shelter, where everything feels comfortable and safe, and brave the unknown. Not alone. Never alone, but with Jesus as my front and rearguard. 

All that to say that I love Jesus, I love what I do, and I love serving Him even when life hurts. The good news is that life goes on and there are some pretty exciting things happening at SGWM that God has allowed me to be a part of. 

This Sunday will be my first Sunday at Saving Grace as my official church Home and I am SO EXCITED! I will start out serving in the projector ministry and in a few months start serving with the High school and Junior High ministries. We also have 5 new interns starting with us and I get to train them on some of the office responsibilities and what it looks like to send missionaries and be part of that Homefront support network. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for them through this next year. 

ALSO, I get to go to South Asia in November! We will be attending and hosting several conferences and encouraging the believers there. My responsibilities will revolve around keeping our financial records straight and accounting for our finances on the field.

Prayer Requests

  • Peace in the midst of the personal chaos
  • A smooth transition to Saving Grace
  • Wisdom in how to prioritize my time and maintain relationships with people from both Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and Saving Grace
  • The trip in November! Safe travels, sweet fellowship, simple financial records
  • God’s continued financial provision

Thank you so much for your prayers for me. It is such a comfort to know that as we all navigate through the tornado seasons of our lives, we have each other to look to and lean on for prayer and support. Please continue to lift me up and let me know how I can pray for you! I would love to meet up for coffee or lunch or whatever fits your schedule to pray and share more of what God has done and continues to do in my life and hear more about yours.

With Love,

Hope