Update: Moving Timeline

By Elisenda Williams
on August 11, 2016

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..."
~Zechariah 4:10

What have we been up too!!!
Learning, lots and lots of learning!! We developed Churricos and have enjoyed watching people enjoy them at markets. Why? Because Churricos are the snack food we will be starting with in Chile and eventually popcorn.

Terra will be starting Kindergarten on the 17th of August...we are still wondering how time flew so fast that she is now old enough to start Kindergarten at Shirland Elementary. Along with her starting kindergarten, we made a few solid plans...

  • We want her to have the best kindergarten experience, she has grown up around a lot of adults and this will be her first full time experience around kids her age!
  • Because we do not want to pull her out of school 4 months after she has started, we will be delaying our first trip to Chile until May 2017. At this time, she would be graduating Kindergarten....the thought of her missing out on 3 months of her school year and not completing kindergarten with her classmates, was to sad for us.
  • We will be headed to Chile the end of May through Early September, where we will be working on all that fun and not so fun paperwork in Santiago, Chile and exploring land buy opportunities in or near Pichilemu, Chile

In the mean time.....

  • We will continue to work as hard as we can to learn about business, serving the church locally, and our community.
    • We know that we are called to serve, support & encourage ministries through prayer, worship, and serving.
  • We want to focus on growing subscriptions for "The Cob" Subscribe here: 
    https://www.terraspopcorn.com/pages/the-cob

Please join us in prayer in following the voice of the Lord in everything that we do and plan.

"It's not about the lack of my ability but about the expanse of his ability"

Running

By Elisenda Williams
on February 16, 2016

I won't be able to share everything but I did want to make sure I shared this.  disclaimer: I am not a writer.

During our Stay in Santiago,Chile

Throughout this trip I've had this image of the father RUNNING.  He was running with an indescribable look of joy on his face.  He had tears in his eyes but they were not tears of sorrow or sadness , they were tears of compassion and joy.   the image then turns into something like a movie clip, set in present time.   To the left i see a child in the distance, this child is tired, dirty, worn out, beat up, hungry, full of shame, and carries his head low.  Hesitantly, he looks up and sees his father RUNNING to him.  Doubt, fear, shame try to paralyze him but his heart fights through it and slowly one step at a time he starts moving forward towards his father.   It's weird, because I truly feel that I'm watching a movie, I'm rooting for the child, I'm overwhelmed with emotion, to see the father running towards his son! 

This same clip starts playing when we have visited a new city, talked to people on the street, when I've thought of home, when I've thought of my family, friends at home and all over the world, CSM students, Home Church (Central)...the clip of the father running towards his beat up broken child. 

Then, the music builds up and the father picks up his son and swings him around with all of his energy, strength, and love...it's a joy-love explosion!!  I can't even begin to describe the music, the color, the laughter, the loud crying in this moment but it breaks me EVERYTIME. 

If you are thinking, this is just the story of the prodigal son, something we teach in Sunday school, you are correct! BUT this isn't just an old story or parable...this is a reality.  God the father is RUNNING, he is running, he is running towards his child and that child is me, you, it's us, it's the person next to you, in front of you, next to you.

Can you hear the drum beat of his heart? It's coming closer, closer, and closer....he is running towards you.  RUN, Run ,run towards him, with every ounce that you can muster.  He wants to bring life back, he wants to blow life back to the dry bones.  He will give you new clothes and your REAL IDENTITY. Not just an identity you feel or think or an identity the world has given you, but your real identity as a son and daughter of the creator of the world, of life.  He is not a far away God that looks at us from a distance, he is a father that is desperate for a relationship, to walk with you every step you take in life.

Jon thurlow's lyrics coming in to mind as I sit here in Santiago, trying to write all this down so I don't forget.

"It's okay to believe, just open up and receive, cause, I  want you to have confidence in my love.""So stop acting as though you can earn it, I don't love you because you deserve it, I love you because that is who I AM, let love win."

Year in Review - From January Newsletter

By Brad Williams
on January 29, 2015

Well we made it through the year. Thanks to you, we have successfully launched Terra’s Popcorn and are off to a pretty good start. We had a lot of interest from the local apple orchards, but our launch was too late in their seasons. We’re hoping Terra’s Popcorn will be available for your next orchard visit. When we first opened our online store we ran into trouble with shipping costs being astronomical, but we added a free local pick up option as well as rates from USPS. In November we got to be a part of our first wedding providing custom wedding favors for Jeff and Kelli Jones. We also added 2 new flavors Hot Cocoa and Cinnamon Sugar in preparation of the Christmas Season. Cappuccino still eludes us. The coffee flavor is either too weak or too strong. We have slowly, but surely gotten into 3 retail locations: Rockton Food & Spirits, Main Street Meat Co, and Everett’s. We got to do a really great display at my parent’s tree farm, Williams Tree Farm. Ellie is the real brains of this operation and never ceases to amaze me with her design skills. She really did a knock out job on our launch party, a vendor market in Harvard, and the Stateline Splendor bridal show. The main thing we have learned so far is that samples are clutch. Anytime we have been given the opportunity to let people try it they love it. So we are actively pursuing getting in front of people and letting them try our popcorn. We will be at Gray’s Lake Farmers Market Starting in April and hopefully will be accepted into the Rockford City Market. In order to encourage more people to try it we have placed a sample pack on our website with free shipping. We are also pursuing starting a popcorn of the month club. This will be the best way for people who love our popcorn to support our mission and enjoy up to 36 different flavors of gourmet popcorn in the process.

Vision - From January Newsletter

By Brad Williams
on January 29, 2015

Salt and Light - Matthew 5:13-16

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

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives
light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

I’m not sure if I’ve done a great job articulating what we are trying to do with Terra’s Popcorn. Ellie and I both have a passion for missions. God has stirred up our spirit so that we might go down and help establish a house of prayer in Chile. He has also put a desire in us to try and follow the pattern laid out by the Apostle Paul, who supported his mission work through his trade, tent making. Having come from an entrepreneurial family and experience in the snack food industry we would like ply our trades in service of the mission laid out for us by God. Our goal is to start a snack food business in Chile in order to subsidize a Chilean house of prayer. The business itself will also be a ministry like Terra’s Popcorn by being transparent about our mission as we create value in the market. We will not water down our saltiness or hide the light that guides us and through our good deeds we hope to point people to our Father in heaven. Terra’s Popcorn is our outlet to build ourselves up, to learn, and to grow until we make the move to Chile. Terra’s Popcorn will continue to support us as we transition into a more long term basis in Chile. After we have replicated what we learn from Terra’s Popcorn in Chile we will let Terra’s Popcorn loose to establish other houses of prayer around the world.

Do not despise these small beginnings

By Elisenda Williams
on October 28, 2014

"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's Hand," Zechariah 4:10
 
The beginnings of Terra's Popcorn haven't necessarily been small but let's be honest; we aren't exactly swamped...and that is not a bad thing.  God has been so good and so faithful, he has also been an amazing teacher.  He has been teaching us so much in this season, such as: business management, customer service, production management, product development, and Sales.  Sounds pretty boring but necessary when He is building a foundation.
 
Praises:
  • Thankful to witness an idea become a reality
  • Thankful for the Favor God has already blessed us with
  • Thankful for the support and prayer of family and friends

 Prayer Requests at this time:

  • Transitions, transitions, transitions
  • Moving to Chile & all that goes with it
  • Wisdom

 Lord, thank you for your goodness and what you are already doing. Thank you that from something small you are able and willing to grow and nurture. Continue to give us your Holy Spirit to guide us and to lead us out of the boat. Help us to take chances and trust that you are in every detail and may you receive all the Glory and Honor. 

Amen.

Let's start from the Beginning.....

By Elisenda Williams
on September 14, 2014

Let's start from the beginning....Before Chile, before Honduras, before Africa.  

 

"Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4,

Is a scripture that I repeated a lot as a young Eli.  I so desperately wanted to do missions, I wanted to travel the world and help those in need, I wanted to be a vessel that traveled to a new city and have that city radically transformed.  I was basically crazy from the beginning.  This desire had a lot of flaws but I prayed, I begged, I argued with God..Why?  There were a lot of impossible factors in my life that need to change or this "desire" in my heart was never going to happen.  I strongly believed that God wouldn't put this in my heart if it wasn't meant to be.  Right? This thought process was very much flawed, here are to big reasons.

1. I just wanted to escape the life I had...missions seemed like a great excuse

2. I wanted to help and serve those in other parts of the world and didn't care much for the people around me

So you see that "desire" was not of God and not for his Glory; in that time and season in my life.  I slowly and stubbornly (is that a word), surrendered to God and grew hungry for him and learned to serve him where I was...not looking to other places in the world, but towards my local church and community. I remember a time when I felt I was making great strides and still had this transforming "desire" in my heart; having a conversation with a lady from my church.  She was someone that I looked up to with great admiration, somebody I considered a mentor....I recall telling her my dream to one day be that vessel but in that season I was okay with letting go of that dream and serve here wholeheartedly Here.  She quickly and without missing a beat said, "Eli, you will never be a missionary, there are certain things a missionary has to do and eat that you will never be able to do"..something about eating certain foods.  In that moment, my dream had been crushed.  If you are a mentor, please use your words wisely, listen before you speak, and pray.   I turned those words and my hurt feelings over to God and said, "I'll serve you anywhere,even her; but you know my heart."......

 

  

3 years. 3 countries in three years

By Elisenda Williams
on September 14, 2014

.......Fast forward a couple of years and I accidentally met Brad, he was interesting and didn't remember my name (I'll tell you that story later). In one of our very first conversations he shared his dream of Haiti and the various trips he had taken and talked about an upcoming trip his family was taking to Africa.  Truthfully, I ached through that whole conversation....my dream was being shared through another person (have you felt that sting before?).  The Sting of watching someone else walk out your dream, your vision, your talents? 

Fast forward a couple of months and He was in Africa with his family...in this time God taught me the importance of trust and letting go of myself.  He taught me to be more vulnerable if this was going to be real relationship.  Needless to say we were engaged shortly after he returned from Africa and married that same year, lol.  He then had to go through the "waiting process" with me as we waited for three years before a trip anywhere outside of this country could be taken together. 

 

Africa 2012

Finally we were going to Africa but with a little one, Terra Iris.  She was just short of a year old when we made this trip, I was TERRIFIED!! But knew God was in the planning and I trusted that he had put this together from the very very beginning.  Looking back, I knew that this had been God's perfect time, he knew my heart was not prepared for what we were going to experience, and he knew what he wanted me to learn on this trip.  All of a sudden these weren't people across the world, these weren't just kids around the world....these were my brothers and sisters, these were my kids...he had to transform my heart so that I could see his.  

Lessons learned:

1. He should me, he was the door opener and he had opened the door to the world for me.

2. He wanted me to see these amazing people not as far away across the ocean but very near and dear to his heart.

3. three is better than one....I didn't have to do this alone, nor did he want me to. 

 

Honduras 2013

Terra was getting ready to turn 2 and we were headed to Honduras!  Without knowing the a lot about the country, the missionary couple, or pastor we were going to serving, God put this trip together.  In this trip, we laughed so hard.  I had never in my life laughed so hard my stomach ached.  We clicked with the amazing people and now friends in Honduras.  In this season, i felt activated, like i was doing the things I was created to do.  Honestly they aren't different, they aren't new, I serve in those same ways locally but in Honduras I felt alive, free, and like i was just watching God moving through me...it's hard to explain.  

Lessons learned:

1. God was leading us towards a Latin American Country

2. Sometimes you can be doing the same things over and over again, then God turns on the switch and you are fully activated in what you were created to be

 

Chile 2014

This was a trip, we never thought we'd take but knew we needed to visit this country.  We looked and prayed and looked for groups going to Chile. there were non to be found.  Honestly I was beginning to feel defeated and thought, "what if this is not the place?"  Then a family friend (Jared Weidman) mentioned that the organization he works for (Kids around the World) was headed to Pichilemu,Chile, and that we should check it out.  Again, I was hesitated, I kept searching for the feeling I had received in Honduras (selfishly) and was looking for a direct outreach trip where I could feel that activation again....then I found out we would be working with and staying with YWAM Pichilemu.  This would also be the first trip Brad, Terra, and I would take with out help/assistance/ and people we knew....I was freaking out, what if they didn't like kids? What if they saw Terra (an almost 3yr old) was coming and be upset.  Thoughts and fears like this raced through my mind.  The team was compiled from people all over the US, slowly arrived a the airport and one by one they met us and Terra...she won them from the start and I felt a strong peace come over me.  When we arrived in Pichilemu and settled into our little cabana....he both knew...this was going to be home...The first couple of days were pretty hard though.  There seemed to be no outreach opportunity at all, we were helping build a playground. There were maybe 2 kids that i was able to interact with and get to know again, thanks to Terra, but the feeling was not there.  I then realized what God was trying to teach me, COMMUNITY.  I was able to get to know a lot of the members of our team and a hand full of the students and leaders of the YWAM base.  They didn't even know God was confirming a lot through our conversations and I was able to just pray with and pray over the needs of those on the base.  The reason why we were there was to just be a support to those living on the base.  Through those moments, God was confirming his plan for us. 

Lessons learned:

1. Don't look for the same feeling don't try to create the same environment, God will do what he will do when you surrender..fully

2. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" 1 Peter 5:7

3. Community is important, it's not all about outreach.  We need to pray and support those we are serving with

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