.......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