Monday, February 23, 2009


Here are some images of the Philippines. They are the squatter camps in Manila, Philippines.

The past few months, a team of 17 Moodies have been preparing for a missions trip to Manila, PHilippines. I've really enjoyed meeting every week, sometimes once or twice. I like the interaction and preparation we've gone through and getting to know the team members even more. Yesterday we got the team assignments for each VBS and squatter camp ministries that we'll be in. I'm really excited about the team I'll have the privilege of serving with - everyone's really pumped and compliant and are VERY active and enthusiastic. They're really good at brainstorming and communicating what they think too. I'll have Darice, Butler, Elizabeth Powell, Kelly, Melody, and Eric Strand. 

In the morning two teams will be doing Vacation Bible Schools in squatter camps, and the in the afternoons, we'll be at dumps and squatter camps, distributing milk and vitamins to the families that live there. At night we'll be preparing for the next day. The other team will be at a brothel house, working with prostitute women-which is probably going to be the hardest and most heartbreaking ministries there. The Night outreaches will involve going out in the late evenings and seeing the women lined up ready to be picked up, and using those times to reach out to them.

The second week we're splitting into two teams, one to a bario and the other to a camp. I"ll be joining a group under Liz Bierlein, the team's camping girl:) I'm pretty pumped about that, we'll be working with teenagers and having chapels and Bible studies. Kinda like the camp i went to back in jr and sr high. 

I'm getting my heart prepared for this trip. I know that I'm going to be broken in ways I've neve been broken before, seeing poverty in ways I'd never seen or known, and coming in contact people who have been completely abused in every way known. 

At the meeting last night, Ate Michelle shared her testimony to us. She's a grad student at Moody, and she's Filipina. Growing up she was a Compassion child, one that was sponsered and supported by Americans so that she could receive food, clothing and food. Her family never had food, often at times, having to share one single egg for a family of five. Her testimony consisted of just one heart ache after another, and heartbreak, and abuse, and terrible things that no one could begin to imagine.
These are the children we'll be working with. Ones that live in homes that are hardly bigger than a houghton dorm room with seventeen people. Ones that have only ever told they meant nothing, nor will they ever be anything or anyone. Ones that have constantly been beat on, and unloved, sexually and physically abused, not to mention exploited. The testimony last nightmade my heart hurt, and now I'm preparing for seeing all this in person and witnessing the disgrace of sin. 

Please pray for me and the team. Please pray for the hearts of the children, men, and women and teenagers that we'll be serving. that their hearts will be ready to hear the gospel, and receive it. My financial support hasn't been coming in, and the rest of the team as well...if you could pray for that as well, that'd be a blessing to us. and Praise the Lord with us for this opportunity to work with kids that don't have any hope in their lives from anyone. Pray that we can give them that hope. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cupid cupid

Ryan and I had our fourth valentine's day together.  I had fun thinking through the last three years of valentine's day while i made my first cake ever. German chocolate cake. Its his favorite. I'm really starting to realize i like to bake and cook and all that stuff. it makes it completely worth it when i see his face after he takes the first bite:)

Here we are back from our date at McCormick and Schmick's, the famous seafood restaurant of Chicago...we went to the restaurant part of it, and had an AMAZING dinner of maryland crab soup and clam chowder, juicy Steak AND incredible Lobster, as well as a special chocolate creme brule. it was absolutely amazing. 

We had pretty much an amazing conversation over dinner, and i observed alot of things during this date. i noticed as cold as it was outside, that i was the only young woman in the room NOT showing cleavage or lots of leg. it was sooooo cold outside, yet the room was filled with women showing everything they got. I felt my heart ache for women all around the country that want love so incredibly badly, and this is the night, when sooo many women throw themselves in whichever way they need to to recieve "love." This is the night, one of many many nights, when so many women are taken advantage of because of their vulnerability of desiring to be loved. My heart hurts as so many girls want love so much, yet do not know of the one PERFECT love that won't take advantage of them or use them. just a lil bit on my thoughts about that. 

on a lighter note, my night was lovely with my man:) Ryan had to work all day, so i spent the day with my FIRST LOVE, and had a really really really deep time with Him as i read His Word and prayed while i baked. I did alot of thinking and praying, as God prepared my heart for this day of love. I had alot of fun spending time with Him as i baked, and spent the afternoon talking to God. Loooved spending my day doing that. 

Heres a pic of us in the elevator after our dinner:)
I prepared Ryan's gift. My theme this year was our Love languages. The first envelop was a card with "Words of affirmation" to build Ryan up:) The Red box was the game Sequence, which was to spend "Quality Time" together The second envelop was a giftcard to get chips and salsa and burrito bowl stuff to eat while we played our game. the third envelop had a picture of the German chocolate cake that i made for him:) and the box of russel stover chocolates...his faves:)
This is the first cake i've ever baked...not to mention from scratch! i dont like cake at all...but this one was soooooooo yummy!

these are the twelve roses he gave me....beautiful:)
each year, Ryan writes me a reflection of the last year we had together. every highlight, special events, and ups and downs, he writes down. i have three of them so far:) i love them because they are made specially for me, and completely from him:) this year, he made a little book out of the reflection and binded it together with a little cover and everything:) he's really really good at this whole romantic thing;)
and this is the cake put doesn't LOOK the greatest, but it TASTED amazing.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Founder's week...

Itz here once again...I love this time of the year. Besides the freezing cold winds, the snow packed ICE that cover the sidewalks, the snow that messes up whatever hairstyle you fixed before leaving a building, this week is one of the best weeks Moody Bible Institute has to offer. This is the time of the year, that my pride of being a Moody Student renews. Great Men and Women of faith come together, and teach their wisdom and life experiences to the students and people of chicago. many legacies leave their mark at Moody Bible Institute.

So far this week (its only been a day and a half), we've had Dr. Michael Easley, our former president, Crawford Loritts, and Jarrett Stevens speak. We still have sooooo many more people to look forward to like Alistair Begg, Francis Chan, Charles Colson, Frankling Graham, Jerry Jenkins, David Kinnaman, Phil Vischer, and many proffs and alumni. My goodness. It has been so amazing the past three years. Bob McCrea told the youth min seniors this the other day, "In about ten years, you each will give your right arm to take a week off of what you're doing to get fed as well as you do during Founder's week. To hear the Bible being preached and being ministered to -this one of the last times you'll be able to do that. "

so that said, i'm very much enjoying the speakers. soooo good. Jarrett Stevens who works for Andy Stanley's church in Atlanta, is a moody alumni. it was SO encouraging hearing him speak and about the ministry he is in. It was inspiring to say the least. to see what he's doing and where he's gone with his ministry. I loved his stories about being a moody student, a totally normal moody student. curious, mischievious, etc. Got into trouble at moody by setting a big number "3" on fire in his dorm...just cause he wanted to see what would happen. I like that he went through the moody life as a normal college student, and now look at what he's doing!

Makes me wonder...

what will i be doing in 13 years? Will I be leaving a legacy like the Founders week speakers have in peoples lives? how will God use an silly energetic crazy kiddo like me? where will i be and who will i be ministering to?

For right now, I love that i know who i am going into ministry with for the rest of my life. I love knowing that my best friend, and love of my life, Ryan, will forever be my partner in ministry once we are married! I'm so excited to see how God uses us together, and can't help but wonder where He'll place us.

I found this pic that Ashley scanned. this was when i was eight years old, and completely unaware of the amazing things that God would do(and has done) in my life! Founder's week makes me think back alot...and kinda ahead as well...anyways, i'm the kiddo with the fannypack and hot overall shorts.;)

Monya, Sophia, and Anya

Monya, Sophia, and Anya
asking for prayer this week for them...