Mark 16:15

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Puzzling Questions I've had to answer along the way

While on this journey, I have learned so much - and also learned there's still a lot of questions I don't have answers to. I have enjoyed being stretched and challenged, and would like to challenge you to ponder these questions:

  1. What are your gifts/talents/strengths? What activities lead to a feeling of competence?
  2. Do you use/access these gifts/talents/strengths almost every day? 
  3. Do you like where you are headed (with life)? 
  4. Do you feel needed and/or feel that you are making a difference in the world & in the lives of others?
  5. If you answered no to questions 2, 3 or 4 - how can you change this? What can you do to make sure you feel competent everyday? What do you need to change in your life (or about yourself) so you are proud of where you are headed?
  6. What and/or who is so important to you that you would risk your life for? What do you want to take with you when you leave this earth? (Relationships: People? God?)
  7. How are those relationships currently? How is your relationship with God? Are you satisfied where they are at, or are there people you wish you treated better or spent more quality time with?
  8. Make a list of the little things in life that you long has it been since you've done some of these things? 
  9. Make a list of your dreams and dreams God has given you...are you doing anything about them? Have you made short and long term goals to reach these dreams? 
  10. What are you passionate about? What really gets you going? How often do you do these things?
  11. Are you enjoying life right now? Do you make time to relax and laugh? Or are you too caught up with the things and tasks of this life that you have forgotten to sit back and enjoy?
  12. If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be? Is there anything you can do to change it?
  13. Are you serving God? Would you like to serve Him better? How could you do this-be specific and realistic?

Take time to reflect on these questions...but don't just think - DO! Take action! You don't want to be one of those people who looks back on their life and realizes that they could have done so much more.

Signing off

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thank you

This post is a thank you to anyone who is or has supported me throughout this process with prayer, finances, and support - and thanks to God for giving me such an opportunity!

Thank you Thank you Thank you! to everyone who has supported my decision in coming to Thailand! I cannot express how truly blessed and changed I am because of this opportunity.
To my parents: While initially you may not have been thrilled about me coming to a place, so far away, with political protests breaking out, THANK YOU for your support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for prayerfully considering this and listening for God's voice saying 'do not fear, I will protect her!' Thank you for everything you sacrificed by sending me here. It has been worth every penny - and every tear (because obviously you have been crying a lot since you miss me so much :)

To the rest of my family: Thank you for sending me messages, letters and skype calls! I really miss you guys - more than I thought was possible.  But it has definitely made it easier being here for so long with all your encouragement. Thank you for all your prayers, God is definitely listening and is doing incredible things here. I miss you and cannot wait to get back and party!!!!!!!!!!!! (Jenna and Brittany's graduation could not have come at a better time - I will get to see everyone within a few days of getting back to the US.)

To all the people who supported me financially: I would not be here without you! I wanted to come so bad, and really felt like God wanted me here, but knew I could not come up with that amount of money on my own. Thank you for your faithfulness to God and for your passion to increase the Kingdom of God! Not only am I thankful, but the Thai people are as well, 5 people have already come to Christ since we've been here and I am expecting God to do many other incredible things.

To my friends: I MISS YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH. I want to be there with you - sometimes I consider using my sky miles to fly home and see you real quick - but I know I can't because I have 2 weddings this summer that I need them for! But I thank you for being the best friends I could ever ask for. For encouraging me spiritually, for challenging me to be a better servant of Christ, and most of all, for being ridiculously fun!  I cannot wait to get back and hang out - I'm sure you guys are together right now doing something fun and picture worthy (Ashley you're all over that) haha. but I love you guys and cannot WAIT TIL THIS SUMMER. Watch out world!

And now - to the One I owe my life - but instead He gives me life, unconditional love, and blessings beyond measure. Thank you. Thank you for saving me from the pits of hell. Instead, You have given me the best life. Word cannot attest to what exactly You are doing in my life, but I will try to testify - only to bring You glory. While I was disobedient, and did not respond to Your call for me to come here, You still worked it out so I could come. When I was unsure of how on earth I would come up with the money to come, You provided the exact amount I needed. And since I've been here, You have surrounded me with Your presence, especially in the times of loneliness. You are stretching me, and bringing to surface the areas I need to improve on to best further Your Kingdom, but You also know that I am tenderhearted and so You are doing it slowly and in a way that I can handle.  You never give me more than I can handle, but just enough to bring me to my knees and realize, I can never handle it alone - but with You, all things are truly possible.
Thank you for giving me the passion for people, to help them develop as a person, the patience to teach, and for my passion to learn! All I have to say is, thank you for knowing me better than I know myself and for having the most incredible plan for my life.

Love you all! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The power in the His Name: Jesus

Philippians 2 - Imitating Christ's Humility
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from HIS LOVE, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
DO NOTHING out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider OTHERS better than yourselves.  Each of you should not look to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the SAME as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself NOTHING, taking the very nature of a SERVANT, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and
gave HIM THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is my prayer. Not only while I am here in Thailand - but for every day of my life. To live a life that is focused on others, not on myself. Both in the little things, and the big. To see through the eyes of Jesus - and not my own. For my ambitions to become God's ambitions. How different would my life be, and the lives of those around me if I actually started living like this? To really live out, "consider OTHERS better than myself and to look at their interests more important than mine"!

God, begin to work in my heart, and especially on this trip, to see You first and others next, and then myself.  I pray that I will be here only to serve these people, and took look for opportunities to do so. To take advantage of this incredible experience.

I challenge everyone to reread Philippians 2:1-13! Ask what God is trying to tell you through that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Word of God Speak

Do you ever find yourself singing along with old, familiar songs, and then you realize you have no idea what the words are saying or what the song is about? This song is classic, but it is beautiful!

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

I'm finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it's okay

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nothing is impossible

As I have told many of you, God is doing so many awesome things in Bangkok! Yes there is a lot of darkness, but there is definitely a light awakening the people. 

Since being here, God has totally opened up a totally new vision of what missions is supposed to look like. Find out what is important to the culture, what they want to be good at/what skill they want to acquire/what they would love to be able to accomplish, and OFFER IT FOR FREE! Just so happens, Thai people want to learn English - I think I can handle that. You won't believe the doors God has opened up for us, and continues to open just because we can speak English.  We are able to go into the biggest University in the World, as well as a few churches, and teach English for free.  People come (some from as far as 2 hours away) to learn english.  Then, we or the church staff, invite them to church.  We have already had 7 people who have never been to church before (they are Buddhist) commit to coming all because they found out about it through English Hour.
PRAY PRAY PRAY that God will use us to reach these people. That He will set up divine appointments and give us favor with these people. Pray that we can be effective with our teaching, so more people will come, and we can build relationships with these people. By showing them the love of Christ, and hopefully becoming friends with these people, we can invite them to church. 

As I am reading through Acts, I am continually reminded that nothing is impossible with God.  When the apostles were arrested and thrown in jail by the Sadducees, God sent an angel in the night and opened the door.  How cool is that?! God will work things out if it is according to His plan and His will for you.  Even if that means sending an angel to open up a jail cell door.

Friday, February 4, 2011


UPG stands for Unreached People Groups.

In all seriousness-I am warning you, before you read this blog post, it is not like any other. It will change your life.

If you are at all interested in ever going on a mission trip, doing long term missions, financially supporting missionaries, or pray for missions - this video and website will drastically move your heart and spirit. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it is powerful enough to cause you to want to become a full time missionary and do something about these statistics. It will only take about 7 minutes to get a glimpse of reality of the UPG.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Parable of the Sower

Today in my quiet time I was reading through Mark. I have to read through it a couple times for a class so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and incorporate some of the reading into my quiet time.

Yes, this parable is quiet common, but when was the last time you really studied it and reflected upon which sower you are? I did today, and it was a reality check!

Mark 4
"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering his seed..." some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up
Are you:
1. The seed that fell along the path? As soon as it fell on the path, the birds came and ate it. As soon as you hear the Word, does Satan come and take away the word that was sown in you? Do you allow your desires to run your life?

2. The seed that fell on a rocky place, without much soil? Like the seed sown on rocky places, you hear the Word and at once receive it with joy. But since you have no root, it only lasts a short time. Yes-it sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow, but when the sun came up the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, do you quickly fall away?

3. Or are you the seed that fell among thorns, which grew up and chocked on the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Do you hear the word, but because the worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth and desires for other things come in and choke the word, become unfruitful?

4. Or are you planted in good soil? Which grows and produces a good crop, multiplying up to a hundred times? You hear the Word, accept it, and produce a crop greater than what was sown?

Mark 4:11 "The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to YOU"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pray for this city!

I will give details later, but please pray for this is full of darkness. It make me sick to my stomach to even think about the things I've seen tonight. Please pray for this city, especially the prostitution here, and also pray for the our team to not be affected by this and rely on God. We can feel the darkness and oppression, and I am praying for Christ to keep renewing our strength everyday. Thank you

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Desire God and you will have desires from God ~Smith Wigglesworth

So today, again, was another beautiful day. The weather, yes hot, but so wonderful. Although I could technically sleep in today, I had lots to do. Started off my morning with a crying baby, so loud and crisp it sounded like it was right outside my door. Then I decided to drag my butt out of bed and hit the pavement around 8:45am. Had a great run, almost 5 and a half miles today. I'm finally working my way back up to where I was before winter hit (and since I don't run on treadmills-winter means I usually don't run). After a great run, I showered quick. I was able to skype my parents, little sis, and best of all my Grandpa Rae and his fiance Giny! It was wonderful to be able to see them. I don't think my grandpa had ever been so excited about technology in his life. He is probably still trying to figure out how he is able to see me when I'm all the way across the world. Anyways, it was wonderful to talk to them for awhile. Then did some homework before skyping with one of my best friends from home. I love being able to share about my trip with people who are genuinely interested, and especially interested in what God is doing in my life. And before I knew it, it was already past noon. With 45 minutes left before we had to leave for the day, I thought it was about time I got dressed and ready for the day. Deanna, a wonderful 6 foot White Thai Missionary, came a picked us up. We went with here to Ramkenhang University. Here we met up with a university student who has recently given her life to Christ. She is such a beautiful person, and has a huge heart. I love Thai people, they have such a fun/sweet spirit and it is obvious they love life. We were able to hang out with her, and I have definitely met a new friend! Today was the first day I got a glimpse of what we would be doing ministry wise while in Bangkok, and I am seriously so excited to get going. The student we met up with is in charge of putting together an English Hour at the University where anyone who wants to come can practice their English. Thai students are required to learn English, and most really want to practice. I never realized what a good way this is for people to connect with Thai people, build relationships with them, and then create a bridge to asking them to come to church with you. It is so cool to see the creativity of God's work. While talking with her, we were able to help two muslim girls practice their English. They can read it very well, but are not very comfortable speaking. While talking with them, we invited them to come next Monday to English hour, where we can practice more. PRAY that they actually follow through and that we will be able to build a relationship with them. PRAY for God to begin His work in their hearts, and that He can use this to plant a seed, and hopefully share the Gospel message with them. God is so good, and is obviously moving in the City of Bangkok. I am constantly reminded in this dark city, that no matter what is going on here - God is still the God of this city, of this nation, and of these people! My prayer is that through seeking God, and giving Him time to move in my life, I will desire Him that much more. And hopefully, my desires will change into godly desires.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 12: 25/1/11

Today was our second day of classes. While some are stuck in class rooms, listening to a professor drone on and on, I get the privilege of touring Bangkok with Dr. Alan Johnson. The coolest nerds I've ever met in my life. Instead of listening to a lecture about the history of Bangkok and Southeast Asia, we got to go see what we were actually talking about. It was a great day of cheap iced coffee that is to die for, getting a lot of sun, and learning first hand what the history. Yes please! Just today we got to use a river taxi, both big and small, a bus, and the sky train! I am really enjoying experiencing what it is like to live in a real city. But on the flip side, I am also making observations about what I want for myself and for the rest of my life...I never want to live in a big city!!! The traffic drives me crazy, the 10,000 different smells of who knows what make me nauseous, the lack of relationships, the attitude of worry about yourself, the tall buildings that have taken over Gods beautiful creation, and the lack of peacefulness is not me at all. Although my last blog was about the peace of living here, I am located on a quiet side road. But about a quarter of a mile away is a main street with cars zooming by and motorcycle taxi's about to run you over. I was thinking about the city, and although fun and an unlimited amount of things to do/places to eat/malls to shop at/grocery stores to go to/etc., I know this is not for me. I can't wait til the day I get to experience the country side of Thailand and see God's beautiful creation. When I can look up at the nights sky and see the beautiful stars, too many to count-rather than the pollution and city lights. I also can't wait for the day that I can settle down into a small rural area. Where that may be, I have no idea. But I do know one thing, it will be somewhere where it is warm! Being here, rather than buried in snow, has made me really realize how much I love heat. I pray that I end up in the south, or somewhere with no extreme winter. But who knows. Although I would love to write more, I must start studying for my Thai Language class tomorrow morning. Hard stuff.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


While my goal was to blog everyday, and journal everyday, and keep track of every detail throughout the entire trip...that has not happened. So tonight I want to blog about the the beauty and peace I have found in this city. Although some may consider it to be dirty or a rough part of town, I consider myself privileged to be in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I've ever encountered. My days here start of with the sun shining through my big windows, the birds chirping, and sipping on a freshly brewed cup of coffee. It is so much different, and refreshing I might add, than my life at Evangel. The rush, busyness and stress of school has definitely not accompanied me on this trip. Instead, I usually have my mornings free to spend as much time reading, praying, and journaling as I want. There is no alarm clock to wake me up for 8 am class, but my body wakes itself up early in the morning. The warm weather adds to the peacefulness. I do not mind at all laying on my very own patio, soaking up the rays, listening to worship music. Or when it gets too hot, I can come inside and open up my giant windows, letting the cool breeze and warmth of the sun come in while lying on my bed reading or talking with my incredible roommate. I cannot decide if it is just the warm weather, the fact my schedule isn't packed every second of the day, the fact that I'm away from a world that clogs my head and heart with useless things, or just the fact that I have been spending a lot of time with God lately (or all of the above) - but my life couldn't be better. My prayer is that everyone will experience the fullness of life God has for you like I am now. Some asked me if I was scared before coming over here, and my answer may have been a little different each time but honestly, I knew it was God orchestrating every step of the way so I could come over here, so I didn't have much to be scared about. Now looking back-I would answer, as Tammy my house mother would say, I'd be scared if I didn't come here because it is so evident that God wanted me here. Bangkok is in no ways a "beautiful place" to the outside eye, but God is here, and He is the God of this city. I can feel it.

Bluetree "God of this City" Story

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 1: Tuesday January 11, 2011

I pop out of bed 3 hours later at 5 am. I quickly get ready and pack up the car. We drove to Gretna to meet Jenna for breakfast. (This is a really special day for her, she is closing on her 1st House with her husband tonight). After breakfast and a few tears shed, Mom, Dad and I head back to the Lincoln Airport. We say our goodbyes around 10 am. I have about a half hour before my plane boards. My first flight from Lincoln went very smoothly. I sat across from a nice, older lady from DC and even got the entire row (2 seats) to myself. I don’t waste any time getting to my next Gate in Minneapolis. Good thing, because as I am about 1 minute away, I hear “last boarding call to Toyko”. I became a little panicked at that time, but got on fine with nothing to worry about. This was my first time riding in an 747! Its huge-70 rows with 8 seats and an upstairs. I finally met up with Heidi, another girl from Evangel going. Then we sat there for about an hour doing who knows what, while some old hick from Montana rambles on about the mole on his back, and that he goes to Thailand every year. I don’t know if he isn’t updated on the creeper status, but he told us what Hotel he was stayigg at and we should come visit…definite creeper move, but he seemed harmless. As I walked on the plane it hit me, these next 4 months are going to be a compelte culture shock. I was surrounded by people who do strange things, talk funny, wear clothes I’ve never seen put together before. Kind of scary, but also exciting to see another culture. I sit next to a Japanese lady. She doesn’t speak English but is very sweet, she even offered me her shrimp from dinner. I come back from walking around and look at my seat and thought I saw a fingernail clipping but didn’t think it could be. Then I look over and see that she is clipping her nails…gross!! Dinner was served at 4, kind of early, but I didn’t have time to eat lunch because I walked to my gate at the last boarding call. Now I am trying to pass the time as I sit on my 13 hour plane ride from MN to Toyko. That’s all for now, check back in with you soon!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Not listening to my mother’s advice, I procrastinated packing once again. There was a huge snow storm that hit 2 days before I am supposed to fly out. I am busy packing, getting lots of last minute things done before I leave. I finally get done packing around 9:30 pm Monday night. Go for a quick, last workout. Then a wonderful friend, Tyler, stops by to say goodbye and brings me a Reece’s McFlurry and we stay up way too late talking. I finally head to bed around 1:30am. But of course, Brit and I have to have a sleep over my last night here. So we talk and scratch each others’ backs.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's to a beautiful beginning

So, I was thinking about the best way to journal about my adventures while in Thailand. I figured if I blog, I will not only be able to write down all the fun memories for myself, I will also be able to keep all my friends and family updated at the same time.

So here we go.
Background Information
The past few years, I have had a huge heart for women trapped in sex slavery.  It all started when I read my all time favorite book, Redeeming Love, by Francene Rivers.  It is a fictional book, but based of the Book of Hosea in The Bible.  It is an incredible story of how God redeems a prostitute.  I wanted to help women who felt like there was no hope for them, and thought the only way to make money was to sell their bodies.  My heart for this began to grow for this specific area, and I knew it was because God wanted me to do something about it.  I had no idea how, but I just began to think and pray about how I could help.  My passion really began to grow for sex trafficking and sex slavery once I got to college. 
As soon as I heard John Saenz talk about the mIme experience in Chapel, I knew God wanted me to go.  I could feel the tug on my heart saying that this would be the perfect opportunity for me to see if missions was something I want to pursue.  It was long enough to really become immursed in the culture, I would still take classes and be able to be a student (the only way I knew my parents would go for this), my scholarships would still apply to everything, and my room and board money I normally pay Evangel would be applied while in Bangkok.  I began to be a little discouraged when he said they would not be starting this program until FA-11, my senior year, and the semester that a lot of my upper level Math classes are offered.  I knew I could not miss those, and I knew I could not take them online/independent study.  But then he said they were interested in taking a small group of girls to work with his wife in the SP-11 semester.  And the best news, that his wife’s ministry mostly worked with prostitues, sex slavery, and their children.  As soon as I heard that, I wanted to sign up.  So I went to a meeting to hear more about it and began filling out an application.  Out of fear, I didn’t turn the application in right away.  I finally finished it and turned it in a couple weeks later.  And much to my dismay, the trip was full!  I was so sad, I had been praying God would open a door for me to help out with sex slavery and I thought this was my chance.  So that was it, the trip was full for the SP-11 semester, the only semester I’d be able to go.
During spiritual emphasis week at Evangel (about 5 months later), I felt God bringing this opportunity back up in my mind.  I was confused why, and somewhat upset because I didn’t think it was very nice for Him to lay this back on my heart when we both knew the trip was full.  Once again, I doubted God and His ability to be all-knowing.  After wrestling with Him about this, I got an email.  I was in the library studying about a week later, and an the email said a girl had backed out, and they would love for me to come in for an interview.  I was so excited! I knew God was going to work things out.  I got so excited, I skyped my mom and Jenna right away to tell them all about this exciting opportunity.  (This was not the first time they’d heard me mention it, but the first time I told them about it, they didn’t think I was really serious about it.) 
Since I was so excited, I just figured everyone else would be too.  The thing with skype is that you cannot hide your expressions like you can when talking on the phone.  Immediately after I told them, their faces both were far from thrilled – it  was more as a “I hope you’re kidding” look.  I knew that look. I’d seen it before.  I was so disappointed because I wanted everyone else to share in this excitement with me.  But my family obviously looked at it from a different angle, the realistic angle.  They brought to my attention all the things going on Thailand with a recent war broke out against the government, among other safety concerns.   [I should probably mention that my dad had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer only a week before-so they were dealing with all of that. How can I argue with someone during such a time like that?]  My mom and sister broke the news to my dad, who was ever more upset about this than my mom, he just wanted to keep his little girl safe. 
I interviewed anyways on a Tuesday.  I receieved an email shortly after saying  they would love to have me go.  So I didn’t talk to him until Wednesday.  He sounded like he had his mind made up that he didn’t want me to go.  Myself, my amazing roommate, Jes, and a couple othres prayed that God would change my dad’s heart.  Thursday he told me he would support my decision if I felt like I was supposed to go.  Friday was the last day I could tell them if I was going or not.  So I called Dr. Martindale Friday and signed up.  And here I am, 3 months later, on a plain to Bangkok, Thailand.
Thanks to everyone who helped support me on this trip both financially and through prayer! I would not be here without you.