As you know, my husband and I are missionaries living in Georgia. We work for a nonprofit organization called Adventures In Missions who trains and sends thousands of missionaries to the nations yearly.
This morning I met up with my sweet friend Kate and we drove around north Georgia to find a great hiking place. We settled on one of the plentiful state parks in the area, parked our car, and headed up a trail into the (completely unpredicted) rain.
It was supposed to have been sunny all day.
But that dampened neither of our spirits as we laced up our shoes and took a few deep breaths before launching into long-winded updates on our lives.
There are times for utter silence in the woods.
And then there are times for external processing and heavy breathing and beautiful revelations about and from The Father. This was one of those times.
We shared our Christmas stories of visiting family and friends. We discussed things that had our hearts burdened. We laughed and celebrated new beginnings and hope on the horizon and stories about how funny and charming the Lord is. And He spoke to us. He really did. And this is what He shared with me:
I am a do-er. I was created to be an accomplisher of great things. I have always identified myself as a “do-er” even to the point of missing out on how awesome it is to just be me. I have passed over on opportunities to sit and be still, to relax, to be silent, to receive, all because I felt the need to get up and do something. God created me to do great things for His Kingdom. And do them I will. But He also created me to be amazing. I am passionate and witty and kind and sexy and brilliant and fierce and beautiful. I am whimsical and emotional and dramatic and enthusiastic and I sometimes take things too seriously. I am made to be a shoulder for people, to be a sounding board for their pain and their celebrations. I am a storyteller and a performer, I am a planner and an organizer and a nest-er. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am exactly who I need to be. Just because I Am.
And you know what?
The God Of The Universe is captivated by my brilliance and beauty. Utterly captivated. He is delighted that I am who I am and that He knows me. He thinks I’m a treat. He believes me to be so special and so unique and so worth it.
And you know what?
He thinks that about you, too.
You captivate the God of heaven and earth. You are clever and generous and lovely. You are tender. You are strong. You have what it takes. And when you feel like you don’t, you really do. And you are wise and charming and necessary. You are so necessary. And enchanting and satisfying and enjoyable. You are grand.
And the God who reigns over all is completely and devastatingly and totally captivated by you. Exactly as you are. Right. Now.
It’s time we start living like it.
So what are we to do now? Well, I can tell you how I feel about it. I’m going to stop saying negative things about my body. I’m going to start saying awesome things about my body- like how it’s so useful for getting me to and fro, for doing all the things I ask it to do without hesitation, and for how beautiful it is. I’m going to start moving and eating and sleeping and drinking like I love my body, and I’m grateful for it. I’m going to stop saying hurtful things about my personality. I’m going to embrace all the goodness and all the flaws and all the quirks and all the humor that comes with being me. I’m going to love it. I’m going to stop feeling so insecure about myself around other women, or other professionals, or other yoga teachers, or people with straight teeth. I’m going to start celebrating how awesome other people are. I’m going to tell them how great and fierce and fabulous they are. I’m going to remind myself that I’m fierce and fabulous and breathtaking all the time. I’m going to enjoy where I am today, even if I’m working on it. I’m going to breathe in and fill up with joy and exuberance and peace and hope and love for all people and all things. I’m going to breathe all that goodness out onto whatever or whomever happens to be in the same zip code as me.
I am going to own how good God has created me to be. Stopping with the excuses and the complaints, I’m going to embrace exactly who He has designed me to be, and celebrate that no one else on earth can be me.
Just like no one else on earth can be awesome, funny, delightful, terrific, beautiful, gifted, fantastic you.
And God is captivated by that.
I’ve been walking through some junk over the past several years. And the name of the junk monster is FINANCE. I’ve really struggled (haven’t we all?) with budgeting, making enough, and getting All The Things paid. And I’ve been feeling for awhile now that I’ve been walking through some curses, financially speaking. That may sound like hoo doo, but it certainly hasn’t felt that way. Coming home from the Race I was faced with an overwhelming and unexpected financial situation. God blessed me with a job, and I began the painstaking journey of pulling myself out of the pit one day at a time. When I felt I was making some good headway- finally– I was bitten by a poisonous spider and suddenly faced three separate emergency medical bills, as well as unbelievably expensive antibiotics.
I kept going.
I got those bills paid off, and my credit card paid off… and this past weekend my car decided to die suddenly while I was driving down the highway.
There were 3 recalls on my vehicle, and they were fixed for free at the dealership. Thank You, Jesus! You know I can’t handle car expenses right now. But within 20 miles of driving after picking my newly-fixed car up, all the same warning lights as before came on, in addition to a terrifying warning sound… and then my gas and brake pedals stopped working.
So as of last night, Penelope the Prius is back in a shop, where I was warned that it would be nearly $100 just to look at her. But… as we do in this day and age, I need a reliable vehicle, so I took her in anyway.
And proceeded to lose my mind in fear and anxiety about what may or may not be wrong, and how much it may or may not cost.
I wept through an entire conversation with The Professor about it. We discussed the Lord’s favor, and His provision, and my fear that I didn’t have enough faith to believe His favor could or would show up in my life in such a tangible way as a free fix or even- as The Prof encouraged me to pray- for an upgrade to my car. I just didn’t know. I have a long history of not receiving favor in that kind of in-your-face, extraordinary, supernatural way. He reminded me that my history does not predict my future, and that he had enough faith and trust to believe for both of us that this situation would work out the way it needs to, and that it will all be okay in the end.
I spent all of yesterday in prayer to the Lord, asking for His divine favor in the form of an upgrade to my car or, at the very least, a lack of financial burden to fix what’s wrong with it. It’s cool to get new things, but I love my car very much, and don’t care in the least bit for a new one. I just want my feelings of safety in regards to my car to be restored. I want to drive down the street knowing that I will get from Point A to Point B safely and without issue. That’s my real desire.
I also spent a lot of time thanking the Lord for who He is and for giving me this chance to renew my dependence on and trust in Him.
This morning during my break at work I found a new Graham Cooke youtube video. Graham Cooke is a prophetic speaker, and he reeeaaallly speaks to my soul. I think anyone who listens to him would have the same reaction. The Professor introduced me to his videos a few weeks ago, and I’ve enjoyed them all immensely, but none have touched me the way this particular one did.
It was about favor.
I have been looking at favor (and seeking it) as a one-time imparting of a tangible gift. I’ve been looking for a physical, touchable handout, instead of looking at favor as what it truly is: an intentional bias toward me because of relationship.
I’ve been looking at favor all wrong!
Favor is a special kindness from God to me because we are in relationship with one another. I’ve been seeking an end result; God has been asking me to look at and enjoy the process of what my current circumstances are creating for me. I have been financially burdened my whole life. I have struggled with finances for as far back as my memory goes. I keep looking for a fish, when God wants to teach me how to fish, and how to enjoy the process of relating with Him.
Mr. Cooke reminds us that when circumstances arise in which we feel we are losing, or we aren’t receiving favor, there are a few questions we must ask:
- What does this mean?
- What should I do to partner with Your cause and Your Purpose for me?
It all comes down to this point:
God, what is it that You want to be for me now, that You couldn’t at any other time?
If this is our focus, if this is our starting point of thought and intention, everything else falls into place. If we look at circumstance, we’re lost. If we concentrate on our relationship, we’ve won. Even if and when it feels like we can’t go on, when the burdens seem too difficult to bear, we will not sink, because our eyes are on the goodness of the Lord. Which is unchanging. Which is unfailing. Which always is. We shouldn’t desire to see God’s goodness retroactively. We should want it right now, up front, in the thick of it.
And so my focus should move from Will I be able to afford the cost of fixing my car? to God is good. He is so, so good. And He loves me. And He is for me. And if this is the situation I am in, He has something very special and very important for me.
Cooke opened his message with this:
In the world, if it’s ‘too good to be true’ someone is being conned. But in the kingdom, if it’s NOT ‘too good to be true’ it’s not God.
Wow. Talk about stretching your faith. I didn’t grow up in a church that freely discussed the favor and the mercy and the goodness of God. I am a part of one now, but this is a long-reaching belief to replace. I’m still not a wealth-and-prosperity believer, but I do believe that as my Father, God loves to give me things. Sometimes they are hard things to receive. But they are always gifts, and they are always for my good. When a circumstance arises, or the Holy Spirit convicts me of something, there is something being pointed out in my life that isn’t working. Cooke says that it’s when this happens that God gets excited. EXCITED. Because it’s only when He points something out that He is ready to do something about it. This is the area of your next miracle, or- in his own words- your next UPGRADE.
There! There it is! The Professor asked me to pray about an upgrade the Lord might have for me, and this is it! It is an opportunity to grow closer to Him who loves me and delights in me so much! It is an opportunity to grow my faith and to embolden my trust that He has my back and is working for my good. Favor does not mean life runs smoothly. It means you are consumed by God’s desire for you.
Mr. Cooke reminds us that the Holy Spirit is the most excitable, enthusiastic, encouraging, and empathetic Person he knows. And this is so true! How have I not thought of this before? I was asked recently which of the Trinity I felt most connected with. I immediately answered The Father. Mostly because of my daddy issues, and the redemption He has brought to that specific area. But I’m convinced now that it is the Holy Spirit. I am created in the likeness of the Spirit- passionate, enthusiastic, encouraging, excitable, empathetic, present, dramatic.
Talk about the acorn not falling far from the tree.
This encourages me so much, because I also don’t come from a background of knowledge about or trust in the Holy Spirit. It’s just not something we talked about or learned about until very recently in my relationship with Christ. And knowing that He has modeled me after this one mysterious part of Himself, it gives me a hunger and desire to know more and experience more and more and more.
This is the favor of the Lord in my life. This is His calling me to draw closer, to come more intimately near Him, and grow up.
Mr. Cooke talks about two more things: an inheritance verse and our unique Name for the Lord in each of our lives. The latter I’ll discuss in a later blog (because it’s deserving enough- and I’m sure long-winded enough- to merit it’s own post). But an inheritance verse is something that the Lord gives us individually- a word spoken to us, over our lives, from the Bible. Cooke says the Lord is previous-minded. He will put a verse on our hearts- and most of us have heard this, we just haven’t recognized it or given it enough thought- but we will recognize it and claim it for ourselves in future circumstances. Cooke says once we receive that inheritance verse, we need to start living like it, owning it, using it in battle against the Enemy in all his lies and deceptions- THIS is what the Lord says about my life. This is His favor over me.
And for me, that verse- given to me about two years ago, is Luke 1:45:
Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.
This is in direct connection with God’s Name in my life, God’s unique affection with me.
Perhaps in my life I’ve not seen God’s favor show up in supernatural tangible ways. My friend Emily has seen this a lot (you can check out more of her incredible stories (and wonderful writing) here). I haven’t prayed for free furniture and received it. I haven’t asked for supernatural healing and received an inexplicable health report. And these are all stories from people I know personally! But God has shown up in my life in extraordinary ways, unique to the story He’s weaving with me. I always, always know He’s around. There’s never been a time in my entire life- even before I had a relationship with Him- where I didn’t know who He was, or that He was with me. I always, always feel The Comforter’s Presence. I always, always receive frequent reminders that God is thinking of me- little coincidences, little nods to the supernatural, every day. Every single day. Always.
God’s favor is thick on me.
Who knows how much it will cost to fix my car? Who knows if a miracle will happen and when I show up at the dealership a brand new car will be waiting on me? Who knows if I will spend the next two years of my life trying to pay for the repairs?
This is just one hiccup in the great adventure we call life. Stuff like this will always show up. But I believe in and have a relationship with a God who ‘is too good to be true.’
And I want more of it.
Not more of His gifts. Not more of what He can do for me.
More of Who He Is. More of Who I Am when I’m with Him. More of Who He Wants Me To Become.
I’m hungry for more.
And I’m ready to start living out my inheritance- and His favor.
To all my friends, family, and supporters:
Have you wondered what my year was like on the World Race? Have you wanted a glimpse into the ups and downs and everyday life? Well here’s your chance! Johnfrank Dieguez, Emily Tuttle, and Brody Contarino, a talented media team, put together an incredible and accurate portrayal of life on the Race.
Watching this video honestly gives me chills. If you’re looking for something out-of-the-norm, if you feel that you’re meant for something more extraordinary, if you are looking for an opportunity to live something bigger, check this out. Maybe the Lord is whispering to you, too.
People have been asking me what I’ve been up to since returning home from the World Race. Other than sleeping a ton, traveling all over the place to visit friends and family (who have all seemed to move far away since my being gone), and resting in the Lord, I’ve not been up to a lot.
Except I got a job!!
It took a minute, but I accepted a job as a nanny for a swanky family in Cincinnati, OH back in February. I’ve been at it for a little over a month, and I’m really enjoying it! I care for the two sweetest (and sassiest) girls on the planet: “K” and “V”, fraternal twins who just moved back from China, and also turned 9. They have a 10-month-old-ish pup whom we’ll call “J” and is the highlight of my mid-mornings.
A typical day will involve leaving my apartment no later than 6:10 am (which means I’m up and at ’em far earlier, attempting to beat the morning rush into and through Cincy. I grab the newspaper from the sidewalk on my way in, greet the pup (who is always awake and waiting for her meal), and wait for the girls to come to the kitchen. Then I make them breakfast, make sure they brush their teeth and hair, and then walk with them and J to the bus stop. Afterwards, the pup and I take a nice long walk, and when we come back I do a load of dishes. Then, depending on the day, it’s off to laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, grocery shopping, dog grooming, and any other random assortment of tasks and errands that may need to be done. I’ll pick the girls up from school, maybe we’ll hit up the public library on our way home, and then have a snack, do some homework together, do some online math together, and have them practice their piano pieces on the days they don’t have piano class. I finish the day by cooking dinner for the fam, and then hop in my car to head home which takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the ALWAYS TERRIBLE Cincy traffic.
It’s not a bad gig.
I’m really enjoying it.
I’m also beginning to realize what a lonely life nannies ultimately lead. My day begins between 5:30 and 5:45 and ends with getting back to my apartment between 7:30 and 8:30… which is honestly late enough for me to shower, crawl into bed with a book, and drift off to catch as much sleep as I can before it all begins again. My days are spent mostly to myself, which I’m comfortable with, and when I’m surrounded by people, it’s really only two 9-year-olds and a dog. I don’t work in an office or building where I’m having conversations with other adults, I’m not meeting coworkers for coffee or drinks on the way home, I don’t have enough energy to go out with friends once I get home.
I’m realizing how much I miss normal human interaction.
But I’m willing to suck it up and deal with whatever this job has to demand of me. I have the opportunity to pay my bills and drag myself out of debt. I have the opportunity to work unsupervised and to develop a work ethic that encourages my employers to continue placing their trust in me.
And, most beautifully, I have the opportunity to invest in these girls and impress upon them value, identity, and a sense of how special they are.
I read this article a while back about how we as Americans are really missing the ball on connection and communication. For instance, we say, “How are you?” and we are really only expecting a “Fine, thanks” and let’s all move on. God forbid someone actually stop to tell us how they really are and cause us to pause on our way to Somewhere More Important. The article said we should strive to deepen our communication by asking intentional questions seeking intentional answers. I’ve been implementing this in my days with the girls: when I pick them up from school I ask questions like, “Did anything make you feel proud today?” or “Did you feel excited about anything?” And if these prompt no real answers, I ask more basic questions like “Did anything make you feel angry (or sad) today?” The goal is to get them to process how they are feeling and what is creating that emotion within them. For the first several days (up to almost two weeks) they were a little shocked at the questions and didn’t really have a lot to share. After that it become a pretty normal conversation for us to share. I would always have to prompt them, however, before they would offer what happened during their day.
UNTIL this past week when I picked the girls up from school and they both immediately launched into excited monologues about what made them proud that day, and why. I felt like such a proud
Our days are full of laughter and stories and dancing, playing with puppy, practicing piano, and playing games. We make it a very serious point to play Disney songs (of course they love Frozen) every evening as I make dinner. We dance around the kitchen and sing at the top of our lungs and make general fools of ourselves for the love of music and joy. Their hugs goodbye are the best gifts ever, and when they feel bad and need to cuddle, my world is a complete place.
I never would have imagined myself in a role such as this, pouring myself out for the benefit of someone else’s children… but I can’t imagine doing something else in this season. Having this incredible opportunity to impress upon these girls a real sense of their worth and beauty and intellect and value is completing me in a way I didn’t know was incomplete.
This is (hopefully) just a taste of the legacy I want to leave on this planet: a legacy of love and value that I can pour one day into my own children and that they, in turn, can pour into theirs. Isn’t that what life is meant to be? A tabletop full of champagne goblets being filled and then overflowing into the next and the next and the next until the flood reaches beyond the edge of the table and spills over into the Great Wide Somewhere.
Thanks, God, for this season.
I read a blog a couple years about a woman who did 36 random acts of kindness for her 36th birthday. By then I had already passed my birthday for the year, so I kept it in the back of my mind, ready to conquer it the next year.
The next year, however, I left on the World Race.
So this was the year! On my actual birthday I woke up, already having prepared for the day, excited about the opportunities to love on the world around me. But, as life does, things get in the way, and I ended up working for 10 hours AND going to the doctor (I’m fine). So, giving myself grace (what a great lesson for me!), I postponed the fun to the next weekend- TODAY!
So here for your reading and viewing pleasure, are my 29 random acts of kindness to celebrate my 29th birthday! I firmly believe I received so much more from this day than anyone else in the world- so much joy and excitement and feelings of good will… I am so fully blessed.
Also my sweet friends Caroline and Emilee joined me on this day of adventures, and we were LEGIT superheroes!
1. Finish baking bread for Janice
2. Taped popcorn to a Redbox
3. Left love notes on cars in a parking lot (Caroline hand-delivered one to a lady who was getting into her car. She read the note and smiled and gushed with thanks)
4. Bought a $20 gift card in Walmart, immediately turned around and handed it to an elderly couple behind us. The wife gasped and said “Dear God! You’re giving this to us?!” AWESOME.
5. Caroline helped put grocery bags in an elderly lady’s shopping cart.
6. Donuts to the workers at Chick-fil-A!
7. Donated to the Haiyan Typhoon Survivor Fund (I was actually in The Philippines when this struck) (we also donated to other funds throughout the day)
8. Helped a girl chase down fly-away napkins at Panera
9. Focused on being a kinder driver/allowed other cars and pedestrians the right of way all day (even if it wasn’t!)
10. Donated hand-crocheted blankets to the Pregnancy Help Center
11. Sat with someone and really listened
12. Struck up a conversation with an older couple in line next to us at the movie theatre, found out which show they were heading to, bought their tickets, and handed them to them. This was my favorite moment of the day! They were so surprised!! It took a moment for them to recover, and they were all smiles and laughter and appreciation. It was the best.
13. Baked cookies and took to the local fire/ems department
14. Spent the day smiling and waving at everyone we passed
15. Corralled carts in the Walmart parking lot
16. Dropped pennies in the local park for kids to find
17. Donated magazines to local hospital reception/waiting area
18. Donated clothes to Vineyard Compassion
19. Left quarters in machines at a laundromat
20. Bought local restaurant gift cards, put them in envelopes with love letters and left them in random places
21. Paid-it-forward at Purdy’s (the best coffee shop on the planet)
22. Left extra popcorn bags at Emilee’s for roommates
23. Swept Caroline’s neighbor’s outside steps
24. Baked cookies and left them on my neighbors’ doors
25. Bought coffee for the people behind us at Hastings
26. Wrote thank you notes to my favorite bloggers
27. Mailed a letter to an old friend
28. Hopped out of the car at an intersection and high-fived friends in front of us; was almost run over by more friends calling us “Hooligans” (I’m looking at you, Chris Barger)
29. Hid gift cards among books in local bookstore
This day was AMAZING. And on top of everything that happened, Jesus kept smiling on us in more and more ways:
*the weather was a perfect 64* with bright blue skies
*we ran into friends all over town!*I successfully upgraded my phone for a fraction of the actual cost (thanks, non-ATT store!)
*I ran into old friends I hadn’t seen since college
*high fives all around. from everyone.
Jesus is good, birthdays are good, kindness is good.
Spread it all around!
originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org
the things blog…
*The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis. It’s much slower this time than the first time I went through it. But the creation of Narnia was much more magical.
*Allegiant, Veronica Roth. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting to read this and I did and I AM DYING. Read the series.
*A Dance With Dragons, George R.R. Martin. I figure it’s time to complete the circle. At least, what we currently have of it…
*I watched Miracle 4 or 5 times…
*I’ve been really into “Family” genre movies this month.
*lots of PJoe sermons. I’m trying to catch up to the church, so I can be on par for when I get home.
*THE BEST FOOD OF THE RACE.
*skits/songs at church
*leading Kids Klub services
*weeding the huuuuuuge pineapple patch (where giant spiders live)
*ATL (Ask the Lord…wait for His prompting… and then go do it
*building relationships with the people we meet in the village or on the beach
*cleanup for typhoon damage (and we might be doing more typhoon-related stuff later on… hopefully)
*all the kids/youth here. they are AMAZING
*the food. oh my gosh, the food
*the women who do threads of hope (and having them teach me cool things!)
*having pet monkeys
*living on the most beautiful beach
*swimming in the crystal clear aqua and navy ocean
*it’s sooooooo hot. that’s the only thing i don’t love about this place
*except for the GIANT BUGS (including spiders and other terrifying things)
Looking Forward To
*spending every moment fully present here
*going home next month!
*christmas (it’s the most wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeaaar)
originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org
Long time, no see, Readers! My team was recently stationed in China, where facebook, personal blogs, and anything associated with “M” and “C” and “J” Words was most definitely blocked. Those words being Missionary, Christian, and Jesus. And so a month away was warranted.
It was an incredible month, even without social media sites.
My team ended up in a remote village far away from anything, in the mountains of the Tibetan provinces. If Tibet were a free country, we would have been in it rather than “China.”
At 9,600 feet, even breathing while having a conversation was extremely difficult, and my teammates and I would often wake in the middle of the night trying to catch our breath.
We did workout, however! I started a 60 Day Insanity Challenge, and was faithful every day we were at our site. I did spend most of my time catching my breath rather than burning my muscles, but it was worth it! I felt healthy, energetic (well, as much as possible), and peaceful. It seems as though if I am taking care of my body, everything else seems to fall into place. My attitude was better, my perspective was more rounded, and my humor increased. I began to enjoy team time much more, and even our ministry was more enjoyable.
Speaking of ministry…
It was a little difficult this month. There were only 3 English speakers in our town, and we were not supposed to use any “Christianese” language; rather, we were just meant to build relationships and carry God’s Spirit with us, living our lives in prayer and worship, and trusting that God Himself would take care of the souls around us.
We learned a lot about trusting in Him: to provide Divine appointments, to break down culture and language barriers, to provide our warmth without heat in our apartment (and it snowed twice). We learned a lot about reveling in the beauty and glory of God’s creation: we were surrounded by the most beautiful mountains, and a sky so blue you could swim in it.
I’m sitting here in a very short layover in Malaysia, on our way to the Philippines (where we’ve heard a typhoon is brewing just north of it), so I’ll keep this short.
Be in prayer for the people of China, and of Tibet. Be in serious intercession for the “M” workers who live there. They need support, and encouragement, and protection in the deepest way.
And trust in our Great and Mighty God to provide.
Because He will.
climbing huge mountains to rejoice and pray
jumping in prairies with schoolchildren
marveling at how blessed we are, and how good He is
|originally written at http:andimoore.theworldrace.org|
We are 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (so all you friends at home in Kentucky, when it’s 9 pm your time on Sunday, it’s actually 9 am our time on Monday morning). mind=blown
Fun Facts: Traveling. To get to Hong Kong from Uganda, we flew 5 hours to Qatar, where we had a 6 hour layover, and then an 8 hour flight into Hong Kong. Tomorrow we head into the mainland and this will be our day:
*taxis at 9 am to get to the metro
*30 minute metro ride
*2-3 hour train ride
*34 hour train ride. yes, you read that correctly. 34 hours. half of us will be on “hard sleepers” (I don’t know), and the other half on chairs for the entire ride
*we don’t know yet how far from the last train station to our final location, but we’re hoping it’s less than the rest of the trip 😉
Facebook will not be available, so if you don’t hear from me on the site, don’t worry; I haven’t fallen off the side of the planet.
VERY IMPORTANT: all electronic communication is monitored. I will only be using my email this month (not even this blog), so please please PLEASE be very sensitive about things you say or information you share. Don’t use any name for “God” or “Lord,” don’t say things like “prayer,” “missionary,” “gospel,” “church,” or anything of that nature. Please do not type any prayers in my email, or encourage me with any form of Christianese language. All emails that I open will be viewed by the Chinese and can put our ministry, our contact, and any Christians we meet into danger. Please be highly aware and sensitive of your language. Also note that if we do have a chance to skype (and I sincerely hope we do), the call will be listened to. So even via skype, be very, very careful with the things you say to me or share with me. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible while we are here.
Email: If you do want to get in touch with me, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, I still use yahoo).
Having said that, don’t worry that you’ll miss out on what we’re doing this month. I will keep a journal and log of all the adventures we go on and send out blog updates at the end of the month, so be sure to check back here at the beginning of November.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to go to the Big Country and do what I’ve been called for so long to do. This has been such a dream of mine for so long, and I am grateful to you all for all the financial support, encouragement, and thoughts you’ve sent my way. Please continue to think of me, and my team, and mention us to our Father as often as you think about us.
ladies night out in Hong Kong
leads you to things like YARN SHOPS
and make sure try the street food (it’s the best)
originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org
This month in Rwanda, I’m teaming up with the ladies from my team and two others for Feministry! All our men have taken off to an undisclosed location (across town) and are doing their thang, while the ladies have been split into two groups to spread the glory of womanhood around.
My teams are spending our time teaching students at a school in the mornings, preaching in churches on the weekends, and hanging with a women’s group one afternoon a week. It’s pretty fantastic.
I have to tell you, though, in the beginning I wasn’t too psyched. Normally I would be! I really enjoy teaching, especially high school-age students and older. But Karilyn and I were given the “P2” classroom, full of 8 year olds who hit each other, constantly get up and walk around (sometimes even out of the classroom), and definitely don’t listen. Believe me when I tell you that that first day was a doozy and a sure-fire wake-up call. I woke up the next day thinking I can’t do this. I definitely can’t do this.
But of course you can, and you do. You get up and trudge positively on. Karilyn and I went back and began teaching what we knew- English and Math and songs with dancing. We also started working on a memory verse for the kids which, after 2 days they can now recite at the top of their lungs:
“JESUS ANSWERED, ‘I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE!’ JOHN
CHAPTER 14 VERSE 6!!!!!!!!!!!”
learning to memorize and recite
You know, I bet Jesus said it in just the same way.
But that’s not even the best part!
After a few days of being with the kids, we’ve learned their names and they have learned ours. They have stopped greeting us with a formal, “THIS IS THE P2 CLASS. WELCOME, VISITORS!” and started greeting us with a “GOOD MORNING, TEACHER!” which is cool in and of itself. They have started listening better, and responding when we ask questions. They sing to us and dance for us (sometimes at inappropriate times…cough cough…. math time… cough), and they hug us goodbye every afternoon.
The coolest thing, so far, has been our song time. Karilyn and I taught them “This Little Light of Mine” and they LOVE IT. Today when they left class for home, we heard the majority of them singing it all the way out of the schoolyard. We also heard them repeating the memory verse, just for fun.
It’s a pretty cool feeling to know you’ve had an impact on a person, even in such a small way. But to hear these babies singing about Jesus and reciting His words is an altogether surreal and incredible experience.
I love teaching.
and drawing on the board
originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org
It’s time for a new location, a new emotional and spiritual season, and a new position on my World Race Team: I am the new treasurer!
It’s been an interesting journey for me to get to this point. I spent the entire year spurning this role, and complaining that I would definitely never, ever be a treasurer, ever because I hate money and, to be perfectly honest, I am a terrible budgeter.
But here I am, and here we are, and now I have all my team’s money under my management. My squad leaders said they prayed about it and really believed in me- that I would rise to the challenge, manage successfully, and grow more fully into this next season that I’m beginning (this is the second blog in which I’ve referenced this new season, but, again, no hints yet).
So please continue to pray for me as I step into this new role, learn more about money management and diligent note-keeping, and continue to grow. With three months left, tons can happen, and I am looking forward to it all.
originally posted at http://andimoore.theworldrace.org
I’m Going To Use The Word “Healing” A Lot
This morning I finally listened to Pastor Joe’s* sermon from Father’s Day, back on June 16. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get to this point, or why it was today that I listened to it. But he was talking about children as arrows, and loosing them at the right target, and about how “God as Father” might be a scary or frightening concept for those who grew up without fathers or with abusive dads or whatever. If you read my blog from last September (WRR Episode 1), I wrote about how the World Race was really bringing up some of the daddy issues I’ve been facing for the last twenty-some-odd years. I talked about some of the open wounds that still remained, and some that had closed but left scars that ached randomly and in the most inopportune times. Really inconvenient, they were.
But as I listened to the message the Lord laid out for Pastor Joe, for the first time in my life, I felt peace. I didn’t feel slighted or hurt or scared or misunderstood. I didn’t feel angry about my childhood or sad about my present or worried about my future. I felt– I feel– peace about all of it. I was not aware that this was something God was working slowly and surely on, and I was overwhelmed with my response to PJoe’s words this morning. I can say with confidence and joy that the Lord my God– my loving Father– has brought me to a new and complete place of healing. No more will I identify myself as a girl with daddy issues, lingering or not. No more will I need prayer for healing for all those holes in my heart. It’s such a strange and light feeling to have this thing, this burden I’ve struggled with for so long, be gone. It’s literally and tangibly as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I can take my first steps in healing, and begin to pray for others. I can walk with joy and hope and potential. I can laugh at the days to come! This is the second time in my life I am fully aware of the depth and healing the Lord has brought to me, and as He is guiding my embarkation into a brand new season of life (stay tuned for more information on this awesome and exciting development), I know this is just one of the many, many things we will be dancing through together.
*Pastor Joe is the Senior Pastor of my church at home, Vineyard Community Church Richmond, and is basically like a surrogate father to all, but especially me. Hearing his sermons is like a taste of home, not just because it’s church, but because the sound of his voice is like the sound of home and family and cold Saturday mornings spent cooking and baking and knitting with his wife and a handful of college students.
PJoe, doin’ his thang, in case you needed to know what he looks like
love is the aroma of home