[Travel] The Latin Word for “Flex”

Missionary is a Latin word for “flex.”

My gullible self immediately thought our trip leaders were serious when they opened our training day with this line … for my easily persuaded friends out there, missionary doesn’t actually translate to “flex” in Latin.

Although they were facetious, their words served as a forewarning of the travel woes to come when our 6:00 p.m. flight to the other side of the island was cancelled without reason, rescheduled for 4:00 a.m. the next morning, and we didn’t have a hotel room to stay in because we’d checked out that morning.

Did I mention everyone was emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually drained from spending five days in a knock-out, drag-out fight for the gospel?

So what do you do in a foreign land when your flight is delayed for no apparent reason?


At our first stop, we explored the nooks and crannies of a 400-year-old 10922807_10100113124564690_5949600144154495871_nfortress and watched the sun kiss the Caribbean waters goodnight.

Then we climbed to the third floor of a home/restaurant for a coast-side dinner and laughter hour where delirium kicked in and a few teammates lost their mental marbles.

Around 9:30 p.m. we headed back to the airport to waste time and rest in the lobby before our 2:00 a.m. flight check-in … only to find out the airline conveniently forgot to mention they provide complimentary hotel rooms for situations like ours.

10974655_10152634977031517_4535731372048368680_oWe laid our heads down for about 2.5 hours before our alarms went off at the ungodly hour of 1:00 a.m. and we headed back to the airport in hopes of making it to our day’s destination (enjoy this glamor shot to the left).

Our flight remarkably left on time and we landed in the country’s capitol at 6:30 a.m. After another 4-hour catnap at the hotel, we headed out for a day of touring one of the most vibrant and historic cities I’ve wandered in my short 23 years of life.


In retrospect, I’m glad airlines in developing countries don’t get uptight about canceling a flight. I trust there was a divine reason our initial flight didn’t make and the Lord gave me another opportunity to work on my patience. The way I see it, it was a win-win.

It turns out this being flexible thing isn’t so bad after all.

[Reflection] The Perfect Package

A dear friend’s call last night led me to reflect on the perfectly packaged message in Matthew 6.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. –Matthew 6:25-34

It seems that anxiety creeps into my heart when I fear lack of provision … suddenly I forget God’s faithfulness in providing everything I need and Satan tempts me into worry.

Post-college I spent a year fumbling through adult life (and I’m still fumbling…I don’t think it’ll ever end), and the Lord was faithful through the doubts and fears that ensued in that season.

When I needed a place to stay, families from church and sweet friends opened their homes to me.

When minimum wage didn’t seem to add up to what I needed for the month, there was a miraculous abundance.

There’s never been a moment I’ve needed more than what was divinely given, yet in my sinfulness I still worry.10320519_10153010338145049_639198545787317458_n

But a mark of the believer is one of trust in the face of the unknown. We must combat the temptation to fret over the details of our days with the truth of God’s Word.

Matthew 6 resonates with me because God–in His infinite knowing–pairs the issue of finances with the cure for anxiety. He knew my sweet sister would need encouragement in His provision for days like yesterday. He knew I would need encouragement in His provision during the year I searched for work and shelter.

There are days we won’t know where the finances for (fill in the blank) will come from … but we serve a God who promises to nourish and clothe us.

When the cents don’t add up and worry begins to surface, cling to the prescribed antidote for anxiety …

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” –Philippians 4:6

Anxiety is never from the Lord. After all, He’s the Prince of Peace and meets the deepest of our needs.

There’s infinite proof of that at the Cross.

Our deepest need isn’t food or shelter, but the forgiveness of our sins. He rained down an abundance of forgiveness through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.

If we can trust Him to provide for our salvation, we have every reason to trust Him in providing our daily bread.

[Missions] Claimed


There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God & counter-claimed by Satan. | C.S. Lewis

God is taking back His island.

I witnessed it firsthand in the trenches of the island of old cars.

In the matter of four days of ministry, a team of ordinary men and women had front row seats to the extraordinary. Over and over the gospel was preached and lives were changed … 650 people heard of God’s great love for them and 542 responded to the tender tug on their hearts.

It was a fishing trip like none I’ve experienced before. I can’t wait to tell you more.

[Heart Fuel] Unity

10660189_10152738378675049_2363195357133155217_nLast week I caught a glimpse of Heaven – where cultures collide without tension and God dwells. I watched students from Texas and Mexico build community without the boundaries we’ve created. Culture, language, history, and race could not deter them from working together to complete tasks. I’m confident they experienced what we’re design for – unity. Unity with the Father and unity with people.

[Heart Fuel] Every. Single. Moment.


Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. | Psalm 139:19

There’s no such thing as a “bad day.” Some days are lined with difficult circumstances, but those circumstances don’t take away from what a good and perfect God formed in advance. He’s hemmed you in, behind and before. The King of the universe knows you and is for you. Every day is counted. Every day is good because He is good.


[Missions] see + hear + feel


It’s hard to grasp something that doesn’t seem tangible. Honestly, that’s a big reason many struggle accepting faith. Hebrew 11:1 tells us “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” There are going to be times we don’t see how things will work out, but we have hope and conviction through Jesus. Despite life’s circumstances, we know the end of the story. Because of Christ, we fight from victory, and through Christ we have the power to make the intangible, tangible. In Haiti last week, God repeatedly reminded me that He wants the gospel to be tangible to His children.

As I prepared my heart to serve with Mission of Hope: Haiti (MOH), I was ready to audibly share the Gospel. My first rendezvous with MOH was highlighted by time walking the village of Source Matelas praying and sharing the good news with passers-by. At that time, 19 Voodoo strongholds existed and many people struggled accepting Jesus. Sixteen months later, God’s fingerprints have spread throughout the village. Only two Voodoo strongholds remain and every person I came in contact with knew Jesus and attended church regularly. I was elated by the life transformation experienced in Source Matelas through the precious name of Jesus over such a short period of time.

My elation lasted a whole two days of service before discontentment flooded my tainted heart. As I helped entertain children during a Wednesday afternoon kids club, it was apparent that my role in Haiti contrasted greatly from my first trip and I was not happy about it. Instead of walking Source Matelas engaging in conversations about Jesus like I had planned, I played the role of human jungle gym. And that’s when it hit me. Earlier in the week, MOH staff encouraged the teams to spread Love through seeing, hearing, and feeling. A light bulb went off and I realized God didn’t need me to serve through speech. Instead, He needed me to make Jesus known through sight and touch.

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

In Mark 6:34, the disciples return from their own mission trips. Jesus recognizes their need for rest, so the gang heads to the middle of nowhere for a much needed break. When they reach their destination, over 10,000 people greet them. Rather than entering a place of rest, they stumbled on a giant group of people with physical and spiritual needs. Jesus tends to both and leaves an example for us to do the same. This scripture tells us, and MOH staff reminded me last week, that it’s just as important to see and feel the gospel as it is to hear the gospel.

The crowd sees the gospel when Jesus and the disciples set aside their plans to tend to the crowd’s needs. They hear the gospel when Jesus begins teaching. They feel the gospel when the bread and fish touch their lips. In these moments the gospel becomes tangible.

At Vacation Bible School throughout the week, our team was given the opportunity to pray for the children who adopted our laps as a place of comfort and protection. We got to use our hands and feet to hold the timid and chase the bold. We got to whisper, “Jezi renmen ou” into tiny ears with hope and anticipation that Jesus’ love would be the foundation of their lives (and that they could actually understand our broken Creole). We tended to physical needs by serving warm meals. Our role was revealing the gospel through seeing and feeling. Our Haitian counterparts’ role was a combination of all three. With hindsight twenty-twenty, I wouldn’t have it any other way because the lips sharing the gospel will influence the children for the duration of their lives, not the duration of a mission trip.

I’ve learned that seeing, hearing, and feeling are equally important. It seems to me that we tend to hover over one of the three, but I’m convinced the trio works together to make the intangible, tangible. Yes, hearing the gospel is critical (Romans 10:17), but it falls on deaf ears if people don’t see the gospel through the way we live and feel it by the way we love. After all, God doesn’t just tell us He loves us, He shows his love for us.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

How will you make the gospel tangible today?

[Missions] A mere 5 days


It’s been 16 months since the last time I watched the sun rise over the Haitian mountain-scape. And in five days, my soul’s yearning to return will be satisfied. Honestly, my desire to serve in Haiti again is a little bizarre. Fear held a tight grip on my heart for over half of my last stay, but God obliterated fear’s grasp. A few weeks ago, I told a friend I was hoping the Lord would allow our team to return to Source Matelas, the village we served in 2013. Within three hours, I received word we’d be in Source Matelas. God is in the business of redemption. I cannot wait to see how the Gospel has continued to redeem Source Matelas, a voodoo stronghold, and my once fear-filled heart.

Today I come to you with an anxious heart (is it August 2 yet?!) and a request for prayers. Prayers for faith to conquer fear. Prayers for open doors and hearts. Prayers for life transformation for every man, woman, and child in Haiti – including the lives of the four ladies pictured below.

A mere five days. Ekkk!



myTunes Monday: I Love You

I’m surrounded by friends who have impeccable music tastes. The music I enjoy most is usually one of their suggestions and is rarely heard on the radio. Anthony Mossburg’s “I Love You” points me to the cross and leaves me in awe of the Christ’s love on display. I hope it does the same for you. Remember, you’ve never been unloved.

My thoughts of you are more than the sands in the sea. I loved you long before you knew me. So, I wiped your slate as white as snow. This love I give, you will feel and will know because I walked on water just to see you for a while. And I came from heaven just to say you are mine. If ever you should forget just how I feel about you…I love you.

How sweet it is to be loved by You.

[Missions] Haitianniversary

1920223_10152265509670049_147863128_nA year ago today I met this little man. We talked and prayed, but mostly we played. A $1 frisbee linked two hearts from completely different worlds. Only God could use simple things, like a piece of plastic, to change lives. He used a young Haitian boy to show me love isn’t confined by language. He used eight days in Haiti to teach me fearless faith. He used brokenness to reveal His beauty and power to redeem what seems unredeemable.

We serve a God that claims possible the impossible, and proves it daily. Don’t nullify the cross.

[Reflection] Jesus: The Ultimate Valentine

Sometimes I spend time reflecting on what the Lord has taught me. One of those moments happened last week. I’m so glad I stumbled on this post I shared a couple Valentine’s ago. These words ring true today, and always will. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

February 14, 2012:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16

It’s Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air, flowers are being delivered and bellies are growing from a plethora of heart-shaped chocolate boxes, all of which have become symbols of Hallmark’s biggest holiday.  Despite receiving a cookie from my coach after 6am practice – Happy Valentine’s Day! – and a bag of M&M’s from my professor – I know, pretty good haul – it hit me hard this morning that the greatest Valentine’s gift doesn’t come in a heart-shaped box. In fact, the best gift I’ve ever received came in the form of a blood stained cross. Has Hallmark sold one of those lately?


Despite my opinion that we should show love daily, Valentine’s is meant to be a “special day” centered around showing affection towards the ones you love most.  As a Christian, the greatest act of love I’ve ever felt was that fateful day when my sinless Savior was tortured and hung on a cross for every sin I’ve ever committed, am committing, or will commit.  Chick-flicks – my favorite movie genre (Yep, definitely going to see The Vow tonight with my lovely FCA ladies) – constantly emphasize loving someone enough to take a bullet for them and that is exactly what Jesus did for us.  He was sinless, yet suffered the most shameful death of His time to save our lives (I’d just like to take a moment to emphasize He died for us WAY before we were even thought of on this earth – pretty awesome, right?)…now that is true love.

I’m going to pose a challenge for today: Don’t dwell on the gifts you receive or your relationship status. Instead, bask in the love of Christ, keeping your eyes focused on what is eternal.  After all, Jesus doesn’t give us gifts that will wilt or be devoured in a few days – or in my case, minutes – He gives us everlasting life!

Praying you are overwhelmed by Christ’s unconditional love today and always,