My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Posts tagged ‘missions’

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I’m Back…

Yes, I am back and in one piece.  Not much the worse for 2+ days of flights both way.  Our trip was amazing and God showed me much through my time in Indonesia.

I am currently working on finishing up my journal and then I will write a nice, long blog post (or two) about the trip.

Until then, the trip in pictures!



View from the plane!


Bella & I on the 14 hour flight to Tokyo


Indonesia Street Market




The Orphanage


Bella loved the chickens!


Here Comes the Rain


Bella and the kids (Dito & Deno)



Helping to Prepare Dinner


The Kids enjoying the new toys






Checking out the Jungle


The Human Knot


Bella & Juni (our translator)


The Whole Gang!


View from the Hotel Room we stayed in on our last night


At the Airport...the long trek home




Jordan & Bella sleeping (as usual) on another long layover

A Little of This and A Little of That…

Bella got back from Kenya safely last Wednesday afternoon. She had a wonderful, exciting trip and didn’t really want to come back. She is ready to get her last two semesters of school over with so she can go into full-time missions.

This trip has really seemed to confirm that in her mind. She is already starting to collect information on various mission agencies so she can start applying to go after graduation.

Of course, I’m excited for her but the thought of her possibly leaving the country for extended periods of time is hard. Bella and I do a lot of stuff together and have fun together and I miss that when she is gone. However, I made Bella promise me before she went on this trip last year that if she truly felt God’s call to missions that she wouldn’t let my tears over missing her affect her decision to go.

A couple of funny things happened while Bella was on her trip this year:

• Bella has gotten really good at bartering for goods in the market. Right before Bella left on the trip, she bought a hot pink watch to use as an alarm since she wouldn’t be taking her cell phone with her. At one of the markets, she was able to barter her pink watch for something she wanted. The funny thing was that the person who ended up with the watch was a middle-aged Kenyan man who promptly put it on! (For you Morningview folks, Bella’s description was: Think of Jim Smith with a hot pink watch on.)

• Some of the Kenyans occasionally get to watch TV or movies when they go to the big cities. One of the men that Bella met last year addressed them with a fist towards them and said: “Pound it”. Anyone who has teens or knows teens knows that a lot of them greet each other this way. According to Bella, it was quite funny.

• One of the boys felt something on his shoulder while he was dining. He thought it was someone just touching him on the shoulder. He finally turned to look and realized it had actually been a monkey stealing his waffle off of his plate. By the time he figured it out, the monkey was across the room eating the waffle.

Bella will be updating her bog with journal entries and pictures very soon. I’ll let you know when to start looking.

Kenya Bound…

Bella in Kenyan church 2008

Bella in Kenyan church 2008

As most people are aware, Bella is going back to Kenya again this year on another four week long mission trip. She is excited to be leaving in a little over three weeks. Even though most people assume this is “old hat” for Bella, since she went on this same mission trip last year, it actually is just as scary the second time around. Also, Bella is the type of person that likes to have all her “ducks in a row”. She likes a plan and everything in order way in advance. This trip is not turning out that way.

First off, Bella lost her passport somewhere in our house last year after returning from Africa. In the past 11 months, we have yet to locate it. A while back she finally broke down and realized she would have to get another passport. That was $100 she really didn’t want to have to spend, but she did. At the time, she was told that passports were taking around 3 weeks to come back. Five to six weeks later, she still hasn’t received her passport. As you can imagine, it is driving her crazy.

Also, she had relatively easy time raising money last year. With the economy down this year, it has been a much harder task. We keep counseling her that the Lord will provide but she is having a hard time wanting all the money needed to be sitting in a bank account ready to go. We are continuing to pray that God will bring the money for this trip. However, Bella has made the decision to take out a personal loan if the money doesn’t come in the next week or so.

Bella in Kenya - 2008

Bella in Kenya - 2008

Several people have asked so here are some ways you can help:

1. Prayer – first and foremost Bella needs lots of prayer. Pray that the people in Kenya’s hearts will be prepared by God. Pray for the safe travel of the team and that they will open themselves up to be used by God for these people. Pray that Bella will be bold to preach the Gospel to the lost and an encouragement to the Kenyan Christians they are training.
2. Money – if you feel led to give, any amount will be used for God’s glory. Any money Bella gets above and beyond her room and travel expenses will be used to buy much-needed supplies for the training center and the village.
3. New Kitchen Gadgets – the team is making up gift baskets for the women that they are training in Meru. There are many items that are hard to come by there that we take for granted. Items needed are good quality sharp kitchen knives, ladles, spoons for cooking, graters, potato peelers, and things of that nature. They should be new and preferably metal so they will last (they can’t go to the nearest Wal-Mart and pick up something if it breaks).

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without all the prayer and support Bella has already received from many of our church family. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Bella has been asked to be on the Morris and Montiel show on FM 107.9 on Friday morning 7:30-8:00 a.m. to talk about her upcoming trip. Please pray for her to have the words to say that will only bring glory to God. Also, please listen!!!

Last of all, please pray for our family while Bella is gone. We are so proud of Bella and excited that God is once again using Bella to spread His name to the nations, but it is still hard for Momma and Daddy to let their little girl go. Pray that God will strengthen our walk with Him during this time.

Bella in Kenya 2008

Bella in Kenya 2008

Where the Heart Is…

I think that God has been seeing where my heart really lies for the past few months…

Bella has been preparing for a second mission trip to Africa in June. Last year the money came in fairly quickly and consistently and literally Bella’s “cup runneth over.” This year that has not been the case.

Of course, we understand that economic times are tough. And Bella pretty much made the decision about a month ago that she was going on mission to Africa no matter what and is planning to take out a loan to secure whatever funds she needs to go. But Bud and I have been struggling about this issue as well.

You see, Bud and I received around $3000 back from income taxes this year. When the time came to purchase the airline tickets, we decided to go ahead and pay the $1900+ for Bella and then get the money back as she got donations. We knew that if she waited to purchase her tickets, she ran the risk of not being on the same flight with everyone else in the group. None of us wanted her on airplanes in three countries for 24+ hours all by herself.

That left us roughly $1000 of our income tax. We had decided before we ever got the refund that we were going to use the money to visit my Dad and stepmother in California. I haven’t been able to see them since May of 2005 when Bella graduated. They were going to try and come for a visit for Joey’s graduation in May of 2008, but my Dad has Rheumatoid Arthritis and is taking chemotherapy and is unable to travel.

Bud and I had made the decision to visit them as a last, great family vacation before the kids moved out. However, with only $1000 left, and not many donations coming in to pay all of the airplane money we spent back, we now wouldn’t be able to buy plane tickets to California, much less do any of the other things we wanted to do while we were there.

Today, in my prayer time, I felt like God was bringing me to the point of needing to forgive Bella the debt that she owed us for the tickets. Bud texted me while I was at work and was basically being led the same way. We both prayed and decided that while visiting my parents was a good thing…God’s will is the best thing.

So…where is my heart? It is with doing the Great Commission. It is with trusting God and His will and watching where it leads. Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.