Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Sunday, September 30, 2007

God is at work

WOW!! It is so awesome to be absorbed in the middle of the Lord at work. Truly I feel like this whole thing has been just been a silver platter handed to me and He keeps placing things on the platter. I hope that makes sense. So, if I will boast, let me boast in the LORD....

I have had about 2 months at home, and honestly, there have been moments when I have become completely stir-crazy. So, I have done a lot of searching on craigslist to find babysitting jobs, or this and that... something to benefit someone else and hopefully make a little bit of money. It has been awesome who God has brought into my path. I was the first ever babysitter for these 2 babys and that was a God thing for the parents because they needed someone quickly and didn't have time to interview me, so good thing I was not a crazy person.

I also met a great believing lady who had a garage sale in my benefit. It was awesome to spend time with her and we made some money for my trip. In the mean time, another lady came to the garage sale and we happened to ask if she was looking for anything specific, and we happened to say that this was a benefit garage sale. She asked if I was a believer and said that her and her husband would love to help support me. AND this is not the second random connection that God has brought into my path.

Another boast... God's timing is so so perfect. I was hoping to go to Midland before I left and had planned a weekend. But then I talked with Mary, the lady who brought the phonics program to LCH this summer and she was doing a training in Odessa and wanted me to come. Timing, flights, training, and friends all worked out for me to do both in the same week. Wow. How cool. It was such a blessing to get to talk with Mary about LCH and the school there and to see her heartbeat in increasing the education. How great that the whole body needs each other and God gives us all different gifts and passions. Also, I wasn't sure if I would get to see my dear brother Andrew and although he has never been to Midland, he was passing through to have lunch with a friend on his way home to Abilene and I got to see him. Plus the blessing of staying with the Barkers, my second home here and having people freely want to help me and my trip, like Julie taking me shopping for toiletries. God is good.

And then the timing of God in that Monica's car broke and I am out of town this week so she is not caught in a bind without a car for work and school. He takes care of us.

There are many other great things and my heart has been truly refreshed and renewed to return to Uganda. I am so excited to get to teach the kids phonics and live life with these beautiful friends of mine.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A one way ticket to Uganda

The date has been set and honestly it is kind-of unreal. October 20 I will be flying out. There were waves of emotions today from excited, to relieved, to nervious, to calm, and all in between. Praise God that He is the keeper of all emotions and that this is His plan and His timing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And the ball is rolling again...

Well, first off I think I am the only one who has visited my site, but hopefully that will change when I make people aware that it is here. I still want to document the work that God is doing so that all boasts can go to Him. I have been home for over a month now and have been feeling a little stir crazy and honestly fighting frustration daily. Since I got the invite from GICF I felt like all doors have been opened and all permissions have been granted, but nothing was happening. With the practical steps of getting me to Uganda, there was no movement. Well again, as always, God continues to teach me to trust and wait (sometimes it is forcefully). He is faithful and He works in His timing. Well, I talked with Mr. Bobo tonight and got some great answers to my MANY questions. Things are a go and hopefully I will have a flight booked by the end of the week. Wow. So, one month left.

As I think of leaving in Oct, the realization comes to me that Christmas with my family will be something I miss. But, it is kind of exciting because I know the Ogengas sometimes go to the beach in Kenya for Christmas (since it doesn't get cold there). That would be an adventure and change of pace.

ALSO- i have had an awesome time since I have been home getting to speak at various places. It started with sharing at MBC right when I got home, since they were highlighting the teams trip and church plant, I also got to tell about LCH. Then I got to speak at my Granny's Wed. Night fellowship dinner and prayer meeting. I can't tell you how sweet it was to see how proud my Granny was. She lives in a small town and put my name in the bulletin every week to be prayed for and then had me as a praise report when I returned. So there were so many people who came up to me. Praise God for the body of Christ and how we are each VITAL in this thing called overseas missions. And my most recent speaking engagement was at Christian Academy of San Antonio where some of my great camp friends work. I got to share with a 3rd grade class, two 5th grade classes, and a 6th grade class. They are so sweet and ask the greatest questions...
girl: "Um, Miss Natalie... do the kids have some sort of disease that makes them bald?"
Me: "No, it is sort of part of their uniform"
girl: "(Gasp) No way Miss. I would NOT cut my hair!"

It is kinda weird to think that I am a "missionary speaker". In all honesty, the whole idea of being titled a "missionary" is kinda weird because people hold such an unreal "super christian" standard to that name and that is not how I feel. I am just plain old me, who is often the only one laughing at my own jokes and commonly uses more sound effect than words to speak, and has a love for the kids at Lulwanda that only the Lord could give. Praise Him because He is SO SO good.