Thursday, August 1, 2013


    We're home! After a month of being in Kenya, we are all back safe. We got home on tuesday, after being on a plane for 21 hours. It's crazy to think that we were just in Nairobi two days ago, and now I'm at home, sitting on my couch, after sleeping in my own bed. This past month has been incredible. We saw and experienced so much, and it really changed my life. There were things that happened and things we saw, that I'm not sure how to explain besides the fact that God is so incredible. But we also saw things that rocked us to our core, and it was hard. But even in those times we found a way to remember just how great God is and everything He does.

    During the month, we had 6 kids sponsored, we prayed for so many people, we helped build a house, we kissed giraffes, we swallowshipped, we fellowshipped, we ate so much food, and we saw God work in so many ways. We did so much over in Kenya, and it's hard to keep track of what happened on what day, but it was all so good. It is good stuff for sure. For me, I'm really afraid of forgetting everything that happened. I want to remember every single thing, so that I can tell people about it and get others involved in some way. Whether it's sponsoring a child, or praying for a group of people, or even being so radical and going over there and spending time with everyone over in Kenya.

    In Kenya it's so easy to stay focused on Christ and not get pulled away by all the craziness of life. We were all surrounded by a team who was so focused on Christ and everyone was so encouraging, so it was easy to stay in that mindset. And we didn't have any distractions from everyday life because we were in Kenya, and everything is just a bit slower and more laid back. Coming home is a little difficult, because you get thrown back into the craziness. Yes, it's good to take a nice hot shower, to not worry about having to wash your clothes by hand, having a toilet that doesn't leak, and to sleep in your own bed. But it's also hard to adjust back to how go, go, go everyone is here.

    Some of the things we saw, were hard to take in and hard to comprehend, but we were meant to see it, so we can come back and tell everyone about it. One of the hardest things to do were home visits, where we would go visit houses of families and take care packages to them. The families that we visited had kids in the Tumaini program, and that program is what keeps them alive everyday. We met children who were HIV positive who couldn't get medicine until they were sponsored, kids who depended on Tumaini for school fees and school uniforms. Through sponsoring a child changes their lives. We saw a few kids who got sponsored right before us going over, and we were able to see a huge difference from the time they were sponsored to when we left. You wouldn't think that $35 dollars would do much, but it means the world to these kids. You can change their lives. I feel so blessed to have been able to meet the staff of Tumaini, because they have a personal relationship with all of the kids in the program. We would be walking down the street, and one of the staff would say, "there's one of our kids" and that happened lots of times. The staff is so passionate about helping these kids, it's so awesome. 

    Over the past month, I was pushed to my limit and stretched in ways I can't really comprehend. But it was all so fantastic. I wouldn't trade the past month for anything. I loved every second of every day we were there. And I'm so looking forward until the next time I go back to Kenya. 

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


    Monday night we drove into HEART. It was really hard leaving Masii. After spending the past 3 weeks there, getting to know the people who live there, and just immersing ourselves into their lives, we had to move on to out next destination. Which is good, but is sad at the same time.

    This past Saturday we spent the day with the youth of MCC. It was great to fellowship and to learn more about them. We went on a hike to spend time together. Their idea of a hike, and our idea of a hike is much different. We climbed a mountain on Saturday. And most of the way didn't have a trail. We were climbing through bushes and trees and had bugs on us. It was great. We got to the top of the mountain, and the view was so crazy! We could see for miles! It was one of the best hikes I've ever been on. And to add to the adventure, Sarah and I hiked the whole thing in skirts. It was pretty great.

    Sunday was church. Ken and I went to the Youth Service at 7 am. It was a great service. There were 4 of us there. Ken, Pastor James, Caleb, and I were all there. The church doors were locked, so we held the service outside in a tent and talked and prayed and it was great. Then we had the 2nd and 3rd services and Mike preached. They were great services. During the second service I got to spend time with my little friend Faith Mwelu. She sat on my lap and was singing with me during worship. After service we spent time with the kids walking back to the building. And then spent the rest of the day packing.

    Monday was a great day. Our sponsor kids came to the building and we got to spend the morning with them. I got to see Nduleve and we walked around the market and went to the supermarket. I bought her a few things for school, because all the kids are back in school now that the teacher strike is over. I also bought her a new pair of shoes to match my shoes, and a skirt to match my skirt so we can be matching. It was so great to see her and to spend that time with her. Then came the hard part, saying goodbye. It was really sad, because I knew it was the last time I will see her until I go back. After seeing our kids, we went to Wamunyu Disability School. We brought them chickens. It was such a great thing to see. We presented the chickens to the kids and they were holding them up in the air and they were so happy to have chickens. It was one of those moments that I don't think I'll ever forget. We left the school and went back to the building and said our last goodbyes and then headed out. I was looking for my little friend Faith, to say bye to, because I didn't get to say bye to her on Sunday, but I didn't see her before we left. But as we were leaving Masii, I saw Faith walking home from school, which made me really happy to be able to see her one last time before leaving.

    Yesterday we went to the WEEP Center in Kibera. The WEEP Center is a place for Women who are HIV positive to go and get help to get healthy and to learn how to get back into the community through some form of trade. When a women, or anyone, becomes HIV positive, they are looked down upon by the rest of the community and it's hard for them to make a living because people won't buy from them. So the WEEP center is to help women get back on their feet and get them a trade, such as sowing or bead making, and give them self confidence back. All while helping the women in their walk with the Lord. It's amazing what these centers do. So we went to the center and we painted two rooms and measured for shelving. After painting, it looked like we got more paint on us than on the walls. It was fun.

    Today we went back to visit Community Transformers (CT) and their orphanage. We had a Fun Day #3. We set up all our stuff at the orphanage, and because the kids were all in school, the guys started washing the windows until we could go pick up the kids from school. When we could go pick them up, we all got in the bus and drove to the school and met with the headmaster and got the kids. There were about 15 kids in total who could get out of school. There are 34 kids who live in the orphanage, but because of the teacher strikes, and school just getting back into session, most of the kids couldn't get out of school. When we got back, we played with the kids for a while. The first thing we did was a water balloon toss. It was a blast, all the kids were laughing. I got completely soaked. It was a great time. Then we made the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and crisps (potato chips), cookies, and milk. And then came craft time! We made lanyard key chains, and sock puppets, and colored. It was great. Then we had chai, and they did a few songs for us, and we left. At the orphanage, I met a little girl. Her name was Mercy. She is 11 and is in class 3. When she is older, she wants to be a teacher. I had asked her if she likes to sing and dance and she never really answered me. So when she went up with the rest of the kids to sing for us, and everyone started dancing, it was funny to watch as she clearly wasn't so great at dancing. I laughed a bit because I'm really not good at dancing or singing either.

    We are all really excited for tomorrow. We are going up country to one of the other WEEP centers to help out there. We will be staying at a lodge out there tomorrow night and Friday night and coming back Saturday. At the WEEP Center, we will be painting again, and helping out with whatever they need. But mostly painting. It will be an adventure, because no one from our team has gone to this center before, so it'll be a lot of fun.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wamunyu Disability School

    We drove up to this school to see a newly painted sign, and once inside the gates we saw all the kids sitting taking chai and bread. As we got out of the bus, we went and said hi to all the kids and they were all so happy to see us. There are about 60 kids that attend the school, but because of the teacher strikes, there aren’t as many students at the school. This school is a school for disabled students. Wamunyu specializes in helping those in wheelchairs who can’t walk, trying to help them to walk again. 

    After saying hello to all the students, we went to the principal, Damaris’ office. All 13 of us (Rose and Pastor Williams were with us) squeezed into her office and she told us all about the school. There are 5 different classes: pre-school, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, and Pre-vocational. All the classes are based on the students’ abilities and if they are succeeding, they will move up into a higher class. The pre-vocational class is for students in high school or older, and it teaches the students life skills so they can go into the community with confidence and have a trade skill to get work. The principal showed us the syllabus for the pre-vocational class, so we could see what they were learning. They learned life skills such as weaving, gardening, bead making, wood carving, and other practical trades that would help them in the community. In the future, the school would like to open a wood shop so the students who have already graduated, can make and sell their wood carvings. When a student graduates and enters into the community, it’s hard for them to be accepted in the community and sell the work, so it’s hard for them to make a living. 

    One of the challenges they have at the school, is that they don’t have at the school is that they don’t have any nurses on staff, so when the students get sick, they must take them to the hospital. But the problem there is that they don’t have a school bus, so they have to put the student on the back of a motorcycle to take them anywhere, which could be dangerous. Another issue they have is the support of the parents. Many parents don’t think their kids are worth the time of day. Some of the kids are epileptic, but the school doesn’t know about it because the parents don’t tell the school and they don’t give the school the medicine. This makes it hard for the school, because the staff doesn’t know about some of the students’ complications. 

    After talking with Damaris, it was very clear how passionate she is about her school and her students. She cares so much about what she does. It’s pretty awesome. Damaris then took us for a tour of the school. It was really cool to see everything the students work on. The gardens the students plant with the corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables. We looked at the classrooms which were permanent buildings and pretty big. The classrooms were nice. We then moved to the dormitories. We saw the girl’s dorms and the boy’s dorms, both were long buildings with beds lining either wall. We met a lot of the students while going through the dorms. It was so great to interact with the students as the greeted us and shook our hands, and gave us fist bumps. While we were walking around, we saw the boys walking to the middle of campus to meet. We saw the wheelchairs go by, and there was the last boy and his wheelchair’s wheels were just metal rims. It was so loud when he got wheeled around. His wheelchair was falling apart. It broke my heart to see this. It was really hard just to keep myself composed after seeing that. Some of the wheelchairs here are literally just plastic chairs on wheels. It’s crazy. 

    One of the great moments in the day was when all the kids were sitting in the middle of the campus and were singing for us. Let me tell you, these kids can sing! They were fantastic! And the students, who couldn’t completely talk, were singing at the top of their lungs as best they could, and they were clapping as much as they could. It’s really hard to describe the atmosphere in that moment. The best way I can put it, is pure joy. It was awesome. These students, who might have parents that completely ignore them, who the community disregards, and who have face more challenges than any of us can even imagine, were worshiping the Lord with such joy in that moment. It was so incredible and I’m so thankful to have experienced it. 

    When the students were finished singing, we presented the mosquito nets that we brought for the school. We brought 60 nets in total, and each kid was able to hold a net for themselves. After presenting the nets, we helped hang up the nets. We got a whole row of beds in the girl’s dorms covers with mosquito nets, and it was AWESOME! All the girls were so excited; they were climbing under the nets, and wanted their pictures taken. They were so happy! During this, I met one of the students, rather one of the students found me. Her name is Mambua. She came over and latched onto my hand. I had a great time connecting with her. 

    After the nets were all hung, we went out with the rest of the students and passed out sweets and stickers to all the kids. These kids had stickers all over, on their ears, on their foreheads, on their sweaters. It was so great. At one point, Mwambua came up to me and showed me her hand and she had 3 sweets. She was so excited. It was so much fun to be able to spend time with these students and to be able to bring the nets that Emily brought for the school. It was an awesome day. It really made me remember why I loved these kids so much, and why I wanted to become a special education teacher. Being at Wamunyu on Monday, reminded me of being at Coach Marshal’s Summer Camp for kids with disabilities. We went to Belmont Park, and the beach, and Lake Cuyamaka, and all kinds of other great things. But it was just being with the kids that was the best part of it. And being there on Monday, took me back to then and I loved it. I loved that school. Out of all the things we’ve done in Kenya so far, that was my favorite thing we have done so far. 
The girls under their mosquito nets!

I couldn't believe how awesome these kids are!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


    I'm sitting here in our "internet cafe," trying to figure out what we've done for the past week. It's been crazy how much we've been doing. It's been absolutely bananas, but it's been FANTASTIC! On Tuesday, we visited the school that Emily teaches at. When we got there, we met all the teachers and then split off into groups of 2 and went into different classes. I was paired with Caleb and we started in class 5. We then moved to class 1 after recess and the teacher put us in charge of teaching science, so we taught the parts of the body. It was so much fun, we were singing and dancing. After the next recess, we moved to class 2 and the teacher left us in charge again and we taught English this time. After school, the school has what they call games, which is a big soccer game and just a free time for kids to play. The boys played soccer, and we passed out stickers and played Frisbee and jump rope and just loved on all the kids. It was an awesome day.

    On Wednesday we went back to building. This time I got to go to the river to get water. It was so awesome to be able to walk the path that family takes everyday to get water. We loaded two donkeys with water jugs and started on our journey. It took us about 20 minutes to get down there. Once we were there, we lead the donkeys into the water and started filling up the jugs. We had to get into the water to fill up the jugs, and the water felt so nice on our feet. We took the water back up to the house and continued working. We played with the kids and did a lot of work.

    Thursday was a great day! I bought a goat for Nduleve, the little girl my family sponsors. We had bout 2 other goats for other kids, one for Wambua, the boy the Youth Group sponsors, and the one for Kelvin, a boy that someone from the church sponsors. Nduleve, her sister, Musengya, and their grandmother came to meet us at the Mulei building. We had tied the goats to the top of the bus (no goats were harmed in the process, it was quite comical actually), and we all got in and drove Nduleve and her family home. It was so great to see Nduleve's house and to meet the rest of her family. Seeing where Nduleve and her sister sleep, and seeing Nduleve's backpack sitting on their bed like it was the best thing ever was so great. It was just so incredible to spend time with Nduleve again and to see her family life.

    Later that day we went to Wambua's house to give him his goat. We got there and there were so many kids there running around. We played soccer, and jumped rope and passed out stickers. There were some older ladies there and even they started playing frisbee and soccer with us. It was so much fun! At both home visits we brought food packages, and the families really appreciated them. After the house visits, we tried to go to build, but the contractors were already gone so we said hi to the family and hung out for a little and then left.

    Friday was a crazy day. We had 2 family visits that day. We went to Muia, Rick's family's sponsor child, and Benjamin, Ian and Jackie's sponsor child. Muia was up first. I'm not going to go too deep into his story right now, but it really shook me. It was one of those moments where everyone was trying to hold themselves together. Kids like Muia are why we need to sponsor kids. What Tumaini does, is so incredible. And going to Muia's house reinforced just how great of a ministry they are. Tumaini knows the families in their program, and they have a personal relationship with them. The staff at Tumaini have such a passion for helping the people in Masii and it is so amazing.

    After that emotional experience, we went to Benjamin's house. Benjamin is Ian and Jackie's sponsor child. We had such a great time at his house playing with all the kids there, and it was so great to end the day on that note. Before we left Benjamin's house, Benjamin and his grandmother brought out a gift for Jackie and Ian. They brought out 2 live chickens (yes, you did just read LIVE CHICKENS), 5 eggs, and a big bag of cowpeas. It's so crazy to think that a family that has barely anything is giving a gift to Ian and Jackie, it's such a wonderful thing.

     Yesterday was just bananas! We had our 2nd Fun Day for the community here in Masii and the kids in the church. We had 210 kids show up. It was so great! We were able to give each kid Chai and bread for a snack, and then we fed them each lunch. It was so great to be able to feed them all and give them all great attention! At the end of the day, we gave them all stickers and toys and candy as they walked out of the church. Overall, it was such a great day! We were all so dirty and tired and felt so sore from all the kids jumping on us, but it was so worth it.

    Today was church. And service today was really great. After church Kaleb, Sean, Ken, and I went to the Youth meeting. The Youth group here is anyone in high school and college who isn't married. It was so much fun to fellowship with such great people. They were talking about their weekly meetings and when they were going to have them. After they talked, we talked about the hike we are going to go on this upcoming Saturday. We then played a few games and just got to know each other, which was so cool. I got to know Vickie, one of the youth there, and it turns out that her mom runs the bookstore downstairs in the building we're staying in. So as we walked back we were talking about what we are studying in college. Vickie is studying mass communications in Nairobi. She came back to Masii for a short  break in school.

    When we got back from the Youth meeting, we left and went to Pastor Williams' house for fellowship and swallowship. Sunday nights at their house is a bible study for couples so there were kids running around the house and there were 3 couples present. We talked about different cultures and ate Kenyan food and fellowshiped. It was fun.

    Tonight (we just got done with this like a half hour ago) we skyped the church and were able to say hello to everyone. It's so cool that we were able to talk with Pastor Mike and shine light on our trip. It was awesome! My grandparents were able to see me and my mom got to see me and hear me a little. It was really cool. =]

Monday, July 8, 2013


    I'm here! (well, I've been here) The past week has been incredible. So much has happened in the past week, it's a little hard to process it all. We left to go to LAX at noon on Tuesday and left the airport at 4:45. After a long 16 hour flight (and about 2 hours of sleep) we arrived in Dubai at around 7:30 ish and went to our hotel. It was really awesome, because we were able to take a tour of Dubai at night and on the tour we put our feet in the Arabian Gulf. It was pretty awesome. The next day we went to the largest mall in the world, and the got on our 5 hour flight to Kenya (YAY!). 

    We got into Kenya and got our luggage and went straight to HEART, where we stayed for the night. On our way to HEART I got an overwhelming feeling of, why am I here? I just felt like I didn't have anything to bring to the table and I didn't deserve to be here, and it just felt really heavy on my heart for the next few days. The next morning we got up early and headed for the slums in Nairobi, where we worked with Community Transformers, a group who helps the local people who live in the slums and need aid. We split into two different groups and headed out. My group went and saw two women who both had HIV. The first woman's name was Joyce. Her husband is positive for HIV and is no longer living in their house because he doesn't want to take responsibility and get a job. Joyce has two children, and both are positive also. When she was talking to us she was telling us that when she gets sad or down, her kids see that, especially the older girl and that really affects her schooling because she's so worried about her mom. These women that we met were so inspiring because they love God, and they trust God so much. And to see how much Community Transformers is doing in their lives is absolutely amazing. After visiting the two women we came back to their office and we were able to wash the Community Transformer team's hands and feet. It was very cool. 

    The next day was the Fun Day that we put on for all of our sponsored children. It was an incredible day. We got there and started setting up immediately. Pretty soon, the kids started showing up. We grabbed a frisbee and a soccer ball and started playing with them. After about an hour the little girl that my family sponsors, Nduleve, showed up. I walked up to her and hugged her and she smiled so big. It was so great. Side note, I am so greatful for the Hoverson Family because Nduleve's sister came with her and she was going to have to go all the way home, but the Hoverson's sponsored her right there. How awesome are they??? So great! Nduleve and I went and played soccer and just played with the rest of the kids. It was great fun. The whole day was great. There was tea and crafts and silly dancing and singing and tons of fun. There was one point in the day where I was hugging on Nduleve and she wrapped her arms around me, and it was just such a great moment. We also got to meet my grandparents sponsor child, which was super cool! He is so sweet and super fun, and such a good kid. It was so great to spend time with all the kids. Seeing all these sponsor kids makes sponsoring a kid real. We've sponsored kids in the past, but it was just paper. This is real, I was able to love on these kids and see them laugh and smile and play with them. It was great. 3:00 came way to soon, and we had to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to Nduleve was really hard because she is so sweet and it was so great to love on her. 

     The next day was church. I woke up with my heart feeling really heavy from everything, and I was just trying to deal with it. We ate breakfast, and walked to church. The service started and worship started, and everything just came crashing down on me. I looked around and saw all the people around me worshiping God for all He has done for them and there I was standing there, worrying about the way I was swaying or the way I looked. I felt so self-centered and then those questions of "why am I here?" and "I'm not qualified to be here" came swarming into my head. And then I thought of the women in the slums, and all the kids and people we saw in the slums and how my problems don't even begin to compare to theirs. It was too much for me to handle at the moment. I had to step outside. I broke down in tears with everything and Sarah, Cindy, and Mike all came out to make sure I was ok. I told them everything I was feeling and they told me things I really needed to hear. I don't have to be qualified. God is qualified for me. I don't have to be enough, God is enough for me. Those words just blew my mind. We went back in and listened to the service and at the end, Pastor Williams told us all the we are wonderful. I am wonderful. It was exactly what I needed to hear. And then when the music came back on, a little girl named Mwende came and grabbed my hands and started dancing with me. It was perfect. She didn't leave my side the whole time we were there, and then while we walked home. 

    Today was really cool. We started building the house. We carried bricks, went to the river to get water, mixed cement, and put the bricks together with the cement. We also were able to play with the kids that were there, which were so cute and so much fun to play with! I ran around chasing one of the little girls, and we played soccer with the other kids. It was so much fun. We got so much of the house done. We will finish the house before we leave Kenya, which is extremely awesome! We came back from the building and went to the market to get materiel for skirts and to get avocados for guacamole. While we were walking through, we saw little Mwende in walking through and she followed us to the seamstress's shop and played with us for a while. It was a great day. 

    So far this has been a crazy couple of days. I've gone through the full range of emotions but it's been great. I'm loving this beautiful country and all the wonderful people in Kenya. I can't begin to explain how thankful I am to be here and how awesome my team is and what an incredible time it'll be. Keep praying for my team and I. I'll try and keep you updated when I can. =]

Nduleve and I at the Fun Day.
The whole group and all the sponsored kids. 

   I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

Sunday, June 30, 2013


    Today is kind of a bittersweet day. This morning was FANTASTIC with the Mwamba Children's Choir. The Mwamba Children's Choir is a choir from Uganda and they are on tour here in the US. They were absolutely amazing! These kids were not only cute, but they were talented. They were singing and dancing, and filling the room with joy! It was incredible. After they performed, the Africa team was called up to the stage. Pastor Mike spoke a little about what we will be doing over in Kenya, and talked about how every person in the church was part of the team going to Africa. I'm going to add to that, and say that every person who contributed in any way, shape or form, or anyone who is or will be praying for my team and I is part of our team. Because I know that there are people in Colorado, Indiana, Virginia, San Diego, Florida, and many other places who have helped out our team. And you are all part of the team, you guys just won't be in Africa with us. But we are so thankful to each and every one of you who have contributed to us.

    After Pastor Mike talked about the trip, he, along with the rest of the church, commissioned the team. The whole team was kneeling on the stage and all the church was praying for us. It was great. After we were commissioned, the Children's Choir came back up and performed a few more songs and got all of the church on their feet and dancing. These kids really make you want to dance. After the service I was able to talk to the Choir leader, Daniel, and he was asking me if I had ever been to Kenya, and he told me he had been and he loves it there. They were awesome. We also had a booth in the foyer where families could sponsor children from Tumaini, and my family sponsored a 13 year old girl named Nzilani, and my grandparents are now sponsoring a 9 year old boy named James. I'm so excited because both of them will be at the camp and I will get to meet them and spend time with them!  

   Now for the bitter part of the sweet day. My family and I went out to lunch after church for a goodbye lunch. It was fun, we always have a fun time going out to eat. After lunch I said goodbye to my Aunt and Uncle and went home so the rest of my family could pack up and leave for Palm Springs. Before they left, I took a picture of my family on the camera I'm taking so that Nzilani can see everyone. And then we said goodbye, and they were gone. So today has been an incredible day, I saw an AWESOME Children's Choir, my family is now sponsoring a child in Kenya (who I get to meet!), my team and I were commissioned which means we are one step closer to leaving (2 days!!!), but I had to say goodbye to my family. I'm just so thankful for such a supportive family and everyone in my life. This trip is going to be awesome!

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere- in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8

Friday, June 28, 2013


    I'm sitting here on my floor with most of my clothes and such spread out in piles all around me. To be completely honest, it's a little overwhelming. I have all my stuff to pack, and I don't want to forget any of my important stuff like my migraine meds, or my passport (that would be awful if I forgot that), or my camera, or a towel. I've gone over my packing list so many times, I've memorized it by now, but I'm still afraid I'm going to miss something. 

    I have 1 day to pack (I'm heading up to LA tomorrow afternoon and I have a water polo tournament that I'll be at most of tomorrow so I can't pack tomorrow). 2 days until I say goodbye to my family for a month. And 4 days until my team and I actually leave the States. Yikes. I'm so extremely excited, I can hardly contain myself, but at the same time, it's finally hitting me, I'm going to be gone for a whole month, that's a long time. Lot's can happen in a month. But in the long run, a month is only 8% of a year, thats not very long. 

   As I was looking at all the clothes in piles all over my floor, I was thinking it would never fit into my suitcase. I did get it all into my suitcase. It took a while, but it all fits, thank goodness. Now I just have to hope I didn't forget anything.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Monday, June 10, 2013


    WOOHOO! We filled 32 bins!!! Thanks so much to everyone who donated to our Goodwill fundraiser. It was truly amazing how much stuff we got yesterday. We got there in the morning expecting to only fill about 10 bins, but as we emptied our two rooms (which were packed full of all kinds of fun things) the Goodwill people realized they were going to need another truck. We filled up the first 18 bins by 1:00 and had to wait for the next truck which was bringing 15 bins. When the next truck got there, we all got in a line and started passing boxes and bags to the bins and they filled very quickly too. It was awesome! At about 3:15 or so the trucks had been loaded up and were ready to leave, and we got our final number that we made $1,600 from the 32 bins! That's absolutely AMAZING!!! We are so thankful for everyone who has donated any items to this fundraiser, you guys really made this one possible, everyone came together as a community. Whether you are in Ramona or Chino, we came together as one community and it is incredible! 

    On another note, we had our last meeting before we leave for Kenya. (22 days!!!) It was packed full of so much info. We went over things that would be good to bring over there for the VBS that we'll be putting on, we got a calendar that says pretty much everything we're doing, we also started the-dying the shirts that we'll be taking over there for the VBS we're putting on. I'm so excited for July 2nd, and all this info just makes me even more excited. Just being able to see what we're doing over there is so cool! I think what I'm most excited about (and it could change in the next 3 weeks) is going to visit a school that teaches disabled kids. I've helped out with a few camps that were for kids with disabilities and I had so much fun. These kids have such life in them, and such joy. It's contagious. I'm looking forward to everything else of course, but when I saw that on the calendar, I was ecstatic. 

   I've started putting together my packing list, and I'm slowly realizing that I think I'm going to forget something important, because I'm not a very good list-maker. Hopefully I get everything on my list, and then I get everything packed that was on my list. It'll be lots of fun trying to pack. 

    As we get closer to leaving, people keep asking me, "are you nervous?" I tell them I'm not, that I'm just super excited, because I am SO EXCITED! But I am a little nervous. I've never been this far from home before, and I'm a person who likes to be in control of any situation. Going into this country, I will be completely out of control, and that's not a terrible thing, but it is a little scary. But I know that I was called to go to Kenya for a reason, and maybe it was to work on letting go of my control, and giving God more control of my life. 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:33-34

Sunday, May 19, 2013


    I've decided to do something a little different with this blog. Here's a list of 49 fun facts about me that you may, or may not have known. 

  1. My middle name is Alice.
  2. I used to think I was named after Alice, from Alice in Wonderland. 
  3. I love to play my ukulele.
  4. I'm crazy about Disneyland.
  5. I ran in the Disneyland Half Marathon last year and will be running in this years a month after I get back from Kenya.
  6. I might have broken my nose by hitting myself with my knee.... (I'm really uncoordinated).
  7. My two top love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time.
  8. I secretly love to rap when I'm alone in my car, but I'm pretty bad.
  9. I'm terrified of spiders.
  10. I now embrace how awkward I can be at times.
  11. I have had two knee surgeries on my right knee due to a torn meniscus.
  12. My elbows are double jointed.
  13. Driving is my quiet time. I use that time to talk to God about anything on my heart at that time.
  14. I'm terrible at public speaking. I'm really trying to get better, but I still get way nervous and forget everything I was supposed to say.
  15. I love the water, I love to swim, play water polo, play in a pool, you name it. 
  16. I nanny an eight month old little girl, 5 days a week, and love it!
  17. Most of the time I act before I think, and then I wish I didn't do or say the thing I just did. 
  18. I like to say I am a pretty strong person, but there are times when I know I am not as strong as I seem and I need to lean on God for support.
  19. The first song I learned how to play on my ukulele was Somewhere over the Rainbow by Iz Kamakawiwo'ole.
  20. That is still my favorite song to play on my uke.
  21. I listen to all kinds of music. (Hence the secret love of rapping in my car.)
  22. Going back to #11: when I say "quiet" I really mean "alone" because I like to listen to my music kind of loud.
  23. I sing and dance in my car, and I love the looks I get from the people in their cars next to me who have to listen to me. 
  24. My favorite color is sunset orange (that would be an orange-y pinkish color).
  25. I love cats, but they make my eyes itch and make me sneezy.
  26. Since I'm on the area of animals, in our house we have 1 (3-legged) cat, 3 dogs (a chihuahua and two black and tan coonhounds) and 2 finches.
  27. I say the cheesiest jokes, and most people give me the "I don't get it" look, and that makes me laugh even harder.
  28. I laugh a whole lot.
  29. I love making others laugh.
  30. I'm an awful storyteller. I get distracted, and can't really remember where I was at. It takes me 30 minutes to tell a 5 minute story. 
  31. When I speak to someone, I can't think of certain words, and it's really frustrating. 
  32. I have a duct tape wallet, but it's unfortunately falling apart. 
  33. I would rather use a macbook than a pc.
  34. I am right handed, but wear my watch on my right hand. (apparently that's an odd thing for right handed people to do, I had no idea.)
  35. I love to read, but haven't really read any books recently.
  36. I love the show Survivor, one day you will see me on that show. 
  37. I don't drink caffeinated beverages because I have really bad migraines, and my migraines get worse with caffeine.
  38. My favorite song changes frequently, but right now its Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective Experiment.
  39. Before I publish my blog posts, I go over them and re-read them about 50-60 times.
  40. Just like everyone else, I care too much about what others think about me, which is why I re-read my posts over and over again before putting them on my blog. 
  41. I don't really have any sense of style. I'm more of a t-shirt and jeans, or shorts if it's hot, kinda girl. 
  42. The only flippy floppys I wear are my rainbows that I've had for 3 years now (I need a new pair, I know).
  43. My mom and I have matching turtle tattoos, mine is on my shoulder, hers on her wrist.
  44. My mom is my best friend, I am so thankful for her and everything she's done for me, and I love her so much!
  45. In high school, my car got the name Red Velvet (the interior is completely red), but within the past year its name has been changed to Roi, because it says that on the back bumper where it's supposed to say Chevrolet. 
  46. I was in 4-H for several years and have raised sheep, pigs, and chickens throughout the years. 
  47. I love to quote movies.
  48. Writing 49 things about myself has been a lot harder than I thought it would be.
  49. Today I began a new life in Christ
    This morning I was baptized. My grandpa baptized me at the church that I'm going to Kenya through. My old self died when I was beneath the water, and as I rose out of the water, my new life in Christ began. I'm so glad that my grandpa was able to baptize me, and I'm so blessed to have had so many friends and family come out to see my baptism. It was really incredible how many people were there to witness me taking the next step in my walk with Christ. The church's sanctuary was filled with people. I didn't realize how many people there were in the audience until I came out of the water and heard the cheering. It was AWESOME! 

    I know I'm the same person, but I feel just a little different today. I feel a little more at peace, not so much worry as I normally do. I've been struggling with not knowing what I'm going to do with my life, and what God wants to do through me after I get back from Kenya, and what I should do with schooling. But right now, I feel at peace, I know everything will work out. He has a plan for me, and what needs to happen, will happen in due time. He knows my heart and He knows what is best for me.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, May 12, 2013


    I can't even begin to write how thankful I am for this opportunity to go to Kenya. This trip has already changed me, and I haven't left the country yet. When I fist saw the flyer in the bulletin at church, I knew I was going to Kenya, but I didn't know how much it was going to mean to me. I was so excited to be able to travel to a new country and see a new culture. I was excited about helping others in need, but it didn't have as much pull as traveling did on me. This was back in September. 

    Nothing really changed until February. That's when I felt things happening. God came into my heart and started working on it, and He still is. He's preparing me for Africa, softening my heart so that when I go to Kenya, I will be ready to God to mold my heart into something new. He will be changing me through Kenya and the people of Kenya. Now when I think about going on my trip, I'm so excited to see what God is going to do through my team and I, and how He is going to change us. Yes, I'm still really looking forward to traveling out of the country, but now that doesn't compare to the fact that God has BIG plans for my team and I, and that excites me more than anything. 

    Yesterday, my team and I met up to talk about our trip and to go over some other details. We are 98% sure of our tickets, we just have to get them booked tomorrow. We should be leaving on July 2nd and coming home on July 28th. Everything is getting so real, and I'm getting so excited. During our meeting , everyone who has been to Kenya before told us everything they wish they had been told before they went over there. It was so great to hear everything they had to say, to get some insight into what it will be like over there. 

    We were talking about some of the things we were bringing over there with us. We aren't super sure how many bags we will be able to take on the plane, but we're hoping to be able to take two suitcases and a carry-on. One suitcase will be for our clothes and personal items. The other suitcase will be used to take over stuff from the church, like bibles, and toys, and shirts. We were also talking about other little things that we could take over, such as stickers, or little bracelets. Apparently the kids love stickers, so I am thinking about bringing some sheets of small stickers to hand out. 

    I'm so thankful for each person going on this trip. Every single person has something special to bring to the team and will be able to use that over in Africa, and that's going to make for a fantastic trip. 

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 
Ephesians 3:20

Friday, May 3, 2013


    As I said in my last blog, here is the link to my team's website:

    There's lots of cool stuff about this website. Under the "ways you can help" tab, you can buy a bible to donate to the Masii Christian Chapel, you can buy a t-shirt, we don't ship =[ , and you can donate straight through the internet. It's pretty cool. It will also have biographies and pictures of every team member going over to Kenya with us. Everyone did a fantastic job on this website. It turned out phenomenal. =]

Monday, April 29, 2013


    This weekend, we had a meeting filled with information. We went over some important stuff about our trip, discussed some upcoming events, and we got our financial information. Some of the important stuff we had to go over was making sure everyone had their passports, reminding everyone to get their shots if they haven't already done so, we also went over how much spending money we would need to take over there. Another thing that was brought up, that I didn't know about was the visas. We will be paying for the visas when we get over into Kenya. I thought that you had to apply for a visa before traveling, because that's what my dad had to do when he went to India. Apparently its different in Africa, they welcome anyone into their country. 

    We have some cool things happening soon. Right now, we are collecting any used clothes to help raise funds. Anyone in the Ramona area who has any clothes they want to donate, let me know and I'll be more then happy to come pick them up for you! We will be accepting clothes through June 9th. Another super awesome thing we are doing right now, is that we have bibles up for donation for $5 that will be going to the Masii Christian Chapel. I think this is so cool! For just $5, you can have a bible donated to this chapel and with your donation, you can write a special encouragement on the inside cover. How incredible is that?? So any family that goes to the chapel on Sunday morning can open up that bible and see your message and know that they are loved from half way across the world. That's pretty cool. 

    Our team has been blessed with many tech-savy people, who are incredible. They are creating a website for our Africa Team. On the website, each member of our team will have their own biography that tells all about them, and gives any blogs or websites that they have. So this blog will be on my biography. There will also be a PayPal account where people can donate to individuals through that website, so its a little easier and faster than sending a check or cash. I want to thank Jessica and Rick and anyone else who helped create the website! You guys are AWESOME!!! I will get a link up to the website, I just don't have it quite yet... =]

    On a final note, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to me in any way so far, Aunt Donna and Uncle Larry, the Hill Family, the Lewis Family, Uncle Bill and Aunt Diane, The Frias Family, The McNulty Family, Doris Ando, and The Evans Family. Thank you all so much! Thank you also to everyone praying for my team and I, I greatly appreciate it! 

    In two weeks the whole Africa team will be getting back together for a night of eating, picture-taking, and prayer, lots of prayer. We're going to be taking a group photo and having dinner and everyone is bringing something (I'm bring a delicious strawberry/cool whip/graham cracker desert. yumm.) and then we will spend the rest of the night in prayer with each other. It should be a great night, and I'm really looking forward to it. 

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
1 Chronicles 16:11