“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you,
saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21

“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reflections on Ecuador!

Saying goodbye to the kids and missionaries in Ecuador was incredibly difficult, I was so touched by each and every one of their lives which made it tough to leave. This place stole my heart and I cannot even begin to explain how much the Lord blessed me. It is overwhelming to reflect on the great joys I experienced in Ecuador and the beautiful challenges I overcame. The kids at Casa de Fe captured my heart and they have a part of me that has forever changed who I am. I am eternally grateful for the ways God has filled me up and revealed more of Himself to me by knowing these kids. Life is not about me and I learned a lot about what it looks like to glorify God through service. He has shown me what it means to selflessly love even when it is trying, some days it is easier than others to serve people, but love is not always easy. Love is sacrifice and sometimes it's really hard, but it is always worth it! The good Lord never leaves us with more than we can handle alone and He always provides us with what we need for the day. Psalms 143:8, "Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you." Loving those around us is a choice we make every day and every day we need to actively choose to seek God's will in order to care for people well. I confess there are days I fall short, but there is grace. As it states in 2 Corinthians 9:8-9, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, 'He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.'" Despite any circumstance that came my way God's mercy was all sufficient and His promises endure forever! When we allow God to guide our steps, He is faithful and satisfies the desires of our hearts. Working at Casa de Fe fulfilled so many desires in my heart such as; being a missionary, working with kids with special needs, helping kids with physical needs, teaching, and simply loving the kiddos. It is the children that need more help, attention, or some extra love that catch my attention and the ways this passion was brought to life was beyond belief. Lord has called me to seek Him above all else and I continue to be blown away by His perfect plan for my life! It is because of the Father's great love for us all that Jesus was sent to be a living sacrifice for all the world and I want my life to point people to Him in all I do! God works in miraculous ways and is present in all places, at all times, for all people. I have become evermore aware of the needs around the world and the opportunities to share the light of Christ in the darkness. The smallest moments change our lives, whether we realize it or not every decision and dream we pursue shapes who we are. The little moments turn in to big ones and the greatest accomplishments stem from small pivotal events in our lives. God works everything together in His timing, He works it perfectly together at the right time! It is a blessed reassurance to know the Creator of the world is not bound to time, He sees the whole picture. Even though things usually don't happen how I anticipate, it always comes together in ways far beyond what I could have imagined and works out wonderfully! Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." It is my hope  for all of us to continue to recognize how God has made each of us perfect according to His design. Sometimes one of the hardest things to recognize is the beauty the Lord has placed deep within me. God does not measure my worth based on how others see me or how I view my accomplishments and/or lack there of, my value comes solely from the fact I am His precious child. We are children of the Most High and Holy King! Let us not overlook the variety of gifts He has given us, the ability to share love whether spoken or unspoken, joy that surpasses all understanding, peace in any circumstance, talent running through our veins, compassion we are given to share, the ability to show mercy, and the capability to change the world around us. Each of us have different gifts and since working at Casa de Fe I more fully understand some mine. I caught a glimpse of the love a mother has for her children as I was caring for the kids at the orphanage. It filled my heart with so much joy to walk with them through everyday life, rejoicing in their accomplishments and grieving with them in disappointments. Children are such a miraculous gift and I appreciate their pure, curious, and fun hearts. For better or worse at the end of each day I knew I was working for the Lord and every day He gave me enough strength for the tasks laid before me. This deeply rooted love for these children was just a taste of God's affection for us and it is sweet. Even in my toughest moments the Father remains constant and His faithfulness is unchanging. Since I began reflecting on my journey I have become even more aware of the vast impact Casa de Fe has had on my life. There is a gigantic hole in my heart for Shell, Ecuador and I thank The Lord for the incredible work He is doing in this place. My time there was beautiful, challenging, joyous, exhausting, blessed, and an incredible time of growth. Living life with and walking along side the kids and missionaries at Casa de Fe was a unique experience, words cannot explain how much I was blessed by the lives of everybody I encountered. We shared invaluable experiences and opportunities to trust the Lord in this season. My life is better because of the relationships I formed and I continue to be encouraged by the support and wisdom my Casa de Fe family provides. When I packed up my bags and left for Ecuador rather quickly I knew God was in control, however, I never could have anticipated all He had in store. Although I was a little nervous there was no doubt in my mind I was supposed to go, but what I didn't fully understand at that time was how I could love these kids so much. God is incredibly good, I was beyond blessed by the plans He had for me in Shell, Ecuador and I'm thankful for this life changing adventure. Philippians 1:2-6, "Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." This is my prayer for all of the workers at Casa de Fe, that they continue to use their gifts to share God's love!