Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Break

Yes, my Christmas break is finally here! While I am glad to have a break from school, I feel a bit like I have a lot of free time that I am wasting. I have been reading books and spending time catching up with people who I haven't chatted with for a while, but it feels like I could be doing so much more. I often feel so lazy. I know that God accepts me as I am, but I want to do something big. Sometimes I forget just how much God cares about me doing something as simple as sending someone a note of encouragement. This season I may or may not do something incredible like leading someone to Christ, but I can at least encourage others and make a difference in their lives that way. This break I'm going to take the time to read through the Psalms and Proverbs & write in my prayer journal to God, as well as pray for as many people as I can think of. I'm also going to give a gift to someone needy & take the time to listen to anyone who wants me to. I'm going to be a good friend this season, instead of looking for someone to befriend me. After all, it's more blessed to give than receive and this is the perfect time of year to give of yourself.

I could call this "my break", but instead I've decided to call it "God's break" since it really is His time and He's given it to me to use wisely. :)

I am praying that you will really put your generosity to work, for in so doing you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ. I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God's people. ~Philemon 1:6-7

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What's been happening

What have I been up to lately? Lots of things! Here's just a glimpse of what I've been doing:

Recently, on October 31st, I participated in Carnival, which is like a fair for little kids that the high schoolers put on. I was in the Barbeque Booth, and our theme was Sponge Bob. The theme of all of Carnival was Shipwreck Cove. The day was busy, and I came home at 7, exhausted and sun burnt, but pretty happy. I got my friend Becca to paint a guinea pig on my face, and that was pretty cool.

This week I've babysat twice for the families I normally babysit for. The kids have been fairly good, and we've had lots of fun. On Monday afternoon, the kids and I played Capture the Flag with some of their friends and we had a blast.

Sunday was wacky. I went to youth group and that was very good. We had a guest speaker. After youth group, one guy, Chun, went to get in his car and leave. He has to push start the car, so he was trying to do that, but it was on a steep hill, and he couldn't get it to start. It started rolling backwards, and he couldn't stop it so it swerved into a ditch, and he was pinned between a street sign and the car door. As soon as it happened, the rest of us ran out to help him. He said that his leg hurt, but besides that he was okay. We had to push the car out of the ditch into the road and thankfully Chun was able to start the car once it was in the road. The door on the driver's side is messed up, but I think they got it closed in the end and Chun drove off.

After that, the rest of us all headed over to the high school to get photos of the ferris wheel at night for Yearbook. It took forever to put the lights on the ferris wheel, get the cars in the right places to shine light on the ferris wheel, and get everything else ready. At least someone had their Ipod with them, so we had music to listen to and a couple of the guys were wrestling. It was raining, so the seats were soaking wet, but we dried them, and finally after an hour, four of us girls got on, all wearing brightly colored shirts and holding flashlights. We were on there for more than 15 minutes, and after a while it got boring, but it was fun for some time. The two photographers took tons of photos and we finally finished. Then they took all of the lights down and we left. It was a great night, besides Chun's accident.

Now I'm working on Yearbook stuff, and I need to start scholarships ASAP. Please pray that I will be motivated to do them this week. I love photography, so being on the Yearbook staff this year is a blessing! Thank you for praying!

That's all for now. :)



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back home, but have security problems

Hi, I've been back in Papua New Guinea for over three weeks now. It's great to be back, and my classmates are awesome! Thanks for praying.

However, since we've been back, and even before that, there have been security problems. Many rascals have been in Ukarumpa and have stolen things. There was even a cow killed less than a week ago. Last night and this morning, there were more than 10 gun shots in the nearby village and rascals were sighted on center this morning. They even stole one of Guard Dog's trucks! Our center is currently on lock down, as is the school, so I'm stuck at school in the library typing this up. We aren't even allowed to go up to the restrooms by ourselves; we have to go in groups. At least we could have some fun celebrating one of our teacher's (he's also one of our youth leaders) birthday. Unfortunately, my friend Luke is stuck at the clinic where he went for a dentist appointment. We prayed for the situation, but we need your help, too! Please pray that the rascals would be caught, and that there would be peace in the valley. Pray for peace for our directors and that this problem would be resolved. Thank you so much!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tomorrow's the day!

Tomorrow, Monday, July 13th, at 11:50 pm (PST), my family should be on a plane about to take off over the Pacific Ocean. I'm getting nervous and excited. It's finally starting to feel real-my family is leaving the US in less than two days, and we will be in Papua New Guinea next weekend. I'm still wrapping my mind around the fact that I'm going to back to PNG for a year. I get to see my guinea pigs this Friday! Before we leave Bakersfield at 7 pm, I have to pack up my room here and clean it-I've taken a lot out of my suitcase to use while we've been here in California. I also have to say goodbye to my grandparents and aunt and uncle. My time in Bakersfield has been great, even if I have been busy. I'll miss getting up and seeing my grandparents every morning. It won't be the same without nightly walks. I won't be going swimming again for a long time, especially at my aunt's house. However, I really do want to go back to PNG. I'm willing to put up with over 25 hours of flying and 40 hours of layover time to get home.

I was just informed that we will hopefully be arriving in Ukarumpa around 1 or 1:30 pm on Friday, instead of 5 or 5:30 pm. It will be nice to get there earlier rather than later.

Well, that's about all I have to say about Bakersfield. I'm almost finished with all of my college applications. Please pray that I finish them. Please keep my family in your prayers as we travel. Thank you!

Btw, I am planning on making a movie about my life in Papua New Guinea. I will be giving more details later on. I also want to let you know that I will rarely be on Facebook after tomorrow, and I will not be able to update my blog very often. If you would like to contact me, please send me an email. My family's flight schedule can be found in my previous entry. Thanks.

God bless each one of you as you move into the future that He has for you!


Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, July 6, 2009

One week left

My family has one week left in the US! The two weeks that we have been in Bakersfield, California so far have gone by quickly. I have been busy filling out college applications, shopping, swimming, sending emails, and taking photos. I am overwhelmed by how much time college applications take to fill out and all of the work involved in completing them. I will be thankful when they are finished, hopefully sooner rather than later. I need to finish them by the end of this week, which sounds very soon, but I am pretty sure that I can do it. Please pray for me, because these college applications are really taking a toll on me.

Yet, in the midst of it all, God is teaching me more about Him and how to live for Him. My faith hasn't been very strong lately. I had been doubting that I was saved, but I just reread a devotion this morning that I had received some time ago, on June 1st, about the topic of doubt. There were suggestions of things to pray for near the bottom, so I took them to heart and prayed about them to God. The recurring doubts that I had been having for days were nonexistent today! Praise God! God is so amazing! I have seen his power at work in my life so many times, and yet, often I forget those little miracles and let doubts overtake me. But God is good, and He is always helping me to be more like Him.

2 Corinthians 4:15-17

15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

I'm so thankful that God is renewing me on the inside each and every day. What an amazing promise!

This last week is promising to be busy with so many things to accomplish, but I know that God is here with me and He will help me to make it through. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

This is our flight schedule:

Monday, July 13th:

Fly out of LAX at 11:50 pm (Pacific time)

Arrive in Hong Kong 15 hours later

18-hour layover in Hong Kong

7-hour flight from Hong Kong to Cairns, Australia

22-hour stop in Cairns, Australia

Friday, July 17th:

2-hour flight from Cairns to Port Moresby, PNG

Several hours of waiting in Port Moresby

1 hour flight from Port Moresby to Ukarumpa

Please pray that we will have safe travels and that we will recuperate quickly from the jet lag that will certainly entail our long trip!

God bless,


Friday, June 26, 2009

Resting in Bakersfield before the big trip!

Sorry for not posting sooner. :( I am now in Bakersfield, CA, staying with my grandparents for almost three weeks, and then I will be returning to Papua New Guinea on July 13th. While I'm here, I need to fill out college applications, practice flute, buy a fancy dress, run, and spend time with my family. Please pray that I would be faithful to do everything and that I would do it well. I have already gone shopping since I've been here, as well as swimming at my aunt and uncle's house. This is supposed to be my summer vacation, but there are so many things to do that it's not really a vacation, just time off from school! The time my family spent in Irvine was more of a vacation, but we went out to eat every day with my parents' friends, and that got to be annoying. The house that we stayed in was beautiful, though. I especially loved the garden in the backyard. It was so pretty!

Anyways, here in Bakersfield, I love the walks that I go on with some or all of the family every night. I'm also enjoying the heat and the ever-present sunshine. So far, my stay has been great, and I hope the rest of it goes well. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The day has finally arrived!

The day is here! My family is leaving Ohio today! I have mixed feelings. I love my Grace church friends, and I am going to miss them terribly, but on the other hand, I am so excited to spend three weeks with my grandparents, in warm, sunny, Bakersfield, CA. Thank you to everyone who prayed for my family's support. My faith has been strengthened by God's great provision and also by your loving encouragement. Thank you for all of the ways that you have helped me feel at home this year! I will be praying for all of you, and think of you often! Would you please pray for safety as my family travels to California today? We leave Cleveland at 3:10 PM and arrive at LAX at 10:05 PM (Cleveland time). We'll be staying in Irvine, CA, for a week, visiting friends of my parents there, and then traveling to Bakersfield to stay with my grandparents for three weeks. On Monday, July 13th, we'll leave the US and fly through Hong Kong and Cairns, Australia, before arriving in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea, on Friday, July 17th. Thank you once again for everything! Please feel free to email me! I'd love to keep in touch. :)

Much love,

Jude 1 :24-25

24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Packing and Saying Goodbyes

My room is so messy right now, not because I am disorganized, but because I am moving in 12 days! I have mixed emotions about the whole process. I will miss my friends here with all of my heart. Their love and kindness to me have encouraged me during this year in the US. My friends have blessed me in so many ways. I can't even say how thankful I am for all that they have done for me. The Grace Church Senior High Youth Group has also been such a blessing to me. God has used Pastor Steve to teach me so much and everyone has been so friendly. The youth group is overflowing with love and God is using them to impact the lives of others in a variety of ways. It won't be the same next year without Wednesday Night Live and Sunday Morning Son Life, but I know that God wants my family to return to Papua New Guinea. I am excited about visiting my grandparents in California and then seeing all of the friends that God has given me in PNG. I am looking forward to a great senior year, before I come back to the US for college, but I wish I had more time with everybody in Ohio. If only I could take all my friends to PNG, one of my dreams would become reality. But I don't think that's what God wants, and God's plan is best, so I strive to follow it. I wish that even just one friend would come visit me. Maybe somebody's up for a new and invigorating experience. I'll just wait and see. For now I only have 12 days left with all of these wonderful people, some that I have known for many years and others that I have only recently met, and I want to make the most of them! God bless you guys!

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians' Faith
2We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time is ticking away!

My time here is evaporating into thin air. The school year is coming to an end, and I am leaving Berea. I am going to California for a month, and then I will return to Papua New Guinea. I am not going to miss the city of Berea, but I am going to miss my friends who live here. They have made my time here very satisfying. I am so thankful that God is providing the money my family needs so that we will be able to return to PNG in July. We are up to 93% and a little more trickles in every day! God provides for his children. He gives us everything we need.

Genesis 22:14 (New International Version)

14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Five more days of braces and a decent mock interview!

I only have five more days left of wearing braces! I am really excited about that!

My mock interview for my Career Success Skills was today, and I was slightly nervous, but I prayed to God and asked him to help me do my best. I dressed up, and several people asked me why I was wearing what I was wearing. A couple of them said they liked my outfit. I went into the interview, not knowing what to expect. I have never had a real interview. When I got there, I went to the teacher in charge, signed in, and was prepared to wait for a couple of minutes, but I was immediately directed over to the table where my interviewer was sitting. I was relieved to find the lady who interviewed me to be very friendly and courteous. Most of the questions that she asked me I was able to reply to quickly and adequately, but a couple of times I couldn't think of a good answer, and I felt like I should have been more prepared. Thankfully the interview was fine. My interviewer told me that I need to speak up, and share more about my experiences living overseas. She said that with the world becoming more globalized, companies are looking for people who have experienced different cultures. My interview was not too difficult, and I learned a few important things to prepare me for when I have a real job interview. It was a good experience!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Joy comes in the morning

For quite a while, I felt somewhat depressed. I couldn't be perfect. I wasn't beautiful enough. I wasn't skinny enough. I was sick. But I went to God and asked him to heal me. I questioned him about my worth. And he answered my prayer, in ways I had never imagined. He took away my sore throat. It was amazing how much better I felt a few hours after I had prayed. He also gave me joy. I can hardly describe the feelings I am experiencing right now. God brought me through the long night, and blessed me with a glorious morning. I was feeling so depressed about the way that God made me, but he made me this way for his purpose. I will never be as gorgeous as I want to be here on earth, but I can only imagine how amazing I will look in Heaven, and that is what really matters, because that's the way I will be forever! God has to remind me often that I am exactly the way he created me to be, and that I am making an impact in the lives of others. My life is a work in progress. Every day, my story is being written, word by word, page by page. God already had the blueprint for my life. He has certain things that he planned specifically for me. He will use me to bring people to him in whatever way is needed. That brings greater joy to my life. I've made it through yet another valley of depression, and my heart feels light again. God never leaves me, and he provides me with strength to make it through everything. The joy of the Lord is my strength!

Psalm 28:7

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

God is doing great things!

God is so good! I had been doubtful for some time, not really sure what exactly I believed. I don't know exactly what I was doubting, but I do know that Satan, the enemy, was planting lies in my heart. He was trying really hard to drag me away from God, but God wouldn't let him. I sought to draw close to God. I began reading The Power of a Praying Teen. I started praying more often, especially during school, sitting in classrooms full of people blinded by Satan's lies, living in darkness. Their conversation often discourages me and pours doubts into my heart. Satan laughs as my mind tells me that God is distant and that I might not be a Christian, but God is not content to leave me there, fighting the spiritual battle. God used his Word, the Bible and my parents' Bible study last Friday night, to strengthen my faith and encourage me. He also proved to me that I am not alone in what I am going through with Bekah Harper's testimony tonight. She shared that she even doubted God's existence after He had told her that he would use her in a mighty way in the next four years. God is showing that he is in this place, with me, and he will be with me wherever I go. He has me here for a purpose, and he has chosen me to be his child. My name is written in the Book of Life, and I know where I am going to spend eternity. God spoke to me through 2 Peter 1, and Esther 4:14. This is a testimony that God is real, he has forgiven me and I am his child, and the purpose of my life is to bring glory to his name.

2 Peter 1 (New International Version)

1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Making One's Calling and Election Sure
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prophecy of Scripture
12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."a]" style="line-height: 0.5em; ">[a]18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Esther 4:14

14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

God continues to provide

God is continuing to move the hearts of people to give to my family. We have assurance that God will provide the money that we need to go back to Papua New Guinea. He wants my parents to be able to keep doing the work they are doing there. He called my family to the mission field, specifically to PNG, so why would He want us to leave and work somewhere else, especially when there is so much work that needs to be done, and my dad is the only one who is really equipped to do the job he is doing, overseeing the Doromu-koki and Uare people groups of Central Province? I know that God's plan for our lives is to return to Papua New Guinea. I just need to trust him to provide. We get new supporters every few days. God is faithful! We are at 78% now, and we have gotten ten new supporters in the last couple of weeks. Please continue praying for the rest of the money to be provided and for God to use this to grow our faith in huge ways. Thanks so much!

Genesis 22:14
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

A closer look at one Papua New Guinea mk (missionary kid) - me!

Here is the speech I gave at Grace Church on March 11th, 2009. I hope that you will enjoy reading my story of growing up on the mission field.

My name is Jessica Bradshaw and I am a missionary kid from Papua New Guinea. My parents, Robert and Betsy Bradshaw, have worked in Papua New Guinea as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for over 20 years, and I have had the privilege of growing up there. PNG is located just north of Australia, in the southern hemisphere. It is on the eastern half ofthe island of New Guinea, the second largest island in the world after Greenland.

My dad’s job as a linguist and translator is translating the Bible into two different languages, Doromu-Koki and Uare. My mom is a librarian in the primary school library and coordinates Sunday school at Ukarumpa, Wycliffe’s mission centre where we live. I have two brothers, Jon, 13, and Christopher, 10.

I was born in Kokopo, East New Britain, and first rode in a plane when I was one week old to return to Ukarumpa. In my early years, I travelled with my family out to our village in Central Province by a small plane several times a year, staying there for a few months at a time. While in the village, our only communication with the rest of the world was by two-way radio. My parents would have to plan months in advance, buying all of the food for our stay and packing up our house for renters.

My mom taught me in the village while my dad worked with a group of Fuyug men from the language group who had chosen to devote a portion of their time to translating the Bible and helping him to learn the language. Upon returning to Ukarumpa, I attended Ukarumpa International School, formissionary kids and national children whose parents work on the centre. Approximately 170 kids attend the high school and 170 attend the primary school. We travelled back and forth to and from the village until July 2000 when we found that our village house had been robbed and everything taken or destroyed.

My parents were devastated and wanted to continue helping the people there, but our mission directors told them that they couldn’t return to the village unless the people invited them back.
Unfortunately, they never did. However, in less than a year, my dad had been asked to help the Doromu-Koki people of Central Province to translate the Bible into their language.

My dad is also helping with another translation project, Uare, after the translator died of a heart attack in 2005. He is working to oversee the national translators in both language groups and is planning to continue until the New Testament has been completely translated into both languages. My dad is doing this because God changed his life through reading the Bible, and he wants others to be able to experience that, too, by hearing from God in their own language.

Why is my family here now?

Every four or five years, my family returns to the US for approximately one year to visit friends, family, and supporters and to serve here at Grace Church. We have lived in Berea every furlough, but I don’t consider this my home. I have lived in the US for a total of three and a half years, but every birthday I have had has been in Papua New Guinea. We are going to fly to California two days after school lets out, on June 13, to spend time with my dad’s family. Then we will return to PNG in mid July if we have 100% of our support. I am trusting and praying that God will provide for my family!
There are approximately 1,000 people from over fifty countries living in Ukarumpa, from the US, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Korea, and Sweden. One of my best friends who is also my next-door-neighbor, is Australian. I consider myself very privileged to have grown up with people from many different countries with different cultures. I have also travelled through Hawaii, Singapore, London, and Sydney, and had great experiences there!

Ukarumpa is located in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, in the Eastern Highlands Province at 5000 feet. It is relatively small town, containing only one store, a clinic, post office, library, meeting house, teen centre, print shop, a high school, and a primary school. To walk around the perimeter takes approximately 35 minutes. The houses there are for the most part, fairly nice. We don’t live in bush houses, but rather, in well-constructed wooden frame houses. Many of the houses are built on posts, mainly to ensure flexibility for the frequent earthquakes that occur there.

My family doesn’t own a car, but most of our neighbors there do. Although we don’t have movie theatres, malls, or restaurants, my friends and I have great times together. Often we simply hang out and walk around the center in small groups, but there are many other things we do to entertain ourselves, including movie nights, bonfires, lock-ins, owning horses (and other pets), riding motorbikes, making movies, playing computer games, participating in sports, and attending youth group as well as Bible studies. Besides all of those things, students participate in plays, concerts, mission trips, fundraisers, and helping to host Vacation Bible schools for the younger kids. I raise guinea pigs, and have had 49 over the past four years! Now I only have two, still in PNG, and I really miss them!!!

One of my favorite memories is spending many Saturday afternoons with my neighbor, Melanie, creating scenes and taking photos for ourguinea pig calendars. Other extra curricular things that I participated in were track, volleyball and babysitting. I have loved being a part of the band as a flautist and the choir, and taking trips with them.

Growing up in Papua New Guinea has been a blessing, experiencing different cultures and learning to see past differences. I am thankful for the wonderful privileges that God has blessed me with. I also love PNG because of its beauty and warmth – it usually is around 78 degrees every day, year-round! I don’t like the frequent downpours we get there, but it does make the grass look vibrant!

Papua New Guinea has some problems, too, that can make it a challenge to live there – earthquakes, rascal (criminal) problems, very few roads, (and blockage of those roads from landslides), lots of rain – we get over 80 inches a year, and some parts of the country get 400 inches yearly, and also the fact that there are over 860 languages packed into a small land mass! In fact, PNG has more languages than any other country in the world! However, the blessings of living there far outweigh the hardships. Papua New Guinea is a tropical paradise and a great place to call home!

I really hope that my family will be able to return to PNG in July. I want to be able to spend one more year there, having grown up there. However, my family is low on support right now. It has been hard trusting God, but I know that he is challenging me to have more patience and to wait on his perfect timing. Wycliffe requires us to have 100% support in order to return to the mission field, and we have 78%. Would you please pray that God will provide the money we need so that we can return to Papua New Guinea? That would mean so much to me!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Most Difficult Adjustment

The most difficult adjustment I faced as a missionary kid when I returned to the US this last July, from the country of Papua New Guinea, included leaving behind some very dear friends, and being plunged deep into a culture saturated with bad language and vulgar talk. I know that God had planned for me to experience those things, so that I might grow closer to Him, however, they came as a shock when I got to band camp the first day at Berea High School and the evil words were flowing uncontrollably. I was ready to run out the door and purchase a ticket for the next plane out of Cleveland, but I stayed and trusted God.

There were so many reasons why it would have been easier to have never had to experience life in Berea, Ohio, but instead, simply stay in Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. The problem with that is that Ukarumpa can be referred to as a shell, a bubble, or other things along the same line. Ukarumpa is a place of safety-and perhaps a taste of Heaven for the small, close community living in the valley there. But I needed to be challenged, and God knew it, so he took me halfway around the world to a place where I hadn't been for four years. I had to say goodbye to friends that I love with all of my heart, yet the only one who truly matters stepped on the plane next to me and guided me through the enduring journey. He comforted me in the absence of human arms wrapped around my thin body. He has whispered his true and faithful promises to me every step of the way. Though it was very difficult for me in a variety of ways to leave behind my home, Ukarumpa, God had a reason for it, and he continues to have a reason for my being here now!

Seeing God as the Lord who Provides

Today I started reading The Power of a Praying Teen, and I have begun to see more of who God is and how He is everything to me. The first chapter listed twenty names of God that are listed in the Bible. I was comforted by this one in particular-the Lord who Provides. I know that God will take care of me in every way. I don't need to be worried about anything, because God is my wisdom, faith, counselor, hope, and so much more!!! Our family is still at 76% but little by little people are giving more money, and God is working!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

How to get involved in missions

Here are three ways that you can get involved in missions: 1) Pray - Missionaries need people to pray for them. You may not feel like you know much about what is going on in the lives of missionaries around the world, but you can still pray for them. Start by learning the names of some missionaries that attend your church, and pick up their prayer cards. Commit to pray for one missionary family. To learn more about what each individual missionary is doing, you can email them and read their updates or prayer letters. You may feel like you don't really know how to pray or that your God won't answer your prayers, but the truth is that praying is just having a conversation with God, and God promises that he will answer the prayers of a righteous person. Prayer is a great way to draw nearer to God while positively affecting the lives of others, even those thousands of miles away, in remote areas of the world! I challenge you to pray for a missionary on a daily basis. Having their prayer card on hand will help you to remember. Pray for them however God leads, and don't stop! James 5:16b The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 2) Give - Consider giving a portion of your income to support a missionary. You may think that you don't make enough money to support someone else, but God wants you to give freely, no matter how much you make each day. Remember the lady who gave all she had, and God blessed her for it! You will probably find it hard to give at first, but over time, it will become easier and you will be blessing someone else. Don't be afraid to give generously-God will provide for you. More than anything, God wants to use you, like he used the boy with the five loaves of bread and two fish to feed the crowd. Jesus could have created food from stones and not used the boy's lunch. However, by using the boy's lunch he was helping the people to increase their faith in him and his father. His purpose was to draw them closer to him, not to steal the boy's food. Besides, everything we have belongs to him, anyways, because all things were created by him and for him. You can trust God. Jesus also said that he cares about sparrows, and you are worth far more than they are - you are a child of God! So God will care for you! Give and God will reward you. You may have to wait until Heaven for the reward, but it will be worth it! You don't have to give money, though. Giving of time is also important and necessary. Send emails to missionaries to let them know that you are thinking about them. Or help out at youth group events to send supplies overseas. Giving is vital to missions. Share some of the things that God has blessed you with and help impact lives for eternity! Luke 12: 6-7 6Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 3) Go - Get involved with mission trips. Find out what trips are available through your church, and sign up. If you want to become a missionary, this is a good way to gain experience and see close up what is involved in missions. You may have to give up some of your free time and money, but I can guarantee that it will be worth it. While short-term mission trips can't fully prepare you for long-term mission work overseas, it can give you a taste of what it will be like. God has commanded us to go, so take the opportunity to serve and make a difference in the lives of others. Matthew 28: 16-20 The Great Commission 16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Being a long-term missionary overseas is not for everyone. God has called each of us to do different things with the talents and gifts he has given us. He created each of us to be unique from one another. God may want you to stay right where you are and work, but he still wants you to pray and give! He wants you to be a missionary wherever you go, by telling others about him. However, just because you don't learn languages well doesn't mean that you can't become a career missionary! There is a need for teachers, doctors, dentists, computer technicians, pilots, etc. God can use you on the mission field with your individual gifts and talents. So if you feel God calling you to go, know that he has a specific job for you to do. The three points, praying, giving, and going, apply to every Christian in a way. God's will is that you pray, give and tell others about him. Let your light shine! Mission organizations to contact, if you are interested: Wycliffe Bible Translators Christian and Missionary Alliance MV Doulos and Logos Hope Missionary Aviation Fellowship New Tribes World Gospel Mission

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Faith - Not based on feelings

Some days I am so much more hopeful about returning to Papua New Guinea than other days. This morning, the sunrise was so bright and gorgeous, and it reminded me of PNG so much. However, after making it through another boring and uneventful day of school, my faith has tumbled down, like a forty-foot drop on an rapid roller coaster. I want to remain hopeful, but sometimes it is just so hard to trust God. I know that God can provide the money that we need, but the head knowledge needs to imbed itself in my heart. My feelings are all over the place, every day, but I have been taught that I shouldn't trust them, and that is very wise information. Feelings are based on experiences and not on faith. I need to make my hopes for the future transcend my feelings for my not-so-great present. But even that I can't really do on my own. I need God's strength to be able to look at the bright side. I would hop on a plane and go back to PNG right now if I was given a ticket, but God wants me here right now. He wants our support to be low so for His glory and also so that our faith will grow. What I really need is to just believe, and continue seeking God's will in prayer. I can't promise that I'll continue to have faith-on my own it's useless. But I can promise that God will take care of me and be with me in everything I do. Even if I don't get to go back to Papua New Guinea, I still have the memories and that's enough. God will guide me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What this blog is about

I created this blog to share about my life in Papua New Guinea and my plans to go back there in July. My family currently does not have enough support to return, but we are trusting God to provide. Here you will be able to find out how you can help and keep up with my family's financial situation. Thank you for your support!!!