Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quick note

What a blessing this trip home has been...
God is so good to me and I am thankful for all the wonderful things happening around me.
The Golf tournament was a great success. We raised a great sum of money for the start of our multi-purpose building at the school. I am looking forward to having this golf tournament annually and watching the doors that it will open for the people of Nicaragua Christian School.
Elections in Nicaragua are over and I am ready to get back to see the children. I will be going back for Graduation which is the week of Thanksgiving and then the kids will be off for their "Summer break" so I will be able to spend Christmas with my family and my Fiancé. Yes, you read that right :)
A better updated blog will be posted in the next week or two.

For now, Please go to www.youtube.com/nichristianschool and check out some of the new videos!

Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement. I am a blessed beyond measure.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life Interrupted

I have started a new book by Priscilla Shirer called "Life Interrupted" and let me just say it is absolutely amazing to me that God can work on my heart through the ink pen of someone that I do not and probably will never know. 

" So just go with it. Follow Him -- Impossible as it may seem. Let him take you places, even to places you honestly don't feel all that great about seeing firsthand. You may not grasp what He's got in mind for this, but if you'll follow where He's leading, You will walk yourself right out onto the stage He has set for you. You will locate a significance bigger than you are because it's not based on your own smarts and planning and goal stratagies but rather on your utter submission to the Father's eternal, all-wise plans-- plans that are "higher than your ways" (Isaiah 55:9), beyond anything you could "ask or think" or imagine (Eph. 3:20)."

There has been many a day that I have been completely confused on what God's plan is. Sometimes I just can't understand why he would want me to do something that is interrupting what I saw my future to look like. But when I look at the "big picture" I am absolutely blown away at what God has brought in to my life and ever so thankful for what he has taken out. Seriously, I am the most undeserving person to the most beautiful gifts. God's plan is SO MUCH GREATER than anything I could have imagined for myself. His grace is amazing and it covers me daily. The things that I imagined would have never been close to the amazing-ness of every part of my life right now. He has a plan for each of our lives.. There are billions of people in the world and he has a specific plan just for me.. I love being His child and I look forward to seeing what it is he has in store for me next. 

Speaking of God's plan and him knowing me so well... My mother and Sherry Brooks surprised me last Monday.. This is how it went... We were suppose to go pick up Mr. David and Mr. Tim from the airport in Managua so we decided to make a fun day of it. We went to the big mall and to the nice grocery and then to TGI fridays. After all of this, as we were heading to the Airport, I told the Brackens that this was a much needed day and "one of the best days ever(of course I was being a bit dramatic)". I had no idea what was about to happen but Kim and James sure do keep secrets well.. We get to the airport and are waiting and I was just so excited to see Americans that I was desperately looking in the window with excitement. I guess James was worried he wouldn't catch my reaction on camera or that I knew they were coming because he said "what are you so excited about, it is just two old men!?"(which was a fun joke for the rest of the week). Boy, you should have seen my face. God really knew how badly I needed to see those two. I was a basket case. They snuck up around a corner and jumped in front of the glass wall and I started screaming and crying.  I then had to wait 15 minutes for them to get through customs during which time I had 300 nicaraguans looking at me like I was crazy and trying to piece together what just happened. 

It was a wonderful surprise. I mean wonderful. Being able to see two people who have been absolutely awesome at keeping me strong during this past year, working with my babies, was Heaven to my eyes. It really gave me the courage to keep going. 
Thank you Jesus for that time with them.. 

If you are sponsoring a child at Nicaragua Christian School and have not yet considered making a trip down to the school, start considering. I know that this trip was such a blessing for not only Mama and Sherry but also for the sweet babies who they help receive a chance at a better future.
Here are some pictures of their trip... 

Mama and Rosita happy to see each other after three years. Seriously, you have never seen two happier people than these in this moment in time. 

Pedro and and his sponsor (and my dear friend) Sherry meeting for the first time! He was so blessed by the time he got to spend with her and can't stop talking about her.
Some precious moments with the children
Visiting Pedro in his home. Another awesome experience you can have with making a trip to NCS.
If Daddy, Isaac and Amelia were there we would have had a completed family. So very thankful for this moment.
Sherry at Pedro's house with him and his brother Daniel and their new soccer ball!
Every time I look at this picture I cry. The most amazing woman with the most amazing children.
Sherry with all her little notes and love from all the students. They love visitors :)
I wish I could hold these moments forever.
Mr. Tim with the little girl he sponsors.
Sherry with some of the preciousness of NCS
Mr. David feeding this little boy his second cup of Icecream.. Ever.

Mom, Sherry, and I went to Surfing turtle one night while they were here. It was a lodge on the beach. We were the only people their other than our guard and our cook, for miles. We had a great time. We stayed in a cabana that was only screen so we could listen to the ocean all night. We also got to watch a Paslama turtle lay eggs on the beach. It was a great trip.
Sherry, myself, and mother on the swings at Surfing turtle
This was the only way to get to Surfing turtle
Also, during the time my mother was here, Cristina had a hernia removed. I went to the hospital with her the morning before the surgery and this is her at her house the afternoon after surgery. Always smiling
Mr. David and his homemade baptistry. He had to demonstrate for us.
If I can be half the woman she is I will be happy. I am so thankful to have such an incredible mama inside and out that supports me in everything I do.

Mom and I with Sergio and Daysi (Preacher at the school) 

It was perfect timing. God is so good to me and I am very blessed. 
On other note, I leave for Honduras tomorrow with Sergio, Daysi and 4 other members of our new youth! We are going to Baxter (the preacher school) for a youth rally. The theme is "The Battle Belongs to the Lord". I have NO idea what I am getting myself in to for the next week but I am really looking forward to seeing God work. Please keep this trip in your prayers. 
Also, Please check out my previous blog about some opportunities to help out at the School. 

Come and see what is being done in Nicaragua. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Give a little love

I am coming to all of you, friends, families, and people I have never even met to ask you to take some time and look at two very important things we have going on for the school right now. 
Please take a moment to read this and SHARE it with your people who might be interested in participating. 
Nicaragua Christian School exists to provide the opportunity for the poorest in the communities of Leon, Nicaragua, to receive a Christian Education. It is vitally important to the employees and supporters of NCS that these students learn how to read and write in a God-centered environment. 
The teachers and staff are constantly pursuing new and improved learning techniques and strategies, and they do the best they can to implement these in the classroom. The goal of NCS is to educate and to provide a support system for its students and their families. When students leave NCS, it is hopeful that they will carry their knowledge and love for Christ into their homes and their communities. Due to the monetary support and prayer for these specific things, the Nicaragua Christian School is thriving.

This year we are starting a new tradition. We have been brainstorming about how we could raise money for the school and we feel like this is a great opportunity for us to do so. Leon, Nicaragua has been such a blessing on so many lives and we want to keep giving back to the God's precious children in Nicaragua. 

On MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2011 we are our having our first Annual Golf tournament for Nicaragua Christian School at the Jackson Country Club. 
Format: Texas Scramble. We have openings for Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsorships, team sponsorships, and hole sponsorships. If you are interested in sponsoring teams but are not able to play we can find someone to fill your spot! Prizes will be included in goodie bags... Winning teams, closest to the pin, longest drive, and putting contest awards following the tournament. Take some time to get to know us and learn more about the school at Nicaraguachristian.org.. we would love for you to be a part of our mission, starting with playing in our first Golf Tournament!!!

Also, with Christmas around the corner we are hoping to give each child at Nicaragua Christian School a Christmas gift this year and we need your help.  
Three easy steps: 
1.Fill a shoebox with items from the list below. 
2. Wrap the box and lid separately in holiday wrapping paper. 
3. Indicate whether the gift is for a boy or girl and place $5.00 on top of the box to cover the cost of shipping.  
Each box should contain: School supplies (pencils, pens, crayons, paper, pencil sharpener)  Personal items (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, soap, washcloth)  Clothing (socks, underwear, shorts, t-shirt, sandals, ball cap, sunglasses)  Toys (yo-yos, small cars, dolls, stickers, jump rope, bubbles, harmonicas)  Filler (candy, mints, gum.  No chocolate or other candy that might melt).  
All boxes need to be at Campbell Street Church of Christ no later than SEPTEMBER 19th.  For more information, contact Christy Lovelace at 731-427-9511.

Please consider being a part of the work being done in Nicaragua. Lives are being changed and they are the precious children of God. Help put a smile on these faces!
Gracias y Dios te bendiga!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why am I here?

Though having the opportunity to live in Nicaragua has been one of the greatest blessings in my life, I still get home sick from time to time. This is one of those times and times like these are when I have to remind myself why it is that I am here. There are so many reasons but here are a few that I feel need mentioning. 

I love living in Leon, Nicaragua because.. 

I get to see things like this.. 
and this..
I love new friends.
 I love the way a little tan hand fits in mine.
 I love kisses
I love hugs
 I love seeing what God can do for children in need.
 I love seeing this face.. 
 Turn in to this one.
 I love their eagerness to learn and know more about the God who loves them so.
 I love my girls class. 
 I love teaching english to little ones who want to learn.
I love cheeks.
I love moments like these. 
I love this family.. and so many more.
I love playing dress up.
 I love that joy joy joy joy down in their hearts.
because I learn how to be grateful for what I have.
and I even like getting lice.. If it means I get love like this. 

Thank you God for the children that will forever impact my life. They are such a blessing and I have learned so much just from watching them. Please help me humble myself like a child. Help me be a positive example to them each day. And when I need a reminder of why I am here, let it come from looking in to the eyes of a child. Thank you for their hearts, thank you for their joy, and thank you for what you plan to do in their lives. Help me to love unconditionally. I want to be clay in your hands. Use me. Amen.