Friday, February 4, 2011

Breaking Tortillas Together

Oak Cliff also known, as “The Cliff” is not only home to multi-colored houses, historical buildings, and diverse residents, but is also home to countless taco stands.  I have a love for Latin dishes, communal meals, and for observing and documenting culture.  

After being snowed in for three days some of my roommates and I decided to get rid of our cabin fever by you guessed it, getting tacos!  As we walked through our neighborhood we played a lovely game of ice ball.  We somehow managed to make it safely to Cesar’s despite the layer of ice that covered the streets and sidewalks.  As we got inside we were ready to warm up and get our grub on.  I tried the wonderful chorizo and huevo tacos.  Cesar’s also has one of my new found loves which is Mexican Coke, made with real sugar.  One of the blessings from the night was the community and love that was present.  You would think that after three days of being cooped up together in our humble apartments that we would have been making one another go crazy.  Instead as we sat on our plastic yellow chairs around our meal and just enjoyed each other’s food, random jokes, and company.  One true display of love was when one of my roommates paid for another roommates meal.  A debit card happened to get lost along the journey, but despite this frustrating situation a community meal was accomplished because where one was lacking another was generous to provide.  That my friends is a true aspect of community, and a display of breaking “tortillas” together.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


      March eleventh, twenty eleven marks the day I leave for Haiti. This will be my first trip to Haiti, and I hope that it will not me my last. I am most excited to meet the kids our team is going to work with. Many of the kids we will be spending time with lost parents in the earthquake which happened just over a year ago. I cannot wait to play, laugh, dance, and sing with all the kids, As I think of these Haitian children I am reminded of a promise.

The promise Jesus made in John 14:18 says "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." In this Jesus is talking about sending the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a beautiful promise that has been made to us, the days we feel weak, lonely, and unloved, we need to hold fast to the promise that we will never be left by the father. I am so excited to be a used as a reflection of this promise. As I enter Haiti I hope and pray to be used as a reflection that the Father has not forgotten the needs of the Haitians. I have been tempted to think that I only have a small offering seeing that I will only be there a week, but then I think of all the stories that will be shared after the trip. I think of all the others giving their time, talent, or treasure, and I am reminded that I am part of a bigger movement and one piece of glass in the beautiful mosaic of believers who are a reflection of God's promise.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beautiful are the Feet (My Story)

     Ever since I was fourteen years old I have had a deep desire within me to be a “missionary.”  This desire was sparked by a short-term mission trip I took several years ago to San Francisco.  It was on this trip that my eyes were opened in a new way. My innocence and naivety had never seemed to notice the poverty, injustice, depression, loneliness and despair that co-existed in the world around me.  I had seen poverty on an international scale on several vacations with my family.  The poverty and despair that I took notice of even as a child seemed cultural or specific to the country I was a tourist in, but seeing poverty first hand in my country of origin was a destiny marker for me.  I remember as I walked the streets of the poorest district in San Francisco I realized I was “made” to do missions.  I was made to live alongside people that find themselves in the midst of physical, emotional, and spiritual poverty.  I believe that even at the age of fourteen, I was starting to recognize my purpose, which is to serve those in need of Christ-like mercy.  Over the past few years God has taught me that this purpose can be lived to the fullest wherever I am, whether I am at home or in college, or in a community I barely even know.  God showed me that I do not have to travel the world to find people needing someone to meet them in the midst of their circumstance and live alongside them.  While I do not have to have a passport with pages full of stamps, I have to be willing to surrender my life to Christ.  I have to be willing to put down my desires, my wants, and my dreams at HIS feet daily.  As I lay myself down, I am only then able to pick up a life directed by God so that my life mission will be displayed with HIS glory written throughout the story.

As I look back on my journey I can see that God’s grace and patience has been so evident to me throughout my walk.   Even in the midst of my inability to lay myself down, God continues to open door after door.  Like a chivalrous gentleman he is showing me that his manners do not change with the situations of my life or with my reactions to him.  Several weeks ago while I was at a missions fair I found myself learning about a mission trip and completely rejecting the idea of the trip.  I said to myself and to God for that matter, I will only go if its on my spring break and the coincidence of that happening is unlikely, so I probably will not go, but thanks for the offer Lord.  Soon thereafter, I came to find out that the trip was placed right in the midst of my spring break, and this made me so frustrated.   It was like God was laughing at me, his child, trying to tell him how to be my father and how to raise me.  As the next few weeks went by, I found myself thinking of Haiti. I found myself praying for the trip, and I found myself at Gods feet praying for an answer.  What I found was the Lord saying, I would rather have you sitting at my feet just to be in my presence for me, and not for my answers to your questions.  Even though my time with God was so self-centered he made his answer clear.  Go to Haiti and come back changed my daughter.  Go live, love, laugh and have a beautiful journey so that my name can be heard in the midst of tears, so that my people are reminded of the hope that is found in me and so they may have strength in the midst of weakness, tears of joy in the midst of pain, and healing where sickness is spreading.  Go my daughter and learn, learn to be brave, and learn to leave fear behind.  Learn to smile while you are uncomfortable.  Learn to focus on meeting the needs of others even while your needs are not being met.  Learn again to see the world outside of your box, and to see the world inside of my hands. Learn yet again to Go run with those beautiful feet.