Monday, June 17, 2013

The Destination

I live for the countdown.

My M.O. is to be constantly thinking about the future, waiting for the next exciting thing to happen.

This can be partially explained, I believe, by my Gallup StrengthsFinder Assessment results, which includes Focus in my Top 5 Themes of talent. For those of you not familiar with StrengthsFinder, Focus means that I am constantly setting goals and zeroing in on how to make them happen. I organize my life around my priorities, and I always must have a clear destination.

So these numerous countdowns help define my destination.


I keep literal (electronic) countdowns on the dashboard of my laptop...

The first one is actually a count-up: 3 Years, 4 Months, 11 Days, 17 Hours, 12 Minutes, and 32 Seconds since I arrived in Peru to be a missionary with Extreme.

The men of Extreme shaved their heads in solidarity six weeks before the Mega-Event
Then the first countdown chronologically says: 24 Days until Love Extreme. This is a big one! Eighty-something short-term volunteers are hitting the ground in just twenty-four days to put on medical clinics, construct walls for new chapels in Peru, and promote our Mega-Event called Love Extreme. On   July 20th, we will see a huge harvest of people coming to know the Lord at this event.

On that Saturday, we are going to fill a locale with 2,000 people of Arequipa to hear a Christian comedian by the name of José Ordoñez, who holds the Guinness World Record for telling jokes for the most consecutive hours.

And you probably can't imagine (because I had no idea) how much preparation goes into making all this happen.

So with 24 days remaining, I would ask for prayers  for this project and the mega-event.


My next countdown is for when I arrive in Cincinnati for my next home assignment. It is always exciting to go home and see friends and family; I even have a routine down...I get picked up, and my dad has Root Beer in hand, and then we go to Chipotle!

Two of my computer countdowns are for weddings that I am privileged enough to attend and participate in as a bridesmaid. I am SO happy for these two couples!

There is so much more to look forward to as I spend a portion of Autumn in the States for the first time in four years: my birthday, pumpkin spice, the World Series (only if the Reds are playing!), cool weather, colorful leaves, and time to be refreshed as I prepare to return to South America.

(I still have many openings in my schedule for speaking engagements, so if you would like me to come to your church, email me at:

It will once again be time for me to raise the financial support necessary for me to continue in God's call on my life. But this is not about me; it is about ALL of us responding in obedience to the calls that God has placed on our lives. Please, seek the Lord's face and will for how He would lead you to get involved in expanding His kingdom.


As I spend all my time counting down, I am also aware of what I fail to do...just soak in the present, breathe, and inhale His presence.

Father God, thank you for the future, and thank you for the Now. Give me the grace to live in this moment, and the strength to make it to the destination.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We Were Humbled

I am so thankful to be a part of what God is doing in South America.

So far, having returned to Peru has been a complete joy for me. As a mobilizer, it is easy to feel disconnected from the ministry going on in the 40/40 service cities. I go ahead of them to make sure that we have the personnel to do the work of the vision God has entrusted to us. And as much as I love my job, and consider it a privilege to serve in this capacity as SAM Mobilization Manager, it can leave me feeling separate from the evangelism and discipleship that the 40/40s that I seek, find, interview, and deploy, do every day.

For this reason, it is so exciting to be living in Arequipa this summer (winter here!). I have been able to be a part of the church here that the 40/40s are planting and in which they are raising up leaders.

Additionally, during the month of May, we received a team of short-term volunteers from Olivet, Trevecca, and Midamerica Nazarene Universities.

And wow.

Just wow.

It was incredible. In those two weeks, we added 470 contacts to the 40/40s' follow-up database, and saw 70 people come to know Jesus Christ for the first time.

We did cultural fairs, Minute To Win It events, flash mobs, a date night for married couples, English practice, a dessert-making course, stoplight ministry, a concert, and church services.

The most impactful part of the project, however, may have been the prayer emphasis. Every moment of the project was covered in individual and corporate prayer. And that made all the difference.

God moved. That's no surprise; He always does. But he heard the cries of our hearts and truly exceeded all of our expectations.

And we were humbled.

And as I type this, several weeks later than I should be, I know that God is doing a great work here in Arequipa, and in my life. And it leaves me humbled that the Cosmic God of the Universe would hear our prayers and respond. He knew the deepest desires of my heart and brought me back to this city to experience Him anew, to be refreshed, to have fun, to spend time with my dear friends, and to have my soul restored.

That is humbling. And I am thankful.