Friday, March 20, 2015

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Annual Sale 2015

What a day! God's provision for Gloria and Maria year after year has been so humbling. The girls were so excited to see pictures from the sale and hear about all of the people in my community who bought scarves in support of them. It truly is a group effort, so thank you to all who came out and bought a scarf!

We sold over 100 scarves total throughout the year, and about 70 of those were sold at the actual sale. This raised just the right amount to completely support Gloria and Maria for a full year. :)

'And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.'
Philippians 4:19 

 Precious kids I babysit who have been passionate S4S supporters each year! Seeing them at the bus stop each morning wearing their scarves warms my heart.

 Holding up signs that say 'We love you Gloria & Maria!'

Monday, August 11, 2014

God is Bigger

Have you heard about what's going on in Iraq and all over the Middle East?

Christian children being beheaded, christian women being raped and shot, and christian men being hung. After all these years, injustice and evil brutality continue to haunt nations and people groups. Why? This is the question I find myself asking when I see pictures of limp bodies being piled on top of one another, when I see humans being treated like dirt because of what they believe in. How could all this be happening, this genocide?
Because of the lack of Christ. At the heart of these crimes is the separation of God’s children from Him. We are not meant to be separated from a relationship with our Creator, and in turn this causes despair and pain and sin. This separation from out Maker leads to selfishness, pride, and complete brokeness.

I have 8 bibles in my room. I go to church and youth group and freely am able to proclaim the name of the Lord anywhere I go, without fearing for my safety. I live in a society where freedom of speech and religion is expected. I am blessed beyond belief, while innocent believers are being killed and tortured and persecuted because they love and follow the Messiah.

The heartbreaking truth is that this kind of thing has been going on for a long time. My heart hurts for the victims, and my heart also hurts for the ISIS group and the government officials who are not doing anything to stop these situations. Yes, they deserve to be punished and stopped, and I am in no way trying to justify or degrade their crimes, but these people need Jesus. These people need Jesus just as much as everyone else. These sinners need to know this Love that is able to wipe away their hatred and foolishness and soften their hardened hearts.

So, maybe like me you've wondered what can we do about this issue? Well, the fact of the matter is that we can do nothing. We ourselves can do nothing about these injustices because the only One who can is Jesus Christ. That is why as Christians, we must cling to prayer and scripture at a time where our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and killed for standing firm in faith.

This passage in Isaiah is so beautifully relevant in this situation:
Isaiah 54:10-14 “Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. In righteousness you will be established. Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.”

Luke 21:25-28 ‘On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At the time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Romans 8:35 ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’

And so even as we grieve the injustices of these innocent Christians, we should also be overwhelmed with the hope that the Lord promises us in His word. In the midst of the pain and the persecution, God is still God. And I firmly believe that my God is bigger than even what is going on in Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and all over the world. I believe that my God is bigger than the evilness of human sinners and the brutality of our actions.

Last night at youth group, we were so blessed by two Pakistani men who came to share with us how Jesus is touching lives through their ministry in their nation. They are evangelists who have faced undeniable persecution because of their love for the Lord, and because they fearlessly share His name with their muslim neighbors. Gurad, one of these men shared the gospel with a young girl who told her parents of the newfound hope she received in Jesus Christ, sharing that she wants them to know Him too! Her father was enraged, and he and a group of muslim men attacked Gurad and brutally cut off his hand. This man is only 25 years old, innocent and blameless, however attacked and wrongly hurt. The beauty in this story is that Gurad continues to passionately proclaim the name of our Savior, filled with a beautiful courage and strength that could only come from Him. I am so blessed by these guys, who despite their situations are so joyous and in love with their Heavenly Father, who has provided and continues to provide for them and their ministry. Gurad is here in Korea to receive a prosthetic arm, praise the Lord! As I talked and prayed with them, I was so blown away at how big our God is. How He can purpose people for His glory anywhere, even in the hardest, most broken places. That is the power of the gospel.

These are the stories that God uses to bring hope in the midst of the darkness. So we are called to prayer, and not to ignore these horrors just because they are hard to come to terms with and they make us sad or because we feel useless to do anything about them. We are called to live out and proclaim faith in our Savior who will one day redeem the wickedness of the world and bring us to everlasting peace in heaven with Him. To have faith in the Lord who tells us He will never leave or forsake us; to see this as truth and believe wholeheartedly that He is God over all things. Jesus doesn't just call us to trust in Him when it's easy, but at all times.

~Let His people find refuge in His name alone.~

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Judah nearly lost his life when he was born. Thanks to his families access to medical care, he is alive, healthy, and energetic today. However, many babies around the world don't have the resources Judah's family does, although many of their conditions are preventable.

Find out more about ways you can help here by visiting Compassion's Child Survival Program page.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Identity in Christ and Christ Alone

'With God Through the Shadow of the Valley of Death'
Professor Christina Lee Kim

A couple weeks ago, I was watching an online chapel message by a professor from Biola University. She was talking about identity in Christ. Throughout the talk she had the students in the audience write out three things on note cards about what they find identity in. This could be a hobby, quality, goal, career choice, position, etc. She also had them write on the fourth card their identity in Christ as His daughter/son.

In my head, all I could think of was my identity in missions. 

Ever since I became involved in service and missions, it's been my biggest passion and something that I express my faith through. It brings me joy and purpose, and humility that the Lord could use even an imperfect sinner like me to serve Him. However, I do see evidence in my life of making this somewhat of an idol and something that defines me over how God defines me.

Towards the end of the message, the professor asked the students in the audience to rip up their three cards that shaped their identity. She asked them to imagine their lives without those things, without those qualities, without those dreams. As I began to imagine my life without missions, I came to the realization that it's not something I would ever want to give up. I think that I've come to a place in my heart where I feel like I know that the Lord is calling my to become a missionary. I feel that if I weren't a missionary, how could He use me? But, I realize this is not the mentality that He calls me to have.

He wants us to trust in Him, because His will for our lives transcends ours.

The Lord wants us to have goals for the future, but it's so important for us to remember to put His will first and surrender those dreams to Him, for His glory and not our own.

In this season, my Father is showing me each day that my life is not my own, but I belong to Him. (crazy!! Christ lives in and through our lives!)

'However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.' Acts 20:24

I know that my selfish desires and stubbornness to only become a missionary and nothing else is not what God wants for me. It's hard for me to be open to another calling He might have for me, but...
He calls us, as His children to follow Him. Wholeheartedly, follow Him. He doesn't call us to make our own plans and hope He's on board with them. He doesn't call us to claim to be following His calling but not pray and go to Him before making decisions. No, He calls us to surrender our lives to His will, whatever that may look like.

And hey, 100% of the time, His will is way better than anything we could have ever imagined!

So Lord, I surrender. I surrender my hopes and dreams and plans. I surrender my future to Your cause, not for my glory, but for Yours. You alone know the plans you have for me. You are the potter, I am the clay. I am nothing without You.

I refuse to let Satan justify my passion for missions as prior to my identity in Christ. If God leads me away from missions, I will follow with an open heart, reassured that He is in control, not me. What a relief to rest in His love and care for us!

He is faithful!
-Emily Claire

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kids Deserve Food!

Have you ever been so hungry you're stomach growls and all you can think about it food? Have you ever claimed you're going to 'die of starvation!' I know I have. But the more I think about it, I've never actually felt true starvation and hunger to the point of malnutrition. But guess what? Millions of children and people in general don't have enough food. 19,000 children under the age of 5 years old die EVERY DAY due to malnutrition. That's 30 U.S. school's worth of kids dead every day.

It's crazy to think about. It's devastating that people go hungry when in our first world communities, we have food to waste. We have more than enough, and so many have nothing.

Malnutrition affects children in some of the worst ways possible. It can be the difference between them living or dying, receiving an education, and actually living out their intended purpose and not just struggling to survive.

Although famine is a serious issue, there is hope! Thanks to World Vision, we have the opportunity to provide kids with food, and underprivileged families with the tools and support they need to cultivate their own food through agriculture and farming. How awesome is that?

My school is taking part in WV's '30 Hr. Famine' project because we refuse to sit back while thousands of children and their families suffer on a daily basis to to this crisis. We're raising awareness and funds to help these people get the nutrition they so desperately need and deserve. At the end of the month, we're fasting for 30 hours to experience going without food as so many do.

Will you join us in making a difference for people that need our help? Real people that matter, God's children! If you'd like to make a donation, follow this link:
Every dollar counts, and $35 dollars provides a child with food for 1 whole month!

Share the link with friends and help us spread the word! We need all the help we can get! Making a difference is a group effort, right?

Also, will you pray for my school as we fast?! It's a challenge, but one worth taking!

A powerful video about the affects of the food crisis on a child. (Puts things into perspective!)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cambodia 2013/14


I'm finding myself at a loss for words trying to write this post. I just can't seem to sum it all up, all of the blessings my team and I experienced this year in Cambodia.

Stepping out into the familiar burst of hot air as we left Phnom Penh International Airport, I felt like I was finally home. I felt like I'd been waiting so long to just be back, and it felt amazing. I felt like I was finally back where He really wants me.

We set out to the S21 Prison our first day, where prisoners were detained, tortured, and murdered. It broke my heart the first time I toured this place, however this year it hit much harder. After last year I developed relationships with the Cambodian people, and a love for this nation. This connection brought me to tears thinking about how much devastation the Khmer Rouge has cost this country, and how broken it still is.

Up until now, I've always thought that the Lord would send me somewhere in Latin America because I speak fluent spanish. However, during the tour, I felt Him opening my heart to the possibility of returning to Cambodia in the future. WOW. Never in all my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined this possibility. As much as I fell in love with this country last year, I thought that God was preparing me for a life serving elsewhere.

Philippians 4:19 tells us, 'And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.' I am submitting my life into His hands because His plans are so much greater than my own. It's crazy to think that He would care enough about me to plan out my life and guide me down the path he Has prepared for me. Whether he leads me to Cambodia or not, I will follow.

One of my favorite memories from this week, among to many to count, was with one of the mothers who cooked for us during our time in the village. I had shared smiles and hugs with her for only about two days, and she told me through a translator that when she dies, she wants me to take care of her two young daughters.
My heart was touched and I was shocked that this woman I had just met would say something like this to me. I later learned that her husband is sometimes abusive and she's been married three times. Though her story is one of hardship, she's always smiling and so full of hope.

As for the physical aspect of our trip, our team built two houses and a fence surrounding the villages' elementary school, Glory International. We also painted a mural on the side of the school and put the team's handprints so that the kids can always remember us.

Our team learned so much from spending time with the villagers and loving on the children. Their hope and joy inspired us and taught us that materialistic items don't bring true happiness; God does. Once again, I'm amazed at how much God blessed our team! 

Thanks so much to everyone who prayed for our team and supported us in any way; we were truly blessed and we're so thankful to have such great support! We're currently praying about the possibility of returning next year!

As much as I wish I were back in Cambodia right now, and as much as I would be content to never leave, I'm learning to accept the fact that that's not God's plan, yet. I still have a lot to learn, a lot to experience, and a whole lot of time to serve where He leads me before life as a missionary. I'm learning to consider myself a missionary for Christ now, not just on the mission field.

'Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.' Matthew 16:24-27
'Here I am Lord, send me.' - Isaiah 6:8

Our team on the last day; bittersweet...