Thursday, December 22, 2011
I think back to the great experiences of really hearing the children's stories. When they finally trust you enough to open up their hearts to you. It feels like I just made progress and then I was on the plane home. I feel deep in my heart that God is calling me back to the Burkina Faso. I didn't really realize that, that feeling of something missing was there until I left... it is amazing how our hearts, when they are for God, can hold so much love and compassion.
I move to Tijuana, Mexico on January 16th for at least a year. I will be doing administration and group coordination for the mission that I have been working with for the past like 4 years. I miss my mexican kids and it seems surreal that in a few weeks I will be hugging them all again. I am not super "excited" about the new job as I am just running around like crazy trying to get caught up and learning everything. I don't know if this is my heart-- I know it is a need that needs to be filled but I keep thinking am I truly the person that God has called for this for a long extended period of time. I am playing it day by day hoping God will reveal to me exactly what He wants.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The director and two german girls who I stay with were all gone for the past couple of days so I have been by myself in our house and just enjoying the time with the orphanage children. This morning I was the only white person in church and I was able to sing in the french choir and sing a special song with some of our kids from the orphanage. Church here is such a joyful experience. I believe that they see God for who He really is... our big creator that can do anything and will take care of everything! The christians here pray with such passion, sing at the top of their lungs and dance with sweet joy. I was telling some of the older boys in the orphanage last night that church at home is a totally different experience. They said, what do you mean church is only like an hour long? And you don't really dance in church? I was convicted because I don't find myself joyfully dancing for Jesus very often. What are we missing? I want this overflowing joy and unstoppable faith that can move mountains.
This past week has been really difficult on my heart, yet the Lord is so faithful and through little glimpses I can see His will taking root more in my life. I love Africa- the culture, people, and I can see such a need that I want to help with. One day, I feel maybe the Lord will call me here for a longer period of time. I know my life is completely in His hands!
I can see God working so much here in Burkina. Even though Islam is the main religion and you see people praying in the streets on their mats for their "rituals" trying to earn their way to what they think is paradise. I see such desperation and I do see that when people receive Christ here, their lives are completely changed. Its something I know even myself, need to learn. I love Jesus so much... but do I trust Him completely for every little thing? The poverty here is so evident but the people are just like.. this is our life. We don't have much... but do we really need much? In an average family here- they would live in a sod like house and they would sleep on woven plastic mats on a concrete or dirt floor. They wouldn't have furniture but maybe like a bench or chair and they wouldn't have many clothes.. but just enough to live.
I was asking some of the kids last night about if they saw a lot of white people when they were little in living in the village. They said, every once in awhile they would see one and they were so happy. They would scream "white person" and "candy." Also, they remember when they would see a car and how happy they were to see one of those! haha It made me smile to think of how simple life was in that. Playing in the dirt with rocks and running around chasing old bike tires.
The people I have been blessed enough to meet so far are just amazing. Thank you Lord Jesus for changing my life even more... I feel that I am becoming more of who You created me to be.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
After the doctors office we got the news that he was almost completely blind and that his optic nerve had been damaged and there was no way to re-pair it. In that moment, I knew that there was a special family out there that was going to take this boy! I said, he will be a challenge but we really need a family that wants to make a difference and give a child a life. He is so gentle, sweet, and precious.. I know that if people met him that they would fall in love with him just like I did. Please come along side us in prayer for this sweet boy.
|Faical and I|
Unworthiness seems to always capture me whenever I am around the children. But I think God does that so I won't take them for granted. I love them all so much. Thank you for all your prayers and support. The Lord is so good and I have around 5 weeks left here in Africa. Time just goes so fast! It is going to hurt me to leave and I find myself in tears already thinking of that time BUT I am reminded that "Our God is as faithful as the rising sun"- Chris Tomlin.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. - 1 Peter 2:9
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I have been able to sing in church the past two sundays with the German girls and this past week a couple of the boys joined us! It was amazing. And one of the girls and I joined the French Choir in church. Its crazy because I don't really speak french.. haha. Church is an all together interesting and long experience in itself. It is usually 2 1/2 to 3 hours long with SO much music... and their dancing is so different but amazing. I really love how open they are to let us join in and also share a song in English. :)
Every Tuesday night is a student lead prayer night with a little sermon and some music. So, tonight the kids got all together with their drums and sang praises to our great God in "Moore" their tribal language. It is such a great experience as they honestly sing as LOUD as they can to the Lord haha. One of our little boys named Jonas who is 7 years old, did a little dance that was absolutely adorable!
Then after some songs a young man named Bartholemy stood up with a guitar, looked up and said Praise the Lord (in Moore) and sang an amazing powerful song that HE WROTE! I was in awe as his sweet voice came so alive and everyone listened. It was so great- I thought, i want to take you home and share you with everyone!! :) Hearing him praise God in 'Moore' was honestly indescribable. Then they said, okay Tenielle, its your turn to sing a song. hahaha I was like what? okay... what song? and after that? So, I sang How Great is Our God. They all smiled and clapped. During the sermon one of the older boys came over and translated it all for me. They are so respectful and thoughtful in that way. Always making sure I am taken care of and feel comfortable there.
|Ferdinand is the one in black :)|
I have been enjoying myself a lot as I grow in friendships with these amazing people. They keep asking me: when will you come back to Burkina? And how can we contact you when you leave? I am praying more and more about coming back maybe in a year or so :) We are still trying really hard to get all our kids sponsored for school.. its $35 a month and there is an amazing beautiful little boy named Ferdinand who is 11 and needs to be adopted! we are praying for the right family to take in this gorgeous boy. Contact me if you are interested in helping in anyway firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Monday, September 26, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
People keep asking- what all will I be doing, aren't you scared, and what do you think its going to be like? My mind seriously has not wrapped around the fact that by this time tomorrow I will be on a totally different continent, in a culture I have never seen, with people I have never met.. and the only one who is literally with me in this travel is the Lord. I don't have fear but complete peace. I don't know exactly what I will be doing... but do really any of us? I mean I have a little bit of an idea.. But I am just excited that the chance has finally came up in my life. I want to take in every minute of it. I don't want to worry about political uprising or the "dangers" that everyone keeps reminding me of... our God is way bigger than any problem that is going on in this world. AND I am completely in His hands.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
It was an exciting rest of the day getting jumped on and lots of hugs. They had to show me everything new and tell me ALL about their lives. It was amazing. The next day I spent with the kids and helped them just with their everyday lives. My favorite parts of the days.. are waking up and seeing all their faces, them coming home from school and sharing about what they learned, and saying goodnight. All the hugs! :)
|The Josues (4) starting preschool|
I talked to my sweet Jeovany who is going to be 13 this coming week. I said I was sorry I wasn't going to be in the orphanage for his birthday. He said, he wishes I was here but he understands. I told him how he is a son for me and how proud I truly am of who he is! He is incredible special to me. We have 7 new kids at the orphanage. And they are super cute and I got to know them a little bit in the days I was there. I think they felt they knew me right away b/c all the rest of the kids were freaking out. haha.
|Christian (10) and I|
|Daniel (10) and the dogs.|
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
I am back in Tijuana and loving on some beautiful children. God is good and working. I have been praying a lot for the kids and for God to show me needs that need to be met. We are searching for a desktop computer for the orphanage because our other brokedown. A friend of mine is going to help some but It would be amazing in the end to get the more than one... to bless them more in the long run!
The kids keep thinking that I am going to leave them... its not real to them that I am staying for another month. EVerytime I go out of the orphanage or if I am carrying a bag they freak out and ask if I am going home. I love them so much
Today we went to the movies and saw the movie Rio which is about some birds. The kids were so happy. Thank you for all your prayers and I hope to keep you all updated.. we don't have internet at the orphanage right now, I am just going to an internet store.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
The Lord is working in Tijuana and I believe He is going to change things in His time :) I leave for Tijuana on May 25th for 5 weeks then had off to Africa in September.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home, It's not our home
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights Are Your mercies in disguise
I have been thinking a lot lately about how I see myself and what I truly am in the Lord. I don’t know what the Lord completely wants from me but I am trying to hear His voice through all of the stuff going on in my life. I love the song “Blessings” by Laura Story… my favorite part is “This is not our home.” I really love thinking about when I finally get to see my Savior face to face.
Life has been kind of crazy lately and I am back at home visiting family. I went home in March for a little bit then back to Tijuana for my birthday and some other wonderful things. The Lord really blessed the time but I still have this pain in my heart from hurt friendships. I keep thinking… maybe if I could just stop caring about what people think of me or even what I think of myself when I look in the mirror than life would get better. In it all it is going to take trusting in the Lord to get over those things. But God blessed the time with a great miracle of a new 15-passenger van for the orphanage!
When I was home in March the Lord raised over $4,300 in 2 weeks to bless City of Angels. So I went back at the beginning of April so pumped to buy a van! We found a van in a newspaper ad of all places for $2,650 but it didn’t have seats. BUT the next day someone was selling the exact seats that we needed for only $150. God’s hand was guiding every moment of that whole thing. I remember telling the director Israel, “I believe God wants this van for the orphanage WAY more than we could ever imagine.” It is a beautiful van and such a blessing. And we were able to fix two other cars in the orphanage :)
My birthday was a surprise of love and hugs. The little girls woke me up at 5:50am to sing me a special Mexican birthday song. It was super cute and then they all jumped on me to hug me. The whole day was great and in the evening the kids had a party for me where they put my cake in my face. I truly love the people in Tijuana.
I want to thank you all for all your prayers. I am headed back to Tijuana may 25th-June 30th. Then I head off to Burkina Faso, Africa in September for 3 months. I am working through Christian World Outreach and in an orphanage called Sheltering Wings. I will be able to work in a school and clinic too! I am excited to see what the Lord has in store. Please pray for all the preparations and everything.
Also, thank you so much for your prayers for my friend Chuy (Jesus). He is at home now but the doctors did tell him that he will not be able to receive a transplant because his body is just so sick and weak. Please keep pray for him. I love him with all my heart and God can do a miracle but I have to not be selfish and let him go if the Lord wants him. He is suffering a lot but is better than he was earlier in the month.
Thanks again and God bless.