Monday, November 25, 2013

Worth more than gold...

I was wanting to write this story before but I let it pass through my mind. SO here is some stories of my time in Burkina this last year. 

Before I went to Burkina this last time, the Lord put on my heart that I should raise money for Bibles. I wasn't sure who they were going to be for or why it was so heavy on my heart but I put it out there and the response was HUGE! God provided beyond what I could have imagined. Getting to Burkina and speaking with the Pastor of our church, Pastor Valentin, I was realizing the need. He had asked if I would consider buying some Study Bibles in the tribal language for the village Pastors that we work along side. I said, yes of course, if that is a need, then lets do it!

We went to our first evangelism in a village about an hour away from the orphanage. I went with the one american girl who was there, a couple boys from the church, and around 10 pastors from surrounding villages. It was such an amazing time of fellowship. I was able to share with all the Pastors what the Lord had put on my heart! And He had told me that this was a year where the people of Burkina were ready to receive Jesus. One of the Pastors shared that he had the same vision and they had all been praying for their people to come to know Christ. I thought, how amazing is it when God speaks to two people about the same vision, and we were across the world from each other at the time and had never met before. Connections of Jesus!

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the POWER OF GOD!" - 1 Cor. 1:18

When the study bibles came in, Pastor Valentin called me to come to the church to see them. I was so excited and walked over to his home. He started to show me the box of bibles in Moore (the tribal language). There happen to be 4 Pastors visiting that evening in his home, so I said lets give them their bibles! The men were so excited and even had tears in their eyes as we handed them each a study bible in Moore. One of the Pastors said, "Tenielle thank you, this gift is worth more than gold." I will never forget those words. Do I look at my bible literally as the word of God? and see it as more valuable than gold? We can get a bible whenever we want, they are at our fingertips. But for them, it is not that easy.

In that first evangelism we took that box of bibles and gave many Pastors there own study bible and gave bibles to young believers who could read. It was such a precious time seeing their smiles and graditude. I have never seen people so happy to receive the word of God!

Throughout my time, we were able to bless a lot of churches with Bibles and lots of different Pastors with their own study bible in their own language. We even bought out the place that was selling them and they had to have more printed!

With the great gifts that people sent of donations, we were also to buy a sound system for the evangelism team to use to out in the villages, for people to hear from far the word of God. It is a huge blessing as well, and something that the team of African Pastors had been praying for, for a long time.

One Pastor came to the orphanage where I was living to thank me again for everything, we had been able to give his church I believe 15 bibles in Moore and 10 bibles in french, and then him a study bible. He came to me and said, we have been praying for months for bibles. And the Lord spoke to you to complete those prayers. I told him that I was honored to know him and be able to help them. I knew in my heart that the reason God had put those thoughts of bibles in my heart, was because of the prayers of the Burkina people. I visited that mans church on a Sunday morning to sing and meet people. In the service, he had the people who got bibles in his congregation stand up to show me where they had all went. It was amazing to see!
"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." -1 Cor. 2:4-5

God is good and always at work! I praise Him each day for His faithfulness and there is not a day that I am not thankful for the amazing Pastors I had the honor of working with in Burkina. Their friendships are something I will always cherish. The other day they wrote me to day, "Tenielle we had a meeting for our next evangelism and we are praying for you! You are always a part of us, no matter how far away you are. Your with us in spirit and heart!" What an amazing gift! I pray for  them each day for victories in their ministries and for the hearts of the Burkina people to be open to receive Christ!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Do I bring You glory?

"With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of HIS calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

Lately I have been thinking a lot about if I am glorifying the LORD in my everyday walk with him. If our great Savior is pleased by my thoughts, actions, and words. I fight with my flesh a lot in different things but I try so hard to just love the people around with all that I am. I know that I need to be in prayer and in the Word more. An everyday battle as well. I seem to always find myself to "busy" with everything else that I don't just stop and look to our awesome Lord for a moment in gratitude and adoration. 

I am someone who worries about things, lately, finances have been tough for my own personal support. For the first time really in all of my years of missions, I am really low. I know the Lord will provide and I trust in Him, but there are still moments when I find myself thinking, how can I do this?!?! When the orphanage was done to basically nothing in our bank account, I thought LORD PLEASE HELP YOUR CHILDREN! I was crying and begging for the Lord to cover all of our needs. We began fighting and fighting for people to know the need. From the moment I stepped back into Tijuana at the end of September I started to fight day and night. Then in mid-October I was robbed, everything was taken... laptop, phone, passport, money, debit cards, etc... everything to be able to do my job... was gone in 5 minutes. Everyone kept saying to me, Tenielle just praise the Lord that you were not hurt! I just kept thinking about all that I had lost and it slowed me down so much. But in that slowness I had to start trusting the Lord so much more, I had to look to him with the fears I had and the worries of making it to the next day. 

I know that through each storm there is a rainbow, a promise at the end... a learning and growing time. I believe with all of my heart that my God is faithful and that through any trouble-- financial, health, relationships, etc.. that HE can cover each moment. 

As I sat in tears in front of the Lord, asking myself if I bring Him glory. If I please Him at all in my life. If I am truly living as an example... as the hands and feet of our Savior... I found that it isn't with my strength that I can bring Him glory... but just to seek Him so He can work through me.. and glory WILL be shown! 

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." -Psalm 37:5-6

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pieces of my heart.

I haven't written in almost a whole year. That is pretty ridiculous. I write normal newsletters every month but since my internet was so bad for so long in Africa, I just gave up on this! So, I wanted to catch everyone up on what the Lord has been doing in Burkina Faso, Tijuana, and in my life.

I went back to Burkina Faso, West Africa and stayed for 8 months working in the orphanage Sheltering Wings. It was truly a great time of growing and learning. Some of my favorite moments were hugging on babies, building relationships with the older children, and going on evangelisms with Pastors into villages. I was so honored to work along side the beautiful people of Burkina and I know that my heart will always have a piece of Africa in it. A part of me is always there! I pray so much for the people I was able to enjoy and I hope so much for the Lord to continue the work in Burkina and have it grow tremendously. 

Me with the 14 Burkina Pastors that I had the honor of working with.
In my time, I enjoyed all of it a lot, not the heat, but all the rest was good :) But my heart was hurting for the people of Tijuana because they were struggling so much finanically. I didn't know what to do, I tried as best as I could from a far to keep helping but it wasn't enough. I prayed a lot to see if God wanted me to go back to help. And in time, He told me yes, go back to City of Angels in Tijuana and help as much as possible until I tell you to move.

So, in July of this year I left Burkina, in tears, knowing that I would see the people again but I would miss them so much. And headed home for a little bit to get all my life figured out, to move back to Mexico. At the end of September, I got in my car with my mom and we drove down from Nebraska to the orphanage. Seeing the kids again, is honestly one of my favorite moments in all of my life. Their joy, smiles, screams, hugs, and kisses uplift my heart and I KNOW that its God working! I was so happy to be back in a place that has been "home" to my heart since 2009.

Walking back into the mission, there has been some problems that I see, that I know the Lord has brought me here to help on. The most being their financial situation. I started updating all the brochures, info, and making sure people knew our need. In time, God is always faithful, and is bringing in everything little by little. Our children have never gone hungry, and it is all the Lord working! I am extremely happy and blessed to be a part of the mission here in Tijuana and also, to help in Africa as well. I don't know how long the Lord will have me here, but I am just listening to His voice until He guides me to the next step.

Our Lord is faithful, He always has been and always will be. Through good and hard times, I trust Him completely. I know without a doubt that I am in the center of God's will for my life! My favorite verse is "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 ... it reminds me constantly that when I strive after my Savior, I desire Him more, and HE puts His desires in my heart to complete! I don't believe that the desire to serve orphans is something of this world but a longing that only comes from our Lord. And I am honored to be His hands, feet, voice, and everything to love on His people and share the great news of our Savior, Jesus.