For Japan with Love

For Japan with Love

FUNDRAISING

For Japan With Love has a direct link on the website to their fundraising page for ShelterBox. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items. Please check it out and whatever you can contribute will be so appreciated.

BLOGGERS DAY OF SILENCE

Anyone that has a blog can help out with this one.The aim is just raise awareness and respect and acknowledge the devastation going on in Japan.

The guidelines are simple:
1. This coming Friday, March 18th, no posts at all on your blog.
2. Blog about this beforehand.
3. Tweet and Re-Tweet this link: http://www.forjapanwithlove.com
4. Encourage your readers to contribute to donate shelter to Japan. Whatever anyone can contribute will be appreciated. Every little helps.

And here are links to shops and stu­dios rais­ing funds for dis­as­ter relief, compiled by Noel from Oh So Beautiful Paper:

You might also want to check out:

I’ll be posting by Evernotes Every blog sometime tonight for tomorrow this blog will be silent.

Unity

The group that went down to Mexico in mid-July had such a radical experience in the way that each and every person that went became so linked to one another. Our group was unified in our mission to serve the people in San Quintin. We acted as one unit, one body of Christ. This uniting of brothers and sisters has spurred our church’s next study. Pastor Josh is now teaching on the 12 chapter of 1 Corinthians

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

We all came together in “the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Epehsians 4:13). It was a beautiful experience to be a part of a larger group of believers, all working in unison toward a common goal.

I have been thinking on this for awhile and so today as I went on to the second message from Biana Juarez on chapter 2 of the book of James, I was graced with the memories from Mexico. One of the biggest reasons that I was so nervous to go on the trip was my fear of the people there. I had no idea how they were going to treat us. I was expecting them to treat us with contempt over our economic standing. It didn’t occur to me that we were actually going to serve a church, a body of fellow believers! So as Biana was reading from James 2, relating the story of the two men entering the assembly, one wearing fine clothes and the other a poor man, I was instantly reminded of Mexico. These two men are judged on their outward appearance. It doesn’t even mention whether or not the finely dressed man was rich, that is an assumption based on his attire. When I got to Mexico I was so greeted in a way that outward appearance was not an issue.

The people were so happy that we were there to share in their lives and partake in daily living with them. They were so happy to praise the same Lord, in the same church, breathing the same air!

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

James 2:5

God resists the proud, giving grace to the humble. I am no longer proud. I want to be humble. My outlook on life has so changed. I feel as though by going to Mexico, I came falsely pieced together, became broken, and God is slowly building me back up to be used for His glory!

I am excited for our church! Our group was unified in Mexico, but it is not going to end there. We have brought our vision back to unify our church at home. Uniting them under our same vision. The poor in spirit are among us.

I am enduring radical change. Is God transforming you? Are you reaching out to others in ways that you never thought would ever happen? Are you treating others as if Jesus was physically among us now? Status does not matter. Looks do not matter. We are all one in Christ. We have been given grace by being loved by God even though we do not deserve it… Who do you know that needs love? We should look upon each other as God does… we have all been redeemed by His blood, “saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

Dios Le Bendiga

Mexico gave me a gift that I can never return, nor would I ever want to return.

Mexico took a struggling, prideful, and terrified woman and changed her heart of stone to a heart of flesh. Rather, God used Mexico to do so in my life.

Each time someone asks how was Mexico, I am not sure how to respond. Sometimes I would just give a simple statement of “It was great!” But within that statement hides many emotions, tears, and a love for los ninos.

To help me condense all these random thoughts of the trip down I made a list… with pretty fonts. Because that’s what I do.

Experiencing Fear

Going back to the beginning… I did not want to go to Mexico. Ever. The very idea of it terrified me. My palms would start sweating, like when I see someone use the font Comic Sans. And for this reason, I went. I purposely stepped outside my comfort zone to allow God to change my life. I gave everything up and over to God to allow Him to give me back a new life, a life whose purpose is to live for God. As I gathered with our initial group of thirty two in the Starbucks parking lot with our friends and family surrounding us in prayer, this verse came to my mind again,

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

I was not facing this challenge alone. I not only had 31 other people to stand with me, I had the strength of our Lord and Savior. We could do this. Easy.

Experiencing Giving

There were many verses that I had to keep focusing on and one of those is found in Matthew,

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

No matter the fears that I had, and without God I would still have them, I have a gift and this gift needs to be shared. Our group went down to Mexico to share the gift of salvation with the people of this country. These people have little hope, but they have been given the gift of a small Christian church in their community. We were able to give our time to help this church not only expand their physical church building but also their church fellowship. Each day we went out amongst the people of the community and shared with them the love of Christ. We were invited into their homes to pray with them and comfort them with the words of the Scripture so they might have hope (Romans 15:4). Our gift was small but our group saw the over fifty people accept the gift of salvation during our week in the San Quintin valley. And that gift is eternal.

The light of our Lord overflowed through us and that light will not be extinguished.

Experiencing Love

Love is what I was able to experience the most though, for it is the result of my first two points. Through my fear, God showed me His love. Through my giving, I received love. Everywhere I looked I saw love… the love of the people running the mission camp, Mike and Angela; the love of my fellow missionaries who served each other; the love of Room 5, where our friendships were forever strengthened;the love of the people of the church when they welcomed us into their homes; the love of the children who welcomed us into their arms for a hug and then wouldn’t let go.

When Andy and I were married we asked Pastor Bob to speak on this verse, for it is the verse I wanted to base our marriage upon,

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

We were able to demonstrate this verse all week, demonstrating the love that Christ has shown us since the beginning of time. We weren’t just praying for these people in the comfort of our homes but we were working side by side with them in love.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

Dios le bendiga… God bless you.

Bringing Good Tidings to the Poor

“This Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has annointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:1-3

I can’t wait to read the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah! I am only in Psalms after starting my journey through the Bible 18 months ago. My coworker, and friend Melanie, just gave me her business card with this verse from Isaiah 61 and the words are so beautiful. God is our healer, our salation, our comfort, our reason for praise. These words encourage me as Andy and I have started saving for this year’s mission trip to Mexico. While in comparison to other mission trips, the fees are relatively small but it will still be a small struggle to gather the funds together and take the time off work. I have never been on a mission trip. Reasons (excuses) not to go have come up every year for the past five years of me attending this church. In my heart, I know that every reason has been fed by my fear to go out among God’s people to preach His word. I never felt ready, but I know that God will prepare my heart and mind for this trip. He will prepare me and now is as good of a time as any to embark on this journey and solidify my faith. I have had such joy and peace in our Savior and I feel the need to spread such a joy to others. Please keep Andy and I in your prayers as we prepare for the trip. Andy has gone before and has always encouraged me to go and I am so excited about this trip! I just hope our finances will enable us to go. And I know God will make it happen for I am finally stepping out of the way and giving it over to Him.