Info on my SALT trip to South Africa!

What a Wonderful God we Serve! Info on my trip:)

This is REALLY happening!  I can't believe it!
 As i'm writing this, I know for a fact that this trip hasn't set in yet.
I have felt the Lord's calling to serve overseas for a long time. 

My heart has been on loving those that society has forgotten for so long
 and I'm just so thankful that God has opened this door for me. 
In December I had no clue that this would be happening but God loves
 us and has incredible plans for our lives.

These posts will be an in for you to keep a tab on me while i'm in 

South Africa for 11 months! 
They will prob. include spelling mistakes and a lot of grammatical
 errors but I will write what's on my heart, show you pictures, 
and vlog (video blog hopefully!)  to keep you updated cuz you all mean SO much to me!

So lets get started:)
Heres the top 10 things you should know right now!

1) I leave August 11th and fly to Akron PA for a week of training-

 than I fly straight from there to Johannesburg- where I will be picked 
up and than heading my way to Pietermaritzburg-
 where I will be living for 11 months!

2) I fly home the last week of July 2012 back to PA for a reflection

 on my journey and than back home to Canada!

3) While living in South Africa I will be a "mom" to 10-15 beautiful, precious girls. 

These girls range from kindergarten age to grade 7. 
These girls are very vulnerable (whether it's sex trade, AIDS, violence in the family etc)
 and wouldn't be able to attend school without this boarding house.
 I will be living with these girls and a "house mom" (who will cook and clean.. phew!! ) 
and I HAVE MY OWN ROOM! WAHOO! I will be responsible for being 
a role model and mentor to these girls (start praying for me now!)

4) In the mornings I will walk the girls to school and than help

 out in their school called Gateway Christian School. I will help out with the
 little ones and also help the Librarian during the day. However the main
 job for me at this school is to be a gym teacher! How wonderful!
 I get to teach gym to 350 children. The goal is to empower these
 girls to be active and learn to play sports. There is a stigma that
 boys have a right to play sports and girls don't. A difficult task I will
 encounter is trying to empowering these girls and to teach the boys
 that girls are equal and have rights. What a challenge for a white Canadian girl!

5) On weekends I get to travel, visit and live with other families

 to help learn the culture and help out in communities with anything they need!

6) I will be by myself- but I have a couple that I will visit often

 and check in with to make sure I'm doing alright.

7) The school is taught in English, but I will need to learn

 their language as well which is Zulu

8) I am going with MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) 

on a program called SALT (serving and learning together)

9)Pietermaritzburg is a large city with approx. 600 000 people- 

there is a HUGE gap between the rich and poor

10) I am so excited and nervous to be going on this trip- please pray for me.

Thats a bit of info on my trip.
Thanks for reading.



The power of reading a letter- one that you wrote a few months ago can be life changing.

I counselled 12, 13 and 14 year old girls this summer at a camp called Conestoga Bible Camp. God showed up huge this summer and these girls really experienced God's love! I didn't want this to end so I ended up having them pen their thoughts- A Letter to Themselves. They wrote down things they didn't want to forget and things that God had taught them and things they learnt.

I got this idea from my counsellors from Joy Bible Camp a few years ago and receiving the letter months later I realized just how powerful these really could be!

I waited until this week to send them out to my girls- 6 months after they were written! I'm so excited for the girls you read their letters and have the letters take them back on their journey up at camp. This letter also lets them keep in check with themselves- see where they were and if they grew in their walk or not. Maybe give them some inspiration to keep on walking the narrow path but a path that leads to eternity with our creator.

Challenge for you all! Write a letter to yourself- write what your going through- the good bad and just plain ugly. Seal it and date it six months from now and put it in one of your dresser drawers (or a place you won't forget). Than in 6 months open it up and remark on it! I hope will be powerful to you. If you don't believe me, take the challenge and write yourself a letter.



Set Apart

So this morning I posted about human trafficking and what girls have to go through on a daily basis. I was so upset and I took it to the Lord. He whispered once more that he loves me, thinks I'm beautiful and he has set me apart for purpose. Purpose to help these girls and spread the word about it- but also purpose to know I'm loved and to live it out.

Funny how an hour later I stumbled upon Leslie Ludy's website about being Set Apart. This online magazine has encouraged me so much and refreshed me for the rest of the day.
If you have a moment please check out this website, its incredible   http://setapartgirl.com/home.html

Yes, there are atrocities going on and things that NEED to be discussed about- but we need to live out how blessed we are, and for me that starts with knowing I'm loved by the King and than acting like it.

Hard to leave my conscious

My passion in life is not always an easy one to swallow. My mom always tells me that I have a stomach to watch movies about human trafficking and slavery today. But sometimes it's a little to much to bear.

Just think about it for a second: Imagine yourself (yes you) getting raped 15-20 times a day. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it now but I would hate for that to be the reason I wouldn't talk about it anymore. This is a reality for over 27 million people. Try fathoming that number for a second because I find it so difficult? And its growing. More people are being bought and sold and there is a silence about it all.
It's happening. Girls as young as 4 being raped. Stop avoiding it. If I remain silent, I'm telling these traffickers that it is ok. That i'm going to be ignorant and pretend it's not going on. Thats not ok. It's not ok. These young girls and boys need us. They need us to start talking about it and stop being silent. It's happening- now lets do something about it. 

Please watch this video- it broke me to see this girl and to be honest she hasn't left my conscious yet. She is a real girl with emotions and feelings and she is worth so much.  God loves her and she is a princess. I hope that she feels that way today despite her past. 

Talk about it. Please. Talk about the slavery today and the use of exploiting children here in Canada and around the world. 

with love.


2 Major Lessons

This morning my heart is heavy. I went to bed thinking about it and woke up even more upset with not another answer.

Yesterday I travelled to Bulk Barn to buy candy for my secret cupid. I went along with my friend Derek, however we were running late to catch the bus back and he needed to go to Sobeys first. I told him to go ahead and I would meet him in Sobeys. While walking alone across the parking lot in Bridgeport plaza in front of Zellers I saw a homeless man sitting on one of the ash trays asking for 20 cents. That's the first thing that struck me- 20 cents- what could this man do with twenty cents? He asked the two men that walked before me. I know never to walk alone and it was across the plaza, but I still felt very uncomfortable. I pulled my coat tighter and walked a little faster.

I wear my emotions on my sleeve and this man knew I felt very uncomfortable and awkward. In respect to me he didn't even ask me for money but walked farther away from my path to give me more space. I was astonished.

2 things has not left my mind since.
1. that as girls we still can not be "safe" walking by ourselves. This upsets me because in the 21st century girls are still seen as something men can control. Men still feel that they have power over us to take us or physically hurt us. I still didn't feel comfortable walking by a man alone at 6:30pm which frustrates me about our culture.

2. This was a man. A man loved by the Lord and it was - 22 out. The Lord deeply cared for him and can't stop thinking about his love for this man no matter what his background is.

When I met Derek and told him about the man  catching the bus and hurrying didn't seem so important. It seemed almost selfish for us to complain about waiting in -22 for an extra half hour when this man was there all day. It didn't take long until Derek and I bought this man a coffee and gave him five dollars missing our bus and waiting in the cold a little longer. This man was overjoyed by our generosity and thanked us more than a few times. I wondered where he slept last night.

I haven't stopped thinking about and praying for this man. I really feel called to street ministry and just talking and loving on the Lord's people however I can't help to be frustrated that I can't do this alone but need a male along.

Just my thoughts.

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