Saturday, August 15, 2009

Life hurts

I was happy to see the link for my blog had been removed from the india mission...more often than not, I want to blog, vent, think out loud, but having it linked there made it a bit difficult. 

That being said, life is junk for a minute. And I no the minute will pass, but this week, it hurts all over. 

Whoever said "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all", yeah, that person was full of it...and my heart...well, it feels like it went through the garbage disposal. 

And if you could say a prayer for my cousin Shannon and her family, my mom is flying out of Seattle tomorrow to go to California to be with my aunty while they take Shan off life support. She's 38 years old, has a loving husband and 2 beautiful daughters. 

Somedays life just hurts. Today is one of those days...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

As previously promised...

Allow me to introduce you to four of the greatest young people in Hawaii...

These are the "young people" that came to India with us. 

Let me start with a confession: I have a hard time not being listed here! 
I mean, 27 isn't that old, right?!? 
Sadly, in comparison to Taylor, who is something like 11 years younger than me, I am old.  

Okay, so back to more important bragging about how AMAZING these 4 are!

Let's go through them one by one, shall we?!?

Chris Woo
Chris-my encourager-To be honest, I didn't know Chris well going into this trip. I knew him on more of a surfacey level. I knew what school he went to, who his friends were and that kind of thing, but I didn't know his heart. And can I just tell you, it's beautiful. I watched a kid who I assumed was shy and laid back step up and share openly and honestly. I never saw him waiver once when it came to being upfront and/or leading in any aspect. From teaching the devo session to sharing his timeline to being in the skits...everything he did, he did with his whole heart. I was blown away by his willingness to jump in wherever, whenever, no questions asked. And I loved how the other guys at the retreat watched that leadership and saw another guy...a peer...who was more than just talk. On the last night of the retreat we sat talking and he was in complete awe of what God had done.  
I see a mark of greatness on his life and I know this trip was the beginning of Chris stepping into all that God has for him. 

Taylor Asao
Taylor-my lovely-I have had the privilege of walking with Taylor over the last year and holy moly what a change! Last year, her mom approached me about getting her to come to summer camp. She was less than thrilled that we were plotting to take her to camp and ruin her summer ;-). But at camp things changed and since! I consider it such an honor to have watched her change and grow from glory to glory. 
She has gone from this girl who was forced to go to church to one that has been to camp, successfully invited and got 2 girls involved with small group, been baptized and been to India twice. All that in LESS THAN A YEAR! And the the great part about Taylor is that it's not about accomplishment, it's about a real, day to day, life changing relationship with God. She is by far the most teachable high school student I've ever met. Her passion is unreal. I love when she shares her devos, it's so full of truths applicable to everyone. 
In India, she just completely step outside of herself and was willing to do whatever was asked of was refreshing. 
I can hardly put into words just how proud of her I am. 
And again, I know this is just the start of something absolutely incredible in her life.

Scotty Mearig
Scotty- my joy-This kid exudes joy with every fiber of his being. I can't even find words to explain's some sort of freak phenomenon. He was a breath of fresh air, he was a constant source of laughter and you can really see the love of Jesus in everything he does. Now don't get me wrong...he's still a crazy 17 year old guy.  But he is crazy in love with serving our God...what a gift. Another thing I appreciate about Scotty is that he is not afraid to say what's on his mind, no matter how silly or serious. He is the real deal. I was so blessed to watch him walk into this whole thing a little uncomfortable and by our last night in India he was more than comfortable...hence the photo ;-) I know that as God watched this trip unfold he was nothing but proud of Scotty's willingness to service him with his whole heart. 
Well done good and faithful servant...
Well done...

Elise Hom
Elise- my little soul sister. I have known Elise since she was in high school...oh, so many years ago ;-), okay so only 3 years. But I have watched 3 of the most transitional years of her life. I have watched her question...I have watched her wrestle....I have seen her at peace...I have seen her so frustrated she wanted to scream. I have watched her worship when she didn't "feel" like it and I have watched her lead people right to the foot of the cross in worship. 
I can't express enough what asset she was to our team in India. I could tell at times that she felt out of her element but never once did that stop her from pressing through 110%. I loved seeing her surrender more and more to what God was doing. She led small groups, she led worship, she loved on the high school girls at Woodstock, she loved on the boys at the Firs. 
By the end of the trip she was beyond exhausted and blessed just as much. 
I am so grateful to have her in my life and am so excited to continue 
watching the will of God unravel before her. 
What a beautiful thing.

All in all, I just thank God for these fantastic four...
I thank Him for the work He started... 
I thank Him for the work He continues...
 I thank Him for the honor that it is to be a part of their journey... 
I am blessed for having known each one of them.
The role they played on this mission trip is one of great eternal value.
I couldn't be more proud...
And I have a feeling our Father in heaven feels the same way :)

Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for other believers in your speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity. 
1 Tim 4:12

Monday, May 11, 2009

India stories...

I've tried starting this post at least 4 times. I open this page, and just stare at the screen. I have a really hard time articulating my thoughts when it comes to this last trip to India. There are so many much that happened. It's surreal. Being back in Hawaii is bittersweet. I love it here, but oh how I long for my new (and not so new) friends in back in Mussoorie. Let me start with the orphanage. Those boys...they never cease to amaze me. How is it that these little guys have more faith than I could ever dream of having. How is it that they're love and devotion for God, puts me to shame. It's amazing really. It's such an honor just to have been able to witness it...
When we arrived at the orphanage, the boys were a little stand offish, but once they realized who we were, the walls disappeared and it was an amazing mess of love. Again, there are no words to articulate the emotion...the spirit...the love that lives there at the Firs. Pastor Ashish & Seema are doing an incredible job raising them and instilling the goodness of God in each and everyone.
I took a new role this trip. I wasn't in charge of any huge event...I carried no task on my was a strange feeling. Many times I sat and wondered what the heck I was even doing there. 
That is until our camping trip on day 2. I was sitting and talking with Pastor Ashish and he was telling us how thankful he was that we were there. I asked him what he appreciated most, and he said the love we show. He said that the boys are provided for...they have a roof over their heads, they have food in their little tummies...but when your raising 30 boys, there's not much time for holding and loving on them. Not to mention a culture that is completely different than ours (another reason I am thankful for life in Hawaii) Anyways, he said that he appreciated the way we loved. And then I thought to, maybe that's why I'm here. I've never been good and a lot of things. I mean, I'm not sporty, I don't play an instrument, I don't have a college degree...and I often wrestle with that. But one thing I am confident in, is my ability to love. (thank you mom & taught love with your lives).
So it hit me that I needed to love from my head to my toes. That I needed to hold and snuggle and pray over the boys as much as possible. That I needed to tell them over and over again, that not only do I love them, but that Jesus loves them. So that's just what I did. I loved and I loved and I loved. Another difference in this trip verses last trip is just where I am personally. Last time we came I was in a much more emotionally volatile position. I literally cried from the time we got there, until we left...I cried there more than I've ever cried in my life. This time, I was much healthier spot. Over all, I was able to think outside my own ways and really trust and walk in the fact that God has those boys in His hand. And that no matter where they go...or where I am for that matter...that He loves them more than I ever could. It was a very freeing idea for me.

Then we headed to Woodstock. I was again a little hesitant. I wondered if I still had fun youth ministry in me. I mean, 6-7 years ago, I would have had no doubt...I was younger then...maybe braver. Walking into my time at Woodstock, I felt old and unprepared. And then I realized that all I was required to do was love...again, the one thing I can do. So that's what I did. And let me tell you, I realized that high school girl, among other things, are the same no matter what country you go to (right Elise?!) So there I was, running a small group, with 10 girls from all over the world and it was just the most natural thing for me. Hearing their struggles, their questions, their was like water to my soul. Our small group times were awesome. The girls were incredible. We laughed...a lot. We cried...a lot. We bonded. It was crazy how God did it. We were only with the students for 36 hours and when we left it felt like we had known each other for years. It was powerful. One of the best parts for me is since we've been back, via facebook, I have been able to stay in touch with my girlie's and I just need to brag for a second. They have started a group called the agape sisterhood, where the girls meet daily to talk, pray and process...I mean seriously, what high schoolers do that?!? Not only that but many of them have stayed on track with devotions and I get messages almost daily about what God is doing in their lives. It is so amazing. They are also in the process of getting approval to run the worship for next months chapel. Ummm, have I mentioned how proud I am?!? Also, I challenged them to reach out to the boys at the orphanage and so this past week, they went up for the afternoon and loved on my boys! They played games that helped the boys with their english and said they had so much fun they are already planning more trips...they even took photos and added them to their facebook profiles so I could see my girls and my little boys all together. And of course as I looked at the photos, I cried. 

It is so amazing how God orchestrates things without our knowing how it's all going to look. And in the end, it's a breathtaking piece of art, more amazing than we could have ever dreamed of... 

Okay, there's two topics covered...coming soon to a blog near you, I am going to gush about our high school kids that came from Hawaii with us and how AMAZING they were...and continue to be.

I also wanted to thank you all for following my blog, I know so many of you prayed and loved the team through it all and I wanted to state, for the record, that none of what I mentioned above could have happened without your prayers. I appreciate you all so much and look forward to seeing what else God has in store!

In His amazing love,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A picture or 60 are worth 1000 words

I have much to share and tonight I plan on writing up a storm, but until I can do so, please enjoy the photos...

Here's the link:

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Camp was UNREAL.


God moved.

I am completely in awe.

I don't know why I doubt His faithfulness even for a second.

The kids are fired up and things went even better than we could have dreamed.

I have much to share, but I am really tired and we are trying to get packed up and ready to head back to the orphanage early tomorrow morning as well as ready for Woodstock chapel tomorrow night.

Thank you for your prayers. They are working. Kids lives are being changed. Oooooh man.

Physically, I am feeling really good. A minor sore throat still yet, but feeling rested and excited for the last couple days here in India.

Will update more as soon as I can, may not be until I get home! (the Internet is really poor at the orphanage, so I'll do my best...I have soooo much to share)

In His Amazing Love,


Friday, May 1, 2009

Short Update

Just a short update. Things are going really well, a few minor logistical set-backs, but so far, so good. The girls I am leading are AMAZING and it's so crazy to me that no matter where I am throughout all the world, teenage girls are all the same. I have girls from India, Japan, Thailand, Montana, California, Tibet, Sri Lanka and every where else you can imagine.
I even met one girl named Malia (who is not attending the retreat) but she is moving to Hawaii this summer and will be attending Iolani, I gave her my info so that when she moves she can jump into my small group. SOOOO AWESOME!

Looking forward to tonight. It's going to be INTENSE!
Please be praying for us.
Hawaii-we are 15 hours ahead
Washington-we are 12 hours ahead
So when you wake up and read this on Saturday morning, PLEASE Pray for us!

I love you all, will update again late late tonight or tomorrow!!!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Game time :)

We are finally here at Woodstock.

Today was my first shower in 5 days (ummm 2 days of travel & 2 days of camping 100 degree weather) that being said, the shower was like HEAVEN-even tho the water was freezing ;-) and let me tell you, that shower has made me feel like a million bucks :)-I was so filthy.

The students from Woodstock will arrive in 2 hours and so we have another 15 minutes down time, before go time.
Anyways, I have soooo much I want to write, but I think I have to wait until later to get into it.
It has been amazing, from the camping trip, holding and snuggling Anil & Sandeep for hours on that trip, to living on protein bars and water cause I am afraid of getting sick. (India is the best diet ever ;-)) and to times of prayer and worship with the boys, I don't ever want to leave.
This morning the boys looked panicked as we packed for Woodstock. They are so sweet. I've done really good so far in the being a cry baby department...last trip I cried from start to finish, this time I'm a little more composed. The health of the boys is getting a little better, we bought a bunch of medicine for them and they seem to be doing well, still coughing and runny noses, but that doesn't stop them from climbing all over me like I'm a jungle gym. I literally will have 3-4 boys crawling all over me at all times, snotty noses and all...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

That's all for now, I have a team meeting to get to.

I love you guys and miss you lots!

PS, I have soooooo many photos to share, I can't WAIT to post them all!
lease keep praying. I'm exhausted and I know that prayer is all that is going to get me through. I love you all. I will write more tomorrow.
I just wanted to let everyone know we are alive and well after our camping trip with the boys. Tomorrow we head to Woodstock. Its going to be amazing. P
Its been a CRAZY EMOTIONAL day and sadly our internet is down, so I can't explain just yet. Too much and too expensive to blog a whole lot from my phone.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

leaving on the midnight train...

that's just what happened.

we landed in Delhi and it was 102 degrees...holy hot!!!
we were greeted by asish, girish and nixon (the guys that run the orphanage and girls home)
from there we boarded a bus and our first stop was the market. it was like nothing i've ever experienced in all of my life. talk about sensory overload. it was late, with the time change made it 4am for us...we walked around...hundreds of people, the smells, the colors, it was unreal. along with all of that came a rush of emotion, so exhausted, so happy to be here, so overwhelmed.
there were kids begging everywhere...and i did okay until this beautiful little girl walked up to me, tugged at my shirt and said "miss, miss, please only 10 rupes" and tears were streaming down my face. we were told before we got off the bus not to give them any money because then you would get swarmed, so having children around me that needed and i couldn't give, broke my heart.
we walked back to the bus and i had to just remind myself that God is in control. it was heavy.
then we headed to dinner and an indian restaurant where we had curry that was UNREAL.
after that, it was off to the bus station, to wait for 3 hours in 98 degree weather. no a/c, no breeze, it was one of those times where you have to think beyond where you are to where you are trying to get...all part of the journey. (disclaimer, i will NEVER ever complain about any public bathroom again. the restrooms, if you could call them that, were the single most disgusting thing EVER)
we finally bored the train, for an overnight trek to Deradun.
again, this train is nothing like was well, it's more of an in person kind of story to share, but it was crazy. tried to sleep over the 6 hours, but it didn't work too well.
again, finally after what seemed like FOREVER we arrived in Deradun. There we loaded into Jeeps and headed up the mountain. 1 1/2 hours later we arrived.
Poor Kamu was so motion sick, we had to pull over for him :(
Anderson Islanders-think marina hill for 1 1/2 hours.
Hawaii friends-tantalus ain't got nothing on this drive.
anyways, by the time we got within 5 minutes of the orphanage i was bouncing up and down like a 5 year old on christmas morning waiting to open gifts! i was soooo excited.

we arrived and the boys were so sweet. so shy. and of course, the first one i see is Karan.
my heart melted as i hugged him and he said, "i missed you".
yesterday was jam packed full of events and with everyone being exhausted it was pretty hilarious.

we played a bunch of games with the kids, took them on a long walk around Mussoorie and bought them ice cream (which they loved) and then TJ, Kamu, Crieghton , Ben, Alex and myself went to Woodstock to take a look at our retreat facilities. (which are amazing!)
last night we came back together and everyone passed out early...

so now we are on day 2, and it feels like we have been here for weeks. i have picked up right where we left off with the boys, they are so sweet and spending time with them is amazing.

this afternoon, we are headed on a camping trip with the older boys from the orphanage, we are loading up 20-30 of us and driving 2 hours to go camp by "the water hole" i have no idea what to expect-hopefully no malaria ;-) (yes mom and dad, i have been taking my meds)

anyways, we will be back tomorrow afternoon after a crazy camping trip in the wilds of crazy is that?!?!

As far as health goes, all the boys here are really sick, some just got out of the hospital. respiratory infections, colds and what not, so please be praying for them. so far, our team is doing pretty well, staying hydrated is key and lots of vitamins and hand sanitizer.

I will most more later, but so far, so good.

I love you guys lots and I so much more to share but have limited time online.
But I will post more when I can...


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tokoyo, Japan

We made it!!! After a crazy flight. Well the flight wasn't too crazy, but the landing...well that was another story. The landing here in Narita, Japan was probably the CRAZIEST landing Ive ever experienced.
But we are here. In one piece. Thank you Jesus. And for the record the parts of Japan I've seen so far (although not much) it looks just like the Pacific Northwest. It's chilly...mid 60's and I love it!!

I got to spend the evening with Aya, which was just the icing on the cake...(she took a train 2 hours and a bus to get here. and she brought the new boyfriend, whom I am very pleased with ;-)...such an awesome time!)

Now, we have been awake for nearly 24 hours-and no-i did not sleep on the plane :(
we are crazy delirious...Kamu, Elise & I just played an awesome game of BEAN BOOZLE!!! (if you've never played, I highly suggest it) and now I am finishing this post and gonna crash out.

Our flight leaves Japan tomorrow at 11:45am-and i have no idea what time that makes in anywhere else in the world...this time change stuff is soooo confusing. anyways. i will have my phone service once we arrive in Dehli after our 9 1/2 hour flight. Then we arrive in Dehli around 5pm (with time changes) will meet up with Asish and Girish (our awesome friends from the orphanage) and head to dinner, after dinner we head to the train station and hop on our overnight train ride to Dehradun...I think we arrive there at like 6am. Then load up in taxis and head the 1 1/2 journey up the mountains to my boys! I am sooooooo excited!

Once I'm there I will be able to update everyone again.

Keep us in your prayers.

Specifically for me, I have a HUGE fear of getting sick again. Tonight I have a little bit of a sore throat, so I am praying that I stay 100% I am drinking emergenC and taking all my vitamins, so hopefully after some sleep tonight I'll be good as new. And I'm just exhausted.
I was asked to be the team admin for this trip, which is great, but a lot to keep in order. Every connection, every flight, every check point, customs, immigration, forms, addresses, phone numbers, pass ports, boarding passes, planes, trains and's a lot and i REALLY want to keep a positive attitude. I am choosing now even in the midst of exhaustion to keep my attitude in check, but it is not easy at all.

Okay, that's it from now. I will post again when I can from Mussoorie!

I love you all!!!!

PS: Watch the other blog- for photos and more updates. also a bunch of photos have been uploaded on Alex's, Ben's and Kamu's facebooks if you want to see our photos so far of this crazy journey :)

Good night..I think ;-)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

About to board our flight to Japan. Wow. It feels like a dream.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trust & Listen

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Proverbs 3:5&6
(the message)
18 hours to take off and I'm holding onto this scripture with everything in me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya Tomorrow...

Approx 36 hours and we will be flying the friendly skies. I can't believe it.
I am excited as we pull together to get everything set for saturday. Tonight, I meet up with my wonderful friend Sharon for some sister time before I leave. Then it's off to meet Ben to get the remaining details covered. It is crazy to me that this time 2 weeks ago India wasn't even a fleeting thought. But following Jesus...well you never know where He's going to take you.
I dreamt of the boys last night. I cannot WAIT to get there and just hold them and love on them. I am so grateful for this opperunity to be able to go for the second time. Wow.
Also, on our layover in Narita Japan, I will get to have dinner with my best friend Aya!
How great is that?!? It's like a little bonus to an already AMAZING package.
Anyways, i'm starting to ramble so i'm gonna cut this short.

*big deep breath*
Moblie blogging test....let's see how this works!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All things India

Okay, here I am.
India is 3 days out.
There is so much to do, so little time.
I am exicted.
I am nervous.
I am busy.
I am confident.
I am trusting.
I am going.
I am going to India.
I am going to India in 3 Days.

Here we go Jesus.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Everything rides on hope now...

Lately...things have been rough.

I want nothing more than to rest in the arms of Jesus, yet I fight Him with everything in me.

I am so tired.

I want His love to set me free.

Thank you Addison Road for giving me words.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Choose your own adventure.

Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books?

You're sitting there enjoying a perfectly nice story, and then you get to the bottom of the page and you have to make a choice…

If you want the story to go in this direction, turn to page 56.
If you want the story to go in that direction, turn to page 34.

And then you have to choose.
Way easier said than done.

I feel like so often that is what my life is like. I'm walking along, enjoying myself, getting comfortable, and then I'm faced with a choice.

If you want your life to go in this direction, choose this.
If you want your life to go in this direction, choose that.

And so often I stand there and stare at the options, weighing every single possible outcome for each decision, making lists of pros and cons, praying and hearing God, and then questioning God. I psych myself out, I get overly excited, I take a trial step in one direction and then jump back, unable to commit fully to one or the other. It's a disaster.

I remember reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was little and I remember getting to a choice and choosing one thing, and then going back and choosing the other one also. I would try and read as many different stories as I possibly could within each book.

Isn't that how we treat life sometimes?

We get to a choice. We make a choice. And then instead of committing fully to that path, we run back and try out other paths to see if they would have been a better choice. Or, even if we never actually go backwards, we still look around us and wish that we could know what the other option would have led to.

But that's the beauty of Choose Your Own Adventure. Each choice is followed by more and more choices. It's not as if you make one choice and then you can see the entire path laid out before you, you must continue to choose your own adventure, time and time again. There is no way to ever know all of the different ways your story could have ended up, the possibilities are endless.

But there is a God who guides you, never forces you, to the best path for your life. You will still be faced with choices, and sometimes they will all seem like good options, but you must choose one. And you must commit fully to it. Don't let fear overtake you, don't let "what if's?" dictate your life, don't let curiosity about where the other paths would lead draw your focus from your current path, and don't miss out on God's best for you because you stand there for so long trying to make a decision.

What does your heart tell you? What is the Lord whispering in your ear? Which path takes you in the direction of the promises God has made to you? Which path requires the most sacrifice? Which path is the easy way out? Which path is your destiny?

The best part of standing at these choices is that we do not stand there alone. We are traveling through this great adventure with the Creator of the Universe and if we will let him, he will take us on a greater adventure than we ever could have imagined. But we must listen, and we must be willing to lead where he follows, and we must choose our adventure with strength and comfort found in the fact that we know God is guiding us in that way.

Life is scary. Choices are even more frightening. But Christ is steadfast and he will only guide us to his absolute best.

So choose your own adventure, and then keep your eyes straight ahead.

Amazing things are about to happen…