Tag Archives: red page ministries

Hope is ready to soar.

10 Aug

My precious friend Courtney has provided me with little cards bearing sweet notes of encouragement for my journey here in Romania. On today’s note was inscribed the word

And today, I felt like I did. I climbed a ladder and stood on the third level of the House of Joy in Susani, Romania. Only six months ago, I walked in the snow that had fallen inside the uncovered first floor of the building that will one day offer education, sports, and discipleship programs to children and adults living in 31 villages in western Romania. Today, a stairway led to the second floor that will offer classrooms and sleeping quarters for visiting missionaries. The third floor, when completed, will provide additional housing for those traveling here to serve the poor and forgotten.

Today, that floor provided a glimpse into the heart of God. I stood and counted the church steeples – each one representing a village filled with families in need. I laid on the rough wooden planks and felt the breeze wash over me – the same breeze that will one day cool the brow of a hard-working soul. I watched the clouds paint the sky, spied a flock of sheep grazing in a field, and tried to count the layers of hills that crafted a most beautiful horizon. I wanted to fly.

Hope is rising in Romania. It’s rising through the tender care of those who live in the villages, serving those in need. It’s rising through the love of those in the United States who long to see a better now and forever for those forgotten by most. It’s rising through ministries like Red Page and House of Joy. And it’s rising in my heart. Hope is ready to soar.

This is a call to all the dead and disappointed

The ones who feel like they are done

This is a word to all the ones who feel forgotten

But you are not

Oh you are not

We’re alive, alive, alive we’re singing

We’re alive, alive, alive and we’re shaken

We’re alive, alive, alive, alive in You

We are soaked in all the grace that we’ve been given

Unchained from all that we have done

Your mercy’s rising like the sun on the horizon

We’re coming home

We’re alive, alive, alive we’re singing

We’re alive, alive, alive and we’re shaken

We’re alive, alive, alive, alive in You

~Alive, All Sons and Daughters

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Need.

3 Aug

In just a few hours, the journey begins – again. I leave for Romania, to serve with Red Page Ministries. It seems like only yesterday that I was traveling there for the first time, and falling in love with the country and her people. This time, though, I won’t braving the bitter cold with teenagers who were selected to attend a youth camp nestled in the mountains of Transylvania. There will be no ski areas or cozy hotels.

This journey takes me to the heart of the 31 impoverished rural villages served by Red Page and House of Joy. Together with a team of folks from First Baptist Levelland (a community in West Texas) and a trusted friend from Austin who has traveled with me to Guatemala two times, we’ll deliver humanitarian aid to orphanages and laugh with children and carry groceries down dirt roads to farmhouses filled with families who simply need.

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Defining Discarded.

12 Feb

It’s been a week since I returned from my journey to Romania. I’ve drunk countless cups of caffeine at planning meetings about a worship conference in Russia and weekend church services here in Austin and mission trips in Guatemala.

Left: My sweet students bake cookies for others. Right: Cupcakes and brownies baked by NomNom Global for a special event. The proceeds go to help orphan care efforts in Guatemala.

I’ve baked cookies with my 10th grade bible study girls, made tarts and brownies and delicate mint marshmallows dusted in cocoa for a special event at Austin Christian Fellowship, and cooked dinner for my sweet husband. There has been good food savored with my family, good work done with my best friend, and good time communing with the Lord. Work and grad school and life are all swirling together in a common paisley pattern.

It feels normal. But I don’t. Continue reading

Dominos.

6 Feb

The following formula is true, at least for today.

5 am + 5 minutes + 5 tram rides + 5 smiles = better than before

The city of Budapest glows on the Danube.

 

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Iosif.

4 Feb

An impromptu sermon in the hotel hallway.

Iosif (Joseph) has the rugged looks of an athlete, and a deep voice that is easily recognized in each worship service and prayer time at WinterCamp. He clings to every word spoken, every song sung, with passion and conviction. Iosif graduated from high school years ago, and even spent six months working in Australia. But now, at the age of 23, he has returned to his home town of Faget (Fah-jhet), one of the small villages in Western Romania that will be served by the House of Joy. Continue reading

Listening.

31 Jan

It was getting late.

Early morning departure.

The vans, filled with teenagers, adults, and “Americans” had been on the road since 8:45 in the morning. It was now 8:30 at night. Continue reading

Grace.

21 Jan

It’s in the 20s outside, and I’m bundling up for a run before a day full of cooking begins. Tomorrow morning Courtney and I are catering a brunch for 150 women at Austin Christian Fellowship, and there are dishes to be prepped and cupcakes to be frosted and serving plans to be finalized. The run isn’t just for exercise – it’s to equip me for the Music City Half-Marathon in April and possibly (if I can figure out a way to make it work) for the San Diego Half-Marathon in June as I run for Team Compassion. The cooking isn’t just for fun – it’s to fund ongoing orphan care projects in Guatemala. When the running and cooking are completed, I’ll continue work on a grant proposal for Red Page Ministries, as we work to transform lives in rural villages in Romania. I’ll pack for my next mission trip. And I’ll finish my reading for Sunday night’s small group Bible study.

Everything has purpose. Everything has meaning. Everything is busy. So very busy.

I’m thankful the Lord knows exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. Today, He reminds me to take a moment and simply breathe. I encourage you to read Sarah Markley’s blog, and pray you’ll find in it the same sweet, calming reminder to find Sabbath not in a day of the week or an experience in church, but in sweet moments of the here-and-now.

I’m taking a moment just to breathe in grace and thanks with a song and a prayer. And I think I’ll slow down and enjoy the morning with a walk rather than a paced run.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

from The Confessions of Saint Augustine

How about you? How might you breathe in a little grace today?

Reluctant.

19 Jan

I leave for Romania in just over a week, to serve with a wonderful new ministry called Red Page. I’m humbled to be on the Executive Board for an organization so committed to caring for the discarded in that country, and have been inspired by the churches already on board because of of their love for her people. They are amazing.

And I feel so ill-equipped. I don’t know the language, don’t know anyone I’m traveling with, don’t even really know what my day-to-day is going to look like there. It’s a youth camp, and I’m 51. It’s a sports camp, and I’ve got the coordination of a slug. And it’s all about Jesus – and now for some reason I’m even concerned I’m going to suddenly forget everything I know about Him. Continue reading