Tag Archive | missions

Beginning March 2017 – 10 years!

10 years! 10 years since I went on my first mission trip. So, it would seem due that I reminisce a little. What have I learned over the last decade? What has God shown me?

First, go! Second, trust! Third, pray! Not in that specific order though J Oh, and why? People!

Going to Mexico the first 3 trips was a no brainer for me. I was visiting a good friend of mine, and I didn’t even know they were considered mission trips. On those trips I was first introduced to a foreign culture, but could see how God was still the same. It was on the way home from the 3rd trip that I realized that doing just that: visiting established missionaries around the world to support and encourage them, was exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Of course I had no idea how that would all play out and really still don’t.

Scotland was my first trip over an ocean, and I knew no one. When preparing for this trip, I was struggling with my faith, I prayed the God would show Himself to me, and He did. He provided for the trip through avenues I wouldn’t have guessed and showed Himself powerful during the trip. I remember praying with a lady who I could barely understand (super thick Scottish accent) and I just asked God to interpret her tongue for me. He did! I prayed what I heard the Spirit leading and she was blessed. I found a happy place there – a place I visit in my mind when I need peace. In the hills where it’s green and the sheep wander. I was sitting on the hillside admiring God’s creation and thinking about Psalm 23.

Costa Rica was my first trip leading someone and taking her with me. It was a stretch, but at least I wasn’t leading her alone (we were with a group from Denver and Hawaii). The heat and humidity there kind of unnerved me. I wasn’t sure how the MS would be but God was so faithful! I took care of myself and everything went well. On this trip I learned more about the sex trafficking epidemic and that still breaks my heart.

West Africa was probably my favorite so far. 3 countries in 10 days, wow! The people were beautiful, inside and out. We did leadership training there and I learned how people around the world see Americans. Namely they see our tele-evangelists and try to mimic them. Ugh, heartbreaking. The message we shared, on top of our assignment, was to encourage them to be themselves. To let the Gospel shine through their culture, not to be like those they saw on TV. I found another happy-God peace place there on the shore watching the run rise over the Pacific.

China was a possibility the following year, but I wasn’t settled in my heart about it. So that is still on my ‘bucket list’!

Japan was the most recent trip. I visited the friend I had visited 9 years prior. Now she’s married and has two little girls. Japan opened my eyes to people. Because, besides the concrete, Japan is full of people! So few know about Jesus and it’s (also) heartbreaking. There’s so much depression and pressure to succeed, with no hope of eternity.

I have more of an idea of what I’m doing with my life since I started this journey. I’m pursuing my BS is Religion-Christian Counseling and planning on my Masters in Social Work after that. That will help me find resources and be a help and support to those whom I visit.

What’s next? Currently waiting on my new passport and not able to travel this year (new job). However, in 2018, Lord willing, I’m visiting friends in Valencia, Spain and Linz, Austria.

So, why missions? To spread the love of Jesus to the world. Why me? Why not? He called, I listened. Here I am Lord, send me. If He wants you to go, He’ll make a way. And forever change your heart in the process.

Oh, and I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 10 years ago too. Had a couple rough spots on trips, but God was ever faithful. Don’t let anything stand in the way of what you know God has called you to!!!

Parting note: “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name on the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15 NLT.

Mid March 2016

Two posts in one month, wow, I haven’t done that in a while, huh?

At the beginning of the month I was getting a MRI and had my first panic attack in one. We only got 15 or so minutes into it and I couldn’t handle it anymore. My doctor prescribed a sedative and we were able to complete the test the following week. I’ve been getting MRI’s for 9 years, and this was a first. But I felt so good and productive for the 24 hours after taking the anti-anxiety sedative that I’m going to talk to my other doctor about prescribing an anti-anxiety med for me. I’ve been having small panic attacks lately. I think partly because I’ve just go too much on my plate and mind. I hope not to have to take it all the time, but especially during finals weeks and stuff.

Finished that English class, but don’t have my grade yet. I’ll be happy with a C considering how poorly I did with the reports, but we’ll see. I start a counseling class on Monday, looking forward to that. Currently on Spring Break, which I’m spending trying to get caught up on other stuff.

Something I had to do this week was take my kitty to the vet. He might have cancer :(. He’s got sores on his front right leg and chest and a mass behind the one in his ‘arm pit’. The vet took blood and we’re scheduled for surgery next Tuesday. This is hard. Fitz will be 10 at the end of this month, so I’ve had him for about 9 1/2 years. I love that little guy, I pray he’s going to be OK.

I’ve raised and saved enough to buy my airfare to Japan! Still need a little more for ground expenses though, but not worried. It’ll come in when I need it, God is faithful. I’m very much looking forward to this trip!

What else… dad’s hanging in there. That’s just a rough situation too.

My parents’ 40th wedding anniversary is coming up in May. Oh, there will be a party! Given the past year and all the health issues, we need to celebrate this.

I’m still loving the Perspectives class. Learning so much about missions – their history, pioneers, and where we stand on fulfilling the Great Commission. I’m praying and thinking about living on the ‘mission field’ someday in the next few years. Probably for 6 months to a year. It’ll have to wait until school is complete (Bachelor’s degree anyway) and I pay off the student loans. I’m leaning towards the French-speaking nations of West Africa, but since it’s so far out there time wise, I’m not making any real plans yet. No, I don’t know what this’ll mean for my job or anything else yet. Like I said, I’m not making any plans, just praying, and dreaming.

I am, in the meantime, going to go through the French Rosetta Stone program. Already bought it, at a good discount too! Hope to start that soon, you know, because I don’t have enough going on!

Work’s been slow, but there’s been a tiny bit of a pick up. We had to ‘down size’ last week and let 4 people go. A little scary, but in my 15 years here, it’s not the first time. It’ll bounce back, soon hopefully.

Something I haven’t talked about in a while is Mike. We’re still dating. I wouldn’t call us ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ but we’re close. No plans on getting married or anything like I was talking about last year. I enjoy his company and still love him, but I know I’m not ready to get serious anymore. He’s OK with where we are too. Which, I guess sounds vague and this explanation probably is, but it’s working for us.

Anyway, just felt like talking for a while. Hope you all are doing well.

 

#Missiontrip 2015 #fundraising

If I were to auction off a 1 week hotel/resort stay any where to help raise money for my mission trip to China, would anyone be interested? You’d be responsible for getting yourself there, but the hotel/resort would be free. Thoughts???

Support letters are going in the mailbox today!

Support Letter

Dear friends and family,

I’m going to China!!

I’m joining a team of about eight to host a missionary encouragement conference in NE China. We will also visit a special needs foster home in order to love on and pray over some babies. We will be there for 10 days at the end of September 2015.

The approximate cost of the trip is $2,500.00. I am looking and praying for financial partners. If you can help in any way, it will be greatly appreciated! Tax deductible donations can be given by checks made out to New Voice Church and sent or given to me (I need to turn them all in at once). Please note “Tammy – China” in the memo field. You can also give online through PayPal by clicking “Donate” on the website http://www.commissionexpeditions.org/payment. Be sure to note my name as the team member for whom you are donating. All fundraising should be turned in no later than July 15th, please.

I also need prayer partners! Please let me know if you are willing to pray for us. I will give you more details regarding our team so you can keep us in strategic prayer. Please let me know ASAP if you’d like to be on this team.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter and for considering helping me to fulfill this calling in my life.

Of course I will gladly share pictures when I return 🙂

Be blessed as you participate in the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations!

 

In His love,

Tammy K

 

“But how can they call on Him (Jesus) to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?” Romans 10:14-15 NLT

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36? wow #tattoo #ink #dragonfly

So, yesterday was my birthday and I turned 36.  Seems like yesterday that was 26.  I don’t feel old or anything, just not where I expected to be 10 years ago.  But I guess we can all say that, huh?

I did give myself something yesterday for my birthday… a new tattoo!  It’s a dragonfly on my right arm.  I went a little bigger with this one than I have with the other 4, guess I’m getting a little bolder 🙂  I shy away from anything to big and showy because of church/missions.  Not that I’m ashamed of them, or think they’re wrong to get, obviously… but I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble or anything. Ink can be frowned upon in some cultures and can cause my witness to be questioned.  I’d rather be able to show someone God’s love for them without any distractions.  Hope that all makes sense.

Anyway, here’s the pic and yes I am this pale 🙂

tat012915

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Passport Through Darkness – a book review

For over 60 years, [North] Sudan and South Sudan have experienced extreme levels of violence and human trafficking. Because of genocide and war, millions of widows and orphans are targets for slave raiders. Furthermore, little government infrastructure exists to provide for the care and education of these unadoptable orphans. In South Sudan, a 13-year-old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than to learn to read and write.  In 2003, Kimberly L. Smith co-founded Make Way Partners with her husband Dr. Milton Smith. Her book Passport Through Darkness chronicles her journey to save thousands from modern-day slavery, persecution, disease, and genocide.

My Review

I love this book!

Okay, maybe love is a strong word. But I was riveted by this book! It’s not for the faint of heart though. Kimberly doesn’t hold anything back in giving her account of the way God called her to work with the people of Sudan, or what happens to her as a consequence.  But, as an aspiring missionary, I felt God pull at my heart as it was broken for these people. It makes me just want to get on some planes and love on them! Callings like that comes with a price and require many sacrifices though, and Kimberly draws us into what her and her husband went through. I highly recommend this book. Some of it maybe hard to read for some, but if you have a heart for the lost and hurting, please  read it. It will change your life.

From the publisher (http://www.davidccook.com/catalog/Detail.cfm?sn=106973&source=search:)

Passport through Darkness
Author: Kimberly L. Smith

As she shares her extraordinary stories of fighting human trafficking as an ordinary mom, Kimberly Smith offers hope for readers who wonder if God is calling them to greater things.

Passport Through Darkness takes readers on Smith’s journey from normal family life and business, to Europe, to the deserts of Africa and ultimately, to the deserts of her own soul as she tries to live well as an imperfect American mom, crusade for justice for orphans around the world, and embrace God’s extraordinary dreams for her. When Kimberly and her husband risk everything to answer God’s call, they see God change and restore them-even amid exhaustion, marital struggles, and physical limitations.

This heartbreaking, heartlifting book is for anyone who longs to see God move their life from normal to one that matters. It is a call to readers to take one more step on their journey to know God’s heart.

I received this book from the publisher (David C Cook) in return for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.

7 years

I realized recently that I took my first mission trip 7 years ago.  I didn’t know it was considered a mission trip at the time, I was just visiting a friend who was on the mission field.  Come to find out, that’s a mission trip and what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

Most days I feel called to missions.  Some days I doubt because I don’t fit the ‘typical’ missionary description.  I don’t know if I’ll ever live in another country full-time.  I want to do multiple short-term trips a year.  I’m sure whatever God has in store is so much cooler than what I can imagine though!

7 years seems so long ago, yet like yesterday at the same time.  A lot has happened since I first received my passport.  Mexico 3 times, Scotland, Costa Rica and 3 countries in Africa.  Wow.

Also 7 years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  (This is MS Awareness Month too).  The disease sucks, but through God I’m able to overcome.  I’ve actually been in remission for years now!  I believe He will fully heal me someday too.  From the depression also, which is caused by the MS, in a way, basically.

Amazingly enough these 2 don’t typically mix, MS and missions.  But you add God to the equation and miraculous things can happen 🙂

Now, where to next?

 

beginning of March 2014

Apparently my last post worried some people.  Didn’t I say not to worry?  I am honored to hear so many people read this though 🙂

Things are better.  Even though it snowed again, the sun is out and the medication is kicking in.  A lot of the circumstances haven’t changed, but my outlook has.

Even though I’m up 4.5 lbs from last month, I am down 1.6 from last week.  That’s good, hopefully it keeps going in that direction.

5k training is on hold for a bit.  Which is unfortunate considering I have a 5k on April 5th!!  I got a crop of warts on my big toe and my doctor put that lovely acid on them last week.  Ouch!!  It seems that I got them in Africa, not a souvenir I was hoping for!  At least we caught them before they got worse, and hopefully I won’t have to have surgery.

Speaking of Africa, I can’t believe that was 4 months ago!  Seems like a different life actually.  All my trips do in a way.  Like, did I really go there?  Taking a step back this year seems weird too.  I’ve been asking myself and God a lot lately if I’m actually called to missions.  Some would say ‘no doubt’ but I guess we all go through times when we question our calling.

Well, I really just wanted to let you all know that I’m OK… talk to you again soon.