03.16.12 Oh I'm Going All Right...

Friends and Family!!
привет - that’s Russian for least that's what Google tells me! It also happens to be the reason I am writing! 2012 has shaped up to be an amazing year so far, and we’re only 3 months in - allow me to share why!
See, what happened was...
In January at a local coffee shop I sat with my friend Terri solving all the world’s crisis. Really, it’s a gift we have, ha! She shared that her and her husband Rocky were considering a rather lengthy trip along side Soul Bait Ministries to Russia.  Terri’s son Adam (one of their 6 children) has discovered his mission field among the Russian people, and was arranging 2, two week trips. She asked me to pray for open or closed doors as it concerned their trip & finances, and to “see what the Lord says to you about going”. I have a feeling that Terri doesn’t ask a question she doesn’t already know the answer to. 
But why...
What she said next impacted my head & heart. In her desire to go, she said “I really want to go with a vision and purpose.”. She had given words to what my heart was feeling. Sure I would love to go - I’ve never been to Russia. However, “experiential bliss” is not something that can sustain a mission. My heart said yes, but I wanted a vision and confirmation...I wanted to know what God had to say about it. Her statement caused me to truly seek Him for the answer (translation = I relentlessly asked until He told me). James 1:5 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.". There was my promise to stand on - I could ask and He would be faithful to tell me! If there’s one thing I have consistently experienced in the last 8 years, it’s that God IS faithful. 
I had the craziest dream...
My mind has been in high gear since then, and one dream in particular offered great encouragement. I had spent a Saturday with friends, and during that time they told me of their most recent trip to Africa in which their daughter had “stepped out” in some amazing ways - she led worship, preached, sang, and danced for the people! I believe God found her ready to move into the next season of her life after that trip. Well, their daughter appeared in my dream a few nights later. I was in a room walking on a balance beam...I was practicing my leaps. A few moments later their daughter appeared in front of me, and another young woman from our church was behind me to my left. We began by standing on the balance beam and doing the splits - I actually remember saying “Wow - I can do this!!”. Then the three of us started doing some amazing stretching exercises while in the splits position. At one point we shifted our core off the beam and were hanging on just by our toes!! Here’s what I believe God was saying to me: You’re going to be a gymnast at age 40! Just kidding. I believe He was telling me: your friends daughter was your example - she is confirming what I want to you to do. I want you to step out and go on this mission trip...I want you to practice your leaps - your leaps of faith - with’ll be amazed at what you can do in My strength...and believe me Daughter, it’s going to stretch spiritual muscles you never knew you had! Now that my dear, sweet friends, is something that never fails...hope. I can’t wait to share my leaps and unique stretches of faith with you!!

So He said...
Anytime I have consistently sought God for an answer I have be amazed at what He says  & does...and doesn’t say & do. In short I believe He gave me confirmation to go (which is indeed a whole other story), and since I spoke the words “I’m going to Russia, what now?”, life has started to change yet again. I am embracing change easier now than I ever have. It confirms to me that God is active in my life, and that there is spiritual and mental growth on the way. There is something to be said for speaking the words out-loud that change the dynamic of them - through God they become living and in need of action. He is adding to me in some amazing ways through wanting to learn about these people - books on the country’s history, photojournalism stories, testimonies from other mission families, and learning some basic words in the Russian language!! I am still seeking a purpose in this trip, but in these things I believe He is adding to me so that I unwrap this gift slowly and in faith. It takes me to the point where more often than not He tells me “Go and I’ll show you”, while my heart says less and less “Show me, and I’ll go”. So here I am just two weeks later with “living words” and a great need to be filled. 
The details...
I am going in the first group whose trip runs from June 16 - 26. Scott and Jennifer Lathrop from Soul Bait Ministries will be the organization I will travel under. I have met them both and find their lives to be transparent, real, and purposeful; and their ministry to be powerful and life changing. I pray that my love of photography and writing will find an outlet and can’t wait to see how God uses me!! The all inclusive trip cost is $2500 - the bulk of which is airfare. We will be housed with families (yes, this is going to be terribly awkward for me) and traveling to two different cities. I will update Facebook, Twitter and my blog as more details come in! 
I need a ride...
So how am I getting there? Prayer and fund raising of course! Besides straight donations (which can be sent directly to me) I am making & selling hand made paper bead necklaces...yes, paper beads! The goal: sell 140 necklaces in less than 10 weeks! 
Why paper bead necklaces...
I received one as a Christmas present from my childhood friend, Lisa, and it has opened doors of conversation like you would not believe! When Russia came into view I saw a very tangible, crafty and creative way to get there! Because the beads are made from various types of print (magazines, fliers, scrapbook papers) each necklace will literally be “one of a kind”. The majority of them will be “Multi Colored”, but I can do color specific ones and personalized beads as well - check out the Russian Beginnings set on my photo website for more examples! They are $18 each and range from 23” - 26” in length.  Speaking of magazines...for my local Jacksonville family...if you have old magazines you would like to get rid of, I would appreciate them!! Please contact me for orders, any special requests, or questions.
Thank you for your consideration, prayers and support!! 

I pray your 2012 is off to an amazing start was well!!


  1. Anonymous3/16/2012

    YAY! You go girl! I cant wait to hear about your trip and all the adventures you take! Love you mucho!

  2. I'd LOVE to buy one! I'll take 26" and any colors would be fine, but especially red/white/blue for my AHG days or one with lots of orange.

    So excited for you! I love to hear how God moves in your life.