Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My heart is about to get stretched farther...


The past couple of weeks my heart has been attentively listening to a sweet, gently voice of my Savior who has been laying opportunities, truths and wisdom in it.  One was the opportunity to speak at elementary chapel and the lesson that He taught me through the message He gave me to share {there's a blog post about it here}. And the one I am most excited about right now is the deep desire He placed on my heart to go on a short-term mission trip with high schoolers from my school.
{My school is dedicating one school week for our first ever Week Without Walls. This where our students will learn what's outside the boundary of a.classroom through different service projects.} Yes, I am an elementary teacher, but the awesome thing about teaching at a small Christian school is that you are all in one building and you get lots of opportunities to interact with both “schools”. And then one benefit of having five students this year is that it is easier to find someone to watch my little ones for a week. And I know that they will be in good hands!

So the end of February through the beginning of March you will find me in Nairobi, Kenya having the opportunity to share the love of Jesus to those God places near me.  I can’t even contend my excitement right now. I am smiling from ear to ear as I write. I am believing in God that this trip will be the beginning of something new in my life.

Jesus IS there, even in the midst of all those terrible things. #prayforafricaDuring this trip my team and I will provide reading glasses and share the Lord in the Ngando Slum, tutor children and help with some cleaning projects at the New Hope Initiative which runs an elementary-middle school in the Kiberia slums and we will just love on all those who we come across. It is going to be  ahard trip seeing so much injustice but this is what God has called us to do to bring His love and justice. Micah 6:8 says "And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you God..."  {This is the verse God lay on my heart for my 23 year of life and it is coming more into practice now through this trip! Wow, God you are so GOOD!}  I can’t wait to see God do a mighty work in the lives of the students I am taking as well as my own and those we love on.
This trip does come with a cost of about $2100/person and I am trusting that God will provide faithfully for each member on our team. I am praying right now that the minute we go to buy our tickets the prices will drop tremendously as this is our biggest cost right now! Boo! More specifically one member of the team has a deep desire to go, but financially it is totally out of the question. As I was talking with her I felt the Lord tell me to tell her that we need to faithfully believe that He will provide for both us to go. I promised her I would do whatever I could to help her go. I believe that if God has clearly laid it on your heart to go somewhere that He always knows how it will financially be paid for even when it seems so crazy and so out of reach. We have a God who does the impossible {my second graders always remind me of this during bible time}! This student is one of the high school girls that I have the privilege of mentoring and coaching  in soccer. She has a huge heart for others, but mostly important our God. She is from Africa and has the desire to serve in her "home".  I am so excited and feel so privilege to be able to go on this trip with her and see how God uses her to reach His people.

So, would you like to partner with this student and I as we believe and pray that God will faithfully provide?!

Here are some ways you can partner and support us:

1)     Pray for the country of Kenya and missionaries already there working to bring God’s love to this nation.  Pray that our team unites and has our eyes focus on what God’s desire is for us during this whole trip. Pray that we would look to God and courageously follow where He leads. Pray that finances would not hold us back from experiencing God in a different way and that we would take a step of faith in trusting Him.

2)     Give: If you feel God laying it on your heart to support this student (I have told you about) or myself you may give by sending a monetary donations. There are three options for you to choose from to give whatever the Lord is laying on your heart!

1.  You can write a check out to ICS made payable to ICS Kenya Trip.

2.  You can wire money to:

3.  You can go online and make a donation.
3)     Pray and Give! :)

Thank you for considering and prayerfully asking the Lord how you can partner with us. Your support any way you can mean so much and will be much appreciated. Please let me know if you have any questions or want to know more about this opportunity. I would be more than happy  to talk (skype), email or facebook with you!

And of course check out the blog periodically to check for updates on fundraising, the trip and reflection once we are back. I just CAN’T wait. Africa has always be in my blood (thanks, dad)! May God receive all the glory from this opportunity in our lives!

Love, Daniella
oceans | hillsong
This is my prayer as I prepare for this opportunity...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fight for You

Exodus 14:14
My prayer this year as I continue to teach at ICS-P!

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking at our elementary chapel. As always I get so nervous and pray over and over again that God would use me even though I feel so inadequate. And every time God uses my chapel messages to speak to my heart in amazing ways. {my prayer is that God also speaks deeply to my audience hearts as well and I know He does because He is always working in our hearts}.   

The message that God laid on my heart was speaking about Jehovah Maginennu which means The Lord my Defence and how words can hurt us so badly.  God promises to defend His people in all situations as long as we put our trust in Him even when people say hurtful things to us or awful things happen, but God DEFENDS. It may not be right away. It may not be in the way we thought or we may not know until we reach heaven, but God says “I will defend you-put your trust in me.”

This message gave me peace. It gives me something to hold onto. Something to cling to and pray each day as I teach at ICS-P. My heart gets hurt a lot by hurtful words, or actions and our greatest accuser, Satan but I am choosing to cling to my Savior who speaks so gently to my heart to just be and He will take care of it all. My Jehovah Maginennu will defend me!

Love, Daniella
P.S Be on the lookout for another blog post this week with some awesome goodness in it that I want you to know about!  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Embrace the New. Reflect on the Old.

As we say good-bye to 2014 and hello to 2015 my mind has been on reflection mode; thanking God for all the goodness of the year, processing through the hardships and anticipating what 2015 will look like. And yes, this is about a month late, but who’s counting?! 2014 ended with a bang and 2015 started out awesome because I surprised my family for Christmas and spent 2 lovely weeks with my sweet sweet family who embraced me with their deep love and encouragement.
GREATEST LESSON LEARNED: That Jesus is all I need. This world may be grand. This world may be tough. This world may be always learning, but one thing is constant and that is my Savior!
HARDEST THING OF THE YEAR: Leaving family, but knowing God has me in my community for a reason.  
FAVORITE MEMORIES: Coaching high school girls’ soccer. Teaching 2nd grade. Surprising my family for Christmas. Being in two of my friends’ beautiful weddings. Taylor reunion with the Ladies Lounge. Weekend at J-Fanky’s home. Running with Kristin this summer. Indy adventure with Kat. Swinging in the park with Laura and Brooklyn! Lots of skype dates.  High school lock-in. Book Club. Adventures with Emma. Seoul conquest. 22nd Birthday. “Christmas Morning” with the Houser's family. Acting out the nativity scene. Many “dates” with Evelyn and Caleb. Women’s ministry events. Bubble Tea with Dereck and Christy one last time. Days alone. Bubble Tea with Nicole. Running ½ marathon in Korea. New apartment. Staff Retreat in the mountains. Christmas market. Going to IKEA in Korea. And so so so many more that I know I am forgetting at the moment, but they will come back to me another time! J
WHAT I LOVED MOST ABOUT 2014: the memories. the growings. the moments of soaking in God’s incredible love for me. the joys among stretching moments.
WANT TO LEARN: how to pray through spiritual battles and not let the things of this world consume my mind, but instead soak in God’s truth always.
WANT TO GET BETTER AT: I so desperately want to get better at resting, relaxing and taking care of myself. I spend so much time taking care of others that I forget about me and drain my body until it screams at me with no energy and headaches. Sabbath days are being strived for this year.
BIGGEST GOAL: Working on praying constantly through-out my day. I want to have that deep imitate relational relationship with my Savior throughout  my whole day.  There is nothing in this world that I can do alone and without HIM!
I am pressing into and holding onto the promises that 2015 will be awesome. There are many unknowns in this year, but I so trust my Savior that He knows the desires of my heart and that following Him is the best thing I can do this year! Happy New Year!
Love, Daniella