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Oh How Mighty and Great December 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 4:43 am

Wow, what a busy week this has been. With work taking me here and there and just getting news after news on the updates of people, I am tired. Heart of Hope was today and will continue until tomorrow. Heart of Hope is an event that my church puts on in partnership with Communities in School for needy people in the city! It is just amazing watching the families come in, get a hot meal, toys for Christmas for the kids, groceries, and even coats! It is truly an opportunity for people all ages to feel special. Not only getting to experience the Christmas essence, but also getting to hear about Jesus!

I just love the opportunity to get to help out with it.

Another important thing that has happened this week, my pastor from college, Matt Chandler had brain surgery on Friday to remove a large tumor that was found on his brain! This was all a shock to everyone. I am good friends with his sister in law, and had gotten to know the family while I was in college. Matt has been used by the Lord to do some amazing things, and reach all kinds of people and bring them to Christ! Such a wonderful man of God he is. His surgery went good and he is now recovering. The tumor results will be back this week.

Watch this video that Matt taped prior to his surgery:

http://hv.thevillagechurch.net/blog/hvpastor/

I am just in awe of how a man that just found out he has a large mass on his brain, can be so grateful and faithful! God is so great and mighty! This man has truly touched my life in ways that only God knows because it has brought my relationship closer to The Lord Almighty!!! Hearing little tidbits of what has gone on while Matt was in surgery are amazing! People have been fasting and praying for Matt’s recovery. People have been brought to Christ through these events! I have faith in God, but how much more do I have to gain for my faith to be like Matt’s. Not that I am envying someone, but the faith that this man has is unreal! I think it is very funny to read on the blogs, in the margin on the same link, that Matt was trying to twitter while in the hospital bed, after just having brain surgery! I just love that!!

All I have to say to conclude is that God is truly mighty and great! He is amazing in all that he does. He will never give you something that he knows you can not handle. The Lord blesses those who have undying faith in Him. “How Great Thou Art!”

 

Overwhelm Me October 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 2:38 pm

I just love listening to this song. It just stirs up all different kinds of emotions inside of me and makes me want to get down on my knees and praise the Lord for being a part of my life.

“Overwhelm me, take me from this place and put in a place where you are. Overwhelm me, shake the ground I stand on, I want to be dependent on you. On you, Jesus.

“I stand before you king, filthy and unworthy, you still wash me clean, and say to me, my child, your worthy.

“I need to set my mind on things above, on the holines and glory of my god. In the heavens and in my heart who created a mountain and set a spark that grew into a flame, we burn deeply for you.

“Only you, Only you Lord!!!!!”

This song just fills me inside. Just makes me think that the Lord fills us with that desire to want him. He “sets that spark” that eventually grows into a flame, if we kindle it with our continued search for him and love. But, If we stop trying to learn more and walk with him daily, that spark would blow out.

My favorite part of that whole song is when it says “shake the ground I stand on, I want to be dependent on you.” How true is this. I know that I try to fix things on my own most of the time instead of running to the cross for help. Instead of getting down on my knees and praying for the Lord’s help! When the Lord shakes the ground we walk on and it becomes unsteady, he wants us to rely and lean on him. He wants us to need him.

Ahh… I just love it. I just can’t get my mind around things sometimes because I am in just awe from the little ways he speaks to me. If you are overwhelmed right now, it could be because the Lord is working on your heart… wanting you to take it to HIM and trust in Him that he can pull you through. The Lord never gives you more than you can handle! When you are feeling overwhelmed, it could be a good thing. He wants you to ask Him for help, not trying to fix it all by yourself.

Trust me, I am the first one to admit that I am this way. Trying to be a controlling self soother, when I really know that I can not do it on my own!! This takes a huge burden off of your own shoulders!  The only way to look for help is UP!!!!

AMEN!!!!

I heard this song when I was an attendee at The Village Church in Highland Village, TX. If you want to hear the song, type in The Village Church Worship Music into Itunes and you can get many other songs there too for free.

 

A Beautiful Morning September 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 2:18 pm

Today I woke up tired as usual from a long night of chatting with old friends and emailing the principal from my school back and forth on game times and travel. When I got up, my mom, dad, and I went and worked out at the gym and then came home to a scrumptious breakfast of homemade granola. Mmm… it was tasty! When I opened my Streams in the Desert book, the verse that headlined today’s message was “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. ” ~Philippians 1:29

This just rings so many bells for me, especially after being on a mission trip over the summer. I know that I didn’t get to go into the hard countries, but I did experience some things that made it hard for me, and not really suffered, but felt dry. I have talked about this before in my blog, I think, but the trip for me started in Hong Kong with the Lord showing me that he is in control and all sufficient. And then it ended in Nicaragua where I felt spiritually dry and far from God. That is what I thought at the time, but looking back it was not about me. I was there on that trip to not only serve the missionaries that were there, but mainly my teammates!

You see, they had been traveling together for a while month longer than I had. They were tired, worn down, and just emotional ready to be away from each other sometimes. So I was there to bring refreshment to them and be an open ear to their thoughts and experiences. I was also there to nurse poor Sarah back from an ailing experience, be an ear for Ryan and arms to comfort her while she kept replaying the event in her mind, also a mom for Kara as she wouldn’t drink water and was becoming dehydrated. A fresh face for Chris to see with a big smile and humor when it is needed for Sage! My role in Nicaragua was not for me to grow spiritually or to have mind blowing experiences with God, but for me to simply serve my teammates!

I was not ok with this while it was happening on the trip. I was being selfish in the fact that my teammates were hearing all the whispers and voices of God, and I was feeling nothing! I was feeling like I was suffering. But I do not think this is what Paul meant. Yes it is a privilege to trust in Him, but is also a privilege to serve next to some amazing people, and to suffer with them and for them to honor Jesus. Sorry I may be rambling on… but this verse just moved in me today. Also reading previous verses from Philippians 1: 6 “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.”

Isn’t that verse just amazing!!! He will not just leave us after revealing something to us. He will continue to work within us until he comes back one day! Oh that great promise for those who trust in the Lord!!

Have a great day!!! Thanks for reading my rambling!

 

The Past Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 3:48 am

I can not believe how fast time flies by! We have been back from the Global Journey trip for about a little shy of a month! It has been a very busy time from the moment that we finished debrief, up until now. And it will definitely continue to stay busy!

I started a coaching job at a new private school in the area. It has been a whirlwind. Not in a bad way by any means! The Lord has provided me with a wonderful job and I get to be around volleyball again! I can’t believe that this is the 2nd season that I have not played in since graduating college! Again.. wow how time flies by! More news.. Sarah moved in right next door, so we have been hanging out which is fun. And she helps me with me volleyball girls! We are getting pretty competitive with The Price is Right in the mornings.

It is great that the Lord is providing me with these opportunities to make some money, but still have time to enjoy life. Just when you think that things are going to be iffy.. or your just not sure… the Lord provides!

So lately I have been reading a lot of Abraham. We are talking about being a friend of God at church, and how Abraham was the true testament of being a friend of God. It seems like when I read in my Streams in The Desert book, the past couple of times have been about Abraham and hie faith. I think that the Lord is constantly working on my faith. It first started in Hong Kong and him revealing things to me more and more by whispering them in my ear or just plain throwing them out there in plain daylight. All I know is that he is an Almighty God and he knows all! He has been so good to me and I thank him everyday for the blessings he has placed in my life!

“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”

~Hebrews 11:1

 

The Lord is Great! August 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 7:49 pm

So I am sure after reading the previous blogs from Nicaragua you are thinking, Wow… it must of been a horrible time. And I apologize if that is how I have lead you to believe! It was an awesome experience and I would not have changed one second of it. Through all of these experiences, we are molded and shaped into the people that we are in the present. And although Sarah will have a Harry Potter looking lightning bolt scar on her leg, she is healthy and fine now. She actually gets her stitches out tomorrow. The doctors said that the work that was done was the same great care that she would have gotten anywhere here in the states!!

The Lord used the time of the attack as one to bring all of us together again. The team had been getting tired and I think a little irritable over the past 2 months and this just helped us to realize how important each person is to the group as a whole. We are all healthy and fine now, back in the states for a little over a week! It still hits me, everytime that I travel, that even though I can be gone for as little as a week to as long as 7 months, I never really feel like I left. Time continues to go on and peoples lives move on to. But being back in the states, I feel like I have never left. But then I look back on the many adventures that we had and the people that we met, and I remember that I was gone, doing the work of the Lord all around the world!! It puts a smile on my face to think about the good times and the bad!

This was a great summer. It was a very busy one, traveling back and forth to the states to go to weddings and then back out to the mission field again!! I loved every second of it. I loved my experience with Global Journey! I love the people that I met along the way and the people on the team! They will all hold a special place in my heart! The team jokes around that I am the motherly one.. and it is true. I wouldn’t want to have  any other role!!! Thank you to those who supported me. Thank you to those who have been reading my blogs. I will hopefully continue to write to keep you updated with life. Thanks to my family for always being ok and trusting in the Lord when I travel! I love you all!!

In Nicragua this verse just really stood out to me:

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare of the Lord: he alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting in Him.”
Psalm 91:1-2

“For he orders is angels to protect you where ever you go.”   Pslam 91:11

He sure did protect us everywhere that we went!!! The Lord Is Great!!!

 

The Dump ~ La Chureca August 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 1:53 am

There is a place in Managua called La Chureca. It is the cities dump and I can not even explain how big it is and how far it stretches. It actually dumps into Lake Manuagua making it polluted and toxic to the people. That is not the most sad part. There are people that actually live near, around, and ON the dump. People scavenge for recycle-ables to sell and make money off of. We climbed up to the top of one of the mountains of trash and it was just an awful sight and smell. There were hundreds, upon hundreds of vultures in the area. They were feeding off of the garbage and the waste that some had just dumped full of cow parts. There were cows roaming around eating what they good out of the garbage. There were small fires and smoke everywhere because things would be combusting from the heat. Our guide told us that when they bring the trucks in to dump trash, people just bombard it. Trying to get the best things from it. A lot of people die from getting run over, and so do small children and babies.

We were also given the fact that people in Chareca tear apart the sole of shoes and sniff the glue that is holding it together. This works as an appetite suppressant and sometimes keeps their mind off of things. You have to also be aware of the men that could be high too because you never know what they might do.

There are many GMO’s that have come and and tried to help out. Some have opened schools. Some have opened churches. Another has opened a clinic for people that need medical attention. There are children sponsorships and a soccer field where kids can play and practice. But it just feels like so much more can be done!! The trash literally goes on for miles and miles. Anything and everything that you can imagine gets thrown there. It is where all the garbage goes. Could you imagine living on the garbage that you throw away for your whole life… and not know any other way???? Think about it!

Please pray for these people. Pray that the government can change things, or even want to change things. The Nica government is a very corrupt one. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer kind of thing. Pray that some type of program can be put in place to make a change. Pray for the people that are helping to change it. Pray for the people inside the dump, the ones that have to live this way each and every day! Pray that they come to know they Lord and know that he is their rock.

As we were talking as a group, Sage made a comment: She said.. The only way is God. The only way that things can be changed here is through the work of the LORD. The people there helping can not merely change it on there own. The only way to do anything is to do it with God… and only he can make a change!  Oh she is so right!!!!

My heart breaks for these people everyday. Just remember the blessings that we have here. Don’t take them for granted. Even though our government can do things that you dont like, just remember that our government does a lot more for us than most other ones. We live in a safe place (sometimes), a place with choices and freedom, and systems that keep our streets clean!

If you want to see what I have been talking about, please look at pictures on line. Type La Chureca into the search engine on google and click on images. It is truly an eye opening experience!!!

 

The Sports Complex

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 1:31 am

The complex that we stayed at was so wonderful! The vision that these people have is one of great vastness. Halle and Kathy are the people that own and run the complex. Amanda and her family also are in charge of many aspects of it.

Let me explain the complex. There is a large outdoor soccer field, a large covered basketball court/soccer field, a large baseball field with stands, dugout and all, an outdoor volleyball court, an outdoor basketball court, and tetherball and so much more. The complex is open from 1-6 pm everyday unless a church or group rents it out. Kids come from all ages and from all areas. It is seen as a safe haven for all that come. It is a place that the kids can come and play without having to worry about being safe or not. In the afternoons we would play volleyball with a big group of about 20 or more guys. Some were good, others not so much. They were hard on themselves and hard on each other. But it was fun to play with them. I thought it was funny that they always wanted one of us on their team… but in the beginning they wanted to play against all of us!! Oh how building relationships can open people up.

So in the mornings we would do some type of manual labor. One morning a girl named Kathleen and I had to move dirt. We had to make a large mound of dirt flat and make another mound of dirt somewhere else. It was hot and there was lots of sweating.. and I even got a little tan! My other teammates were busy doing other laborious things. But that is pretty much how a couple days went.. labor in the morning after breakfast, then lunch, and then rest or a little more work and then playing volleyball with the kids and then dinner… It was a good way to spend time with people yet also get things done.

The vision that Halle has for the sports complex is great! He still has so much more to do and things that he wants to add. When it is all finished it will be awesome. Can’t wait to keep in touch with them and see how things change. A lot of hard work and sweat have been poured into this place and none of it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of countless mission groups that come down there and Halle’s hardwork!!

 

Mission Nicaragua

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 1:17 am

The first night that I was in Nica was interesting.. I spent it in a hospital hanging out with my team! This was not a bad thing. Like I said previously… this event really brought us all together!! It let us spend some quality time.. even though the team had been together since June 11th! We had 2 wonderful ladies hanging out with us in the hospital. One was Cary who picked me up from the airport! She is such a wonderful lady and a divine appointment! She helped Sarah so much by staying with her in the hospital over night, taking her to doctor appointments, and just giving us lots of information when asked!! Amanda was the other woman’s name. She was awesome too. She drove us everywhere, took us on field trips, and so much more. Her and her family, daughter and husband, lived on the sports complex grounds. They are both just amazing woman and I appreciate all that they have done for us!!!!

The next couple of days were changed. We hung out the next day and just chilled. Everyone needed to relax after the event. So in the evening we went and hung out with Sarah again at the hospital. Kara and I stayed for about 5 hours and then Sage came and spent the night with Sarah. The next day we went to church. It was a great experience. I love going to church in other countries. Different culture praise Jesus is different ways and I just love witnessing it. The people of the church would dance in the aisles, sing with beautiful voices, and hands raised to heaven!! It was so wonderful to see. Believe it or not, our country is not the only one that believes in the LORD!!! I say that because it is such a common thought. Church was in all spanish. We had little ear pieces and an American girl was translating the sermon. It was just a great experience. There were a lot of gringo’s there.. it is a popular church for foreigners. After this day, the week started and so did the labor and the volleyball!!!

 

Arriving in Nicaragua

Filed under: And We Are Off — ericawendell @ 12:56 am

My trip to Nicaragua was interesting… well even just getting there was a mess! I leave on Thursday July 23rd and hope to arrive that night in Nicaragua, but the Lord had a different plan. A different plan for us all!!! My flight from San Antonio to Houston was delayed because of storms in Houston. What should have been a 50 minute flight ended up being a 3 hour delay and having to refuel in Austin!! So I arrive in Houston 15 minutes after my flight to Managua leaves. So I am expecting the airlines will put me in a hotel since it was kind of their fault, and the weathers, that I missed my flight.. but that was not going to happen.

So praise the Lord that I have a wonderful friend named Ashley Witten that came and picked me up from the airport in Houston and let me crash on her couch that night. I took a taxi from her apartment the next morning to the airport to catch the first flight out to Managua!

I get to the airport in Managua and surprisingly get through customs and baggage claim very quickly! I am waiting for about 30-45 minutes for our contact Cary to come and get me at the airport. The team had all flown in the night before… when I should have flown in, but plans had been changed. I have to say that I was very nervous. I had no contact information for Cary, an address, a phone number, nothing!! I didn’t even know where were were staying! So I just waited patiently and nervously for her to arrive. I barely even knew what she looked like. All I had was a picture from the Global Journey guide that was in black and white and just not a very good picture of clarity!

So Cary comes and picks me up, we get in the car and she tells me that there has been an accident. The team had been visiting a park and Sarah had hurt her leg pretty badly. They were at the hospital getting things fixed and worked out. We were to maybe go over there later on after I put my things away and ate some lunch! So we drive through downtown Managua, which is the capital of Nicaragua! We go pass the old cathedral, passed the earthquake fault lines that no one wants to build houses on, and through the streets on the way to the sports complex. All along I thought that we were going to an orphanage and doing like a volleyball camp for the kids. But wow… was I mistaken! We were going to a sports complex in the hills of Nicuragua!

So we arrive in front of the complex and Cary gets out to open the big metal sliding gate so we can drive through. Before she gets out she reveals that she has not told me the whole story!! I replied…”Oh no Sarah was bitten by a snake!” Which I thought was legit because we were in central america! She replied no and said that the team had been visiting “the Peace Park” and a group of 5 teenagers came at them and tried to steal Ryan’s camera, backpack, and Sarah’s purse. When they wouldn’t give it up, pone man pulled out a knife and threatened them more. Everyone scattered… The man with the knife chased after Ryan… Ryan threw her camera after she couldn’t run anymore. The man ran after the camera. Meanwhile… Sarah tried to jump down this 4 foot drop to run to some stairs but instead fell. Cutting both legs pretty badly!! The young man was coming over to her to get her bag when he saw all the blood and ran! Sarah then was taken to the hospital and stayed for 2 nights!

I can not even tell you how much God worked in this crisis situation! It was just a blessing that no one got injured further, or that the young men didn’t try to do other things. Also, the bag that Ryan carried had so many more expensive things in it. Sarah was so unselfish in the whole thing saying that she was glad that it was her and not anyone else. Sarah was very blessed in the fact that she didn’t break any bones, hit her head, or any other injury! The Lord protected the team, and even though it didn’t seem like it at the time, the Lord used it to bring the team closer together. And we are hoping that the young men that took the camera saw the pictures that were on it and changed their thinking. We just hope that in some way this whole experience GLORIFIES GOD!!!

Everyone is fine…. Sarah was well taken care of (and still is being taken care of very well) and even though there was some mental anguish from it all, the Lord protected everyone from great harm!! Over the course of the trip, I just questioned why I was not there… why wasn’t I there to be able to protect my team! But only the Lord knows his timing and it is perfect!

Read Psalms 91:11

But, please dont let this event scare you from traveling to this country or any other! The Lord will protect you where ever you will go and will never leave you! These events could have happened in any city in the US!!  There were so many wonderful people that we met, and had a chance to serve with some amazing missionaries, and play with some amazing kids! It was a learning experience for us all and one that we will never forget!!!

And now for the good stuff that happened: PLEASE READ NEXT BLOG!!

 

2 Days and Counting!!! July 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ericawendell @ 3:14 am

So not that I have been counting down the days until I am reunited with my team, but now that it has come down to the last 2 days I am filled with excitement. I am excited that I get to bring a fresh face and attitude to my team!! Trust me, I played college volleyball and now how being around the same people for months at a time can be so draining and tough… you just want to get away!! I can not wait to hear about the stories and see pictures… Sorry everyone, I will get to see them before you!!!

I am excited about doing the sports camp for the little orphans! God had blessed me with the talent of playing volleyball and now I will get to share it with some awesome little kids!! I pray that the team travels safe to Nicuragua and that the end of the trip runs smoothly!! The last leg, and I am sure that everyone is exhausted!! Please continue to pray that we work in the hearts of the children and others in the place! Please pray that everyone stays healthy in this country! Pray for guidance that the Lord moves in the hearts of the team, that if it his will that some people return to certain countries, let his will be done and his path be paved!!

I love everyone and cant wait to return and share with you some stories! Thanks again for all the support!!

Team Global Journey Here I COME!!!!

Oh my gosh my sister was gorgeous at her wedding!!! Sorry just had to throw that one in there at the last minute!!!