Happy New Years! 

It’s the end of week two. With the new year, tomorrow begins week three of outreach. Currently, I am bedridden with the seemingly mandatory stomach bug (food poisoning?) we’ve all been suffering from. 

Outside the window above my head, fireworks pop like gunshots. Just out the door, the kids and team sing in Bengalu a song which sounds of thanks for the past year, hope for the new. My ever amazing outreach leader, Steffi, has me wrapped in her extra blankets in an attempt to fight off the fever, making her side of the bed even more hard. 

Three minutes till midnight. We rush upstairs to the roof to witness the fireworks, and set off a few of our own. Fireworks which in Miami would never be legal to buy, yet here are passed around like candy. Greetings from motorcyclists on the road below. Hugs and handshakes all around. Normally back home, New Years would be spent with friends that are closer than family, playing manhunt and burning Christmas trees. This year we watched the sky go ablaze, with lanterns outnumbering the stars above us. 

So, fever raging, bones aching and all, there’s no place I would rather be. 

Until next time. 

Xoxo

  

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Resurrection Power

After 6 flights and 2 trains in 5 days, we arrived, and India is so much more than I could have dreamed of… 

Hanging out of the open train door as we go over a river, with a new brother from the streets of Kolkata laughing above my head.  Waking up to fresh chai handed to me by the same brothers, whose language I’m still no where near grasping. Midnight dancing to shared worship songs. The thrill of watching God heal.

 On our last leg over here, our  host’s two year old daughter fell from about twelve feet to the concrete train floor below, and stopped breathing for 10 minutes roughly. We all were praying. She awoke. The rest of the night, she showed mild signs of trauma, but after more praying all symptoms have fully disappeared. Our God still moves in radical ways. 

Christmas involved more chocolate than we needed, and climbing a cathedral steeple to see the city below. Today we had a picnic by the river side. And in ever moment, singing and dancing and falling in love with the nation, as well as my amazing team. 

Now, all of us except Rosie (the lovely face on the post header) are getting over the seemingly obligatory cold every international adventure begins with. I’m relaxing in bed on my wooden mattress, more in love with my sleeping bag than I thought possible. Slowly, my bones are making the adjustment though. Wood is a lot softer today than it was at the beginning of the week. God is faithful. 

Well, this was week one of outreach, and there’s not a thing I would change about it. 

Until next time.

Xoxo

   


   

 
   
        
 

Outreach: the Beginnings

Week 11.

Honestly, I barely remember lectures this week. My mind was already on outreach, and so much happened this week which I am not yet at liberty to talk about, but I can’t wait to share with you guys when the time comes. Let’s just say God is good and He moves in amazing ways. 

This may be one of my shortest updates ever, because this week flew by. Packing, hugs, joy, airports, and buses are about all it’s consisted of so far. And this is where I’m most content. In the air. Crossing the dateline for the first time. Wandering Japanese suburbs at midnight with beloved ohana. Hot cafe au lait from vending machines while we wait for the train. 

The delirium of being awake for over twenty four hours. The hustle to make the flight. So it begins. And I am content. 

   
  

  

    

Ruined for the Ordinary

It’s Saturday of week ten. I forgot to write week nine’s update, so this will be a mixture. However, I was sick for most of week nine, so there isn’t much to tell, besides the weekend.

After eight of weeks of living without a car, on the weekend of the ninth, we rented a jeep. Hawaii is beautiful, but living in the same five mile radius was becoming claustrophobic for all of us, so finally we decided to explore the entire island.

Mud Lane was probably my favorite, along with the little town of Waimea it resides in.

 

And so we arrive in week ten. The Father heart of God. The last full week before outreach. I don’t even have words for this week. Breaking through the last of my walls, God opened my eyes to everything that’s been going on these past three months in my life and in my heart; things I was too overwhelmed to see fully as they were happening. He finished the job, to where I know that I know that I know that I don’t have to strive to win His love, and that who I am as Serenity is enough both for Him, and the people around me.

In this, as much as I know I’m desperately going to miss this community living, my bones are aching for flight again. Over the past few years, I truly  have “been ruined for the normal,” as Loren Cunningham would say. When the time comes for me to return to Miami, if the Lord wills I remain there, it will have to be with constant short term missions. Before I ever left, short term missions was a passion of mine, but it’s time to take it to another level. I want to train others in short term missions, help prepare them for what they may see and how the Holy Spirit may work within their own hearts and minds.

However, spontaneous adventures across the island we’ve been calling home, nights spent laughing, crying, or debating with each other the strangeness of the outside world’s society will be dearly missed. Random spurts of insanity bringing about strips of pink hair on four of us (of course I am one of them), all because one had the beautiful idea of doing her whole head. Understanding in just a glance. Divulging age old secrets and fears with the ease and grace of dawn overtaking the night.

From this week on, I may have to do updates every other week instead of weekly, due to the insanity of outreach. If I fall behind, forgive me. I can’t believe Lecture Phase is ending, but I’m stoked to see what the next season holds.

Until next time.

XOXO

Hello Winter.

Some nights we all just need some cozy, Christmas love. And November 30th is, in my opinion, the day to start.

As a suite, we have officially decked out our common room in full holiday charm, and I’m glad that I won’t have to be here when it all comes down (yay for being the first to leave on outreach!). The past eight weeks have been extremely and beautifully emotional, and every now and again it’s time to break. When the Christmas bulb bombs dropped towards the guys downstairs broke next to them instead of sweetly landing in their hammock, I broke as well. Not because of the Christmas bulbs, but because it was simply time.

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About two minutes into the worship/ministry night with some of my suite mates, it was clear God was calling me away somewhere to be simply with Him. No Bible, no music, just He and I.

Over and over again He whispered reminders of what He has been speaking to me throughout the entirety of lecture phase: I am chosen, and I am His. There are plans just around the corner for me He is even more excited to bestow than I am to receive. He plans to outdo Himself.

The reality of this left me in a mess of glorious, cathartic tears. While processing all of this, I returned to my room and made some decaf, which I am now sipping out of my snowman mug as I watch an old favorite indie flick which introduced me to some of my favorite music. Somehow it feels like home.

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I hope you have an equally wonderful evening, in its own beautiful way.

Until next time

XOXO