Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Be Aware: Hunger

For some time now I have had symptoms that suggest that I have Hypoglycemia. I cannot explain all the ins and outs of what this means but I can tell you what I experience: Head aches that make it hard to read, cold sweats that make me feel really sick, an upset stomach which leaves me doubled over, moments of dizziness and weakness which leave me incapable of working or walking around, I get incredibly hungry -- it seems like my stomach is a bottomless pit to be filled, and experience sudden fatigue. But as long as I eat plenty of certain, proper foods my body continues to function properly and I don't feel sick or exhausted.
See our bodies need "fuel" in order to function. Without food we cannot focus and it gets harder and harder to think, we get more tired and weak and even something as simple as standing or breathing is a labor. In order to survive we need to eat enough food and we need to eat the right food.
I am blessed to live in a place where food is available in abundance and accessible to me. My family has enough money to buy the food that I need to stay healthy and my mom has the skills to prepare it in a sanitary and delicious way. If you are from a first world country, like me, this will not shock you. We take food for granted.
I have never seen someone starve ("suffer severely from hunger"), I myself have never been hungry for a long enough period of time to actually suffer from it and I certainly have never known anyone who has literally died due to a lack of food. But TODAY, in India alone, 6,000 children that I never got a chance to meet died of starvation. And another 6,000 children will starve to death tomorrow.


We cant send them groceries, we can't give them our leftovers, we can't invite them to dinner but we can pay for their meals.
$28 a month, that is all that it costs to give a child a meal every day and so much more! Just think about that for a minute, I am part of a family of six and we spend more than $200 a month on groceries alone (so that doesn't include the money we spend on eating out) which means that we spend more than $3 per meal, per person and it costs less than $1 to feed a child one meal every day!
Through GFA's Bridge of Hope schools we can not only keep children from starving to death, we can get to know them personally! This March I am going to sponsor a child through GFA and I would like to challenge every single one of my blog readers (yes, you!) to do the same. By setting aside just one dollar every day you could save a life. So what are you waiting for? :)

When you sponsor a child I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment with your child's first name and we will celebrate together the Lord's provision for their precious little lives!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"The faithfulness of God is the only certain thing in the world today. We need not fear the result of trusting Him. . .Our way is plain. We must not retrench in any work which we are sure is in His will and for His glory. We dare not turn back because the way looks dark. . .We must go forward in the face of the impossible, even if we only know the next step.” 
John Stam

Monday, February 27, 2012

Next Steps - March

In less than two weeks I shall fly away to a new country and there, together with my Beloved and with a friend, I will encounter new people and eat new food and hear new languages and see new things and travel on trains and walk around beautiful cities and hike through gorgeous countrysides and do so many things for the first time. My life is full of "next steps" and in March one of them is a trip to France!


1. iPhone 4s (check! just bought it two days ago!) 2. Bakeries 3. Eiffel Tower 4. Rue Mouffetarde (Creperie) 5. Notre Dame 6. Gelato 7. Louvre 8. Arc de Triumph and Champs Elysee 9. Try a macaron for Lydia


1. Luxembourg Gardens 2. Chateaue de Versailles 3. Musee d'orsay in Paris (Impressionist Art Museum) 4. Marais Quarter 5. Saint Chapelle 6. Shakespeare and Company, Paris 7. Use my bubble umbrella 8. Travel to Matlock 9. Wear dresses and tights 10. Chatsworth House, England.


1. Tower Bridge 2. Big Ben 3. St James' Park 4. Les Miserables 5. Westminister Abbey 6. Trafalgar Square 7. Hyde Park 8. Tea, plenty of it 9. Fly home

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perfect song for this sunny, spring-is-coming day. 
Two ways He made today special: 
warm sunshine. 
A card (and check for my trip to India) from a dear woman.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


All of a sudden the world seems so much smaller. I don't seem to care that I can't reach every person, because I'm with Him and He knows what He's doing. I still feel small and incapable, but it's okay because I know He is powerful and mysterious, and He is working even when I cannot see it. I am tempted to look at how broken I am and give up, but then I remember that He hasn't given up and He never will, that He sees me like He sees His Son.
Insightful thoughts from Kelsey as she describes where she is at and how God is at work now, at the half-way mark of her time in France. Read more here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Extravagant Love Series

The Extravagant Love series is still happening its just in my journal. I am still finding His extravagant love every day when I read my Bible but it has become more personal (meaning that He is speaking very specific things to me from His Word) and therefore needed to become private. I encourage you to keep your eyes open for His extravagant love each day when you are reading -- its there! Get to know Him through the Word and then develop your intimacy with Him through prayer. He is just waiting for you to seek His face. <3
"Further up and further in!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Real men...

Ashton has never been my favorite actor and I have never known much about Demi but they started a foundation to end human trafficking of children in the U.S. and appear to be passionate about doing so. Raising awareness is the first step toward making a change and they are using their place in the spotlight to raise awareness. I respect that. The facts: there are people that buy and sell men, women and children for their own gain (this action is known as slavery, its also called human trafficking), there are men, women and children who are vulnerable, desperate and looking for help and they are tricked into a life of slavery, and finally there are people that pay the traffickers for the opportunity to use the victims as they choose. Getting to the root of this will require expose the horrible act to the light rather than empowering it to continue, spreading awareness to open people's eyes that could potentially be victims or customers or rescuers, and changing the status quo of male mindsets and behavior in regards to how they treat women. Self-effort can only carry this cause so far because Self is good at caring about others when there is applause offered for it but is ultimately concerned about justice being had for itself rather than others.

Christians, this call wasn't put out to you by Ashton and Demi, but as your Sister in the Lord I give it to you -- slavery is at large and it is happening on our watch. Our Lord is a protector, He specializes in rescue and redemption, He is Just, He is Jealous for His own, and His plan is to go through you and me. 
Be a rescuer
Pray. Never underestimate this weapon of our warfare.
Be separate. We are going to be knee-deep in the ways of the world as rescuers but in order to rescue we must be separate from its ways, this is the difference between "in" and "of". Christian Men, you may not think the way the men of the world are raised to think, you may not look at what the men of this world take sick pleasure and find corrupted satisfaction in looking at, you may not speak of women in the disturbing ways that men of this world speak about them. You're called to be holy, pure, unspotted from the world and Jesus in you IS able to live such a life through you. Die to yourself, by doing so you will serve every member of your family, every person you call friend, and each individual you pass going through your day. Raise your sons in the ways of heaven, share the mindset of purity, teach other men how to serve and love women as Christ does the Church. Set an example of death to Self and Life in Christ. Christian Women, do not make it harder for our Brothers to live as they're called to than it already is. Support them rather than tearing them down through the way you dress, the things you say and the way you behave and move. The world's teachings and ways to gain the love an attention of a man are impure and false, don't follow them. Be set-apart, do your husband good rather then harm even before you have met him, encourage the men in your life as you see them being true men. Set an example of death to Self and Life in Christ.
Support. There are so many organizations that are in the field right. now. literally saving girls from brothels and rescuing kids from slavery. Ladies, do we really need that beautiful $30 top? What if $30 is the only thing that stands between slavery and freedom for someone? Guys, is the latest in Apple technology or a more high-quality piece of equipment for hunting necessary to your well-being? The money it costs to acquire may be critical to the well-being of another. Die to your Self, give what has been given to you by your Father to the work He is doing to set the captives free. 
Go. This may not mean making a career out of freeing slaves (though it will take dedicated lives like William Wilberforce now as well as it did in his day and age), but you could be the only person around to stop an act of injustice to a victim one day and if you do, no matter the cost to you (endangering your life, losing your job, being shot at, being beaten, being spit on, being cursed at, getting your shirt dirty or shoes wet, etc) take it. Report suspicious behavior to authorities, use your position to spread awareness, speak up when people you know want to do what you know is wrong, raise boys to have Christ-like masculinity and girls to have set-apart femininity, fight for justice through the government, through your business, through your ministry...

There is a long way to go, and it will take Jesus at work to take even one step, but there really is a simple solution: Real men don't buy girls. 
Lord Jesus, claim victory in the battlefield of modern-day slavery. Take the place that belongs to You in the lives of men and women here in America (and around the world). By Your grace (enabling power) may the men of America say, "No" to human-trafficking and cease to "buy girls". Fill us up, pour us out. Use our willing lives to gain the victory for Your glory. Raise up a generation of Mighty Men, men after Your heart. Have Your way -- in my life and all over the earth. In the mighty, mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Friday, February 3, 2012

This Valentine's Day...

Valentines Day is coming up! 

Looking for a unique way to celebrate?

Consider the cost of the chocolate, candies, cards, flowers, jewelry and other treats -- all tokens to express love, adoration, appreciation and show that you are treasured. Then consider your sisters in India who have no idea that they are treasured or loved and have probably never been shown appreciation by their husband or family. Would you please choose to give the love of Jesus to those women this month, even if it means not going out to eat with your man or going without the other delightful treats you are anticipating, and, instead, choose to either:
1) Give financially to the Women's ministry fund on Gospel for Asia's website, or 
Gospel for Asia

2) Purchase a Word Print from the GIVENstore here on my blog (all proceeds go toward sending me to India this October where I will personally get to administer the hope and love of our Lord to women who desperately need it!)

Be Aware: Women in India - Female Missionaries

"[Women missionaries have] many opportunities to share the Gospel that male missionaries simply do not." 

Give. Help support the women's ministry here:

"I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea..."
[Rom. 16:1]

Be Aware: Women in India - Poor treatment

"The exceptionally high rates of malnutrition in South Asia are rooted deeply in the soil of inequality between men and women.'…the poor care that is afforded to girls and women by their husbands and by elders is the first major reason for levels of child malnutrition that are markedly higher in South Asia than anywhere else in the world.'" 
"A primary way that parents discriminate against their girl children is through neglect during illness. When sick, little girls are not taken to the doctor as frequently as are their brothers." 
"Women and girls receive far less education than men, due both to social norms and fears of violence." 
"Opening the door on the subject of violence against the world's females is like standing at the threshold of an immense dark chamber vibrating with collective anguish, but with the sounds of protest throttled back to a murmur. Where there should be outrage aimed at an intolerable status quo there is instead denial, and the largely passive acceptance of ‘the way things are.' 
Male violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. Although not every woman has experienced it, and many expect not to, fear of violence is an important factor in the lives of most women. It determines what they do, when they do it, where they do it, and with whom. Fear of violence is a cause of women's lack of participation in activities beyond the home, as well as inside it. Within the home, women and girls may be subjected to physical and sexual abuse as punishment or as culturally justified assaults. These acts shape their attitude to life, and their expectations of themselves. The insecurity outside the household is today the greatest obstacle in the path of women. Conscious that, compared to the atrocities outside the house, atrocities within the house are endurable, women not only continued to accept their inferiority in the house and society, but even called it sweet. 
In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in atrocities against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry. One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare." 

…"Wife givers" are socially and ritually inferior to "wife takers", thus necessitating the provision of a dowry. After marriage, the bride moves in with her husband's family. Such a bride is "a stranger in a strange place." They are controlled by the older females in the household, and their behavior reflects on the honor of their husbands. Because emotional ties between spouses are considered a potential threat to the solidarity of the patrilineal group, the northern system tends to segregate the sexes and limit communication between spouses - a circumstance that has direct consequences for family planning and similar "modern" behaviors that affect health. A young Indian bride is brought up to believe that her own wishes and interests are subordinate to those of her husband and his family. The primary duty of a newly married young woman, and virtually her only means of improving her position in the hierarchy of her husband's household, is to bear sons."
Link to article (emphasis added)

"Numbers related to gender development, trafficking, sex abuse, education and nutrition rarely show that Indians are particularly good at protecting their daughters from early sexual activity, early pregnancy, dropping out of school or even hunger — the mistreatment just happens in a way that’s culturally palatable."
"First they toil in their parents’ homes; then they toil in their in-laws’ homes (for which honor the new family often gets a handsome sum, even these days). And yet somehow the collective wisdom that daughters are a burden still prevails, despite daily visual evidence to the contrary, and becomes a justification for neglect. When that neglect shows up in the numbers, we quibble about how they were calculated.Think on all this and it’s hard not to think this is a country that doesn’t just dislike women, it hates them.Now, can someone please tell me why?"


"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; ... So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church..."

[Eph 5:25, 28-29]


Be Aware: Women in India - Widows

Culturally widows are blamed for their husband's death, shunned, hated, reviled (even by their own family), and considered cursed. "In order to provide for themselves and their children, many resort to gathering food from the trash. Some gain income only from selling their bodies on the streets. For those who cannot bear the shame, suicide is their only escape." 

- Suicide rate 10x higher than the world's average 
- One in four homes in India is home to a widow 
- 92% of women 70+ years old are widows

"Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in Me."
[Jer. 49:11]

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
[Matt. 23:14]

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
[James 1:27]

Be Aware: Women in India - Baby Girls

"50,000 female [unborn babies] are aborted every month since 1980" (or are murdered after birth). 

"Half a million girls a year are being aborted in India, equal to the total number of girls born in the UK. The scale of sex selection in Asia is extraordinary, yet it has not attracted the attention it deserves in the west. This is the age of "missing women" - an estimated 30 to 70 million of them. The number of girls born has dropped significantly because of sex selective abortions, and the sex imbalance has been aggravated by higher mortality rates as boys receive better care."
 Link to Article

The little girl in this mother's womb is anticipated with joy! Her life is celebrated!


These little girls' lives are seen as an inconvenience to their parents and, without a doubt, many of their potential family members and friends' lives were terminated for this very reason.


These little girls' lives are care-free, teeming with opportunity, marked by hopes, dreams and ambition.


These little girls' lives are a fight for survival against their culture, the lack of rights granted them and next to no protection offered them. It is hard to be ambitious when you're malnourished, hopeful when suffering from poverty or have dreams when everything about your future is bleak.


In our culture women have the same rights and opportunities as men and are less likely to truly be seen as a financial burden to our parents or husband.


Unfortunately, in India, women are not treated with equality, their opportunities are highly restricted and, although they bear a work load two times as heavy as the men do, they are viewed as such a financial burden (because of the dowry needed, by their culture not by law, for them to marry) that abortion, murder, poor treatment and abuse are all justified.


"And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant."
[Gen. 33:5]

Oh, to hear the fathers of India say this!

Be Aware: Women in India - An Overview

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