My trip to Kalimantan :)

Hi Family,

As many of you know, I had the privilege to return to the island I’ll be moving to after language school! :) I had a two week break from school, and felt like it would be good for me to visit my friends there to hear about what God has been doing there since I’ve been gone.  I also wanted to pray and ask God to reveal more about what the future will look like once I move there, and how I can better prepare and pray for the future right now.

It was a beautiful time of catching up, and also learning from my friends and what God has put in their hearts.  I learned a lot of new language, culture, and more of Gods heart for His people as it shone through my friends!

I was thrilled to spend time with Cornelia (AKA-Lia, the woman who shut down the brothel the last time I was there :).  We took a few day trip to Malaysia to gallivant and have some good heart to hearts.  This time was truly precious; filled with sharing about God’s goodness and redemption, lots of laughing, lots of crying, and a lot of encouraging and praying for each other.  God has already changed her life so much since I saw her last, but I know He still desires to do a deep inner healing in her life, so I am praying she will walk through that with Him.  She also taught me a lot about the sex industry in Kalimantan, and what are some of the reasons women enter prostitution.  She also took me inside a few brothels and I was able to meet and talk with some of the girls :) Unfortunately they didn’t have a lot of time, and my communication with them was limited because I didn’t have a translator.  But it was really good to meet them, and pray there.  Because now when I pray for these women they won’t just be women I’ve never met, but I’ll actually be able to see faces, pray names, and see the places I’ve been to and ask that the Lord would bring freedom and Truth to them.  Lia pointed out about a dozen other brothels near the orphanage (they were all probably within 10-15 miles of each other), and I was shocked to know just how vast the sex industry is in such a place of poverty.  And what is even more surprising and sad to me is that there are (as more people confirmed) no known ministries on that island helping women out of prostitution.  Although I was hoping to receive a little more clarity on this trip, I still am unsure of exactly what “ministry and life” will look like there, but I am trusting God will reveal that in time.  And in the mean time I am resting in Him, and the purpose He has called me here for: that is for His Glory! I have such a desire for His Glory to cover the earth like the waters cover the seas! I have a great desire to gaze upon the beauty of Jesus.  I see the beauty of Jesus in watching women’s lives restored and redeemed by the love of the Father.  I know that brings Him Glory, and although I don’t know the logistics of the future- in these Truths I find peace, because they are unchanging :)

My time in Jehovah Jireh orphanage ( was wonderful as well!  A lot of the kids in the orphanage come from completely animistic villages that have no believers, nor have ever heard the Gospel.  They had planned a 4 day hike/trip to visit these villages with some of the older kids to reach the unreached.  Unfortunately the night before our 5 hour hike to the first village I got really sick, and couldn’t travel with the group.  So after I rested and felt better I helped Jane take care of the younger kids.  The team that went to the villages had a great time of making relationships with the people, and praying for them!

It was beautiful to see the progress on the orphanage in the past two years! Some of the projects that were dreams a few years ago have become a reality! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the orphanage in anyway over the past few years! Please continue to support them as God leads, as many of their projects to become self-sufficient remain halfway finished do to finances.

I am always extremely blessed as I learn from this one family who have laid down their lives, and have made SO many sacrifices to help these kids!  They work extremely hard- in the garden, in the house, in the market to be able to help these kids.  Their selfless love blows me away! I am so thankful and blessed to be (even in a small way) a part of what God is doing there.

It was also very encouraging for me in regards of my language learning to go on this trip! Because as I saw and meet with the people I want to serve and serve alongside of in the future, it made me want to know more of the language to better communicate with them.

Thank you all so much for your prayers while I was gone! Below are some pictures from my trip :)

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Photo’s from my trip to Kalimantan

Jehovah Jireh Orphanage

The beautiful view from the back of the orphanage

Some of the children playing with the games donated by friends from the States :)

Terima Kasih Banyak (thank you very much) to those who donated the toys, clothes, etc. All the kids were very thankful and enjoyed them :)

The lovely Cornelia and myself traveling around Malaysia

Yonkie helping us bring home some bananas from the garden

Happy Boy :) This is Efriam he's the youngest at the orphanage. He has been there since he was 3 days old.


They eat young bamboo (left) and leaves (right) a lot because they can find it in the jungle for free


Crazy Monkeys :)

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Update Video for June 2011 :)

Hi Loves :) I thought I would mix things up a little, and try an update video for this blog! Hope you enjoy it :)

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Photo’s from life in Indonesia thus far :)

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Hi friends and family, I just want to share with you a fun story, that will tell you a little about the Indonesian culture and just how life is going here :)

The word “Ibu” which sounds like ee-boo in Indonesian means a few different things.  You use it to address a women who is older (kind of like “Mrs. or Ma’am) you can also you it to address a women who is married (even if she is younger than you)  and it also translates as “mother”.

The other day I was walking in my neighborhood and a women (Ibu) standing outside of her house stopped me, and literally took me by the hand and told me to come inside for a visit.  Inside she proceeded to spoil me and give me fried banana’s and juice.  (Which is part of their culture- when they invite someone in they always give them food and drinks).  I had a fun time talking with her in Indonesian since she doesn’t speak english at all.  And when I was leaving she said she knows that I am far away from home, and might miss my Ibu (mom) so she can be my Ibu while I am here :) Awww.  It was a great experience and I love how hospitable and loving Indonesians are :)  God has Blessed me to meet a lot of lovely people since I’ve been here!

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Indonesia so far…. :)

Hi everyone!  I am loving it here in Indonesia! I must say the city I am living in is far different from where I will live in Kalimantan.  Here the major ethnic group is the Sudanese people who are predominantly Muslim.  That means pretty much everywhere you turn there are mosques- in fact from my house- most nights/ through out all the day I can hear 5 different mosques prayer calls at one time.   I heard they have a system in which mosques are placed every so many kilometers so that every household will be able to hear the call to prayer.  The Christians here have faced persecution and they actually have to be pretty discreet that they are Christians especially if they are “m’s”  (missionaries).  Here to do “m-work”.

The weather is crazy different here as well! In Kalimantan we live a 7 hour drive away from the equator and it’s so hot everyone takes at least 3 showers a day! But here we live up in the mountains with mountains surrounding us- so the elevation makes for a lot cooler weather! In fact sometimes I think it’s cooler here than in FL.  Locals don’t take showers past 5pm because bucket showers temperature drops so low it’s freezing!   At night I sleep with 2 blankets and sometimes that’s not even warm enough! CrAzY.

I live with a beautiful group of Indonesian Christians! They’ve blessed me in so many ways since I’ve been here! Truly, all the believers I’ve met here are radical followers of Christ and I’m honored to meet such amazing brothers and sisters.

My language school is actually Christian as well; it was established by missionaries for missionaries! How fun is that? All my teachers are Christians and in school we learn worship songs and begin and end everyday in prayer.   I go to school Monday through Friday for 4 hours a day! Then my schools philosophy is to talk/practice what I’ve learned with as many Indonesians as possible (they suggest at least 5-10 people a day).  This has proved to be both helpful, but also a little awkward :P   (I have many stories) haha

There are not many Indonesians who can speak English. I’ve met a few and it’s fun to talk to them.  But for the most part it’s been kind of interesting trying to communicate with people.  Charades has now become my least favorite game :P

I am sincerely thankful for the Holy Spirit and how He has been teaching me so many things since I’ve been here! I am thrilled to be here learning the language for the Lord, and with Him every step of the way!  His love sustains me, and is why I am here!  I will update you soon with some things He’s been teaching me.  But for now- I just wanted to thank everyone who is/has supported me in any way!  I couldn’t be here with out you all!

Love lots,


P.S. photo’s to come!  (I just have to take some first haha:)

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Malaysia, during Chinese New Years :)

Hey Everyone :)

I just finished up my week in Malaysia for Chinese New years! It was a blast!  My friend Ginny and her family spoiled me; they were such sweethearts (as well as my other friend Elaine:)

The first few days- we gallivanted around the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.  My friends said there isn’t much “culture” in KL; not many sites to see, just a lot of malls to visit with air con (they like to go places with air con :)  So we checked out the CNY decorations in the malls and “hunted for good food”.  Malaysian’s love good food, and eat a lot of it- especially because social gatherings are centered on food! I asked Elaine what weapons we needed for hunting food and she said “ a wallet and a good appetite.” haha we were successful hunters and found some really good traditional Malay food as well as Chinese, and some popular desserts.

Then we traveled 3 hrs south to Ginny and Elaine’s hometown for CNY’s.  It was nice and relaxing (perfect for trying to get over jet lag ;) Ginny told me SO much about the Chinese culture and history! She also told me a lot about Buddhism in the Chinese culture, and of coarse what Chinese New years is all about.  I could write a whole book full of information from what Ginny told me, but I’ll only share with you some interesting key things

  • Malaysia is very diverse.  The three major ethnic groups are: Chinese (predominately Buddhist) Malay (predominately Muslim) and Indian (predominately Hindu).  So there are 3 ethnic groups; 3 different major religions; and 3 different main languages, but then they all have various dialects as well to each language! Wow- that is confusing! Ginny said it’s very difficult sometimes because even though she speaks English, Mandarin, and Malay sometimes she meets Chinese people who only speak the dialect of Cantonese so she can’t communicate with them!
  • Malays (Muslims- have their own New Years) and so only Chinese people will celebrate the CNY’s.  You can discern who is Chinese by the traditional red lanterns hanging outside their houses for CNY.
  • The Chinese culture is very big on financial prosperity.  That’s why they give “red pockets” full of some money to “Bless” the person for the NY (see slide show for more info)
  • They celebrate the NY for at least 15 days.  Some schools give a whole month off to students.  The first 3 days of the NY is a “family reunion” most of the family will actually travel to stay in a family members house.  So you can reunite and stay with each other for three days, and cook big meals to eat as a family.  Then the 4th day and so forth is spent visiting friends.  Eating lots of CNY cookies together (see slideshow :)
  • Fireworks are illegal in Malaysia.  But they are very common to celebrate for CNY’s- so although illegal they are still going off everywhere.

There’s so much more I could write about CNY, but in short- I was very thankful to experience this holiday and to learn about the Chinese culture.

One thing I was stuck pondering about is this idea of what I heard called “cultural Religion” meaning you claim to be of a certain faith merely because your family is, or the majority of the population around you are predominately that religion, etc.  The reason I was thinking about this is because I asked one of my friends here why she choose to be a Buddhist.  She said, “I didn’t not choose it; my parents were Buddhist, therefore I am one as well.”

My question: how do we clearly explain and portray to a person that has a religious mindset that a relationship with Jesus Christ is very different from just “claiming” a religion.  Because in my mind whether you are raised Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, etc. you must have ownership of your beliefs at one point.  They MUST become your own.  They can’t always be your parents’ beliefs, because to truly live out what you believe you must be passionate about it.  My friend related her belief in Buddhism because of her parents to Christianity in America.  She said she’s met a lot of Christians who say they are Christians but don’t live a holy life.  I said she is absolutely correct; but explained that it makes sense people don’t live out what they say they believe when they don’t truly believe it for themselves, but have just been told to believe something.  Because for someone to live a Holy life they must truly desire to do so; because they sincerely believe in a God who loved them enough to die for them, and now they want to bring Glory and honor to their Creator.

So my question again is how do we explain/portray a relationship with Jesus is different than another “religion that is part of our culture” to a person whose paradigm is purely that of knowing “cultural religion?” (This is not a rhetorical question- I’d really love some feedback:) My answer is TBA but I definitely know that it takes the Spirit of the living God to open blind eyes: to allow them to see the beauty of Jesus.  And to also see the unique and wonderful relationship He has with us: that is different than every other religion.  I also know that it’s going to take the body of Christ truly walking in this beautiful relationship and not “religion” for people to see the difference.

Avalon sings this song that many might think is cheesy.  It’s called “Everything to me” (Les and I have had our good share of belting this out-since it’s our testimony) it talks about how a person grew up in Sunday school and knew about Jesus, but now He’s become EVERYTHING to them, He’s more than just a story that they learned.  Here are some of the lyrics from the song that go along with what I am saying :)

“I want to tell the world I’ve found a love that turned my life around; they need to know that they can taste and see.  Now everyday I’m praying just to give my heart away. I want to live for Jesus SO that someone else might see that He’s everything to me; more than a story, more than words on a page in history.  He’s the air that I breathe; the water I thirst for, and the ground beneath my feet.  He’s everything: everything to me.”

This is my desire; that people would see that God is EVERYTHING to me, and that it would shatter their religious mindset, and break down the barriers between religion vs. relationship.  And that because of the love I have for God and for them it would so invite them to experience the love of God for themselves, and to discover the beauty of what having a relationship with Jesus looks like.


Here is a little slideshow I made of pictures from Malaysia! It was my first time using Imovie on my Macbook to make this, so apologies if it’s not the best quality! I am  learning ;)

P.S.- sorry for all the run-on sentences. I am trying to work on my grammar :P Much love to you all!


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