Monday, September 29, 2014

Packing for New England - A Peek into My Bags


First things is first! You all need to read this important and first time milestone event: I packed less than Dave or Ryan for the New England trip. Sure, Dave is going to Yellowstone and I'm not but the facts are facts, I packed less! 

Packing these past few weeks, to say the least, has been crazy. I had 3 massive piles going: one for the remainder of my times in Kansas, one for Burma and one for New England / Idaho. It was a bit overwhelming and looked like someone dropped a clothing bomb.

I had a big pile for New England however, I knew I needed to cut back because we were hauling all our camping gear and we were also picking up our friend Ryan for a week, meaning room was limited in our mid-size SUV. I decided to only take my big backpack (35L), a computer bag, my camera bag, a jacket and vest.

I thought I’d give you a peek into what I packed plus some little tips I figured out. I shared some of my previous packing tips before but I think I've learned some more tips even after that. I always think it is interesting to see what people pack, so hopeful you will too.

In My Bag

5 pairs of pants + 1 pair of shorts: 1 pair of jeans, 3 black leggings, 1 blue leggings. I picked these pants because they are super versatile and comfortable.
*tip – I packed 3 black leggings because one of the pairs literally has some holes in them (thigh area…ha!) and I know I can throw them out at the end of this trip and won’t have to take them home.

2 dresses - Only one is pictured here because I was wearing the other one when I snapped these pictures. 
10 Tops: 1 cardigan + 2 Sweaters + 3 tank tos + 2 t-shirts + 1 long sleeve shirt + 1 sweatshirt
3 scarves, 1 hat, 2 head bands, swimsuit
Other: socks + underwear (cuz you know, this are a must but sorry, no pictures) + 4 pairs of shoes (GladSoles Sandals, tennis shoes, black flats & boots) + 1 jacket + 1 warm vest

Toiletries - Obviously I had to have these. I did figure out that instead of placing things in cute travel bags I can place them in ziplock bags and they lay flat and are easier to pack. It’s been working great so far. I also brought a mini hair dryer, brush, flat iron, dry shampoo and spray in hair conditioner. 
Medicine Bag – If you don’t pack a medicine bag when you travel I highly recommend doing so. Dave taught me this practice. I pack allergy medicine, Ibuprofen, stomach medicine, ear medicine and Vitamin C packs, all in a ziplock bag of course. I might not always use everything in the bag but I’m glad I have it just in case. Even on this trip I managed to get an outer ear infection so the drops have come in handy.

I was in search for a big computer bag that could house a ton of stuff! TJMaxx came in for the win! This bag was only $24.99 and it fits so much stuff. Every time Dave picks the bag up he comments how much it weighs which means it holds a lot of awesome stuff. 
In this bag I have my computer, iPad, iPhone, Bible, Bible study, journal, book, and more! It's a great bag.

I of course brought camera gear too! I have my camera, my kit lens, 50mm 1.4 lens and of course my Polaroid camera. =)

Camera Travel


I feel like after writing out what I brought it was a lot. However, for being on the road for 27 days and only planning on doing 1 laundry stop I think I did pretty good.

_________________________________________

What do you pack for trips?
Are you a light packer or do you pack a big suitcase?
What is the lightest you have ever packed? What is the most you have ever packed?
Do you have any packing tips? If so, share away in the comments. We'd love to hear. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Missionary Mondays // Surrendering Time + My {soon to be} Visit to Prison

Happy Monday Friends! Welcome to week 9 of Missionary Mondays! Missionary Mondays are weekly updates on how God is guiding Dave and I to Myanmar (Burma) & Thailand. We hope these posts will help answer any questions but if you have any other questions please ask! We love questions. 

If you want to see any of the Missionary Monday posts, on the side bar there is a 'search box', if you type in 'Missionary Monday' they should all pull up for you.


Time! I'm kind of protective of my time. In the last few years I've really learned to guard my time and not let my schedule get crazy busy. Along with time I'm also super protective of my sleep. I require a lot of sleep to function. I need at least 8 hours a night, if not more. If I sleep less than that I can seriously be an angry and emotional bear. It's not pretty when I don't sleep and it throws my whole system off. 

You know what else throws my whole system for a major wacked out few weeks? Jet Lag! Seriously, it sometimes takes me 2-4 weeks to reset my system. When I moved to Korea to teach we arrived at 10pm and the school said we were to arrive at school the next morning to walk around like zombies train. I'm sure we were a sight to behold. ha! 

One time when I flew back from USA to Korea it was New Years Eve. I got back to Korea around 10pm and went to a NYE gathering with some friends. I got back home probably around 2/3am and then I slept until about 5pm the next day. That's 15 hours of amazing sleep! After I was awake for a few hours I went right back to bed for another full night's rest. I'm a pro, guys! That was probably the fastest I have ever recovered from jet lag but I also did sleep about 20+ hours. 

When we were planning this trip for Asia I knew I would need some recover time before jumping into ministry. Well, our missionary friends in Thailand e-mailed me and said if we flew in on the 2nd of November we could go into the prison and share the gospel and minister the next day. Ha! I immediately told Dave there was no way I could do that. The panic of jet lag plus lack of sleep didn't sound like the best combo for me. However, I thought I should pray about it and see what God wanted instead of just saying no. I prayed and told God if He wanted us to help that we would. However, when we looked at departure dates, the flights with the best deals flew out on November 3rd which meant we wouldn't be working at the prison, or so I thought

I emailed our friends in Bangkok telling them we would arrive at 10pm on Nobember 4th. I got a reply that encouraged me to sleep on the airplane as they will be taking me to help at the women's prison on November 5th. So, we will arrive into Bangkok at 10pm on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning I'll be going to the prison. 

You know what though? I'm super excited! Sure I'll be jet lagged but what better way to start a year abroad than jumping right in to love and share Christ with people? I did pray about my time and told God if He wanted me there I would go and I am sure He does want me there. Also, I'm positive the women there have much bigger problems than lack of sleep / jet lag. If you think about it will you please pray for the women there? Pray that we can minister and encourage them. 

I do plan on sleeping a lot on the way over. Want to hear my sleeping plan? It's called NyQuil. See, we have a 14 hour flight (Chicago to Seoul) and before we board the airplane I'll be taking NyQuil. I'll fall asleep in Chicago and wake up in Asia! Walaaa! I've done it before and it is marvelous! Don't get me wrong, I'm still jet lagged for days but that extra sleep does help. 

What are your sleeping habits like?
How much sleep do you need each night?
Has anyone else helped serve in prison ministries?

PS - We are headed to Boston today! I've been updating on my Instagram and Facebook. I hope you'll stop by. 


Friday, September 26, 2014

Some thoughts on Community - An Update


Earlier in the summer I shared about community and how I finally decided to jump in feet first and make the most of the time I had left in Woodward. I was honestly surprised and a bit blown away by the various responses from that post; responses and e-mails that people were there or had been there too.  

I don't know how to describe how full my life has been the past few months and to be honest, I can't take credit for it. It's almost as if when I fully surrendered to God and accepted where He had me, He made relationships flourish. I'd have to say I'm super blessed and it did make leaving all the more difficult. 

I wanted to share a few of the people and relationships God has put in my life. I hope these stories will be an encouragement and inspiration to you. 

Good to Go - I talked about the coffee shop where I work, the one behind the dinosaur, and I'd have to say through there I met a vast array of amazing local people! I loved getting to know who they were, what they spent their time doing and of course what coffee they loved. I had a wonderful lady who came in all the time. One day she asked if I'd like a pen pal while I was in Asia?! YES! I totally would. So, now I have a wonderful new friend and a pen pal while I live abroad. 

The friend who trained me there kept telling me about this girl named Kendra. She said we were so much alike and that we would be friends. One day this girl came in and I just knew it was her (creepy, right?) but we did become instant friends. We had some good laughs and some really good chats.

Jenna - Jenna and I attended the same church. I'm sure we said hi in passing but we never talked much. Well, I ran into her at the farmers market, I then saw her in OKC, then again at the post office. I figured that was a sign we should be friends. =) We then became friends on FB and she randomly sent me a message with a link to a really pretty scarf from Etsy, which is ironic because I'm a scarfaholic. It's been fun getting to know her. 

Small Group -  I have to give credit to my small group because we only attended 1 - 2 times a month. The rest of the time we were in Wichita or traveling. Our friends there took us in and ministered to us no matter how often we attended. Before we left they had a going away get together for us. They asked lots of questions about our mission work in Burma, played games and then our small group leaders prayed over us before we left. I'm so thankful to know people care about us and invest in us spiritually. 

Dave's Work - My husband's work took us in from day 1 but this past month they have just blew me away. They took us out to eat, showered us with gifts, love and appreciation. I'd say they are more like family than just a work team and we sure miss them. 

Kinzie - My good friend here that helped keep me sane during all my big Burma decisions. Kinzie is my friend that would listen to me and point back to God to keep me in the right direction. I'm sure thankful for you, Kinzie!  

Crossfit - My crossfit friends have been just as supportive! We all went out to dinner and it was nice to get to know people more and to share about the work in Burma. 

Okay .... so, after I wrote all of that it just sounded like a big journal entry, which is what happens when you move, but I think the lesson is this: wherever you are dive in! If you are somewhere for 1 month, 1 week, or 1 day give it all you have. Get to know people. The more you bless others and get to know them the more you will be blessed. We were made to be in community with others so jump in, friends! 

What's community like where you are? 

Do you feel like you have a support group where you are at? 

What is a way you can serve and encourage someone today? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Favorites + My Fall Travel Goals

Fall. The season for scarves, bon fires and boots but, for Dave and I, a lot of traveling and change! I recently told Dave that we are getting a great deal on fall weather. We will be in the US for the best month of fall, October, and then when it starts to get cold we will be in Asia right back in our favorite season, summer. 




I'm joining in today with Kiki for The Cirlce Linkup where we are talking all about our 'fall favorites'. Fall this go around for me isn't so much about favorites but more about new sights and places. (Did you like how that rhymed? ha!) Dave and I will be traveling a lot over the next two months. So often when I travel I forget to spend time in The Word, time in prayer and I neglect to grow and learn. To avoid that I created a travel goal list. I know a 'list' sounds lame while traveling but I really wanted to stay focused and make the most of the time during this fall season. 

Today Dave and I start our month long trip and we are headed off for Topeka, KS! I would give you a complete mini itinerary of where we are going but to be honest, I don't know. See, Dave is great at planning US trips and I'm good at planning Asia trips. So, he planned this one and I'm along for the ride. I do know we will hit these places: St. Louis, Ohio, Niagara Falls, Boston, the New England States, NYC, Washington DC and then all the way over to Idaho. I'm excited about the various sights but I'm more excited to spend a lot of quality time with Dave, with our family and with our friends. 

With this linkup I wanted to answer some of the fun questions and then share my bucket list! 

Favorite fall fashion/clothing item (what you're looking forward to wearing). 
Let's be real now! Scarves! Scarves! Scarves! I'm a scarfaholic. I especially love them during traveling because you can wear the same outfit 3 days in a row every now and then and change the whole look with a new scarf! I also am looking forward to wearing boots! So, yes 1 pair of boots and 3-4 scarves will be in my backpack. And I do say backpack because Dave and I are driving and I'm determined to personally only take 1 backpack, 1 computer bag and my camera bag. We will have all of our camping gear to haul and our good friend Ryan is coming to meet up with us for a week so I'm trying to pack minimal and smart! Wish me luck peeps! 

Favorite fall drink
Ok - you all know I love coffee (drinking some now) but you have to hear what I found on-line. I found a subway coffee map of NYC! The only stops listed are ones where there is a coffee shop. I'm hoping I can talk Dave into stopping at some of those. I'm also looking forward to finding unique coffee shops in New England. I have a talent for being able to spot and find coffee shops on the road ;)

Favorite fall recipe
Ok - Let's talk about this one. I really love cooking. I also love cooking during camping but I like to take my time, sit around, let the food really slow cook, etc. and this trip to New England doesn't fit my 'camping / cooking criteria' and that is ok. However, I am really looking forward to being in Idaho with my sister. See, whenever we cook up something fun we send food pictures to each other of what we have made. We have been compiling a list of things we want to cook together and I'm really looking forward to cooking and baking with her.

Halloween candy or Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Get ready ... I don't like halloween candy or PSL. I guess I'm in my own weird category but we didn't have Halloween in Brazil where I grew up and I can't even stand the smell of a PSL... gasp! I'm not really a big candy eater anyways. 

Favorite fall scent 
Does the crisp fresh air count a scent? If so, that would be mine. 

What fall (weather) is like where you live
I'm hoping the weather in New England turns the trees to beautiful golden, yellow and red colors for us! I think it will be really pretty and I'm looking forward to being outside, away from technology and busy life. 

Something on your fall bucket list!
My fall travel bucket list! As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I wrote out some things I want to do while on the road. I actually spent a good amount of time thinking about this and carefully selecting what I should strive for this fall. Here are some things on my fall bucket list:

Bible Time Be in the Word Daily || Finish my Bible Study on the Life of Christ || Read Galatians through Jude

Pray: Pray Daily || Pray through my daily prayer topics || Pray Scripture || Pray specifically every day for Burma

Bible Memorization: I am going to memorize a passage but don't have one picked out yet. Any suggestions?

Quality Time with Dave: Focus on enjoying our time and trip together

Journal: Ok! I have a journal that I want to write 1-2 sentences in every day starting now through our year in Burma. I'm hoping I stick with it. 

Eat Healthy: Drink minimum of 64oz. of water each day || pick healthy options on the road and smaller portions

exercise: We will be doing a lot of hiking but I want to do a few quick workouts on my own. I have a Pinterest board full of 'on the road' workouts that I can do anywhere with zero equipment. 

Nature: Enjoy it! 

Learn: by reading (I have 2 missionary books and 3-4 audio books for this trip) || by intentionally taking the time to learn the history of the places we will be visiting. 

Share Christ: This is out of my normal traveling comfort zone but I put on the list to share Christ with someone. I've been convicted because so often I travel for myself. Missions shouldn't start with a trip to Burma it should be every day on every trip. So, I'm praying on this trip God allows me to share Christ with people. 

Bless: those we come into contact with: our family, our friends and strangers || send postcards to people.

Social Media: Less of it! Seriously. We get so. sucked. in. to social media. Ok, I get sucked in. I want to be intentional about setting my phone and computer down and just 'being' and enjoying my time with The Lord, with Dave and with who God brings us into contact with on this trip. 

That's it! I know, it's a big list, right? But I'm looking forward to it. 



What are you most looking forward to about this fall?
What's your favorite thing about the fall season? (Please don't say football)
What do you think about making lists on vacation? 

In Its Time

Monday, September 22, 2014

Missionary Mondays // Moving + Trips + Plane Tickets

Happy Monday Friends! Welcome to week 8 of a series called Missionary Mondays! Missionary Mondays are weekly updates on how God is guiding Dave and I to Myanmar (Burma) & Thailand. We hope these posts will help answer any questions but if you have any other questions please ask! We love questions. 

I'm not going to list every Missionary Monday post out anymore because the list is getting quiet long but if you want to see any of them, on the side bar there is a 'search box', if you type in 'Missionary Monday' they should all pull up for you.


It's Monday night, 8:45pm to be exact, and I'm finally sitting down and relaxing! This past week has been full! Full of friends, full of packing full of changes, moving, etc.

The picture above is Dave and I's last picture in Woodward. Last week we spent a lot of time with friends having going away parties and spending time with people we love and appreciate in our small town.

I've been packing for literally months and I still wasn't done the day of the move. I really don't know where all those darn knick knacks come from. Seriously! Someone enlighten me. Anyways, my sister and our good friend Ryan drove down to Woodward to help us finish up the details and then drive back to Wichita. It was an all day ordeal and when we finished and dropped of the Uhaul it was 9pm. It didn't hit me until the next day that we won't be going back. It's a weird feeling.

The past two days we have spent time re-organizing, going to church, seeing friends and trying to get paper work and errands done. Wednesday Dave and I head out for a big road trip. I mentioned before that Dave is trying to finish seeing all 50 states before he turns 30. He has New England and North Dakota left so we are off to see those states. Except I'm not going to North Dakota, no thanks =).

Oh and we bought air plane tickets for Asia! We leave for Thailand on Monday, November 3rd. Here is our little 30 hour trip: Kansas --> Chicago --> Seoul, South Korea --> Bangkok. I'm super excited to fly into South Korea, even if it is only for 2 hours. I'm also super excited to bow! You guys have no idea. The bowing habit does not die easy. Even last week in Woodward I almost bowed to someone and then stopped myself. That has nothing to do with our itinerary but still ... =) We will spend a few days in Bangkok with our missionary friends and then will head to home sweet home in Burma on probably Saturday (I'm going to buy those tickets after I write this post. #priorities).

I'll still be blogging while we travel but it might not be as much. I do want to keep people updated and I'm probably going to be updating Facebook and Instagram. However, one of my goals while traveling is to take a step back from social media and just be still for a while. So, if I don't respond right away you will know why. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Runners Tell All - Korean Races Recaped

Hello and welcome to September's RTA! How in the world is it September???  Runners Tell All is a monthly linkup hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie that occurs on the 21st of every month. Our goal is to build a community where we can encourage and inspire each other on our running journeys. Each month we offer two co-host options. This allows for us to connect with you, advertise your blog and it also helps fund the monthly giveaways. If you are interested in sponsoring the RTA please e-mail me at sunshine2thesquareinch {at} gmail {dot} com. September's prompt is your race bucket list and next month's theme is your most memorable running experience. 


My Race Bucket List
So, I don't have a race bucket list. I admit! There is no list. The only thing on any kind of list right now has to do with moving to Asia (November 3rd! It's soon). However, I have lived in Asia before and my race bucket list over there was to run a race or two and to do a half marathon! Today I'm going to share a little bit about those races. 

First let me tell you about some qualifications that made my school in Korea hire us 3 American teacher. Get ready! It's good. I had a degree in Spanish, but that isn't why they picked me. I had experience teaching and working with kids, that might be part of the reason they picked me, but not entirely. See, along with my required resume that I had to send to Korea I was also required to send a full head to toe picture of myself. Therefore the school owners new I looked fit and the little extra curricular activity written on my resume that said 'running' matched the full body picture. Let's just say the same laws in America when it comes to hiring don't apply there. Good thing I was fit and a runner or those kids wouldn't have learned any English ;). 

Ok! Onto the races. The first race we did was the Gyeonju Cherry Blossom 10K race. The city was a traditional looking city and the cherry blossoms were supposed to be in full bloom but it was too cold and it looked like winter. Either way, it was fun to run in Korea and I got my first medal written in Hangul. Our school owners took us and we had a really great time! 


The second big race I ran in Korea was a 1/2 marathon. A few of us expats traveled to the race and it was hands down one of my favorite Korean road trips. 

 Here is my race bib written in Hangul. I loved that the race bib had '27' in it for my 27th birthday.

This next picture is terrible quality but I have to tell you why I love it! Most races have water stops sponsored by whoever puts on the race. However, during this race, the local people came out and provided water and snacks. I thought it was so kind of them. This picture here is a group of 'ajumas' (grandmas) cheering everyone on. They were the cutest!


This race ran along the coast line for a large portion of it and I stopped a lot to try and snap some pictures. I couldn't resist. 
Korea - the year I dated long distance and made hearts for Dave <3
 post race plank! bam! 
 These girls! We had so much fun. 
um ... there was this amazing slide and I had to go down it. It was a big water slide! However, it cost money and I never carry money with me when I run so I went over there and tried to explain that it was my birthday but ... I didn't speak Korean. So, I sung happy birthday in Korean and eventually they figured out it was my birthday and then let me go down the slide. It was fun!!! Who else loves big water slides??!? 
Here is my 1/2 marathon medal. Random but did you know Hangul is one of the easiest languages to read?! I watched a youtube video and could start reading after that. Crazy, right?
This race was in Busan. We somehow managed to get TeamSparkle skirts and it was fun to run with a group of girls. The race was in a beautiful location and we got to run over a super famous bridge (whose name I forget). 

Giveaway

We have a fun giveaway for you today! We are giving away a clutch, bobby pins and $15 to iTunes. wahoo! 

*disclaimer* - if you enter and live internationally we will come up with a plan for shipping. 



Sponsors

A big welcome to our two wonderful sponsors this month: Ashley and Tracy! We hope you will stop by their blogs and say hi.
Ashley in MKE                                            Tracy Tris

Linkup Rules
1. You must leave a comment on the person's blog who linked up directly before you. This linkup is to build community by reading, commenting and encouraging one another. 
2. Only linkup posts related to the running prompt. Unrelated links directly to your homepage will be deleted. 
3. Please link back to either Beka or Amanda in your posts or use the button below. The more we have join in the merrier! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Glad Soles - The Perfect Sandal + a Giveaway


A while back I posted about my transition to Zero Drop shoes. After wearing zero drop shoes there really was no going back to 'normal' shoes. I was wondering what to do about sandals, for zero drop and Asia, and I soon discovered GladSoles - and am so glad I did! 

I have been looking for sandals for Asia that are high quality, not flip-flops, will stay on my feet, minimal and they had to be cute. The sandals also had to be snug on my feet because I can't have my sandals sliding off during rainy season in Asia. (That happened to me in Korea when I got stuck outside in a Monsoon with flip flops and they got washed away). Anyways, GladSoles fit all of my criteria! 

Let me tell you how these sandals work. First off, you trace your feet and send the tracings to GladSoles. You pick out what thickness of sole (there are 3 options), what color laces and lock you want, and they then cut out a pair of sandals customized to your drawings (which is awesome). Once you receive the sandals you get to tie the laces. I really like this because you can tie the sandals a bunch of different ways. You can also tie them tighter / looser to your preferences. After wearing them for a while the sandals begin to mold to your feet. They are super comfortable and so practical.

Man people run gin their GladSoles but I have not yet run (long distance) in mine. What have I done in them? I did a crossfit workout in them and it went really well. Come to think of it we did run about 1/2 mile in that workout. I also wear them all the time: at work, on a walk, traveling and much more! They really are comfortable and I think they are cute. I love that I can tie them a bunch of different ways.

Another thing about these sandals is the soles are Vibram and they will last forever. The sandals are also washable so if you get them dirty you can wash them when you get home and they are good as new. 


I have to give a shoutout to GladSoles because when I contacted them about a giveaway instead of just e-mailing me they took the time to call and directly speak with me about my experience with their product. They also asked lots of questions about what we will be doing in Asia and to me any company that takes time to get to know their customers is pretty darn amazing! So, thanks GladSoles!

Today I'm teaming up with GladSoles to give one lucky winner a pair of sandals. You can pick any type of GladSole you want. The contest will run today through Sunday at midnight. This giveaway is open internationally but if an international winner wins they must pay $19.95 for shipping. The winner will be verified and will have 48 hours to respond via e-mail. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also a coupon for 15% off any sandal of your choice. The code is 'sunshine' (all lower caps). 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Missionary Mondays // the work | the need

Happy Monday Friends! Welcome to week 6 of a series called Missionary Mondays! Missionary Mondays are weekly updates on how God is guiding Dave and I to Myanmar (Burma) & Thailand. We hope these posts will help answer any questions but if you have any other questions please ask! We love questions. 

Today I'm sharing about the ministries already established in Burma, what we will be doing and the great need that exists. 


For previous updates please read the following:

Week 1- A recap on meeting the Holmes who serve in Thailand + an overview of the ministry there.
Week 2 - What are you willing to eat for the sake of the gospel?
Week 3 - Why Myanmar (Burma)
Week 4 - Prayer Requests & Our Upcoming Travel Plans
Week 5 - Our Prayer Cards
Week 6 - Fashion & Safety
Overdue Update - This gives a general overview of our upcoming move and plans.
Pam & Zama in Myanmar - The people we are going to serve with in Myanmar have been so kind as to write a blog post all about the work they are doing over there. I hope you will check it out.


The School + Medical Clinic
Our friends in Burma, that we will be working with, have established a school called Step Centre for Academics and currently have 267 students. Many of the students attending are Buddhist kids. They receive a great education and are presented with the gospel throughout their education. The school is known for their excellent academics and strict standards. They are so well respected in the area that they have 150 kids on the waiting list.  That's a lot of kids waiting!

Pam and Zama, the ones who run the school, currently rent a building for the school and a house next door, which they live in. The original desire for the school property was to run the school and establish a medical clinic there as well. However, with 267 students and 150 more on the waiting list every space is being utilized for classes right now. Even Pam & Zama convert some of the rooms in their house for school during the day.

The Economics + The Need
Due to the US lifting sanctions on Burma the price of land has sky rocketed! Pam and Zama are paying astronomical rent prices! Their desire is to purchase land where they can build a large school, a medical clinic and housing. They were looking at land near the current school location and the original cost was $1+ million dollars. Today? Well, that same piece of land is over $16million. Little expensive, eh?

Recently one of the student's parents offered a piece of land to Pam and Zama (see picture above). It is 4 acres, has been surveyed to build upon and has 2 electric poles. Apparently getting land surveyed with electric poles there is miraculous. The land would be a perfect place to establish a school, clinic and house. What is the cost of this piece of land? ... $500,000 aka pocket change to God! I know that number is huge but I know if God wants the school to have that land He will provide! No doubts about it.

I really have a big heart to somehow get the word out about this need. It isn't because of the building, it isn't because of the clinic, and it isn't about housing - it's about the 150 kids on the waiting list. It's about the people who could be cared for medically. See, each person represents a soul. Those 150 kids need to hear the gospel and right now they can't because there isn't room and that breaks my heart. Would you pray that God would provide so these people can hear about Jesus and the gospel?

What Dave and I will be Doing
Our big goal and desire is to set up a medical clinic. However, with space limited, we don't know how that will all work out. We might just 'set up' clinic, serve people, and tear it down. We also might go into villages and provide medical care to people who desperately need it. Dave told me that some people in villages have never seen a nurse or doctor! We also want to go to some orphanages and do clinics there. #MeltMyHeart #WontWantToLeave

Another area we will be helping in is at the school: training the teachers, cleaning, teaching, whatever they need done! I'm just really excited to serve there and help where needed. To be honest, we don't know everything we will be doing and that is ok. We know we are called to go there and God will open and close doors for us - day by day.

You
I'm not going to write and beg anyone to give but if you do feel led to give or want to help me pray and get the word out about the work in Myanmar please let me know. My head is spinning with ideas. =)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Life Lately #22

A Kansas sunrise

Hi Friends! 

This is one of those posts where I feel like there is so much to share and I really do wish I could sit down with each person and talk and share about life but since I can't a post will have to do. So grab a cup of coffee and join me! 

Last weekend Dave and I went to Wichita. Dave spoke at church and he shared his life story. I knew something important was going on during his sermon prep because he would ask for me to get the journals that we wrote to each other when we dated long distance. I snooped and figured out that he was sharing his life story so I invited all our family and friends to come here him speak. I couldn't of been more proud of Dave. 

He shared about his childhood, about how God brought him and I together, about the loss of his Mom and how God has guided us to missions. I think what stands out to me the most is that through the hardest times of Dave's life he has chosen to praise the Lord through it. It doesn't mean he didn't question and hurt, but through it all he allowed God to shape and mold him. Oh and he wore a suit and we matched. I always make try and make us match when he speaks. =) I think it's fun! 

This past weekend was also our last weekend to travel home before we move. We will be home again to visit but it sure was weird to get up this past Monday knowing that it was our last time to drive down to Woodward. 

I have such mixed emotions about leaving Woodward. I know it is time to go but I'm sure going to miss this town. I think I'm the most sad about leaving my good friend Kinzie and cute little Isaac (and soon Liam). However, I'm so thankful for our time here. God has given me rest, a lot of free time, some really great friends, and a wonderful start of married life with Dave here.


Since we are moving I've been cooking more foods. I know I won't be cooking as much so I'm trying to get it all in before I move. It seems that a new thing I've been doing is finding the farmers market whenever we travel. This okra was from Tahlequah, OK and I cooked it with some potatoes, onions, and lots of bacon. What have you been cooking lately? 


I gave my cat away. Sometimes I feel weird blogging about pets but to be honest I've had my cat for 7 years and I really love him. He is a one-of-a-kind cat and I knew finding a home for him would be hard. I prayed and asked God to help us and God came through! I'll admit I worried because I didn't want him to have to go to the pound. Long story short a lady ahd been praying for a cat for a year and when she saw Milo she new she wanted him. It was the perfect fit and Milo really liked her. I'm thankful God was so kind and cared even about my pets. Here is Dave's last picture with Milo. ha ha! 


Dave and I have 1 week left here in Woodward. We will be seeing friends, packing and spending some down time before we move. I'm ready to travel and then move to Burma! I don't like all the transision parts but I know that is part of the process.  

For some reason I feel like Burma and missions is where I belong. It's almost like I'll be moving to where I belong (for now). I have no idea why I feel that way but I'm glad I do. Until that time comes though I'll be soaking up sweet time with friends, family and nephews, nephews, nephews! I've been more sad about saying bye to family this go around but I know everything will work out just fine.

So that's my life in a nutshell right now - tell me about yours! What are you enjoying right now? Is it getting cool where you are at? 
Dearest Love

Monday, September 8, 2014

Missionary Mondays // Fashion & Safety

Happy Monday Friends! Welcome to week 6 of a series called Missionary Mondays! Missionary Mondays are weekly updates on how God is guiding Dave and I to Myanmar (Burma) & Thailand. We hope these posts will help answer any questions but if you have any other questions please ask! We love questions. 


For previous updates please read the following:

Week 1- A recap on meeting the Holmes who serve in Thailand + an overview of the ministry there.
Week 2 - What are you willing to eat for the sake of the gospel?
Week 3 - Why Myanmar (Burma)
Week 4 - Prayer Requests & Our Upcoming Travel Plans
Overdue Update - This gives a general overview of our upcoming move and plans.
Pam & Zama in Myanmar - The people we are going to serve with in Myanmar have been so kind as to write a blog post all about the work they are doing over there. I hope you will check it out.


Today I'm addressing 2 topics: fashion & safety. Fashion because I'm having to revamp my wardrobe and safety because I've been asked about that a lot. 

Let’s start with fashion. In America it seems that 'anything goes' however that is not true in many other countries. Asia, in general, is much more modest than America. In Korea they preferred for you to cover your shoulders and collar bones (but you could wear the shortest skirts and shorts ever…weird!). Part of covering their skin is modesty and part of it is protecting their skin from the sun.

One time in Korea my family came to visit and I was giving them a walking tour of Busan (a large city near where I lived). It was hot and there was no way I was going to treck around town in sleeves and pants so I had on a pair of shorts, a tube top shirt and I was wearing a backpack. Generally Busan is more laid back with clothing… or so I thought. In the middle of our tour this little old granny came up to me and start whacking me, hard! She was screaming in Korean, was pointing at the sun and then would point at my shoulders.  It was a sight to see you guys but I'll never forget it. I think the old granny thought I was scorching my skin to death. 

I have been told by my friend in Burma that their society is much more modest than the other Asian countries. Apparently a famous singer there wore spaghetti straps to her concert and the government had a fit about her immodesty. As a consequence they gave her two options: go to jail for 3 months or shave her head and go to a Buddhist monastery for 1 month. I guess she shaved her head and lived in a monastery.

I believe that if you go to a certain country you should do your best to adhere to their cultural standards (although I failed to do that in Busan). I also know we are doing mission work and there are standards with that too. So, to accommodate this I have been getting a ton of maxi skirts, long dresses, longer shorts and loose fitting capris.

Here are a few of my finds:

skirt: TJMaxx // shirt: JCPenney  -  I love the ombre stripes in this skirt!
skirt from Gap Outlet

Oh and you should know that under these maxi skirts I’ll be wearing spandex shorts! Apparently it’s hot and humid in Burma and the skinniest of girls (think thigh gap girls) get chaffed inner thighs. Um... no thanks! I’ve had that before with running and  I’m going to spandex it up under the skirts to hopefully avoid chaffing. 


This black dress is from EShakti and will be great for Asia. The company offered a dress to me that I could customize. I liked it because I could pick the length of the skirt, the length of the sleeves and the options to add pockets. I designed it with Asia in mind! 

I bought these capris and let's just say when I put them on and Dave saw me in them it did not go over well. He did not love these capris. So, they are going back but unfortunately for Dave I ordered a pair of black and blue capris from Old Navy. =)


Anyone have any other fashion ideas for me that will work with Asia?

Safety

Let’s address the safety issues. These questions/comments have come up more than any other:
“Will you be safe in Burma?”
“Are you near the Muslims who are extreme?”
“Will you be near all the fighting that is going on?”
“I’m praying for your safety!”

I completely understand those questions but the more I get asked them the more it makes me think. First off, Burma is primarily Buddhist and they usually are peaceful. I also know the Burmese government treats foreigners just fine and I’m not too worried or afraid about safety.

What am I worried about? ….. mosquitos!!! It’s true. Dengue fever is prevalent in that area of the world and there isn’t a vaccine for it yet. I really don’t love being sick.

Back to safety … I do think we should take precautions to be safe but what if it isn’t safe?  To that I shrug my shoulders and say “So what?” (I hope that isn't too rude). I still believe if you are called – go! What if Jesus asked God that question before coming down to Earth? He came to a super dangerous world that actually tortured and crucified Him. Jesus said we aren’t greater than Him and if they persecuted Him they will persecute us. Now, I’m not telling you I want to be captured and tortured. Heck no I don’t! I think that would be scary. The dying part doesn’t scare me just the torture before part. So, I guess what I am getting at is that we are going to take precautions to be safe, and if we aren’t God will help us if we ever reach that point.


If you want to pray for safety we truly do appreciate it and prayer is always good but would you mind praying that the 10 bottles of bug killer I’m going to take will kill every mosquito that comes within vicinity of us? =)  

That's it for today friends! What are you thoughts on safety? Anyone have any fashion tips? Also, if you missed last week I have prayer cards to send out and if you want one shoot me an e-mail and I'll get you one. 

Linking up with Chantel from A Harvest of Blessing

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