Saturday, August 27, 2011

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!...The LORD Almighty is here among us; the God is Israel is our fortress.
-Psalm 46:1-3, 11.

Wow wow wow.

My first week of college is officially completed! And MAN am I in need of some serious sleep. This week has been SO crazy, and awesome, and stressful, and exciting, and frustrating, and full of joy!
I am SO SO SO pleased with my choice of coming here.
All it took was a week for my mind to have the reassurance I needed. It really is great to be at Harding.

So Thursday I woke up and we left about 7 o'clock in order to get to Searcy and move in by the time Impact began full-swing. After 5 hours of driving I started to get SUPER sleepy, so my dad had to finish the trip for me. It was such a strange feeling pulling into the campus, no longer a visitor, but as a student!

I got all of my things into my room super easily thanks to the football players, and began to unpack right away. It was super surreal and scary. I was unpacking my things to stay! It's not just camp or a retreat anymore, it's my life now! And actually moving myself in to live in that reality for the next 4 years is a weird, weird thing. Thinking about home and the fact that when I go back it will only be to visit. I don't officially LIVE at my house anymore! Whenever I go, it'll only be to visit. This is considered my home now!

I finished unpacking and hung out with my family and with my roommate and suite-mate. The energy on campus made the day go a lot smoother than I was expecting. Seeing everybody else excited about being at Harding took my mind off of the worry and made it focus on the positive. And there IS so much positive to focus on here!
My mom came Friday night with my clothes, and I finished moving everything in. The first night wasn't scary at all! It just felt like a sleepover or something! I didn't feel like everything was permanent. And to be honest it still doesn't!

Our room is black and white with turquoise, and it is super super cute! :)

All the pictures make it feel like all my friends are with me! :)

The first night my roommate, Bridget, suite-mate, Ashley, and I just hung out in the dorms because we were so tired from the day! But from the next morning on it was going going going.

The freshmen move in over the weekend, so Harding has an event called "Impact" just to get us involved and friendly with new people! Dinners, functions, energy groups, bands, and meet and greets. So much fun stuff to do, you really couldn't do it all! I was really nervous, because it is not in my personality to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out on a limb, hoping the person I'm talking to is friendly back. So the first two days were NOT fun. I just felt so out of place and homesick. Saturday morning my parents left, and that was hard. Saying goodbye to my Dad, Mom, Mags, and Alex was almost too much. Knowing it was the end of the road for us as the family I've always known, and the beginning of me discovering myself and learning how to make this college thing work.

The weather. Oh the weather. It feels like 95 with humidity that makes it seem 105. My hair never ever curls up in humidity, but the first few days have made my hair wave! It's insane! And we aren't allowed to wear shorts to class, so it's been jeans for me all week! No fun!

Then Saturday night we had a function called "The White Party" for dinner. Our freshman theme is "So Fresh and So Clean", so they threw us a "fresh and clean" dinner to end Impact. I met up with some girls that Lindsey had interned for before, and we went to it! It was so cool seeing all the white! So we're standing in line talking, and I asked these two girls behind us to take mine and the girls I was standing with's picture. She did and we started talking and they were the sweetest girls in the world! And actually we're all best friends now! Brittany and Paige are so outgoing and precious, and they have most definitely turned my time at Harding around! I was worried about how things would go (which is a bad idea because God always seems to make me feel silly for it when He provides later), but since I've hung out with them, meeting (literally) more people than I could count, I've had such a blast and my anxiety is completely gone. We just laugh and laugh and laugh together, and that's exactly what I needed.

Sunday night me, a couple other girls, and Brittany and Paige sat out in the hall and were just talking, and we decided to have a dance party! We danced to the Cha Cha Slide and the Cupid Shuffle. It was too funny. And eventually more girls came and joined us! So great.

So the weekend passed andddd we get to classes. All of my teachers are nice! My favorite is absolutely my Speech teacher, Dr. Frye. He is so so funny and cracks up at himself! And you can tell he has so much wisdom and insight to share.

What surprised me the most about classes is how much READING we have to do! Three of my teachers' assignment on the first day was to read chapter one. Now a chapter doesn't sound too bad, but when you've got THREE to read, and psychology's first chapter is 30 pages, that's a lot! Especially when there are a ton of friends you would much rather hang out with!

Note to self: time balance=killer priority in college.

I've only had one quiz so far, and it was in Bible.
I love my Bible class. Every day we sing a hymn before we get started, and then we just listen to Mr. Cloer lecture. It sounds boring, but it's actually interesting. It's so cool learning about the church and the traditions of old. It truly is such a blessing to be able to go to a school that can actually teach me the most important lessons of life.

So the classes haven't been TOO bad, it's just the assignments that kick my booty!

Thursday night we had a drive-in movie on the front lawn to Space Jam, which I've never seen, but one of my friends texted me and told me there was something called "Racquetball Devo" going on at 9. So Paige, Brittany, and I left and went to it! IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE. A ton of us crammed into this little racquetball room and just sang and sang and sang. The echo was so beautiful. I couldn't help but think that if THIS sounded so amazing, I can't wait to hear the chorus in Heaven. Because it really did blow me away. I videoed probably 5 songs, but here's just one to give you an idea.

Amazing, right? And it was lead by students! No lesson. No devotional thought. Just singing.

College has been such an amazing time so far. With the Sonic and Wal-mart runs, deep conversations with my guy and girl friends about spiritual things, laughing, taking fun pictures, and meeting so many incredible people. And there are SO many incredible people here. Everyone is so nice and friendly. I've made SO many friends and it's only been a week! I whole-heartedly love Harding and have yet to feel sad away from home! I think it's just because I'm so busy, my mind hasn't had time to wander and dwell on what I'm missing, but I would much rather it be that way instead of missing them all the time!

Well! I think that's about it for my first week! I'm so so excited to be here! I'm just really going to have to buckle down and study a lot. Speaking of, I've had a lot of hesitation in my mind come up about my major. I'm only in Chem 114, and I'm already kind of struggling with keeping up since it all moves so fast. There are a lot of concepts that I'm not understanding, and we have to rush through them to complete the lesson for the day since there's so much. And it's the easiest science class I'm ever going to have! I don't know. Maybe it's a way the Holy Spirit is communicating to me early that I'm going to need His strength for college to be successful. For my career hopes to be successful. Maybe I just need to tough it out and find myself on my knees for a couple weeks before I seriously consider changing. But until I know, the joy God has given me this week will be my strength!

Until next time!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Insisting on snippets when there's a whole symphony to be heard.

Blog-surfing is way too much fun.
I love reading posts whether they be by strangers or my best friends.
Like the moments when I read something by someone I know, and I can picture them saying it. When I can picture EXACTLY what tone they were thinking in their head when they wrote it. It's so funny how personality can shine even through letters on a computer screen.

So I'm just looking around enjoying my last few days (7 to be exact) before the quizzes and tests and papers and assignments and essays and powerpoints and research and memorizing and big decisions and friend-making and pledging and MOVING all hit me at once. Yeah. Whoa.

So I ran up on a couple of things. And, as always, my mind was blown.
You know, like those Francis Chan/David Platt moments where they make such complex ideas seem so tangible and available to even someone as common as me.
Those moments that make you go, "OHHH! Nnnnnow I get it! Wait....but that's uncomfortable."

Yeah. That happened.
In about 10 minutes.'s a little "Food for Thought Thursday" action.
Be prepared: It's deep.
Be challenged.

The first thing:

I was looking around on some posts by Chris Seidman. He was the speaker at Impact this past summer and his abilities to communicate and draw out Scripture is unlike anything I've heard. He paints pictures and explains images by using completely relatable things. Not dumbed down things. But really good understandable encounters. Great great great things to say. The way he thinks is how I think, so every night he talked I was all ears. He can get loud. And some people have a peeve against that when it comes to preaching, but it's ok with me. I mean, my voice tends to get louder when I talk about things I'm passionate about. Everyone does if you pay attention close enough. You want to be heard. You want others to see why what you love is worth it. I figure it's the same concept.

So his post mentioned how he has stopped reading the Bible in verses and fragments of chapters, and then posted the link to a video.
And, of course, it was super intriguing. In fact, I watched it twice.
Which I never do. But what the man in the clip was saying was so full of insight and wisdom, you can't help but want to make sure you catch every piece of it.


If you've ever had trouble reading Scripture--whether it be because it didn't make sense, it seemed redundant, inactive, pointless, or even annoying, this video is for you.

And if you've never found yourself in any of those categories, then we need to go get some coffee. Cause I bet you're a super cool person with a boatload of wisdom.

The Whole Sweep of Scripture.

Second thing:

After watching the video twice I continued to do just a tad bit more surfing before I hit the hay.
What's interesting to me about blogger is that at the top of the screen where you have the option to follow someone, there's a button that says "Next Blog". When you click it, blogger somehow knows the nature of the blog you're looking at and will send you to another completely random blog that more than likely talks about the same kind of topic you're looking at. For example, if you're looking at a photography blog and click "Next Blog" in about 3 seconds you'll find yourself looking at a graphic design/craft idea/photography blog by someone from New Jersey. It's really neat.

So I did that and I came across this:

Jon Andrews: Questions

The last one was what struck me the hardest.

Are we really getting it?

Shouldn't we be the safe-haven? The place where all kinds of brokenness come together like pieces to a puzzle, that only when we agree to fit and perform together, make the whole?

How did we miss this? That BEING a Christian is more important than appearing to be one. That ACTUALLY asking yourself in all circumstances, "What would Christ Himself do?" rather than just wear the bracelet.
"If we as Christians loved our enemies more, we probably wouldn't need as many bumper stickers and t-shirts telling people who we are."- Chris Seidman.

Like I said, deep but good stuff.
Think about it. Dwell on it. Take a break and then mull it over some more.

I'll be back soon to talk about the CRAZINESS of moving out.
SO SO SO soon.

When did I grow up again?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 12: Ephesians 6:10-12

"And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels."
-Ephesians 6:10-12

Tuesday; July 12, 2011
11:15 P.M.

I am back home!

What an amazing trip.

We finally landed in ATL and the Birmingham about 10:05! What an awesome feeling it was to see my family. I got some amazing rest last night and gave my family their presents today as soon as my dad got home from work. They loved them! :)

We had a BBQ dinner tonight with Alex's family. It's always a good day when I spend time with them.

I've done so much thinking about the trip today. The kids' faces are constantly scrolling through my mind. I feel as if a piece of my heart is missing.

It's never felt better laying in my own bed and eating some awesome food that I KNOW tastes good before I put it in my mouth :) But I really feel like something's missing.

So many memories.

So much joy when I look at my pictures. Tears when I watch my videos and hear those voices!

And to think.
This is just the beginning.

Day 11: Isaiah 41:8-10

"But you, Israel, are my servant. You're Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world,  called you in from every dark corner of the earth, telling you, 'You're my servant, serving on my side. I've picked you. I haven't dropped you.' Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you."
-Isaiah 41:8-10

Monday; July 11, 2011
12:10 P.M.


It feels so good!
Towards the end everyone began to feel super antsy.

Sunday I woke up and hour and a half early because I couldn't go back to sleep because of my excitement! We packed up, ate breakfast, and went to church in the slums. The service ended up being about 3 hours, definitely the longest service I've ever been a part of, but I wouldn't trade it for a service like we have back home for anything.
MAN do Kenyans know how to worship!
There was a woman in front of us just weeping and weeping during a song. People clapping, swaying, dancing, hands raised high, crying, shouts of joy, smiling, whispering. Literally NO ONE looking around seeing what everyone else was doing or if anyone was looking at what they were doing. It was such an unforgettable thing to be able to be a part of.

A woman started a train around the seats in one of their celebration songs! It was SO SO SO cool!

The lesson was done by a white man from the States that was also visiting Kenya. After the lesson we left and went to eat lunch at an American missionary's house. She, her husband, and another missionary couple fixed us spaghetti, lasagna, brownies, ice cream, and sweet tea! It. Was. Heavenly. I mean, it was WONDERFUL!
We sat and talked about organizations and the mission work opportunities going on in Kenya and even around the world. It was really encouraging to me because it reminded me that I'm not alone in my wants for the world. There are others with the same vision, and they're making it happen!

We left the house and headed back to our hotel to change and rest before our trip to the airport.

After about an hour and a half at the hotel, we left!
We arrived at the airport around 6 and had our bags checked and ready by 7!
It was awesome. We chilled and walked around, and Alex, Ryan Roop, Allan Oloo, Brennen Hollingsworth, and I ate at Java House for dinner. I got  chicken burrito and IT WAS SERIOUSLY AWESOME. With the guacamole? Mmmm mmm MMM!

Our flight was supposed to depart around 11:15 P.M. but we didn't leave until 12!
We flew for 8 hours, laid over in London for 3 hours, and are now back on an 8 hour flight headed towards D.C.! Only one hour left until we land! I'm pumped to touch homeland soil! :)


Day 10: Isaiah 33:2

"Lord, have mercy on us. We have put our hope in you. Protect us day by day and save us in times of trouble."
-Isaiah 33:2

Saturday; July 9, 2011
10:21 P.M.

I can't believe we're going home TOMORROW! It literally feels like I've been here for months.
But not in a torturous held-hostage kind of way. In a good way. Which I've never felt before.

Today I woke up around 6 and COULD not go back to sleep for the life of me! I haven't slept all the way through a single night since I've been here! So I laid in bed for about an hour and a half and then got up to get ready for the day.

I ate a couple bites of pineapple for breakfast and then we left for the youth center again! Traffic took an hour! But it actually wasn't that bad! My crew was having fun laughing and giggling together as our last day. But we finally got there and got to work. I painted the entire day up until the last 20 minutes or so before we left.

Me, Amber, Allan, and Linda all were painting the second floor classroom and having WAY too much fun! We were singing "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys, "Firework" by Katy Perry, and basically anything and everything else! It was so much fun because we were all harmonizing while trying to sing as off key as we could. They all are so much fun :) I'm going to miss them.

A young African girl in the eighth grade came into our room we were painting upstairs because she heard us singing "I Want It That Way". Her name was Rehema and she was such a sweet spirit. She wanted us to sing and sing and sing that song until she memorized it. And she did! I was super impressed. So we started talking and I asked her what she wanted to be and she said a neuro-surgeon. She said she wants to hopefully visit America since so many American are able to come visit Africa. She wants to see what it's like since we're able to see what Africa's like. She said, "So many people come here and say they love our country and I want to go to America and say the same!" Her voice was so sweet. She hung out with us the rest of the day and actually went and found some paper and a pen and got us to sing the song one more time so she could write down the lyrics just in case she forgot them. I didn't mind singing for her again though. It was too much fun :)

Our group went downstairs after finishing our room and helped with another one. After a while my eyes started burning so I went outside for a breather away from the paint thinner. Alex was shocked at how dilated my pupils were. Apparently that's a sign that someone is becoming high, so I figured I should probably stop for the rest of the day, haha. But the last day of work was really great.

We left, fought traffic again, came back to the hotel, ate lunch, and then left for the market. The market was really fun! I finished ALL my gift shopping which made me super happy! It made me even more excited to get home so I can see my family's faces when I give them their gifts! I love giving gifts that I picked out myself that I think are absolutely perfect for them, and seeing people's reaction!

We left the market and headed back to the hotel to eat dinner and have our team meeting. Rob talked about 2 Timothy 3:12 and how if we're not experiencing persecution, and especially if we haven't ever experienced it, we're not living godly lifestyles. It was so good. As usual. And so true.

After our meeting we each got a copy of the group picture we took at Carnivore and then went downstairs to the hotel restaurant and watched a DVD of all the pictures Kent had taken of our trip! Well, I say all, but I mean the 640 he chose out of the thousands he took. They were all super great.

But, I'm ready for a great full day tomorrow! Bring on the travel day!
I'm ready to see my fam!!!


Day 9: Psalm 118:14

"The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

-Psalm 118:14

Friday; July 8, 2011
10:00 P.M.

Man my days are getting mixed up! I can't remember what day it is, what the date is, or anything! Anyway!
Today was a fantastic day! You're surprised I know! ;)

We woke up, ate an awesome breakfast (omelets here are my fave), and set out for our work site!
Today it was in the slums at a Baptist Youth Center. 

The Youth Center is a school for grades K-8 and there's this huge dump behind it.

The building to the right is the school, to the left
is a classroom, and behind are the miles of trash
constantly being burned.

What's worse is that the center is right in the middle of the slums in Nairobi. The slums consisted of tin house after tin house. Well, I say "house" but it's really a 4x10 foot shack. Walls made out of squares of tin nailed together. My mind can't even wrap around the fact that people live like that. Breathe that kind of air. Sleep where there is absolutely no safety or guarantee from harm. Go through other people's trash for clothes, tools, and food.

When we got out of the van the smell was almost unbearable.
But after a while you got used to it.

All the girls decided we needed to go to the bathroom, so one of the office ladies led us to them. They were outside. We were shocked to say the least. We walked into this building that had probably 8 outhouses all connected together, and it smelled like feces of all kind.

I walked in to use the bathroom (it was a must) hoping to find a porcelain looking rim, but it was in the actual ground.
And the floor was wet all over (and not from water, if you catch my drift).
So...the girls used the squatting technique Mrs. Leigh Ann showed us a few days ago :)

There was a little girl that came to use the bathroom while we were all waiting for all of our girls to get done. She shaked all of our hands and smiled THE cutest little smile. She walked past us to use the bathroom and fell down on the rocks that led up to the "stall" (which were wet and discolored...also not from water). She then stood up, looked at her hands, and wiped whatever she got on them on the stall door. All the way down the door frame.

The little princess....pre-fall. Haha :)

There is nothing sanitary, nor safe about that place for it to be an environment for human beings. Let alone children.

After the bathroom trip, we went up to Pastor Euticauls Wambua's office in the school (he also serves as the principal) and had a meeting with him. He told us a little about the school's history and how it came to be. He hopes for it to turn into a high school soon. We then prayed and broke off into our crews and started to paint. We talked to some girls and then I went upstairs and helped. We painted the yellow classroom walls light blue! It was super pretty.

After a few minutes of painting, me, Amber, and Linda got to go into the Kindergarden class and they sang us SO many songs! There wasn't even a teacher in the room with us to start any of them either! They just kept going one after another. It was so so cute. A teacher eventually came in there with us and we talked about Jonah and the big fish and then David and Goliath. We danced with them too :)
I love their excitement for life. It is just too innocent and it makes me jealous! I wish I had that kind of zeal and passion. And to have it all the time just for the sake of it! No reason at all except for the joy in the fact that their alive! I mean, you KNOW they have no reason to be happy. But these children have already learned that happiness comes from more than their circumstance.

Again, we come to teach THEM, yet we get schooled ourselves. Today, by Kindergardeners. God has such a sense of humor, doesn't He?

We finished up painting, took a group picture with all of the kids, and headed to the market.
I bought 90% of my gifts today! :) For lunch I ate some ice cream and it was really awesome! I counted up how much I spent today and I got 2 baskets for my mom, a bracelet, a keychain, a carved elephant about the size of half of a football for my dad, a little carved elephant for my mom, a wallet for Maggie, a purse for Lindsey, and some coffee for my Dad, all under $100! I love the cheap-ness of living here!

So we left there and I started to feel super sick.
So much so, that after 15 minutes of standstill traffic, I had to get out. I started to sweat and and have chills at the same time, and I knew something wasn't right. So our driver, sweet sweet Charles, pulled over and Mr. Randy helped me find a restroom.

We finally got back to the hotel afterwards and I was feeling a lot better.
Me and Amber got ready to go eat at Carnivore.
It. Was. Fantastic. And amazing. And incredible!
Each table has a little flag that you keep up if you want them to keep bringing you meat. Tonight they had leek/potato soup, rump steak, leg of lamb, leg of pork, pork sausages, lamb chops, pork spare ribs, chicken wings, chicken yakitori, chicken livers, ox testicles, chicken gizzards, lamb sausage, turkey, lamb liver, camel, crocodile, ostrich meat balls, and a potato!

The only thing I remember saying no to were the ox testicles (of course), and the lamb liver I think!
The things that were actually good was the chicken, the beef, spare ribs, turkey, camel, crocodile, and the potato! Everything else was good those just stood out the most! There wasn't anything I tasted that I just couldn't swallow! For dessert I had strawberry and passion fruit sorbet which was very good, and some coffee which was outstanding. Overall, the meal was fantastic! Best meal since we've been here by far!

We left Carnivore and came back to the hotel. We met together as a group and Rob talked about how we can keep the camp fire alive after camp is over. He led us to different Scriptures that all linked together in these truths:

1) When we enter His gates with thanksgiving and worship, we experience His presence.
2) When we have His presence, we receive His joy.
3) That joy of the Lord is our strength.
4) In that strength we are able to resist the Enemy and seek God's paths.
5) Because of our resistance of Satan, we are able to have abundant life to the brim.

It all kind of worked as a chain reaction type thing! Like I said, Rob is such a good communicator and teacher.

But now we're off to bed! Water still gets on the floor from the shower, but it's nothing that a couple of towels from the front desk won't fix!

It feels like I've been in Africa for months.
But it's not a bad thing.
It's like a, this is almost beginning to feel like home kind of thing.


Day 8: Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

-Psalm 73:26
Thursday; July 7, 2011

So last night I finished journaling and went to get a shower!
Well...the water wouldn't turn on.
Apparently when the power went off last night, the water went off with it! I waited and waited for probably 30 minutes with Alex. We went downstairs to see if it would be fixed soon and they said it should be! Long story short, we waited even longer and they ended up saying it wouldn't be fixed before the morning, so I had to bathe in a bowl of water! Haha Alex was a sweetheart as always and helped me wash my hair by pouring water over my head while I was on my knees in the floor with my head hanging over a bowl! I was so ready to get to bed last night, I was in such an awful mood! But after I finished washing in the bowl, I got out and Alex read me Psalm 119 and I was in a better mood.

I went to bed after that and woke up 15 minutes before my alarm, which was good because it gave me some time to just sit and think about this past week. Just reflect on what's all happened. The kids. The joy. The change that needs to take place inside of me.

I got a text from my dad and it was the best news I've gotten all week. Literally.

Before I left Africa my mom told me that Leona, a woman that lives near my school that I've been getting to know and hanging out with, had called her. Leona is what you would call a "ragin' Cajun". She's from Louisiana and is a Hurricane Katrina victim. She lost nearly everything in the storm and moved down to Tuscaloosa with her husband ready for something new. She's been here almost 6 years and since then her husband has passed away. Leona is Jewish and has a heart of gold. Not to mention quite the cook! 

She has such a special strength about her. I love her stories about the old days when she worked in a hotel restaurant, and all the interesting (and famous!) people she was able to meet!
Anyway, since I've met her I've been praying for her. Particularly within the past couple of months. 
Rob Cain, the leader of our group here, was my Bible teacher this past year. One day in class he talked about faith and the power of prayer. He said something that has stuck with me since. He talked about when our prayers feel like they stop at the ceiling, we need to stop and evaluate our level of faith and actual belief in what we're praying for. He referred to James 4:3 and then the conversation turned to us thinking about people who we know don't have Christ in their life. He said if we would pray actually BELIEVING that God cares and that He WILL answer, then that is when He shows up and shows out! Rob told us to pray with the expectation that God will answer. With a BIG answer!

Two people automatically came to my mind while he was talking: my grandfather and Leona. Since then I've prayed to God asking that He show the truth to her and my grandfather and that He would reveal Himself and stop hiding! And then I figured I would do exactly what Rob said, and actually BELIEVE that God would do something! So when I prayed, I would thank Him in advance for His answer! I didn't pray every day, but my prayers did become more consistent over the past month.
Back to the story. 

My mom told me that Leona had called her saying that she had come to a crossroad in her life and needed someone to talk to. She said, "It's not about marriage. It's not about a man. It's about my religion."  


We pray for things we want, but do we actually believe they will happen? I decided that when I would pray, instead of going through the motions of a usual request, I would ASK. Ask as in BELIEVE something would happen. And it did!!
You hear these stories happen, but when it happens to you first-hand, faith and trust in His plans become real. They solidify. I told my mom I would be praying for her while I was gone because I knew the spiritual warfare would just be ridiculous. So I did randomly throughout the week and the day that her and my mom were going to meet up for lunch. 

SO! The news.

I got a text from my dad that said,
"Mama had lunch with Leona today, and she told Mamma that she had accepted Christ!"

OUR GOD IS ALIVE PEOPLE! I about had a breakdown. This woman that I love will be rejoicing with me in Heaven! Hallelujah! 
I can't wait to get home to talk to her.

SO! I just looked through my journal and today's entry is already 4.5 pages long, and I haven't even written about today yet!
I woke up with some extra time, prayed, and THANKED God for what He did in Leona!
Me and Amb got up at 3:30 A.M. and we were both packed, dressed, and ready by 4:15ish. We did amazing basically! Haha so we went downstairs, left our bags in the lobby, and went to breakfast! I didn't eat because I wasn't hungry at all. After that we loaded up and rode on THE bumpiest road ever for 3 hours! It. Was. Crazy. But hilarious at the same time! Me and Amber couldn't do anything but laugh. 

We finally got to the safari place and there were monkeys all over the place! A girl in our group fed one an Oreo, so of course they all came. 

I was so scared because they were all starting to come closer and closer and surround us! Jumping on logs, climbing and sitting, on the vans, so I got in the van with Robyn and Alex because they were all over the place! But! We forgot our safari van roof was popped open, and one of the monkeys came in our van and took Rob's peanut butter crackers! It was SO scary!

After screaming and holding each other, we got out, took a group picture, and set out on our safari. It was so beautiful. We saw tons of zebra, water buffalo, water bucks, impala, flamingos, storks, 2 lions, giraffes, rhinos, koalas, ostriches, baboons galore, and a crazy looking lizard! The scenery was beautiful.

We rode up this mountain and stopped at a gazebo/picnic spot and sat and looked over this breathtaking view. It was absolutely remarkable.

We stopped and ate lunch at a super nice hotel that was in the actual game park.
It would be a great honeymoon spot :)

I got fish fingers with slaw and french fries. It was INCREDIBLE! The fries tasted American! It was delicious!

And now we're back on the road for another 3 hours!

**Just for a mental note, if you were wondering, it's a wonder car wrecks aren't the leading cause of death in this country. These people are NUTS! They pass each other with cars coming head-on like no big deal! 

I'll write later tonight! Hopefully! ;)

10:30 P.M.

We finally got here!! Finally!
We got our rooms and OH my goodness they look like HEAVEN.
Two separate beds, a toilet that flushes, hot water, and an actual shower! :)
We ate dinner (I just had some pasta and chicken) and then came to bed!

I took a shower tonight and water is EVERYWHERE! It got alllll over the floor in the bathroom and is leaking out into our room! And neither me nor Amber know how! The curtain was completely closed while the shower was running! I got toilet paper trying to sop it, except we didn't have a garbage can! So, I did what any normal person would do and decided to flush it!

Bad idea.

Now the toilet is clogged.....woops :)
But it's ok! Some of the staff are supposed to be coming to tell us why the shower went all crazy and unclog the toilet for us :)
Tomorrow we get to sleep an hour later and we are going to travel about an hour away to paint in the slums! After that I think we're going to a market and then back here for a shower and then the restaurant Carnivore!!

Yay! :) I'm excited!!