At The End of Myself

It has been quite a couple weeks.


This past week I have been to the hospital four times with sick teammates and for myself. We found out that Kevin had a blood infection, we all had lice, the girls all had scabies, Carly had a parasite, and I had a lung infection.


Then it seemed that the whole squad had hit a tipping point at the same time and was completely over living with each other and fifteen Hondurans. I was completely fed up with cleaning the bathroom all the time, washing dishes constantly that seem to be left all over the property, and cooking dinner for forty people.


Finally to top it all off we had a couple incidents of people getting things taken, some weirdos hanging out on the property, and a little glitch with one of our ministries.


I was done, completely done.


We had worship Sunday morning and Ashley told us to pray over four of our squad mates because we were not all at peace with each other, especially with all that had been going on. I will vouch that praying over someone that you have had a tiff with is the most direct way to restore peace. I was praying over my friend Kristen and I could tell that her spirit was heavy like mine, and she was so tired.

As I was praying for her, and myself too, I began thanking God for all the things that were going wrong.


Thank you God that when we’re tried we remember where our energy comes from Thank you God that when we’re impatient we remember where our grace comes from

Thank you God that when we’re weak we remember where our strength comes from

Thank you God that when we’re sick we remember where our health comes from

Thank you God that when we’re scared we remember where our security comes from

Thank you God that when it’s chaotic we remember where our peace comes from

Thank you God that when we’re empty we remember where our love comes from


Our daddy loves us, and he gives us every single thing that we need.

It has been so good for me to remember where my everything comes from. Nothing I have comes from me. My joy, peace, patience, strength, grace, everything comes from the Lord.


What an honor it is to be his children.


Also here’s a picture of me getting lice picked out of my hair.

Thank God for good friends that love you enough to pick through your hair for hours.



Blessed to Bless

The thing about our ministry here is that it really never ends. There are always 9 or more boys running around, 25 of us, usually a couple babies, and our 3 ministry contacts. The hardest thing for me to understand is why these kid’s parents don’t care that their children live here, why they don’t call them, and why they don’t come to see them. The kids that live here are in need of so much love and attention and are so hungry for someone to pour into them. But the truth is that their parents don’t have the time, energy, or resources to care. Life is easier with one less mouth to feed, less chaotic with one less child to discipline, and simpler with caring for one less person.

These kids aren’t loved, or cherished, or supported, and that’s not okay.


Just the other night one of the boys Luis asked if had a dad. This was the first time I’ve ever been asked that question, and that’s when I realized that having a dad here is not the norm. Here it seems that dads come and go, boyfriends come and go, and the women are always pregnant. It breaks my heart that dysfunctional relationships and multiple “baby daddies” has become the norm.

Most of these kids don’t have dads in their lives, and that’s not okay.


I sat with a homeless man yesterday in the town center and he was flipping through a magazine he found. On the back cover was a terribly staged picture of a white family standing in the kitchen making dinner. He must have stared at that picture for 5 minutes while muttering “what a beautiful family”. Then he turned to me and asked if I had a family. That hit me hard. Here I am with every blessing in the world, and this man is all alone with no parents and a brother that won’t associate with him.

That man has no one, and that’s not okay.


Here there is such a need for Jesus. He needs to be a dad, a mom, a sibling, a friend, food for the day, protection, comfort, joy, everything. Here there is no one or nothing else to depend on, only Jesus.


I am humbled that he has chosen me to be his likeness, to love orphans, to hold broken women, and laugh with my brothers and sisters. Every single thing that we have is a gift; nothing should be taken for granted. I have been blessed to love, and to serve, and to cultivate joy.


I have been blessed to bless, and I am so thankful to be his daughter.



Prodigal Daughter

This past month the Lord has been teaching me so much and completely changing the way that I am and the way that I think about myself. Since I live with 40 people I’ve been telling my testimony a lot. And one of the last times I told it, I realized that because I was blessed to grow up with a loving family in a Christian home, the only thing that I thought I could choose for myself was not Christ.

It was in that moment that I saw myself as the prodigal daughter.

I was given an incredible childhood and have always known God, but I chose to turn away from all of that for a glamorized life I thought was so much better. I chose to live as the world lives and only found myself completely crushed and unsatisfied. Through all the years that I made my own way in life I began to pick up things and carry things that were not mine and not who I really was. I wore those things for so long that up until last week I was convinced that those things were who I really was. I thought I was selfish, and rude, and insecure, unworthy, and a sinner. As the Lord began to approach all those things in me I thought that the Lord was going to have to completely destroy me and build me back up to get rid of all of the lies that I had believed for myself for so long. I had to get to a point where I believed in my soul that there is enough power in the name of Jesus to forgive every sin and undo every lie. Praise the Lord that Jesus’ name is immensely more powerful than I will ever be able to understand or acknowledge. His name is powerful enough to redeem and restore everything, every lie, and every life. Not only does he have enough power to do all those things, but also he loves his children so much that he wants to do all those things for them.

I’m finally at a point where I can say that I know my daddy loves me, that he’s not mad at me, and that he wants me to come home. So I’m sprinting back home. And the most beautiful part about it all is that he’s sprinting even faster towards me. This, my friends is the most undeserved love that there ever was. I don’t deserve to be greeted by my dad with a ring and a rose, but I am; I don’t deserve to be swooped up and held, but I am; I don’t deserve to be forgiven, but I am.

This is unconditional love.

And as I’m running back to my dad’s house I’ve noticed that all the stuff that I’ve been wearing is falling off and all the stuff I’ve been carrying is gone. God didn’t have to completely destroy me and rebuild me, I’ve always been his daughter and exactly who he created me to be, I just had to shake off some things that were never a part of my identity.

I am a daughter of the king. His love is so overwhelming, and so undeserved, but it is so good. So even though there is still a lot to work on inside of me, I know who I am and who’s I am, and that will always be enough.




Good Cries, Good Prayers, & a Jar of Nutella

The other night I walked into the main room and my squad leader Ashley called me over to translate for her. She had one of the Honduran girls, Nicole, that Cassie works with in her lap and she was sobbing. I tried for like 5 minutes to get her to talk to me and finally she told me that everyone hates her.

This wasn’t true, everyone doesn’t hate her, but for you to understand why she thinks that I need to share a bit of her story with you. Nicole is her mothers third child and doesn’t have a father. Her older brother Luis lives at the property and her sister Fani lives with her grandmother. Their mother is abusive and has made mistakes, just like we all have, but Nicole has to deal with the repercussions of her mothers actions all alone. The way that Nicole acts when she’s on the property it is evident that she doesn’t get much attention at home and she can be hard to handle sometimes. So when she was saying everyone hated her it made sense, because often she doesn’t feel very loved.

As we were sitting with Nicole two more of the girls, Dania and Amalia, came down to see what was happening. Dania is another one of the girls that Cassie works with and she has four siblings. Her oldest sister is married and has a baby, her brother Ronnie lives in Los Pinos, Arielle her other brother lives at Zion’s gate, and her younger sister Amalia lives with her and Ronnie in Los Pinos. Dania has taken on a “motherly” role with the younger girls and immediately she began to comfort Nicole as she cried. This day also happened to be Amalia’s birthday so I started talking to her and asking how her day was. She sat in my lap and teared up and told me it was bad, and there was nothing to celebrate.

Their family lives in a one room shack in Los Pinos and about six months ago their mother Naomi walked in to find her husband had hung himself. This wound is so fresh and raw for the girls and Amalia really missed her dad on her birthday. As I was talking to Amalia about it Dania began telling me how hard it has been since their dad died. She was telling me how they can’t sleep at night because there is no peace in their house. She was telling me that she’s been having really dark thoughts, scary thoughts, and that spirits were attacking her. Then she told me that Amalia had experienced it too, but she had physically been feeling things grabbing onto her and holding her legs. Dania said that Naomi hadn’t slept in a month.

Then Sandra came down to see what her cousins were doing. For the past few weeks Sandra has been so sad and depressed because her grandmother Mina is in the hospital. Sandra’s parents abandoned her and she has a couple siblings that have been adopted and live in the states but she lives in Los Pinos with Mina. Sandra is cousins with almost all of the kids that Zion’s gate works with, so she has a few aunts in Los Pinos but none of them want to take her in. For a little bit Mina wasn’t doing well at all and Sandra wasn’t even allowed to go to the hospital and visit her. She has been so worried and sad while Mina has been sick, because Mina is all that she has.

Before we knew it all of the Honduran girls had started crying and I held Amalia in my arms. Then Carly, Sami, and Kacey came down and started loving on the girls. We couldn’t really say anything to them and didn’t even know what to say so we just started praying. I can’t even describe how I felt in that moment. It was like I felt all the weight and the sadness that these girls had been dealing with and it completely broke my heart. As we held them and prayed for them it was all I could do not to sob. I can’t even imagine all of the things that they have seen and been through. It’s not okay for Nicole not to feel loved or wanted, or that Dania and Amalia feel haunted and can’t sleep in their house, or that Sandra is scared that she may lose her grandmother and be homeless. I can’t do anything to change these girls situations, but I can love.

I have so much love to give, I have hope to give, I have peace to give, and that is my job. These girls aren’t just ministry, or some girls we fed or gave tracts too, or spent an hour with once, but these girls are my friends and sisters. They are why I’m here, and I think that this is the way that ministry is really intended to look.

So thank you God for good cries, and good prayers, and a jar of Nutella to make us feel better afterwards.

keep up with the girls and read about what else God is doing on Cassie’s blog:



He Loves You

The Thursday before last we got to INHFA for the bible study early so we went to visit the nursery. In the room past the infant nursery is where they keep all the special needs children. When we walked into the room most of the kids were taking a nap except two of them. One was a 16-year-old boy that couldn’t have been more than three feet tall with his limbs straight. He couldn’t talk or walk or even keep his eyes open for long. He just lay on the couch breathing heavily and barely moving. Next to the couch was a baby car seat and a three year old boy was lying there spazzing out. One of the women who worked there told me that he was epileptic. Then she went and got his brother from napping and told us he was paralyzed on the right side of his body. Then she brought out two more boys that were brothers and they were both autistic. And she went back again to get a boy and he was mute. And then she took me to the back room and introduced me to a boy that had spinal problems and had to lie in a waterbed all day, anything else would irritate his back and he would cry. He even cried when he was held.

In this place that was full of so much despair the Lord reminded me that I have something to give. I have hope, I have joy, and I have peace. Then one of the autistic brothers started to act out and cry, so I picked him up. I started praying peace over him and asking the Lord what to do and how to calm him down. Then the Lord reminded me of a time last summer when it was 115 degrees and I felt so alone and depressed. A cool breeze came in from the window and I heard the Lord tell me he loved me. Now every time I feel the wind I know that the Lord loves me. So I began to gently blow on his neck and tell him the God of this universe loves him. Low and behold, he stopped crying and calmed down.

This is what we are called to do. To love, and be loved, and to invite the presence of the Lord every place we go. If his love can conquer death, there’s no limit on what he can do for that little boy.



Girl’s Ministry

Yesterday my team went to IHNFA, which is the government housing program/orphanage in Tegucigalpa. We went with Cassie, a 27-year-old from the Indiana who moved to Zion’s Gate 8 months ago to start working with the girls from Los Pinos. Most of their brothers live at the property, but there isn’t a place for the girls to stay so Cassie has to visit them in Los Pinos. The girls love her and it is so cool to watch her interact with them and push them to grow and be better. Her dream is eventually to build a girl’s home on the property so that she can have the girls all the time instead of having to drive 30 minutes to hang out with them.

On Tuesdays she has a bible study with the girls. They pray and read and talk about how God cares about them and is intervening in their lives. Then the three older girls Fani, Jennifer, and Dana go to INHFA on Thursdays and have to teach the girls there what they learned on Tuesday. I love this because she’s not just teaching the girls to be “good people” but she is helping them grow.

The girls that she works with are incredible. They are so fun and loving and open up so quickly. It’s funny that when I spend time with them I feel like I’m just hanging out with some of my friends. Conversation flows smoothly and they joke about almost everything.

I love knowing that Zion’s gate is radically transforming Los Pinos. The kids that they’re working with are going to be a generation that changes things. They are going to be present fathers, loving mothers, and educated citizens. The ministry they do is hard, but its raw and its real and I think it’s the way that Jesus intended ministry to look like.


These are a few of the girls I have gotten close with





Check out Cassie’s blog too:



A Picture of Redemption

As most of you know, for about a year now human trafficking has been something that I have become very passionate about. I can still remember vividly the first times I met women in Guatemala who were trapped in prostitution with no way out. I still remember their names, their faces, and even the bars they worked at. Ministry in the bars was so hard, all we could do was pray with them and speak truth and worth over them. I couldn’t refer them to a ministry that helped women, or give them a job, or feed their children, I felt so helpless. I had to learn to trust the Lord so and know that he was taking care of them when I couldn’t.

When I came back to the states and started school at OU I ended up working with a halfway house in OKC for women getting out of prostitution. I was so thankful to be able to see the other side of ministering to women that gave them a place to stay, helped them find jobs, and got them back in school. The way things worked out, a woman had just started living at the house about the time I began volunteering there. She was trafficked from El Salvador and only spoke Spanish. Not only was the Lord providing an opportunity for ministry with something that I am so passionate about, but I also had to speak Spanish. Ever since the Lord gave me fluency in Spanish while I was in the Dominican Republic in 2009 he has provided so many situations where I have had to use it. I would hang out with her a few times a week, listen to her stories, and pray with her. She gave me a purpose for living in Norman.

And now, even being here and not working specifically with women God has been showing me his sovereignty over trafficking and prostitution. The land that we are staying on has a couple houses, a bathroom, and a main building with a kitchen and a place to eat. The main building used to be a nightclub called the Cotton Club that had a reputation for being one of the worst in the area.



The main part of the club has benches everywhere and two cages in both corners where women would dance. When I first walked into the room I felt so sick because of all the memories that it brought back, but God has been showing me how he’s been redeeming this place. Last night we had worship in that room, and as I was singing I realized that this was territory that had been won and Satan no longer had a hold on it. I began giving thanks that he has allowed me to see through the complete process of restoration. He has power and authority over dark places and I was really able to see that manifested last night. And when I walk into the room underneath the mural painted above the door and into that room I am reminded how powerful our God is.





We Are Here!

We have finally made it to our new home and settled in!

I have my tent set up, everything organized in zip-lock bags, my sleeping bag laid out, and about 12 cups of coffee in my body. Life is good.

Our contacts are a sweet, sweet couple named Tony and Nidia. They live on a big compound in a home with about 15 people. Their ministry is to street kids mainly, but they definitely operate through the Spirit so really they just do whatever God tells them to. Right now there is a church group here from North Carolina, a woman named Cassie who moved here 8 month ago from the states, Tony and his wife, all of the street kids who normally live here, and all 25 of us. It’s quite a full house.

I love it here. The air is cool and sweet, the people speak Spanish, there is booming music playing everywhere, and we have an absolutely beautiful view. This place definitely feels like home.


Here’s the team and a couple of our new friends Carlos, and Anderson


Summer 2012

Nothing is Without Purpose

I was a little hesitant to leave home early go to Columbus for a couple days, to meet my teammate, Carly Blalock’s family. I’m going to be gone for so long already, and I felt like I should be spending that time at home; but the Lord has shown me that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.


Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2

On the first plane I took from Tulsa to Houston I met a guy who was in the middle of a lot of pain and hurt. He shared with me how he was in the army and as well as physical injury; the things that he had seen and done had destroyed him emotionally. It touched me to see how open and how curious he was, because of the hope that he was yearning for. The Spirit had been stirring inside of him and had opened doors for this divine appointment. One of the best things about telling people about the Lord is that you’re really not telling them at all. The Lord calls us to listen to him and others, to pray, and to speak when he gives us the words; nothing comes from us at all. My hope for him is not that anything I said has a lasting impression or changes his life, but that the Holy Spirit continues working in him and drawing him in.

Then after I got off the plane that took me from Houston to Atlanta I took a shuttle from the Atlanta to Columbus. Maybe it’s the way I look, but people have a habit of coming up and speaking Spanish to me. At the shuttle stop a lady named Margarita started up a conversation and we sat together on the bus. She began telling me all about her life, and I told her what I was about to do. She told me about her whole family and then shared with me that her 43 year old daughter was dying of liver failure. Funny thing about liver failure is that ever since I’ve had it I keep meeting people who have liver problems that we pray for and the Lord heals. Not so coincidentally Margarita asked if Carly and I would come to the hospital and pray for her daughter.

When we got there the room was filled with so much despair and hopelessness, it was hard just being there. But Maria and her husband were open to prayer and so we invited the Lord to cover them in grace and peace.

When we were praying I heard the Lord speak that he wanted to save her. I know that he could heal her physical body, but I knew that he was more concerned with her being. He wanted to redeem her dying with his peace that surpasses all understanding.

I don’t know all the Lord did there and is doing, but I do know that I felt a shift in the atmosphere. Jesus changes everything, and I trust that because he loves them he will do and be exactly what they need.


Summer 2012

My Sending Out

I am truly blessed to have such a strong support system at home sending me out. Knowing that they are praying with and for me means so much, because that is the most valuable and effective thing we can do.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

Prayer is our most powerful and effective weapon.

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