Wednesday, November 23, 2011


1. Creaking hammock

5. The crunch of dried leaves

7. The smell of a rose that has just opened

9. Sunlight hitting a spider web

17. Veins of a rose peddle

22. Sun shining through clouds

33. Water droplets on leaves

42. Globs of lotion

53. Creases in Books

60. Bees collecting pollen

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Here I Am, Send Me

First, I would like to thank each of you who donated money, bought candles, and/or gave me prayer support for my trip to Nicaragua this past summer.

One thing God really showed me this past summer in Nicaragua is that Nicaragua isn’t the end, but just the beginning of God’s call for me to foreign missions. This same call is now leading me to the other side of the world to Uganda, Africa for three weeks.  I will be working mainly with kids infected with HIV/AIDS. In 2009 alone 150,000 children were infected with HIV/AIDS, and 1.2 million were orphaned because of it in Uganda. In Uganda we’ll partner with a children’s ministry that aims to nurture vulnerable children by showing them God’s love.

Sadly, this trip isn’t going to come cheap. The total cost is $4,650. To help raise money I’m selling 6-ounce candles for $6 and “Letters in Nature” for $3 each letter and framed inspirational words like Love, Hope, Life, Live, Home and Pray for $15. Even though I’m selling candles and “Letters in Nature” I don’t know if I’ll be able to raise all the money I need. If 46 people donated $100, or if 92 people donated $50, I would have all the money!  If you are interested in candles and/or letters you can email me at If you would like to donate toward my trip you can go to click on “Mission Participant”, under “Choose a Program” find “Ambassador” then fill in my name: Candace Jeffcoat. Or send a check c/o Siloam Baptist Church (268 Siloam Church Road, Magee, MS 39111) and write Candace’s Trip in the memo line.

If you can’t support me finically please don’t feel guilty in any way, if you still want to help I always need prayer support.

Thank you in advance for supporting me in however God leads you.

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8

Monday, August 8, 2011

Singing With Joy

One of my favorite things we did in Nicaragua was the worship we had almost every morning at 5:30. Worship was something I looked forward to, we would pray, sing, and pray again. After worship we would split off to do our one-on-one with God.  During our mornings with God, God started showing me how to truly worship. The more God showed me about worship the more I started to realize how little I truly knew about it. God told me that worship is so much more than just singing, raising your hands, praying, even though all this is awesome! Worship is a time where we block out the world, and really imagine ourselves standing before God, THE God who made us in His likeness; a God who loves us so much that He gave us His son, so we could be with Him forever! Worshipping Him with the praise and honor that He deserves!
One day God brought me to Psalm 100, which says,

“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

Verse 2 stood out to me, the second part of it says, “Come before him, singing and joy.” Singing I got. Joy, not so much. I know joy is happy and sometimes loud, but I had always imagined worship being a time that you sang, and thanked God, and that is when you had big God moments. But that wasn’t what God told me. Every time I tried to tell God how I thought it was done He kept pointing me to Psalms 100.
Our last Tuesday in Granada, Padre (the guy who translated for us, but became so much more than just our translator, he was our friend, and was like a dad to us while we were there) had us over at his house. When we were about to leave he gave us each a bracelet he had made for us, and a short note to go with it. My note had a bible verse. The Bible verse Padre gave me was Psalms 100:2! Of all the thousands of verses, Padre chose the one God had been showing me. It was a God thing!
Now that I’m home, I haven’t had worship every morning with my team, but God has continued to teach me how to come before Him, which is to come before Him singing with joy

Monday, July 25, 2011

Free to Dance

Even though I have been home from Nicaragua for the past one and a half weeks. I’ve still been processing everything that happened in Nicaragua and what all God has been teaching me. I think many times people think after you come back from a missions trip you go back to your normal life, and that’s it. That is definitely not how it has been for me.  During half a week at Training Camp then three and half weeks in Nicaragua God changed me.  I knew before this journey had even begun that God was going to do amazing things in those 4 weeks.  But then and even now I still can’t wrap my mind around the fullness of it all. A few years ago we moved from a place I loved, a place that was home to me, a place where I still love to go. But like I said we moved. Sadly during that move my family and I lost many friends. Friends that we never really had the chance to say good-bye to.  It was one of those moves that changes you. You have to decide if it changes you in a good way of a bad way. At the time I told myself that I would not let moving and pain that came with it pull me down. I’m sorry to say that is not how I handled it. Over the past 3 almost 4 years I have known that I never had dealt with the pain and hurt. I knew I needed to, and many times I tried to convince myself that I had, but truthfully I hadn’t.  All this changed this summer. God showed me at Training Camp that I had been fooling myself, and I had to deal with it.  My leader Jessie told me to write down everything I felt I had I right to be mad about, then rip up the paper, and throw it away. I wrote it down, felt a little better, but never ripped it up or throw it away. It just was there in my notebook where I could go anytime I wanted to read, and remember the pain it brought. But after about two weeks I knew it was time to really deal with it completely, which also meant opening all the wounds that I never allowed God to heal. So, I started from scratch, wrote down everything, I took my time this time to really be able to be real with myself and real with God. When I was finished writing everything down I for the last time read everything I had written. After reading it, I stood up from where I was doing my quiet time, went into the bathroom, sat on the floor with the trashcan and started ripping it up and throwing it away. Throwing it away for it to never come back again to haunt me. That day I handed it all to God.  Then I really don’t think I truly got how much God had lifted off me. But after being home I have come to realize just how much God has changed me, and how free I feel now.  A few days ago during one of my best friend and mine’s one and half hour conversations I told her I felt free from the bondage of hurt and pain, and even anger that I had let control a good amount of my life. Now, I truly feel free to dance! Free to be bound (also there is a great book that is called Free to be Bound) in Christ!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Orphans Of God

This past Friday my team and I went to a Orphanage just for girls. Earlier in the week someone explained to us that most if not all the girls in the orphanage are not really orphans. There parents are most probably still alive, but their parents did not want them, so they brought them to the orphanage. After hearing this it made me want to go even more. So Friday we set off to go. After about a 10 minute walk we were there. After a Teacher unlocked the front gate so we could come in. The teacher told us we had one hour to spend with the girls. As we walked through a few girls meet us with big hugs. The girls grabbed our hands and brougt us to where we would be for the remander of the hour. As we were setting our water bottles and the rest of our things on a table, more girls came flowing in. As soon as we had set our things down we started singing and play with the girls. It did not take long to realize the girls are starving for people to love on them. And we are just the right people to do so. As I walked back over to the table where I had set my water bottle I notice a little girl sitting by herself, a walked over to her to ask her if she wanted to join in all the playing and singing. When I asked her and just shock her head no, I then sat down and started talking to her in a little to no spanish. After I had said everything I knew in spanish, I just sat there for a few minutes. Thinking that the the 6 year old girl really did not want me there I started to stand up, once she realized what I was doing she grabbed my hand and told me no in a much louder voice than she had been using. I sat right back down knowing that this girl just wanted someone to love and spend to with her. I was completely out of things to say, but me just being there was enough for her.
I only spent about 20 to 30 minutes with her, but it was one of my favorite things so far that I have done in Nicaragua. This girl was probably brought to the orphanage by her parents because they did not want her, and she probably knows that. She might go to bed at night every night thinking about the family that left her. But God does not look at this little 6 year old girl as orphan or a unwanted child. God sees her as a child of his, a child that he will never leave.
I wanted to tell her all this and more, but my lack of spanish would not let me tell her all this. The only thing I could do for this little child was to pray in silents as she colored. And all the time I heared God say was the world might see her as a orphan or a unwanted kid, but to me she will never to a orphan.
That night when we can back to the place we are staying I put my earphones in and listen to Orphans of God. And for the first time when they sang There are No Orphans of God I saw the face of the little girl. Not just the word Orphans.

Monday, June 27, 2011

First week in Niaragua

I cannot come up with a really good blog post. The only thing I know to say is that I have had an amazing week! I have played with kids that none of us know what kind of home they really have, I have eaten a fish that still has eyes in it. Bathed in a lake three times! Slept on the floor with 6 other people ,with bugs all around me. I have spent time with God in the morning while looking at a beautiful sunrise!
God has shown me so much! And I still have tow and a half weeks left!
I will try to write more later.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Heading to Nicaragua Today

 In the last 4 days I have only showered twice, both showers were extremely cold. I have been sleeping on a three high bunk-beds in a room or a building that looks a little more like a barn than a real room. I've brushed my teeth out of a water cooler. I've been eating under a big tent with about 80 other people who have been getting ready to go on a journey God as asked them to go on. Today or midnight last night I left with the rest of my team to continue the journey God has given us for this summer.  After about a 1 1/2 hour drive to the Airport and about 5 1/2 hours finding things to do in the airport, it was time to board the plane that would bring us to Miami. I'm right now sitting on the plane. Some people know I'm not a fan of flying, today is no different. But as soon as we got into the air and I was able to see the beautiful sky, it made the plane ride a little better. 
After we reach Miami we will catch a plane from Miami to Managua Nicaragua. 
By tonight my team and me will be in Nicaragua. And getting ready to show the love of Christ to people who don't know the love of God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Come What May

A few weeks ago I was listening to “Come what May” (a song from the Moulin Rouge). “Come what May” is a love song (imagine a song from Moulin Rouge being a love song, really of all things). I had heard the songs many times before, but this time I had a God moment! One of the lines of the song is “Come what may, come what may, I will love you until my dying day”. Ok, so let’s imagine God telling us, “Come what may in life, and I’ll still love you and will never leave you, not even for a second. Even after your earthly life is over, I’ll still love you.”
I know the last thing “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge was talking about was God’s love, but God still used that song to tell me that even in life and in Nicaragua I’ll be with you always, come what may.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More than Just a Trip

During my first year at Camp Garawya as an Acteen at one of the worship services the Missionary started talking about missions (of course, because she was a missionary). She talked about all the different kinds of groups of people who need Christ. She (the missionary) got about 4 or 5 girls to come to the front, and then she handed them each a sign with different words that varied from “Nominal Christians” to “Muslim”. Then she asked about another ten to twenty girls to also come up to the stage in the front.  She arranged these in front of the girls with the signs. About half the girls were placed in front of the girl whose sign read “nominal Christians”. As you looked down the stage fewer and fewer girls were standing with the signs. The last two signs said “Buddha” and “Muslim”, and between them stood only one girl. The Missionary then said this represents the different groups of people in the world, and how many Christians are trying to reach out to them.  She went on to explain that Buddhists and Islamic people are the two least reached people in the world.  Since I have lived in Bosnia (the main religion in our town being Islam). I immediately thought of all the people I know in Bosnia who are of the Islamic faith.  In that moment I realized that God was calling me to missions. Not just to Bosnia or just to Muslim countries, but to go anywhere and everywhere He asked me to go.
The next summer I wanted to go on an over-seas mission trip, but I wasn’t able to. But last fall I felt like it was time to go somewhere. I started looking at four-week long mission trips with AIM (Adventures in Missions). It wasn’t to long after I started looking that I felt God saying, “Nicaragua”. Even though I knew that is where God wanted me to go, I still wasn’t too sure about it. It took me about 4 or 5 weeks to finally accept that Nicaragua is where God wanted me to go.
Now as there is only 3 more days before I am at training camp, excitement has totally overwhelmed me. I’m about to take an epic journey this summer with God as my guide.  A journey where I don’t know what’s going to happen, or what I will see. 
These last few months I have been asked by multiple people if I am nervous about going to a different country. The first few times, when Nicaragua was still so far away, I told them I wasn’t, but as it has gotten closer I have realized that I’m not nervous about going to a different county, or worried about getting a disease (which someone did ask me if I was worried about), I’m worried about how I’m going to react to what I see. I’m going to a country where about 80% of the population lives, or tries to live, on a dollar a day. Many of them don’t have clean water to drink everyday. In my life anytime I have ever needed or wanted water I just went to the kitchen and poured myself a fresh glass of water without even thinking twice about it. I know that going will be like going to a totally different world! Even though I have never been to Nicaragua I know that I won’t come back the same. Which will most probably will be a good thing, but a scary thing.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

They Walked Off the Path

For Lent this year I fasted from non-Christian music and all books besides the Bible. During the first two or three or maybe even four weeks into Lent I thought of Lent as a time to suffer (in a very small, minute way) like Christ. But I wasn’t really open to what God wanted to show me.
Half way through Lent I was out with my friend Anna we started talking about war and the military and things of that sort. I started sharing about some of the things I saw in Bosnia when I lived there with my parents when I was little. After talking about it for a few minutes she told me that people could try to argue with me about war, but most of them could never relate to all I saw and the reason why I feel so strongly against war. That conversation really made me think. I think God used that to open my eyes to see why He had me there when I was so little. Yes, I was too young to really tell people about Christ, but I think He had me over there more for me than for them.
My first really scary memory of being in Bosnia is being in the house we lived in for two years and hearing some really freaky music start playing from somewhere outside. It sounded like someone saying something in a foreign language.  It turned out to be the “Call to Prayer”. Maybe people have no clue what the “Call to Prayer” is. It’s a muslin tradition where they all stop when they hear the creepy, scary music and pray to Allah. They do this five times each day. So, during our two-year stay in Bosnia we heard it five times a day each day. (Even though we never stopped and prayed to Allah.) After a few weeks of it I kind of got use it, but during the winter the guy singing always sounded sick; I never knew why. The “Call to Prayer” turned out to be one of the less creepy things in town.
The aftermath of the war in Bosnia is a totally different story. But, like the “Call to Prayer” it wasn’t uncommon.  We saw countless buildings that had been bombed out during the war – buildings where families had lived, eaten, laughed, and played chess (which was very popular there.) All of which was destroyed. During the Bosnian war families were torn apart as people from both sides died.  Even though the war ended several years before we even set foot in Bosnia, you still saw many of the horrors of war.
We met many people who had family members and friends that died in the war. Some had loved ones that went and never came back, and they never knew what happened to them.
Another thing after the war no one ever thinks about is the landmines that never went off. Kids were being taught in school to never go off the road for fear that they would find a landmine as they stepped on it. When you walked into a school in Bosnia you would see bomb awareness posters instead of drug awareness ones like you see in the US. When you are driving down the road and have to pee really bad and there is not gas station to stop at, you don’t really have a choice of going in the woods for fear of a landmine. They still waited on the sides of roads and fields to feel pressure on them so they can do that they were made to do: destroy whatever is near them. While we were over there, two kids were walking home from school and wandered off the path. Because of it they lost their lives to a landmine that was never meant for them. But it didn’t matter whom it was meant for, they still lost their lives that day. I never met those school boys, but they had families and friends, people who loved them. Because of war their lives were cut short. They probably didn’t know who the one and only true God was. They might have had bowed down five times a day to pray to Allah. They might have been taught for their short lives that it pleases Allah to kill. No one knows those answers.
Those two kids wandered off the path and faced the aftermath of war, and they didn’t live to tell about it. There are many more people all over the world who still face what war has felt behind. I wrote this blog post because so many people really don’t know the true destruction of war. Even though it has been 10 years since I’ve been in Bosnia I still remember all these things.
Since my conversation with Anna about war and the reason behind my living in Bosnia, (and after I talked to God about it) I feel like God put me there while I was five and six to let me see the things I saw because He knew that one day I would grow older and be able to tell people what it was like and what I saw.
This is what God showed me during Lent and also since then.

Monday, May 23, 2011

“The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn is Just to Love”

I was reading Becoming the Answers to Our Prayers (a book my best friend Betsie let me borrow while she is in Thailand). In the book the authors were talking about the Fruit of the Spirit.  If you have grown up in “church”, like most people in the south have, you will probably know most if not all, the fruits of the Spirit. They are – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
I thought it would be such a good learning and growing experience to really try to put them into practice. I started with “love” last Monday; I’m still working on love. I have read 1 Corinthians 13 almost everyday this week. And every time I read it I realize how little love I show. Verse five gets me every time. It says, "Love does not demand it's own way. It is not irritable.”  Love is sweet and all. But why can't I have it my way? I think my way is the best. But God said no, my way isn't the best. His way is. Still, being selfish can have a few perks.

In Radical, David Platt talks about reading 1 Corinthians and replacing the word love with your name.  For example: “Candace is patient and kind”, and so on. So you can imagine by the end of the chapter you feel pretty crappy. I think that’s the point. I sat there the first time after doing this seeing how much I need to change. So this has been my challenge for the week. I thought by today I would be doing pretty well at being loving. I was very delusional about that. If anything it has been harder this week than ever. Or maybe it just has seemed harder because I’ve been thinking about it. I really don’t know. So, after I realize how horrible I am at loving other I put God’s name instead of love. Really thinking about how God is truly love; and He loves me. Me, with all my imperfections. This should make me feel better, right? No. How can I ever thank God enough for really loving me? I realized I couldn’t. A couple of days after I had really been talking to God and reading in the Bible about love I talked to my best friend Betsie, and she told me that I had to learn how to truly love God before I could learn how to love other people. On the surface that seems easy, love God. But I’m learning that it isn’t as easy as I thought. “Love does not demand it's own way”. I don’t think people even know how much I argue with God. Yes, I admit it. I argue with the God that loves me so much and knows what’s best for me. I know it sounds bad, but I do…a good bit. Most of the time, after I have argued with God and He still hasn’t changed His mind, I give in and do whatever He asks me to do. But do I do it for the right reasons? Probably not. But in my reasoning I have still done it, just not in the most loving way. And still God loves me, and created me knowing that I would argue and sometimes go against him, but He still thinks I’m worth loving. And this summer God is asking me to go to Nicaragua to love on people in Christ’s name.
So, my goal isn’t to learn how to totally love God in a week or a month, but to love God more each and everyday. I’m sure there are going to be plenty of times when I fail. But if I truly try with everything in me, that is the only thing God cares about.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Proverbs 24:17-18

Up until now I have mostly kept my thoughts about war and the military to myself. But last night, after reading on Facebook that people were rejoicing over Osama Ben Laden’s death, I was really disturbed.  I have thought for sometime that war is wrong. I know many people say, “War is hell, but it is necessary”.  Others like my mom use the analogy of: “What if you knew what time someone was about to break into your house and kill you and your family, wouldn’t you meet them at the Simpson County line?” And if you dare to say yes you would meet them at the Simpson county line, she will tell you that is why people fight - to keep enemies out of our house.  Even though she has tried to raise me to think like this, it hasn’t worked.

When I was five and six my parents moved my siblings and me to Bosnia, a country that has seen war first hand. It wasn’t uncommon to see signs in school to be aware of landmines. And you dare not go off the road because you just might meet a landmine face to face. I still remember standing in the living room and looking out the window at the street where I saw a man in a wheelchair rolling himself down the street. I didn’t make the connection that he was the age of people who had fought in the war. I asked Cassie (my sister) about it; she made a comment about me being stupid or something like that for not realizing why this man had probably lost both his legs. After I realized this I hid under my bed and was terrified to come out because in that moment war had become more to me than people fighting for freedom. It had a face. I know every war is different. But the result is always the same – the loss of people on both sides and families torn apart.

Still people say war is necessary. Why? Well, I have heard people say freedom comes with a cost. I say it is too high of a cost. People say God told the Israelites to fight, He told them to wipe some cities out. But I think people don’t realize that Israel was God’s chosen people. Who said America is God’s chosen nation? (Many times when they would turn away from God, God let their enemies take them into captivity.) I understand there are some people that need to be stopped.  But sometimes, maybe if it was thought through, maybe it could be settle more peacefully. Maybe not.  But I believe it is absolutely wrong to rejoice at the death of others.

Even though Osama wasn’t a good person God still sent His son (Jesus). God offered Osama the gift of salvation, just like He offered salvation to me, you, and to everyone in the world both good and bad. Osama sadly chose not to accept God’s gift. But God still loved him.  God had a plan for Osama, but sadly he chose not to follow Christ. Osama sinned and fell very far from God’s plan.  He murdered, and he deserved death. But everyone does. Jesus tells us if we have thought in our heart about killing someone it the same as doing it.  I know thinking one murder is different from killing hundreds, but to God we have all sinned and fallen short.

Last night and this morning I have seen on Facebook where people say,  “I hope you have fun burning in hell with Hitler.”  And “God bless the troops who killed Osama.” Even though Osama wasn’t good and deserves this that doesn’t mean so called “Christians” should be rejoicing over this. I have wondered if “Christians” who can act like this are truly following Jesus? What did Jesus do when someone who came to arrest him and Peter cut off his ear? Jesus put it back on. Jesus could have told the guy, “You deserve to have your ear torn off.”  But He didn’t (Matthew 26:47-56). And we shouldn’t rejoice over this. And besides all this, do people not realize that now Osama’s follows are very angry and this is probably just the beginning?

Don't rejoice when your enemies fall; don't be happy when they stumble. 
For the Lord will be displeased with you, and will turn his anger away from them. 
Proverbs 24:17-18

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I am the Nails in His Wrist

The movie started with, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Then you see Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane  - praying to God, asking God to take this burden off of Him (Jesus). While Jesus is still praying you see Satan creeping up. Waiting, watching, hoping Jesus wouldn’t be able to do what God has put in front of Him. But Jesus still prayed. Then Jesus prayed, “Let Your will be done, not mine”. About that time they show Judas telling the High Priest where they can find Jesus. And the one he (Judas) kissed is Jesus. In return for betraying Jesus the High Priest gave Judas 30 pieces of silver.

Next you see the guards coming to arrest Jesus, as they throw chains around Him His disciples tried to help Jesus, but they weren’t able to. During this time Peter cut off one of the guards’ ear. As the guard grabbed what used to be his ear he looked at Jesus. Jesus simply bent down and picked up the guard’s ear and put it back on! The guard just stood there and looked at Jesus with a puzzled look. The other guards took Jesus away to the high priest. As Jesus stood in front of the priest and religious people, others surrounded Him. At first the crowd was outraged that they had arrested Jesus, but after hearing the lies the priest were saying they turned again Him too.

As this was going on Peter was standing off watching and listening. Then someone realized Peter was a disciple of Jesus.  Peter denied ever knowing Jesus.  This happened two more times. After the third time Peter remember Jesus telling him, “You will deny me three times before the rooster crows”.  At the time Peter told Him, “I will never deny You, I will follow You anywhere You go, even to death”. After he realized this he looked at Jesus, who was being mocked, and spit upon.

Next they showed Judas pleading with the High Priest to release Jesus for he realized what he had done. He offers to give them their money back. But the priest wouldn’t listen to him. Eventually Judas couldn’t live with himself for betraying Jesus, and he hung himself.

Next, they showed Jesus standing before Pilot. Pilot asked the crowd what they wanted him to do with Jesus. They all yelled,  “Crucify Him!” He asked them again but they only yelled louder. (I wonder if I had been there that day would I have yelled “Crucify Him”?) Jesus was sentenced to be beaten with a cat of nine tails, and to be crucified. They tied Jesus up, and beat Him, not just on His back, but also on his legs, arms, stomach, head, everywhere. You see pieces of His skin ripped, and in parts missing. As He laid there in a pool of His own blood He was silent. “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” (Isaiah 53:3) “Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—  His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness.” (Isaiah 52:14)

When the guards came to take Him away they showed Him no mercy. As they dragged Him away He left a trail of His blood behind him. After they beat Jesus they put a crown of thorns on his head, and beat it into His skull. And then they mocked Him.

The next scene shows Jesus being forced to caring His own cross to Golgotha where He would be crucified. As He walked up the rocky path He stumbled and fell countless times, but the guards still beat Him, and mocked Him as He walked. Eventually they got a Jew named Simon to help Jesus carry it.

Once they reached Golgotha Simon was told to leave. As he was leaving the guards made Jesus lay down on His cross. With his arm stretched out they placed a nail on the top of Jesus’ hand, they then drove the nail through Jesus’ hand and through the wood of the cross. They did this to the other hand too and then nailed both feet together on the cross. With His blood dripping from the cross to the down below Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Before they stood the cross up they placed a sign above His head that read,  “The King of the Jews”. After the sign was placed they lifted the cross up and waited for Jesus’ to die.

Also that day two criminals were also being crucified. One of the criminals hanging beside Him said, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us”. But the other criminal protested, and said, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he says, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise”. Then Jesus looked up at heaven and said, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” Shortly after this Jesus died.

After seeing a visual of what Christ did I felt extremely nauseous. The first thing that came to my mind was, wasn’t there another way? Why did God allow this to happen? But as soon as I thought it God said, “I did it because I love you. Jesus bore your sins so you wouldn’t have to. The only thing I ask you to do is to love everyone like Christ loves you.” But seeing how Jesus loved the very people who nailed Him to the cross is the greatest example of what love truly means!

I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
                                 But You love me anyway
See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking

(You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets)

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Own Little World

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to We Will Go Ministry in Jackson. 
After worshiping with what most people would call the poor people of Jackson, we were able to hand out food and drinks to people. While I was helping pour tea (which a lot of it ended up on the ground) someone, whom I didn’t know came up and asked me if I wanted to help someone find clothes. I immediately said I would love to. I was told that I was going to be helping an older lady. Most people know that I do not necessary know what to say or do in front of older people. I was a little nervous. But it wasn’t hard at all! It was fun! We talked about how pretty it was outside and how we were glad spring was coming. After she was done getting what she needed we left, and as we were walking back to where everyone else was, I asked her if there was anything I could pray with her about. She said no, she didn’t care what I prayed as long as I prayed.  She knew she needed prayer (who doesn’t), but didn’t necessarily know what to pray. Most churchgoers get used to prayer, and many times even I take it for granted.  And in a way I forget how powerful it really is.

Even though she was poor when it comes to money, she was rich in faith.

After I had hugged her good-bye, and went to help clean up, I couldn’t help wondering where she was? Where she was going to sleep? When would her next meal be? Would I ever see her again? I couldn’t answer any of these. But I knew for once the word “homeless” has a name, a face, and a voice.  And most importantly is a child of God.

Many times when I think about going and help people it feels so overwhelming when you see the mass of people, but this time was different because I met, and spent time with one. One older lady who just wanted to talk to someone.

“If I look at the masses, I will never act. But if I look at the one, I must. ~ Mother Teresa”

Friday, January 21, 2011

“And who is responsible for this appalling child slavery? Everyone.”

In the last few weeks God has shown me how big slavery has been since the beginning of time. When most people hear of slavery they think of the civil war.
How can people bring people from Africa to America (a so called “free” country) to be their slaves? Somehow this "God country" didn't read in the Bible to love everyone and be kind to them and not to kill them (which many slave owners beat and sometimes killed people who they called slaves.) Or maybe they had a totally different Bible all together.
This past Christmas Eve Mom, Grandpa, and I went geocaching. We went to an old church cemetery to find one. The church building was built in the 1850’s.

As soon as we had found the cache I wanted to go take a few pictures of the little white church building. I was a little cautious because there were two cars parked by the building. But Mom said to go ahead. I did. When I went to one side of the building to take a picture of a bell I notice that the sanctuary was two stories high.

 When I called Mom and Grandpa over to see Grandpa wanted to go in. He thought it was reasonable to go around to every door to see if anyone was inside. So about three doors later two older men came to the door and were more than willing to let us see the inside. As we entered the sanctuary one of the men told us that the sanctuary hadn't been changed since it was built  It even had the original benches in it.
This old church still has the balcony where the church members’ slaves sat during church. People would not even let other human beings sit with them to praise God. I seriously do not think a true Christian would have slaves. When I saw this and sat down on these I wonder how so many who called themselves  Christians could own another human being. The truth is, I do not think a true follower of Christ would.

On one another geocaching adventure with friends in North Mississippi, we went to another grave yard. As we were walking through the woods to the cache we can across five graves that read “Here Lies Five Great Men”. The only thing we knew was that they were old graves and someone had come and put newer stones to replace the old ones. When we got to the cache there was a note that read “Great story about the five slaves” This note lead us to believe these five graves belong to 5 people who were enslaved.


 As we passed them again you couldn't help but look at them in a different way. This experience and seeing the benches at the old church helped bring slavery alive to be. This isn't something that happened in a different state or country; this happened here, in Mississippi. And slavery still happens in Mississippi, and all over the world.

 Numbers show that there are more slaves today than there were during the Civil war. Girls being sold into prostitution. (Around 800,000 sold each year, and around 30,000 die each year because of human trafficking). Some being as young as 3 or 4. This problem is getting bigger each day. A lot of these girls, and even boys, are sold in Thailand. And about 20,000 are sold each year in the US (The Candy Shop
Around 218,00 kids work in sweatshops (making things we buy everyday) just so they can eat. And if the “Owners” of the sweatshops do not think they are working fast enough they will beat them brutely and then espect them to continue working.
I had an opportunity to talk to someone (Mikaela Alger) who had recently been to Nicaragua; I jumped at the opportunity! I asked her if she ever encountered sweatshops or any or anything of that sort. She told me this story:
“While I was there, I went to a sugar cane plantation in Chichigalpa.
The sugar company pays the workers next to nothing, and to top it all off, they use incredibly caustic chemical pesticides in the fields WHILE THE WORKERS ARE WORKING.

 These chemicals cause severe kidney shut down, seep into the ground water and poison the environment so that even those who aren't getting sprayed daily with the stuff get it in their food and water. The kicker is, these people know that the work they are doing is killing them. They know they can't get the treatment they need, but they have no other choice. Some one told me that everyday, a person in Chichigalpa dies from kidney failure. The death toll is astronomical. In response, the government didn't build new hospitals or regulate the sugar company... instead, they built a brand new cemetery to accommodate the dead. It's a horrible injustice.”

Slavery is such a big modern problem. How are we suppose to fix it?

“And who is responsible for this appalling child slavery? Everyone.
Mary Harris Jones

(The pictures of the sugar cane plantation and workers were not taken in Nicaragua.)