Those In Between Moments

Our time in Kenya is going by so quickly. We our team has spent a lot of time preaching, teaching, learning, and listening to the Word of God. That’s why we are here, to share the good news of our Lord Jesus. 

While we are here the daily needs of life continue. Some of the very special moments are the in between.  The unplanned events…

Walks to the river to get water. Each one carefully carrying their jug of water back home. 

Helping in the smoky kitchen as the ladies work hard to make everyone food. I will admit I think I’ve become a pretty good good chapati maker. 

Teaching the kids and youth how to play wiffle ball.

We were ready to go one day and the vehicle needed gas. So we got out and played with the kids. Sitting in a circle, bare toes pointed up to the sky singing, clapping, laughing. 

Getting our hair braided by the hotel housekeepers. As we visited with them about family, their childhoods, their work and Jesus.

These are just a few short examples of moments here in Kenya. 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:1-5

The next few days we have plans in the city and the slums. Your prayers are much appreciated. 

There is always time for Fika

I learned about 3 words in Swedish, the most important one being Fika. Amanda shared this discription with me and I think it’s perfect.

It’s the perfect word for my trip to Scandinavia. A refreshing pause between 2 destinations. Last night we spent the evening visiting and singing. So encouraging and refreshing to me, because now I’m off to a different continent:  Africa here I come! I thank the Lord for this blessed little time of rest and I feel ready for this next adventure (or whatever you may call it.) I promise to share more of Scandinavia later, I had some amazing hosts and loved catching up with friends and making new ones (most of my good photos are on my camera). But for now I request your prayers as our team makes our way from several countries and states to serve in Africa.

“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36

-Julie Ann

Sisu- Finnish Adventures

Just a quick update. I spent my last week in Finland. Since its my heritage I have always heard much about Finland and the people of Finland growing up. Saunas, Mukkara, sisu..its all part of the culture haha. Over time I have met so many Finns and always been invited to visit, so it was nice to finally make a trip.

Never have I been to another country with so many familiar faces/looks. Friends and family have told me that everyone is so welcoming and of course you will never go hungry, I have found this all to be true.
Monday was a special day. I stayed with Terese, she is a teacher and had invited me to come share with her class about life as a missionary, the love of Jesus and my travels.
It was so much fun. The 5th and 6th grade students were excited to learn. They helped me to point out countries on the globe, were fascinated by the photos and asked excellent questions. Questions like, “what is the craziest thing you have done” and “what is your saddest experience” were among them.
I also enjoyed getting to know the staff they have a love for the students and want to teach them well. We helped the 1st graders with needlework, got to peak in on woodworking and sewing. In art the kids painted leaves with frost on them.
I have heard Finland as some of the best schools with good mix of fun (walks through the forest) and academics. It seemed to be true. Of course this is just one school in the system but what a wonderful place it was.
The rest of the week was filled with food, fellowship and friends.
I told Terese to let her students know that I have changed my answer to what is the craziest thing I have done. Now I must say it was going into the lake when the air was -1.5°c, then to the sauna, back to the lake, then sauna, then lake. Now that is crazy, but I did it. I guess that means I’m true Finn 😉 Now I spend a few days in Sweden and next stop Africa 🙂

Fall Photo Sessions

Hello everyone,

Just a quick update. I have been in the US for the summer and am currently making plans to go overseas again soon. I’m looking forward to traveling to Finland and Sweden on my way to Kenya. As many of you know, photography is one way I help to support myself as I work with The Foreign Mission.

I just wanted to update and let you all know when/where I am available for photo sessions.

New Hampshire: September 1-September 23rd & November 14th- December 20th

Washington: September 25th-October 15th

Schedule quickly as my availability will be limited and the Summer/Fall weather is slipping away fast.

Details: Family, Senior, Newborn, Sisters Shoot, Engagement, Anniversary…

Price: $45.00 

The photo session includes: 40-80 edited photos given to you on a flash drive + an online album to view and share. Contact me for more details.

Are you getting married in the next year? I am also available for weddings and I am happy and willing to travel to pretty much anywhere. Contact me. We can talk details and check availability.

I am not professional, I just enjoy giving you good quality photos at a reasonable price and try to make your session as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. Here are some examples of my work.

 

DSC_5413FlyingDSC_5888DSC_0951z1LRS (6)

 

Contact: 360.609.1445 or email authenticbeautydesigns@gmail.com

The Best Cup of Coffee

Heres some thoughts from a trip to The Philippines in April.

IMG_5156

The van went only as far up the winding road as it could, then there was a little dirt bike brigade waiting for us. Many of them with wood racks on the side. We had noticed several coming down using these racks hauling timber. There were 19 of us and about 6 or 7 dirt bikes and a few extra village people + some bags of rice. If you do the math, that doesn’t seem feasible, but this is the Philippines.

We got onto a bike. Pastor Bert and a large sack of rice on the side of one. A young girl whom I recognized from being at the youth event (she was so happy to know we were going to their village the next day) and Pastor Bernie on the opposite side. I was on the back of the motorbike.

IMG_5175

The road/trail was bumpy, winding and the views  amazing as we wound our way up the mountain and into what seemed to be more of a jungle area. The youth girl leaned on me for balance, then she clung unto my hand and smiled big at me as her long hair covered her face and blew in the wind. I noticed the drivers feet were on the ground in several areas to keep us in balance on the rocky ground.

IMG_5190IMG_5187

At the end was a valley, a little homes and lush green areas surrounded by mountains. The small street led us to a gate. There was a wood two story home next to a church.

Inside we met “The blind guitar player”, an old friend of Randy and Brain. Randy gave him his guitar and he played some songs while a young woman sang along.

IMG_5179

We were invited into the kitchen, a pot boiled on an open fire. The smoke from the fire went out the cracks in the wood, as the sun shone rays across the kitchen.

I picked up a small mug with a heart shape on it and sat down. My cup was filled with water and instant coffee added someone had saved creamers stored from a previous meal in town. I fully enjoyed my coffee with a roll that had been bought from the bakery in town. It was just instant coffee and but it was delicious.

IMG_5185

As I was soaking in the beautiful moment I was startled back to reality. Apparently too many people were in this little kitchen and the floor gave out from Brian and Randy causing everyone to jump. This home was very old, and the wood was in much need of replacing, they began discussing how to brace it from underneath.

This was a special day and memory for me. Perhaps because it reminded me of my grandma Doris’ kitchen when I was young, the same pleasant feeling. And the small woman at the stove, she is the blind mans wife. I felt so blessed to get to visit there, to be invited into her little kitchen; the others went out and I remained. Seated, watching as she poured a few more cups, stepping up on a little platform to reach the stove.

It was one of the best tasting cup of coffee I have ever had, maybe because it was made with a whole lot of love for a stranger.

Everyone gathered in the church to worship, Brinna and I had little lesson with the kids in the home, then joined the others for the service. Many in the village joining us and we had lunch with them after before balancing our way back down the winding path.

IMG_5196

IMG_5197

I helped the girls wash the lunch dishes here at the “sink”

IMG_5229

GivethLyn

As I have traveled through the years I have met so many people, and certain people really stick in my memory and my heart. Givethlyn is one of those. I met her 5 years ago in The Philippines. I was hoping to see her next week when I go, however she is now in heaven and someday I will see her there.

Five years ago, Givethlyn was a very small, especially quiet little girl and for most of the trip we did not know this was mostly  because she was sick. Her father Pastor Bert spent much time with us along with his wife and Givethlyn. The day before we left they were very worried and had brought her to the hospital. We went there and prayed with her, with the family and I remember singing Jesus Loves Me. After we arrived home we learned that she had Leukemia. We all rejoiced when over time with much prayers and support the Lord healed Givethlyn.

Recently we had received word that Givethlyn’s Leukemia had returned, and just a few days later we were told this time God chose to take her home.

Please pray for Givethlyn’s dear family that God would give them peace and comfort. Please pray for the team of us as we go to The Philippines that we can above all share The Gospel message and that hearts will receive it. Please pray that we can be an encouragement for Givethlyn’s family and all those who love her. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1

These photos are from my trip in 2011:

180424_10150399728765274_3449259_n

180004_10150399733380274_1725417_n

 

 

180688_10150399733360274_1894873_n182252_10150399725040274_4474127_n182828_10150399725790274_2251916_n

Animal Balloons and Laughter

When I travel I attempt to count Joys in my journal. Special moments in the midst of the day. Last week we returned from India. Here’s a taste of the Joys I wrote in my Journal along the way.

  • Color; clothing, vehicles, flowers its everywhere.
  • Animal balloons and laughter.
  • Medicine to help the sick.
  • People listening from the doorways, rooftops and scattered about as The Word is preached and broadcast through the village.
  • Music and singing with passion.
  • Butterflies fluttering about.
  • Ruth and her servants heart.
  • Devotions on the rooftop.
  • Clothes being washed near the well.
  • Walks on the dusty streets, spinning and laughter with the village children.
  • Ice Cream for Everyone (200+ people)
  • Psalm 42 read in Telugu by on of the children.
  • That woman with the huge smile.
  • Understanding when feeling overwhelmed.
  • Children in uniform with little backpacks on a cool, hazy morning.
  • Messages about The Living Water.
  • A team that can laugh, learn and share together.
  • Crowds that disappear into the darkness at the night street services.
  • Quite time, rest.
  • Sunday school lessons of David and Goliath.
  • Long walk up a mountain side to the tribal area, and hearing the singing from a long ways down the road.

Just to list a few 🙂