15 April 2010

Corpus Chrisit

Well, we had an awesome weekend in Corpus Christi, TX this past weekend. It was way too short though! I haven't been back to Corpus in years so it was great to reconnect with people there.

Let me give a little background on me and Corpus Christi. I first moved to Kenya in 2005, I was 20 years old and single. You could say quite a bit has changed since then! The summer of 2004, I was sent by the BGCT (baptist general convention of Texas) to Corpus for a 10 week mission. Before going, I went to this mission conference, heard all about missions. You give your top three places you would like to go in the world, then at the end of the weekend they assign a place for you. (I went to this through the BSM (Baptist Student Ministry) at the University I was attending at the time (Angelo State University). Since I was 16 years old, I have wanted to live in Africa, simply being a mom to orphans and sharing the gospel of the Kingdom. So at the end of this missions conference I put down for my three options: Africa, Africa and Corpus. And of all places in the world I could have been sent... God sent me to Corpus Christi, TX. I guess it was my Samaria. (you know, the verse that says... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."). To me though I thought I was exiled! No, not really. It was indeed part of God's beautiful plan for my life.

I spent 10 weeks with another girl working in a different church in or around Corpus every week. We did everything from VBS for kids, to cleaning and organizing some major cluttered rooms in churches, to going to youth camps as a leader, to painting desks in schools at churches. And the list goes on. But anyways. The last week of our mission, we were at Brighton Park Baptist Church. It was a small sweet little group of people that became family to us really quick. We ended up spending two weeks at this church which was the end of our 10 week mission.

I then went on a short mission trip to South Africa with Katalyst ministries. It was a dream come true. I didn't want to leave but knew God was not ready to send me there full time. I left with Africa in my heart and a dream to return again soon. So I went back to Corpus Christi and lived there a year, working and serving at Brighton Park. That's where I met Brother Bill and Jessica. Two people that made a big impact in my life. Brother Bill was the pastor at the time. He spent 15 years on the mission field with his family in Thailand so he was able to speak a lot of wisdom into my life. He became like another dad to me. His wife was the head of a school they had at the church. She was so kind to hire me as a fill in for teachers here and there and also coach the girls volleyball and basketball. Jessica was and still is a member of that church. She is a mother of two precious children. She became such a dear friend. I spent a lot of time at their house. We would always try to listen to Beth Moore on the Internet during the weekdays together. The year I lived in Corpus was a huge learning experience, to say the least. We went through a lot of transitions and hardships there. I also did a backyard bible club (using house of faith material) once a week in Robstown, right outside of Corpus, where the population made up of 99% Hispanics. So that was the start to me being the minority. Ha! I had a great year there but knew my time in America was ending. (thank goodness!) So through a connection made in South Africa, I packed my bags and moved to Kenya in June of 2005. And that's my super condensed story of my time in Corpus Christi.

I went back to visit once after being in Africa 6 months but haven't been back since. So it was fun to go visit and introduce my husband and kids to everyone. We stayed with Jessica and her family. Her son, Josh, and Elisha had a lot of fun playing together. Elisha didn't like to have Josh out of his sight for long while we were there. The day after we got home he was asking where Josh was. So sweet! Saturday night they had a little barbecue for us and had people over. It was sure good brisket and all the yummy fixins that Texans are so good at. During the day, just our family went over to Port Aransas. And I forgot my camera! We bought a cheap-o disposable though so maybe I'll be able to get them on a disk and post them here. To get to Port Aransas you have to ride a ferry. Eli loved it, Claire slept. We had fresh delicious seafood, went to a fun little candy store, then spent a few hours on the beach. We pretty much had to drag Eli away from the beach. He LOVED it! We told him we'd go back to play with Josh, so then he was totally ok with leaving. Oh the life of a two year old.

Sunday morning we went to church at Brighton Park, where I used to go. That night we gave a brief talk about Mattaw and showed a music video of Mattaw Children's Village. Then Monday morning we headed back. The trip was 5 and 1/2 hours long. We timed everything pretty well with the kids. They slept most of the way there and back. San Antonio was half way so there and back we timed it to have lunch there, both times being at places with playgrounds so Elisha could run out some energy.

Wow, so this ended up being a lot longer than planned. I wanted to give a little history about me and also encourage those that have a dream to live in Africa one day. Our idea of how we should get there might not always be the right way, but you just take one step at a time in faith, and surely if it is the Lord's will, he will get you there! "TRUST in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on YOUR understanding but in ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL make your paths straight!" Prov. 3:5-6.

We are two weeks away from saying goodbye to San Angelo, and about three weeks from flying out! It's been a little crazy packing for everyone! But we definitely find time to rest and catch up with people before leaving. I'm still loving being a mama to two beautiful kids and a wife to a sweet and handsome hubby. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else in the world than what I'm doing now!

Here's the kids from this past weekend... Josh, Faith, Elisha and Claire

Check out Eli's facial expression... this is him saying "mom, I got her, don't freak out, I can take care of baby sister"
Eli shushing Claire, trying to get her to stop crying
Created for this,


Emily (from JOMO) said...

I loved reading your story. SO cool to see how God had it all mapped out for you. I love the last picture of Elisha and Claire! That is too cute! So excited to see you guys in a couple weeks!

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