Friday, September 9, 2011

Where is Home?

While I was in the states these last two weeks I found myself saying when I return “home” when I was referring to Iquitos, but then when I’m in Iquitos I always say “I can’t wait to go home.” So what or where is “Home”? We have all heard the saying “Home is where the Heart is”, but what if your heart is divided?

As Christians we know that no place here on earth is “home”, our home is where there is no more suffering, sadness, pain, or tears. Two weeks ago yesterday my Grandpa went home, he had been fighting for so long and the Father finally called him home. These last few months have been hard on the entire family, with lots of Doctor’s appointments, stays in the hospital and more surgeries. This last time when he was in the Hospital, my prayer changed; it was no longer “God strengthen him and heal him.” But “God, can you wait ___ days? I’d really like to see him one more time.”

I knew our time with Grandpa was coming to an end, but being a selfish human being I wanted just a little more time with him. I wanted to hear his laugh one more time, to feel a loving embrace, see his hard working hands and most of all to hear his voice. I guess Grandpa was just too tired.

I walked in the door of my house on Friday Aug 25th, 2011 and 3 of my Aunts were sitting in Mom’s shop getting their hair done. To feel their embrace, hear their laughs, and see their faces was like experiencing him. I’ve always known that I was blessed to be a part of such an incredible family, but these last two weeks have really opened my eyes to how blessed I truly am.
Although Grandpa will never meet my future husband, be at my wedding, or hold my newborn child, each family member that carries a part of him will bring his legacy to life as they participate in these life changing moments.

So “Home” for me is many places, it’s the house where I grew up, it’s in Iquitos, Peru where a group of strangers became a family, it’s walking in my church doors, it’s in a family members warm embrace and it’s in those peaceful, quiet moments when God reaches out and touches the heart of His child. Someday my Father will call me “HOME” and I won’t hesitate to go; I’ll be ready just like Grandpa was. Until that day I will continue to live out my faith, seek His will and build a legacy of my own to leave behind.

Loving Him, Britt

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's all about the morning!

"Be ready in the morning....." Exodus 34:2a

"The morning is a critically important time of day. You must never face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His. You cannot expect to be victorious, if you begin your day on your own strength alone.

Begin the work of every day after having been influenced by a few reflective, quiet moments between your heart and God. Do not meet with others, even the members of your own family, until you have first met with the great Guest and honored Companion of your life-Jesus Christ.

Meet with Him alone and regularly, having His Book of counsel open before you. Then face the ordinary, and the unique, responsibilities of each day with the renewed influence and control of His character over all your actions.

Those who have accomplished the most for God in this world are those who have been found on their knees early in the morning." ~From Streams in the Desert~

I have found this to be so true in my life. My whole day is off if I don't make the extra time to get up and have my time with Him. I can still remember when I was a little girl and would get up early, I would walk out to the kitchen or living room and find my Mom having her morning time with God. If she was in the living room, she would let me crawl up on her lap and rock me while I pinched her neck between my index and middle finger (This was something I did, like other kids sucked their thumb). We never said much until after she had finished reading and praying, if I was hungry I could go get a package of gram crackers, but I knew better then to ask for anything else cause this was "Mama's special time."

Mornings are my favorite part of the day, everything is new and fresh, it's the opportunity to start off a truly GREAT day! This morning I started reading the book of Job, and after the first two chapters I am reminded once again of what a wonderful man he was. I am looking forward to learning more about him and in turn applying what I learn to my life.

I hope each of you start off your day with Him, there is no better way!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Vision

As a homework assignment in our Living your Strengths workshop we were asked to make a story bored of what we were going to do over the next 9 months. But, the interesting part was that we were asked to do them as individuals, not as pairs. So I had no idea what my partners story bored was going to look like and likewise she didn’t know what mine looked like until we presented them in our workshop.

Before I started my bored I cleared my head and thought about what I love. Can you guess what my first thought was? Kids of course! So I was thinking what can I do with these kids? Why do I want to reach out to them? What draws me to them? Then I saw the faces of my 2 nephews and 4 nieces and I thought about my hope and prayer for them. And that is that there is someone whether it is a Sunday school teacher, their parents, grandparents or a pastor who is investing in their lives and teaching them about Jesus and His love for them. I pray that they grow to love God with all their hearts at a young age, just like I did!

The truth is that I am here today because people invested in my life and as a result I accepted Christ in my heart when I was 7 years old. These kids deserve that same opportunity; I believe that they are worth my time. So my goal/vision is to see the faces of my nieces and nephews in every child’s faces here and to show them Jesus’ love, teach them about the peace that He can give them; the peace that they may never see or feel in their homes. And to bring joy to their lives, so many kids here are given so much responsibility at a young age that they no longer know how to have fun and be a kid. So I want Love, Peace and Joy for the kids of Iquitos Peru!

Now, the trick is to make sure that I balance my time with the kids and with their parents……..praise the Lord I have a wonderful partner who has a vision for the parents/adults! So we make a pretty great team. Just yesterday when we were in a ladies house her baby was getting a little fussy so as Esther continued with the lesson I got the little boy out of his high chair and started playing with him. After a while I could see that he was getting sleepy, so I stepped outside and began to rock him in my arms and within 5 minutes he was out. When he was good and asleep I sat down on the sidewalk and held him, as I held him I thanked God for the opportunity to have this sweet boy in my arms. And then I began to pray for his mother who was sitting inside learning about the AMAZING father she has who loves her even more then she could even imagine.

When Esther and I were on our way home she told me about how awesome her time was with the mother; I smiled and said that is wonderful, tell me about it! We both walked away feeling so fulfilled, although I didn’t read a verse or even teach part of the lesson I was a part of that woman’s growth that day. My heart was so full yesterday, all because I got to hold a baby; what a blessing from God!

In His loving and faithful service, Brittany

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving in Peru ~2010~

Happy Thanksgiving….I know I’m a little late.

I had one of the best Thanksgivings ever this year, and I wasn’t in my “home” country, or with my family. But I felt so at home and surrounded with love.

On Thanksgiving Day I Skyped with my family in the States. I thought it would be really hard to see everyone at my parents house, but to my surprise it wasn’t instead is was a wonderful blessing. The best part was being able to pray with them! It brought tears to my eyes as I heard my Dad pray, I didn’t realize how much I’d missed praying together as a family until that moment. They were kind enough to NOT eat in front of me, but they did talk about everything they had and all the yummy pie they were about to eat. No one’s perfect I guess : ).

We decided to wait and have our Thanksgiving until Monday the 29th when the boys would be back from working out on the river. Heather invited our DS and his family to join us, so with all of us we had a total of 15 adults, 4 kids, and 2 babies! It was a multi-culture table, with rice , maracuy√° juice, and salsa de cocona. We prayed and sang in Spanish and English and we all went around the table and said what we are thankful for. As we were going around the table the DS asked if this holiday was only once a year? I think it’s safe to say that he enjoyed EVERYTHING!!!

So what was/am I thankful for? I’m Thankful for the work God has done in my life over the last year and I’m thankful for the new family he has blessed me with. Although there are times when I’m frustrated with the way things are here, deep down, there is no place I’d rather be. I pray that each of you too can be thankful for all God has given you and find joy in where he has called you…..wherever that may be!

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NLT)

See picture’s below!

Pictures of Thanksgiving 2010-#2

The boys watching Football

The DS and his wife!

The N.American 40/40's (Lt-Rt: Katie, Laura, Me, Drew and Sophia)

The 40/40 N. American girls!
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Pictures on Thanksgiving 2010-#1

1 THE FEAST!

My plate

My beautiful partner(Esther) and I

LOVE THEM! (Lt-Rt: Heather, Laura, Katie and me)
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

~Love Deeply~

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Have you ever noticed that it doesn't say "And love will NEVER hurt" We all have stories of how we've been hurt by loved ones, it's just a part of life. I find verse 8 interesting because I think we could all say that at one time or another love has failed......but NOT HIS love, human love.

Anytime we get hurt by love or from loving someone, what do we do? We pull away; we put our hearts in a safe and don't give the code to ANYONE. We become determined to protect ourselves.....most of all to protect our hearts. I'm finding that this is NOT possible in ministry....or in life in general.
I'm reading Henri Nouwen's book "The Inner Voice of Love" and I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I love it because he has some very beautiful words to share and says them in such a way that you can relate. But I hate it sometimes because it challenges me, it makes me look in the mirror and see not only faults but ways to improve. And to be honest, most of the time.....it's not easy to change who you are or who you've become.

Ok, so back to love. I want to share with you what Henri has to say about loving deeply. He says "Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply. You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful.

It is like a plow that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pan of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decided not to love again, or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.

The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become part of your self and thus gradually build a community within you.

Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live; there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become part of your inner community. The wider the community of your heart, the wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear."

There's really not much else to say after that......except just keep making your circle bigger! Continue to love and love deeply......even when it hurts.

In His love and mine, Brittany