Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brooke's reflections

To be completely honest this trip wasn't what I expected. Prior to leaving one of the phrases that God kept placing in my mind was "dream big." I dreamt, but in the thirty days we were gone I didn't see any of those dreams least not in front of my eyes. Two of the things we all wanted to see were an on-the-spot healing and salvation, neither of which did we witness. That's not to say that I think it was a waste of time - not at all! I'm not disappointed; I'm just being honest with what I was expecting and what actually happened. Besides, I will never know the impact of each encounter in the souls of those we talked to. Who knows what God did after we walked away.

I know that God had this dream before we even thought of it. He knew what would happen and what wouldn't. Therefore, I find joy in knowing that He didn't need us but chose us for this mission. I find peace in knowing that He has a "watering pail" and a "harvester" for every seed that was planted. This whole experience has given me a new perspective on "storing up treasures in heaven."

Ultimately, I am deeply grateful that our Father was walking with us, protecting us, providing for us, talking to us, and willing to use us throughout our journey. He alone deserves all the glory, honor, and praise for it all! It's all because of His love.

Now that we're home and back to the familiar, the ordinary, the routine...
this is where the joy ride begins,

P.S. Dani and Kiersten, words can't even express...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

thoughts - km

:D Ya ya ya! We are sneaky sneaky. We slipped right into Lafayette today :)
What words could I possibly write to fully describe this experience. Praise Him! He is so good. And I have come to believe it more and more.

I have to say at the beginning of the trip it was hard to balance things like buying food, going to the bathroom, getting gas... with the actual treasure hunting. Yet, slowly they began to become one. It's kind of insane. I found myself going to the bathroom... and constantly being consciously aware of everyone in every stall, what they were wearing, what they were saying, and what God was speaking. We would sit down to eat, and there would be someone around us that was the treasure or needed prayer. It's like if I wanted to escape it (which I don't!), I never could.
How awesome is that? I know that this thing we call "treasure hunting" doesn't have to have clues. Or a title. It is simply a lifestyle. It's a lifestyle of listening to what God wants to do through you... and actually doing it. Not to mention it happens to be incredibly fun :)

God has taught me to rely on Him. For everything. I'm not sure what else I could add to that. I can't rely on others... they are looking for something to rely on as well. I definitely can't rely on money, that runs out quickly. And I surely can't rely on things... ahem... Abravan (or our GPS - Sarah). Haha. God is my source for LIFE/living/joy/purpose/peace itself. That has become so apparent.
I think that we sometimes only see with our physical eyes when God is calling us to see through spiritual eyes. What is someone really needing when they only ask you to pray for their finances? The man in the Bible that asked Peter for money really needed a miracle in his body... to walk! If anything, God has taught me on this trip to question what others really need though they ask for something different on the surface.

You are due all credit for what happened here. You taught us how.
Matthew 10

DaniB and Brookie:
Marmalade! :D
Let's continue--- every. single. day.

I hope this trip has shown you how real our God is.

Thoughts from Dani. :)

Hey everyone! Guess what...WE ARE HOME! We got to surprise our families and it was great. I just have to say how blessed I feel. I feel like I grew so much over the past month and I know that this once in a life time experience has changed me forever. I appreciate everything I have and everyone in my life so much more than I ever have before. I can't believe that I lived in a van with two other people for a MONTH! I would have never thought that this would be something that I would ever do. I *used to be* one who would do my hair and make-up every day and enjoyed the finer things in life, and now I don't care if my hair and make-up is done and don't really care what I am wearing or what kinds of things I own. It feels great to be free from those things of this world. My focus is more on God instead of those things. I also feel so much more aware of other people and what God is telling me to do or who he wants me to talk to. I know that from now on I will be able to keep my heart and mind open for what God wants to do. I am so excited for the next time I am out shopping, getting groceries, or at school and I feel God leading me to talk to someone. This joy ride is not over. It will continue on in my every day life and I promise that. Again I feel so blessed for being able to do this, for all of the people that helped make it happen, for all of the prayers, for all of the people we encountered, and most of all for God using us to do His work. I will never be the same again.

I also want to write this to Brooke and Kiersten:
You two have become two of my closest friends. I am so glad that I finally found two great people to do something radical for God with me. I feel so close to you two and I will never ever ever forget the times we had together. You mean so much to me and I love you girls with all of my heart.

What will God have me do next? :)


Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 29 and 30

Yesterday we went to church with Lindsey...let's just say we white girls were the minority and it was awesome! Cool thing about the sermon is that Pastor Walter preached on meditating on the Word at all times, and they passed out some of the Bibles that we were able to donate. After church we said good-bye to Lindsey and all of our new friends and hit the road again.

We drove all the way to Mississippi where we spent the night and did some treasure hunting today before continuing to Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Last night at dinner we got to talking with a big group of people sitting near us who encouraged when they saw us praying over our meal. Turns out they all had just come from church and matched some of our clues! Ten treasures in one place at one time...sweetness :)
  • Prayed for Heather and her twins Logan and Eli. This encounter was really cool because she was a Christian and asked that we pray for her light to shine even greater as a believer. She was encouraged that God had brought us to her, and she wanted all the prayer we had! I (Kiersten) also began to pray over her that she was not forgotten... later realizing that FORGOTTEN was a word on our list God had given us.
  • Norma and Kay were walking towards us in a store when we stopped them. Norma had her right arm in a sling (all of which was a clue). She also was a believer and told us she had so many people praying for her that she said she knows it is healed! Yeah!! And she also mentioned that she thinks she's God's favorite :)
  • In a bookstore we found Jennifer, and told her how much God loved her... after talking she wished us the best on our journey.
  • A lady (who's name we didn't get!) in Maurices.
  • Justin, probably 14 years old, was wearing a jersey with the number 14 (both that number and his name were clues God gave us!)... he was all smiles.
  • When we got to TN, we went to get a drink... as we were walking out I (Kiersten) saw a girl sitting down with her friend. I noticed some kind of bird tattoo on her shoulder but I wasn't positive of the bird. Then we walked a ways down the road, turned around (haha), and went back. Turns out it was an OWL tattoo... and owl is a clue! Brittany (with the tattoo) and her friend Kaitlyn were especially curious about out trip and purpose. It was great :)
Blessings/Funny stuff:
  • Last night was HOT...hotter than the first. We decided we had entered the fiery furnace.
  • It's a blessing to bless others with what God gave us.
  • The South was a blessing...very friendly and receptive.
  • Dani and Kiersten had a hand puppet show in the van as we roasted in the furnace.
  • We had a great discussion last night at midnight, which included topics such as the end times, worship, Church Alive, and C2.

Matthew 10:39 "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it." We believe we have only begun this journey, this joyride. All praise, love, and thanks to Jesus Christ for everything that happened here.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 27 & 28

Hola people! Yesterday we drove MUCHO. After sleeping in Sweetwater, TX we went to Fort Worth and hunted for treasure :) Obviously... that's what we do now.
After leaving Fort Worth, we drove to Arlington (where LINDSEY FREELS lives!!!). We were so pumped to see her, so we went straight to her church. There we met her pastors, our new friend Brittany, and Lindsey's roomies :) We were so excited because we were able to give ALL THREE boxes of our Bibles to the church! That was a huge bonus for all of us... including Abravan who is now 60 pounds lighter! Or something like that.

We were able to go hang out with the youth group last night (Friday night) which ended up being such a blast. We played volleyball and soccer in the rain! We got reallllllly dirty. The kids are all crazy as can be which made the experience all the better. Not to mention we fit 12 girls in ONE vehicle.

So on to today... we woke up to the smell of Lindsey's African grandmother (who feeds her cow tongue once a week) cooking something wretched-smelling. We got to try plantains... enough African food for now. Grandma is quite the amazing woman, and definitely marches to the beat of her own drum :)
We then went with Lindsey and Brittany to the ghetto to find some treasure! After the exciting ghetto stores and hospital, we went back to Lindsey's church to listen to worship practice for a while. Tonight we went to a place called "Prayer Mountain" which was some serious God time. It was really awesome... and it seemed so parallel to the Garden of Gethsemene. We encountered treasure throughout all of these crazy adventures.

  • We talked to a man and his daughter who had neon green shoelaces (clue)
  • Approached two women, one of which had a snowflake on her shirt (in the middle of June).
  • Talked to Ashley who had twin boys.
  • Dallas who was wearing orange Converse All Stars (a clue that came in a dream!)
  • Two more women in Body Central.
  • A mother, daughter, and son in Wal Mart...they said "God loves you too." We know :)
  • We spent a good amount of time talking with Elenore. We prayed for healing in her knee (a word of knowledge that came in the form of physical pain in Dani's own knee.) and she asked us to take care of our bodies by wearing shoes with support.
  • Prayed an overall blessing over Gayner.
  • Talked to a girl who asked for prayer for her mother, Erika.
  • At prayer mountain a guy overheard us talking about our trip and came over to ask questions about it. After explaining it all to him he started walking away and said, "By the way, my name is Felix." Whoa, whoa, whoa...clue! We informed him it was a clue but he merely said "no way" and just walked away. We yelled after him that God has him on His heart since He gave us the clue but he just kept walking.

Blessings/Funny stuff:

  • While riding in Lindsey's car we decided to just let our bodies go limp and move with the flow of the vehicle....weird, crazy, silly...whatever you want to call it, it was fun! We dare you to try it :)
  • Also, busting out in a good ole belly laugh is good for the soul. Just laughing as hard as you can is very therapeutic.
  • While swimming, a giant roach landed on Lindsey and we all proceded to scream as she frollicked in the pool trying to get it off.
  • Grandma. Enough said.
  • You know how we said that we played volleyball? Yeah, well, that happened without an actual volleyBALL or net. We used a soccer ball and had no rules. Add ten crazy kids and you have a recipe for pure joy.

Tomorrow we are going to church with Lindsey and then we're hitting the road again.

Peace out, homies.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

el dia 26

Oy! We spent the night in Las Cruces, NM! However, we are ones to move quickly and are now in TEXAS. We have definitely been driving most of the day today, just so we can get out of the states that are close to the border (and we went through border patrol!! exciting... a dog sniffed all aroudn our car) O and we did have some encounters :)
We met Marge, who had a family of 6 with her! She got emotional as she said we could pray for her and her large family. It seemed like there were some rough things going on.
Next was Tessie, who was so happy to be a treasure, and she wanted prayer for her teeth and a dentist that was affordable.
Blanca and Elissa were also incredibly surprised to be treasures and asked that we pray for them over all. Blanca said anything could be prayed for.

As we were driving through the DESERT, we literally stopped at an oasis... called Chevron :)
It was the only thing for miles, and we had to pee. After purchasing drinks, we got in the van back onto the interstate and Dani realized that our receipt said "Your cashier: Paul." Well, PAUL is a name God gave us yesterday!! I (Kiersten) whipped Abe around, and we drove right back to the gas station. We had to! What are the odds of an oasis, with Paul, in the middle of no where. FOR REAL. This all equals God. So we went back and talked to two of the employees... neither of which was Paul (because he wasn't there yet apparently). One of the guys was his brother... so he will be relaying the entire story to Paul, he said. It was sweetness!!

That's all we can write :(... Barnes and Noble is closing RIGHT NOW! AH!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 25

Well... Abravan broke last the middle of the desert. I (Dani) was driving. All of a sudden I heard a loud POP and then "poppoppoppoppoppoppop!!!!" I wanted to freak out, but actually stayed pretty calm as I have learned that freaking out doesn't help. :) (Kiersten was sleeping all through this!) It just so happened that there was a rest stop right beside us. We then pulled over at the creepy rest stop and had to call AAA. We waited for about an hour with doors locked and mace in hand! We were almost to Arizona so we were towed to our destination (sears) which was 20 miles away in Yuma. We were all thinking about how expensive it would be even though we got 7 miles free. After Scott got Abravan off of the tow truck we asked how much it was going to be and he said "Don't worry about it." Yeah...we didn't have to pay for towing! Thanks, God!

Sears diagnosed the problem this morning but couldn't fix it so they referred us elsewhere. All in all, we were in two different shops from 8 am until 3 pm. All of the people were very nice and helpful. Since we were stranded we had to walk to get something to eat. Do you want to know how hot it is in Arizona? 110 degrees. YES 110!!! SO HOT! They finally got Abravan fixed and we went in to pay and they started asking us if we were just on a road trip or something more. We proceeded to tell all of the people a little bit about our trip. They all thought it was great, gave us tips about Arizona, flowers, and wished us luck. We even got invited to church tonight but decided to get out of the way, there are a lot of cacti. They look like Larry the Cucumber with arms!!!

God blessed us so much with not having to pay for towing or for the diagnostics at Sears. We even paid less than what we thought to get it fixed in the end. We may not understand why this happened, but God got us through it. He is good...ALL THE TIME...even in the desert. :)

Getting out of AZ as fast as we can...