How blessed by God I am! We had signed up to go on a Mission Awareness Encounter ( a tour of European missions and missionaries) with our District Superintendent, Brother Bill Leach. We were planning on using tax refund money for the trip, but we ended up using it on other things, some needful and some not, to be honest. As time wore on, we knew we would not have the money to go. Our finances were tight all summer, I couldn’t manage to save a single penny. On top of that we had a wedding to go to a week before that. We had planned on going to the wedding in Omaha, staying with family in Minnesota for a week and then we hoped to fly from Minneapolis to Detroit to meet the team. When we got home we would fly back to get our kids from their grandparents’ house and drive home.

So, we came to the conclusion that as much as we wanted to go, that it wasn’t going to work out. We were ok with that, too. I was surprised by peace about it. I called Lisa Nagle, Bro. Leach’s secretary (and a fabulous one at that) and told her our situation. To make a long story short, Brother Leach and Lisa worked to raise our funds and change our flights so we could fly from Minneapolis and meet the team in Amsterdam! And then, people started giving us a few dollars here and there (Evangel Life Assembly of God in Bad Axe gave us a very nice check) and soon we had spending money, too! Chris’ parents paid our way to the wedding. We couldn’t have asked for more. God blessed us richly.

We thank Mount Hope, Evangel Life, and the others who gave to our trip. We truly would not have gone without you!

It was an amazing trip. We learned about Europe’s background and current situation as relates to religion. I never realized how hard the ground is. It seems that people are either Atheists or Catholics who are not practicing most of the time. They do not see the need for God at this time. It is harder to evangelize there than the third world countries that we usually focus on with missions. Kudos to those who serve there for their faithfulness and tenacity.

We had lots of history lessons in order to see the background and I loved it! We got to see gorgeous castles, churches and many, many historical sights like Waterloo and Battle of the Bulge.

I pray that the district is able to this again next year and that many people will go. It was definitely an eye opener. It was great to spend a week so close to our district superintendent, too. He is an inspired man of God. I am so happy that I am in this district that is led by a man in tune with God and creative in his plans.

I think one thing I learned about myself on this trip is that I need to be more active. I was very tired (still am) as I traipsed from place to place, but I survived. There is energy in doing. What I am trying to say is that I am far too lazy at home. I have an ache or pain and I sit down to rest, but the more I rest, the lazier I get. I need to get going, have a plan of action, work for God, even if it’s only in my home. I feel energized when I have a task to complete. I usually push myself too hard to get the task of say, packing for a trip, completed and then end up sick. I don’t need to push quite that hard, but at the same time if I didn’t go from lazy to crazy, but rather from working normally to working on packing, I would not be so apt to get sick because I am unused to the work.

I also need to work on finding ways to relieve my stress. Lately I have really been feeling stress in my stomach. I feel my stomach roiling. If I don’t have an ulcer yet, I’m bound to get one going on like this. I need to find the best way to rest in God for myself.

Another thing I need to focus on is discipline. I need to continue and strengthen my prayer discipline and I need a schedule to keep myself on task.

I also need to figure out where my place of ministry should be. I feel a morphing coming. I am becoming more of what God wants me to become as I shed the weight of past hurt and unforgiveness. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me. Today I feel like I could do anything! And I can, “do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJ