Tag Archives: Missions

Thankful Thursday

It’s been a minute.

Last week, on the phone with someone from a family we were currently serving at the funeral home, the caller asked to speak with a co-worker who was also on the phone. I asked the caller if she could call them back in a few minutes. The caller said, “is it a minute that’s just a minute, or is a minute that like hours long.” That took me by surprise. No one had ever asked how long a minute was….it was 60 seconds last time I checked. I don’t think the span of one complete minute has changed since I went to school, but then I remembered; the term “it’s been a minute” could mean anywhere from one minute to several months, possibly years I suppose, for this generation.

I get confused at times at the changes in terminology. It’s been actually a few years since I wrote a Thankful Thursday online. Back in 2007, Thankful Thursday’s were a regular occurrence with several other devotional writers. It caused me to pause every single Thursday and give thanks out-loud to the World Wide Web. Yesterday–I was reminded…it’s time. It’s been over a minute.

There are so many things I have to be thankful for, I will hit just a few this morning:

The presence of and my relationship with God.

I’m thankful for Friday: A specific Friday, and what took place on the “Friday”: The complete and total sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as He surrendered His life to the cross for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day–and now is at the right hand of God the Father, always attentive to our lives and the needs in our lives.

I’m thankful for the ability to pray and attend church services freely without fear of death or persecution.

I’m thankful for my sweet family–every-single-one. We have been blessed to have mother and grandbuddy move closer to my sister, Aimee and I–and with things in this world as they are and health issues, I’ve never been more grateful that to have the ability to just drive about three miles to check on them.

I’m thankful for our home. We’ve been in our home since February and I still walk around sometimes in amazement that God would bless us with the desires of our heart so deliberately. I mean–you would have to know how many times my sister and I walked by this house built in the early 70’s and almost jokingly claimed it for us as a retirement home because of it’s perfect location. It was no joke to God. He knew exactly what we would need and when we would need it.

I’m thankful for health. We have faced new health issues the past few years and they have made me appreciate the good health we have had for so long. Heart issues are scary anyway–but when it’s the love of your life having them…we celebrate the fact that God hears and heals. Sometimes He does it outright–sometimes He uses medicine, procedures and physicians. We are thankful for all of it! And I’m thankful to have my sweet husband a little less stressed ūüôā

I’m thankful for our daughters, their husbands, and all the wonderful grandchildren! From 20 years old to two years old–we have the blessings that only can come from the grace and mercy of Almighty God! Are they perfect? Are you kidding? But they are ours and we love them and pray for them all constantly.

I’m thankful for our church family. I have learned so much in my life sitting under various pastors, and I’m thankful that every single one of them have had a heart for missions;–the community, the city, the nation and the world. And our church reaches both near and far. It’s sad to watch churches dwindle down to nothing and have to close it’s doors. I wonder sometimes if it is their short arms…. not reaching beyond their doors, not looking at the whole picture–the whole world.

I’m thankful for my job. I found it very odd that when we returned from Bolivia (early), as I was struggling with severe depression–(a few times I felt to the point of just wanting God to take me home), that God would sit me down to work and serve in a funeral home. How ironic. But He as the healing and restoration has come, God has allowed me to love on and serve hurting families. Healed through serving. I don’t think it happens like that much of the time. But for me, He chose this way.

I’m thankful for my next door neighbors. ūüėČ This was actually the sweetest prayer answered, to me, since my baby sister lives next door! We both realize that nothing in our lives is guaranteed to stay the way it is, especially for those serving in ministry. I’m not so tied to this home, nor she hers, should God see fit to call either of us to a place beyond the limits of our sweet city. We must all remain flexible and pliable in God’s hands. Otherwise, the twisting and molding, chiseling and carving that must be done on us can get so painful (hand raised in acknowledgement). The process of change still hurts, but when we surrender to His hands–and are still before Him, it’s much easier than if we balk and demand our own way. Our way is not the best way–only God’s way is.

I just realized I’ve written more than the normal “thankful Thursday” used to be. We kind of kept it at a shorter limit…because you know, people get tired of reading… But my heart and life is full of things to be thankful for! I bet yours is too. Feel free to leave a comment with YOUR thankful’s for this Thursday!

A beautiful park not far from San Jose, Costa Rica! One of our favorite places to live!

Why Are YOU Here? (by Jeff)

‚ÄúWhy are you here?‚Ä̬†¬†I preached this sermon on a Sunday morning at our home church just a bit ago and when I arrived in Bolivia this past weekend, I was honored to be able to preach in two services and I referred to this question in both of them.¬†¬†

Today, the LORD asked me,¬†‚ÄúWhy are YOU here?‚ÄĚ

I arrived in Santa Cruz on Saturday night and haven’t slowed down since I’ve been here.

My dear friend, Pastor Joel and I have been fast paced, trying to get everything accomplished that needed doing for this year.  All the preparations for what our teams will do when we arrive in the coming months.

Today began like all the rest, wide open, and hot, hot temps.  We arrived at one of the schools that Focus Forward Ministries have in the past years, helped with several projects‚ÄĒand some of you have been a vital part of that, through your giving to help us build bathrooms and purchase playground equipment to ministering to the kids in crusades in so many times.  

The principal, who has become a good friend to our team, had prepared us a good breakfast when we arrived. After enjoying the breakfast, I began questioning the principal to catch up on what‚Äôs been going on.  School begins here next Monday, February 3rd, and I asked her what the school, the teachers or students might need.  One big thing I really wanted to know was, ‚ÄúHow are the kids on school supplies‚ÄĚ.  ‚ÄúWhat can we do to help the kids get started off right this school year?‚ÄĚ

She replied to me that there would be 33 kids show up on Monday with no supplies.  Nothing in their hands, no uniforms, no books, not even a pencil.  That’s when the tears began flowing from my eyes.  

Thinking of all these kids who didn’t have anything.  As she was talking about the needs of these 33 kids, something came over me and I just had to assure her that these 33 kids would have what they needed before school began on Monday. 

¬†I don‚Äôt normally make any decision without first talking it over with Angie, Chase, Shelly, Floyd and Sandi, our Focus Forward Team.¬†¬†But once she began telling me about this situation, those words came rushing back to my mind,¬†‚ÄúWhy are YOU here?‚Ä̬†¬†

As those four words made themselves at home in my mind, I knew I had to decide right then.¬†¬†I asked her to meet us at the school supply store first thing in the morning.¬†¬†Our friend, Geraldo, owns this store and always gives us a good discount.¬†¬†(That‚Äôs why we asked for donation of money this year‚ÄĒit‚Äôs so less expensive to buy supplies here.)¬†¬†¬†

As we began to talk more, I asked if there was anything else that was needed.  She began to share with me the needs of two of the kids in this particular school.   There are sensitive details I am not at liberty to share on social media, but I will share it when I get home with our prayer partners.  But to get to the bottom line of these two children, we need to help them get back in school.  They had to drop out this past year.  The principal had been searching everywhere for answers on how to get these kids back in school.  As soon as she said that she couldn‚Äôt find a way, those four words came to me again, ‚ÄúWhy are YOU here?‚ÄĚ

This IS why we are here.  This is why we came.  

The LORD has blessed us insurmountably- to be able to bless these. Maybe we don‚Äôt always have cash on hand, but we always have prayer partners who will pray, and we serve a GOD who always supplies. 

Again, twice in one day, I made a decision without consulting with our Focus Forward Ministry Team. On faith, I committed us to support these two children, age 10 and 12, in school for this year.  Angie and I have had plenty of experience as God‚Äôs children, that when we ask believing, He supplies.  He does not withhold any good thing from His own.

  • Here‚Äôs what I know God will supply:¬†¬†
  • the finances to keep these two in school;
  • funds for uniforms;
  • books; and
  • necessary supplies.

Even if I have to give up a few meals a week, or some of the conveniences that I have; even if I have to sell some of my prized possessions, whatever I need to do, the educational needs of these two will be met.  

I talked to a pastor yesterday, he shared that his wife became sick and had to be hospitalized and he didn‚Äôt have the money to pay the hospital.¬†¬†He had to sell his car to pay the hospital bill and now he walks everywhere he goes.¬†¬†So you see, when it comes to¬†someone we love, we will do whatever it takes‚ÄĒand the LORD has put such a love in our hearts for these kids in Bolivia‚ÄĒand we will do whatever it takes, for we know, without doubt, our God will provide a way.

Some of our local church members may remember when I preached a message a few Wednesday nights back, I made the statement¬†¬†‚Äúthe people who work in the prisons really had my admiration‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒand then I said, ‚Äúthat was one thing I didn‚Äôt want to ever do‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒand then, ‚ÄúLord I don‚Äôt want to do it, but if you say, if you open the door, then I will.‚Ä̬†¬†Well, you guessed it.¬†¬†The LORD opened the door today.

In our meeting today with the principal at Freedom School, he asked the question,¬†‚Äúwhen your team comes back, would you like to go into the prison and minister to the kids there?‚Ä̬†¬†He said the door had been opened to him to go in and minister to about 50 kids ranging in age from three to five who cannot come out to attend school, and he wanted to know if we would want to go with him.¬†¬†And again, those four words rang in my mind again,¬†‚ÄúWhy are YOU here‚ÄĚ?

I think the best answer I have to that is ‚Äúbecause I prayed: Lord here am I, send me‚ÄĚ.


And to top the day off, meet Dana (pronounced, Donna), age 12, her goal is to be a missionary‚ÄĒand hey, get this; to the USA.¬†¬†You know I already feel a burden for Angie and myself to help make this happen.¬†¬†After all the heartbreaking news of the morning, to hear this statement brought the tears once again, but this time, they were tears of joy.

We are incredibly grateful for each one of our supporters–those who have chosen to sponsor the school supply projects in Bolivia or to help keep a child in school. Your impact in these lives will be a ripple effect in the lives beyond the borders of all our lives. Thank you.

You Have to Believe it to See it

You’ve heard people say,– I’ll believe it when I see it? Try believing before you see. Try seeing it in your spirit. And then watch Him unfold the journey.

When in Costa Rica, I almost forgot that a blue this color existed. But the skies are that blue at home. #nofilter. And at night, the stars shine bright. It’s especially beautiful on a cold night. Head thrown back, thanking my Father for such wonderful gifts like this!

Every night while home, when I took my Gracie Mae out, I would look up at the night sky and draw in a deep breath of cold air and proclaim aloud my gratitude for the heavenly display of night-lights. I love it. If you have never had a length of time when you couldn’t see the stars– or a cloudless blue sky this spectacular– like only Northwest Florida (at my moms house) can produce, then maybe you don’t quite understand my immense joy. Even though I couldn’t SEE the stars in Costa Rica, I knew. I believed. They were still hanging around up there. Waiting to be seen!

I love coming home. Although we didn’t stay at mother’s this visit– (the things we both had to do were concentrated in Marianna), I still enjoyed my few short visits back home. It’s was really odd- the LORD really helped me deal with the emotions of each place I called home. The people– that’s another thing. It hurt to leave them again.

Our daughters and their boys are the delight and light of our hearts– but we have an urgent compelling to follow what God has laid on our hearts. It’s a compelling that we just can’t turn off.

The other night I heard something- it was actually in the wee hours of the morning– I lay there very still and the Holy Spirit whispered again. I got up to go to the bathroom with intentions of writing it down (typing it on my notepad) when I got back to bed. But just that fast– that word was gone. Stolen from my mind with all the busy things that kept rolling through night after night while we’ve been home.

As I lay in the bed, very still and quite, I asked the LORD, “please give it to me one more time.”

He did.

“You cannot unhear a call from God.”

Just like you can’t unsee something you wished you hadn’t seen- or unsay something you said and instantly regretted, you cannot unhear once the voice of God has called your name.

Oh how I love Him. I am so thankful that when He looked for someone to “go”, we both said “yes”. How in the world did it all happen?? Only by God’s grace and HIS divine guidance. All the pieces of this journey will hopefully one day find its way to a book– that’s what my friend Betty and I had hoped to get to work on– but it didn’t happen– too many things going on. We’ve planned it and talked it for several years now though. And God has kept piling on the Words and the journey is sweeter with every passing day.

A lot of things look different than what I first supposed. But I have followed Him long enough and lived for Him long enough to know that He is very purposed about every detail of our lives and this journey.

After being in language school with over 30 other students– from other districts, we do know that our district is the best. (Grinning– because our district is family) The West Florida District Presbytery Board gathered around us this afternoon before we left and prayed for us– and we have such admiration for what they each do. They are amazing. And one of them is our oldest daughters Pastor. And I had the opportunity to thank him for all the prayers he has prayed over our girl and her boys. God has been faithful!!

If you’re dreaming a BIG GOD SIZED dream– keep believing. If it won’t turn off in your heart and mind no matter what- keep praying. If every sermon you hear, every song and every Word keeps you coming back to circle your dream again– trust that In HIS timing, it will all line up.

No, it may not look like you imagined. You may be older, gray haired, a little weaker in body, but stronger in spirit, … believe to SEE the impossible. Believe to LIVE the improbable. And believe to be used by the Master Himself when the time is right. That’s what we are here for. Bring HIM glory, through telling His story which is our story and HIS story in us. That may have sounded like a jumble of confusion there– but it’s late. Jeff’s driving and I’m blogging on my phone.

When you look up at the blue sky– think of us. Pray for me that I will keep my eyes open to what HE wants to show me next. And when you look up at the night sky and see stars, count yourself blessed. There were many nights I teared up wanting to see them. I’ve never been on a mission trip to Bolivia and saw the stars. I only saw about 5 stars (and only saw the moon about 5 times!) while in Costa Rica. It saddened my heart a great deal because I love looking at the sky.

Well. It’s late. For us anyway. We may stop and sleep soon and get an early start in the morning. We love y’all. Every single one. Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep giving Him Praise and Glory!

Believing…. and seeing. They go hand in hand.

Believing BIG-



I need to tell you something.

Whenever I hear those words, “I need to tell you something”, my gut always lurches. ¬†Always. ¬†Usually–or when we had kids at home, it was followed by a confession of something that had gotten broken during some “rough-housing”…and yes, even daughters do that. ¬†Or at least ours did.
It’s 11:33 pm and I’ve been sitting on some news since last Friday. ¬†So, a week ago we got a verbal answer to a prayer we had been praying for more than a year. ¬†Actually, if you want to get real technical and nit-picky, we’ve probably had this on the altar of prayer for about 4 years. ¬†Not sure what-when-how God would order our steps, we just knew (and know) He does.
In February of this year, we began the¬†process to become missionaries to Bolivia. ¬†Santa Cruz to be really specific. ¬†The city and country that claimed our attention and heart after our first mission trip together. ¬†We actually celebrated Jeff’s birthday that first year there in 2011. ¬†We told very few people. ¬†We were secretly fearful that they would find all sorts of things wrong with us. ¬†Our past. ¬†Our lack of experience. ¬†Our age….and when it all boiled down to it, our age did become a factor.
The first thing we did was make a prayerful decision. ¬†Months of prayer–then one morning Jeff said it: ¬†“We need to fill out the paperwork to become missionaries full time to Bolivia”. ¬†Wow. ¬†You could have knocked me over with a feather. ¬†And that day– was an AMAZING day. ¬†I wish you could have seen the sky that day–why, it was the bluest it’s ever been! ¬†And the birds–well, they sang the best and the loudest that day! ¬†Do you get the picture? ¬†It was a spectacular–surreal feeling day. ¬†Then the next day came. ¬†And then the next…
After a few weeks of paperwork.  Buckets of tears.  (Maybe not quite buckets, but I was an emotional wreck for a few weeks.)  Anyway, the process began with the big WAIT.  Weeks went by.  We traveled to Bolivia in May for our 2015 Mission Trip with an incredible Crusade Team and the Focus Forward Team.  It was amazing.  God opened a new door and two new Schools!
We were thankful and saw and felt God move in our lives.
The summer came and brought lively camps.  Jeff spent every Tuesday sharing our heart for our new mission project with Focus Forward Ministries sharing about The Genesis Project.  The BIG WAIT continued.  Still no word.
Finally a letter arrived.  Not quite what we had hoped.  Actually, it was nothing like what we had prayed for nor expected.  We felt sort of shuffled.  Aside.
Tears. ¬†Prayers. ¬†More tears. ¬†And finally, I settled it in my heart when I handed all my dreams and plans over to God. ¬†Jeff pretty much said the same thing. ¬†God had been working in each of us–and we were having the same feelings in much the same direction. ¬†We were going to wait on God no matter what He said or no matter how long it took. ¬†We knew He had a plan–and it was HIS plan–not ours that we wanted to see fulfilled in our lives.
Later in the summer we began to prepare for our ordination exam. ¬†Nerve wracking to say the least. ¬†It was like, “let’s just add a bit more stress and anxiety to the mix!”.
I remember being outside one day–I can’t remember what I was doing–but I felt a “stir”. ¬†It was one I had felt before. ¬†It was like¬†“something is coming”-– I felt a definite change in the air. ¬†Maybe that “something” was news. ¬†News. ¬†Maybe it was changes in our lives. ¬†It actually was both.
Our District Superintendent and his wife, who is also one of our oldest and dearest friends came to our house last Friday night with the “news”. ¬†He played a recorded voice mail (which I recorded for future encouragement–who knew I would need it even this week!) of our “approval” to be missionaries to Santa Cruz Bolivia! ¬†Under the supervision of a great missionary couple that we had the privilege of working with THIS YEAR! ¬†God planned all that out in advance!
This is really skimming the surface of the news….but I needed to tell you…. After all, so many of you have been praying for us… and when things looked the bleakest— God was working on our behalf.
Some have asked–how long? When will you go? ¬†Well, first things first: Raise our budget. ¬†Raise our monthly support. ¬†Two separate things, but two necessary things. ¬†We don’t know how much yet that we have to raise, but we have much to do! ¬†We were told we could begin itinerating immediately! ¬† With that, I contacted one of the pastors who had sent a young couple with us to Bolivia this year to share our news–as they had been praying with us as well–and they said immediately, “sign us up!” ¬†Well, of course they will have to do that when we get our number, but honestly, what a shot in the arm that was for me! ¬†After all the months of waiting and all the stress and anxiety, I felt the Lord nudge me and say,¬†“See Baby?” ¬†I have been taking care of this all along….I just wanted you to trust Me”.¬†¬†(If you’ve not read some of my¬†old blogs,¬†you wouldn’t know that when Jesus is being tender with me, He calls me Baby”.)
Just in case someone out there in “la-la-Blog-land” thinks that life in ministry is a cake walk–let me sit your sweet self down and assure you, nothing is further from the truth.
Life in ministry is,¬†ahem,¬†well, to be quite frank, it can be hellish at times. ¬†I mean, you aren’t exactly grooming the lawn of heaven. ¬†You are storming the gates of hell and trying to save those through your messages, preaching, teaching, blogging, loving and sharing Christ with the lost… You are pointing “souls to Calvary’ as the song says. ¬†And no one wants you to fail more than the devil himself. ¬†With every sinner set free he’s lost another battle. ¬†That infuriates him to no end.
BUT to think, that someone would be willing to step out in ministry–to pastor a church, teach a Sunday School Class, lead a choir, or travel across the ocean to minister to a people that has no clue that they can have a real relationship with a God they’ve never heard of? ¬†That’s the last straw for him. ¬†He pulls no punches. ¬†He hits hard and fast and seemingly continual on some days.
BUT, I also want to tell you that life in ministry is unlike any other. ¬†The blessings of seeing one that you’ve been praying for come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, well, no words can describe that. ¬†Or seeing that complete stranger seek God…or those little kids clutch their Bible as if it’s Life itself… and it is. ¬†To hold the hand of a friend as she leaves this life, knowing her next step and next breath will be made in the presence of her King…oh, friend. ¬†There is pain mingled with the joy–but the joy surpasses it all.
In 2010 I heard distinctly God call me to walk closer to Him. ¬†He had in fact, been calling me closer for about 3 years…then a strong pull during the last 2 months of 2009, then WHAM!. ¬†The day came and it was so loud in my spirit and heart that I felt surely someone else heard it too. ¬†But no. ¬†It was just for me. ¬†It was undeniable. ¬†I even felt like the Marine Corp road signs at that point were all for me.
Ours has been a journey of stages. ¬†God has lead us along–and there have been days filled with SUCH joy, it is hard to put into words…and some filled with heartache. ¬†BUT, through all of this, God has shown Himself faithful and true. ¬†JUST as the Bible says. ¬†Faithful and True. ¬†Revelation 19:11
Can I ask you to pray for us? ¬†We’ve so much to do–and I feel the urgency of the hour upon us. ¬†We are almost out of time–and there are lives yet to be given a chance to know Him…we want to share Him with them. ¬†We can’t get there without support and prayers. ¬†PLEASE PRAY. ¬†That’s most valuable right now.
There’s more to share–but now that I’ve finally gotten that off my chest and mind–I think I can sleep…..

Until He Comes,


A Note To My 9 Year Old Missionary Friend.


Dear Kaylee,

Your vision and heart for others will reap rewards long after the dust settles from this trip.

The seeds sown through the work of your hands, and the fingers of others (the kids in your children’s church) will multiple countless times–until a great Harvest. ¬†When I looked at these kids–I thought about you–your heart and what you did so that they could have a constant reminder of their decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Your ¬†act of faith and obedience amazed me–as so many “grown-ups” walk in fear so often…. (I, myself have been that grown-up). ¬†Thank you for teaching us all a lesson.

The lesson I learned–big jobs-small jobs–ALL jobs matter in the Kingdom of God. ¬†Every single thing we do to express our love for God–thankfulness for our salvation–MATTERS…

I know you have a heart for missions–I am going to pray that God will continue to grow that feeling–and that He shows you every time what He wants you to do. ¬†Don’t be afraid to tackle a larger than life kind of job. ¬†If God plants the seed in your heart–pray it through and believe He can accomplish it through YOU. ¬†HE CAN!!

Sarah, you and Cory have two amazing girls. ¬†I know you realize that. ¬†I am amazed at the heart of those two–what you have sown into them is growing, maturing and blossoming into God’s purpose–His useful vessel that He will continue to use to pour out on others… I’m so glad to have been a part of what He started in her life! ūüôā

To all other mama’s and daddy’s out there: ¬†Read the Bible with your children….pray with them–besides the blessing at mealtime. ¬†Talk to them about missions–about how we all have a part we can play to plant seeds of salvation for others ALL OVER THE WORLD. ¬†Young kids like Kaylee can play just as big a part as the one who packs a suitcase and boards a plane. ¬†It’s up to all of us to do our part!

 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.  Matthew 24:14 NASB


Special thanks to David Pettis for having cards printed to explain the colors and serve as a reminder of the day they made a decision to follow Jesus.  They are a great tool to use to witness!

Lasting Impressions


Have you ever wanted to do something that made a lasting impression?  A good one.  I’ve encountered my share of bad impressions, and they’ve lasted a while, but good impressions, I believe last longer.  Good impressions live in the hearts and minds of others and in times of heartache, a good impression is often retrieved for comfort.

Do you enjoy giving a long thought out gift for a dear friend or loved one?  They see you–and know you love them and care for their well being.  But, let me share with you something I discovered:

Often in giving, the best feeling is knowing they don’t have to know who you are.  The recording of your love and compassion is recorded for all eternity.

The greatest joy for me, is watching these teachers receive what YOU gave.  If you could see into the eyes and hearts of these teachers and the principal (standing beside Jeff), you would experience the joy of giving–as never before.  It was like Christmas to these.

Necessary items that our schoolers take for granted, these do not.  We are so accustomed to running to the dollar store or local wally-world that we forget there are those who have no such luxury.

Luxury?  A trip to the dollar store?


These teachers (and there are about 9 not pictured), have the joy of teaching and training the next generation–but they must do so with such limited income and in order to teach, most of them give more than just their time.  They give their income.

In order to have paper for the students, the teachers buy it.

To color, write or draw, more often than not, the tool comes from the teachers.  We discovered that in order to make copies, the teacher has to travel about 30 minutes to a neighboring town to make copies because the school had no copier or printer.  The Lord supplied that need through someone who sent with us a copier for the principal.  And several purchased print cartridges.

This past year, we took more supplies and more printers.  Three to be exact.  So that the teachers could all have access to things that are needed in the class room.  God burdened someone’s heart with that treasure for the school at Don Lorenzo.

This year, we are traveling back, but to 4 different schools.  We hope, through generous donations to be able to take supplies, and even a printer or two.  The school supplies are of utmost importance.  Through your gifts of crayons, pencils, sharpeners, rulers, glue, etc. we are able to bless them and help with the education process of these growing children.

100_1598This little girl (Ruth), who every team member came to love in 2013, needed a new walker.  We took up an offering among us and had enough to buy her a nice walker that will grow with her and help her navigate the dirt road where she lives–and we made a lasting impact on her life.

We really never know what needs we will encounter that we aren’t expecting.  But, rest assured, we always encounter needs.


The needs are there.

The needs are often more than we can meet.

But with the help of friends back home, we can.  It takes us all working together to bear the burden for others.

We will take new testaments for the children, and gifts for the teachers, through the very generous donations from a group of women in a local church, they have supplied us with handmade pot holders!  (We are beyond excited!)

So, maybe you have read all this and wonder, “what can I do to make a lasting impression”.  I’m glad you asked!

We are taking New Testaments, soccer balls with scripture on them, and school supplies.  You may simply make your check out to Focus Forward Ministries, Inc. and drop it in the mail to Post Office Box 5773, Marianna, Florida 32447, and mark it Mission to Bolivia.  We leave May 30 and hope to take boxes of generous love and donations to those we have grown to love and care about!

IF you are near us and would like to drop off a box to us to pack with our belongings, you know where we live!  We gratefully accept your support and prayers!

And, if you know us well, you know that God has been working in our hearts for a “new step of faith”…and we sure would appreciate all your prayers.  Really.

Time is short–and our desire is to do all we can–with every breath in our bodies, until He calls us home.  we want our impression to be Jesus.  And He is everlasting.

copyrightsignature 2015

¬© Angie Knight 2015.  All rights reserved.  Photos copyright protected.  All rights reserved.



On January 12, 2010, while many¬†of us were planning what to eat for supper, some driving home listening to music or talking on the phone–just living an oblivious life to anything or anyone else (myself included), a catastrophic earthquake shook all thoughts of anything else from the minds of millions.

Registering 7.0, this quake ripped lives apart and forever marked a small country with its devastating whiplash. ¬†Because even years beyond¬†the “after shocks”, it’s still reeling.

Jeff went to Haiti with a group of pastors in 2013-and as his heart has always been for little ones,¬†as they crawled up in his lap- they crawled up into his heart. ¬†No suitcase was big enough to bring them home- and what to do about the others…

Superintendent Thomas Moore has been instrumental in helping pastors from our area get a clearer picture and better understanding of what missions is all about–by showing them live and in person the reality of this devastation.

The West Florida District is currently raising funds to send a construction team over to repair a damaged roof on an orphanage (one of the three they visited when Jeff went) and other major repairs.  The most major of all that cannot be repaired without God: these little ones.  Lives changed in a split second as the earth shook.  No mom or dad to love and care for them, but God had a plan already written for someone to come in and take these and make them her own.  (You will have to get Supt. Moore to tell that story.)

haiti collage

The roof leak? ¬†Oh, I forgot to mention, it’s over the bedrooms. ¬†Rain? ¬†Drenched sleeping quarters. ¬†Can I tell you how miserable that is?

I went on a camping trip about a year ago–and the roof leaked. ¬†Just one place. ¬†But it kept me awake all night. ¬†Even though I moved to the couch and put a boiler on the bed to catch the dripping water, the “ting-ting-ting” of the water dripping kept me awake all night wondering if it would soon leak elsewhere.

These kids–it leaks all over the place and there’s no way they have enough boilers to fill all the places for the rain invading their sleep.

So. ¬†I’m asking something of you. ¬†First–pray. ¬†Don’t just pray for the kids and the teams that go to help–or Convoy of Hope who continually see to the many needs in that country–but pray and ask God “what can I do?” ¬†You can do a lot! ¬†Any amount ¬†you are able to send in for the construction costs and materials will be beneficial! ¬†The job cannot get done without you. ¬†Every donation¬†helps.

Next, contact the district office and send an offering. ¬†Find out how many construction workers are going and help one of them with airfare. ¬†Yes they are willing- and are able–but many will need some assistance covering expenses.

The address to send your (tax deductible gift) is:

West Florida District Assemblies of God, 4792 Highway 90, Marianna, Florida 32446. ¬†Mark it “Haiti Project”.

Supt. Moore didn’t ask me to do this–doesn’t even know that I am–but God gave me fingers to type, a mind to think and understand the needs that need to be met–and a voice to shout! ¬†I have so much to be thankful for!

It’s raining today while I’m typing this–and I asked the Lord this morning to tune me into the needs of our world–this project has stayed on my mind since we sat down last year with a representative from Convoy who shared his heart and the needs there. ¬†Even though I had not been, I saw through the description and the pictures that had been taken by other team members (pastors) when they went.

When I can’t “go”, I can still make a difference. ¬†So can you. ¬†Make that call today. ¬†Do something with what you’ve been blessed with.

Thank you in advance for the lives your donation will change!


Holding Emmanuel

100_3976EmmanuelSounds more like a Christmas post…and maybe it will be- but it’s been on my mind.  The feeling from holding him.


One of the guys from our ministry team is making Christmas ornaments to sell as a way to raise funds for upcoming projects and when I saw the ornaments, one ornament, emblazoned with His name, reminded me of the baby in Bolivia.  And the Baby in Bethlehem.

Every single one of us is drawn to the babies, and this was my one chance to hold him without one of the others trying to get at him.  I held my hands out, he leaned in and I took him.  Soft baby.  Freshly washed  baby fragrance, I inhaled deep.  Remembering my own babies.  And their babies.  I asked his name.  “Emmanuel”, she said.  No translation needed.  I felt my heart speed up with my writer’s mind whirling–I was “holding Emmanuel”.  The other team members had oooed and aahhed over him, a few had held him–without knowing his name.  But I asked–because names are important to me–I like to connect somehow with those that I talk with–even when through a translator.

He leaned his little head on my shoulder and I began to whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for him, a prayer of protection, and for God to create in him a strong desire to serve and follow Emmanuel, God with us.  Jesus Christ.  Son of God.  Tears (which seemed to come often this trip) burned, mixed with the dust that was flying that morning,   I was so –so- so grateful to God for this moment.  For me to recognize a “God moment”.

To hold Emmanuel–we must recognize our need for Him.  Holding Emmanuel is a privilege.  We must seek Him.  Just as the wise men and shepherds, we will find Him when we do.

And, when we hold Him, it will change us.

The holding.  It’s a purposeful act–a deliberate decision to wrap our arms, minds and heart around Him.  Measure the feeling when you hold a baby.  Is it possible?  I don’t think it’s quite measurable.  The feeling itself encapsulates our being.  We are privileged to have experienced that opportunity.  But–God didn’t decide to come to earth as a baby –just for us…..He came for the world. (John 3:16)

So that we all might have the opportunity…and there are millions who don’t know.  Millions who have never been afforded the chance to hold Emmanuel.  Never had an introduction.  What are we doing about them?

Dare we look in their eyes and say, “I’m sorry…. we cannot give you the chance to know Jesus…you live too far away”….

“Your life is too different than mine”.

Those words won’t hold up in court.  The Court.  We will all stand for our own selves.  And what we did when we were given the opportunity to hold Emmanuel–will come to light.  Did we hold Him?  Did we share Him? Give– so that others might know Him?  Go so that others might See Him?  Live?  –so that others might want Him?  Do we pray so that they might find Him?

Holding Emmanuel changed me.  I wanted to stay there–and help his mother.  I wanted to be her friend.

But I knew –for now, I couldn’t stay.  I handed  him back with a prayer and a promise that I would indeed do my part to see that others like him, and his mother–and those other little ones running around playing would have the opportunity to hold Emmanuel.  And know Him.  And serve Him.

HoldingEmmanuelFather, I thank You for that trip.  For all the things You showed us–and all that we experienced.  I pray that we brought glory and honor to You and not shame in all that we did.  I ask that the fire we felt in our souls that week–burn even stronger as we make plans to return–and make plans to go beyond the comfort zone of our lives–as we embark on unknown places to reach the unreached.  Let our feet and hearts follow Yours.  May we bring You glory daily–until we’re Home.  In Your most holy name–Amen.


New Steps of Faith Has Brought Us HERE.

The discussion in our head began long before it commenced outside.  For both of us.

With every – single – mission trip, we felt the powerful pull of “more”.

Many months ago though, the discussion ensued in real life. ¬†Out loud. ¬†And the prayers became more detailed–and more “submitting”.

Every missionary that came through our church doors pulled at my heart. ¬†I would sit and listen and then my eyes would reveal the condition of my heart. ¬†It yearned to walk with them. ¬†Talk one-on-one with them, in their location. ¬†On the very soil where their hearts were changed. ¬†And it happened again and again–and we admitted we were no longer satisfied with “just” doing the every-day-normal routines. ¬†We had to do more.

Jeff and I have prayed and we have a deep desire-to unflinchingly –without wavering go beyond our comfort zone. ¬†We hope that you will join with us in prayer–and if God nudges you to give, we want to make that opportunity available to you as well–completely tax-deductible. ¬†A button will appear soon on the side and you can safely send a few dollars to help us build–an orphanage (orphanages)…a church(churches)…supply water…meet medical needs…school needs…the list goes on and on. ¬†The thing is–we will be doing many things–getting there is just the beginning.

Our goal is to lead teams– your church group, or several from several churches. ¬†We want to help you experience something amazing “outside” your comfort zone. ¬†It will forever change your life…your perspective–and your love for God and the people who inhabit this world.

We have a team of advisers who will help us walk in this new path–several will be joining “on the journey”–and we are extremely grateful to God for placing our paths together!

So! Thank you in advance for your prayers and encouragement–as we have discovered already–We need it! ¬†If you so choose to donate before we get the button up and running, please contact us via email (click on the “Become a Part- or About Us” button).

Philippians 3:13-14 (GWT)   Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I don’t look back, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.


(c) Jeff and Angie Knight 2014.  All rights reserved.

Goose Bumps and Shivers


I remember the day I made this photo.

I never know what God is going to do–or show me in a picture after the click and release of the shutter.

This shot is actually a layered picture–made with picasa. ¬† The church was the first one we worked together, side-by-side, laying bricks, building a place for worship.

I had my picture, and then finding a map of South America on the picasa photo ¬†website, I layered. ¬†The second I added the words, “Called to Build”, it happened.

Shiversgoose bumps–no window open, no air blowing, but a knowing God in the form of The Holy Spirit, just entered and descended.


It was like, “So, you know…what are you going to do?”

I admit–there are days I know–am confident. ¬†Then there are days when the rug seems pulled out from under me–and I stumble. ¬†But I am confident of my purpose. ¬†Love Him. ¬†Serve Him. ¬†Love others. ¬†Serve others.

Am I perfect?…you have no idea how imperfect. ¬†But– a girl friend/prayer partner gave me words a couple of years ago–‘He chose you “Angie-Baby”. ¬†(There’s a story behind that–but not for now.)

Do you know what you are called to do?  Your purpose?

It’s more than just building with us. ¬†It’s about changing lives–helping others know, really know, the Christ we love and serve.

This morning, in prayer/conversation with God I set my “wants and desires” aside. ¬†I asked for His.

 His will.

 His desires.

 His purposes to be fulfilled in our lives.

I’m a dreamer. ¬†I love to imagine what certain things would be like. ¬†I like to plan how it might come about…

This dream…this plan… I’m not totally clueless on. ¬†But….

We are following Him. ¬†So I don’t have to “know” every detail….just trust.


(c) Angie Knight 2014–The Knightly¬†Life. ¬†All rights reserved.