Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Visit to the Bible College in Lima!


I was blessed my first semester of Bible College to live with 3 latin girls: Karina, Belen and Sandra from Honduras, Ecuador and Peru! We use to wake up at 5 every morning as a room and pray together, and I got to practice Spanish with them! SO fun! When I was here before Lili used to live far but she just moved houses a few months ago and now lives a few blocks away from the Bible College. Yesterday we walked over to the college to visit Karina and Belen who were still there taking finals before flying back home! They both just graduated and Sandra just got married! It was so great to see them and to see other friends at the Bible College! :) From left to right (Lili, Belen, Jess, Karina)

Here in Peru!! :)


I'm here!! Lili and her mom and sister came to pick me up at the airport on Monday early early in the morning! After being on the flight and trying to communicate with two Peruvian women and failing, I was afraid that I forgot a lot of my Spanish and that these next few weeks would be all about practicing. What a blessing though that when with my Peruvian family here it becomes so natural! It's so good to be here again! After a year and a half, it feels like there has been no time in between and catch-up time with Lili and family has been such a blessing! Keep Lili's family in prayer, they are such a gift to me!! (mommy- Julia, sister- Lorena)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last day in SoCal



Okay so let me be honest... I was kinda bummed with myself for buying the wrong ticket and flying home a day later, lessening my time to pack and get ready before going to Peru. There was nothing I could do about it and I knew there had to be a bigger reason why it happen, and let me just tell ya, It was one of the best days of my life!! Thursday night after graduation I went to my friend Suzie's house and got to relax and hang out. The next morning, Andrew and Aaron from the Bible College came to pick us up from her house for an adventured-filled-day in LA. First stop was to Andrew's church where he shared with us from Acts chapter 2 and speaking prophecy over each other by reading scripture to one another and praying for however the spirit would lead. I was so blessed as we got to pray for each other before departing, and also blessed that they laid hands and prayed for me for the trip to Peru. From there we drove through the city with minor stops for some good grubbin' and made our way to Andrew's mom's restaurant. We got to put aprons on and go into the kitchen and make our own food! I felt like we were on a TV show.. it was good practice in learning how to cook for me! :) From there Japan, China and Korea town with lots more samples and stuffed bellies! WIth fun conversations, a day covered in prayer and lots and lots of laughter, time flew by so quickly before it was time they dropped me off at LAX and headed back home! To me it was such an example of God's faithfulness that He shows through the love of friends. Imagine this.. think of someone who loves you and encourages you so much... now get this... how much more does God love you! My friends just give me a larger view of who God is and how much He loves and is involved in our lives!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mexico Missions trip




I have been attending a church in southern California called Calvary Chapel Canyon Hills. Through this church I heard of a missions trip going down to Mexico for a weekend to work at Jon Courson from Applegate church’s orphanage. There was a group of four of us Bible College students that joined the team as we headed over the border Friday. We got to serve at this ranch along side 30 students studying the Word and loving on the orphans there. The orphanage was started years back by Jon with the purpose of caring for children with disabilities. Each year students go for 9 months and study the Word of God and intern serving the orphans there. They live with them, help them get ready each morning, and get them to bed at night. The Saturday night we were there was Halloween and as we were having a bonfire and worship under the stars, little children from the town nearby came in their costumes saying to the Americans “tricky tricky Halloween!” The Spanish version in Mexico of “trick-o-treat.” So cute! After a day of getting to serve along side the students there, we sat around a bonfire under the stars worshipping an sharing what the Lord revealed to us that day. The day was such a blessing and so humbling in being able to help the orphans get dressed and ready for the day, going on walks and helping them brush their teeth and do their hair. As someone well put it during the worship; serving the orphans is a perfect example of our relationship with God. They are completely dependent on us to take care of them and care for their needs as we are to be dependent on the Lord to take of us and care for our needs. It was such a great weekend!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A visit!


Emily and Leslie came up for a day to the campus to hang out and catch up! It was such a blessing to be able to see them and hear what all has been going on in their lives. Emily got married almost 2 years ago and is now living in Alabama with her husband... soon moving to Tennessee for the military, and Leslie is in her senior year at Point Loma for nursing. What an encouragement they are! Leslie and I were accountability partners 3 years ago and Emily and I were in a summer Bible Study together. After spending the day chatting we decided to add a little adventure in and go ice-blocking; the adventure mainly being trying to drive around and find an ice block. New to ice-blocking? No worries, I was a rookie. It's pretty simple... you buy a block of ice (Albertsons if you were wondering), find a grassy hill, grab a towel to cushion the block, and sit down for a ride! Wa-la! It's kinda of like summer sledding! Please keep these girls in your prayers and the ways the Lord is going to use them!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Peru, ya vengo!! :)



A few weeks ago we had a guest speaker come. A strange thought passed through my mind that it would be cool to one day have the opportunity to be able to teach. I acknowledged that thought and my fear of being in front of people pushed it aside. It was weird though because this thought kept coming up. During the IHOP I was meditating on this verse as we all decided to do a food fast to seek the Lord during our time at the conference:
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:11,12
It was then that I noticed that the Lord kept giving me verses in Colossians as in previous weeks He put on my heart to start memorizing scripture. I decided to keep reading through the book over and over and as I did, the Lord gave me the desire to start a Bible Study through this book in Spanish as if I was going to Peru. The thing is, I have been praying for clarity in whether or not to go to Peru for break. My next semester will be my last for Bible College and with the Israel campus opening back up again (side note for Israel campus in another blog), I wanted to make sure it was of the Lord that I go to Peru and not my own desire that I stamped His name on. So my prayer has been if you have talked to me lately, that the Lord would make it known to me and that me going would bring Him glory. On Friday I stepped forward telling the Lord in my journal that I was going to prepare a Bible Study in Spanish in case ticket prices went down, writing in my journal a certain price, after tickets I had been seeing were a much bigger number than what I wrote (I had been checking almost every day prices and they kept going up and our internet kept going out before I could buy). Friday afternoon after writing this, I was in the Library doing research for this book and saw that the internet was back. When I went to go check prices, they were less than what I wrote in my journal, and lower than any other ticket I had purchased in previous trips to Peru! So I’m going!!! December 13th to February 4th… Christmas, New Years and my birthday! I’m so excited but my prayer still is that me going would bring glory to the Lord and that I could be a blessing to the people there. Please pray for me for this study, that my eyes would be opened more to God’s strength in me and not my own as I see Him move, and for boldness to share with people about Jesus! ;)
(first photo is Lili and I Christmas in San Francisco 2006, and the photo after is a friend Jen, Julia (Lili's mom) (lili's sister), and myself July 2006.. oh yes and Simon the dog)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

IHOP



This last week our dorm steward, Jenni, wanted our dorm room to take a week fast from something that would give us the opportunity to bring us closer to the Lord and teach us spiritual discipline. Some girls fasted from internet, spending money, others gave one hour of their day for silence with the Lord, and then some of us did the Daniel fast (from the first chapter of Daniel, eating only veggies, fruits and nuts). It was definitely a difficult week with the flesh and I saw the areas where I am weak and where I needed to reply upon on the Lord. I am so blessed by so many things, but when I discipline my body and take away my everyday items I see the things I take for granted (meant, flavor, and BROWNIES). I never saw myself as a complainer but when eliminating things that I never take a second thought about having, I saw myself as a complainer in my thoughts and in my words. At the end of that week a group of us from the Bible College went to an event called IHOP... International House of Prayer. It was a conference with amazing worship and workshops about intimacy with Jesus. The Lord spoke to me and put so many new things on my heart... I will update you in the next blog! :)

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Open Mic night!



Each semester there is an open mic night where people get an opportunity to share their talents, songs they wrote, poetry they have written, and share stories. I took a picture of each person, but I will add those on facebook and try to upload a 4 minute video of a group that did an amazing rap! (couldn't get it to work but maybe I will try to add this to facebook as well). Lots of talent from each person!! :) SO awesome to see how many gifted people there are on this campus!

Hi dad!



I have been lagging on updating blogs, but a few weekends ago my dad was taking a motorcycle training class in southern California and came the rest of the way down to come visit me!! It was so good to see him! When I first got to Murrieta, he drove me all the way down here only to turn around and drive the trip back to get back to work in time! I got to show hi the campus and have lunch with him! I love my dad! Look how handsome he is!!

Icecream Social... "T" Party!





Every semester the Bible College has an icecream social where we get together and hang out and, well... basically.. eat icecream! There is a theme each semester and this time was representing the letter "T." I have more pictures on my facebook to show how creatice people got... but just to name a few: Tattortot, toilet paper, thing 1 and thing 2, tuff guys, truckers, tella tubbies, togas couple, tela evangelists, toddlers, a table, tiger tamer, TV, tumble weed, twins... and us... we were a tribe of Indians. Icecream was good, pictures were fun, and people were creative! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/20 Baptisms!





This last Sunday night we had baptisms at the pool. When I heard about it the previous week, I was so excited and had an excitement in the thought of getting baptized. I got saved when I was 11 and got baptized then, but throughout High School I fell away from the Lord. Even during this time, I felt the Lord's nearness but I was acting out in rebellion and resisting Him. He called me back to Him and changed my heart and its desires. He gave me a heart for ministry and serving Him, and a desire to know Him more through His Word. After going to Peru on a mission's trip in 2005, my Peruvian friend, Lili, told me about Bible College when I was seeking guidance in how to prepare myself for ministry. To be honest, I never hearing of such a thing before, but I started to pray about it that maybe this was what the Lord wanted. I can look back and see the hand of God in how He orchestrated events and what He called me out of/into, and sin He redeemed me from.
This verse kept coming to my heart after hearing about the baptism the coming week:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witness, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

I am reminded over and over again how blessed I am to be here studying God's Word, being set apart to be equipped to do God's work. I am so grateful for such a great cloud of witnesses I have around me each day as we all seek to be more like Christ as we die to our flesh. Even last night in my Revelation class in speaking of the seven churches John wrote to, I was so encouraged with the renewed passions to serve as a missionary and sharing my faith! video

Night at Suzie's




This last Thursday night, Suzie and I went to her house back in Norco to change environments and get some work done. Well.. we didn't get too much homework done... but we did get to have amazing food and hang out with her family! It's always so fun to be there, laughing and feeling like you are in a TV show! :) We ended up spending the night since it was getting late and her mom made us this amazing gormet breackfast!! Yum!
Check out some pictures from the night and a video of Regina's (from Okinawa) 3 month old baby, Jeremiah, doing a little dance! video

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Chick Fill-A!



I know up north we don't have these, but down south there's this place called Chick Fill-A! Yum! j/k some of you have probably heard of it before, but as for people like me, this was a whole new experience. It is a Christian fast food place (kind of like In & Out), but with all chicken and no burgers. So yesterday during morning devotionals, someone made an announcement that Chick Fill-A was giving out free food to anyone that came in wearing a jersey. The girls and I were so thankful for guys that like sports and who were willing to lend out their clothes! FREE FOOD. I'm not trying to say the food here is terrible, but I now appreciate anything off campus!
(The bottom picture in blue is my gangsta door steward, Jenni)

Meet my roomies!


There's 6 of us girls in our dorm room this semester! Mary went home for the weekend to celebrate her parent's 25th anniversary and brought us back cookies that she made! (click on the picture to see a large view of these flower shaped treats... yum!) It is so fun to share a room with a bunch of girls! We have some fun times each night with the giggles and staying up late talking and playing games. Such a blessing to be able to spend a semester growing with them! Here's a picture so you can be praying for them by name and face!
top starting from the left: Mary, Haley, Jenni, Becca (from Okinawa semester)
bottom starting from the left: Me, Kathleen

cheap tickets.. whaaatt?


So there's this thing called cheap seats... it's basically a movie theatre where they show old movies for $4. With our student ID cards at the Bible College we get even more of a discount! What what!!! So on Saturday night a group of us students went and saw the movie 'Up!' I never heard of such a deal! It was so fun to get off campus and be able to hang out with other people on our study break!

Suzie Rizzi!!


At the Bible College in Japan, I got to meet the Dean Missionaries, Josh and Regina. They were in Okinawa the same time I was there for Bible College. I remember Regina telling me I had to meet her sister and get to know her. Well... meet Suzie! I met her back in January at the Mission's Conference here at the school but on the first day or orientation she came up and said hello. We both weren't planning on being here this semester, but the Lord had different plans for both of us! She has been such a blessing and I'm so excited for this semester with her! I'll have to find a better picture of her and post it, but this gives a fun idea of her personality! ;)

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." Provers 16:9

Pastor Chuck Smith



On Friday morning, Chuck Smith came and spoke to the Bible College students on Genesis 1. Chuck Smith is the founder of Calvary Chapel and of the Bible College here in Murrieta. As part of our classes, students listen to audio sermons by Chuck as he goes cover to cover teaching through the Bible. Chuck is good friends with Pastor Tom (picture posted in previous blog post) and it is so fun to hear stories of their time together. I tried to take a picture to give you an idea, but without the flash it was kind of blurry! ops! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Michelle came to visit!


Michelle and I were friends both of our first semesters in Peru. She lives in San Diego (about an hour from the campus here) and is heading off for her 3rd semester in Italy! It was so great to see her again today! She came to Murrieta we went off campus to hang out and take advantage of the AC in this 107 degree weather. It always feels like a day has passed since we've seen each other! She is such a blessing and such a light to me and so many! Please be praying for her and she heads off to the Bible College in Italy this Saturday! I know God has some amazing things for her this next semester!

So blessed by the teachers here!


Meet Tom Mauch! He is 79 years old and still teaching here at the Bible College. He is teaching my I, II, III John class as well as my marriage talks class. It is so great sitting in his classes or hearing him speak because his joy is contagious!! He has so much wisdom in all that he says and is so encouraging with the stories that he tells. Today he told a story about his wife of 56 years, and a time he heard her talking in her sleep. He went to her side to hear what she was saying and realized she was praying for her family while sleeping. He has such a passion for the Lord and we learn by example of his lifestyle! I can't help but smile when I am around him! I got to eat lunch with him yesterday and he told me that he could see the joy of the Lord in my smile. It's so amazing what joy enlights in people by just being around him!
It hasn't even been a full week yet in classes, but there have been so many amazing opportunities to fall more in love with the Lord. It's so encouraging walking around campus and seeing people praying for each other, studying together and uplifting one another. As Tom says each day... "iron sharpens iron, what a great way to sharpen each other than to talk about the Lord with our brothers and sisters here." It's definitely blessed me to have such amazing witnesses all around me to sharpen one another!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Here in Murrieta!

I'm here! My dad drove me down to move in on Sunday evening and then turned around to go right back on Monday! It was such a blessing to have him help me move in and have the drive down with him! Since then I have just been walking about exploring the campus, picking classes, meeting new people, getting service hours and yes... beginning my chuck tracks. If I haven't yet mentioned what chuck tracks are.. I'll break it down for you. Basically the Bible College divides schooling up into 4 semesters and each semester you listen to audio sermons going through the Bible. 1st and 2nd are going through the Old Testament and 3rd and 4th are in the New. Since this semester I am a 3rd semester student I am going through Matthew to Acts. It's a cool way to hear the Bible taught in complete and to get a full picture of the whole thing!

I'm just so excited to be here! It has been such a blessing meeting new people and getting to hear their stories how they got here! Everyone has a story to how God lead them here this semester! I feel so at peace and so blessed to have this opportunity! I will be blogging more and posting pictures on facebook of what this campus looks like! (I feel like I'm on a vacation or retreat in Hawaii.. falling in love with the Lord all over again.) I'll be blogging more and sending out monthly updates! Please post your email address if you would like to be added to the update email! More pictures and updates to come! :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Going back to Bible College!


Man, I wish I would have been blogging the process to how this all came about, but all I can say is God is not a God of confusion and His signature has been of peace! Going back and continuing to learn God's Word was the plan... but when and where was the question. God has stirred a new passion in my heart in learning how to share my faith. A few weeks ago I got to go to Spirit West Coast in Monterey (a festival of bands who come together and booths set up with different types of ministry). Nick V. spoke, from Lifewithoutlimbs.com, of his experience in growing up without arms and legs. He expressed how to him he knew that he was different but it didn't bother him until the world told him he was different and labeled his identity in what he couldn't do. "You won't get married, hold your wife's hand, or hug your kids." He contrasted it to what God's word says about us; our identity: "You are God's masterpiece, His workmanship, His beloved, His blood-bought child covered in righteousness by the blood of Christ." Again this passion of learning how to share my faith came up with a parallel in learning God's word and the truths about who He says I am. My hope is that in sharing my faith others may be able to experience this identity that God has called them to! So I applied (the last day of application), prayed, waited.. and got in! I leave next weekend for So-Cal to go to the main campus in Murrieta!!

Last semester and the one before I sent out monthly update letters and will continue to do so as well as update more consistently the blog and facebook pictures. If you and interested in being on the email list for update letters please reply with your email address or email me at Jessicalynne05@gmail.com! I would love to keep you updated and tell you all that God is doing in my life:)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Haiti Day 9



We woke up our last morning and found out Kirslyn, one of the member on the team, was sick all night! The first flight we were to get on was the 20 seater puddle jumper plane with no bathrooms, so we were thinking of rescheduling our flight, but God heard our prayers and by the time we got to the plane she was feeling a lot better. We said our goodbyes and started our day travel. It was a long day. From the small flight we arrived in Port au Prince and hung out in the airport bardering the people in the airport with last minute gifts. Our flight to Miami was delayed so we hung out with another team who just got back from Ecuador and was traveling back to San Francisco to their church back there. After getting on the plane we learned that there was a problem with our engine and another delay of 45 minutes until we could take off. 45 minutes turned into over 2 hours and people got off the plane to go get food and then finally the engine was fixed and we took off making this flight another redeye through the night. We arrived in San Francisco at 12:30 and didn't get home until around 2am. It was a long day of traveling but most of us got home unable to sleep because of excitement and a head full of thoughts. My second major prayer request beside team unity was for the reverse culture shock in transitioning. Praise God because the transitioning this trip has been very smooth. I felt like God used this trip to prepare me for my mission's field back in San Jose, giving me a refreshed renewal in truth that He is coming back and there are only two things that you can do on earth that you can't do in eternity: pray for others, and tell people about the salvation found in Jesus! I felt God call me to missions back in Peru, but I will serve him missionally where ever I am, and for this time I am in San Jose. Thank you all for your prayers for our team and for the Haitian people! God was so faithful, and we saw His power to save even the darkest and hardest heart! Our God is MIghty to Save!!! Zephaniah 3:17

Haiti Day 8





This was our last full day in Haiti. We woke up early to go down to this little river where JeanJean was going to baptize 4 of the girls from our team. The men's choir came to sing and the elders board came to share with the experience. We read Romans 6:1-14 and Acts 8:26-40. In Haiti the people wait a long time to get baptized because they believe that they have to wear their best clothes. These girls JeanJean said, were such a huge influence to the Haitian people that you can come and be baptized as you as. Acts 8 talks about the Enoch who sees water and decides to get baptized. After the baptisms we walked most of the way back to the compound talking and then once got picked up went back to eat breakfast and start the day with last touches on projects. Some of the guys went to finish up laying cement floors, others served at the medical clinic outside the compound, some painted the mural and others organized supplies that were brought. Later that day we got the opportunity to go pray for Andre, a man who has been practicing voodoo for 60 years. He asked us to pray for him and again I was humbled by the Haitians humility in asking for prayer. Andre said he wanted to become a Christian some day but he had a contract with the devil he had to complete. Through JeanJean translating we got to witness to him and tell him that the contract Christ made with His blood is a larger contract than one with the devil. Still, fear binds and blinds those practicing voodoo, but Zuel came along and got to share with him about his days practicing voodoo and how God saved him from it. Andrea asked us if we would continue to pray for him that one day he would come to know the Lord. Please continue to pray for Andrew and for JeanJean and Kristie's ministry. That night we got to pray over the missionaries and had our last night of devotions before the men's choir came. This choir consisted of a group of younger men in high who formed together in hopes to witness to others the hope found in Jesus Christ. It was so encouraging to see such faith in these young men! Most of us went to bed after packing, but a group of us stayed up playing cards to savor our last night together! (check out the group photo with Andre in the middle)

Haiti Day 7





Today was the last day of VBS. This day, 80 new kids came but to our unknowing they were a group of toddlers who were pooped out and ready for nap time half way through! :) we had the same 4 station rotation with new games, but by the end the kids were falling asleep as we carried them. Again we got to have the shoe distribution and it was so neat to see how God provided shoes for the kids with different sized feet to the end. Even when we thought there wasn't one for a girl and her size shoe, but.... what a surprise, there was one more left hidden under the suitcases that matched her outfit perfectly! After lunch and the Nutrition Center we went on the food distribution prayer walk. I think this day was one of the most powerful days for the team. With beans, rice and cooking oil we went to houses in the community and got to delivery food that would feed their families for a week and then pray for them as JeanJean translated. We were supposed to do this on day 4 but because of the rain this was the first day we were able to! It was so amazing seeing the ways that God provided when we would arrive at a home and a widow would praise God with her hands in the air at the answer to prayer when she ran out of food that morning. It was God's divine appointment that we would go this day and not 3 days earlier. With the theme of giving out shoes we got to see a man on the side of the road whose muddy shoes that were held together only in the center by his laces. I tried to give him my shoes but they were too small, so another guy on the team game him his shoes that again fit perfectly! JeanJean said that he wasn't a believer so we got to give him rice and pray for him! It melted my heart that God would use us as His instruments and that we would be able to witness His power and His answer to prayers of the people who were praying for food! More than half of the team came home barefoot that night and it was a powerful night of devotions and testimonies. God put on my heart to share, and with such vulnerability of our team, walls were broken and your prayers of unity were answered! I shared with the team that I had been feeling spiritually attacked all week long with lies of inadequacy. I learned that many on our team had been being fed those same lies. Satan's plan of attack God blessed in our humility before each other and it brought team unity through prayers by our team leader making the night end with such a close knit that they next day God gave strength to our team in a whole new way! If you remember my blog from the freedom Summit conference, my heart broke for the human trafficking in the world of 27 million today chained in prostitution, and labor not able to experience physical freedom. This night I felt a spiritual freedom from so many lies! God broke those chains and I felt such a freedom! video

Haiti Day 6




VBS was going to be this day so when we woke up had breakfast and had a time of devotions we split up into how VBS would go. There were 140 kids that came and we broke up into 4 groups.. some that played out in the fields, others that did indoor crafts, another group that did indoor games, and another that did outdoor crafts and then formed a rotation. We performed a drama about Daniel and the Lions den and sang songs with the kids. WestGate church did a fundraiser so that we could bring shoes with us to Haiti. After VBS and the nutrition center, we got to fit kids for shoes and find an outfit the would fit them. It was such a blessing to see the smilies on their faces as we took off their broken muddy old shoes and give them fresh new ones that we later found out was a requirement for kids to get into schools. I think this is what Jesus called us to do when he gave the example of washing his disciples feet. Thank you WestGate Church for all the shoes you provided and the smiles you gave to children!
Later that night some went to another night service where one of the pastors that JeanJean is training walked 11 hours the day before to get there, got to speak. Those who went said it was such a blessing. Cambri and I stayed back and played guitar and had some time to read and journal. Later the elders board came to share with us the Vision of their ministry and the ways the Lord has been working! It was so great to hear and see how they work together and their humble hearts in all there is to do in the area but their patience in God's timing! So cool to be able to witness this mission's board!