Friday, July 27, 2007

Home!

Hello to all my praying family and friends!
I did arrive home on Tuesday... though, my body is just now adjusting to Central Standard Time! I was pretty much out cold Wednesday. It is so good to see my family's dear faces and to eat American food!
My time in China is something very hard to descibe, but in the next several days I will try and give you a small picture of these ten days that have changed my life forever!
Stayed tuned....

Friday, July 20, 2007

China Update #2

Hey ya'll!!!
Just wanted to let you know that everything is going well... the kids left
today and it was soooo sad. We had an incredible week. I never thought
it would be this hard. Sorry, but I have fallen in love. (With China
that is.) :) I am loving everything from sleeping in a mosquito net,
bathing in repelent everyday, eating with chopsticks, the team, and
sweating like a hog all the time! (Wait, I don't love sweating. You just
get used to it, I mean.) I have never ever sweat this much.
This afternoon some of us took a cab and went to this little westernized
shopping place. We went to Starbucks and it was amazing how much it
reminds me of home. Then some of us went to this store called JennyLou's.
It's just like a regular grocery store. I stocked up on my comfort food
- - I know, I should be coming back skinny cuz we walked probably about
four or five miles a day, but my comfort food kinda makes up the
difference. It was really great after our very emotional afternoon. I
knew it would hurt when they left, but I didn't know it would be like
this. I don't think you can prepare for it anyway.
I have totally lost track of the days here, though I adjusted to the time
and everything very quickly. I miss you all... can't wait to see you
again. I miss America, though I totally am in love with China.
Guess I should go. Someone else needs to use the computer. Lovey, lovey love ya!!!
Nic

Saturday, July 14, 2007

China Update #1

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that I made it to China by fouro'clock Saturday afternoon! The flights went well... though we had adelay in Chicago 'cuz the air was not working! You better believe we werehappy they got it fixed within a half hour and even more happy the air wasworking! I was more than happy to get back on the ground after that 13hour flight... I'm getting ready to eat supper now, so ta-ta for now!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To Be Specific

Just wanted to let you all know some specific ways you all can pray for me on this trip.

.::Pray for the three kids I will be spending the week with. Ask that we will bond quickly and that I will be able to really connect with their hearts so I can have the greatest ministry potential.
.::Pray for the Chinese student that will help me with Chinese communications during the week. I will be asking him/her pointed questions throughout the week, with hopes of being able to talk about Christianity at the end of the week. Pray that his/her heart will be open and that I would have wisdom to know what questions to ask.
.::Pray for my heart, that God would prepare me for all that I will encounter this week. Pray that I would have a servant's heart. Pray against any spirit of contention or jealousy.
.::Pray for the staff that God would bless the labors of their hands and encourage their hearts.
.::Lastly, but not least, please pray for the health, safety and sanity of the entire team! (smile)

Thanks again!

The Story - Part Three

As the New Year rolled in, I started a new job. I was babysitting two kids in Iowa City, Arnav and Anika. I also had another part time job helping a home school mom from our group. Life was very busy and over the months, I forgot about China. What was the point of trying to go when I had these work commitments?? Life would go on and I decided to just enjoy it!
* * *
Then out of the clear blue sky, I came home from work on April 31 and saw that I had gotten an invitation the join the night walk with Bring Me Hope. Several kids in China were going to be walking to raise awareness of the camp and here in the US, supporters could walk simultaneously with them at night. It was all to raise money for the kids to go to camp through Bring Me Hope

Our night walk in Iowa

We all got excited and wanted to walk on that Saturday night. Ironically, the sign-up date for the walk was the day that we got the letter, but it didn’t really matter. The seeds were planted that got me thinking, could I still go to China??

* * *

Now, exactly 73 days later, I am ready to leave on that trip. I am amazed again and again how when something is God’s will and it’s His time, everything falls so quickly into place! Within 48 hours of asking my parents if there was any possible chance that I might be able to go to China, I was planning to leave. God just caused everything happen! Time off work, the finances to pay for the trip, shots, my passport (right before the major passport rush! Praise God!) prayer and financial support, and so much more.
I was floating on cloud nine for many weeks after I started planning the trip! I could not be happier! It’s amazing having God’s peace and grace in life. It makes it so much more enjoyable.

* * *

I’m on the countdown now. Exactly 24 hours ‘til my plane leaves from Cedar Rapids! I have my mile long to-do list before then, but enjoying it all! Stay tuned for a few more updates before then and all the juicy-stuff will be coming soon!
Until then...

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Der nukl
i wil mis you
luv you
Aubrey

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Freedom Day!

What blessings we all experience living in the Great Land of the Free. The Home of the Brave. Our family's day started with The National Anthem being pounded out on the piano by Gracie, before I had even opened my eyes!
I was thinking today of freedom. (Go figure!) I am very grateful the typical freedoms thought of most on this day. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom to assemble ourselves together. Freedom to be who we are.
I also thought of the freedoms that Jesus gives us. Freedom from sin. Freedom from an eternity without Him. Freedom from fear and condemnation. Freedom from a life of sadness. We have been given the gift of love and acceptence!
I thought about my trip... something I've been doing a lot more of lately! And I was thinking of the the kids. The kind of life they are living right now, is one bondage to the idea that they are not wanted. That they don't matter. The ever haunting thought, Does anyone love me???
I hope and pray that I can give them a release from these chains. I want to them to have freedom in their little lives, knowing that they are loved. That they do matter!
* * *
Thank you Jesus, for your love that lets us live a life
full of freedom and blessings when we follow you! I love you!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Best of Bargains!


I love shopping! Malls, secondhand stores, grocery stores! Just about anywhere - well, I have my few places I prefer to stay out of... like Menards.

Yesterday, Mom, Tiffany, Grace, Beth, and I went shopping in Iowa City. I got some of the last things on my 'Packing List' for China:
- Tennis Shoes
- The perfect, pink backpack!!! (At a perfect, God-blessed price!)
- Hairpins/bands
- Snacks!
- Cereal
This morning I started packing some of my goods into my suitcase! Whoo-hoo! Things are falling into place! I am getting very excited, but it seems like these last twelve days are going to craaaawl by.
Oh well, I've got lots to keep me busy til then, working, a wedding to play violin for, the Fourth of July, and lots more fun moments with my family before I leave!

One more thing. You also should know about this really, really cute lime-green, high-heel sandals I bought at Target for a really, really good deal! They are so cute, and comfortable might I add - for being high-heels that is! I probably won't be taking them to China, since the Chinese are built closer to the ground. They might look at a 5'9" woman wearing over 2" heels as rather strange. But they were a such great bargain! Only $4.50, compared to the original price of almost $18! (Now that is sooo Proverbs 31!) :)


PS. I can't wait to experience open-air market shopping in Beijing! Now that will be a shopping experience of a lifetime!

The Story - Part Two


For several years before I graduated, Dad and I talked about how, when I was done with school, we would take a mission trip together. There was an opportunity to go to Kenya to visit Elizabeth, the little girl I sponsor, right after I graduated. It was very expensive and the doors never opened.

Then in the fall of 2007, through my sister's Internet searches for international adoption sites, we found Bring Me Hope. It was all so random you might believe it was only chance... that is unless you believe in my God, who can orchestrate anything! Even Internet searches! They were about to begin a baby bottle campaign to raise money for this summer camp thing they were doing the following summer in China. We filled lots of bottles, along with our friends. During that time, I was invited to help out with the camp in China. We had many discussions concerning the possibility. Mom and Dad prayed. I prayed - a lot! I wanted to go sooo bad, but I also wanted God's will.

One night in particular, I remember journaling this:

"...So, God, I lay everything on the altar once again! It's all yours. The desires are still there, the hope. But I choose to rest in you, be faithful where you have me, and allow you to write the story of my future. I just had to write this tonight - I am so blessed to be in a place of surrender! The joy and peace are so sweet. I know God has a special plan for me and I would hate to mess it up!"

The doors never opened that year. It obviously wasn't the right thing right then. During that time, God taught me a lot about dying to the dreams I had for my life. Letting Him have it all, knowing that He can do a better job with my life than I could!
Surrender is never easy. Neither is sacrifice. But it is the best. It is only out of death, that Jesus can teach us how to truly live!

After that night, I just had to hunker down and do what He had placed in front of me each following day. The ministry He had given me at that time was to the kids in my family, at church, and whoever came across my path. Not the most exciting, but in God's eyes, it's all the same!

So 2006 was another time of my life where God taught me about the joys of surrender. Like I journaled that cold night in January:

"...Will-obedience is the place to live, not just according to how I feel. I am all, ALL His! For His glory alone!"

* * *
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it:
except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
Psalm 127:1