a heart to connect.

If you knew me well, you would know I am a connector.

I think it’s a god given spiritual gift [I know it is]
I absolutely love to connect people!  that comes in a lot of ways, but recently I’ve been asking the good Lord how I can use that gift (and this space) for good.
and I think I found a way!
Something that my eyes have been open to since going on my trip to El Salvador in March of 2011 were the missionaries that have given up their life to be on the mission field.
see, on short term mission trips, you go to serve the local people of wherever you are going, but in reality you are there for the missionaries too.
They need support, they need community, they need encouragement.
[Ken & Vicky Conway]
I remember the last night in El Salvador our team joined together at the Conways (the missionaries) home for a time of prayer and encouragement.  We all went around the room & shared with Ken + Vicky about whatever was on our heart to encourage them.  and then one by one we prayed for them.  it was an emotional night but a night of refreshment!
[shea's send off. shea is the one in green holding her nephew  sidenote: I went to El Salvador with her & 1 other girl in this pic in 2011]
reminds me of this morning: going to the airport to pray and send off my good friend Shea as she is going to serve with Mercy Ships in West Africa for 2 years!
[alison]
rabbit trail…back to my story.  and as my good friend Alison, currently serving in Rwanda, told me tonight when they leave their home they leave their community!  think about that – they leave everything that they know to move to a country or culture that is unfamiliar.  no more church family, no more community group, no more family dinners, no more supper club or game nights.   they are there, a lot of times alone or with their small family unit.  can you imagine doing that? 
so they need encouragement and love.
but how do we know how to serve and love them well? 
that’s where I hope this missionary spotlight segment will hopefully get your mind turning.
I have some pretty radical friends I’ve met over the years that have given their life to the mission field: whether thats in a village in Rwanda or in the inner city in San Diego.  either way, they have given up all they know and all that is comfortable to spread the gospel.  and I think you should know about them!
they all have some pretty amazing stories
and as you know, I love telling stories.
SO I’ve just talked to 3 or 4 people lately that I would love to introduce you to.  they are all in different stages: some just released their mission & are starting to raise support, some are a year into living cross culturally, and some are about to be launched into their mission.
This isn’t going to be a weekly thing or something I do on a schedule, just sort of as the spirit leads.
I hope & pray that you will connect with one of these fabulous people and get involved.  get connected.   if anything, just pray for them.  support them – and a word on that,  supporting doesn’t JUST mean financial.  they need to raise PEOPLE and not just funds.  people who will be a part of their team, support them, pray for them, encourage them, send them cards on their birthday – you know what I’m saying! 
(this girl, up first.  the one & only Amanda Herdina)
I’m excited to introduce you soon to a dear friend of mine who has a heart of gold and dreams dreams of hope! amanda;)

Jessica - awesome! I cant wait to see what God does with Amanda’s heart and her time in Africa. I love that you are doing this missions thing as I have a heart for missions. :)

Wynne Elder - amazing! thank yoU! love that you have a heart for missions!!! hopefully you’ll find some people to connect with! :) thanks friend!

QueenLos - you know this just warms my heart in so many ways!
http://www.vargascrew.com

QueenLos - you know this just warms my heart in so many ways!
http://www.vargascrew.com

Mrs Gray - Love this! I have a friend who is doing missions work at IHOP in Kansas City, and even though she isn’t abroad, these same principles apply. I think this is a great idea!

Wynne Elder - you are that missionary girl!! so proud of you!

Wynne Elder - yes!! i have a few friends doing that too! doing the acts school. is that what your friend is doing? they were on my mind as i wrote this!

ThistleAshD - I know I commented on this on IG but missions is my heart and reading missionary stories and praying for them just makes me happy to no end. Really excited about these posts. Hope the spirit leads often :)

http://www.heyjudedylan.blogspot.com

Chantel Klassen - This is such a great series idea Wynne! I had good intentions of starting something like this awhile ago but didn’t really know the number of missionaries that you do! Your first post in this series has been awesome so I can’t wait to read the rest!

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