“Do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.” Corrie Ten Boom
Monday, June 4, 2018
"Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Sometimes I have to stop in the middle of the day and restart it right.
"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds."
Friday, May 25, 2018
I see your face in every sunrise,
The colors of the morning are inside your eyes.
The world awakens in the light of the day,
I look up to the sky and say;
I see your power in the moonlit night,
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright.
We are amazed in the light of the stars,
It's all proclaiming who you are;
I see you there hanging on a tree,
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me.
Now you are sitting on your heavenly throne,
Soon we will be coming home;
When we arrive at eternity's shore,
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more.
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring,
Your bride will come together and we'll sing;
I see your face, you're beautiful,
You're beautiful, you're beautiful.
I see your face, you're beautiful,
You're beautiful, you're beautiful.
All that you are is beautiful,
So beautiful, you're beautiful.
All that you are is beautiful,
You're beautiful, you're beautiful.
Shane and Shane
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Two years ago when I came to the States I was at a point where I was felt very strongly that God was preparing me for something different. I had been the main medical person (Dr./Nurse) in Krinkrin and the surrounding villages for 2 ½ years.
During those years I had been building a relationship with the Ministry of Health of Nicaragua and advocating for a nurse to come to Krinkrin to work at the abandoned clinic that is there.
So after 2 ½ years they sent me a nurse and now I could step back and be a go between from the Doctors in Waspam, the Nurse, and community leaders. Having the nurse come was one of the greatest blessings for me because, now my time was much more free and also, the government sent medicine, so that took a lot of stress off the ministry financially.
I had something happen to me personally right at that time and it really took a toll on me and I felt like I needed a break to get away and think things over for a bit. After discussing it with my Dad and one of my mentors I decided that I would come back to the States for 2 months to rest.
It was a much needed break and it helped me see things from a fresh perspective. It was during this time that I really felt God prompting me that he was preparing me for something different. I talked it over with a few trusted people and several of them advised me to consider Nursing School. I couldn’t really envision myself going to college but after several different people encouraged me to, I checked around at several colleges, considering that God might be leading me to that.
One thing I decided though was that I was not going to make a decision until I was 100% sure that this was something that God was leading me to. The last thing I wanted to do was spend all the time, money, and effort and be out of step with God.
I went back to Nicaragua, feeling refreshed and ready to face whatever it was that God was directing me toward.
During the next 4 months I prayed and waited for an answer and at times I wondered if I was just making too big a deal out of it. I mean other people go off to college all the time and never consider it much. Yet I knew that I didn’t want to make such a life changing decision on my own whims and feelings.
So I waited.
One day as I was praying, I just knew that God was saying no, not at this time. Not for now.
I was greatly encouraged to have this word, but, what next. I am a very goal oriented person and when I have nothing to focus on as a goal I feel ineffective and without purpose. Which is not good in so many ways.
But as the days continued, I tried to focus on what was right in front of me and do the daily things, knowing that God would lead me to whatever he was preparing me for.
I prayed about it on and off over the next year but didn’t let myself get caught up in it much because I wanted to focus on what God was teaching me at the moment. I set a goal to get to know God better and to work on some things in my life that I needed to overcome and work through.
One afternoon as I was praying, I got to thinking about some of my friends that I had grown up with. I had such a burden for them. Many had grown up in Godly Christian homes and yet some had just sort of drifted away and became lukewarm, others rebelled and fought against anything that consists of God, and some of them are just kinda there, not sure where God belongs in the whole picture. As I was thinking about it, I began praying that God would have someone reach out and help young people understand what it means to love God and to live for him.
In that moment God spoke into my heart: You go, I have prepared you and you know the way. Teach them what you have learned.
I felt dizzy with excitement, this was it; this was what God was calling me to do.
Then suddenly I came to the realization that I would have to return to the States. My heart fell and I immediately began to explain to God that my mission was in Nicaragua and this is where he had called me. My heart belonged in Nicaragua and that is where I wanted to stay. I had just assumed that I would always live there.
God spoke it again, and I knew this was what I had been praying for. So I said yes; I am willing.
My next thing was, I needed my Dads blessing. My Dad has always stood behind me in every big decision I have ever made, but somehow in my mind he was going to tell me that this was not from God and that I was needed right where I was at.
This was a lie straight from Satan trying to discourage me.
When I presented it to Dad, before I was even done, he began crying and told me that he knew it was from God. I then asked him for his blessing and he gave it to me prayed over me.
Over the next year I began praying about and preparing to return to the United States, sometimes with excitement other times not so much. I mean, after all, Nicaragua had been home for 6 years. At this point I am more Nica than Gringa. Plus I don’t even know how to live in the States and I’m very out of touch with the culture.
But time progressed and I returned here on August 30th of this year, full of anticipation for what God has in store for me.
I plan to have 3 month ministry program to disciple and mentor young ladies one on one.
The first two months, “said” young lady will come live with me at my apartment, 5 days of the week. Our main points of focus will be learning to know God, learning who we are in Christ, learning to hear His voice, and lastly, what we as children of God are called to do.
The reason I feel that this so important is because 6 years ago when I went to Nicaragua I didn’t really understand what serving God meant. I had to really rough start. I knew who God was, but I didn’t love God and know his voice very well at all. I found security in what I did instead of knowing God and loving Him above all else and letting that be the outflow of everything I did from that point forward.
I believe that once we as believers really understand who God is, what he has done for us, and where we stand in that picture, we will be unstoppable. But the number one thing is, everything must come from a heart that really and truly loves God. From that point forward things change and we see the world from a different light.
During the first 2 month we will not only be studying and spending time listening to Gods voice, we will also be connecting with local ministries and outreaches. The reason being is that, I think often times we get in our mind that missions can only be done over seas and in the bush of Africa. But the truth is it is here in our back yards. It is in everyday life around us wherever we are at. Not everyone is called to Africa, but every believer is called to go make disciples. Matthew 28:19:20
I want the young ladies that I disciple to have places that they can go and connect with and hopefully find a certain gift that God has given them.
During 3rd month we would go to Nicaragua or another country overseas and spend a whole month serving alongside missionaries and other ministries, helping and serving in whatever area needed.
We will go without any goals to accomplish because I think often times it is easy to come back and say, “Look what I have done” and miss the whole point of why we are doing what we are doing. So we will go with only one thing before us, to serve in whatever area is most needed. If it will be to walk 3 days through knee deep mud to minister to someone or to just sit and listen and encourage those we are serving with, that is what we will do. I want it to be a learning experience more than anything else.
I want it to be more than a mission trip, more than something to check off our list, more than being able to say “look what I have done. I want us to transform from the inside out by what God is doing in our lives daily. I want us to learn what true living means and to be able to make the most of every situation and every moment that God has given us on this earth, because we all ask the same question; “Why am I here?” God holds that answer and we need only to ask Him and He will give us His answer. Let’s learn to live that out.
The final step in this journey will be on our return to the States we will spend a week or so processing and discussing what we have come through and what God taught us each individually during this time.
From that point I will help them get started on a Bible Study called Experiencing God by: Henry Blackaby, where they really learn put into practice everything that they just learned. I will be there for them when they need someone to help them process things but I want them to be able to stand up and step out and be empowered to live the life that God has called them to.
I don’t want anyone to feel like I have the answers. I want them to learn that it is God who holds all the answers to their questions and he has made it possible for everyone to hear his voice. Yes, God gives us people to help us work through stuff but it is ultimately God we need to learn to hear.
My prayer is that young people fall in love with God and find Him to be their fulfillment.
What I need from you most of all is for you to pray for me. If you would like to be a prayer warrior and come alongside me and pray for me on a regular basis I would love to speak to you individually so that I can get to know you personally. Prayer is what fights our battles most effectively.
I hope and pray that I will be able to be fully supported so I can focus all my attention to the ministry that God has called me to. My budget for living expenses is $1200.00 a month. That includes everything, including for me to be able to return to Nicaragua 3 or 4 times a year. I have dual residency and Nicaragua requires that I return at least every 4 to 6 month to retain that.
You can give through New Harmony Church and they will make sure it gets to me. Just make sure you specify that it is for Footprints or Mary in the memo or on the envelope. You can also give online at our ministry website www.religointorelationship.org and put Footprint in the memo. (Footprints of Christ will be a branch of Religion to Relationship Ministries to make it easier in the legal aspect of things.)
Thank you to all who have supported me over the years and continue to do so. May our God richly bless and encourage you.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:23-26
As I reflect on the last six years of my life in Nicaragua, I am totally in awe of what God has done in my life.
Never at the age of nineteen, could I have imagined or dreamed the journey God was taking me on. Immature, insecure, and a bit frightened, yet full of a passion and zeal to follow God wherever He led me; I came to Nicaragua.
It is been a journey where all that I clung to and believed in was shaken, sorted, and sifted, to take out all false beliefs/idols in my heart. It is a journey that shook my reality and led me to the rock that is higher than I.
He used it to change the very core of who I thought He was and has helped me see Him in a real and tangible way.
He took all my fanciful ideas and dreams and smashed them before my eyes so He could reveal Himself to me more clearly. He took me deep into His heart, and let me feel His heart-beat for humanity. He let my heart be broken so I could feel the pain He feels when people destroy themselves.
He has helped me know that He IS always with me and that He does take hold of my right hand and guides me with His counsel. The more He teaches me and draws me into Himself, the more I can say that the earth has nothing I desire besides Him, and even though everything else around me may fail, He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
So, as I return to the States, six years later I pray with all of my heart that my life will forever be used for His glory, regardless of where I am at, or what I am doing. Whether in things seen or unseen, may my heart stay so focused and tuned to His that I will only bring glory to His beautiful Name and never my own. May my life story be that which only reflects His character and beauty.
May I never be the same, LORD God, use me for your glory.
“My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
Awake, my soul! Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 57:7-11
The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God! 1 Kings 18:39
Sunday, July 2, 2017
When you look at me on the outside I may appear like any normal person, full of life, energy, and a zeal for my God Redeemer. I have served overseas in a third-world country for 5+ years, bringing light to dark undesirable places. I may appear like I have life all figured out, always taking the next step confidently, never looking back, and going forward in ministry, yet……
…I still struggle.
I know, that I know that I know that God chose me and has called me to be right where I am. Yet I lose sight and long to quit at times.
I am completely confident that God will always be faithful, even in situations that look and are dauntingly impossible. Yet I sometimes falter.
I believe with all of my heart that God is and always will be completely enough, even when everything else is taken away. Yet I still desire more.
I know without a shadow of a doubt, God still loves me when the world hates me. Yet I still long for the love and approval of people.
God lifts me up and mends my shattered heart when I am rejected and my heart is broken. Yet I struggle to forgive those that hurt me.
Why then do I struggle so much when I know that God is always enough, He loves me completely, and is unfailingly faithful?
This is a question that I have kept asking myself over and over.
Then God reminds me, that I am human, I will have human struggles. I will stumble and fall, but I don’t have to be captivated by my failings. I can turn all my failings back to Jesus and just rest in Him, knowing that He has completely and fully paid for my sins and failings at the cross and that I am complete in Him.
Even when I want to quit, He gives me the strength to take the next step.
Even when I falter in my faith, He says, just focus on me my daughter.
Even when I desire more earthly pleasures, He displays to me that He is enough.
Even when I long for the approval of people, He looks me in the eyes and says, I approve of you.
Even when I long to be loved by people, He doesn’t accuse me.
Even when I fail, He reaches down and picks me up.
Even when I struggle to forgive, He turns my eyes toward Calvary.
Even when I am tempted and fall into sin, (albeit He will rebuke me) He still loves me.
Even when I don’t get everything done I needed to during my day, He stills whispers, it is enough my child. Well done.
Even when I am unloving toward Him, He still reaches out and wraps me in His arms.
Even when I may not pray enough, He is still Omnipresent.
Even when I can’t focus on my devotions, He still is Truth.
He remains the same today, yesterday and always, I can never do anything to change that. He will not change because of anything I do or don’t do.
After all it is all about Him; not me and what I can “do” for Him.
I only need to stay my eyes on Jesus and everything else will flow from that. It is not about me trying to be better, do more and fail less. It is about staying focused on Jesus. When my eyes are focused on Jesus everything else will fade into the background. It won’t matter whether or not people approve, because Jesus’ opinion is the only opinion that really matters anyway.
Not matter what I do, will do or don’t do I am completely and fully loved. He is love and I am loved by Him.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I write this, I pray that you are well and that the grace and peace of Jesus may rule in your hearts.
First of all I want to thank all who have prayed for me over the last several years as I have served in Nicaragua as a missionary. I am very humbled and blessed when I think of all those who lift me up before the throne of God on a regular basis. Without these prayers and petitions to our Savior on my behalf, my life would not be as it is today. So from the bottom of my heart; THANK YOU!!!!
I also want to thank those who have supported me financially and made it possible for me to stay and serve in Nicaragua. Your support has helped more people than can be known, and I firmly believe God will bless each individual who has given for His kingdom to be advanced. Thank you!!!
I also need to ask you all to forgive me for not staying in better contact the last three and a half years. I could make a lot of excuses but they would all end up being just that, excuses. 😖 I will try to step it up and keep you more in tune with what God is doing in my life and in the lives of those I am ministering to.
Since coming to live in the Miskito territory about 4 years ago, life has been very difficult and intense, yet these years have been so beautiful and cram-packed full of God’s provision, protection, peace, and joy. Although these may have been some of the hardest years of my life, they also have been the best- constantly keeping me on my knees before my God and King who is the only one worth living for.
The most awesome thing to me is that these years have taught me just how worthless and fruitless everything is without God. What would I be today if it hadn’t been for His saving grace, grace that not only saved me, but constantly spurs me to step deeper into His sanctifying and holy presence?
A year and a half ago I returned to the States to visit my brother and take some time to rest and re-energize after some difficult months. At that time I really felt a heaviness on my heart and an uncertainty on what God had for the next step in my life. I still helped with the medical part of the mission some, but had gradually stepped back from full nursing responsibility, with the coming of a Nicaraguan nurse. I had a strange feeling that much was coming to an end, and I didn’t know what was next for me.
While I was in the States, several godly people whom I respect greatly, encouraged me to check into nursing school. At first I was very reluctant, but at the urgings of several different people, I checked into a few community colleges about the possibility. (This is a dream that I have had since I was young, yet never pursued due to finances.)
After returning to Nicaragua, I began really seeking God, refusing to take a step forward until He gave me a clear word to go. After months of praying and waiting, God revealed to me that going to nursing school would be a good thing and I wouldn’t do wrong in going, but He had something else for me at this time in my life. Glory to God, what a joy it is, waiting and listening for His voice!
As I continued serving alongside my family in the ministry, I began really seeking to deepen my relationship with God. As I sought His will, I gave the next step into His hands and focused on where I was called to serve until then.
One afternoon last October, as I was reading God’s Word and praying, He spoke very clearly to me, “Return to the States, and teach young ladies what it means to love Me and follow Me wholeheartedly.”
After arguing about it in my mind for a few minutes, I realized this was the voice of God, giving me clear direction on His next step for me. In that moment excitement and joy filled my heart. This was it, this was where God was leading me! This is what I had been praying for, yet again fear gripped my heart. Return to the States to live? A culture that I have not been a part of for over 5 years? How do I even begin? What will it look like?
After working it through my mind and heart for a few days, I shared with my family what God was leading me to do. After I shared, they all gave me their hearty blessing, and I want to tell you, that is a beautiful blessing to receive.
In the days that followed, I began prayerfully drawing up the one-on-one discipleship plan. During the three or four month discipleship program, a young lady will live with me at a small apartment south of Licking Missouri. The first two months will be an intense time of Bible study, prayer, reflection, and digging deep into the truths of God and His design for the nations, as well as partnering with local ministries, focusing on serving wherever needed.
The final month will be spent in a foreign country, alongside missionaries, joining in their daily lives, experiencing the struggles and joys of serving Christ, and holding up their hands. The goal is for young ladies to find complete security and satisfaction in knowing God’s incredible love for them, and that their identity is hidden in His caring hands.
I don’t know how it will all look, but I know this: God called me and I am His servant. He only asks me to be willing to say yes to whatever will bring Him the greatest glory.
Lord willing I will be returning to the States at the end of August to start up Footprints of Christ discipleship program.
If you want to be involved in Footprints of Christ through prayer, encouragement, or monthly financial support, please email me and I’ll provide you the needed information.
May God bless you tremendously.
Your sister and co-laborer in Christ Jesus, Mary