Lame Deer, Montana

Sunday, October 31, 2010

God Moments

God has just put such a burden on my heart to ask for prayer from everyone who happens to read this blog. Having the experiences I have had in these few short weeks have put the realization of the amount of people (children specifically) who need prayer warriors. 

Children all over the world suffer, but so many do not have the realization of how many are in our nation, state, communities, and neighborhood. Children are jewels. They are not pets, they are not a way to get money from the government, they are not objects to pawn. They are an example of the true beauty of God and his creation. They love with such tenderness and vulnerability. They love expecting nothing in return, but smiles, hugs and kisses. 

I pray that God puts it on your heart to pray for the children of the Lame Deer, MT community. The devil has such a stronghold on this community and it is something that has brought me to my knees praying and hoping that someone, someday, can bring Jesus and a light into this community that will just overtake every single thing the devil has gotten his hands in to. 

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17
Do you want your faith to be useless? The ESV's translation of this verse is the following:
dead. useless, without any life at all. It brings no results, and cannot lead to salvation. There can be no true faith if it does not produce works. 

I challenge you to get on your knees and ask God, what is it you want me to do? What have you called me to do. This experience for me, though scary at the beginning and very different from what I had originally planned, has CHANGED MY LIFE. Obedience is an amazing characteristic that the Lord will  honor when you stand before Him one day. Give God a reason to trust you with His story.We are here for one reason and one reason only and that is to expand God's kingdom here on earth. Little God moments can change your life forever and I challenge you to see what moment God has planned for you.

Friday, October 22, 2010


The last 2 days have opened my eyes to things I never wanted to believe could be true in this world.

 1. To know that children are so viciously abused. 
2. To know that their are parents who do not want their children.
3. To know that the type of abuse they have endured delays the develoment of their brain.
4. To know that there is a system that is put in place, but continues to fail these children just like everyone and everything else in their lives.

The last two days have opened my eyes and heart to a world the devil has created here on earth, but I choose to give GLORY TO GOD for this situation and the things I have learned. I have had the wonderful and tiring task of watching 8 children, ages 2-18, 6 girls, 2 boys. They are foster children of a friend of ours that lives on the reservation. This particular person has fostered over 100 children in the last 10-15 years on this reservation and has committed most of her life to trying to preserve any innocence left in these beautiful children. 

My day started yesterday with me thinking we would start getting kids after school hours and  I would cook dinner and it would be just one happy family night. Yeah, well, not quite how it worked. I had kids coming in the house 2-3 hours prior to what time we thought they would, so naturally I start thinking I have so much to do and not enough time to do it because now I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old that is running around like crazy, on top of the fact that they do not know me nor do they care too. All they know is that they are hungry and want 16 juice boxes before dinner. So I start cooking Sante fe Soup and a very large amount. I am having to feed 3 grown men, myself (and we all know that is like feeding another grown man), Justin's son Logan and the extra 8 mouths we inherited an hour before I started cooking. So I am cooking for 13 people. I also have to make potato soup because there are certain people who can't eat certain things due to health issues. So I finally get the soups done and start on the grilled cheese.....the meal was out of control! The 2 year old is the messiest eater in the world! Then you have some that don't like "the white things in the soup" Then you have some who say it's too hot, then you have one that just eats it and is content and if anything wants to know if they can have seconds. 

From the eventful dinner we went straight to baths. The youngest two LOVE water! I did have to do a lot of damage control as far as cleaning, but they would have stayed in the bath all night if I would've let them. When they got out we do the "I'm Pretty" dance. That is when they wrap their towels around them like a dress and dance in front of the mirror singing "I'm pretty, I'm pretty, look at me, I'm pretty." It's amazing. I laughed so hard I decided to just join in! After I bath the first two then it is just a race to see who can call dibs on who is next. That usually lasts an hour, so by now it is about 7:30 or 8. As we wait on everyone to get done with their showers it's only natural to sit in my room with all of the girls and for them to wear my shoes, rip my hair out, I mean, "brush my hair," listen to Taylor Swift, Skype all the Leonardi's on the computer and chew on my phone charger so that food is lodged in the part that connects to the actual battery and get ready to separate everyone and get them into bed. The boys are so easy. They hang out, eat, watch tv or a movie and get ready for bed and that's that. Bed time for the girls is a little different. It is very hard for the young ones and I have cried every night because of the sadness I can see, feel and hear in their sweet cries. The first night was rough.  I don't know if I should go into detail, but I can say for a solid hour there was a solid cry out for comfort. It is not the cry a young child gives when you babysit your neighbors kid and their parents walk our the door and then they get so tired of crying they stop or you turn on a Disney movie and their attention immediately focuses in on the screen. It is a cry that I have never experienced. It is a cry of confusion, misunderstanding, fear, and the want to have structure and a solid foundation in their life. YES, there are cries that scream that so boldly it makes you stay up til 4am and pray for God to heal pain that can only come from the devil himself. 

This world is something I thought I would have some understanding of, but it is sick. It is demonic and it is something I know My God is powerful enough to take and use it to the Glory of God. But I am going to be so open and honest about something that I am struggling with and that is how these children can ever have a solid foundation in Christ. I have just sat here and thought, how in the world could you know that there is a God who loves and adores you more than anything in the world, but then have nobody to continually tell you that and teach that because you are going from one place to another so much you can barely remember your real name. The struggles these children have endured at the age they have endured it are far greater than any struggle I have ever heard of and ever want to experience. To have the same terrible thing happen to you over and over and over and over, so much that it mentally delays your brain development, and think they can understand God's love is hard. I never thought I would be in a place where I had to pray about something like this, but again, MY GOD is the healer of this type of pain. MY GOD is the sustainer of life. He created life, gives life, and knows when our earthly life will end and that is the comfort I turn too when I am up for 18 out of the 24 hours in a day confused about what could possibly be going on in these children's heads.

With all of the pain hid deep inside these children's heart, there is also a love that you know is a love from Jesus. They are amazing children. I pray in the name of Jesus that God opens the hearts of the parents in this city. I pray that the spiritual warfare that is constantly battling would be rebuked in the name of Jesus and this city would come to know Jesus the way God intended them too when he sent his son as a sacrifice for our sins. These children will be healed one day and I hope that day comes before they go to heaven. 

I am sorry I have no bible verse in this blog. I am sitting in my bed with the sweetest, chunkiest, 2 year old baby not being able to type too hard just in case I wake her up:) I can't get to my Bible or turn the lights to read it, but know that there will be many more to come. 

God has blessed me more in the last two days than I could have ever imagined. He is preparing me for things I will never know about until it happens and I can't wait to come back home to tell you guys my every encounter with Christ in this place. Please be praying for the people that God has chosen to be part of this ministry. Pray for the leaders, children, directors, people who make any decisions regarding Sozo Montana, Uganda, and any other place of ministry to come in the future. MY GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD. I AM HIS INSTRUMENT TO MAKE MUSIC TO GLORIFY HIS NAME IN THE HEAVENS AND ON EARTH. LET GOD USE YOU. DO NOT BE AFRAID. HE IS SMARTER THAN YOU:) 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I am reading the book of James.  How awesome would it be if your name was in the Bible and after it this statement follow "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." James 1:1. I know I am a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, but to know that your name is printed in God's word and that as the description of your name has to be one of the most unexplainable emotions that God has ever created.

I am in such a weird place spiritually. Weird may not be the best adjective, maybe confused or unsure? It is the beginning of week 3 and we still have no children. I have days when I think, what am I doing right now? I have been convicted of my attitude and ask that you continue to pray for the Lord to lead me and help me not to grow weary, but sometimes it is hard. As I ask the Lord for comfort, I go to his word and of course there it is in James. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 

Clearly I am meeting trials of various kinds... Most people don't sit around waiting for kids to come knocking on their door. I am; I am waiting for the little children that God has hand picked to walk through my door and for me to love. God has given me time for my faith in him to saturate me in every aspect of my spiritual life so that when my babies get here my steadfastness has its full effect.  

Steadfastness, a life of faithful endurance amid troubles and affliction. Steadfastness leads ultimately to perfection. Do not misunderstand what I am saying. I strive for perfection, but I know I will never have it. Just like the bible says, believers grow in holiness but are not yet perfected in it; such perfection will only be realized at the return of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

What I think I am getting at is that each and everyday that something is not going quite like I had planned, God continues to remind me that he is smarter than I am.  I refuse to let my God's sacrifice of his son be in vein. I refuse to let the devil think he has power and bondage over my life. God's timing is perfect. The day the children come will be the day God chose for reasons I will never know. That could  be on my list of questions for when I get to heaven, but what I do know is that I serve Perfection. 

Please continue to pray for the Sozo Montana team. Please pray for the children that God has chosen for this home. It may be a slower process than planned originally but God is going to blow the roof off of this place when it finally hits! GLORY GLORY!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stephen Williams

For those of you who grew up in Springville, I am sure by now you have heard the terrible news about Stephen Williams. For those of you who did not, one of my friends from high school (Stephen Williams) was murdered on Wednesday night, October 13, 2010.

As I am processing the information that is coming from the end of the phone, I just cry. I honestly do not know what else to do. It just blows my mind that some people are so lost in their own greedy and fleshly needs that they think it is ok to take the life of someone's friend, someone's child,someone's brother, someone's potential husband and father.

We may never understand why this happened but one thing I do know is that Stephen is in heaven. Stephen chose life over death. He chose Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Righteous One, the Sovereign One, the Great I AM, The Son of God. And now he dances and sings in heaven. He is probably singing Kenny Chesney's She Thinks My Tractors Sexy on a karaoke machine with Jesus as we speak:)

Stephen brought so much life into a world with so much death. He loved when people didn't love him and that is what Christ's expects from his believers. Take this tragedy and turn it into Glory. As hard as it is to Glorify the Lord in times like these know that sufferings produce character. More than that , we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that sufferings produce endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

This is the last picture Stephen posted on facebook. How awesome his mother must feel to know she raised a son that not only loved and adored her, but had salvation in Jesus Christ. Without Jesus we are nothing. Do not let Christ's death be in vein. I love you Stephen Williams. 

The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace... Isaiah 57:1-2

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crosspoint Baptist Church

I feel the need to brag on my amazing pastor and church family at Crosspoint Baptist Church in Argo, Alabama. I know I haven't been gone long, but as I prepare for this journey the Lord has called me too I thought about the people and the simple pleasures I take for granted everyday that I was going to miss and one of them was my church. I am so blessed to have a church family that will open their hearts to me and pray over me as a congregation; who will come lay their hands on me and pray faithfulness and diligence over me; who will give to me so that I will be content financially; who will shower me with love, adoration, and prayer. I am so blessed to have a pastor that PREACHES THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!!!

 Ryan Whitley is one of my heroes. I don't even know if he knows how much I appreciate his willingness to preach the word raw and undisputed. He is a man who is truly after God's heart. He takes responsibility for his congregation and strives daily to expand the kingdom of God. His mission is not comfort, but salvation. The moment we get comfortable as Christians is the moment we need to reevaluate where our priorities stand. If you are comfortable as a Christian at Crosspoint then you are not listening to what Ryan Whitley is saying because every week I walk into my church I leave knowing I have a lot of  work to do in my spiritual walk with Christ. I am embarrassed that so many people now, sugar coat the gospel to make you feel comfortable. It's disgusting and I know my Savior just cries when he sees what his people are doing to his word. God did not create us to be comfortable, yes, he wants us to live a joyful and happy life, but our ultimate goal as fishers of men is to do just that - FISH FOR MEN! Expand his kingdom, add Just One More to the kingdom of heaven.

If you ever need a place to go to hear the word of Christ, I strongly urge you to visit Crosspoint. Crosspoint is filled with liars, cheaters, adulterers, drunkards, proud, arrogant, imperfect sinners that love the company of other people who want to be fed the word of God. None of us are without sin, so we all gather together in his name and give Him Glory for the blessings in our lives. God is not impressed by us, humble yourselves before the Lord.

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7

5 days and 11 states later....

The Teton Mountains
We finally made it! 5 days, 11 states, 2 state parks, way too much fast food, and 4 hotels later...We made it. The weather is surprisingly warm. I left with snow flurries and came back to 78degree heat. Weird. Thankfully there is no humidity so it is perfect!! We don't have any of our kids yet. We had to turn in some paperwork for the state today, so it may be two weeks before we are able to get any children. We still have some fixing up to do around the house, so a little more time is a great thing.

I almost can't believe I am here. I guess with the kids not being here, I haven't fully grasped the concept of what God has called me too, here in Lame Deer. We have met several people in surrounding areas and every time we tell them why we are here, they have all had the exact same response of general excitement. I have heard lots of stories about what to expect and things some of these kids have gone through and not to expect any of them to be loving or have good attitudes. I have heard stories that have brought on fear and sadness. Emotions will be running high around here for a long time, so I am just praying the Lord will give us all the strength we need to do our jobs not only as "parents," but as missionaries to his kingdom. But just as his word says in Luke (18:7) God will always give what is right to his people that cry out to Him night and day, and He will not be slow to answer them. I know the Lord will protect us, I know the Lord will love us; I know the Lord will intercede and open the hearts of these children to the love we have to offer. I am so thankful to serve a God whose love for me is not based on deeds, but based on one decision, whether or not I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Story

Everyone has a story that explains how they ended up where they are now; mine starts with my amazing family...
Without my family I wouldn't be who I am today. The Lord handpicked my family for me, to guide me, to love me and to pray for me, but that is not where my story ends:) I am so proud to be called to something so much bigger than myself.

I am on my way to Lame Deer, Montana to start a foster home on the Cheyenne Native American Reservation through Sozo Children International. I spent a week there in September getting the house ready and realized that I had a very skewed vision of what I thought the Lord had called me too. I think I thought that I was going to have a happy house full of happy children and I have learned through these past few weeks that is more than likely not going to be the case. But My God is an awesome God and his word has shown me certainty in that where I am weak he is strong and he will guide me every step of the way. My joy is in the Lord! Therefore, I will have a happy home, regardless of the circumstances in the name of Jesus!

I am on my way to Montana now. We decided to drive up and see some fun scenery on the way. It has been a LONG three days, but man I have seen some of God's creation that I would have never seen had I not been given this opportunity. We will have driven through eleven states by Saturday!!! We left on Tuesday and drove from Alabama, to Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and stopped in St. Louis, Missouri. The next day( Wednesday) we woke up and drove through Kansas to Denver, Colorado, and stopped in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Wednesday was the most amazing drive! I got to drive through the Rockies and see mountains like I never knew existed. We also stopped on the side of the highway to look at one of the rivers that run through the mountains. I couldn't help but take my shoes off and get in!! IT WAS FREEZING! But then again, I guess all melted snow is a little bit cold.

 Today we have driven from Salt Lake City to Wyoming then into Idaho and then back into Wyoming. Wyoming has definitely been beautiful. I ate lunch on a balcony overlooking the Teton Mountains. It was so surreal.God never ceases to amaze me, but I have just been in shock the whole drive. I have never seen such beauty as I have in the past two weeks of my life.

 We have stopped again for the night and plan to get up early to go to the Teton and Yellowstone National Park and then off to Billings, Montana to meet up with the rest of my team ( or family I should say ) I tried to take pictures of all the states, but I am doing a terrible job. I have lots of pictures on my phone so, as soon as I figure out how to upload them, I will share some more pictures. Until then, please continue to pray for safe travels. I am so excited to see what it is God has planned for me and the rest of the Sozo Montana Team, including the children. I am nervous, but I know that My God is Sovereign and he reigns over everyone and everything. To Him Be the Glory!