So this is my Merry Christmas...a little bit sad and a lot of joy!

Health Education Africa Resource Team
Founder Vickie Winkler

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours.  Third Christmas without my son, Justin and now this.  This is my third Christmas that I haven't been able to bring myself to send out cards, I am not even doing gifts (please forgive me I just can't seem to emotionally bring myself to go to a mall nor have I had the time or finances).  It's not as easy to be jolly and joyful when the debris of desolation lies all around you.  For months I spent almost every day in tears I really didn't think I could make it through.  The losses so great, I sometimes felt as though I might never recover BUT God.

Let me start at the beginning....Many years ago, I think close to nine I was waking up in the middle of the night crying and praying for Africa.  It seemed so strange, because I had absolutely no connection to Africa.  Then one day into church walked a man from Kenya and he invited me to go to Kenya, that is where I got introduced to HEART.  We stayed at the HEART lodge and I met Vickie, we traveled around Kenya meeting the people and staying at an orphanage. That was the beginning of my love affair with the Kenyan people.  I can still remember the first time I left crying as the plane taxied away.

I always hated leaving, always wanted to do more there, always left a piece of my heart there.  It never made any sense on the surface, why would God have given me such a love for this place, for these women and their children, for the Masai girls, for the beauty of the African landscape?  After all I had a church to help build, my children needed me, my life was here in the states not on a foreign continent.  Yet, year after year I continued to go and be blessed always wondering if I would go more once my children were grown.  If perhaps one day this burning desire to be more involved would be realized.  It always puzzled me.

Then one day a bomb dropped and blew my world apart.  I suppose somewhere in my heart I was always waiting for it.  Where there is smoke there is fire and eventually truth is always revealed.  I don't regret the years, the love, the life but it was over in two searing days of brutal honesty.  A fatal wound to one part of my life, BUT God the redeemer had a plan.

So I am still a bit sad.  It is still not easy,  BUT God had a plan.  It had been there all along.  A seed of love for a country far away, prayers and tears had fed the seed.  My heart had been connected with Vickie Winkler and she had become a friend and the ministry of HEART one of my greatest passions.  It seems sudden but in reality it was part of the plan, the plan to put me back together with His purposes and His passion.  The plan to reveal His divine appointments, His weaving of passion and purpose throughout the last ten years is now revealed.  It is so comforting to know He was aware, He was planning, He was positioning, He was preparing....He knew all along exactly what would happen, the sin that would blow my world apart. He knew all along that the dreams and love for Kenya and the women of HEART would be just what would rise out of the rubble.

So with great joy, I announce that as of Monday January 18th I will be part of the HEART team.  My official title will be Community Development but it might as well be ......

Joyful woman that gets to lay her life down to help women with HIV/AIDS, to do orphan prevention, to help stop female genital mutilation, to help girls stay in school, to help fund clean water programs, create sustaining food programs, train widows to provide for their families and provide food and shelter for the poorest of the poor. 

I guess that is to long of a title but it seems much more fitting. So with joy I move forward in my life. It is a new chapter, a new beginning.  I am sad to leave California, but glad to go home to Texas.  I have always been a Texas girl at heart.  So I am returning to where I started so many years ago for a fresh start.  I don't know if it's forever, I only know that I can trust God with the plan.  

As my new pastor(Pastor Jackie)said this past Sunday from Church On The Rock in Lubbock, 

   Change is difficult, but there is always a purpose.  There is always a promise attached to the     purpose and there is always a plan to get you to the promise.  (paraphrased version)

So look for more information from me.  Look for more joy from me.  Look for Texas to be good for me, southern hospitality and close family will do me good.  I won't be gone for long, I will be traveling quite a bit and that means getting to see old friends and make new ones.  

I don't know what the future holds, but I know the one who holds the future.  I am smiling once again as I see His hands at work in my life.  Hands of provision and promise.  I am happier now, then yesterday, I have more joy than I could have envisioned four months ago and it just keeps getting better.  

 Follow me to stay updated and maybe you will join me on a mission trip one day and you too will leave a piece of your heart in Kenya!

Thanks for loving me so well, following my blog and sharing the journey with me.  Together we are better,  LOVE you people so much!  Merry Christmas.

P.S. Check out all that HEART does...

              She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs                   without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Featured Post

My Heart is Full

I ran across this picture, just the other day.  It was painted way before my life turned upside down and inside out.  I thought my heart ...