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Haha, there are water buffalo everywhere in India, so I sang that song a lot! This post is intended to be my final thoughts on India, but truthfully there is just too much to tell so its just a very short summary 🙂

First of all thanks so much to everyone who responded to my blog about the water park and sent in money, we literally had just enough and the kids had an incredible time. Hopefully, when we get home we will be able to share pictures and stories!

I’ve never experienced this kind of poverty. It’s inescapable, from the street kids to the slums and the half built buildings, the trash covering the streets, the lack of water and electricity. I came in thinking I knew what was coming . . . that I was prepared, but I was overwhelmed.  I live in a completely different world, so far removed from this one. Nothing like having your world rocked by your spoiled materialism like that.

The conditions in India were pretty rough. It was very very hot and we had pretty much no running water and shotty electricity, but it was an even harder realization that the kids lived in probably worst conditions than us and they do it everyday for years. Water is a precious commodity there, there were a couple of days that the kids would go with no water to drink. Praise Jesus, that in the last couple of days we were there the Lord provided them with a new watertanker and the government will bring in at least one tank of good clean water to the orphanage a week. Also, our team faced sickness trials while we were there. Ryan was the only one who managed to not be affected, being young pays off in some ways I guess, haha.

The kids and us would get up every morning at 5:30am for morning prayer, then they would do some chores and eat breakfast. From about 8ish to 10ish we would divide the kids up and play games, I taught them Nookum which was a pretty big hit. Then we would do lunch and afternoon prayer at 2, just play and hang out with the kids til prayer at 6:30 and dinner. We sometimes would have a chance to go into town in the afternoons. That was pretty much our day, during prayers in the afternoon and evening we would get to lead some songs and skits and Chris would preach some.

What I learned the most from India and the biggest thing that I will take away from is the faith and dependance that the kids and leaders of the orphanage have. Since they have almost nothing, they are thankful for every little thing they have and get. It is really humbling to watch them live praying continuoulsy because they know that without God they would have nothing. They pray for things like water and food and health but also for the littlest of things. And they pray first, before they do anything. I was very convicted about how our wealth in America really can take away our faith and dependance on the Lord. I learned so much and was very challenged in India, but I’m not gonna lie, I was ready to leave.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be in Uganda! As soon as we got off the plane yesterday I fell in love with it here. We went to church this morning which words cannot describe the spirit of joy there was there. Tomorrow we will start our work at the orphanage. I am extra excited to be here in Africa because as you many of you know, Kenya is where I was planning on being this last year and Natalie the missionary we are working with here is doing almost exactly what I had planned on doing, teaching at a school for orphans. It will be interesting to see what that would be like . . . and who knows what the Lord will call me to in the future!

Continue to pray for our team this week as we are fighting off sicknesses. Sarah and Chris are dealing with stomach issues, and Sage has flu-like symptoms. After some pretty nasty stomach stuff from the water in India I am recovered 100%, but now I have pink eye. Also, pray that we would serve and minister to the missionaries here and the orphans at the children’s home. Love you all and thanks for all your support. Leave a comment, I love the encouragement!

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India!

We arrived at the orphanage in India today after spending the night in the airport in Mumbai last night. The orphanage is in New Delhi and called Emmanuel Ministries. We have only spent a few hours at the orphanage but I am overwhelmed at the sweetness and joy the kids have. It is difficult to see the environments that they live in and I am very convicted of my own worldly desires for things I think I need . . . like a running water, cold drinks, air conditioning, new clothes, and forms of entertainment.

The kids are on holiday from school, and most of the kids that have families were able to go back with them, which means the kids that are left really have no one else to go home to. What we are trying to do is give them a memorable summer holiday while sharing the gospel with them and giving them lots of love.  The daily schedule is a little vague, and we are still unclear at exactly what we will be doing everyday. However, it looks like we might have an opportunity to give these kids a truly special experience and take them to a waterpark close by. It costs about $4 a kid and there are approximately 90 kids at the orphanage right now. If you feel at all led to donate to this specifically you can make a donation at http://www.globaljourney.org and use paypal – just put in waterpark on the purpose section.

A wise man advised our team before we left that success does not always mean accomplishing everything that you set out to do, but sometimes success is much more about what you learn in the process. Although we might not have successfully carried every Bible we attempted across the border, what the Lord accomplished here in us was great!

However despite a few minor setbacks, we were able to take the word into China! I would love to go into detail about the inner workings of “Bible smuggling” but it is important to be very vague so that we can protect the missionaries and the work that they do here. The work was not as “Sydney Bristow-ish” as I might have imagined but their were moments of  some super sly 007 moves 🙂 Be sure and ask me about those stories when I get home!

It was really awesome to hear the hearts of the full time missionaries here; they continue to remain so passionate, despite years of the sometimes mundane and taxing work they do everyday. We also got a rundown on the need that the church in China is facing. I won’t bore you with too many statistics, but basically the number of Bibles that are allowed to be printed in China is very inadequate to meet the continually growing need; and those Bibles can only be found in state-sanctioned churches while the majority of Christians in China attend “underground” or home churches.

Just to give you an idea of what our day here looked like; we would wake up in the morning and usually have a few hours of freedom. Sage, Chris, and I spent most of these moments going on adventures, discussing and exploring the culture of Hong Kong. The things that we saw during those times God used to make the biggest impact on me. In the afternoons is when we would make most of our runs across the border, and then in the evening we would eat dinner and sometimes have an opportunity to hang out with the missionaries. Sage and I even squeezed in a little workout almost every night before bed. Our accommodations here were very plush compared to what we will most likely be experiencing on the rest of our journey. I was very thankful for the hot showers, mattress, and Aircon in the flat provided by the group we worked for here; I definitely won’t be getting much of that in India, our next stop.

I don’t have time to talk about all that the Lord has been teaching me, but I don’t think that I have ever been so challenged in my walk with our God. I have been really convicted about how individualistic my faith is and how really it is so much more about the church body as a whole, and how God’s plan is so much bigger than just my life. I feel a little overwhelmed by a sudden desire to just know more of God’s character, but not just the mushy Sunday school version, but the parts that might really rock my faith. As a result I have started reading through Romans and praying that God would help me work through the harder parts of it. I have been so challenged and broken over the types of worship I have seen. On our “adventures” we went to a temple that practiced ancestral worship and then to a temple called “The Temple of the 10,000 Buddhas” which just blew my mind. Can’t believe how much I’ve learned already and so excited to see what all God will show me!

I was really surprised how beautiful the countryside is here. We got to go on in an incredible hike up into the mountains and see a beautiful waterfall! Also got to see a pretty amazing view of the city one night and Sunday afternoon when we went up to Victoria’s peak.

Hope all is well at home in the states, continue to pray for our team unity and safe travels, as we head to India to love on the orphans at Emmanuel Ministries. Love you all!

First of all, I need to start with an apology . . . I am way behind on the blogging, and there is so much to catch everyone up on, so I will do my best!!

We arrived in Hong Kong about 4 hours ago! It is crazy that this journey has finally begun. There has been so many exciting things going on in my life leading up to this day; here is a quick run down of the last 3 months of my life!

I’ll start with a big one . . . I’M ENGAGED!! Brandon proposed Mother’s day weekend and we will be getting married in December. I am really having a hard time explaining how excited I am to spend the rest of my life with this man! I can’t think of anyone that I have more fun with or that I makes me feel more beautiful and loved. He has been so supportive and constantly challenges me in my walk with our Lord and Savior. He’s staying busy this summer at T bar M camps in New Baunfels.  No doubt, we are both thankful for the chance to do ministry this summer, but we are looking forward to being able to spend more time together when I get back this fall!

The other big news is I have a job starting next next school year! I will be at Brenham High School teaching World Geography and World History and coaching volleyball and basketball. This is a great school and such an answered prayer. Brian and Keisha and the girls will also be moving and working there, which makes us sisters so pumped to be able to be so close. We were kinda spoiled this year, getting to live together, and it has always been a dream of ours to be neighbors. So the week before I left I moved my stuff to Brenham and I will be living there until December when Brandon and I move to College Station.

Its been  incredibly crazy and amazing to me to see God’s plan for me come together this year. Lots of things did not turn out the way that I thought they would  or planned, but so much better than I could have imagined!  This year God has taught me so much about what it means to trust Him for provision and direction. Pretty sweet how once God brought me to a place of surrender, and I finally gave in that He has been so faithful to work all things together in His perfect timing.

OK back to the trip!

Funding for this trip seemed like a daunting task when this all began in March, but praise God, because he has been so faithful to provide all my funding as well as the funding for each of my team members. Many of you were a part of that and I just want to say thank you so much, I am incredibly excited about what Christ will do in the next month and a half. However, I cannot say that it all came easy for me, there were moments of doubt for me that He would truly provide not only the funding for my trip but also all the added costs that go along with taking 2 months off to travel around the world. Constantly I have been reminded that our God does not have a limited supply of resources but He is a spring that does not dry up! Many times I wished that I would have had everything I needed and wanted months in advance, but I have been learning to trust Him to provide me my “daily” bread. I have had everything I needed exactly when I needed it. And now here I am in a flat in Hong Kong!

After spending a few days in New Braunfels getting to meet my team and doing a little practical training. We hopped on a flight early Monday morning and pretty much spent the last day and a half traveling. Never have I been more thankful for my ability to sleep anywhere! We met up with a missionary here in Hong Kong and tomorrow we start our work in China. Can’t wait to see Asia in the daylight and share with you guys the stories, but for now I better get to bed, I’m the last one up and we have a pretty early morning and long day ahead of us! I wish I had time or room to tell you about how much fun my team is, but no doubt there will be lots of crazy stories coming from this group in the future, and I have already written way too much!

Miss you and love you – God bless,

Kara

My First Blog

I’m so excited to be apart of Global Journey this summer! While I can’t wait to jump on the plane, I have so much preparation to do before the big day arrives . . . physically and spiritually. I hope to keep ya’ll updated on all pre-departure moments and hopefully have the chance to blog along the way. God is going to do some amazing things this summer and I’m excited to be able to share it with you 🙂