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To Haiti and Home Again

Hello friends and family! 

I’m back from Haiti safe and sound! Thank you so much for all the prayers that went out for our team. God’s hand was clearly at work in our short time there, impacting the hearts of many. Going into this trip, I sent out a few specific prayer requests. Over those 6 days in Haiti, I watched as God answered every single one of them and then some! So, thank you so much for bathing our team in prayers! He is faithful to answer!

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Administering…my favorite…knee injections!

 In short, here’s a few of the many highlights from my trip!

 As a brief background, this trip was a hybrid medical/construction trip with a total of 27 team members flying in from California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, and Washington to serve together in Haiti. While this had the potential to be chaotic and disjointed, we became a close knit family because Christ was the foundation. The doctors were incredibly patient with me and more than willing to take the time to teach us how to perform procedures and explain the symptoms and diagnoses. Each one of them blessed and inspired me by their love for the Haitians and their passion for medicine. God faithfully answered our prayer for team unity by truly handpicking each member on this team. In just 4 days, we saw over 1000 patients, the construction team completed their “to-do” list halfway through the trip, but most importantly, Christ-centered friendships were formed, which I pray will last a lifetime. We couldn’t have asked for smoother travel, all the bags and team members arrived safely and all the flights were on time.

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Papito (orange shirt) and some of his friends

 A huge take-away for me from this trip was trusting God 100%. Being on the medical side of things, I found myself forming the mentality that we could fix anything. Almost immediately, I was confronted with a patient who came in with a tumor on her neck. It had grown into her throat and affected her larynx, making it excruciatingly painful for her to eat or drink. It was so far advanced, that all we could do was give her morphine to alleviate the pain and then take her home to she could spend her last hours with her family. To be honest, I was frustrated that there was nothing we could do for her. But then I remembered the prayer I had prayed that morning: “Lord, show me today what you want me to see, teach me what you want me to learn, grow my faith and make me more like you.” And it was almost as if I could hear the question: “Will you trust Me to take care of My people, because I love them?”  During my time there, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend some time with a man named Roberto. He was born blind and severely deformed. This man truly has faith that will move mountains and he has inspired me to be more like him: wholly dedicated to praising Jesus and spreading His love. Roberto has nothing, yet he gives everything. He showed me what true faith and 100% trust in God looks like lived out on a daily basis.

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Roberto: A man of great faith

On the last day we were in Haiti, we went to an orphanage where we spent about an hour playing and cuddling with the kids. When the time came to leave, though, we had to say goodbye and place the babies back into their cribs. The little boy I had been carrying around began to cry uncontrollably and to cling to me even tighter, only calming down when he was back in my arms. I held him close to me and began to pray for him, mainly asking God why this suffering exists. It killed me to pry myself away from him, but as I walked out of the orphanage with tears streaming down my face, Jacques, one of our Haitian translators, asked me if I could trust God to care for these precious orphans, because God loves them far more than I ever could. And once again, I was confronted with the question, “Will you trust Me?” I learned to let go – to hand the reigns over to God, because He is the author and perfector of our faith. He has written the life story of each person and He is faithful to care for, love and cherish each of His children.

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Ralph!!Image

For me, the entire week was a giant emotional rollercoaster. It was filled with joy and sadness, laughter and tears. In the end, I went to Haiti to minister to the Haitian people, but instead was ministered to by the Haitians, leaving spiritually encouraged and refreshed. I can’t wait to return and continue to pray daily for Haiti. Please keep praying that God’s incredible work will continue to take place through the local churches and pastors. Thank you so much again for your prayers and support of my trip! I am so blessed to have you in my life!!

Much love and gratitude,

Kirsten

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Communication…or lack there of…

Tears, anger, hurt, frustration…all linked to a breakdown in communication. To make a long story short, I’ve had a lot of trouble communicating clearly with my parents, therefore resulting in fights and arguments. Through all this, I’ve struggled with my pride. Oh, the dreaded word…Pride. My biggest enemy rears his ugly head once again as my pride gains the victory. Yet, my heart breaks because I’ve lost the battle and hurt my parents, my biggest fans. But through it all, God is teaching me that His grace is sufficient in my weakness. My heart still aches with the tension that is still in the air and tears still flow from the hurtful exchange of words, yet my heart and eyes are set on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. The only one who can mend broken hearts and broken relationships and display His love and grace. Each day, I’m reminded of His overwhelming grace in my life. As I speak in defiance and rebellion, Jesus sees me…yet He forgives me because He loves me. This morning in church, we sang “Here I am to worship” and our worship leader pointed out the bridge specifically. “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross.” And it hit me, we’ll never taste hell because Christ has claimed the victory. We’ll never know that hurt, pain, and suffering because Jesus experienced it for us. His grace and love overflowed and rescued us from our desperate plight. So, as I walk through this phase of my life, will you pray for me? Please pray for a Christ-like love, humility, and grace to abound and overflow from my heart. Pray for a gentle spirit in place of my rebellious spirit. But most importantly, pray for Christ’s love to be made manifest through this situation.

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Sunday Morning Blessings

So, this morning, I decided to stay home from church because I managed to pick up a cold. Oh, the joys of fall! Right now, though, I’m thanking Jesus for keeping me home because I decided to listen to an archived sermon by David Platt. I have heard great things about him from my youth leader and decided to try it out. Let is suffice to say, that I am impressed (for lack of a better word). I’m going to link the sermon I listened to, because it is sooo worth your time. I’m left feeling convicted, encouraged, motivated and excited. So, I’m thankful for my little cold, because through it I’ve been so incredibly blessed.

Be blessed this beautiful Sunday!

Kirsten

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And…back to school!

In my mind, my summer is just beginning. Beach days await me. Relaxation and sleep. Cold Starbucks frappes. Having absolutely nothing to do. Welcome to reality! School starts in 4 days. I have to study for my Spanish class and prepare for my math class. On top of that, I need to start SAT prep and finish Drivers’ Ed. The question that has been crossing my mind lately, though, is: How can I be intentional about representing Christ to this godless world? Recently, I’ve been planning ahead for what the rest of my school will look like…finishing High School, going to College, and then going to P.A. School on top of all that. I’m so overwhelmed right now, but I realized that I need to move my focus away from myself and back to Christ. Each day, is a new challenge, but each challenge forces me to my knees; pleading with Jesus to give me strength to face as well as embrace these challenges. The more I focus on Jesus, the more others focused I become. It’s incredible how much peace I’ve received by laying my burdens before the Lord and giving Him the reigns!

But back to my original question: How can I be intentional about representing Christ? I’m headed to Palomar College in 4 days, marking the beginning of my Junior year of High School. Each day, I beg my Heavenly Father to show me how I can tangibly be His representative. So, what are you going to do? If you, too, don’t know, then I would encourage you to seek the Lord fervently. We have been given a mission here on earth: Represent Christ to a godless world. How are you going to fulfill this mission?

Blessings!

Kirsten

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An Idea Revolution

“Wait, I have an idea!” In many ways, this phrase has shaped the world we live in today. In fact, it still is shaping our culture, habitat, and even our own lives. Ideas are the most powerful tool in man’s possession, but how are we using them? The question really should be: Are we using them?

 

Tonight, our family had a discussion on complacency, based off of Zephaniah 1:12-13. This got me starting to think . . . in what areas am I living in complacency? Then it struck me. Am I using the ideas and talents that God has given me to their full capacity? I mean, think about it. The Holocaust ultimately began at the university level. Years before Adolf Hitler rose to power, ideas of social Darwinism (the survival of the fittest among human beings) were being generated by professors amongst the university students. Through the years, these ideas escalated into ideas of racial superiority and thus began the Holocaust. Ideas have power.  But are we using them?

 

Our generation has abandoned the search for truth. Not only have we fallen into a state of physical complacency, but we have sunk into a state of mental complacency as well. We would prefer to live a life of indifference, dare-I-say laziness, over pursuing what is right, true, good, and noble. We are content with accepting what our peers, teachers, government and media feed us, without really evaluating the content. We are allowing our minds to be molded and shaped without a second thought as to who is molding and who is shaping them. For example, over 75% of kids in America don’t believe that a homosexual lifestyle is wrong, however when my parents were kids, nearly 95% of the children would have said homosexuality wasn’t right. Why the change? This generation has allowed ideas of tolerance, co-existence, and “no discrimination” to infiltrate their lives, decisions, and actions. The media endorses the gay agenda, the government has nearly legalized the gay agenda, the schools are favoring the gay agenda, and our culture accepts the gay agenda. But why? The homosexual community is an approximate 2% minority. However, we have accepted the idea of relativism. Everyone can believe what they choose and no one will be offended. This is the power of an idea. This idea of relativism is shaping our culture today. It is radically changing the morals of our country and violating the founding principles of America. Once again, ideas are powerful; are we using them to their full capacity?

 

But what difference does it make? If we decided to use our ideas, we would be the minority . . . overpowered by the rest of this generation’s complacency. I challenge you, though, to remember the power one man’s idea possesses. The Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage began with one man. The Holocaust began with one man. Evolution began with one man. Abortion began with one man. What makes you any different that that ‘one man?’ You can be the change that this world needs. You can make a stand against the sin this world is addicted to. You can be the light that shines in the darkness. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. We were given a life to live. Why not dedicate it to the search for truth? Towards fighting for what is right and standing up for Christ?

 

This is the life that Christ has called us to. So, are you ready? Are you ready to take a stand? To take a stand for what is right, worthy, and true? To wholeheartedly pursue the truth? I know I am and I plead with you to join me in this worthy cause. We may be ridiculed, bullied, and hated, but we are representing Christ to godless world. We are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. Ideas have power. Will you use yours?

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Summer Camp 2013

Wow! It’s been a while since I last posted, so I’ve decided that it’s summer…so it’s time to start blogging again. 🙂 

I recently returned from our church’s High School Summer Camp up at Palomar Christian Conference Center (PCCC). It truly was an amazing experience. The theme was ‘From Darkness to Light’ and various speakers talked about what it means to move from the darkness of this world in to the light of our Savior. At camp, I made the decision to allow the Light to expose every area of my life, even the ones I have attempted to keep “hidden.” It led to an amazing feeling of forgiveness and a burden was lifted. The anger, frustration, and bitterness caused by holding on to these sins was gone. The Lord’s joy was absolutely overwhelming! Anyway, I just thought I’d share with you all and let you know that I didn’t mysteriously disappear! haha 😛

Love in Christ,

Kirsten ♥

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Worth Watching

Came across this video and it is really powerful! I would encourage you to take the time to watch it.

Hope you enjoy it!

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April 10, 2013 · 6:29 pm