Saturday, May 26, 2018

Nicaragua Mission Trip - February 6 - March 6, 2018

From February 26 through March 6 a team of 25 from Heritage Christian School went to serve alongside family in Christ in Nicaragua in partnership with Petra International Ministries.

We flew into Managua to a huge welcome from the Petra Managua church and the team quickly realized they had family in Christ in Nicaragua. After orientation the next morning, the team headed to Ometepe Island. While on the island the team did children's and women's ministry, sports ministry, worked on the camp and farm that helps sustain the different ministries, helped build the church in Merida, attended an evangelism concert and worship concert, did door to door evangelism, and spent time fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ. It was so sweet to reunite with many that I had spent time with the previous summer.

The Lord did much work in each of our hearts on the trip. A couple of the main things that stood out to me were:
In one of our morning devotions, one of the pastor's asked us the question, "Why did God leave us the Great Commission?" We answered with things such as “so His name would be proclaimed to the ends of the earth, so His name would be glorified, so people would hear and be brought to salvation, etc” ... He did leave it for that reason, but the pastor talked about how the Great Commission is for our own sanctification as believers as well. It is the last command that Jesus left us, but often our first to disobey. What God has given us as a great privilege, we often see as a burden. There is no greater joy than preaching the gospel. One of clearest ways to deny self and love others is to preach the gospel. He said, "Do you want to grow in faith? It doesn’t come from serving in many ministries. It comes in preaching the gospel. The church is sad because it does not preach. Those who do are alive and filled with joy.”  We were encouraged to go before the Lord and ask for forgiveness for excuses we make for not sharing the gospel. And then as we are convicted that they are just excuses, we will be compelled to go forth... May Christ fill our hearts so full that we cannot contain the passion for what He has done. As believers, we should be reproducers of the gospel.

Also, in our closing time together as a team before leaving Nicaragua another one of the pastors left us with Acts 20:24:

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." 

And he asked, “What will be said about you when people hear about you here?”

There are a lot of things our lives could be known for, but only one that really matters. May our lives have a singular focus. May we run wholeheartedly after Him and testify of the gospel until our last breath.

Here is a link to a video of pictures from the trip:

Friday, January 5, 2018

Start of Petra Bible Church, Bozeman

The Lord is up to some exciting things here in Bozeman!

What is going on should be prefaced with a little background:

I first met Jared and Tanya Cox and their four children in December 2015 after they had recently returned from 15 years serving in Nicaragua. We started talking in the lobby of Heritage Christian School (where I work here in Bozeman), realized we had a mutual friend in ministry, and got to know each other better from there. They have been such a huge blessing in my life. I am so thankful for their hearts and faithfulness to the Lord and their desire to see His name glorified to the ends of the earth. Here is a link to a video of what the Lord did during their time in Nicaragua:

In April 2017, Jared and Tanya asked me if I would be interested in praying alongside of them for a church plant in Bozeman, as they, along with the Nicaraguan pastors and elders had been seeking the Lord and being led in that direction. I was seeking the Lord at that time and in many months proceeding about where the Lord would have me to focus and to serve here in Montana. Shortly thereafter, the Lord also opened the door to travel to Nicaragua during the summer for two weeks in July on a vision trip to see the churches there, get to know some of the Nicaraguan pastors and their families, and see possibilities for future ministry opportunities. The time there was a blessing far beyond words!

The Lord convicted me at that time to step away from some ministries I was involved in here in Bozeman upon returning and continue to pray for His direction.

After many months of praying, the Lord has opened the door in His timing to be apart of the church plant here in Bozeman. The first vision night for the church was December 17. The second vision night is this Sunday, January 7 and then the first service will be January 14. It has been sweet seeing the Lord's provision through each step of the way! There is also a couple from Nicaragua moving here in June to serve as well.

The Lord has also graciously opened the door to return to Nicaragua February 26-March 6 this year with a team from Heritage Christian School. I cannot wait to see the family in Nicaragua and see how He is continuing to build His Kingdom there!

Please pray:
-That the Lord would build His church
-That He would use His church to save many lives and call many to be used for His Kingdom work and His glory
-For protection in the spiritual battle
-For wisdom, discernment and His leading
-For divine contacts as the Lord brings those He wants to be apart of the church plant
-For the mission trip - that the hearts of the students and adults going will be prepared and humble and moldable for His purposes
-For more partners to support the ministry and teams to travel to Nicaragua. Here is the link to Petra International Ministries - ... the website for the church here in Bozeman is almost complete as well
-For Christ to be the center of everything and for His name to be lifted high always!

The Cox family

Vision Night 1

Vision Night 1

Vision Night 1

The supremacy of Christ above all things.
Partnering with the global church to reach the global community.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winding Down 2017

"I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength." Habakkuk 3:18

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that openly profess his name." -Hebrews 13:15

"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High." -Psalm 9:1-2

Heading into the end of 2017, there are many reasons to rejoice. Through recovering from two surgeries I had at the end of 2016 and five months on leave at work from September 2016 to the start of February 2017, God has provided and I am feeling better than I have in years. More importantly though than physical health, I can say I love Christ more now than this time last year and that He is faithful and draws us closer to Himself through suffering. He is our Provider and Sustainer in every season. Those who have encouraged and walked alongside have been a blessing far beyond words as well.

It is also hard to believe it has been five and a half years living in Bozeman! I am so thankful for the Lord bringing me here and all He has done and for those He has put in my life. I have seen Him at work in the lives of the students at Heritage Christian School through teaching and serving as the Athletic Director. This year also brought an opportunity to travel to Nicaragua to serve with Petra International Ministries during the summer and I will be returning at the end of February 2018 with a team from school. I cannot wait to see the Nicaragua family again and also to see the students being challenged in their faith and getting to share Christ.

The Lord is also up to some other pretty amazing things here in Bozeman ministry-wise. More details to come as we head into 2018.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and know I always love hearing from you!

2017 Pics:

Birthday celebration with Bozeman sisters
Cat-Griz Brawl of the Wild... go Bobcats!
Cat-Griz Brawl of the Wild... go Bobcats!


Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

On the way to Kalispell :)

Hike with my favorite PT post surgery :)

"M" hike!

"M" Trail

Soccer Senior Day

Soccer Senior Day

Volleyball Senior Night

State Tournament

Fall Banquet

Great Falls sisters

With Julie, such an awesome sister in Christ :)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Nicaragua and Summer 2017

"Jesus, Lord of my salvation, Savior of my soul. Send me out to the world to make You known."

As some of you know, I just returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua July 12-24. The trip came up in truly a way only the Lord could have brought about. After two surgeries this winter, He graciously allowed my body to get healthy enough to be able to go.

What an amazing couple of weeks! I am honestly just so humbled and in awe of the Lord's graciousness. It is hard to put into words all that was seen and experienced, probably because the Lord did/is doing far more work in my heart than He did through me on this trip. I am so thankful for His faithfulness and provision in the opportunity to go.

I had visited the Petra Iglesia Managua church a couple years ago on a trip there. Some dear friends Jared and Tanya Cox planted the church during their 15 years on the mission field there (they now reside in Bozeman). There are now multiple church plants around Nicaragua as the gospel is spreading all over. Being there was like living in the book of Acts in Scripture and seeing biblical discipleship and multiplication. Also, the love and community of the body of Christ, their passion for Christ, and testimonies were quite overwhelming.

One of the most special parts of this trip was the opportunity I had to stay with a couple of the different pastors and their families, another church member, and then the Cox family at the camp and farm on Ometepe Island. The relationships built and strengthened with the believers there and mutual encouragement was such a blessing.

After first arriving in Nicaragua to an awesome airport greeting from the Nicaragua family, I spent the day in Managua with Pastor Hamilton and his family and had sweet fellowship time with ladies from the church. Once the rest of the team arrived from Bozeman, we first traveled two hours north of Managua to Matagalpa. There we did children's ministry at a school and women's ministry with some of the teachers back at the church. After returning to and attending church service in Managua, we then headed two hours south via bus plus a 1.5 hour ferry ride to the island of Ometepe to work with the Balgue and Merida churches and Altagracia church plant for four days. The time there included door to door evangelism, women's ministry, visiting the ministry's camp and farm and also time with a couple of the pastors discussing potential future ministry opportunities. After returning to Managua, there was a two day women's conference, where my dear friend and sister in Christ Julie Gossack was the speaker. Over 140 women attended! We both kept looking at each other constantly throughout the trip and asking each other, "Are we really here together in Nicaragua?" We have walked through much suffering together so it was extra special to have that time together along with her husband Ray. We saw the Lord at work in so many ways both in our own hearts and in the hearts of the people we had the blessing of interacting with throughout our time.

Here is a link to a 3.5 minute video of pictures from the trip.

Please pray for my heart as I continue to spend time with the Lord processing all that happened on the trip and that I would walk in obedience to Him in however He leads. Please pray for Petra Iglesia church that the Word would continue to go forth boldly and also for more supporters to be raised up to support the ministry ( Please pray for the Cox family as well - I am so thankful for them and their hearts for the Lord and the chance to do life with them in Bozeman through this season.

Thanks again for your prayers and support!

Nicaragua Airport Greeting :)

Fellowship time with ladies from church :)

Children's ministry in Matagalpa

Matagalpa ministry time

Sharing testimony

In Matagalpa
Pastor Arnold's family

With the ladies on the mission team

Mission team
Headed to Ometepe Island

Headed to Ometepe Island

With Tanya!

Women's ministry time at Merida

Praying for the ladies at Merida
"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Ferry from Ometepe back to the mainland

Caponera ... my new car :)

With Tanya and Julie

Women's ministry conference

With ladies from the island at the conference

With Isaiah, Jeremiah and Esteban

Women's ministry conference

Resolution 1: Live for God
Resolution 2: Do it even when no one else is.

Women's ministry conference

With the Cox family and Julie and Ray :)

With Pastor Hamilton and Jill's family!

Fellowship time :)

Before Nicaragua, we also hosted Heritage Christian Sports Camp in Bozeman for the second year in a row. There were 131 K-6th graders registered, along with 28 junior coaches and 14 adults who served. The gospel was shared throughout and we saw the power of Christ at work in a mighty way. He is so faithful!