the story behind the shirt

Hello friends!

I am writing you this blog post so that you can understand why I am raising money to go on a Mission trip to the Middle East. For the past two summers God has given me an awesome opportunity to serve in a Syrian refugee center in the Middle east. God again has presented the opportunity to me and Lord willing I will go again in July.

Every time I go to the Middle East God ends up blessing me more than I could ever bless the people. They are authentic, they truly know what it means to fear the lord, and the local church is passionate about sharing the gospel. Even though much persecution goes on, the church thrives because they rely on the Lord for all things. I have seen some crazy things and can promise you God is working in the Middle East in mighty ways.

I long to go back because I so desperately want to serve the local church that we are partnered with. I want to help them and give them rest since they are always serving. I want God to use me to bring light to the darkness.

The need for hope is evident there. When I was working in the center I had an opportunity to speak with young Syrian women ages ranging from 13-24. We asked the women to share the hardest thing they have been through. With broken faces they all looked at me and said “rape”. I could not believe it. How was it possible that all of these girls underwent my greatest fear. They had no hope, they were tired, worn, in desperate need of joy. I was able to share the gospel with them and present them with a hope that never fails. The women over there face trials daily that I could not even begin to comprehend. I want to go back to so that I can show them the love of Christ and give them a joy that has no end.

Lord willing I will go back but I need your help in many ways. I ask that you would pray that the Holy Spirit would give me boldness and move in me in ways I cannot even imagine. Please pray for the hearts of the people I will be in contact with. If God leads you,
consider supporting by sending me. The trip cost is $1500. It’s an investment and I am trusting God to provide. If you would like to give, simply mail a check to Bay Area Church. In the description line write “UPG Scholarship.” This way you will receive contribution credit. You can drop it by the church office or if you need to mail it send it here:
Bay Area Church
4800 W. Main Street
League City, Tx. 77573
Attention: Indi Tumborang

I will also be selling shirts for $20 to raise money for this trip let me know if you would like to purchase one.
Thanks so much for your prayer and support and for investing in me and some women and children that need the message of hope.

O Come Emanuel

On Sunday  at church we had a Christmas worship service. I was so pumped, my inner kid was shinning for the whole world to see. I was so wrapped up in the Christmas feel and nastolgia of being a little kid on Christmas morning. In the middle of the service we began to sing the song “O Come, O Come Emanuel”, and my whole perspective changed.

Being a very American girl when I think of Christmas I think of peppermint mochas from Starbucks, Christmas lights, layers upon layers, cute boots, artsy Instagram photos, and the cartoon version of the messiah coming to the world. While we began to sing the words “O come , O come Emanuel…..” I began to realize the vitality of Christmas. The song so clearly portrays the longing the Israelites had for their Savior, their Redeemer. The Israelites whole life banked on the coming of the Messiah. They waited for centuries for him anxiously waiting and praying for God to bring their Mighty Warrior. They were taken captive, slaves, beaten and mocked because they were God’s chosen people. They  suffered greatly while awaiting the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

When I hear the words “O Come, O Come Emanuel” All I can picture is the Israelites fighting an immense battle begging the Lord for their Savior so that they can be free from the slavery of the Egyptians, the Romans, etc. I hear it as a battle cry; what the exclaimed as they suffered tremendously for God’s name.

Christmas is God delivering His promise and bringing hope to the world. He sent Jesus to pay the ransom for our bondage. Imagine the anticipation in waiting for the messiah. When the angel came to the shepards they must have been astonished because, they were experiencing the fulfillment of the promise their families had talked about for centuries.

Here is my question: Now that the messiah has come what do we hold on to? We hold onto the promise of his return. The hope of him coming back and taking his people away from the darkness of the world. I challenge you to rejoice in Christ this Christmas. Jesus came when his people pleaded for his return. Do you? Do you plead for him to come and free us from the darkness? Do you rejoice in his name and beg for God to fulfill his promise.

I have recently been surrounded by a lot of darkness. I believe my generation is going to suffer greatly because of generational sin. Beg for his hope to be apparent in my generation. That when we are at our worst we would fall to our knees and exclaim, “O come, O come Emanuel! Ransom us, let my heart rejoice in you. Rejoice! Rejoice!” I challenge you to beg for him to come, to make himself apparent in our culture so that he rule will be known and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. That is what Christmas is about.

Beauty is Pain

As a girl living in a nation that is obsessed with self image I will tell you it can be very challenging. The pressures a girl faces to obtain the “perfect body” can be all consuming.When I was around the age of nine I remember seriously contemplating the most stylish outfit I could come up with to wear to Wednesday night church. I chose jean shorts  and decided to pair them with Target brand Ugg boots since it was chilly outside. When I walked into church a close friend of mine admired my outfit and said you must be cold but, beauty is pain. Recently I was listening to a song on the radio and heard the same words, “Beauty is pain”.

Why is it that our nation teaches girls that we have to take extreme, sometimes even painful measures, to be considered beautiful? I know that my nine year old example is not drastic or very fashionable but it shows that even young girls desire to be considered beautiful by others and are willing to be freezing cold so that someone will tell them that they look cute. Teenaged girls tend to find their satisfaction in how guys view them. I know this because the most seductive photos on Instagram of teenage girls usually have the most “likes” by guys. Girls are willing to take drastic measures such as anorexia, bulimia, plastic surgery, extreme dieting, and the daily application of pounds of makeup so that people will view them as beautiful. Depression tends to sink in when a girl feels ugly because she feels worthless.

Personally, I tend fall into the temptation of believing I am worthless because of how I view my self. Recently, I have found that I have to continually seek truth into my life so that I will not become consumed with the lies and pressures of the world. Being a girl is hard and I am 100% certain that guys struggle with their self image as well. This is a growing epidemic that needs to be confronted.

We find our worth in the redemption of Christ. Genesis 1:27 says, ” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.” (ESV) We are created in God’s image simply meaning that we are a reflection of God. We cannot be ugly, globs of grossness if we are a reflection of the Creator. If you are a Christian God claims you as chosen race, a royal priesthood, his heir, the sweet aroma of Christ and much more. God also reminds us in Proverbs 31:30 that beauty is not everything, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vein, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (ESV) Strive to fear the Lord instead of exhausting yourself to look like a Kardashian.

I would like to propose a challenge to you. Every time you see yourself as worthless or gross remind yourself that you are a reflection of God, you are His creation, His son or daughter, His heir, His ambassadors, you are holy and dearly loved by God, you have been made complete in Christ, you are the light of the world. Speak truth into your life because Satan is more than willing to speak lies into your life. Also view others as God’s creation instead of an object that can be judged.

In closing I disagree with the statement that beauty is pain. I believe it can be challenging to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle but I do not think that is how you obtain beauty. Beauty comes from a servant heart ready to glorify God. Beauty is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control.

Where Did We Go Wrong?

Where did our country go wrong?

We started asking the politicians what they could do for us instead of asking them how they were going to glorify God.

While I was watching the very entertaining presidential debate I realized that politics revolve around our wants and needs instead of God’s desires for us. This is what I think happened. There was a generation that was selfish which led to destruction. Sin is a reality and so are the consequences that come with it. Families began to break, divorce was accepted, then premarital sex, then abortion, and now homosexual marriage is something our country is prideful about. How did this happen? We the Christians began to embrace sin instead of dying to ourselves daily and fighting the battle of good and evil. I struggle with sin and will always because of the world that we live in however, we the Christ Followers, must follow Christ.

God calls us to carry our cross daily to kill our fleshly desires and live for Him. If you are going to a church to be served instead of to serve you may want to ask yourself why that is. Is it because you think the church is for you or you think that the church is a place to unite and worship? We fail to realize that our purpose in life is to glorify God. If we live to simply glorify God, then we would live in a different world but sadly that is not the case. My generation is reaping consequences of prior generations and the generations after us will probably reap consequences of our sin. So what must we do? How do we find hope in a nation that is crumbling and encapsulated in sin? We pray, we abide, we share the gospel, we repent, we become selfless instead of selfish, we do things intentionally, we show compassion, we serve the Lord.

I would like to challenge everyone reading this blog to pray for our nation and my generation. I believe that my generation can lead future generations to live boldly for Christ. We just need your prayers. Pray for revival, for clarity, for wisdom, and pray for boldness. Lastly, parents, disciple your children. They need you. Give them the hope of Christ that you have, raise them to love the Lord that you love, show them how to be bold, be the example.

BOLDNESS

Have you ever wondered why our country, that is “filled” with christians who love God, is falling farther and farther away from Christ? Here’s a thought… maybe the Christians aren’t doing what their Lord and Savior has commanded them to do. Now, please tell me how we, the Christians, expect the non-believers to live God’s way if they are not saved and if we aren’t sharing the gospel.

I am not writing this with a judgmental heart but a concerned heart. I can personally say that I have not shared the gospel faithfully like God has called me, a Christian, to do. However, I have recently discovered that I was lacking a quality required to share the gospel. The quality that Paul, Peter, Stephen, and many other apostles had, BOLDNESS. My very wise mother was faithfully praying and reading the Bible when God convicted her that she had been praying for the wrong thing. She was praying for opportunities to share the gospel when really she was surrounded with opportunity. The fact is we have the opportunity to share the gospel wherever we go. It’s our own insecurities that hinder us from sharing the gospel. BOLDNESS from the Holy Spirit leads us to share the gospel and rids us of our insecurities.

The more that I think about the quality of BOLDNESS the more evident it become to me that we need BOLDNESS to share the gospel. Who am I to share the gospel without Christ empowering me? Without Christ I am nothing. If I share the gospel without his help I will fail, but when the Holy Spirit gives me boldness I can not help but share the gospel. Don’t get me wrong, it will still be hard to share the gospel but it will become something to delight in instead of something you may dread.

When Peter and John were filled with BOLDNESS (Acts 4 provided at the end of the blog) from the Holy Spirit a man was healed, many lives were changed and many were filled with BOLDNESS so that they could share the gospel for God’s glory.

BOLDNESS is a powerful quality. We must delight in the BOLDNESS of Christ so that God will receive glory. I have recently started praying for BOLDNESS. The BOLDNESS of the Holy Spirit has mad me aware of the opportunities i have to share the gospel and it has also compelled me to share. I have not yet led someone to Christ but, I have seen people question the need for Christ. If you don’t know how to start a gospel conversation ask the person where their hope or joy comes from, then share where your hope or joy comes from.

I have been doing a Bible study called The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. She said something that grasped my attention, “Our enemy celebrates lethargic Christian living.” I believe that the American church lives a life of lethargic Christian living. I also believe that  Satan is ruling our nation because of the typical American Christian’s laziness. So, my question to you is this, are you going to live a life that Satan celebrates or are you going to live a life that of Boldness that God delights in?

PRAY FOR BOLDNESS!

(Acts 4 ESV) Peter and John Before the Council

1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that wby the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what mwe have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,4 said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’5—
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants 6 to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

They Had Everything in Common 

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

 

Day 1

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In order to prepare for my upcoming mission trip to the Middle East I have been reflecting on my time spent in the Middle East last year. I journaled every day so that I could remember every detail of the trip that impacted my life in a mighty way. I want to share my journal entry from the first day because I learned that I must rely on God for everything so that I could be used for his glory.

Day One (Journal Entry)

Yesterday I began my flight from America and today I landed in the Middle East. I was not nervous for this trip at all, in fact I was excited until I landed. I believe that it is partially because my mom had to part from our team but really, I am under a spiritual attack. I have suddenly become very fearful of my current situation. I feel alone. It is true that the Middle  East is a dark and evil place. However the light shines brightest in the dark. There is still hope when the people should be hopeless. I have this weird feeling in my stomach and for some reason I have a feeling that this trip is going to be boring. I am not really sure of what to expect out of this trip but I pray that God will use the team to do mighty things. While driving through the city I began praying for restoration in the city. I also began to pray that my heart would be compassionate towards the muslims (this is hard but I know I have to be compassionate because God calls us to be disciples of ALL nations). We are to love those who persecute us and we are to pray for them.My biggest concern in all of this is my attitude. I have no clue what is going on. Lord take this feeling from me. Help me to fully trust you.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” (Psalm 27:1-3)

Let this scripture  be my cry to you Lord. I do not know what is going on so Holy Spirit please speak for me! I am in the presence of evil. Let me be the light in the darkness. Give me strength and courage father. Thank you for blessing me with this opportunity. I know that you are the one and only true God. Do your will please. Use Me. Give me wisdom. Give me the courage to share the gospel. I pray that you would give sight to the  spiritually blind. Thank you for funding this trip. Please give me peace. Amen

The first sentence of my journal entry for the next day was the following: “Today God gave me peace and joy.” The rest of the trip ended up being the best two weeks of my life. I had the privilege of being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to  Syrian refugee children. God completely changed my heart. In fact I cried for hours when I left. No matter the situation that you are in God is there. You have to open your hands and give him your worries. We as humans can not truly overcome anything without God. God is bigger and better than our greatest worries. He is the only one who can turn our anxiety and misery into joy. If He can hold the whole universe in his hand wouldn’t he be able to help us with our hectic life?

Please be praying that God will use the mission team to do mighty things this year. Pray that the team would continue to prepare and abide in christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit would move in radical ways.

My Story

Hailey’s Story

This is my first time ever to blog……

To start off my blog I thought that I should give you the opportunity to understand why I am a Christian and why I am so passionate about Jesus. My father is a pastor, because of this I think that people often assume that I have a perfect relationship with Christ and that I do not understand their struggles. I am sharing my testimony so that you know I am not perfect, I am a sinner in desperate need of Jesus. My hope is that God would use this blog to glorify him and only Him.

So here is my story.

There once was a girl who was torn from everything that she knew. This girl was tormented, mocked, hated, and betrayed. She was hurt, broken, and bitter. She had become everything that she never wanted to be. This girl was simply just a girl. She was a wanderer in the midst of overwhelming crowds. This girl’s name was Hailey Haynes. Now, let me tell you her story.

Hailey Haynes was an innocent child who had everything that she ever needed or wanted. She was surrounded by people who loved her and brought joy into her life. Then, one day her father became the bearer of bad news. On this day her life was forever changed. You may ask yourself the question, “What did her father tell her?” Well, he told her the one thing every eleven year-old girl never wants to hear, “We are moving.” Those three words have forever altered Hailey’s life. That day her heart changed. She went from being a girl who saw the good in everything to the girl who saw nothing but chaos.

Hailey started hanging out with the wrong kind of friends right before she moved. These friends encouraged Hailey to cuss. These were the kind of friends who bragged about the parties that they went to on the weekend. These friends really were not her friends because they did not truly care about her. Hailey hung out with these friends because they all had one thing in common; they were hurting. No one really knew about Hailey’s new group of friends. This was Hailey’s dark little secret.

Meanwhile, moving was just around the corner. Hailey had done everything that she possibly could to convince her parents that they shouldn’t move. She screamed and yelled. She threw herself an enormous pity party. One regretful night, Hailey was done trying. She had a fight with her parents. She told them that everything in her hated them. She threatened them by saying that she would kill herself if they moved. Her parents told her that they had to move because it was God’s will. Hailey was actually going to move. When Hailey came to this realization she went to her room and locked the door. Hailey was having her first panic attack. She did everything she could to stop it until she decided that she should just kill herself. Hailey then began to suffocate herself with a belt causing her to pass out. About an hour later Hailey woke up on her bedroom floor and pretended that what she did never happened. This moment has forever been detrimental to Hailey’s life.

A couple weeks later Hailey moved. She was miserable, hurt, and furious. Hailey hated her parents and despised God. Hailey was depressed, so Hailey did the only thing that gave her an escape from the chaos. She literally suffocated herself, and looked at things that she shouldn’t have looked at. Her sin was her  only escape. One could even call it her freedom. Ironically, it was her freedom that contained her. Her freedom then became her chaos. But, Hailey’s heart was so twisted and broken that she was okay with being contained. Hailey did not feel the affect of the containment until the realized that she was locked in for eternity.

Four years later, Hailey had enough anger stored in her for three thousand people. Her relationship with God dwindled away into thin air. At least her side of the relationship had withered. Hailey was looking at things she shouldn’t be looking at. She filled her mind and heart with things of the world. Hailey was full of despair instead of joy. She had become a pessimist. Her heart that used to be full of love was now full of hate. Her sin was in total control of her life. Hailey found herself drowning in self pity and was unsure of what to do. Hailey was tired; tired of fighting back and tired of struggling to be happy. Hailey was hopeless.

Then she decided that she needed help so she went to the safest place that she knew; her mom. She truly struggled to tell her mom what was going on. Finally, she told her everything. Hailey was relieved, but also disappointed with herself. Actually saying what she had been doing out loud opened Hailey’s eyes to the truth. Her mother loved her and reassured her that she would always love her. Hailey then knew she had to do the thing she feared the most. She had to tell her father what she had been doing. She had a blank face, trying to show no emotion, while telling her father what she had done. After she told her father she simply turned around and walked away fearing how he would respond. This was the most difficult thing that Hailey would ever do. The next day, she was shocked when her father embraced her in a loving hug. Her father cried with her and told that he loved her and that he would love her no matter the circumstance. He also made it clear to Hailey that he would do what ever was needed to help her. This meant so much to Hailey, but it wasn’t enough. Hailey needed redemption, she needed unconditional love, but most importantly she needed a light at the end of the tunnel.

Hailey was now at the lowest point of her life and decided that he only thing to do was to look up. She began attending counseling sessions. In these counseling sessions she finely felt free to talk about her brokenness and her bitterness. This began to bring hope into Hailey’s life. She was starting to understand that she has a purpose in life. She had to humble herself to realize that she could not fight this fight alone. She needed her parents but most of all she needed Jesus. Hailey had to develop a relationship with God in order to be freed from her sins; this was the kind of freedom that Hailey’s heart was longing to experience. Hailey had to recognize that it was necessary for her security and identity to be in Christ before things could rightly improve.

We saw that Hailey was bitter and utterly broken, covered in sorrow. Finding fulfillment in worldly things caused her to suffer. You could say that she reaped what she sowed. But when she let God take total control of her life, she was free, she was redeemed, and she had a purpose for life. Now Hailey is joyful and loves instead of hating. Yes, she still does make mistakes and does still have wounds from her mistakes but she is the daughter of the perfect Father, Jesus Christ. She knows that she is free in him. Hailey Haynes is no longer a slave to sin.