Love Is Enough

“God, break my heart for what breaks yours…”

One of the most difficult prayers to say, to mean, but that has been my prayer for a long time now, and boy, has He been answering. A lot of the times it’s overwhelming, tiring, and hard to have my heart broken over and over again. I often feel small, inadequate and unable to help in a way. Yet, I am desperate. I am desperate to help, to make a difference, to change things. I am living in a country filled with people, families, children, that break my heart and yet I don’t feel adequate to help, despite feeling desperate to do just that. I lay in bed wracking my brain for ideas, I get on the computer and research things I could do, I pray for God to reveal why I’m here. And than I read this quote...

"If through a broken heart God can bring His purpose to pass in the world than thank Him for breaking your heart." -Oswald Chambers

And than I listen these lyrics…

“I wanna set the world on fire until it’s burning bright for you. It’s everything that I desire, Can I be the one you use? I, I am small but You, You are big enough. I, I am week but You, You are strong enough. Take my dreams, come and give me wings. Lord with you, there’s nothing I cannot do, nothing I cannot do…” Britt Nicole Set The World On Fire

And I read these verses…

“I raised you up for this very purpose; that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 9:17

“How than can they call on the one they have no believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14, 15

And I remember...just how big God is. I remember that God is in control. I remember that God made me for a purpose. I remember I am on this earth to tell others about His goodness, faithfulness, love, mercy and justice. I remember the biggest difference I can make for others is by presenting the gospel and loving them as Christ does. That is why I’m here. There may be something else God asks of me while I’m in Rwanda, but there also may not be. It has taken me over two months, but I think I have finally become content in just loving, knowing that that love is enough.

“I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances” Philippians 4:11

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. 1 John 5:16

“This is love: Not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love in made complete. 1 John 4:10,,11

“This is love: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome for everyone born of God overcomes the world!” 1 John 5:3,4

“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:14

INSERT TRANSITION HERE one day I'll be better at these

Daily life happenings according to the few photos I’ve managed to snap...

I have fallen in love with a certain village 

  I am still amazed at the beauty of Rwanda

 I still try to be a lady 
 I made a dessert from home. 
 Sometimes on the days that I'm really sad I have to bring out the good stuff. 
And than there are some days that I just desperately want it to be Christmas time
 The kids came back from boarding school! 
 We had an intense match of volleyball, never-mind the fact that we lost.
 We also had a soccer match where I managed to fall 5X but that's OK because we won. 
 Today's this beauties birthday! 

INSERT CONCLUSION normally I'm OK at these but I kind of want to go and play at the orphanage now so...


A couple of days ago I listened to a podcast by Francis Chan. In the podcast Chan The Man was talking about his families recent decision to pack up and move to China. Thought : Woah, I just recently paced up and moved to Rwanda. This could apply. *Listens more closely*.
He talked about how people were shocked/impressed by what he was doing but if you look at it biblically what Francis did, what I did, what hundreds of others have done, isn’t that radical, it’s actually normal, plain, tame in comparison.
Just one example, Acts 14: Paul told a crippled man to stand because he saw that the man had faith. Guess what happened next? The man jumped up and began to walk! Than things got a little rough and Paul was stoned, dragged from the city and left for dead only to rise and go back into the city when the disciples gathered around him. Imagine after reading that; “And than there was Elise. So moved to Rwanda to work in an orphanage.” I’m assuming after reading about Paul your thoughts are not along the lines of, “Wow, Elise just blew my mind! I mean that’s radical.”
I don’t want to live my life based on the “normal” our society has created. I don’t want to live my life radically based on our societies standards. I want to live my life according to scripture and never settle for anything less. I want to be radical like Paul, like Mary, like Christ. Christ came to the earth as an example to all His followers on how to walk. He wasn’t too compassionate, He wasn’t too loving, He wasn’t too merciful, He wasn’t too generous, He was perfect. The perfect example that we are still supposed to follow. He never said, “Oh in 200+ years living like me wont be necessary, it’ll be considered too extreme. So take what I did, take it down a few notches and that should be good enough.”
Living according to our societies “normal”, living to please others isn’t something I’m interested in. I’m interested in living for Christ and Christ alone. Living a life that reflects Christ’s. Living a life worthy of the gospel. 
Sometimes that might mean I do "crazy" things. Sometimes that might mean people look at me funny. Sometimes that might mean I wont fit in. Always it will mean I am seeking God's approval and His alone.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

Trial? Oh Joy.

I’ve always had a pretty cushy life. I really haven’t gone through many struggles or had to deal with tough situations. I used to wonder why, after all the first verse I memorized was James 1:2,3 “Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” So being the child that I was, I used to imagine the horrible things that I would have to face in the future as a result. Well 21 years later and thinking back the most difficult times I’ve encountered (that I can remember, honestly people, think Dory from Finding Nemo) have been the few interactions I’ve had with the boys I’ve fancied. In hindsight I was just being a dumb immature girl (and lets be honest, they were being a little dumb too) To get over these huge monumental hurtles I would do the typical girl thing; have a good cry, complain to my best friend, eat about 20 chocolate chip cookies, dream of the romantic gestures he would do to rectify the BIG mistake that he just made, a few days would pass before I would realize that wasn’t going to happen, and eventually my heart would heal and I would find something else pretty to look at….kidding, sort of.
But I’m not writing today to tell you about my failed attempts at dating (or lack there of), rather I am here to tell you what a dummy I was thinking those moments were “struggles/hurdles/trials. Because, well folks, you guessed it, the real-deal-biggest-trial-yet has arrived and is currently in full swing making me long for those blissful days when my biggest concern was that one boy that didn’t like me back.
Originally when this trial made its ugly appearance I relied slowly on myself which only resulted in a very mean, ugly, and depressed version of the lovely lady that is currently typing the poetic words before you. I didn’t know how to deal and instead of actually doing that one thing that made sense aka turning to God I curled up in a ball with a “why me, why now” attitude. Lovely. It took me a couple of days to crawl out of the ball and finally reach for the book with all the answers. I spent hours reading and praying and through out that time I felt God slowly lifting that burden off my back and placing it on His own. I felt Him wrap His arms around me, reminding me that I am not alone, I will never be alone. God’s got it, He has it under control. I actually felt the truth from James 1:2,3 come alive.
Some verses that really stuck out during my alone time;
Isaiah 43:2-4 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, now will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior”
1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.
Phillippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hears and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!
1 John 5:3,4 This is love: to obey His commands. And His commands are NOT burdensome for everyone born of God overcomes the world!
I am still dealing with this trial, it’s not easy and definitely not fun, but I do find joy in the fact that through this trial I feel closer to God and His truth. I am wrapped in His arms and that is where I will remain.

Beniot's Birthday Bash

Beniot's birthday was Thursday
He originally claimed to be turning 15
But than later changed it to 14
A little bit more believable 
But I still don't want to actually believe it 
Well since his birthday feel on a weekday 
We had to wait to celebrate this weekend
But boy did we celebrate!
We started the afternoon off with the unveiling of a couple of presents
And than headed out for some lunch buffet style
After lunch we made our way to the lake to swim
And go for a joy ride, on a jet ski!
Checked that off my bucket list yes I did
The day concluded with some banana ice cream
A successful birthday bash if you ask me

The birthday boy himself...
and the other trouble makers 
*Compare his plate to everyone else's*
Plain Jane (or John in his case I suppose) just like his mama

*Bucket list accomplishment*

Instagram Love

So after months and months spent in picture envy
I have finally gotten my very own instagram 

4th of July in Rwanda started out great
With a dirt road moto journey, lunch on the lake 
and plans to later get a burger and make s'mores

The perfect "first holiday" spent away from home
And than I got sick, like really sick
I wont go into details but lets just say I have never been that sick
 and it was not pretty
So today is being spent in recovery
Speaking of today, it's Beniot's birthday!
He claims to be turning 15, I just don't believe it.
But either way we will be celebrating this weekend.
And I'll probably instagram the whole day
because incase you hadn't notice I kind of love it. 

Team Extreme

1. Thank you all so much for covering me in prayer since my last post.
2. I didn't think it was appropriate to mention in my last post, due to the seriousness of it and all, but I'm sure you guys notice the huge face lift my blog received from the very talented Melanie. She was awesome to work with and I absolutely love the finished product. You can check out her link right below my buttons!
3. So I know I said this post would be up Friday but better late than never.

Part 3

After bungee jumping we hopped on a 30-minute bus ride to go white water raft class 5 rapids in the Nile. Say what?Yes it’s true.

When we arrived we had a quick breakfast, lathered up with sunscreen and met our guides, Duncan and Godfree. Originally we were called “Team Godfry” but later we would become known as “Team Extreme.”

After meeting our guides we wasted no time. We got in the boat and began to practice. First it was normal stuff, like paddle forward, paddle backward but then it got serious. We learned how to duck in the boat, we practice flipping the boat, we practiced what to do if the boat was completely flipped over, we practiced what to do if we were stuck under the boat when it was flipped over and so on. So pretty much we were prepared for the absolute worst and then we were off.

The very first rapid was a class 5 with a waterfall. A freaking waterfall ya’ll. And miraculously we didn’t fall off. Yes, I know, are amazing, almost on a professional level, and clearly extreme. But unfortunately the next 4 rapids we submerged into the unknown. Which is mainly unfortunate just because it was incredibly difficult to get back in the boat. Well rapid number 6 came around and we actually had to get out and walk to avoid part of the rapid because it was “un-rideable.” (Despite the rapid being “un-rdiable” we got to watch in amazement as a safety kaiak guide rode the whole thing and lived to tell the tale. The guides were clearly legit.)

Well we ended up getting back into the boat about half way through the rapid. It was slightly terrifying witnessing the rapids from an areal view and than proceeding back into them, but hey, we weren’t called Team Extreme for nothin’.

When we got back into the boat we were warned there was a “bad spot” (they hadn’t used the word “bad” the whole time but we managed to fall out 4 times so we knew this was serious.) They wouldn’t tell us where exactly this “bad spot” was but when they said "paddle hard" we had to paddle hard. So you had better believe we were giving it all we had. And, yeah, we made it. No big deal.

After we made it successfully through the “bad spot” we were told that had we not been successful it would have been hard to help us out and we would have been under water for a good while. Well as soon as we got out of the “bad spot” we ended up falling out again.

The next two rapids we remained in tact and than came the final rapid. We were warned there would be one giant wave and it was more than likely we would be tipping over. This was the only point we weren’t even supposed to bother holding onto the boat and once our bodies inevitably hit the water we were to curl up in a ball, close our eyes, go to our happy place and start counting “one one-thousand, two one-thousand…etc”. Once we were to reach the surface we needed to make sure to look before we took a breath because more than likely another wave would be headed our way. Really comforting stuff before our final rapid.

I kid you not, we plowed directly into the biggest wave which ended up causing us to do a back flip. I got stuck under the boat for a good while. I am claustrophobic and if something is on my head causing difficulty to breath ie. a giant boat and thrashing waves, than I tend to go in to spastic-freak-out mode and will do anything and everything to get out from that situation so inevitably fear set it. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do when stuck under water so, I curled up into the ball, as instructed, and was just terrified. When I reached the surface I forgot about the whole “look before you breath” advice and took a breath and than looked. Luckily I was able to get in one good breath before another giant wave crashed on top of me forcing me back down into, now, one of my least favorite places. This time I decided to take our guides advice and relax.

Next thing I know I am above water and see some of my fellow Team Extreme members floating in the distance. We all hopped in the boat and paddled to shore where an amazing lunch awaited us. I’m talking wraps and kabobs people. Not a bad way to end the rafting experiences if you ask me.

After lunch we loaded into the van and headed to Kampala where I was able to eat soft serve ice cream, realize I had completely burned my legs, hop on a bus where the seats appeared to be made for smurfs, where we were crammed for 11+ hours, along the way pee in a field, get sick, and fight for a place in line at the boarder.

Quite an eventful trip and sense this eventful trip we have come to appreciate doing the “extreme” in life. Anything that appears extreme were all for it. A small list of some extreme things so far completed; Having a chugging contest, running 5 miles out of shape to Gisenyi, taking an hour long moto ride in the dark, eating our body weight, getting stuck in Kigali for the night with no place to sleep, eating chicken liver, and the list just goes on and on….because we’re extreme, in case you didn’t gather that already.