Friday, August 30, 2013

There is Hope!!

God has truly blessed with with the privilege of getting to know some amazing Godly people along this journey. A friend wrote and shared this poem with me. She is just beginning her journey of Freedom in Christ. With her permission I have placed it in one of my favorite pictures of a Karamojong sunrise from my trip last summer. It just speaks volumes. Volumes that I understand completely, though I'm almost a decade farther into my journey than her. But still on the same journey.

 It also comes on the heels of reading a blog post last week by another fellow Christian friend. She is also just starting out on this journey and touched on the unbiblical attitude towards missions that we had instilled in us from a young age. It was a good reminder that I needed. It was also encouraging to me to see how great God is and how far He has brought me over the years. Now I'm literally just a few short months away from moving to Africa.

You can read my friend's blog here:

The Bitter Belly Blog- "Another Gospel"

It just really blesses me and encourages me to see how God can really heal and redeem things that the enemy intended for destruction. What a privilege to travel this journey of faith with them and so many countless others!! Others who have discovered this hope we have in Christ.

I love the last part of Jen's poem:

A new joy sweeps over me. A flicker of hope, a resonating Light
 His love is real, it wipes away all of my tears from the cold dark nights
 This one thing I know and I know in my heart it is true
 That He has loved me and will eternally keep me. 
He will carry me through.

I also love the closing points in my friend's blog:

We drive past the homeless and the hungry.  When disaster strikes our thoughts are to the message believers only.  We cast off all of the other life that God has breathed into to say, it is only “birth pains” judgment upon them.  Where is our charity, the love that is the greatest of faith and hope?

God commanded us to love our neighbor as our self.  I highly doubt we even know their name.  You cannot close your eyes and pretend not to see the hurting.  When you are a new creature in Christ, saved by grace through faith, you cannot place it in a box for safe keeping.  You must pour it out and empty it, so He can fill you up again.

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”- Matthew 25:45

So this is why I'm going where God has called me, to Africa. To offer others this hope found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone. And to love my Karamojong brothers and sisters, pouring myself out as God sees fit, to come along side of them in their need. I know that He loves me and will keep me and carry me through.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future."- Jeremiah 29:11

We are all called to this. Not moving overseas per se, but sharing the Gospel and helping those in need.

Where/what is God calling you to? What are HIS plans for your future? Are you obeying His Call?

Fittingly this the Christian Veterinary Mission's theme for this year

Ps. Even Spiderman got it. I love this quote in the movie. It was even cooler when I discovered Luke 12:48 "...From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

"With great power comes great responsibility"

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the POWER of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Village

So apparently I've maintained a blog for 7 years now. I use it as a way of processing things that are in my mind. Though as of late it has been more geared towards my mission journey. Plus, the audience use to just be a few of my friends, now I really have no clue who reads this. So as I was pondering this post I almost decided not to write it. It has nothing to do with my mission work and it might seem strange to some of the new people who are now reading this. BUT this is still who I am and how I process life. I am a servant of the King called to Uganda, but I'm also still on this journey of Christian growth just like everyone else. It's a lifetime process that doesn't stop when someone enters the public eye. So here it is.

Last night I had a chance to hang out with our church youth group, The Forge. I really enjoyed this since I have been involved in leadership for almost a decade now. It's really crazy to think about. I have loved loving these teens, sharing joys and sorrows with them, and encouraging them to live their lives for Jesus. We have had serious times, paint fights, marshmallow fights, jumped off Canadian back country cliffs, done community service, slept in cardboard boxes, discipled new Christ followers, and many things in between. Though this past year I have been really hit and miss because of my travels, training, and speaking engagements. But last night I got to be me and hang out with the kids, eat junk food, throw a football around, and enjoy the annual outdoor movie.


So the movie that we watched was "The Village." I had never even heard of this movie before. I'm more of a cynic when it comes to 'scary' movies so I found myself laughing during most of it. But then on my drive home it really hit me. That was basically my life. (for those unfamiliar with the movie read the plot summary on Wikipedia)

I grew up in my own 'village'- a community of people that told stories of the scary world beyond the safe perimeter of our own community. There were things you didn't speak of and things you didn't question.

The village in the movie was run by a small group of people that had some sort of traumatic experience in the real world and wanted to separate themselves from it. So they developed this altered reality that they forced their kids to grow up in. Kids that in my opinion where suffering severe psychological abuse from the fear they lived in all of the time.

I see this within the leadership of the fundamentalist cult I grew up in. Many people came from mainstream churches but some how 'it never worked' for them. So they became embittered and this altered reality of rules and regulations works for them. Sadly, one can never assume everyone sitting next to you in church is a Christian. This is why it's important that the Gospel is presented at every opportunity.

These leaders ALWAYS try to censor the people they are leading. Don't look at the outside. Don't question. Don't doubt. I have even seen relatives distance themselves from their family so they aren't "tainted by outside influences." Parents limiting their children's friends, contacts on Facebook, or anything else.

But how big is God? I have always encouraged the youth group kids to read their Bible, seek God, question things, don't take their parent's word for it. Make their faith their own. I know that God is Truth and if they are seeking Truth, they will find it. Isaiah 55. I'm happy to say that within three weeks there are four young people heading out for Biblical and mission training. Plus myself heading to Africa soon. That is five young people heading to follow God's call on their life from a small rural Wisconsin church. I found a quote recently that said "The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity." — Mike Stachura

But I digress....

So what about these kids. In this group we were told to not even doubt our beliefs. Doubting would give a foothold for the devil. This reminds me of the creatures in the woods that you weren't to speak about in the movie. Or the kids who had to see the dead, skinned animals that 'the creatures' ravaged. Or hide in the safe cellar when the beasts outside were ravaging the village. I instantly thought about the stories of California falling in, marking the end of the world. So every time there was an earthquake you would wonder if the end was coming. Or we were told of the 'great and dreadful day of the Lord' and it was equated to World War III. So whenever there was a new conflict in the world, I would wonder if this was IT. But worse yet, was I good enough? Was I going to be raptured or would my parents go and I would to left to suffer? The night of the bombings on Baghdad that marked the beginning of the first Gulf War just about destroyed me. I snuck away so I wouldn't be questioned as to why I was throwing up from my uncontrollable nerves. But when I asked 'how do I know' that I'm good enough, I was told to just believe and not question. WHAT?

So in the movie the blind girl finally discovers some of the lies and control tactics that are being used. So she ventures out through the woods to the world beyond. Instead of being torn up by the ravages of evil she discovers a kind and helpful modern humanity waiting for her.

So when my many friends and I left this group we discovered Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible. The Gospel. Not the pit of hell ready to destroy our souls as we had been told. "Everyone who leaves for the world is a heretic destined to hell." This is a common fear tactic used. "You don't want to leave and end up like those people do you?

So who are those people? Yes, there are some that have left and at the moment want nothing to do with God. But I almost headed that direction, so I really understand where they are at. In May one of my friends who walked this path just came to Jesus!

But the majority of us really do want to seek Jesus. Jesus who is, who was, and who is to come. Not the Jesus we were taught in this group. We were taught the Gnostic Jesus. Jesus was just a man who came and God used the body to dwell in as basically His puppet from his baptism through the garden of Gethsemane. So he died just a man. Not fully man and fully God as the Scriptures really teach.

But the reality beyond these walls is we don't need some 'prophet' telling us the 'deeper revelations.' As people who have accepted Jesus Christ's free gift of salvation because of His death on the Cross, taking our penalty for sin upon Himself, we have the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us. Hebrews 1:1-2 even discusses that we just need Jesus not some mysterious prophet who thinks he's all it, "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe."

So that's what's on my mind today and I'm still processing. I might need to watch that movie again. Though I need some time. I found myself frustrated and angry afterwards. Angry towards how some men can destroy the lives of so many others. Men like Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, William Branham, Charles Russell, Howard Camping, David Koresh, Warren Jeffs, and so many others. Men that all have their own "one true" safe villages set up. Men who have created fear that keeps their followers from discovering the Truth of God. But I was also sad. Sad for the people who really do want to live a full life but are trapped.

But the good news is... Jesus is waiting just outside those false boundaries. Waiting to give you medicine and heal you. All you have to do is have faith to step in to the unknown and SEEK THE TRUTH. So how do you begin?? Read your Bible, in context, without the extra biblical writings or teachings holding you back 'for your own safety.' It's been 12 years so I stepped into the woods with fear and trembling to see what was really beyond it. I'm soooo glad that I did!

Here is a great video that shares the Truth of what really lives beyond the walls of your village....

When you light people with legalism or with rules and regulations they're going to burn out because they'll always live in fear. But a person set afire with the love of Jesus will live in gratitude serving his Lord out of love and not out of fear. 
By Max Lucado, taken from "Walking with the Savior"

Monday, August 12, 2013


Today I just had a ministry partner call CVM Donor Services and raise their monthly support by $5/mo. They also contacted me and asked me to issue this challenge:

"Will you join us by raising your amount by $5 a month so Emily can finish her support and get to Uganda to start doing what God has called her to do there?"

Will you join them and accept their challenge?

"Sympathy is no substitute for action." — David Livingstone

Call CVM directly at 206-546-7569 (Pacific Time)
or Email

If you are not a current monthly partner you can contact them to start today!

If you donate monthly via a personal check and intend to increase your gift, please inform myself or CVM of your intent so we can adjust my projected support accordingly as we track when they can give me the green light to buy my airline ticket.
$550 in monthly support to go!
Click the button below to find out the different ways you can give.  Please designate account "Imperishable Seed" when giving online.

Monday, August 5, 2013


So last week I was at $900. Now I'm at... well, we'll get to that in a minute.

This past weekend was great. I had the opportunity to meet many great people at the 8th Annual Field of Praise right here in Marion. The MC reminded me something I had almost forgotten. I was part of the very first planning committee and I helped run and organize the food stand for the first several years. Now here I am, on the stage. Interesting. Though the MC also reminded me that he knew me as a little girl still in a playpen and diapers. Ah, the joys of small town life in America. They warn me in Africa that everyone will know you and your business. While this may be a shock to those originally from major metropolises, it's pretty much life around here. Yes, I have even had it where something I was doing in town got back to my house before I did.

So it was fun getting out and connecting with so many community members this weekend. And being able to share with them about how God is taking someone from this small livestock based community in to another livestock based community. Plus, they had great homemade pie and ice cream there too!!

Dan Brandenburg, editor of the Marion Advertiser, also asked me to write a column every month or so while I'm in Africa to keep everyone not on my mailing list in the loop. I thank him for this awesome opportunity!

So... back to the mystery number of what I need for monthly support yet before I move. I enlisted the help of my pastor and his wife to share the news this week. They were the ones that lead me to the Lord on April 3rd, 2002. They are the ones that have helped disciples me, mentored me, and challenged me over these past 11 years. You can also tell they are ALWAYS serious, just like me :D

Karen is a Missionary Kid originally from Denmark. Her mom was an American that moved there as a single missionary with the Child Evangelism Fellowship. She met Karen's dad... and the rest is history. So in that aspect she has been a great encouragement in this part of the journey as well. Just this Sunday we were talking about something and she didn't know what it was. That gives me encouragement that even after decades I will still be learning my new

Soooooo... I'm getting closer! If you would like to be part of getting that number to $0 there is a link at the top of this blog. I would love to answer all of your questions that you might have as well. Feel free to contact me. Have a great week!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Me? Really?

I know God wants me in Africa. I'm excited to move to Africa. I'm excited to start using my skills as a veterinary technician again... but really? I'm moving to Africa?

Some days this just hits me. It's almost surreal at times. Here I am living in rural northeast Wisconsin...for my entire life... a nobody in the grand scope of the 7 BILLION people that live on this globe. But then I have to go to check something out on my webpage. My official CVM webpage... that thousands of people visit. A webpage of an international mission organization. Pinch me, is that really my picture there?

I just completed a road trip meeting new people, speaking and even staying at stranger's homes. Tonight I speak at a local Christian Music festival... up on the elevated stage... in front of the grandstands.Who am I? What's going on?

The other day someone heard me on the radio. A radio station that I had forgotten had called me for an interview as I was on my way to Bible Study one night. Or the person that stops me in our small town to tell me the recognized me from a newspaper article. Or the 600+ people that receive my prayer letter monthly. Or the person I've never met on the other side of the globe that emails me and says they want to invest in my ministry. It's all crazy and so large in scale.

But I'm a Daughter of my Heavenly Father that has a willing heart to live the life He has planned for me. That's who I am. His dearly beloved. He will take care of all of the craziness. The people that were just a face to me in a crowd of 100 people at a church. Or someone who heard a radio interview or read a newspaper article. These people that come up to me to say how something I said impacted them. Yikes. This isn't about me so I don't have to worry about "being in control." It's about Him, my God, the Creator of the Universe. The Savior sent to pay the penalty for our sin. These people that I have the privileged to interact with are just like me. A nobody in the grand scheme of life, but an incredible force for the Kingdom if they seek God's calling in their life. And just as God has put people in my path, now He is putting me in other people's path. WOW.

So I'm moving to Africa. I will probably not sleep well the night before my trip.... or the week before. I know I will have long hard days in my future when reality of separation from my family and friends hits me like a ton of bricks and I'm overwhelmed with the cultural differences in my new home. But I think of God's promise engraved on my necklace, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Wow... thank you God!

For now I enjoy the journey. I do like the chance to share with new people about how God is moving in Karamoja and how He has called me to be a part of this. Though I also do enjoy the Sundays when I'm not meeting new friends at new churches. The Sundays when I'm with my home church family. Where I'm just Emily... the country girl who loves Jesus, volunteers with the youth group, and bawls like a baby at sappy movies (thanks Jenny for pointing that out to everyone).

Some of my church friends reminding me that I only have
 19% of my monthly support to raise before I move.