Wednesday, March 30, 2011

God > Facebook

Here recently I have been so excited with the way facebook has given me the chance to share with so many people about my internship to Kenya. I have been able to use the site to network with others and share my heart and passion for the ministry all through facebook. In addition to being able to use the site for Kenya purposes, I spend countless hours looking at my friends postings, status updates, and profiles. God has been speaking to me in the past week to stop putting idols before Him. I need to STOP being on facebook 24/7 and start living a life that is not dependent on facebook. Tonight I felt this overwhelming sensation that I need to fast from facebook. Not only do I need to just fast from facebook, but I need to do it for at least a month. My profile is still visible, but I deleted my wall, I stopped all email notifications, and I don't know my password. This semester I have fasted from facebook and I stopped after a week to get on for "support raising." Now, I don't know what my password is and I have no real reason to get on. My goal and purpose in all of this is to show others that facebook is not all that it is cracked up to beThere's more to life than that notification you just received. There's more to life than someone liking your status. In the past couple of months I have found myself updating my status several times a day. You might ask, why? Honestly, most of the time it was to see how many people I could get to "like" my status. Sounds stupid doesn't it? It's the truth.

God has been showing me through various ways that I need to not put anything before Him. God needs to be number one. I can not have any idol before Him: no website, no human, NOTHING before Him. This is hard to completely grasp. Nothing before my relationship with God. That means every time I let my mind wander I have to remember to take every thought captive to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." This means that I am going to have to lean on Jesus during this time of not knowing. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge to him, and he will make your paths straight." 

God has big plans for this facebook fast. His plans are so big that I cannot comprehend them, but that's the goodness of the Gospel (that we can't understand how big our God is). This fast will give me time to truly be set free from things that are currently going on in my life and for me to turn my focus towards the One who loves me. This fast will give me time to devote towards praying for the ministry I am going to be a part of and for me to pray for my teammates. Prayer is key with this internship. I need to be faithfully praying with all of my heart (not half of it) for the ministry that I am going to be a part of. God has BIG plans for all of this. I'm trusting in Him to move in my heart and life through this fast. 

Prayer requests:
Pray for my heart to be set right in Christ.
Pray for my desires to get on facebook to vanish.
Pray for God to be at the center of all I do.
Pray for revival on Trine University's campus.
Pray for God to be revealed to me in BIG ways through this fast.
Pray for my support to be raised for Kenya.
Pray for current CMF Missionaries and Kenyan nationals currently in Nairobi.
Pray for my relationships to thrive through this fast.

How can I be praying for you? God has gifted me with a passion for praying and I want to lift you up in His Name. If you don't want to comment with your requests, feel free to email me your requests to

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

4:37 a.m.

I am sitting in my dorm lounge right now trying to finish up homework before my school day starts in 6 hours. I don't really need to be up right now, but I am. I could have easily started my homework earlier in the day instead of taking that 4 hour nap, but there's just something about right now. Being alone without distractions of facebook updates or the girls on my floor talking to me just gives me a lot of time to think. I am overwhelmed with joy right now at how much God is truly working in my life. I do NOT deserve anything that He has given me. I do NOT deserve this opportunity to go to Kenya and share His love. I do NOT deserve all the material items I possess. BUT God has given me all of these items/opportunities for a reason. Do I understand it? Nope, not at all, but I will rejoice in all that God has done, is doing, and will do. There IS no better way than Jesus. 

Two days ago I had the amazing opportunity to share my testimony of the ups and downs of my life in the past four years in front of 300 people.  If you would like to read what I shared go here- Testimony. I was so amazed and blessed by the responses I received after sharing! The ladies that were sitting to the left and to the right of me BOTH supported my internship to Kenya. I had several people walk up to me during the dinner telling me that I was an encouragement to them. Many people approached me to let me know that they would be praying for me and my missions work. God blessed me so much that night. 

Three days ago, in a 24 hour period, I received almost $500 in support from three people! I am currently up to 48% of my funds raised in 6 short weeks. Please continue praying for God's provision for my trip. If you would like more information about my trip, please comment. I have such a HUGE heart and passion for the ministry I am going to be a part of in Nairobi. God is currently at work in the Mathare Valley and I am blessed to have this opportunity to go and serve Him there. 

I love you all! Be blessed this week! Share the love of Jesus every moment of every day.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kenya Blog

Hey friends!

Check out my new blog devoted towards my 8 week long Kenya missions trip this summer. I will be updating this blog before, during, and after my internship. This blog will be set up so that my friends and family can follow what God is doing through me with this opportunity. You are encouraged to follow me! :) 


In Christ,
Brandi :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

REACH Intern 2010

The following is from a REACH intern from Summer '10 who went to Kenya with the same organization that I will be going with. The visuals that she gives in this post are absolutely amazing to me. God is going to do so much in Nairobi this summer! He is good! :)

From: Mirte de Boer
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 12:34 a.m., from Nairobi, Kenya
My work day is about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  I get on the matatus (buses) at 8 a.m. and get to the MoHI [Missions of Hope International] center by 8:15. The matatus are an adventure alone. We jump on them as they are driving by us, already packed. We have to stand as the bus weaves in and out of traffic, not adhering to any traffic laws. Finally, we arrive at the Pangani center where immediately beggars spot us – the mzungus (white people) – and beg for money.
Once at the MoHI center, we take tea … hot chai … anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Yum. Then we talk about what we are going to do for the day and get started around 10. To go to Kiamaiko slum, we take a matatu. Once there, we follow the translator/CHE trainer through mazes of tin shacks while stopping along the way to greet people (Habari yako!). I’m amazed at the poverty. The smell is sour … like puke, poop, and rotting flesh/food/clothes all mixed together. Burning mounds of trash fill the air with smoke. I find myself fighting tears as I pass young boys with glue bottles stuck to their faces and passed out in alleys.
MoHI schools are like beacons of hope in the slums. All the teachers are incredibly patient and energetic, and you can tell they realize they are more than teachers – they are reflections of Christ. I don’t think I’ll ever be as compassionate as they are. Lillian, the head teacher at Kiamaiko is so funny! She laughs at me a lot because my Swahili is so horrible. She is a very strong lady, and I am so happy to have met her and work with her.
When we find a home to visit, we are greeted very warmly. The homes are about 10 feet by 12 feet, if they’re lucky. We sit on their beds, tables, benches, or anything else they offer as a “seat.” We share our names and ask for theirs; we ask about their families. They share the joy of Christ in their lives as they struggle with HIV. To be honest, I don’t think I’d be sharing about the joy of Christ if I had HIV. While at these home visits, God shows me how insignificant my world is. I can’t speak the language, I can’t relate to the people, and I certainly do not pray as fiercely as they do. Yet, He has me here. I am very humbled and am being blessed far more than doing any blessing. It’s a beautiful thing to be severely humbled and broken and put in a place where I am completely dependent on the people I am trying to help.
Lunch consists of beans, cabbage, rice, and beef stew … and ugali, which is a cornmeal dish that is utterly tasteless. One would think I would blow up like a balloon here with all the rice and ugali, but with all the walking we do (at least 4 miles a day) I am feeling great! Dinner is up to us, so we usually go to the Java House, which is American food but SO good and ALWAYS packed. We need to be home before dark unless a male is walking with us. All the same, we are usually home by 8:30. We are staying at the Ufangamano house, a Christian guest house near the university. There are lots of security guards, and the house is enclosed by a gate, so everything is perfectly safe.
There is so much crazy spiritual warfare every day, which is all pretty new to me considering spiritual warfare in the States is kept behind closed doors. Satan doesn’t stop attacking just because we are done for the day. I find myself praying a lot more.
I realize that I haven’t updated much on my slum experiences. It’s hard for me to say everything that is happening when God is breaking my heart. It’s something I feel that people have to experience for themselves to truly understand. God is here … He is alive and well. And I know this is where I am supposed to be right now.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Healing Begins

Healing Begins
By: Tenth Avenue North

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

So let it fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now
We're here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

This song was laid on my heart a lot during Spring Break. The brokenness God laid on my heart for the poor people in Mexico truly let me reach out to Him. This brokenness was a glimpse at what I will be feeling this summer when I work in the Mathare Valley slum for 8 weeks. I’m so thankful and blessed to have this opportunity! It’s crazy how God works. He led the leaders to go to Mexico, and then He led me to go. Through going down there I feel more prepared for the poverty and brokenness that I will see. God knew my needs and He fulfilled them. He does that a lot. :)

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God Speak

I'll be honest, there has been a lot of "stuff" going on in my life. Some bad stuff, but lots and lots of good stuff. God has given me so many different opportunities to share my life, heart, and vision with others. These conversations have been a huge blessing to me. 

Yesterday, I went on a 3 hour road trip with Megan, one of my friends, just to go to Cici's pizza. On our way there we were able to sing Jesus music and to get know one another more. It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with her. We went to 3 different book stores searching for what I like to call "Jesus books." We successfully found everything at the first stop. At the Bargain Bookstore, I found a God's Word translation of the Bible and since I had given away my other copy, I purchased this one. Little did I know, this Bible was going to be a huge blessing to me and Megan. On our ride back to campus, I was reading through different topics within the passages of the Bible. Here's what the topics look like:
Not too long, or too short, but very convicting. We read through about 6 of the topics and with every one that I read, I could feel God just telling me, "Brandi, listen to me, for my paths are straight. Do not put ANYTHING before me. Give everything to me because I love you more than anyone."  This is what I like to call "a stab in the heart" when God tells me exactly what I need to hear. I hate when He does that, but I love it so much. I think it so awesome how God was able to convict me of what was going on in my very own life through this new Bible. I'm sure I will be learning more and more from this Bible! The best part was that it was not only convicting to me, but it was to Megan too. This opened up doors for us to share about our struggles and things that we were letting control our relationship with Jesus. I was so blessed by our conversation and being able to encourage her on ways I have dealt with some of the very things she is going through. We decided to stop at McDonald's before we got back to campus and dig more into the Bible. We were sitting their reading through passages and I was practically screaming at my Bible and at God for how convicting these things were. One of the ladies that worked there approached me and asked if God was trying to tell me something. In my fit of rage, God was able to bless me because I was able to talk to this lady about Jesus. I shared with her about some of the things God was teaching me and how He was leading me to go to Kenya this summer. She is a leader over the youth at her church and it was awesome to have her encourage me. What a blessing!

I know work in the cafeteria on my campus and I have been able to share with my coworkers about my trip to Mexico that I just got back from. Also, I have been blessed with the opportunity to share with several of my coworkers about my trip to Kenya and my passion for it. It has been a huge blessing to be able to share Jesus with these people. I don't know where any of them stand with their spiritual walk with Christ, but I am trusting that He will use me to continue reaching out to them. 

Right now, I will admit that I am very, very stressed from having two jobs, 18 credit hours, a leader in CCH, preparing two speeches for CCH, and raising support. BUT I know that God is my provider, my healer, my love, my everything. I know that there is no need to worry or stress about any of these things. God is really stretching me with my time management. I am a Junior in college and I still don't know how to manage my time wisely. I still spend a lot of time on facebook. I still procrastinate my homework until the very last minute. The best part of it all is that God is teaching me to rely on Him more with the busy schedule that I have. Everyday I am walking by faith and trusting that His Will will be done. 

Kenya Update:
I have raised $1,755.03.
I still need $3,916.97.
God is faithful, and He has provided me with so much thus far. 
I'm placing every single dollar in His hands and I know that He will provide.
If you would like more information about my trip, check out my $5,672 blog. 
If you still want more information after reading the blog feel free to email me at

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2 families. 4 days. 2 houses.

This past week I have been in Acuna, Mexico serving the needs of a family with 13 other college students. 30 students from Trine University took the 2 day trip down to Acuna, Mexico in order to serve two families by building them each a house. The family my group built for was currently residing in a one bedroom house made of plywood and tin. They do not have electricity, they do not have much, but they have a huge blessing now!

Here is a picture of their house that they had:

Here are some pictures of the process of building their new house:

Laying the foundation

Placing the first wall on the foundation

Leveling up the first corner of the house

Chris hammering some nails into the wall.

 All the walls put into place.

Let the chicken wire begin!

The roof crew (minus Tom). That's me on the right.

Oh, the stucco...

Texturing the stucco.

The house at the end of Day 3. Everything is built, now we just had to make final touches on the house.

Juan helping paint his house.

Finishing up painting the house.

The family after our dedication ceremony for their house.

The grandma, mother, and two boys. Santiago is on the left, and Juan is on the right.

Gifts we bought for the family.

God is good, isn't HE? We were all extremely blessed throughout this week with being able to serve this family and be an example of Christ to them. I definitely grew in service and love for kids. We serve an awesome God, can I get an AMEN? :)

In Christ,
Brandi :)