Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
*"We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."-2 Cor. 10:5*
*"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"-Romans 8:31*
Another short-term trip to Peru has come and gone, and of course, it was not long enough. I savor any time I am able to spend there, and the Peruvian people mean so much to me. This time was different because Daniel went to, and it was our first mission trip together! So, a team of us went to San Juan de Lurigancho Peru, one of the poorest and populous districts in.the.world. These trips that Alison and Chuck lead are so awesome, yet so refreshing at the same time. We go, go, go in the short time that we're given, making the most of each and every opportunity! Everyone has the opportunity to pour out so much, yet we are constantly being refreshed by Jesus in them!
I don't care if it's a long-term trip, or a shorter one, our God is big enough to move in big ways, but He's also personal enough to do amazing things in everyone's lives, when we let Him! We have to give Him permission and authority to do what He wants in our lives and through us. However, I feel like on these shorter trips, Jesus does way more in my heart through those Peruvians than I could ever be used in their lives. We witnessed and had the opportunity to be a part of miracles, and we were also able to see the FRUIT OF PAST MIRACLES! That's always soo cool and special to me! People gettin' healed and findin' freedom ya'll!
I could talk forever about each and every experience, but it would take so incredibly long, so I'll just hit on some highlights.
The team was so awesome! Selfishly, I was kinda nervous before we left because I felt like I was going to be the awkward middle aged, 24 year old girl on our team, since most of the girls were so young, and some were a good bit older than me. But I really feel like our team meshed so well, and I loved how open everyone was. There was so much healing that took place in each of our lives because of how open everyone was. I think people were confessing things that were holding them back from fullness in Jesus left and right! This allowed for Jesus to heal out hearts and use us to be His healing to them! It was such an honor to experience Peru with each and every person on the team, and it was encouraging to see so many girls who were younger than me be so bold, selfless, and full of love and compassion. He sets up these teams perfectly! There was a man named Tory who was an electrician, and was able to fix so much at Pat's Place. Also, there was a woman named Janet who has such an amazing gift to sing, but she can also speak out Spanish so naturally...such Jesus shining through! There were also several people who had experienced such awful abuse, and they were able to testify to God's sovereign goodness. We had pastors that could bring the word of God. I respect Mr. Chuck and Alison so incredibly much! Their love is contagious, and they continually pour out on these trips! Perfection!
We had the opportunity to spend so much time with the women and children at Pat's Place, the abused women's shelter. I really treasured the time spent with them on our down times, before breakfast and before dinner. One of my favorite people ever is a 17-year old named Betsy. I remember when I came to Pat's Place for the first time in November 2009, and Betsy, who had recently turned 15 and came to Pat's Place, had a 5-day old baby named Josias Wilbur. I've always called him Wilbur. Although she had been given a fresh start in this new home, she was so sad, and with much understanding! It's been so awesome to see her grow happier and more hopeful each time I see her. I remember June 2010, when I was there by myself for 3 weeks, and I was crying because I was homesick, and she took me to her room and painted my nails, and just spoke comforting words to me in spanish. She has grown up so much, and Wilbur is now 2 and a half years old! He is a crazy, precious mess and Betsy is going to school! So much hope at this place! I love it! I love everything about Pat's Place.
We were able to spend a couple days at an girl's orphanage, Hope House. Probably one of my favorite moments of the trip was when a sweet girl on our team named Felicia shared her testimony with the girls, and it opened up a door for us to spend time getting them to open up about their broken homes. All had crazy, terrible situations going on, and most are without a father. We prayed over all of them, and then the men on our team went around to each girl and lovingly embraced them the way a father should; the way Jesus continually embraces us. I don't think there was a dry eye in there. Daniel and I fell in love with them, and I wouldn't be surprised if one day (a long time from now) Jesus calls us and makes a way for us to be at a place like that. I would love that. I really hope He does!
Daniel and I were able to spend some time with the Urbanos on Tuesday. It's always such an awesome time to catch up with them (or try to, because of the language barrier). They always pour out all they have, and Mama Leo can sure cook.
Each night, we spent time with 3 different churches throughout the nine days. One day, we went out into the streets and did dramas, and total I believe there were over 100 people who made that important decision to give their heart and soul to Jesus and make Him their savior. So awesome to think about how each person that made that decision is so precious to Jesus, and we were able to direct them to one of the churches we were at so that they can become part of it and get poured into.
Muchas gracias Peru. TE AMO! Dios te bendiga!No hay otro Nombre- Kari Jone
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
After May 7th, 2011, our lives changed a little bit. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon, and then we moved to Anderson together, right when we got back from our honeymoon, knowing maybe 5 people here. It was crazy! While we miss everyone in GA far more than we could have ever imagined, we have seen daily why God wanted us to move here. Moving here has allowed us to really have a "newlywed season" in which all we had was each other for a little while! However, we prayed and asked for friends, and we have found amazing people who have been such a encouragement to us. We both have jobs that we love and are thankful for. God has provided for us abundantly, but to the point of where we know we still have to rely on Him for provision. We bought a house, which has brought on more responsibility and bills than I could have imagined!
We've been fortunate to have been poured into by several couples who have so much wisdom! We joined a church that we would be lost without. We're able to serve there together and individually, and we've met so many people, of all ages, that have built us up and we've had the opportunity to love. NewSpring has been such a vital part of our marriage. We've been able to join a body of passionate people. We have homegroups that mean the world to us. We've been able to serve, with me having the opportunity to do Care and Growth class, and together, in Kidspring! We've also received free financial counseling and marriage counseling that has helped us not go broke or kill each other during this first year of marriage. I could write about how easy,natural, and beautiful every single day has been, but every married person knows that isn't 100% true. Don't get me wrong, this wonderful, amazing life that I have, being married to Daniel Stall, far outweighs anything that hasn't met my high expectations I had pre-marriage. I have had to be intentional over the past year about making changes in my life. I have had to learn what it means to submit to someone out of reverence for Jesus (ephesians 5, 1 peter 4). However, I've been blessed to have a husband that knows that we are a team, and we need to make decisions together. Ephesians 5:21 says, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.".
Learning about my husband is a day by day, growing process, and vice versa. I'm sure he'll probably never figure me out, and I don't blame him. We've had to make conscious efforts to make adjustments in our lives in order to not become too frustrated. Just some little things to mention: Daniel loves going to sleep early, which has been so challenging for me because if you knew me in college, I was the walking zombie that never slept! Daniel has had to learn that it's not cool to just leave his clothes laying around the house. Obviously these are small things, but they still force you to change. Something else that has been hard for me is to take on the role as helper (Genesis 2:18). I feel like I have always been a very independent person, so it's been a transition trying to fit into that role. I haven't always been the most secure person in different ways. I thought that getting married would solve all of that, but while Daniel affirms me more than a normal person probably should, my mind still battles with this intensely!! If anything, it may have even grown worse since marriage! I'm pretty hard on myself, in the way that I look, what I do, the craziness that comes out of my mouth sometimes, and even little things like what I cook. My mind is a battlefield, and it's something that a husband can't help, only me being intentional to follow the word and not my mind.
In December and January we hit a little bit of a wall. To be honest, it is easy to just go through the motions, take one another for granted, and give into what the world offers. We hit a stumbling block that set us back a bit. Together, we had to change our perspective on some things. I think every married couple is going to have that time in which they have to be honest with themselves, each other, and God, and realize that Jesus has to be the center of the marriage at all times. It sounds so cliche, but we need Him. There was something ugly between us, and we had to take some intentional steps in order to turn it around and allow the glory of marriage to rise above the lies. The following months, we soon found that Jesus really does make beautiful out of our mess. I learned that it's not necessarily about what comes your way, it's about how you handle it. A close friend, and mentor, told me shortly after we got married, that no matter what happens, to hold onto what brought us together and keep that deep in our hearts!!!! I love that.
I can honestly say that I am more in love with my husband today than I have ever been. God really has made something beautiful out of our messy lives. I am beyond blessed. There is no other way to put it. As I have gotten to know Daniel more, I have seen that he needs my affirmation and he needs my time: quality time, in which he gets 100% of my attention. He has seen that I need his affirmation, as well. Sometimes marriage seems to come naturally to me, and some days it does take work. (I'm just being real). I'm not an amazing cook, sometimes our house is a wreck, sometimes I don't build Daniel up like he needs, sometimes he loses his patience with me (which is rare). But at the end of the day, Jesus knew that we need each other. We are a team, and I truly do feel like the best is yet to come for Daniel and me. We have dreams...the same dreams that we discussed before we were married, but they are starting to develop here in Anderson.
I figured I would wrap this all up by stating some things that make me adore Daniel even more... Daniel loves Jesus, and he is a leader. He makes time to get up extra early with me and spend time together reading and praying. I feel like he has more and more of a desire to do this every day. He has goals for his life and our life together. He wants to make peoples' lives better, and he wants to help people help themselves. His goal is to ultimately have a ministry called "Go Love" started in which really cool fabric bracelets are sold to raise money. It's a long story, but it is something that he has been trying to start with his best friend, Matt, from Statesboro. He serves at church. He serves in a ministry through KidSpring, called Spring Zone, where he gets to usually hang out one-on-one with a kid and pour into them. I saw how good he was at it, and his love for those kids was so contagious, that I started serving in the same service as him. It is such an amazing feeling to look and see him pouring into kids. He is also the guy at target/walmart that you'll see talking to all the kids. This could look like a creeper, but I promise he's not. Last, but not least, Daniel works so hard to provide for us. He has goals within his job, and he has already taken steps to pursue those goals. He works hard, and I am so appreciative of that. It is only because he works hard, that I am able to work less than 30 hr./week and I am able to volunteer during the week at church. I will never take that for granted.
Anyway, thank you to everyone who has poured into us during this 1st year of marriage. We are forever grateful for you. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."--*Ephesians 3:20*
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I just wanted to write a blog to celebrate one of my best friends, Colleen Cowart. Last May, Colleen left for a 6 month trip to Guatemala to live at New Life Children's Home. During those 6 months, she had to give up her own way of doing things and completely take on their way of life...UNCOMFORTABLE! When she returned, not only did she know Spanish from 6 weeks of language school and so much time spent around the people there, but it was like Jesus grabbed a hold of her heart and laid out who she is in HIM! Don't we all want that? In the midst of her closest friends getting married, getting engaged, getting "big girl jobs," Colleen took a step of faith a couple weeks after she graduated college and went.
Since she has been back in the states, she has known that it's only a matter of time until she is back there again with a commitment to stay for awhile. A couple weeks ago, she had the opportunity to go back and see her babies there. Well, while she was there the Lord confirmed that her next step is to make a 5 year commitment!! And she leaves in JUNE!!!! Crazy. Jesus calls us to do things that make us uncomfortable, and we have to make a choice if we are going to believe Him and follow through.
She has been such an inspiration in my life over the past five years.It seems like it was only yesterday that we were sharing crazy stories together in the Miami airport, during an 8 hour layover, after a mission trip to Honduras, going on and on about from where Jesus had brought us. She is crazy, and she has made me laugh so hard I peed myself many times. She also has some trendy plastic, clear high heels that she pulls out every now and then.Colleen is such a beautiful person, and it is so amazing and inspiring to see someone so close to me living the dream and fulfilling the purpose Jesus put in HER heart long ago. I know He is going to continue to make her story so beautiful!
Here's a recent update she sent from facebook today. You should check it out, be inspired, and pray!:
Dear Sweet Friends I am so excited to announce today about my commitment to become a full time missionary at New Life Children's Home in Guatemala. I am making a 5 year commitment (though in my heart I believe it to be forever). I realized during my internship in Guatemala that more than anything I missed COMMUNITY, encouragement, and friends remaining informed of whats going on. In Statesboro I am having a supporters lunch to share what I will be doing and prayer/financial needs. If you live in or near the Statesboro area and would like to come to the lunch (its free!) please let me know you are interested along with a mailing address
For those who cannot attend I want to send a letter. I am asking God to show me a way of forming a support group that isn't about money but about me praying for you and you checking in on me and the ministry. If you are interested in being apart of that group please send me your address and I would LOVE to mail you information and put you in my ring of online blogs and newsletters.
If you have a small group that would be interested in hearing me speak I would love to do that as well
I am starting mission school in San Juan Texas this June so all of this is happening quickly, but clearly in Gods perfect timing. Thank you for who you are and what you mean to me!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Our Peru Support Letter:
January 20, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
2011 was an exciting year for us! We have enjoyed starting our lives together, and God has blessed us abundantly. Everyday is an adventure We are believing even bigger things in 2012. With that being said, we feel that our next step in faith is to serve together in Peru this coming June. We have both been all over the world, and we have been fortunate enough to partake in some amazing, life-changing experiences. However, this will be our first mission trip together as one, and we are pumped!
On June 1st through June 9th, we will be going to Lima, Peru with Crosspoint Ministries(based out of Statesboro, GA). The area we are serving in is a suburb of Lima, called San Juan de Lurigancho. San Juan de Lurigancho is Peru’s poorest, most populous district. This will be Alison's fourth time going to Peru over the past three years, and it has been amazing to witness and take part in all that Jesus has done there through Crosspoint Ministries. A unique bond has already been formed there, and we are excited to step into that in June, and as a team, we will be building on the relationships and ministries that have already been formed, as well as meeting new people.
The majority of the trip will be spent serving and ministering to physically and sexually abused women and children at a shelter and a girls' orphanage. Abuse is very prevalent in Peru, and it has greatly affected the majority of the people there. Victims have endured a lot of pain, but because of God’s grace and mercy, they have been given hope through the ministries down there. We want for them to continue to see that God hasn’t forgotten about them and that He loves them abundantly and unconditionally!! We’ll also get to visit and help out at a medical clinic, take part in several construction projects, and we will get to hang out and minister to kids around the poorest parts of the city. Finally, each evening, we will be putting on a conference at a church that Crosspoint continually ministers to and serves with.
Once again, we are so excited about this next step in our lives! Acts 20:24 says, "But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God." God has given us a strong desire to love and serve His people, both in the U.S, and in Peru, and we are anticipating and expecting Jesus to do miracles in and through us, and for people to receive hope! We are certain that Jesus is going to change us during that week and the time to come.
We would love for you to consider being on our team. We are asking you to consider praying for us! We are depending on God to equip our team, to prepare the hearts of the people in Peru, and for safety. Also, the cost to cover the ten-day trip for both of us is $3,000. We need to have the entire amount raised by the end of March. Whether it is praying for us, giving financially, or both, we are asking that you would pray about being on our team. If you have any questions you can call us or email us. Our contact information is below. Thank you so much, and Happy New Year!
Daniel and Alison
**All Checks are Tax Deductible, and should be made out to Crosspoint Ministries.
Our Address is: 125 Duraleigh Rd. Anderson, SC 29621
Daniel: (864) 634-1799 ; Danstall@gmail.com
Alison: (912) 660-2305 ; Alison101887@bellsouth.net