Girlfriends, walking by faith is everything!

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Trinity Church’s Girlfriends Conference 2015 begins Friday, January 16, 2015! I am reposting this November 2014 blog article with a little extra information for all my Girlfriends! Will you be at the conference? There is still time to register at:Girlfriends Conference 2015

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“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)

Girlfriends, walking by faith is an adventure! There is no script. There is no formula. There are no guarantees. Walking by faith requires abandonment to self and willingness to be led by God in new directions. Walking by faith may lead you into unexpected:

1. Risk
2. Favor
3. Opportunity
4. Relationships
5. Emotions

I can say these things with all certainty because this has been my faith and my experience as I followed the leading of God to Cambodia. Building a biogas digester system at Teen Challenge Cambodia (TCC) was a God idea that became a walk of faith that spanned 14 months for me. Last year at Girlfriends Conference 2014, I shared the vision for this mission project. Many women responded to this vision by giving money sacrificially, praying, and helping the team prepare and pack. Twenty-seven women became members of the mission team.

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In the 14 months of working through the logistics of bringing that idea into reality, my life was filled with risk, favor, opportunity, new relationships, and some crazy emotions. Today, the biogas powered gas stoves are operational at Teen Challenge Cambodia and the pigs are no longer making bacon.

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And the Cambodian National Biodigester Program has acquired new partners in their efforts to eliminate the use of firewood for cooking and to improve environmental and public health conditions across Cambodia.

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Along the way, while I was busy with the busyness of project management and our mission teams were moving in and around Phnom Penh, God opened up new opportunities, risks, favor, and new relationships for Lacy Beach too. Lacy Beach was a Trinity Church MLI Student when Girlfriends Conference 2014 occurred. By faith, she signed up to join the September 2014 Cambodia Mission Team. While in Cambodia, Lacy found a calling to Cambodian Care Ministries and she recently pioneered the first Light of Future School in the Tuolpongroo community.

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This community of 500 people living in slum conditions in the shadow of Phnom Penh now has a school. How did it happen? The founders of Cambodian Care Ministry, Lacy Beach, and about twenty undersized children were willing to walk by faith and build a school in the middle of slum conditions. The 106 children who started school there on November 10, 2014, in that humble space, may have never set foot in a classroom any other way.

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Along the way, while our team was hosting a kid’s evangelism outreach in the village of Ang Tsaom in September, a little girl living in poverty in that village had her broken arm reset by our team’s nurses. While her arm was being set, our team found out that the village’s only source of clean water was rain water. So we all decided to do something about that too.

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Before we came home from Cambodia a few days ago, we were able to present Pastor That with the financial resources to build a water well in Ang Tsaom at her house/church. That well is going to be a blessing to that village for years to come. What an adventure I have been on with some incredible friends!

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Girlfriends, did I mention the crazy, raging emotions, though? Fear, anxiety, joy, happiness, exuberance, sadness, and anger were common, recurring, unpredictable and sometimes inconvenient. I cannot speak for everyone on our missions trips, but I know I spent many a sleepless night praying for strength to overcome my emotions and keep walking. There was many a day that I thought I wouldn’t be able to endure the challenges and the unexpected situations that appeared to be immovable impossibilities. I kept my worship music on replay and my kleenex box nearby. I am learning more and more that emotions are our visceral response to the things we experience, but they don’t need to be show stoppers.

Walking by faith with all its risk, opportunities, favor, new relationships, and crazy emotions is the ONLY way to walk as a Christ-follower. I know for sure now that walking by faith releases the power of God into the places and circumstances He leads us into. Walking by faith is everything!

Girlfriends, are you ready to start walking?

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)

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(photo credits: Linda Freeman, Lacy Beach, and Taylor Wilkerson, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2014.)

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