Sunday, July 24, 2011

what a privilege it is...

A word that seems to keep coming up as I answer the question, "How was your trip?" is the word PRIVILEGE. It was a privilege to go. It was a privilege to see. It was a privilege to be a part of the lives of those dear children.

I am getting ready to enter another week of camp where I am finally able to put into words why it is that I keep going back year after year.

It is TRULY a privilege to be a part of the lives of these kids.

For those of you who have known me for any amount of time know that for several summers of my life I have spent a week of many summers at camp. It's a place that keeps drawing me back, a place where regardless of how much we have prepared or our attitudes going into the week, God is FAITHFUL to show up and do some amazing things in the lives of the campers and counselors (and anyone else who is there that week.) It really is awesome!

There are countless reasons why I absolutely love camp. I met some of my dearest friends there. I get to hang out with some of the coolest kids on the planet year after year there. I am "Macho Mandy" for a week. (It's a name that I was given the summer of 1997 and as much as I have tried, it just won't go away.)

I have spent 1 week of 15 different summers at this place. (3 years as a camper, 5 as a counselor and am going back for year number 7 as "staff.")  It's crazy but it's worth it.

Another privilege I have this year is the opportunity to share with the counselors during training the idea of being a "link in the chain." I am going to summarize as best I can a talk that we listened to in XA, EA. I was  really struck by the simple idea that we all have the opportunity to be a "link in the chain" of each person we come in contact with. What has really challenged me lately is the question of what kind of link will we be? Will we be links that connect well? Links that distract? Links that eventually break? Links that change the course of a person's life?

So if you think about it, join me in praying that we as counselors, as staff, as the body of Christ, that we will be links in the chains of the lives of these dear kiddos.

What a privilege it is.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


The more I travel...

The more stamps are added to my passport...

The more of the world I get to see...

...the more I appreciate "home."

...the more I appreciate where I grew up.

...the more I look forward to whatever  is next on this journey.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

pray for Ajay

I met this little guy during my time at New Day. 

He met his forever parents during my time at New Day. 

He had the first of many surgeries and needs our prayers. 

Will you join me in praying for Ajay?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


One of my prayers anytime I get the opportunity to leave the country is that I will return different. Whether that be with a fresh perspective, a greater appreciation for "home," a deeper understanding of the Lord, a bigger heart for people and the world... Regardless of how the Lord has answered that prayer, the thing is, HE was faithful to answer once again.

The part that has been hard in all this, has not been getting over jet lag but trying to figure out how to sum it all up. How can I even begin to put in to words everything I saw and experienced? How do I explain why pieces of my hearts are now scattered about in another part of the world?

A friend of mine summed it up so well this afternoon. She didn't ask about my trip, she just said, "You're back and you're different. You left part of yourself there." Our conversation ended and my heart was light and I realized, that's it.

If there is anything that I want you to know it's just that.

I'm back. 
I'm different and I left part of myself there.

I can't express what I saw and what I experienced. (I can show you pictures and try.) However, I am excited to share with you the stories of the people that captured my heart and the lessons I learned from the people I met, the things I saw and the things I experienced that the Lord used to answer my prayer that I would return different.