Monday, February 14, 2011

More than just Cake

I have a confession to make.. Starting in the year 2000 when my college friends started getting married and eventually having kids, I used to go to weddings & baby showers & cry my eyes out afterwards. Not because I was overjoyed for their new life or their celebration.. or even how great the cake tasted (haha) but because deep down inside I was bitterly sad, lonely & extremely jealous of what they had that I didn't have.

Fast forward to 2011: I went to a wedding last weekend & literally bawled my eyes out! But the difference is that this time, I was truly happy for my friend! Kimloan could truly be the spokesperson for a "The Best Things Come to Those Who Wait" commercial. She was very focused on her studies from the get-go & always knew that she had one goal that she wanted to accomplish -- Medical School. It wasn't easy, but Kimmy achieved that goal and she became a doctor this year! (trust me, it was a long road). She really never dated anyone in college - lots of guys wanted to date her but we all always knew that it would take a special kind of guy to handle Kimmy. I mean, being a biology major and ultimately wanting to become a doctor.. there was definitely an intelligency factor that had to be taken into consideration. Most guys are not up to the task so we both thought that she would NEVER find a guy like that. She would grow old, surrounded by friends (because none of US were getting married either.. well, unless it's legalized here in Texas for some of our crew).

But as I sat in the cathedral last Saturday afternoon, eagerly awaiting the start of the ceremony, I realized that I had never felt JOYFUL at a wedding before. One by one her parents & bridesmaids filtered down the aisle and in my mind I reminisced about old times with these people. A smile came over my face. THEN, the organ started the fanfare & the church doors opened & out walked my friend... the biggest smile on her face and long white dress trailing behind her... and I lost it! My friend was all grown up! The day we had talked about NEVER coming, was happening! And I was so happy that I was moved to the point of tears.

Before I left the reception, she asked me "Did you ever think this would happen?" and I replied "No" - Then she held out her hand so that I could look at her wedding ring one last time. BEAUTIFUL. I write all of this to say that I have felt my heart was changed but this solidified it in my mind. It is amazing to me how much prayer and understanding biblical truth can totally change one's perspective and outlook on life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Earlier I was at Starbucks studying since my house sometimes presents WAY too many distractions to get any quality reading in! Some guys came in, sat down on the couches next to my table & started having a serious discussion. Without even looking up, I know that one guy was single & the other married -- the single guy was a devout follower of Jesus AND I heard him say he "loved kids".

My head was so buried in my books that I didn't even look up... until they were leaving... :(

Yeah, I gotta work on that...

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Guidebook

From today's daily devotional:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness. -- Helen Keller

Monday, January 4, 2010

Blessed Obedience

From my daily devotional book:

God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to (Elisabeth Elliot)

Key Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:2-3 ~ note the use of the word "when" throughout this section of scripture. This tells me that these are PROMISES to rest on.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

T-Minus 30 days.. and counting..

Is it just me or does it seem like time is going FASTER and FASTER lately? It seems like it was just yesterday when the temperature was HADES outside and no relief in sight and now it seems like we're into "fall" (which we all know really doesn't happen here in Texas) and it's been raining for A LOT of days this month! It also does not seem like Thanksgiving is 5 weeks away - which means Christmas is 10 weeks away! Where in the world has 2009 gone?!?

The Kenya Adventure comes to fruition in 30 days! I can't believe it is almost here. I feel like I have learned so much leading up to this point and can't visualize what else I am going to learn through actually traveling to and ministering to the children and families that are over there. What have I learned so far? Here are a few highlights:

1) Missions Support: To be honest, right after my fear of disease this topic was the next one on my list of fears when it comes to going to Africa. So many 'what if?' questions.. what if no one can help me? will I have to find some money of my own to contribute? what if i don't raise enough money? does anyone really care enough to pray the team through this time? etc. I am happy to report that God is bigger than all of my fears and He has given me peace beyond my understanding in this area. I sent out about 75-80 letters to let my friends and family know what I was undertaking and to ask for support both financially and through prayer. My human side mentally went through that list as I was addressing the envelopes and said "This person is a prayer supporter" vs. "This one is a financial supporter." As I started receiving letters and checks in the mail, I realized that this was NOT a good way to show total trust in God to provide. I received money from people that I had 'checked' as a prayer warrior and vice versa. What is amazing is that God has still provided past what I thought would happen. As of today, I have $1,600 in my account and another $1,000 that a few people have said is on the way. God is faithful and will continue to be faithful because when He commands us to do something, he also provides the way for us to do that thing ~ even if in our small human minds we have tried to make our own plan or say that it won't happen.

2) Travel Immunizations: Whoa! I learned really quickly that there is no formula for this and really everyone (the experts) all have their own opinions about which shots that you should get and which drugs you should take, etc. It's also pretty costly (some of them) too! I think that you have to have a "do it now so you don't suffer later" attitude about this. In the past month I have had 6 shots (Hepatitis A & B, Flu, Tetnus, Meningitis & Pneumonia) and still have 1 more (Yellow Fever) to go. Luckily, a lot of these last a long time so I won't have to get them again if (maybe I should just say when cuz that's what it's looking like right now.) I get an assignment to go into the mission field again in the near future. I learned that insurance does not cover the ones that are not routine and that there was one on my list that after doing the research on it, figured out that I could not afford it -- RABIES! You are probably thinking, rabies? really? but yes, that shot is $750 TOTAL and since I cannot afford it, I will just have to take the necessary precautions to see to it that I don't get bit by any monkeys or baboons. (apparently, monkeys are like house pets in Africa and it's possible that we will see some up close and personal! fun times!).

Anyhow, those are the 2 main things that I have learned thus far and I'm sure I'll have much more to share as the time comes for us to leave. I thank all of you again for reading this far and for continuing to support me in the ways that God has given you to support.

Keep reading, I'm sure this adventure is going to get A LOT more interesting!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kenya: A few details

Many of you have asked for details about my upcoming mission trip:

  • Dates: November 20th-November 29th ~ I will probably fly out late Thursday night (the 19th) or Friday morning. We will either be arriving back in the USA on Sunday evening (29th) or Monday (the 30th).

**Please begin praying for safe travel for the entire team. Also, begin praying for our strength and endurance as we travel & come back**
We will leave DFW & be on the plane for about 8 hours, stopping for a few hours in Amsterdam. From there, we will go to Nairobi, Kenya (towards the center of the country) and then switch planes to fly to Mombasa, Kenya (on the coast). THEN, we will take a bus approximately 2 hours to our actual location for the week. As you can imagine, there will be LONG periods of time on airplanes and we will be traveling across soo many time zones. When we get there, I probably won't even know what day it is (I think it'll be the next day.. but yeah..)!! LOL Luckily, when we come back, we will gain all of our "lost" time back but we will be exhausted.

  • What will be waiting for us when we get there? We are staying in some cabins (from what I understand) at a site where the children who we will be ministering to will be staying also. There is limited electricity (you have to bring adapters but even then, you might not have long periods of power) which means no air conditioning, no internet, no cell phones and no blow dryers (I've been struggling through the things that I will miss the most.) I have been told that our sleeping arrangements will be with mosquito nets to help protect us from anything that might be a threat. **Again, please pray that we will all make the adjustments and be able to be cheerful regardless of the circumstance or situations that we might find ourselves in.**

Our primary purpose in Kenya will be to put on a Vacation Bible School type camp for these children for the week. I have no idea what my role in this will be yet. We are just starting to meet together as a team and will eventually start going over the ciriculuum and figuring out everyone's strengths so that we will be put to the best use of our talents. **Please pray for the hearts of the children and families that we will be ministering to ~ I pray that their hearts will be prepared to receive what God wants to show them through our interactions with them. The ultimate goal is to glorify God in all we do.**

  • One last thing we are praying about (and I ask you to do the same) is the financial needs of the team. The total cost per person for the trip is $3,000. I am certain that God has willed this trip to happen and that He will provide these resources. I ask that you prayerfully consider being a part of this journey financially. If you are able to support financially, please make your check payable to DENTON BIBLE CHURCH and write MEGAN HOFFMAN KENYA TRIP in the memo line. You can mail the check directly to me at the address listed below. These donations are tax deductible.

I have been asked to start blogging about all of the trip preparations as they are happening so you will start seeing those over the next few weeks. I thank you all again for always giving me the encouragement I need!

My address:
Megan Hoffman
6000 Ohio Dr. #1413
Plano, Texas 75093

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Box... has disappeared!!!

Thank you all for accepting my challenge of being my blog readers & encouraging me on my journey of life! Each one of you means A LOT to me (I think I have already said this before but just making sure that you know it..) and I hope you're prepared to be totally blown away by what I'm about to tell you.

I have been really praying about what God might want me to be used for in terms of the mission field. Am I called to go across the world or across the street to bring the Gospel to the lost? Does He want me to work with children or with adults? Things like that have been at the forefront of my mind. A few weeks ago, I got my answer...

My best friend Erica & her family have felt a strong call to go to Africa for about 3-4 years now (since they became Christians). From some of the things that God has revealed to them, I wouldn't be surprised if they went into FULL TIME missions in another country. Since I came to grips with this reality about a year ago, I have sometimes had this weird feeling of sadness in my heart when I think about the fact that there might be a time when I don't get to see or talk to them on a regular basis. I also had a few nights where I was in tears because I thought about the children (especially, Sienna, who will be 4 in October.) and how I wouldn't be able to watch them grow up. I want more than anything to serve God in whatever capacity he sees fit to use me so we would joke about how since I really want to be a teacher anyway (I REALLY DO!) That maybe I would get to come overseas with them to do children's ministry or even to home school the American kids so that they didn't have to go to a boarding school. Erica was planning on going on a mission trip to Kenya in October but the plans fell through due to the fact that her husband's company needed him in a finance meeting (also out of the country) during the same week & they could not justify BOTH being out of the country at the same time. But then God started revealing his awesome, mighty and perfect plan (and timing).....

Our church bulletin had a note in it about a Short-Term Mission Trip to Kenya during Thanksgiving week. Well, Erica saw this as her back-up to go do the work that she has been called to do in Africa. The church was having an informational meeting a few Sunday afternoons ago and E asked me to go to the meeting with her -- for moral support. I agreed and even read the blurb in the bulletin about it
(hmm.. interesting..)

We started to walk out of the church that Sunday morning towards the parking lot. As we were walking, I was carrying the 3.5 year old (who absolutely ADORES ME, btw) and I see E & her husband start to talk in front of us. The conversation went something like this:

Erica: Guess what honey? Megan is coming to that missions meeting with me this afternoon. Right Megan?
Husband: Oh really?
(they look at each other & start smiling some evil smiles and laughing)
Me: (in my most defensive & sarcastic tone of voice): *sigh* yes... I'm going to this meeting to learn about teaching children.. in Africa...and ........

I hadn't any more had those words out of my mouth before ~~~ I fell.. facedown FLAT on the ground.. the flat, no bumps, no nothing concrete that we had been walking on just moments before. My first thought as I was laying there was "Oh my goodness.. I have killed this child! We are going to have to rush her to the hospital because she's cracked her head open or something! I should hear her crying any second now..." I looked up.. and she was already on her feet! Pointing at her arm & asking "Can I have a band-aid?" AMAZING! Me on the other hand? I was not spared any injuries. My leg (I was wearing a skirt) was bleeding down the side of my leg from about my knee to halfway down to my ankle... and starting to bruise. My wrist was swelling out & a little scraped up. Everyone stood amazed over me. This little girl that I had been carrying had not been hurt at all & I was pretty banged up. Frank (Erica's husband) even said: "It was like you just laid her out on the ground before you & allowed yourself to take the fall." Something was up... I wasn't exactly sure what but I was pretty convinced that God had struck me down because I was mocking Him and his potential plans for me. The whole time I'm thinking "God's trying to tell me something.."

Fast forward to later that afternoon when we show up at the meeting. We walked in and had to sit at the back because we were a little late. I immediately saw 2 girls from the singles group & thought "Wow.. they're here? That's awesome that they want to go to Kenya." As we sat there & looked at the pictures of where the trip was going and the dates of the trip itself, it dawned on me. 1) Those children are precious and they need people to come love on them. and 2) Thanksgiving week? I already requested those days off! It's true. In the week leading up to this meeting (that I didn't even know I was going to), I had asked my co-workers & my boss if they minded me taking the entire Thanksgiving week off. No one objected and my time was approved. I have no excuse NOT to go -- and given everything that had already happened to me that day, I was a little afraid to say NO (not a good thing to say to God anyway.. but you know..)

Sooo.. this Thanksgiving, instead of staying around town and spending time with my family, eating wayy too much food and trash talking each other over card games.. I will be going to Kenya, Africa with a team of people to help teach a vacation bible school type program to about 100 children who live there. :) Am I nervous? Am I scared? Yes and YES. But God tells us in His word in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you..." I have no idea how or how much I will grow through this experience but it is obviously something that God wants me to do!! One of my biggest fears has already worked itself out -- telling my family. They were all totally cool about it. I think they see God's big picture too. My next fear (which is continuously being worked through and out of me) is disease. In Africa, mosquitoes are prevalent and they carry malaria. Mosquitoes like to bite me therefore, I could be subject to malaria. :( I know that God will continue to give me peace with that fear though and if it's for His glory that I contract some disease, I guess we deal with it when it comes.

There are a few things that I would like to ask of you guys as I move forward on this particular journey:
1) PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! Prayer for me and the team that is forming to go on this trip. Prayer that all of the resources and skills needed will fall into place both here in the US & over there. Prayer for the children in Kenya and all of the many people that we will minister to during our trip over there & during the week of the camp.

2) If you feel led to support me financially, there are opportunities to do that also. I will post an address where you can send funds in the near future. Any contribution is tax deductible.

I pray that each of you are doing well and that you will leave notes or comments to encourage me as I keep you updated on my progress.