Saturday, September 20, 2008

video one

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nicole Rogers: A Certain Someone

I am one of those people who's life has been affected by Christ since I was little. I have always gone to church along with my whole family and was baptised when I was 7. I am one of the lucky ones that never had to go through the pain of living without what some people would think. I really fell away from God when I became old enough to realize everything that was going on around me. It looked fun, and church just looked boring. The path I chose was fun at first, but of course it became redundant, and I began to notice changes in my attitude and words. It was always the same thing every day...get up, go to school, go to gym, do homework, sleep...repeat. I began to lose my motivation and energy to be happy. I needed a different stability in my life- one that didn't take, take, take from me, but rather a certain stability that was encouraging and helped me when i truly needed it. Not fake friends who claimed they cared but
were nowhere to be found when the time came. I began to realize that the only thing that would satisfy this need was a certain something (or someone) that I had been struggling to ignore for years. I hadn't even realized how much better life is when you actually acknowledge that someone who cares about you more than anything is willing to help you with all of your problems and won't abandon you no matter what. Today I still have to remind myself how much I need God's grace- not only with life today, but also because I don't exactly want to spend an eternity in heaven's antithesis.

Nicole Rogers 
Kingwood, Tx
Oklahoma University

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hannah McClellan: Artist/Poet

Discovery of blank.

Everything you've built yourself up as. Every idea, identity, thought, justification and diagnosis that you've held on to. Ideas that you've been working on for months, thoughts that you've been throwing around in your head for years. That you've been trying so hard to justify and to understand. The broken words that you've seen on a sign at a street corner, that you've been trying whole-heartedly to apply to your life. Every day you build a new layer of yourself. Lists and lists of your traits, your loves. Swerved in and out of yourself, reading your mind like a book. Writing pages and pages on who you are as a person, as a soul. Explainations. So many explanations. Arguements, answers, and apologies. Comprehending your character. Learning your feelings and the way you react to other peoples feelings.

The total and through analysis of who you are.

Completely washed away.

Completely washed away and left to be definied by him.

The clay in your makers hands.

I am the creation. He is the creator.

Hannah McClellan
Houston, Texas

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cary Apel: Dakar and Back

To give you a little preface....

This was the first of 6 poems I wrote in Africa and I wrote all of them within the first month I was there. I was tired and saw no fruit of any kind from the work we were doing. I was sick, and tired a lot. Still in a new country with weird people and a different language and food and work ethic and religion. So a lot of the nights, I simply couldn't sleep, so I would read scripture and then just pray it. I wrote six poems. This one was a passage that hit home when I read it first part of my trip. One poem was thanking the Lord for Kelsey.  One was written over Hudson Taylor who inspired me throughout the whole trip with his book Husdon Taylor's Spiritual Secret. Read it, the book, not my poem. And the last 3 poems were just kinda where I was at at different times while there. So, all that to say, I dont know what you want exactly, but here's one poem I redid of Psalm 13....


 Psalm 13


Tis night once more, and subtle be

The wind, the air, the misery.

How long the wait, no answer rises

And I leaneth toward compromises.


The tugging aft', the wave and wave

Begging, reaching, no one will save.

My bones thus show, and breath is lost

Too much to bear, is this the cost?


My back grows weak, my shoulders give

Upon which evils of the world must live.

Like glowing eyes in the forest at night

They mock, they tease, they want my life.


Do you not listen, count my tears!

I'm begging, I'm reaching, I'm feeding my fears.

You promised You'd stay, you gave the Word

Your tone has faded, of that voice I once heard.


But, no, fear not, for I remember the days

Of plenty, and want, but joyous of praise.

They sang of your glories, and stories of old

Dependence on You, our Treasure of Gold.


Today, may this, my altar be

Your steadfast love- fragrant, heavenly.

Salvation has come, sing, forever recall

The redeemer of man, the Creator of all.

Cary Apel

College Station, Texas

Forever Changed: Nicole Sutton

About a year ago, I was introduced to the Invisible Children campaign by a friend. This campaign was started by a group of college students who went to Uganda, Africa, to do a documentary of the war. I became very involved in the campaign, raising awareness and money to promote peace in Uganda. The burden on my heart for these people was tremendous. 

I found a mission trip to Uganda, coincidentally, in December of 2006. I was bursting with excitement; nothing was going to stop me, or so I thought.  The trip in itself was $995, not bad for two weeks in Africa, but this didn’t include airfare. The first quote I got on my plane ticket was $1500. That brought my total up to about $2500…much more than I ever expected. But I wasn’t worried, I serve Jehovah Jireh, God our provider…right? About a week after that I received an email from my travel agent of the actual price…$2200. I, quite simply, broke down and cried. I thought, “There is no way I can pay for that.” And I was right…I couldn’t.  And looking back, that’s exactly what God wanted, me to depend on him. 

Over the next few months, I got my passport, shots, and I was ready to go. I was to fly out of Houston to Washington DC and meet the rest of my group there. When I stepped off the plane in DC, reality finally hit me. People had been telling me for months that what I was doing was crazy, and I was starting to believe it. I

 had thought, up until this point that this was going to be the most amazing adventure ever. Going to another country, meeting all kinds of different people, learning about an entirely different culture…exciting right? Well over the next few weeks, I learned what mission work is really like. It’s hard, It’s uncomfortable, It’s exhausting. I camped for three days in a tent, and it didn’t stop raining once. I experienced poverty that caused parents to beg me to take their children, with me, back to America.

 In thinking that this was going to be fun, I was completely wrong. And for some reason, during this trip, I couldn’t seem to keep it all together. Whether it was the lack of communication with family, culture shock, spiritual warfare, or all three I don’t think a day passed when a tear didn’t fall from my eye.  And everyone else seemed to be keeping it together. 

I left Uganda even more confused than when I left home. “God why did you call me to this, if You are going to call me to full-time missions, You’re going to have to yell pretty loud.” But in returning home I realized that God didn’t call me to Uganda for myself, it had absolutely nothing to do with me. What a humbling experience! Instead He used my story to touch others, and why He chose me I will never know. I received many emails from others about how God used 

my story to speak to them. My aunt, who felt called to missions at a young age, had never followed God’s call, but is now learning Spanish so she can minister to the people of Mexico. A women, who I don’t even know, told me about her son, who was learning about missions, from my experience. 

While this was the hardest two weeks of my life, I would do it all over again. While our team was there, over 500 came to know Christ and 9 churches were planted. 46 were baptized, which I hear is a low number for them on a typical Sunday. God is moving in Uganda, and He chose to use me, I am forever changed.

Nicole Sutton

New Caney, Texas