Thursday, December 20, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} Day 18-20

It's hard to believe that in 5 days it will be Christmas. Our days have been so busy. We are headed to Minnesota tomorrow! It's hard the time has finally come. I'm a little worried Claudy is going to be frozen for 3 weeks straight, but excited to experience our first Christmas as husband and wife!

Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 16 & 17

Sorry this post is a little. I tried to post last night and I didn't have a great internet connection! 

Today, our group spent their time prayer walking and then doing a VBS at New Horizons. Here's a little video...

Who Is This Man?
This is one of my favorite questions in the entire Bible. Who is this man? People always marveled at Jesus. Sure, He did lots of things that made people scratch their heads in awe—such as multiplying food to feed the hungry, healing the paralyzed, turning water into wine so that a wedding wouldn’t be a total flop, and other drop-your-jaw-in-awe miracles. But these things didn’t get Jesus into trouble. What caused Him trouble with the religious authorities of the day is when He would do things and say things that only God Himself was supposed to say and do. Such as, gee, I don’t know . . . claim to be God. When Jesus went around doing stuff like that, well . . . that’s precisely why the leaders of the day wanted to kill Him.
The situation with the woman at the dinner party is just one of those moments. When Jesus had the audacity to forgive her sins, He did something that everyone knew and fully understood could only be done by God Himself. Forgiveness. After, He is the friend of sinners. 
- From Redeemed Girl Ministries - Day 17 found here

Have a blessed day!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 14 & 15

We spent yesterday in town, shopping and preparing for the group to come in! It was a great day and were blessed to find some great things at the Apparent Project! 

I was struggling to find something to post about...but as I have told you before...I love Christmas Music. I have had it on my iPhone since November 1st. Claudy is a little sick of my music and will only let me play my music in the car in the mornings :) I share 10 of my favorite Christmas Songs (I've already posted a couple on previous days). 

**Not in order by favorite***

10. This Christmas - Chris Brown

9. O, Come All Ye Faithful - Mariah Carey

8. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays (Original by N'Snyc) - Justin & Michael

7. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey

6. What Christmas Means to Me - Nick Lachey & The Sign-off

5. Mary Did You Know - Mark Lowry

4. The Trumpet Shall Sound 

3. My Soul Magnifies the Lord - Chris Tomlin

2. Born To Die

1. O Holy Night

The Team is here....Hope you have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 12 & 13

I love to give gifts. It's fun to watch people receive and enjoy something you have given them. I know during Christmas, we struggle too much with focusing on the gifts and not the real meaning of Christmas. Please don't hear me wrong. It is not bad to give gifts to loved ones during the holidays...we just sometimes lose our focus.  A few weeks back, someone close to me asked how they could help this season. I shared, that it would be great to bless New Horizons (aka Madame Christians) Orphanage with Christmas presents. We received the money and on "Black Friday" went and purchased gifts for the children. They have been sitting in my room for 3 weeks now, but today I got to deliver them.

Thank you Thank you thank you...It is a joy to be part of blessing others! On Dec 24, Chris and Sara will go to the orphanage to help distribute the gifts!

I have grown to love this woman! She is a saint and has a heart of gold. Apparently one of the other days, when I was at the orphanage, I was sharing with her my concern for Manette, one of the neigborhood girls, I was concerned for her malnutrition. It stirred Madame Christian's heart. She came to me today, with a plan to start a nutrition program for the community, for those really in need. Along with it, would be health lessons and spiritual lessons! I listened to her and asked some very American questions. Reach Global doesn't do feeding programs, but I would love to help her design a program, and bring in resources for proper nutrition. We would love to play a small part. After asking many questions and seeing her tears...I left humbled and challenged to have faith like hers. During our conversation she said..."I don't care about my safety, God has called me...if that means I die and am hurt, I die. I need to do what God is asking me." Many times, she answered my questions, "I don't know, but God knows." She has so much faith! A heart of gold! A heart to serve!

She gave me a gift today. She showed me how to love, as Jesus loves!

He is the most beautiful baby!!'s not cold here, but he's prepared for winter!

Sara with Madam Christian

Kelsey with some children at the orphanage. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 10 & 11

Yesterday, we went to visit a near by orphanage. This was my first visit to this particular orphanage. It was obvious that the kids were loved....they had so much joy! Here are a few pics from our trip!

I was reading in Luke this morning. According to Luke's account, when Elizabeth first saw Mary, her baby leaped for joy and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary's response..."My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." 

My prayer this Christmas, is that my soul would magnify the Lord and I will remember the great things he has done for me! 

These same words are used in one of my favorite Christmas songs! 

I hope that you have unspeakable joy this season!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 8 & 9

Claudy and I are traveling to Minnesota in two weeks. We decided to start looking at the forecast! This is what we saw!!

With that being is our last free weekend before going to the states, so we decided to spend some time with Claudy's family! 

We also decided to spend some time enjoying the tropics. We had a great get away to Wahoo Bay Beach Resort (I know, suffering for Jesus) It was really relaxing!! 

Poolside View

Sunset Picture

We don't have snow...but Christmas in the tropics can be pretty!!

Mary proclaimed Jesus as the Risen Lord. To call Him "Lord" is to submit to His rule, power, dominion and authority. This is the surrendered heart. As worshipers of Christ, we don't just know Jesus as the One who saves us from our sins, but we also worship Him as the Risen Lord. The One who rules and reigns. The only One who has the right to sit upon the throne of our hearts. This is Christmas, let us not only worship the Lord Jesus Christ with our words, but also with our lives through humble service and loving obedience. Let us give Him all the Glory, for He alone is Worthy! (from Redeemed Girl - to read more click on the link)

Friday, December 7, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Days 6 & 7

Our group of 20 has now all left the country...but yesterday we welcomed a new guest, Kelsey! 

When I was teaching at ECS - Kelsey was one of my students...I also mentored her and spent a lot of time with their family! She has an amazing heart, and desires to serve the Lord internationally! I'm praying we will have a great time serving together, but also having a little bit of fun :) 

The other day, Claudy and I were talking about going to the US for Christmas. He is happy about going to the US, but doesn't really get the whole -super, excited for Christmas thing. I was trying to share with him some of the things we will do, and the traditions my family has. I started telling him about one of my favorite traditions in the Nuest Household, STOCKINGS!!! When we were young, we would always sleep in the basement, on the pull-out couch, by the Christmas tree, and super fake fire-place (it had a light and tin can that spun and fake wood). In the morning we would wake up (I'm sure it was super-early, which is how the tradition started), and search for our stockings. Dad always hid this isn't your typically, hiding behind the door, or open the closet and there it is. No...not my dad. They are always in the very back of a closet, hidden in some container, so you have to tear apart the whole house to find them. In our house, it never failed...Chad would find his right away and it would take Cory and I a little longer. Just a note to those of you that are still with me....this tradition still is happening!!! Last year - we all went searching for our stockings!

Anyway, I was explaining this awesome tradition to Claudy...he didn't get it. He didn't understand what a stocking was. So I had to explain the whole Santa Claus thing, etc... Anyway, he wasn't too impressed with our tradition. He also wasn't impressed that he too would have to participate in this tradition! 

Talking about these traditions with Claudy, reminded me, how important we need to focus on the real reasons for Christmas. The Birth of our Savior. One of my favorite Christmas songs, is "It's All About the Cross." The reason for His birth, was so He could be our Savior, so He could die on the cross for us! 
***Note: Please ignore the cartoon, but it was the best version I could find ***

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 4 & 5

As I say every year, that this year I am going to be better about blogging everyday during the 25 days of Christmas. I guess that didn't about every other day? 

We have been crazy busy, with 20 people in town for the last week and a half. Today most of them are gone. It's 9am, I'm still in my PJ's, I have a candle, Christmas music, open bible, a stack of important documents ready to go to immigration,  laundry going, and a peppermint mocha in hand (see below)! It's a good day. A day to catch up. A day to stop, to listen, to be renewed. I was just talking with Liz (her husband Steve is our city team leader, they live in Brazil), how I sometimes feel guilty...that I feel like a bad missionary, because on weeks like this, I don't have time to read my bible for an hour a day...this week, I hardly cracked it...and I am so hungry for his word (now you know, missionaries struggle just like you!). 

In years past, I can't remember focusing on the advent. I can't remember specifically trying to focus my heart on the preparation of Christmas. I am so enjoying my study! 

"Mary had grown up in the same village as Joseph who was several years older than she was. Perhaps they had admired one another from a distance...perhaps Joseph had just been waiting for the darling Mary to grow up!

Mary was in the house one afternoon, maybe working on her wedding attire, or sewing towels for her new home when she sensed someone in the room with her. Conceivably, Mary looked around to see if anyone had joined her. 'And coming in, Gabriel said to her, Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.'

Christmas, for Mary, was the challenge of understanding what the favor of God is truly all about. Mary was about to learn that being highly favored by God does not mean a life of unbroken happiness nor does it promise that all of your dreams will come true. There is a tremendous price to be paid by those who are highly favored by God; favor means, simply, that God is willing to use you. 

God is willing to use the young, the uneducated and the inexperienced in His grand plan for humanity. Just as the favor of God targeted the womb of Mary, I believe that the favor of God is targeting everyone and anyone who is willing to be part of God's strategy at this historical juncture. 

Christmas, for Mary, was about discovering the intimacy of the Lord's presence as never before. Mary was about to be confronted with the reality that favor happens when God places a piece of Himself into an earthly life. No longer was God a mere concept or a Divine Being who never engaged Himself in the affairs of everyday life. Because of Gabriel's message, the presence of God Himself had invaded the life of this young girl who, prior to this moment, had nothing but Joseph on her mind. 

Experiencing the favor of God in new ways is one of the best parts of Christmas! To think that God would desire to use me at this time in history is a gift that I never imagined I would find under the tree of life. 

Discovering a fresh lifestyle of intimacy in the presence of Jesus is God's life-changing Christmas gift to you this year. 

Christmas is proclaiming to your world, 'The Lord is with me...and with you! What a wonderful Surprise!'

- Taken From Joy! to You World on YouVersion App

As I said earlier, I have a peppermint mocha in hand! How might you ask?? I made it from home! Here is how!

First - Start with 2 York Peppermint Candies 
Haiti Peeps - I found them at Caribbean Grocery Store

Put them in the bottom of your coffee mug!

Pour over your coffee or if you have a Keurig, brew your coffee over it. 

Stir...Stir well, or your flavoring will be stuck to the bottom!

Have a great day!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 2 & 3

This morning, as usual, we attended Christianville Church. I was surprised when we started singing that we were singing some Christmas Carols....Angels We Have Heard On High!

What gives you awe? What makes you speechless? The night Christ was born was the most monumental and awe-inspiring even that has ever occurred in human history as God sent His one and only Son to earth so that we could have eternal life.

There has not been an event in history before or after Christ's birth that resulted in such celebration that the angels themselves made their physical presence known and their voices hear in song. Can you imagine how the shepherds' jaw must have dropped at the site and sound of the angels?

It seems like people tend to have fewer experiences these days of complete awe. Most of us have fewer awe-inspiring moments with God like we should. Our relationship with Him often becomes too comfortable and even ordinary.

This Christmas, make an attempt to regain those awe-inspiring moments with God. Strive to make your relationship with Him something so inspiring that is causes you to rejoice like the angels did. Don't let your relationship with Him be ordinary, but rather make it extraordinary.
-from Carols: A Christmas Devotional from YouVersion App.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

{25 Days of Christmas} - Day 1

I love Christmas! I love the smells, the food, the decorations, the celebrations, time spent with family...during the next 25 days I will share with you some of those things. However, this year I am also planning on sharing from an advent devotional that I am help me keep focus on the real reason that we celebrate Christmas.

Luke 1:1-7 starts the journey to Bethlehem, all the way in Nazareth...with an elderly couple, Elizabeth and Zacharias. They had been married for many years and yet still had no children. While I have not struggled through this, I cannot imagine the heartache...yet, the bible talks about out blameless their relationship with the Lord was. Even though Elizabeth and Zacharias had dashed hopes, and yet they continued to serve God wholeheartedly. Elizabeth believed the promises of God long after the others would have given up frustration.

The first lesson we can learn this Christ is to be patient with God. Trust God even when your circumstances are challenging. Continue to live a righteous life through days of disappointment. Pray fervently and believe that God is listening to your prayers. Continue to embrace a positive heart attitude when you don't get your way. True believers walk by faith and not by sight.
- From Joy to the World Devotional on YouVersion App.

I decorated a while ago, but this week, Denise brought me some new decorations, so I went hunting for some sticks. I'm pretty sure our Haitian Staff thought I was crazy when I dragged it inside the house, but I love the way it looks!

Last week, my parents visited. They were given a donation to purchase some Christmas Presents for new Horizons. So we picked Friday to shop. Little did we know, that we would have Black Friday shopping in Haiti! We were blessed to purchase a lot of toys, 3 bikes, and a hot wheels! So excited to deliver to the kids when it gets closer to Christmas. 

I hope you have a blessed day!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

{Friday Favorites} - November 16

How did it happen that we are already in the middle of November? That next week is Thanksgiving? That in 14 days I will start my traditional 25 Days of Christmas on the Blog! This is crazy! On another note, we are very excited to have my parents visiting us during this Thanksgiving Holiday!!! They come Sunday!!

I have always been honest on my blog, and if I'm honest with you, this week I had "White Person Syndrome." I didn't want to be here, I wanted to be able to go some place by myself, I wanted to shop, I wanted "good" food, I wanted to have the comforts of a house...this is what I refer to as WPS. There was nothing that set it off, not any situations that were more difficult than any other week...good news, I'm over it!

1. Date Day - On Sunday, Claudy took me to our favorite restaurant in town, Pizza Garden. We didn't have pizza, but had a delicious meal and a great time. I even got to where high heels!!

 2. New Horizons: We started this project back in July. We are finally finishing! We repaired New Horizons house from the earthquake damage. Here's a couple pictures of the repair. They actually finished yesterday, but I haven't had an opportunity to go and take pictures of it being totally finished!

 3. Pumpkin Gingerbread Cookies - These were the hit of the week! Seriously, I think Claudy had at least 15. :) I will have to say they were delicious! Here is the recipe!!

4. The pictures is bad, but its of the boys playing some bball at a local court. I ran around the soccer field while they played! It was a great night!!

Apparently White girls can't play :)

5. Bible Study - This week at bible study we made masks! We are focusing our study on who we are in Christ and our identity. Please be in prayer for Sara and I, pray that we develop relationships with the girls and speak into their lives!! They are a fun and wild bunch!!

I hope you have a great day and a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

{Friday Favorites} - November 9

1. Last week, HHM had a group of doctors and dentists in town. Sandy asked if I would take them to one of our partnering orphanages. So, while they worked, I played and held baby Jeff!! I love these kids!!
2. Monette - Is one of the kids that lives in the neighborhood by New Horizons. I love this girl. She is full of energy and spunk. She loved the medical gloves that blow up into balloons! :)
3. Everything breaks in Haiti...which is not my favorite. My favorite is that I have a husband, who will spend time helping me and trying to fix all of the things that break! He is so patient! I'm so thankful for him and his many gifts!
 4. November 1st means Christmas Season begins for me. No, I don't skip Thanksgiving, I just love Christmas so much that I want it to last longer. This week I put up the only two Christmas Decorations I have and started listening to Christmas music. It helps me so much to get into the spirit here, when we don't have the weather to help us!
5. Girl's Bible Study - We had our first study yesterday! We have 18 girls from 10-15 years! For a first day, it went really good. Please pray for Sara and I, that we can have an impact on these precious lives! Please pray for our language skills. We are trying to do it all in Creole with out a translator. It went pretty good for the first week, but we don't want a translator or our language skills to be a hindrance. I'm so excited about these girls!

6. Teacher Seminar: I didn't get a picture of this :( We had our first seminar of the year and it went great! We talked a lot about the future of their school for the year. They invited me to have a seminar every other week, instead of just once a month. They also invited me to come watch their classes! While groups are great, I'm thankful for a break, so that I can spend time ministering to these lovey teachers!!