Sunday, 7 August 2011

Strong as a mighty rock..

Back in Britain, on the other side of the pond! To wrap things up: Kelli, Jo and I had some great times together and really bonded as there were only 3 of us left, though it felt weird sometimes that Libby and Rachel were not there. Zara, Ben, Remya and I finished our Perspectives mission class which I loved and really enjoyed... it really has changed my view on missions and the need for us to go to unreached people groups! I finished at Fire and Ice officially last Saturday but went in almost everyday and if there was ever a rush of 30 people coming in, would jump in behind the counter and help.. and they extended an invitation to me to come back whenever I wanted, assured of a place to stay and a job.

Coming back home it has been great to see my lovely family and the local church down here we go to, but I am also excited about getting back to Edinburgh and church there, my flat, athletics, Navs, CU and Biology :). However, I have about a month of rest before that and what to use my time well processing and thinking through all we have learnt (if I am not intentional in planning out my time, I will actually waste it all...) and planning for the coming year based on what I have learnt.

I think the biggest shock has been seeing that I am so quick to forget the joy of salvation and the delight that it is to rest in grace, and see my reactions to people and negative feelings and just be disheartened as I ask "Was it all just a far away experience that has no implications for my life here?" And the answer to that is NO. He is as STRONG as a mighty rock, his promises ring out true for all eternity (Joshua 23:14 "...You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed") and if salvation is mine then I am beloved and safe and secure and free in his arms, called to godliness and equipped for life to the full, with him at the centre. I can't do it on my own and though I think I am big and strong and adult and impressive to God, I am like a 2 year old that keeps trying to walk and falling flat on her face, but there is no condemnation, only love from a great Father that picks her up and sets her off again. And as I see sinful thoughts and motivations in me, all I can say is "This is not me anymore, this does not define me. I am a new creation, a child of the risen King." and then come to God and say "I am a new creation but there is still old self in me, this sin doesn't define me anymore and I am not condemned but it is still in me, please, work in me to make me more like you and rid me of this". For his glory and our joy (and hence his glory!).

So I have no idea what is in store next summer, part of me wants to go back to STP again but it's a long time before next summer and I'll be trusting things fall into place.
Thanks for following :).
With love in Him and goodbye for now, Kat.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

What up rain?

There is a guy, Zach, at project that says "What up (everything)". What up Harry Potter, what up project meal, what up shorts, what up microphone. So we are all saying that. Speaking of Harry Potter, we went to see it on our day off and really enjoyed it (photos on facebook!). But anyways, one week tomorrow I will be jumping on a plane and flying across the pond again! Craaaazy times. It has been really cool, even though we miss the other girls and we all realize how quiet the room is, Jo, Kelli and I have developed deeper friendships as we open up and share more. There are issues going on and very hard times at the moment for one of them, pray that the truth of the gospel would be clear, very very clear and wouldn't just be head knowledge but trickle down to her hearts in a more complete belief of the truth.

One thing that was cool at leadership training was how we are to be replaceable. We have to disciple in a way that will enable the disciples to disciple other people! If we are not reproducing and being replaced, it'll cause stagnation. So to stay in a role of leadership is not at all strategic, there'll be no growth but it would be because of pride you do it. Zach (project director) said that this was how people grow... in the end, if they wanted the BEST people that KNOW the most and are the WISEST and more EXPERIENCED, there would be a staff member in each of the rooms and not room leaders and it would do alot of good to the disciples in those rooms... but that's the beauty of it, we grow as we lead others and are lead by others... God doesn't seem to work in "efficient" ways, as it were, but uses our failures and lack of experience to bring himself glory. It's kind of crazy really, but I have just been in awe of the fact that I am a room leader not because of my great wisdom and knowledge and spirituality (note the sarcasm in here please) but for my growth as well as their growth. It's something I kind of knew, but it was great to be reminded about that. And as Colin in Navs said, you are not a "leader who serves", you are a "servant who leads" so that when you are not leading and that is taken away, you remain a servant. If you identity is being a leader then when that is taken away, what are you left with? But we are servants of Jesus Christ.

So thats just a wee thought for now. The social tomorrow night is a dance party with both Projects and we are to dress up as what we wanted to be when we were younger. I can't really remember if I wanted to be anything weird (like Lucy who wanted to be a dustbin collector) but I always wanted to be an actress so we went to a thrift store (aka charity shop) and there were like no clothes and we found a lone rail and the guy shouted over that everything cost one dollar! So I found a lovely red dress that a movie star would wear and got it for a pound! And I broke my shoe before getting in the car to go to that shop so now I am wearing lovely blue and white polka dot flip flips for a dollar. So that was a financial WIN. Its been amazing to see God's provision as I have been here, with the job and support I have been able to cover the rent for Project and thought still need to put back money in my normal account that I have used for expenses here (for my rent), I am just in wonder of how God has provided and I'm sure will continue to - even though we had to pay 200 dollars for the car to be fixed (now it is running again, thank goodness! - it was the fuel pump. Lesson learnt!). He is faithful in my faithlessness.

Last 3 days of work coming up and then the schedule breaks down. Monday we will be going to Charleston for the day and we have lots of "return training" going on as we all prepare to head back. So pray for us through that and I will be blogging again before the end...
With lots and lots of love,

Ps. The title is because it has been raining since Monday. Rain, please leave us for one week? =D

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Less than 2 weeks to go?

I can't believe how fast time has gone, but even though there are less than two weeks but this is by no means the end. And we have gone down in number again, Rachel left a while back and Libby just left us to go back to Missouri on Thursday. She was homesick earlier on and almost left like two weeks in but then it went away and she was fine! But decided a while back she would probably leave Project early to decide what courses to do next year and spend time with the family. So now the room feels really empty! But Kelli, Jo and I had some bonding time this morning as we realized that the gas (petrol) in Matt Harsh's car (he leant us it for the summer) was completely out (because it was like empty when we drove to the airport and back but other people drove it so we didn't notice!) and then on the way to Bible Study Training it really did die. So today for like 3 hours (10.30am till like 1.15pm) in the heat of the day (100 degress f.) we ran back and forth from the petrol station with our wee galloon bucket buying petrol and trying to get it to start up again. It's not the oil and we looked at the petrol pump fuse thingy and it was fine - what can I say, I'm learning a ton about cars! We let Matt know what happened and felt really bad we let it get that low, he said he wasn't mad, just a bit frustrated because he knows its an old car but its his old girl... so, a lot of lessons being learnt. Apparently there is a cylinder??? thing inside the petrol thing (Yep, I am car ignorant) that is supposed to sit in petrol to keep it cool and if the tank (thats it, tank!) was empty it could overheat so we will try again tonight when it is cooler. So that was today - I work at 5-11.30pm in Fire and Ice... I can't express how much I love it here, and I like working with coffee and ice-cream but honestly, its about the people I am working with. James and Caroline (Papi and Mammy!) grandparents, Sarah and her 3 nephews Josh, William and Jack... I love them all =). So now I have my real family, my Kenyan family, my Arequipa-German family, my Lima-Australian family and now my South Carolinian family :). I am so blessed.

I am still grasping how loved I am and how I am to just REST in the good news of the gospel, it's not me changing anyone. We had a Job Social (where we put on skits and songs and invited all our employers and co-workers to watch and Greg gave a gospel presentation talk) and Josh and William came along and got to hear it =)! But I loved when Greg explained how this king of all, while we were still in sin, gave Jesus to die for us. If, when still in sin, Jesus DIED for me, how much more, when I fail at praying, or fail at depending on Him will he not love me and teach me and heal me and change me!? Its like.. when I was hostile and an enemy he sent his son to DIE for us, and for me... then as his beloved, holy daughter (by Jesus' blood) will he not change me to be more like Him, for his glory?. That was extremely encouraging and has had me drawing closer in prayer (so so so slowly.. its clear its not my decision to pray that has me doing it, its only a teeny bit by a teeny bit as I see his love...) and enjoy Him.

So it has been super busy, with working 40 hours this past week on top of everything else (haha welcome to everyone else's experience of Project Katherine Heron) which is why it may seem I am not online a ton... but I am still alive and well and kicking :). Pray for Kelli and Jo and myself, we still have things to talk and work through, and pray for unity and honesty between the three of us in the last time we have together. I really am growing to love the girls in the room more and more and miss Rachel and now Libby, but everything happens for a reason. :)
Also, I know I said I would NOT be coming back next summer and I am not saying I've changed my mind, but the folks here are Fire and Ice keep asking me if I am and that I would be able to work here for the summer, etc. etc. so yeah, I am just thinkign about it at the mo.. next summer is a while away yet but, just to let you know that thought is on my mind :).
Thanks for your love and support and prayers in the midst of the little communication going on at the moment.
Ok, so this is the song that comes on one trillion times a day in Fire and Ice:
Just for a feel for the music I listen too haha and it is totally growing on me. :)
Love from beautiful Garden City,

Kat =)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

He is commited to renewing us.

I don't even know where to start. This summer looks like a constant battle of me trying to control everything, trying to control the growth of the girls in my room. Trying to not be sinful and be impressive to God. Because I often see God as a taskmaster and I am a performer and when I fail, he is disappointed with me and I have to try harder (this is not the way it is btw, but the way I see it). Because I really can't change anyone's life. And even when I see that, it takes a while before I come to God to pray about it (I don't trust he is good), I just try to ignore my failures or try harder. I want to see fruit, I want to see progress and it is just so tangled up and messy that I can't see anything happening, though I trust it is. I want order, I want to be able to see what is going on and where I am.

But I forget that God is committed to my renewal as well as the girls in my room. And he changes me and makes me dependant on him by showing me that it's not about me seeing their growth so I can congratulate myself on doing a good job. It's about me being faithful and abiding in Him and trusting him - he produces the fruit. On Sunday the pastor talked about how wrestling with sin is something we do as Christians, it's a constant cycle of repentance. So that was encouraging. It's not about eventually getting it all together and understanding it all - because God is glorified by weakness. And "religion" (performance, trying to please God) is a very hard taskmaster for imperfect people. If I believed God is a God of love and grace and IT IS FINISHED I would stop trying so hard to impress and just rest. Slumped on the floor, unable to control anything but singing and rejoicing that it is not all about me, it's about God and he is doing this because he is committed to HIS GLORY. And as I rest and enjoy that love, there'll be a natural overflow pouring out others.

1 Cor 4:7 "For who makes you different from anyone else? [God] What do you have that you did not receive? [Nothing] And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? [I want to be the centre]"

1 Cor 3:6-7 "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow"

So even as I finish planning for our small group tonight where I am praying we will be open to confess sin and confront each other... it's not me that does anything, no matter how things turn out. This has been on my heart and I am slowly starting to see the joy of letting go.
That's all for now :)


Sunday, 3 July 2011


Wow. I just wanted to say THANKYOU. That you for your encouragement, from writing to me when I take ages to reply, for updating me on the BIG things that are going on and also the smaller details that I love to hear about. It is so encouraging to know that the girls here have so much more than me and my prayers but there are prayers of so many people for them and for myself! I feel really loved and just, thankful for the support. Today at Life Training we were talking about God's will for our life: basically, to grow (our santification) and to go (out to the world, making disciples) and it suddenly hit me. (What?) That if I want to disciple, want to make disciples, this is like the best opportunity to do it, the conditions are perfect. No, I don't work at Walmart but I live, eat, sleep, learn and play with these girls. Normal discipleship probably looks like meeting up once a week and seeing each other semi-routinely but this is like, intensely intentional. I sort of knew it, but I am encouraged to really pour myself into this more and to not just want to make disciples, but that the girls would be discipled to be disciple-makers. So that at the end of the summer they are not just encouraged to look towards Christ and the gospel but encouraged to point others towards Christ and the gospel! Thus they will grow and go at the same time!

On a sad note, Rachel went home on Wednesday just because of hard stuff going on at home that she needed to go back for, and she won't be coming back. It was hard to get through last week but by the start of this week I was more mentally prepared for it. We woke up at 4.30am, dropped her off and went to bed at 6am (till 8am). We miss her and for some reason one person less makes the room seem alot emptier. But we were confident this is where God wants her and it's not like she hated Project, she wanted to stay.

That night, the first night after staff left there was "no curfew (11pm) until you get wet". So basically, we had to stay on the grounds and run about and hide until the team leaders/project directors hit us with a water balloon/super soaker/bowl/cup of water. Last year I decided I would get in a bin bag (with a breathing hole of course) and just lie in the pile of bags that is usually beside the dumpster (coz it is always full) (dumpster = like a massive bin) but when I went to scan out the area there were no bags and the dumpster was only 1/4 full. So after thinking about it, I got armed with lots of Walmart bags, my mp3 player and phone and at 10.45pm I subtly went over by the dumpster "talking on my phone" and when no one was looking, opened up the lid and climbed in. I made space in the back corner and sat on bags and put bags over my legs and a big one over me and listened to music. 11pm came and went and there were screams and shouting and I kept expecting someone to come and open the dumpster (last year I hid behind it and they opened it and then found me after) (hence the bags with me to disguise myself) and then the leaders went round the front to get more people. So I waited. Midnight came and went and I still heard voices. 12.15. 12.25. I heard footsteps and thought this was the hardcore searching time (couple of years ago a guy was hiding on the roof and the leaders pulled everyone out their rooms to look for him at 12.30). So I aimed to stay there at 12.30. No one. So I then, everytime a car went past (and made noise), moved to a standing position (bags make a lot of noise) and at 12.35 climbed out. Everyone was asleep, lights off, the game was over. So I was technically free to not go to bed since I was dry so I sat out on the deck and watched the sea for 10 mins. And then was tired so had a shower (necessary) and went to bed just after 1am. 5.30am was the prayer team for the India team (a team going to India next Thursday that all went to Project last year and came for a week to encourage us for our missions themed week and be encouraged). So prayed for them (and met other people who had been hiding till 12 and then gave up coz no one was looking and went to bed) and then went back to bed at like 6.30am slept in till almost 11am!! NICE. So that was my lie-in day. That's my fun event of the week. =). And kids in shanty towns can spend hours in rubbish so I wouldn't die doing it for 2 hours.

On a GREAT, EXCELLENT, AMAZING note - I am working at Fire and Ice!!! I went in on Thursday to do some banking and James called me over to the back explaining they wanted to give me a job and Sarah (his daughter, who runs the place) wanted me to be there! Instead of getting a job for the 3 of us, they just wanted one person who could learn everything so Sarah could get some time off! So that'll be me! And they are looking at another job for Ben and Zara and hopefully by Tuesday it'll be sorted out! So it'll be me volunteering, and then giving donations to Campus Outreach. Basically, I love it. It's a coffee/ice-cream shop so I have been learning the coffee trade (one caramel macchiato? of course!) and I feel like scooping ice-cream for people would make me happy so I am happy to scoop ice-cream for people =D. I am the first person working them outside the family (James and Caroline; parents, their daughter, Sarah and their grandson, William) so they keep saying I am adopted and I am to make myself at home and help myself to whatever, and James even said that if I was ever in need, to ask for whatever I needed. They are the nicest people ever. I don't know how I'll ever work anywhere else after this. So I am getting 30 hours a week. And absolutely loving it. I'm going to take my camera in to get photos so they'll be up on facebook soon.Pray for them, they would call themselves Christians but I don't know if they have a relationship with Jesus. May I be wise and loving and make the most of every opportunity there.

So happy days for that! At the moment I am in Atlanta Bread and Allie and I have been here for almost 3 hours. I had a bread bowl with soup (sooo good) and we talked for ages and are now just chilling. =). Day of rest! There has been a cold going round and Jo had it, Kelli had it and now I have got it (this explains the blog title). Libby is fine up till now. Silly me for not bringing Lemsip but this day of rest is helping. Will still be taking Perspectives with Ben and Zara and now we are on the history of missions which is really exciting to read about. I am getting more time around the girls for one-on-one's and it' s such a joy to see them grasp another truth of the gospel, or get excited about studying the Bible or just hang out with them and get to know them as people. So compared to last week's distress/rest, the end of this week has been good. Although now I have work as well so am more busy and have to plan ahead to make sure I meet up with them.
Time is flying, it is already July... oh boy, don't let me get onto how patriotic church was today (no I did not pledge allegiance to the American flag but I do desire that God would bless America so sang along with them) and there'll be some good fireworks tomorrow!
Thanks for reading, and may you be encouraged!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Hitting the wall?

I think the title pretty much describes it. The thing is, I think I have already HIT the wall and am now on an upwards recovery of just being able to rest, and steadily realize it's OK that I can't control what is going on. I'm starting to realize even more how little I can actually do, just come back and pray because I can't convict anyone of sin, or persuade them of a truth, or change a heart. Nope. And it's kind of freeing, and "sweet" to be able to just rest in knowing that I am loved and forgiven.. I have been infinetly served by Christ and am now free to serve the others, not to prove myself or show I am the best but just, because I am loved and forgiven, that compels me to love others as I ask God "How could you ever love me?"

There is tons of stuff going on at the moment, but not yet official so it's not up on the blog yet. We are almost halfway through our time here (4 weeks in, 6 to go?) which is crazy and just yesterday I saw so much of my own selfishness in the way I reacted badly to someone. Being in a room is definetly a sanctifying experience hehe. Yesterday after Life Training 8.45am (talk on family), campus time 10am (I joined Sioux Falls Uni this time) and church 11am, Allie and I were going to escape and drive to Atlanta Bread to have lunch and just chat somewhere off Project to rest. (I always say "Proj" coz it is easy but I can't bring myself to type it). But the car was playing up like crazy (indicators not working, accelerator not doing anything really, the car jolted alot and the TRAC OFF light came on) but we got to Atlanta bread and it was closed! So we turned around to go to Sonic but the car started not working and the steering wheel was locking so we stopped at a supermarket and were rescued by Jess and Greta. Greta drove back with Allie (coz it was her car we were using) and I went back with Jess (my team leader) and she just had to ask "How are you?" and it all came pouring out, so we ended up going to Starbucks just to talk through how everything has been going. I think the biggest frustration was that I saw how selfish I was being and I was FRUSTRATED at my frustration with someone else that has been going on. I wanted to love but just feel annoyance and I was annoyed at my annoyance and just wanted it to go away. But there is something much greater than our sin just "going away" (= burying it and pretending nothing has happened). It has been TAKEN AWAY... so as I confessed my annoyance and verbally processed with Jess and then came back home and journalled for an hour I was able to see how horrible it all was, all that was inside me (like an infected wound being revealed or drained or whatever.. yeuch) but then, after all that, to see that it has been FORGIVEN and although I have not talked to the person yet to ask for forgiveness (but will later today) its OK, I am forgiven by God and so I feel free. It is so much better to bring up sin from the bottom and deal with it and know it is done and finished with than bury it very very deep and try to feel better as you try to forget about it. At a camp ages ago a pastor described it as healing an infected wound, treating it, putting antiseptic, etc. as oppose to wrapping it in a bandage to fester so it can't be seen anymore. So yeah, sin abounds, but forgiveness abounds so much more. And that is so restful =).

Thankyou for your prayers for rest, God is definetly showing me alot. And working in the girls as they open up more and we are able to share more in life - even if I can't fix them or don't have a clue what to do. We have had plenty of fun as well.. I do believe I was on a sugar high and climbing onto Rachel's bunk and rolling off it onto our bed, doing some crazy dancing in the room, we were asked on a group date by the A-men (Last year they were called the A-team but now there are no women on the team (coz we were lacking in older women) hence their name: Amen), and then we had a Sadie Hawkins social (where the guy rooms had to plan a synchronized swim to impress the girls who would ask them out on a date). Basically, the guys and girls rooms were assigned a number and after the guys did their performance, the girls could either accept them or swap them. There were some cold-hearted swaps haha including our room, because we were assigned the same number as the Amen and we went on a date with them the night before! So after a harsh rejection, we chose Tim's room and then took them out of a group date. We had a treasure hunt for 2 teams (2 guys and 2 girls per team) and had them running about (in the rain!), then we went to a state park (but it was dark so we ended up going somewhere else), we were all crammed into a van (9 of us) and the guys had to keep their eyes shut as we took them (and they only opened them when Libby (driver) screamed and slammed on the brakes and Taylor described it best "I opened my eyes and saw a deer and saw my life flash before my eyes"... no one (no deer) was hurt though). We had a barbeque and made smores and then took refuge in a nearby shelter from the rain and got out sparklers for the finale. It was great fun.

ANYWAY, this post is getting long, but that's probably enough for now, will be updating soon though :). Sunday to Thursday's are pretty busy and then Friday and Saturday's slow down as everyone is off at work.
Things are moving ahead on the job front (maybe?) The guy working at Fire and Ice (the cafe I am sitting in) asked his brother (a Youth Pastor) about getting work for us legally and just came to tell me to tell Elliot (a leader here) to come and talk to him, so maybe there is a prospect on the horizon? Staff leave on Wednesday so tomorrow is our last babysitting day - which is sad coz I am getting used to have the kids around.
Anyway, thats me off haha before I find something else to write.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

So I opened up mozilla and my quote of the day (from "" read "The beauty of making disciples: This is the beauty of making disciples. When we take responsibility for helping others grow in Christ, it automatically takes our own relationship with Christ to a new level.")

I thought that was very fitting for what has been going on here! It has been topsy turvy but such an adventure! Still living in a cramped up room (where I, much to my shame am the untidiest of them all (but at least it is confined to my half of the bed most of the time)) but I love getting to know each other girls and go deeper with them. We are being more open and sharing what is on our hearts, and where we are not trusting that Jesus is enough for us (be it in relationships, eating habits, body image and so many other things!). Despite the crazy hectic schedule we have carved out time to hang out and to study through Colossians together.

As a room, one the girls was struggling with homesickness/anxiety and wanted to leave, but after a number of days of praying and thinking through it (today was to be the day she stayed till originally) she has decided to stay on and maybe leave only a week before the end of Project, so that is brilliant! Another one has suddenly burst out in hives and had to go to the doctor's and now has to be really careful so it doesn't happen again... Continue to pray for us!

One thing that hit me from our Bible Study Training is how if we just read the Bible for knowledge, it puffs us up (for example, those that feel they are freed in the gospel to do something i.e. eat meat sacrificed to idols look down on those who abstain from that, and those that abstain look down on those who eat meat). They are both acting in faith but there is no LOVE... If the Bible is sinking down from our heads to our hearts, we will be loving each other and not judging or looking down on others. I was convicted about this in my own life! And it has been good chatting through stuff with the girls too!

We are looking into working voluntarily somewhere and then writing cheques to Campus Outreach as a donation to us and then CO would deduct it from our rent, all this is legal so we are trying to see if that would work and would get us a job, but the staff have been great about letting us babysit the children for some money.

So just a word on what our week looks like:
Monday: Perspectives course and theme training (main meeting, each week has a theme)
Tuesday: Babysitting sometimes, perspectives course, Project meal and small groups (with the room).
Wednesday: Leaders training, Evangelism training, Beach evangelism and free time!
Thursday: Babysitting sometimes, perspectives course, Project meal and social.
Friday: Bible study training, cleaning the rooms, perspectives course, free time.
Saturday: Free time, perspectives course, free time.
Sunday: Life training, campus time, church, free time, optional praise and theology time.

So it is pretty awesome!
Hopefully will be updating shorter posts more regularly! :)
Love from Garden City (I love the summer heat so so very much!)
Kat xxxx