Isaiah 6:8

And then I heard the voice of the Lord say, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" I spoke up. "I'll go. Send me!"

~ Isaiah 6:8



Monday, January 23, 2012

Meet the Team

Here is the team partnering with The Discovery School in Bujumbura, Burundi, in June. We are going with the specific tasks to teach and model cooperative learning for teachers, to teach Science lessons to the children in primary school, ages 3-8, and to love and encourage the staff of the school. We would love your support both in prayers and finances. If you would like to donate to us, click the donate button on the left. It will direct you to PayPal. You can choose a specific team member to donate to or the team as a whole. We look forward to sharing more of our journey with you.

Adam Wirt

Occupation: EComm Mortgage Sales
Activities: Family, anything outdoors(hunting, fishing, boating, camping), College football, reading, cooking
Secret Talent: Has done a few archery tournaments
Favorite Bible Verse: "But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it- they will be blessed in what they do." James 1:25

Nan Gray

Occupation: Marketing Director, Northlake Mall
Activities: Mentoring, Books, cooking
Most Excited About: Embracing a small nation that has struggled in ways that I cannot begin to wrap my arms around, but I can't wait to wrap my arms around.
Secret Talent: I'm so transparent that I'm not sure anything about me is secret these days!
Favorite Bible Verse: "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even when youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
 Isaiah 40:28-31

Jordyn Saunders
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Activities: Running, serving, traveling, Spanish language, Latino culture
Secret Talent: speaks Spanish
Most Excited about: loving on the people and spending time with them , learning more about their culture and loves.
Favorite Bible Verse: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Brooke Cashion
Occupation: Kindergarten Teacher
Activities: dancing, singing, trying new restaurants in Charlotte, UNC basketball
Secret Talent: I went to Governor's School for Choral music...first soprano!
Most Excited About: to invest in the children at the Discovery School and show them an example of Christ's love for all His children.
Favorite Bible Verse: "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:9

Loren Burris

Occupation: Volunteer Coordinator
Activities: spending time with family, reading, hiking, drinking coffee, blogging
Secret Talent: I am extremely accurate throwing a football
Most Excited About: building continuing relationships with The Discovery School and the staff and families they represent. Also, experiencing this with my hubby and LifeGroup.
Favorite Bible Verse: "When Jesus said, 'I am he' they drew back and fell to the ground." John 18:6

Josh Burris

Occupation: Elementary P.E. Teacher
Activities: Grad School for Educational Leadership, Playing anything(basketball, crochet, tennis)
Secret Talent: What you see is what you get
Most Excited about: Supporting and encouraging teachers in Burundi
Favorite Bible Verse: "Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, 'Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving whether by many or by few.' 'Do all you have in mind,' his armor-bearer said. 'Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.'" 1 Samuel 14:6-7

Chelsea Heath

Occupation: Business Analyst
Activities: Discovering new music, serving, traveling, learning about new medical discoveries, economic and public policy perspectives, exercise, cooking
Secret Talent: Wordsmithing
Most Excited About: to have my heart broken, to see hope and joy from a different perspective, to love with intention
Favorite Bible Verse: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Courtney Godwin

Occupation: Speech Pathologist
Activities: spending time with friends and family, serving others, music, tennis, running, and working with children with special needs
Most Excited About: seeing His light in the children and people of Burundi, sharing His love and the gospel with them, and serving them in whatever ways God calls us to. Also, seeing how God uses this time to change my heart and bring me closer to Him.
Secret Talent: I can touch my nose with my tongue.
Favorite Bible Verse: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." John 15:5-8

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why I am Going to Burundi - by Nan Gray

I have a confession to make. I have an ego. You might be sitting there thinking, “Well, we all have one!” But, you see…mine’s been nurtured and fed for the last twenty or so years. I had a career where my ego was what drove me to success. I was in the entertainment industry and no, I wasn’t famous or anything, just making a living traveling the country telling jokes to anyone that would listen.
As a child, I was told to never speak up. And, when I did, I usually got in trouble. When I got in my twenties, I found my voice. It was loud and bawdy and irreverent. Let’s just say, I don’t think I would feel comfortable showing one of my old performance videos at church today. You might have known me back then. Or, you might only know the new me, the one that almost three years ago was reborn and rededicated to living fully in partnership with my Heavenly Father. Either way, the point I’m trying to make is that I’m working desperately on taming my ego and replacing it with God’s love and grace. It’s a struggle every day. I’ve grown to love the attention, to be the life of the party, the one with many friends and a person who has a reputation of “making things happen big and bold”. I can still do that, and am doing that today by writing this blog, but now it’s all for His glory and not mine!
Almost a year ago in prayer, I asked God to reveal to me a new path in life, to reveal His plan for me using the gifts he gave me and the story I’ve lived to further His kingdom. It became very clear that going on a mission trip was one of those things He wanted me to do. To leave the hectic world behind for just a short period of time and just be...compassionate, loving, quiet, and with a servant heart.
The current series at Forest Hill is called “The Great Eights”. How to be great in the eyes of God. This past Sunday, I was reminded of how as children of God we should always be a work in progress of decreasing us (our ego) and increasing Him. I’m a hot mess most of the time, but I really am trying to let Him be my all, my everything.
Ephesians 2:10 tells us “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” I wasn’t following His plan for 25 years, but I am now and have a lot of ground to make up!
I’ve been told by several friends that have been on mission trips that once my foot hits the soil in Burundi, Central Africa, nothing in my life will ever be the same again. Can I confess to you that I can’t wait for that very moment?
Nan Gray

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Love. Agape. Uru-Kundo.

On January 7th our team traveled to Rutherfordton, NC to do a radio recording with the Satisfied life. While we were there, the women of the program showed their love for us by hosting us, listening to our heartbeat for Burundi, and our passion for this trip. I was overwhelmed by abundant love. These women and their families, whom we had never met, sacrificed their time and talents to serve and encourage us.
            A year ago, I didn’t believe in short term missions. Now everyday serves as a revelation of why we are called to go. As these women served us – I felt loved, cherished; I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in that cottage. As this team goes to the ends of the Earth to serve and love people we have never met – I know that God’s presence will be that much more overwhelming and transformational. I pray that our team comes back forever altered as we seek and serve the least of this world, who are first in His kingdom. I pray that they feel loved as we leave America – the land of the free and convenient - to go to them.
            Burundi is the second most impoverished nation in the world. They aren’t inundated with media; they don’t see the wide world through the lens of an instantaneous web – our presence shows our love for them, our presence brings joy; our presence is what connects us.
Many people will never have the opportunity to travel to Burundi – but our team is taking every person supporting this mission with us. As you partner with us in prayer, read our hearts in these messages, and feel called to partner with us financially – you are carrying us across the ocean on your backs.
Cooper – a nine year old has already decided to journey with us. His dad promised him $20 if he spent his Saturday helping film our group. Every moment of that Saturday he was accompanied by his Lego idea book and his dreams for what he would purchase. As the day came to a close and his dad handed him the bill – he shyly left it for us on the table. His father shared with us that he decided he would rather invest the money in Burundi and our team.
We know that your partnership comes as a sacrifice. We know that you are giving up your time, talents, prayers, and purse to send us. As you sacrifice for this team, we are forever grateful. We covet your prayers, feel cherished in your support, and are traversing the world on your shoulders. Thank you for journeying with us. You are fueling our heats with uru-kundo, strong and everlasting love, which will take us to Burundi and pour out of our lives as we present there. 
Chelsea Heath