Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cincy and What God Had In Store

**note: I want to do a long post catching you up on all that I'm learning. . but I can't. Some stuff just can't be shared on a blog and some stuff isn't quite ready to be shared. . .soon though. Can I tell you how much I process through writing on this silly little blog? So much that not blogging just makes me feel STUCK!

But, I'd be remiss if I didn't share with you about my amazing weekend in Cincy (Cincinnati Ohio). I met sweet Amy Savage and Sarah Smoker in June when I went up
to NC for an evening of Uganda! Well, they decided that they wanted to do an Aprons and Necklaces Party in their neck of the woods.

I almost can't blog about this weekend because it was so special and I could write full books about what a blessing it was. I flew in Thursday night after an awesome flight where I sat next to the coolest guy and talked about Uganda the whole time! Amy and I went out to dinner to wait for another friend who was flying in for the event, Lindsey from OKC. I sent you guys to her blog earlier this week but let me just tell you again what a blessing she was. She is not only a BLAST and a mighty WarriorGirl for the Lord and for orphans but she did some good work with Jesus this weekend and was vulnerable enough to let us be a part of her journey. To skip forward to the end of the weekend, the 4 of us girls had the most amazing time of prayer on our way to bring Lindsey to the airport. Truly, a holy moment for me. After dropping her off, I sent a text to a friend of mine saying "no one should be allowed to have as cool of a life as I do right now. " The fact that God allowed my weekend to combine raising money for HopeChest, speaking on Uganda, total girl fun time, listening to worship at the full volume and watching a friend do good work with Jesus.. well that's just about heaven to me! It united my 2 greatest passions for the least of these and for shepherding. seriously. . .I can't even describe the joy.

So, back to the weekend. . .Ben, Amy's awesome hubby, took their kids over to Dan and Sarah's for the weekend so that us girls could have the house all to ourselves! How sweet is that? It made our time so relaxing as well. . which was a huge treat!

Friday morning we had a meeting with a local business man. It was SO fun to be able to share the passion for what God is doing in Uganda. I REALLY love these meetings. Getting to just gush over the Lord, Uganda and HopeChest is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. Throughout the weekend, I got to have 3 separate meetings like this. I can't describe what it's like to do these types of meetings and speaking times (I got to share at the party too). . .I want to do a blog on it at some point b/c of how cool it is for me. . like living exactly how God created me to be. . like I feel God's pleasure in it or something. . I'm not sure how to even describe it. .but the only other time I feel like that is in in the midst of a crazy group of African children in the middle of a village. It's just pure joy.

Friday night was our awesome party!!! These pictures don't even do it justice! They had it so gorgeously decorated that I can't even describe it. Ria's pictures all over the place just brought those precious kids right into the room. It was so fun to talk about Bukedea and have their faces right there to point to and say "like this little girl. . she's hungry and needs a sponsor". We had paper bead necklaces, Tom's books, shirts (by the lovely Lindsey) and of course. . Aprons!!! It was a huge success and a great blast. It was so fun to see Sarah and Amy in action as they worked the crowd, welcomed people and then shared their hearts and what God is teaching them. They are a true joy to me.

The room!
The entrance. . man this was powerful!
The 4 of us girls! Sarah Smoker, me, Amy Savage and Lindsey Andrews
Sarah sharing her heart
Amy and Sarah starting the game and sharing why they invited people
Me, rambling on and on and on about Uganda. . .apparently I can't stand still either. . why am I standing like that?
I love this picture! From lunch on Saturday

This was us girls at the END of Friday night's party (not the end of Friday night though.. . we still went out for dinner after this. . at 1 am!) Still a cute. .but very tired bunch of girls!
Sarah, Amy and I at the airport before taking off. . .I was so sad to leave! but. . I did have internet on my AirTran flight.. soooo cool! IMing and Twittering from 30,000 feet ROCKS!
This weekend was sent by the Lord. . .what we had thought was a weekend to raise money for HopeChest did so much more. Not only did we raise close to $2500 and hopefully inspire others to get involved as well. . .but God did exceeding abundantly more than we could ask or imagine. He used the weekend in our lives. We were each encouraged so much by our time spent together. We stayed up late and slept in. . which to me is just decadence! I love a night of laughing till 2 am more than anything! We sang HillSong worship at the top of our lungs with the music turned up as loud as possible. We spent time on our knees seeking the Lord together. We cried, we laughed. . .we created Sarah a twitter account! Girls.. thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I adore you and am so thankful to know women like you who pursue God with such passion. I have LOVED watching the Lord break your heart for the poor and infuse you with such a joy to serve the world and be changed in the process. You are most definitely WarriorGirls in my book!

Truly, it was a heaven sent gift to me personally and I can't believe that the Lord would choose to include me in this ministry. Every time I leave one of these things I text the guys (Tom, Bob and Vince) at HopeChest and tell them thank you. I'll say it again here. publicly on my blog. . thank you guys for letting me do this type of thing! Thank you for letting me represent HopeChest to people. Thank you for letting me be a small part of what God is doing through you in Uganda. Thanks too for being the kind of organization and people that I can gush over b/c I know you are pursuing both personally and as an organization our Jesus with passion and fervor. I am utterly blessed to be friends with you and to be a volunteer for HopeChest.

yeah.. I'm still gushing. . can you tell? You probably read this and think I am such a dork. . but you know. . when Jesus gives you presents. . you just don't want to stop gushing over them!


Jill said...

What an AWESOME, POWERFUL weekend! Glad you had a great time for a great cause!

Amy said...

I'm jealous! Why do you all live on the other side of the country?

Sarah S said...

LOVE it. Makes me want a part 2, though. And, ps, why'd you HAVE to put the pic of me with my eyes closed?? pps, can you send me the one of us from the airport?? i haven't seen it yet!! :) love you!!

Lindsey said...

I still am amazed that all of our relationships began over the internet! :) I guess I can no longer knock internet dating! Ha! Ha!

Beautiful Mess said...

Looks like you had an awesome time!

I am so encouraged and MUST "do something" here in my neck of the woods!

Haven't talked to you in "forever" and must touch base soon and see what I can do here to help.

Thanks! Jen

Amy said...

You are awesome, Brandi. The weekend would never have been the same without you and the life of Jesus you bring with you wherever you go. I know that the Kingdom will be impacted more than we know by that weekend. I think it's SO cool to see people operating in their was indeed a weekend I will never ever forget and one that we should try to repeat again sometime soon!! I say we shoot for a "Warrior Girl" weekend sometime in the next year where we have all our friends from blog world meet up. :)

SO grateful for you...hope you know that. I continue to be floored (like Lindsey!) at how God brings people together to accomplish His purposes. Beautiful!!!

Betsy said...

Ok so when are you coming to do a party in OKC I know a ton of people and I know a group of girls through some friends who are passionate like you! Plus it is time I "do something!" I love you and miss you sweet friend. Plus added bonus you can meet my princess! Love you dear friend!

Brother Frankie said...

great job sis, we continue to pray for all that you do..

Brother Frankie
A Biker for Christ

Anonymous said...

That guy in the orange shirt is one skinny handsome dude!

Ria said...

Hi Brandi!
I am having a cozy night at home and spending time catching up on blogs and facebook... (finally!) So I have been reading about Greg's trip and just read this post about your fun weekend with these amazing women! (LOVED the pics they had blown up for the party btw!!!!) Anyway... just had to smile when you mentioned that you love a night of laughing till 2am more than anything... brought back some very fond memories of the late nights at the TCON house!(Can you believe I just admitted I have fond memories from UGANDA!) Anyway... sounds like you are on quite the journey right now.. praying for you, and for Greg and his team!