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Fellowship, Inspiration and Pancakes!

Last week I made a quick trip to Seattle to meet with my World Vision teammates and spend a couple days in our headquarters in Federal Way.

On Wednesday morning I joined our staff for WV's weekly chapel. The guest speaker was Pastor David Choi from the Tacoma Baptist Church. He shared a powerful message about the importance of always keeping Jesus at the center of what we do and sharing the Good News of the Gospel whenever possible! We all left feeling empowered and re-ignited with a passion for Christ!

And on Thursday we had our yearly Pancake Breakfast. This was the first time in the 17 years that I have worked for WV that I was in Federal Way to enjoy the many creative ways our leadership comes up to serve pancakes! Edgar Sandoval, our senior vice president, even dressed up for the occasion!

It was a week of great fellowship with my team, great inspiration from Pastor Choi and great pancakes!
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Thanks for all the prayers and encouraging words!

Have you ever just stopped in the middle of your day (or life!) and thought, "Who am I that God should bless me so?"

I had that feeling as I read all the kind messages from friends who were praying for me as I traveled to Canada. I did not take my laptop, and I have not been able to figure out how to post to my public page off of my iPhone yet. (I can hear my daughter, Michelle, groaning as she reads this because she has shown me several times. But I swear that when she is not there, the needed button disappears!) But the trip was wonderful! God blessed and it was a joy to be in our Canadian office and to spend time with our wonderful staff! I could feel your prayers and believe our time was especially blessed! Thank you!

I was only home a few days before I took off for Naples, Florida to speak at a missions' event at Emmanuel Lutheran Church and then on to Washington DC to speak to our DC staff. Another wonderful and meaningful time with our staff! And now I am getting ready to fly up to Federal Way for my team staff meeting and to video a couple of short pieces.

I am fully aware that I am functioning these busy days on the power of prayer and I can't thank God (and you) enough for keeping my batteries charged and gas tank full! I feel stronger and more "normal" every day and honestly do believe that by the time the one-year anniversary of my back surgery rolls around in June, I will be 100%. PTL!!

On a couple purely fun notes, my daughter, Stacy celebrated her 39th birthday on February 4th and my granddaughter, Addision, played her first softball game (ever!) last Saturday. She got a 2-base hit on her second swing, allowing the runner at first to score! A "natural" if I ever saw one! So proud! I LOVE softball! And I love my kids!
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On the Road Again!

I can't say that Willie Nelson is one of my favorite country singers, but his song, On The Road Again, is one I enjoy. And it seems like an appropriate theme song for my upcoming travels.

I really appreciate all of you who pray for me as I go out. Last year I did quite a bit of international travel and looking back at how faithful God was considering my back problems during that time, I know your prayers made a huge difference!

2018 is going to be my "See the USA" year!

Well, except for this next trip that is going to take me across the border to Canada. On Saturday I leave to spend three days with our WV staff in Mississauga. Try saying that three times fast!

On Sunday morning I will be speaking to a group of WV donors, board members and staff on the subject of Compassion. Please pray that God makes my words a reflection of His heart and that they will be both encouraging and inspiring to these amazing people who do so much for our ministry.

On Monday I will spend the day in the office visiting different departments and also making a short video on legacy and Audacious Faith. And in the evening I will have dinner with our past president Dave Toysen and his wife and a few other WV staff "graduates". (I like that better than "retirees")

On Tuesday I will speak to the staff in chapel and I fly home on Wednesday.

In the next few weeks I also have a trip to Florida and Washington, DC. ad up to Federal Way for staff meetings. So please pray that God will give me His strength, continuing good health and anointing as I go "on the road again"!
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Three Key Questions About Finding True Happiness in 2018.

My life never ceases to surprise me! How did an ordinary Southern California housewife and grandmother find herself traveling the world for the past 17 years? And beyond that, why should a Chinese speaking newspaper in Malaysia care what my thoughts are about life or the true meaning of happiness?

But when you say "Yes, Lord", surprising things happen and I was asked by The China Press, a newspaper that interviewed me over a year ago when I was in Kuala Lumpur for World Vision, to add my thoughts to an article they were doing about finding happiness in 2018. I did quite a bit of personal soul-searching as I went through the questions and I thought the answers God gave me might be an encouragement.

I encourage others to consider these 3 questions and answer them from your own heart and experience. I would love for you to share your thoughts as well.

1. How would you define happiness?
Many people think that happiness is a feeling that comes when life is good But, in my opinion, happiness is a “choice”. If we depend on others to make us happy, we will often be disappointed. Instead, I choose to find my happiness in the love of my Heavenly Father and the warmth and support of my family. When those two things are in the right order, I am happy.

2. How do you find true happiness in life?
By helping someone else find their happiness. This may sound like a cliché, but the truth is that when I focus on my own needs and feelings, my world becomes very small and happiness can be hard to find. But when I focus on the needs of others…whether they are family, friends or someone in need whom I may never meet…and I do something to lift them up, happiness has a way of finding me.

3. What’s your greatest happiness in your work?
One of my dearest memories is when I visited a family in a village in Ethiopia. World Vision had given the family a loan to start their tailoring business and four of the children were in school and flourishing because of sponsorship. When the mother saw me, she jumped up and gave me a big hug. She was crying and kept repeating a word over and over. The World Vision staff said, “She is calling you ‘sister’ because she knows that your father started World Vision. She wants you to know that she was also sponsored and that you are like her family. It is her greatest joy to meet you!”.

My greatest happiness is when I meet people like her.

4.Could you please share your Happy New Year Wishes 2018 with China Press’s readers?
My New Year’s wish and prayer for 2018 is that our hurting world will find the inner peace and hope that only God can bring and that we will find our happiness by lifting up our brothers and sisters in their time of need.
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