Plans & the forming thereof,

A short explanation of where I am and what I am doing would read like so:
limbo (lɪmbəʊ/)
noun
– an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution; an intermediate state or condition.
Alas, I am not in limbo, I am in Hungary. In fact, I am here:
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For those of you that are newer to following my journey, this would be Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe in Vajta, Hungary. Also recognized as the place where I attended my last year of Theology studies and participated in the 13-month internship program. To take it a step further down the lane of sentiment, this is also where I launched out of to head off to Paphos, Cyprus. Let me not fail to mention that this is the same school that I “planned” on attending for one semester. Well, I am back y’all!

The plan is to go back to Paphos, but in the mean time I am so thankful to be able to stay here amongst dear friends to pour into and be poured into. Thankfully, I was an intern not too long ago so I am able to help out in different areas and fulfill different needs whether that be in the coffee shop, dining room or grading homework for the online correspondence program. It was a funny thing coming back, it felt like returning home as I was greeted with open arms (literally and figuratively).

Now, about that plan…

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22
Much counsel surrounds me so I have been seeking out wisdom while here as to how to get back to Paphos and stay for longer than 3 months. Those of you that know me well would know that I am certainly not the girl with a plan. Merely looking at airplane tickets costs makes me nauseous. However, sometimes, especially when your life has taken a turn for the way of the nomads, some framework of a plan is quite necessary. This would be the perfect place for me to fill you in on said framework of a plan. That is, if only I had one. Working on that! Simply put, we are trying to figure out details with visas and residency things.
The burden of love for the people of Paphos continues to weigh heavily upon my heart. There is definitely a certain work that can be done, from any distance. That is the work of prayer. This is where you come in. Pray for the Holy Spirit to continue working and moving and drawing hearts to God, to the blood of Jesus Christ. Pray for those in Paphos that personally know the undefiled love of God, pray that they would walk in the light of that love. Loved ones, pray without ceasing.

While you are praying, if you are one that prays, pray that the Lord would clearly lead me back to Paphos to be a part of the lives of the ones I love there. Pray that my life would be a godly example.

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Αυτο ειναι αγαπητο φιλο μου, Roxie. (This is my dear friend, Roxie.) We study Greek together and hope to be back in Paphos doing ministry. She will be leading the 10-day outreach team from CCBCE to Paphos this semester, so please pray that God would do exceedingly and abundantly in that time and that His hand and favor would be over all of the details in planning.
 
One last thing that I must share with you, loved ones, is that which is so simply biblical and constantly reinforced in this season:
The peace of God transcends ALL understanding.
 
So, this is what walking by faith is. Step by step.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.  Psalm 84:5

Blessed am I, blessed indeed.

A tad bit of encouragement for your day from C.H. Spurgeon

A tad bit of encouragement for your day from C.H. Spurgeon

“I will help thee, saith the Lord.”—Isaiah 41:14.

     This morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: “I will help thee.” “It is but a small thing for Me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with My blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside My glory and became a man for thee; I gave up My life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. ‘Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. ‘Help thee?’ Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency. ‘I will help thee.'”

     O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here—thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper!

 

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay’d!
I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.”

In honor of a new year,

If any of you are wondering, winter is cold. Yes, even on an island in the Mediterranean. The thing that I cannot seem to wrap my mind around is the fact that it is often colder inside homes than outside. Those of you that have spent any amount of time with me in the cold know that I do not have a very high tolerance for this thing called winter. So, how does one as fragile as I survive?

Like so:

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That, my friends, is an empty milk bottle, refilled with boiling hot water. Tuck that thing in your vest and carry it around like a little baby, or toss it under your duvet to warm up your bed and you are good to go! This is a little trick I learned from the missionaries here, ’tis a beautiful thing, loved ones.

Cold weather means seasons and holidays, which means January and a new year.

It is about that time of year for the “New Year, New Me” sort of posts concerning commitments, goals and things of that nature. So, without any further ado, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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I got to spend the evening with my Calvary Chapel Paphos family.

As 2014 snuck up on me, I thought of what my goals or expectations for the year are. This only led to the realization that I honestly do not know what to expect/want to happen in this new year. However, I honestly do not know what I am going to be doing a week from today, so how can I pretend to know what I might be doing or what streets I might be walking in 4 or 5 months time? Alas, this is what some might fondly hash-tag, ‘missionary problems’.

This is my life.

Let me not fail to mention that I would not have it any other way.

An adventurous spirit needs adventure to thrive and what is more adventurous than that which is unknown? Maybe this is what the ancients call ‘walking by faith’. I am certainly in the midst of it, with no other option but to trust that God is going to continue leading me and thus, He shall indeed.

Perhaps, I do have an expectation: Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Oh, and perhaps I even have a goalNot that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

Yes, I suppose I do have expectations and goals for 2014 after all. Exceeding abundance and pressing on for my upward call. Pretty legit if I do say so myself. As for the details and what that might look like…I’ll let God deal with that. He does a perfect job with the details of my life.

Dear ones, if I could encourage you in thinking of your own goals and expectations for the year, I would give you this sweet quote from Charles Spurgeon:

We will not open the year to the sorrowful notes of the organ, but to the sweet strains of the harp of joy.

In all things, rejoice.

The lives of the Lums in 2013 AKA – “The Christmas Newsletter”

χρονια πολλα. Maligayang Pasko. ¡Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas & so on and forth.

My Mom asked me to write out one of those Christmas newsletters for the family, so here you go Mum!

Although I was not with them for most of 2013, I know that there has indeed been much activity for the Lum’s this year with many weddings, a birth and visits here and there.

My oldest sister, Rosely got married in July. I flew in from Hungary and 18 or so relatives flew in from across the country and stayed in my parent’s home for the event. You can imagine that many Filipinos living in one household. That certainly makes for a loud time with plenty of food! So not only did we have a wedding celebration, but also a family reunion.

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My Uncle also got married in Stockton,

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Uncle Chester & Aunt Fredrica (June)

As well as my cousin Jordan in Ojai, California,

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Jordan & Allie (October)

& my cousin Lovely in Maine,

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All wedding celebrations aside, my family has had much to keep busy with. Dad and Mom have been serving at church and working. Also, Mom has taken to doing 5k runs with her friends, like the Santa Run and the Color Run as well as a run for Leukemia.

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Dad & Mom

Meanwhile, they both enjoy being grandparents. Very much.

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Jeff and Rose live in Southern California, both staying busy with work. Rosely found a job with a school district as a BMT (Behavioral Management Therapist), working with elementary aged students with autism.

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The Thompsons – Jeffrey & Rosely

Chris has been the youth pastor at my home church and Kim has recently returned to substitute teaching.

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The Hochs: Chris, Kim and their children Brayden (2) and Atienza (7 months).

April 30th marked the birth of my niece, Atienza! I took this picture in July, so she would have been like, 2 and a half months here.

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As for me. Well, in 2013 I finished off the Internship Program at Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe. I got to serve alongside a bunch of wonderful people. It is safe to say I have become very fond of them. 

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The Interns. A very serious bunch, we are not the comical type.
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Some of my favorite ladies. ❤

Then, in October I found myself in Paphos, Cyprus to minister with the Calvary Chapel here! From where I write this Christmas newsletter thing.

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Well folks, that was 2013 in a nutshell (rather, a blog post)! It is easy to say that it has been quite the eventful year. We have indeed been very blessed. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

Cheers to a New Year and everything that will come our way, but FIRST…

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A very Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

Same name, new blog.

Welcome to my new blog everyone! Let me catch you up on what has been going on in my little corner of the world that we know as Paphos, Cyprus.

This season has been one of getting acclimated to the warm culture and keeping my eyes open for any opportunity that might come my way. Many of my dearest moments here thus far seemed to happen so naturally and unexpectedly. Let me just familiarize you with a little bit of what has been going on:

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Emma and I have been going through the book of Esther together. I study it a bit before we get together, then we read and talk about everything going on in the story and the principles that apply to our lives. The themes of this book have been so applicable to life and our study times have been very blessed.

Also, along the lines of bible studies, I did a three-part series on purity for a group of young ladies. Abby leads a bible study at her house and she had asked me to teach on this topic. I certainly learned a lot in my preparative studies and it was such a joy to teach these girls.

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I have met a few of the high school girls around here, here and there, and it turns out that they are very much into the dreadlocks! So a handful of them have come over to the flat so that I can give them some locks. Meanwhile, I get to know some of the youth as individuals. Questions are asked and answered while hair follicles are locked. The more that I talked to them, the more that my heart has grown for these girls.

When I was getting my dreadlocks a little over a year ago, I would have never ever guessed that God would use them as a means to let me to talk to people about Him! God truly amazes me, to say the least.

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Otherwise, connections are made randomly walking down the street and/or in coffee shops. Things like that. I have been able to experience the small town lifestyle while being here. Random people talk to me saying how they have seen me around, heard of me or that I know a friend of theirs. Fancy that! I quite enjoy it honestly, meeting people at random and having some, no matter how large or small, connection upon encounter.

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My dearest, Abby and I had the pleasure of hosting a Christmas Tea for young ladies last night at the church flat. Thanks to helping hands and the grace of God, the night was a success!

 

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The theme of the night was “Changing the World”. Abby shared about this opportunity that we have to change the world, and after some tea and snacks I got up and shared from Luke 1 about who God uses to make a difference and how.

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This was our lovely group of attendees, including our excellent, smartly clad waiters, Olly and James. Seriously, so blessed to take a part in this.

So. The daunting question: What is next? (dun dun duuuuun)

As far as prayer requests go, I would most certainly appreciate prayer for that. I have no clue of what to do! Because I am American, I am able to stay in Cyprus for 3 months, but I must leave the country for 3 months before reentering. A visa extension requires 10,000€ in my bank account, among other papers and documents. (EEK!)

All I know is, I have a plane ticket that goes back to Hungary in January. Please, pray for direction and wisdom and finances!

&if you would feel so led to donate to help support me (plane tickets, food, etc.), you can follow this link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QP8W5HTUGKYSW

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Grace and peace and all things nice,
Vanessa