COGIC World Missions’ Youth Trip to Israel

Continue reading “COGIC World Missions’ Youth Trip to Israel”

Zulu Song Collected in Saudi Arabia

My time in Saudi Arabia was sweetened by the people. Both the students and staff from the universities and the members of my church home in Riyadh added sweetness to each day. 

Below you’ll find one of the treasures of my trek. This song, until this very hour, held lyrics that I never understood, but always enjoyed hearing members of my church sing at various points in the service. Asking invites answers. It’s just that simple. Google invites answers too. But it’s always fresher to get it straight from the source.

This Zulu song and is truly music to my ears. Now the lyrics ring even louder in my soul.

Please enjoy it today.

Ithuba Lokuthandaza (A Moment to Pray) Lyrics by Benjamin Dube

Ithuba Lokuthandaza (A Moment to Pray) Lyrics by Benjamin Dube

(Sung in Zulu)

Verse 1:

(Ithuba lokuthandaza), sinalo, sinalo, ithuba lokuthandaza

(I have a moment to pray) we have it, we have it, we have a moment to pray

(Ithuba lokuthandaza), Nginalo, nginalo, ithuba lokuthandaza

(I have a moment to pray) I have it, I have it, I have a moment to pray

(Repeat)

Verse 2:

(Ithuba lokudumisa), Sinalo, sinalo, ithuba lokudumisa

(I have a moment to pray) we have it, we have it, we have a moment to praise

(Ithuba lokudumisa), Nginalo, nginalo, ithuba lokudumisa

(I have a moment to pray) I have it, I have it, I have a moment to praise

(Repeat)

Chorus:

Ungithatha la, angibeke la (You took me from here, and raised me here)

Angisusela angibeke le, unobubeleka (rescued me, and established me)

uJesu unobubele ngami , uJesu unobubele ngami, unobubele ngami

(Jesus is gracious towards me)

uJesu unobubele ngami , uJesu unobubele ngami, unobubele ngami

(Jesus is gracious towards me)
Have you ever heard a song in a foreign language that spoke to you although you didn’t know the meaning? How long did it take you to find the meaning? I hope I’ll never wait this long to dig into the meaning of a song.

(The video is NOT from Grace Outreach Global Church in Riyadh. All details are on the link to the Youtube channel.)

The Discipline Song

#Unedited ❤️

Yesterday, I gleaned from my students as I taught a new song that neither the students nor I have ever heard. In this segment, we work together on the lesson of discipline. This song is now called, “The Discipline Song.”

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As a substitute teacher in my former school district, Papillion-La Vista, I take pleasure in empowering students to take ownership of their lives by being disciplined. No notes were used for this lesson. Instead, I simply allowed the Lord to guide me as I taught. 

I had the pleasure of working with many students in this class last year as a paraprofessional, including Mason who is mentioned in the video multiple times. He, along with the other gems in class, truly stood out and sparkled!

💋

A special thanks to all of my teachers throughout the years from the Papillion-La Vista School District, Oral Roberts University, China, Saudi Arabia, my parents and grandparents, and countless members of my community who have rendered lessons throughout my life.

🌍

Visit sevenby30.com/books to read more of my story and to snatch my eBook about #Antarctica for only $.99! 

👩🏾‍🏫

Finally, teaching was a catalyst for my adventures around the globe to all seven continents. I am so glad I answered the call. 

❤️

#LiveAsYouAreCalled #Hebrews11v6

Click HERE for the video!

The Africa They Never Show You

Some things need words. Other things can just be shown.

The pictures you’ll see below are from my trip to Malindi, Kenya in the fall of 2014. These stunning photos are taken by Evans Maina of Nairobi, Kenya who I attended church with in Hangzhou, China from 2012-2013. 

Scripture focus:  

Deuteronomy 31:8 “ The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” NIV

 

P1180934P1180935 Continue reading “The Africa They Never Show You”

Throwback Thursday – China Summer Camp Video

It’s nearly been five years since I scooted off to a summer camp with English First in Hangzhou, China.  Below is the video and the initial text from my 2012 video post:   

I had a blast teaching English to this group of students this past week at summer camp. I taught them this story which is a version of a paper bow story my 3rd/4th grade teacher Mrs. Gaggiano taught my class almost 20 years ago. I reworked it and added my own flavor. When I acted out the story, the kids ate it up and wanted to perform it as a class. This was their unrehearsed performance based off of watching me two times. I think they did a great job and we all had a lot fun!

One Bus to India, Please!

My trip to India in July was quite a colorful one. I took a 24+ hour bus ride from Omaha to Toronto, Canada so that I could secure a cheaper flight to Kerala, India for a friend’s wedding. I really understood the whole “time is money” thing after that trip. You should’ve seen the lady’s face at custom’s when I told her my route. Believe me, that won’t be happening again. 

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But what did happen was a heart-felt family reunion.  While living in Saudi Arabia from 2014-2015, I was richly blessed to be adopted into the Grace Outreach Riyadh church family. Being thousands of miles away from family was a definitely a challenge, but I was honored to be loved on from such an incredible tribe. 

Continue reading “One Bus to India, Please!”

The Unsolicited Translator

Today I decided to steal away and visit my home church to write, listen, rest and pray. I was at the altar jotting a few thoughts down and in walked the pastor of our Spanish speaking church, Fey Esperanza.

I was unaware of the church’s schedule and asked if they were meeting tonight. They were planning to pray in about an hour and I let him know that I would plan to join them.

The pastor’s young daughter looked at my things at the altar and said, “Is that a ladybug pillow?” I laughed and said, “Yes.” I quickly gathered my things and snuck away to the library to catch up with my sisters on Whatsapp.

About an hour later, I made my way back into the sanctuary. I kneeled down to pray with the dozen or so that were there. After about 30 minutes of corporate prayer, the pastor began to share with the congregants. I ran back into the library to grab my journal to take notes. I knew I wouldn’t catch everything, but I was sure I would catch something.  Five minutes into his message, he gave an instruction to one of the children present. Continue reading “The Unsolicited Translator”

The Top Five Things I’ve Learned While Traveling the Globe

The Top Five Things I’ve Learned While Traveling the Globe

Traveling is wonderful fun, yet it can also be a great learning experience. Here are the top five things I’ve learned while traveling the globe!

1) Ask

Although I have over a dozen countries under my belt, I still consider myself a new traveler. I’ve only been at this thing for three years, and in every country I’ve visited, I’ve learned the importance of asking questions.

It doesn’t matter if you feel ashamed for asking a simple question, ask it. It can save you time, energy, and money.

Put your pride to the side and ask for help. You might have to mime it—like I did my first week in China, when I was asking for toilet paper—but just ask!

Karissa Johnson

2) Give

Some of my most vivid memories are from my trip to Laos. My friend Esther from college invited me on a “trip of a lifetime” to go zip-lining in the rainforest for three days. We had incredible guides who spoke some English, but they couldn’t write.

One evening, I gave an English lesson to one of the guides inside of my mosquito net for a couple of hours. I created a little book for him to practice English and also share the wealth with others. He mentioned that people had given him oral English lessons, but no one had ever made anything for him. I was glad to give him something that he could treasure and give to someone else.

Top 5 Pic 4

3) Learn the Lingo

I get it, we’re not all linguists. We don’t all have the discipline or tenacity to dig into another language and make it our own. However, I find that even attempting the local language is appreciated.

Even if you get the tones wrong or mix up the words, the effort is respected. In my opinion, English speakers and readers have it so easy when traveling. I find that the locals are very accommodating and helpful when it comes to English speakers.

The least that you can do is learn how to say, “Thank you!” in the local language.

Google Translate has become one of my fondest friends on the road.

Top 5 Pic 3

4) Too Much Bling is Not a Good Thing

I’ll be the first to say that I love my big faux pearl earrings, and my giant faux pearl necklace. However, I’ve learned that sometimes you just need to tone it down.

Of course, it’s nice to be stylish while traveling, but you have to use wisdom too.

Since I frequently travel solo, I often do a self-check, to see if I’m drawing too much attention to myself with my attire.

Be aware of the customs and culture where you’re traveling.

Some temples and churches require a certain dress code, which can serve as a hint to what’s expected within the culture. It’s also good to remember that sometimes travelers are overcharged, robbed, and hassled because of their appearance. Remember, you’re there to see the city. The city isn’t there to see you.

Remember, you’re there to see the city. The city isn’t there to see you.

Karissa Johnson

5) Haggle, Hustle, and Handle Your Business

One thing that I loved about my time in China was the ability to haggle. My parents came over during Thanksgiving in 2012, and I was excited to show them my haggling skills—in Chinese. Somehow, I was able to bring my mom’s new jacket down by about 80 percent of the initial asking price. I’m still not quite sure how I got it down so low, but I’m sure that knowing my numbers in Mandarin didn’t hurt!

One more thing: bring U.S. dollars. If you need to exchange money in a country, I wouldn’t recommend bringing several hundred dollars worth of Chinese Renminbi (RNB).

I went on a trip to Cairo two years ago, and I was absolutely clueless about the importance of exchanging your RNB before leaving mainland China. When I got to Cairo and tried to exchange it to the Egyptian Pound at the airport and banks, I was unsuccessful. However, my driver was extremely helpful. He had a connection who exchanged it for me, but I had to pay one hefty fee!

Okay, it’s your turn to share the wealth. What have you learned on the road, as you’ve traveled?

– See more at: http://www.gospeltoday.com/blog/2014/08/30/the-top-five-things-ive-learned-while-traveling-the-globe/#sthash.jal8lINp.dpuf