COGIC World Missions’ Youth Trip to Israel

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

I Pray for THAT Land

I Pray for THAT Land – by Karissa Denae Johnson

🙏🏿
I pray for that land,

Where worshipping You

Is always banned.
I pray for that land.

🙏🏿

I lift up my voice,

For those without 

Free will or choice.
I lift up my voice.

🙏🏿

I’m praying for you,

Where knowing “You”

Is beyond taboo.
I’m praying for you.

🙏🏿

I pray for that place,

Where seeking His face

Is a disgrace.
I pray for that place.

🙏🏿

We’re lifting your names.

As you aim to bring him fame

And take the blame.
We’re lifting your names.

🙏🏿

I pray He’ll conceal.

For seeking His will

Can get you killed.
I pray He’ll conceal.

🙏🏿

I pray for that land.

I lift up my voice.

I’m praying for you.

I pray for that place.

We’re lifting your names.

I pray He’ll conceal.

🙏🏿

I pray for that land.

🙏🏿

(And this land too.)

🙏🏿

Mourning with Grace & Grit

And while you’re celebrating, someone somewhere is suffering.

There’s very little grace that accompanies mourning, I’d say.  Plenty of grit with it, paired with sorrow. That’s the natural bit.

But Grace. She’s enviable in my opinion. How she holds her head high while most hold theirs low. I envy her. She grabs tissue for others while tears simultaneously stream down her face. Oh, Grace.

💋

And then there’s Grit. Courageous enough to cry–wail even, openly. Falling in laps continuously to exhale, moan, and weep. Flailing arms high in question and bowing at reality.  You’re so over the top, Grit. I know you well. Continue reading “Mourning with Grace & Grit”

I Love You; Prove It.

I wondered why I was drawn to Colorado this week with Cousin Samuel.

Higher elevation appears critical for me to rise to a place of action–to have the difficult conversations with myself.

Now, I pause to glance back at my hearty writing session from only an hour or so ago.

I am allowing you in on this fiercely floral conversation.

Tickled by my tone, cadence, and posture, I now grow even more thankful for my growth.

DISCLAIMER:  Don’t be alarmed; I’m not always this cold, blunt, or rigid. But some days require it.

💐It begins here:

I dug, trespassingly into my comfort zone and •went• there. Asking rhetorical questions, I ripped at my own ego. Continue reading “I Love You; Prove It.”

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 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”