Sunday, February 20, 2011


سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

This morning I spoke to one of the Sunday School classes in our church. It went well, and I'm hoping some good things (for example, money) will come from it for my trip. I'm also speaking to another class next week, and hopefully another the week after. Anyway. In the course of deciding what I was going to say this morning, I wanted to convey why, exactly, I feel China is so important. I went to the Joshua Project and looked up the percentages for reached peoples in China.

The answer was 3%, about 30,000,000 people. That's a lot. But after my dad and I put that through the calculator, we discovered that that meant that only one in every 33 people had ever heard the Gospel. I have 47 followers on this blog. That means that if we were average Chinese people, only one of us, on average, would have ever even had a chance to hear the Gospel related to us.

970,000,000 Chinese have never heard the Gospel.

970 million.

After we put that through the calculator, I just sat there for a minute, processing that. 970 million people. Men, women, and children. And that is just in China alone.

That is why I'm going to China. So that those 970 million can have a chance to hear. Can I reach them all by myself? No. But when I go, maybe I'll touch just one child's life, one teenager's heart. That one teenager might have the courage to stand up for her new Lord, and she will touch another, and another, and another...

That is why I'm going to China.

I'm going to ask you, like I asked the class this morning, to please consider helping me go. Even if it's just by praying for me, since I'm sure many of you are like me and don't have a job. So pray. Pray that God will go before us and prepare these peoples' hearts. Pray that we will be able to have a productive conversation with just one of those 970 million.

If you could see your way clear to do it, please consider giving me a small donation. Use my missionary ID number, 2627397, to donate to my account. You and your family can be a part of reaching those 970,000,000 - or just the one that might make the difference.


Friday, February 18, 2011

"They are Mine"

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
So tonight one of my China teammates and I were talking...we're friends on Facebook, and we're also each other's informal cheer-leading team. We pick each other up when we fall, cheer the other to keep going, and just basically do our hardest to make sure both of us end up in China. Anyway. We got on the subject of fundraising, as always. That's pretty much the most stable thing in our lives right now: the ever-present need for money so we can actually get to China.

I always seem to go through stages. I get a donation, and I'm all geared up and ready to go. Then, as weeks go on and nothing comes in, I start to get discouraged. My faith wanes. It's a sad truth. I'm not Hudson Taylor quite yet. Well, Teamie and I were kind of talking about that, about how it's easy to get discouraged.

I'm currently reading through the minor prophets, mostly because they're so optimistic and stuff. Anyway. Haggai was where I began, and since it's only two chapters, I read it all. But I was brought up short at verse 8 of chapter 2. That verse simply reads:

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.

So here I am, getting all discouraged because I'm only at $500, I have about $4,000 still to raise, and I only have 5 months left...

And God simply plants this verse. Like seriously, that's sometimes how I feel. Sometimes I feel like a certain verse couldn't have been there before, that the next time I read through that passage, that verse won't be there because it was deliberately put there just for that moment.

That's how I felt at that moment. It was like God just said- "Woah, Kyla. Hold on a minute. What are you thinking? Are you thinking that I can't do this? Are you thinking that it's impossible for you to have your $3,000 in before May? Are you thinking it's impossible for me to give you not only that $3,000, but also the extra $1,000 you need? Are you thinking that?"

And then it was as if he simply looked into my heart and said: "It all belongs to me. Every bit of it. Every piece of gold in the world - I created that. Every silver flake - I created that. Do you think I can't give you what you need?

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Emergency Bible Numbers

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

Found this today and thought I'd share. :))

  • When you are sad, call on John 14
  • When you don’t feel loved, call on Romans 8:38-39
  • When you have sinned, call on 1 John 1:8-9
  • When you are facing danger, call on Psalm 91
  • When people have failed you, call on Psalm 27
  • When God feel far from you, call on Psalm 139
  • When your faith needs encouraging, call on Hebrews 11
  • When you are scared, call on Psalm 23
  • When you are worried, call on Matthew 6:25-34
  • When you are hurt, call on Colossians 3:12-17
  • When you feel no one is on your side, call on Romans 8:31-39
  • When you are seeking rest, call on Matthew 11:25-30
  • When you are suffering, call on Romans 8:18-30
  • When you feel you’re failing, call on Psalm 121
  • When you pray, call on Matthew 6:9-13
  • When you need courage, call on Joshua 1
  • When you are in need, call on Philippians 4:19
  • When you are hated because of your faith, call on John 15
  • When you are losing hope, call on 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
  • When you are seeking peace, call on John 14:27
  • When you want to do good works, call on John 15
  • When you want to live a happy life, call on Colossians 3:12-17
  • When you don’t understand what God is doing, call on Isaiah 55:8-9
  • When you want to get along with others, call on Romans 12:9-21


Monday, February 14, 2011

During this Journey (China and other things)

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
Send Me to China!!

I currently have $600 towards my trip. God has been showing me a lot lately. He's been teaching me that it's okay to weep for things that hurt my heart and His. He's been showing me that the world is so much bigger than my needs of the moment. He's also been teaching me (or trying, at least) what Christian love and compassion and sacrifice really mean.

Sunday evening, our church had a missionary from Kenya in to preach. Not only did he make me miss Africa like nobody's business, he also preached an absolutely amazing message. During it, he dealt just briefly, almost a side note, on what "Christian" means. Our simplest definition is simply "Christ-like."

He asked us what that meant. And I heard that simple, small voice way back there in my heart that I get sometimes. And it simply said- "In everything."

Sometimes, I can get so caught up with the big things - in preparing for my life as an overseas missionary, in planning for this trip to China - that I forget about the little things. Yes, my heart belongs in overseas missions, with the lost and hurting that have never heard in other places. It almost physically hurts me to think of having to stay right here in the 'States for the rest of my life. I don't think I could do that.

But amidst all that, amidst the cry of my heart, I forget to be patient and just live my life right here. I forget that being a true Christian means acting like Christ right here in my home. I have a temper. I'll just admit that right up front. And it can be a hard thing to control, especially towards my siblings. They mess in my stuff, and I get angry. I yell. Christ wouldn't do that. If being a true Christian means I have to act like Christ, then I'm a pretty messed up Christian.

I can't say that I've achieved overnight success. That's never been one of my stories: that I've been able to, with the power of Christ, conquer my many troubles with a blink of my eye. That's never happened for me. I still need Christ's help for this, I know that. And I think he'll give it. Because after all, he's helped me with so many other things.

Today is Valentine's Day, and all over the US, people are celebrating love. Since I don't have a boyfriend or whatever to dote upon (or to be doted upon by), I've decided to devote this day to the best love of all - Jesus Christ's. I've been thinking about it, been praying for those who have never heard of that love. Because so, so many people haven't ever had a chance to hear of it. That's my prayer for today.

Now, leading back to China (yes, this is all really a carefully-crafted advertising ploy. Just kidding; I hadn't intended to go into the lessons learned and all. I don't know where that came from)...

Like I said, my balance currently stands at about $600. That's $525 in my actual missionary account, and just over $100 in my "other expenses" bank account ($60 of that has to go towards insurance this month). But I'm still in so much need of funds. Please, please consider either helping me through prayer or support, telling your friends, directing them to my blog, whatever. I can feel that God is going to do great things throughout the next few months, and right now he's just preparing me. If you'd like to donate, or to direct someone as to how to donate, you can email me at, and I'll give you the directions and everything. :))

Anyway. Money-begging aside...I serve the most amazing, awesome God anyone could ever think of. In fact, he's so amazing that I don't think we could have thought of him on our own.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

American vs. Christian

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم
This is a rather political post. I'm just forewarning you. ;)

“American.” To some Christians, this label is all-important. It’s part of their identity. They sing rousing songs about how they’re “proud to be an American!” Now, I see nothing wrong with liking to live in America. America is awesome. Without America, I wouldn’t be able to run two blogs, both of which have criticized the government. I wouldn’t be free to do what I do best: cause trouble. So it’s not that I don’t love America or that I want America to die or something, far from it.

My concern comes from the fact that American Christians have gotten so lost in identifying themselves as Americans that they’ve forgotten what Christian means. They’ve begun worshipping America to such an extent that they’ve neglected Christ. They’ve managed to put their flag on a pedestal, and forgotten that the only thing they should be doing that with is Him.

To this accusation, some will respond “But America is a Christian nation! So we need to keep it and honor it!” Is America a Christian nation? Can America, with her record of killing and covering it up, of messing in other people’s business, of promoting violent dictators while casting others down and killing innocents…can a nation like that truly be called a Christian one when the Bible states we are not to kill, we are to love the innocent, we are to feed, clothe and nourish even our enemies (Proverbs 5:21)?! When Jesus said “love your neighbor as yourself,” did he add the stipulation that if your neighbor hit you, you could hit him back? That if your neighbor made you angry, he was fair game?

I tell you this: that it is impossible for America to be a Christian nation. It is impossible for any country to be “Christian” in that sense. A nation, a collective whole, a government, cannot ascribe to a religion. America’s actions, her government’s actions, show her to be unchristian. If we saw a fellow “Christian” doing half the things America’s government has done, we would run him out of church! We would turn him into the police! But somehow, it is alright for our “Christian” national government to do these things.

Christianity is, by its very definition, an individual pursuit. “Christian” means “like Christ.” How can a government and a collective nation be like Christ unless they give up everything for His sake? They send every resource they have out to the world for free. They open their borders for those who are hurting to come in. If someone attacks them, they respond with the willing grace of a Christian and say, “Hey, by the way, you forgot to come take this.” That is what a Christian nation would look like. But does America look like that? Does America forgive its enemies, bless those that curse it?

America is nothing. America is little lines on a map and a two-hundred year old piece of paper. Now let me introduce you to my God.

He is everything, the sum total of all that is, because He created it. He owns the world, the stars, and the infinite galaxies. It tells us in the Bible that He’s going to fold up the universe like it was a mere blanket. He is eternal, never beginning and never ending. His book is the Word of Life. And most importantly, He died for us. All of that splendor, that majesty, boiled down to mere humanity, all so that could become sin for us.

What is America, in light of that? Absolutely nothing.

The fact is, Christian, that you do not belong to the government. America has no claim on you anymore, not on your soul or thoughts or even your time. All of that belongs to someone way more important: the God of the universe Himself. You don’t even belong to yourself. Your sole pursuit now should be following Jesus Christ, following His commandments.

Many Christians in America today have forgotten what following Jesus Christ really looks like. Jesus didn’t come to us to promise a comfy church pew and manifold blessings. There’s a reason He told people to “take up their cross” and follow Him. The path of following Jesus is a hard one. It’s a narrow one. It’s one of those annoying mountain paths that, as you creep upwards, you just know you’re going to fall off at the slightest misstep. That is what following Jesus is like.

The nationalism many American Christians display is frightening. They put the concerns of their nation above those of their God. They hear of stories of the American military killing Yemeni schoolchildren, and they call it “collateral damage.” Do you think that Jesus Christ is looking down at that and saying “Oh well. Collateral damage. I understand why they had to do that; after all, they’re at war.” Do you think that Jesus Christ hears of children in Iraq and Afghanistan getting blown to bits and says “Oops. Misfire. Oh well. Collateral damage.”

Do you think that when you get to Heaven, Jesus’ first question to you is going to be, “So, did you support your government? Did you support your troops? Was your nation important to you? How ardently did you love your country?”

Or do you think His questions will go, “Did you follow Me? Was your every thought towards Me? Did your heart beat for Me; were your hands and your feet willing to go do great things for Me?”

Remember what following Christ is supposed to be like? None of it consists of nationalistic fervor towards a transitory government. None of it involves the “support” of a military. Christian, you are supposed to abide in Christ. In Christ! You’re supposed to be so wholly consumed with Him that the only thing the world sees is Him. That means speaking up against injustice, going and doing and being everything that He was here. Jesus can’t be here at the moment. But we are here. And what testimony are we setting, what is it that others see? Why is it that in many places in the world, Christian is a synonym for American imperialism? Why is that? Examine yourselves, Christians, and ask why that is!

Imagine what would happen if every professing Christian in America stepped up to the plate, returned to the foot of cross, and begged forgiveness for their hard-heartedness. Then imagine if every one of them stood up, stepped forward, and picked that cross up. Imagine if every one of them started doing instead of just being. Imagine if every one of them adopted a child from Africa, or went to Asia, or prayed for Latin America. Imagine if every one of them got on fire for God and looked to the needs of His Kingdom rather than the needs of America’s kingdom. Close your eyes and imagine what the world would look like.

The world was turned upside down with just two men in Acts. Now imagine what would happen if every professing Christian in America told about Him, lived about Him, breathed about Him. Imagine what would happen if every professing Christian valued Him above their own lives. We would turn this world upside down, inside out, then flip it all back around and set it on fire!

Some say it is too difficult, that the world is too far gone. I don’t believe it. Some say we should cut our losses, sit here in America, and pray for it to not fall to the forces of evil. They forget that we have brothers and sisters in Christ out there, some who have come on the receiving end of America’s wrath. We forget that elsewhere, revival is happening. We forget that we serve the mightiest being in existence.

Ladies and gentlemen, I issue an appeal today, and a challenge. I ask you to search your hearts, to see if these things are true. Don’t go into it with a preconception; don’t mentally decide what you’re going to come up with. Don’t give yourself trite answers which are just as bad as lies, or offer yourself half-baked excuses for behavior around you. Then learn to value “Christian” more than “American.” Learn to look at your country objectively, to see it has faults, and to work around it and beyond it and within it to transform the people who live in it.

Let’s turn this world upside down.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I now live in the Arctic

سلام لكم في هذا اليوم

Minus the snow, which makes me sad. Snow might actually make all this cold worth it.

It is currently only 8 degrees here...but the wind chill makes it feel like -13, and up to -25 in some places.

That's insane, I'm telling you.