Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mission Panama

Two weeks ago a group from our church 
embarked on a mission to the city of David, Panama. 
One of the sweetest families in our church, originally from Panama, has been praying for the Lord to open a door for us to go to their beautiful homeland to help in the work God is doing.
After many years of prayer, our church received an invitation to help take part in many ministries that the church desired to do.
 The door was open + we were willing to go!
When I first heard about the trip, I was automatically super-stoked. I knew this was something the Lord wanted Felix + I to do, but then something hit me like a rock.
February 17-25. 
"ohhhh man" was my automatic thought when I read the bolded words on the trip flyer. 
"I am not going to be able to go because of school."
Within moments, my kind of sad, frustrated self was sitting on the church pew thinking of how much I wanted to go. The next moment, I asked God to forgive me of my pessimistic attitude & immediately thought of the ever so wonderful quote,
"God's will, done God's way, never lacks God's support."

I knew without a doubt that if God wanted me + my husband to go, he would give me the support of my teachers and boss. I knew no matter what would happen, go or not go, I would be content in where I was. 
A few weeks had gone by, and I finally felt led to send all of my professors for the spring semester an email telling them about the trip to see if I would be able to take the time off to go. Tests, projects, and papers are a big deal so I knew I couldn't miss any...
Within days all of my professors emailed me back saying that we were more than welcome to go, we could make up whatever we would miss, and my boss let me have the time off as well!
God completely provided the support + we booked our tickets that week!

When we our plane landed on the beautiful land of Panama, we had the great privilege of touring the city before we started our work the next day. The country is absolutely beautiful and filled with gorgeous people. We toured the Panama Canal, the antique part of downtown, and went and saw the city from one of the highest points in the city. As my sister and I were the only Spanish speakers at this point on the trip, we were able to use our Spanish to guide our group around the city, order meals, and talk to people about what we were doing there for the Lord. It was an absolutely beautiful time and completely blessed by the Lord.

(panama city)

The next day, we joined up with the rest of our group, and the 30+ of us hopped on a 6 hour bus to the city David of Chiriqui, Panama.
Although our trip had many aspects: Kids' VBS, church construction, medical clinics, evangelism and services, I was privileged to help lead the VBS with my sister. The Lord completely blessed it + many kids were saved. 

We started off the week by sharing the story of creation + how God made us in His image. An abolutely wonderful fact to know: we are made in His image because He wants to have a relationship with us. 
The second day, we shared the greatest thing anyone could hear: THE SIMPLE GOSPEL. it was a beautiful message shared by my sister and kids were touched.
The third day, we shared about how God loves you and wants to use you abundantly wherever he has placed you. We made gospel bracelets, which have 5 colors that tells the gospel story. I never take mine off and many people ask what it means. With a simple question, I am able to share the whole gospel of Christ. All the kids were able to make these bracelets and understand the significance in order to go tell their families and friends about the grace + love of Jesus.  When we ended our VBS for the day, we took some of the kids with us on the streets surrounding the church, passed out tracts, talked to people about Jesus, and invited them to the night's service. It was amazing to see the fruit of the kids as they ran down the dirt roads of Panama to tell others about Jesus Christ. When you see that, you know for a fact that everything was worth it. It was a beautiful sight.
We appreciate your prayers on the trip. Around 15 kids gave their lives to Jesus and you could see such a change in the lives + hearts of those we were able to minister to.
They learned songs about God's love and performed one of them in the church service, they made crafts to help them remember what we learned, and of course we played games and took time to fellowship with the kids.  We pray more than anything that in everything we did and do, that the love of Christ shows through us. God was glorified through the VBS and we are so grateful for your support. 
Last, but certainly not least, at the end of our VBS we were able to group all of the kids together in their families and present each one of them with a Bible. This was the most beautiful thing to be a part of. To hand a young child + a family the greatest book, the words of God, is the most amazing thing and it could only have been provided through your support. I cannot stress enough how amazing the body of Christ is. With your gift, families who did not have a Bible to read will now be able to read the words of our Savior. 

 (praying for salvation!)

 (teaching the kids songs)
(every family received a Bible to take home!)

(construction site)
(Felix preaching in a nightly service) 

As I mentioned before, this is only one SMALL part of what God did and is doing in Panama. God saved so many people on the streets, in their homes, and in the services. People were filled with the Holy Spirit. Our group of men was able to help construct 4 Sunday school rooms for the church, and people were helped through the medical clinics. I was also able to help translate + preach in Spanish and am super thankful that God gave me that ability. 

On behalf of Felix + I, my church, and the body of Christ, we thank you for your prayers and financial support. God's kingdom IS being built on this earth and we are excited to be a part of His work. God bless! Until July, we will be on American soil!

Dios le bendiga, 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

12 Months of Dates: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This past Christmas was super hectic due to the wedding and all the planning that went along with it. Because Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, I didn't want to “skip it” because I had to think about so much wedding stuff, so to ensure that that truly wouldn't happen, I was determined to come up with a fabulous present for my future husband. I thought, thought, and thought so more, but I didn't know what to get him that would be super cute, on the cheaper side (because we are trying to save), and something he would really like. At one point, I was so at a loss of things to think of, that I even considered buying him a piece of workout equipment he really wanted.

 Hilariously enough, when I went to buy it on Amazon later that week, it said that he had already purchased it! Haha. I was kind of relieved because I wanted to get him something different, but kind of worried at the same time because I knew he would like that and was now fresh out of ideas.
After a few days, I remembered a blog post I had read quite some time ago about how a girl planned out a date for each month of the year for her husband’s Christmas present a few years back. I immediately got excited, and thought that it would be a great idea if I could do something similar for Felix, but of course, add my own flair! ;) I began to think of what Felix likes to do and what would be fun for us as a freshly married couple. Within minutes, I was as excited as a fat kid is when he eats ice-cream! 

So, I got to work….
I had to come up with 12 different dates for each calendar month, so that was really fun, but challenging at the same time, because although I wish all dates could be super luxurious, our budget would not allow it. So, I had to creatively think of ways to have fun, but surprisingly enough, it turned out really easy! You can do so many fun things WITHOUT money or for a low cost! You just have to be creative! Now that I figured out which things were cheaper and which I wanted to splurge on, I began to see with my designer eyes. I didn’t want each date to just be on a white sheet of paper…These needed to be cute! So, my designer mind, some glue, scissors, and scrapbook material went at it. 5 hours later, I finally finished my date packages. I have never been more excited to give a gift to Felix…

As of course Felix doesn't know what all of the dates will be yet
 (because he has to open them the 1st of every month), I can only give you the inside scoop after we complete each date!When Felix opened the gift, he was excited about what was to come, but now that he has opened some, he is so much more excited! 
Here is the first one I gave him to open on Christmas morning…

This dating adventure is sure to be a blast, and I will reveal them to yall once we complete each one! I am so excited about each date, the memories we will make, and the quality time we will spend together.
  Marriage is all about constant growth, and I know with each day, I am falling, and will fall more in love with Felix.

With love 

"Love is such a thing that can turn an ordinary life into a fairy tale."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Most Fabulous Winter Break

Well, you might be thinking, “wow, she hasn’t written a blog post in about 2 months...” Yeah, yeah, I know. Although it is a great desire to keep you all updated on my life, these last couple of months have been super crazy! However, over the last months, I have had the time of my life.

 When the final question was answered on my last exam last semester, I strutted out of that room, danced a little bit in the quad (my inner crazy came out) and screamed, “I’M DONE!” Not only was this a simple little shout…this was my proclamation to the world that I was done my last semester of being a single lady, last semester of being absolutely busy to the point of only getting 4 and 5 hours of sleep every night, and last semester of super fun, but HECTIC, wedding planning. To say the least, I leaped for joy and immediately kicked up the notch on my wedding planner side to FULL SPEED.

            “Dress alterations. How many bunches of flowers in each vase? Ribbons around jars. Where is the cake going to be served? How many people have RSVPed? Felix looks cute today! Gotta run to work! Wait, what did you say mom? Gotta write thank you cards. Time is ticking. Gotta write chalkboard signs. Need to have some family time before I fly away from the nest! Ahhh, I’m getting married!”  These were but few of the things I had running and racing through my head during the month of December. Not to mention, I kinda “skipped” Christmas this year, as far as buying presents for my friends, because I was so busy thinking about the wedding. To sum it all up, it was the busiest, but most exciting month of my entire life and I would never change anything about it.
Around a week before the wedding, I patiently awaited December 28th. Not only would I be getting off work for 2 weeks after my shift that day, but I would also come home to get ready for our Rehearsal dinner and see my best friends from Wyoming and North Carolina. Once they arrived, the festivities began and the rehearsal flew by in the blink of an eye.

The day before the wedding arrived + we all woke up early to head off to the reception center to decorate for the next day’s festivities. This is the part where I begin to truly thank the Lord for how good He is to us, because without all of my church family coming to help us set up, we wouldn’t have had the beautiful wedding I will remember for the rest of my life. Countless people came to help set up, serve, and love on us and for that we will be forever thankful! You know who you are…THANK YOU!! With that said, if you plan on doing a DIY wedding, as I did, make sure you have a wonderful wedding army!  With the day coming to a close, I looked back on our beautiful reception site, kissed my wonderful FIANCE goodbye, and awaited the big day.

With the craziness of our previous day, we all slept on the wedding morning, only to be a little late to our own hair + makeup appointment due to my running around and trying to grab everything needed. Hair + makeup done by the wonderful Emily Wilson, Hannah Chenevert, and Brittany Devall turned out absolutely gorgeous and we couldn’t have been happier with the end results!

This was to me one of my favorite times of the day. Getting quality time with all of my bridesmaids was wonderful and I was not nervous AT ALL. God completely gave me His peace that passes all understanding and I could not wait to walk down that aisle to my best friend + the love of my life.

Once we were all pampered and ready to go, we snapped a few pictures (done by the fabulous Brooke Noland!) and I awaited to go and talk to Felix and hold his hand before the ceremony. We met around a corner so that we would not see each other (sticking to tradition), we held hands, and he began to pray. My heart was flooded with blessings and God reminded me of all the times that he was faithful to me. Faithful to bring Felix into my life. Faithful to bring us through everything we have been through. Faithful to bring us back together in a stronger bond of love the second time. Faithful to keep us under his will. FAITHFUL.

As I walked down the aisle, my dad crying to my right, I found my smile to be bigger than ever before +  found tears of joy running down my cheek as I looked at the one whom my soul LOVES. I kept my eyes on Felix all the while surrounded by all the faces that have influenced us in our life. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful + reflected just what Felix and I love most…Jesus. Through the ceremony, one could see that Jesus alone is what is good in us and that we desire more than anything to glorify Him in our marriage.

I thank you all for the prayers, support in our relationship, and wonderful friendship that we have with you all. God has blessed us abundantly, the wedding was absolutely wonderful, the reception was a BLAST (we had fun dancing with you all), our honeymoon cruise to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras was FABULOUS, and married life is great. I love being with my best friend at all times + cooking everyday + running off to class and work and being able to kiss Felix and say “see you tonight” + most of all…I love saying “goodnight” instead of “goodbye.” Marriage is a blessing from God. Again, thanks for listening to my wonderful winter break story!
Here are some more pics from the wedding for your enjoyment!

I cannot wait until the professional ones come out! 

Now I get to blog about my adventures as a busy + young newlywed! Eeeeeep!

Mrs.  Burch