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LYDIA GILLIS

In Search of God’s Purpose and A Drean Come True! – Eugene Portrait Photographer

April 29, 2013

Filed in: Personal

You know, you know when without a doubt that its God’s will to do something or go somewhere but when you do the thing you thought you where suppose to do or go to the place, you are frustrated because you don’t see the writing on the wall? But because you know it was His will, you are still trusting Him that on his perfect timing He will reveal his plan….

Twelve years ago I was at an intercessor prayer conference and while I was there Africa kept coming to mind. Not sure why but it was an experience I never felt before. I wrote my thoughts down in a journal and started to pray about it. I would pray on and off but nothing really came out of it. When my husband was invited to go to Africa twice in two years, I tried not to be resentful but rather be happy and supportive of the opportunity he was given to travel even though at that time he never had the desire to go to a third world country. I wasn’t sure why he was going and not me…I was the one that had been praying for Africa….I was the one that wanted to go to a third world country…..

It was in between church services when one of my friends asked me if I had gone to the Africa meeting that Sunday. She knew I had wanted to go to Africa for a while. I told her I didn’t go because at that time money was kind of tight at home and we also had heard rumors that my husband’s company might be shutting down. This was not a good time for us to start planning a $5000 trip. I was later asked by two other people the same question. So I took it as a sign from God…..or was it just my human flesh reading more into it than it really was. I came home that day from church and had a conversation with my husband. And it’s not that he was not being supportive….he was being very realistic…looking at our finances, there was no way we could come up with the money in such a short time. I think we had like five months to raise all of our money. Even though I agreed with all of what my husband was saying there was something in me that felt I needed to press forward. Curt and I knew that it was humanly impossible to raise the money. We talked about possible ways to raise some money but we were always falling short. We talked about everything except faith…about believing that what might seem impossible to us is not to God. So my last plead to my husband was for us to step in faith, to believe that God would provide for me. After all God had come through for us so many times before, so why not now? So I was willing to step in faith. If God wanted me to go He will provide the finances and if it was not meant to be then I would be ok knowing God had closed that door. What I was not ok with was not doing anything about it.

My God is awesome! I am so glad I stepped in faith and not let fear rule my heart. I sent Shelly, our mission coordinator an e-mail that same evening letting her know that I was going to fill out the application and that I didn’t have a penny to my name for this trip but I was going to trust God for provision. I also sent my friend an email as well telling her that I was going to follow my heart and sign up to go to Africa. I was somewhat scared and right away all the doubts started consuming my mind. I don’t like asking family and friends for money especially for a trip…yes, you can say I am somewhat prideful. What kind of fundraising was I going to do…..I don’t like fundraisers either. Oh boy, oh boy…and how am I suppose to get the funds for this trip?

By the grace of God! Two days after I sent the two emails, I received my first check in the mail for my trip, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. My first check was for $2000! The next day I got another check for $25, the following day $100…$25….$50, $300, $1000… Words cannot describe my excitement. I was humbled by my friends’ generosity. In just a little over two weeks I had enough money and some for my trip. I knew without a doubt that this was God’s will! Truly it was because he even spared me from doing what I dreaded the most…asking for sponsors. I was in the processes of writing my letter when all the funds came in. Thank you Lord!

Before I knew it, I was packing my bags to head to Africa. I was not sure what to expect or what my mission was. I was going with a medical team from our church and my medical expertise went as far as putting on a band aid. So why was I there? I think sometimes I analyze things too much or try too hard to find the answers, that I miss the obvious. Or sometimes I am looking for something big when in reality God only gives us a very small piece of the puzzle to prepare us for what is to come. While I was there I took tons of pictures…over 2000! I was moved and touched by a lot of events that happened. Sometimes I became numb to the environment I was in to stop myself from crying. However there was one time while I was taking some pictures that I just broke down and cried and had to stop taking pictures. What I was witnessing was something I felt I had to capture in my heart and allow my heart to feel. I remember standing there abstract and telling myself never forget this moment and never forget how I was feeling right then. To be honest with you, I didn’t know then what this all meant. It wasn’t till about four years later that I felt God revealing the other part of the puzzle to me. I am so excited to be sharing this journey with all of you but you have to wait a little longer to find out the news. I promise I won’t make you wait four years!

For now I leave you with some pictures from my trip but not before I take the time to thank all of my amazing supporters for their generosity and my prayers. Your financial support and prayers have gone far beyond my two weeks in Africa. My heart overflows with gratitude. Thank you so much for loving me and blessing me in a way I never expected.

These pictures were all taken with a Nikon D80 and kit lenses, so some of the pictures are soft.

Don’t forget to come back to hear the GOOD NEWS!

Have a blessed day!

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We visited a church on our first day.
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African Inland…the church.
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They brought us tea after the service.
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Passing out school supplies.
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Our first clinic day was in Ologumugum. The Masai ladies gave us an unforgettable welcome.
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We joined the Masai women on a dance.
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It went from scorching hot sunny day to pouring rain.
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This lady was excited to see the nurse and receive her medicine.
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A note to Eugene Christian Fellowship from the Masai people.
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Crossing the equator.
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One of the highlights of my trip was meeting Nashipae.
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Nashipae is our sponsored student through Precious Life International.

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Children coming back from doing laundry. Gives a new meaning to doing laundry.
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Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa.
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Mai Mahiu is the smallest church in Kenya. It was built by Italian POWs.
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The people from Katakala waiting on our arrival.
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I have a cheesy expression on these pictures but I wanted to add them because the bracelet I received as a gift has become very significant.
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Empty water jugs and the water truck.
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These pictures bring back memories. When I was a child my grandmother use to live in a hut like this. I use to visit her every summer for two weeks and I have very found memories. eugene photographer, Portrait Photographer_305.jpg
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He looks so cuddly and harmless.

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