Natalie is one amazing young woman. First of all she is graduating a year early from high school, not to mention taking college level classes now. She has passion for many things and God has given her some incredible talents. She is an extraordinary pianist, and now is adding guitar to her list of instruments. She is creatively talented photographer, which on top of taking amazing photos adds, website design, code writing and making videos to her repertoire. I would guess that all those things are high on her list, but what I love about Natalie is that she knows who blessed her with those passions. AND her BIGGEST passion is for Jesus and the things He has for her.
After graduation, Natalie will be stepping way out of my comfort zone and heading to Africa to do mission work 7-8 months. Her heart is for the people of the world that need to know of our Savior. I LOVE that about her. I can’t wait to see the amazing pictures that she will be taking in her time there.
Recently she sent out a letter about what this trip is all about and ways that those of us here can help support her as she goes where God leads. I hope that it’s ok, Nat that I am taking some of your letter and adding it at the end of this post so, that others can be a part of what you will be doing whether it be prayer or support. We know you’ll need both.
Natalie, I am so proud of you. To know even at your age that all your talents and abilities come from Him and to choose to use them specifically to bring God Glory is amazing. You bless me in so many ways.
I love you (and as you know my kids do to, Miss Natalie!)
This is one of my favorites…I feel it captures Natalie…barefoot and ready to go where God leads.
Another Favorite, Love your smile girl…lights up a room.
One of her many passions…you can check out Natalie’s work through the links in her letter below. She is one talented lady.
Here is Natalie’s letter, I invite you to read it & consider helping out this amazing young lady with her passion and her love for people & Jesus.
Dear Friends and Family,
As some of you may know, I was blessed with the opportunity to be able to do online school beginning in high school, with the intention of having more time and flexibility for mission trips. Freshman year I took a trip to Sierra Leone, and sophomore year I took two trips to Hope Academy in Kolkata, India. My passion and heart for missions has grown with each trip, and God has really worked in and through me to do some amazing things. I have worked hard to finish high school and graduate a year early, and plan to attend Biola University in the fall of 2012.
As I began to plan for college, I really felt that God was leading me to take a year off and pursue a long term mission trip. On the short term mission trips I have been on, God has filled me, broken me, stretched me, used me, and blessed me. My life means nothing unless it’s all for Him, which is why I am very grateful to have the opportunity to travel to Rwanda to serve for 7 months with CALM, Christian African Leadership Ministries.
CALM has many different ministries in Rwanda. They work to provide pastor, leadership, and vocational training for Christian leaders who are working to reach their communities for Christ. CALM helps families, through monthly sponsorships, to have the opportunity to have food and shelter. They have a program that provides goats to widows and families in need of help. The goats can be used for milk, cheese, or meat, and the offspring can be sold for extra income that is needed for the family. Another ministry, New Hope Homes, takes in orphans and abandoned children and rescues them from poverty and despair. For more information on CALM, you can visit their website: www.calmministries.org.
Chad and Kortney Bannick, the couple I will be working with, are moving to Rwanda in April. I am excited to be joining them in September 2011. While in Rwanda, I will be working with CALM by taking photos, videos, and creating a blog to keep sponsors in the U.S. up to date on the various ministries that they are supporting. Outside of working with CALM’s ministries, our prayer is to build relationships with the families in the area we will be staying by getting involved with the local church and schools.
Please pray for me as I plan and prepare for this trip. I would also appreciate your continual prayers as I serve in Rwanda from September 2011 – April 2012. To make this trip possible, I will need to raise $12,000 for living and travel expenses. Please prayerfully consider becoming a part of my support team to do the work of God in Rwanda. To see various ways that you can help, visit my webite: www.shoplikemorningsun.com.
May you also be blessed as you continue to pray for this incredible opportunity that God is leading me to.