5 am yesterday…dumping out my umbrella, straightener, lotion, and snacks from my over-packed suitcase…and I just squeezed by, making below the weight limit by 2 lbs! I’m so glad I didn’t toss out Christine Caine’s book Undaunted, though! It kept me captivated and on the edge of my flight seat by the window for hours. I could hardly stop to eat my curried vegetables and rice, glancing at the pages while munching…there could not have been a more perfect book to soak in on my way here. 
One stop in Tokyo gave my legs respite from all the sitting. (Favorite moment in the Narita airport was drinking green tea in a little shop that was playing Beatles songs over the airwaves, one tune after another. I had to laugh to myself…I’m in Japan, where my dad spent so much time years ago, and I’m listening to my mom’s teenage heart-throb from the 60s, Paul McCartney…what a moment of converging time and continents together, and a bit of family nostalgia!)
Time to hop on my second plane (2 down, 7 to go over the next couple weeks!) and this was the view I see as we take off and soar over the Japanese Islands:

How can I keep from praising the Maker of heaven and earth with a view like that?! Back to Christine’s page turner…her words challenged me and filled me. Her passion for God, her love for people, no matter what their background, age, heartache or story, and her determination to rescue those in trapped darkness with the liberating love of Christ, reminds me of my dear friend Michelle, with whom I will be ministering here in the Philippines. I want to be a woman like them, walking in daily purpose, trusting the Lord for every moment, and faithfully stepping out to meet people where they are with the touch of Jesus’ mercy and power. I sense God has me on the cusp of something bigger. Some challenge and call upon my life that is going to ask more of me- greater risk and perseverance and service than I’ve stepped in before…I do not know exactly what it looks like yet, but amid recent “obstacles” from the enemy, the Lord has shown me glimmers of opportunity in ways to further His love and grace in a hurting world. I pray this trip might open my eyes even more…and I cannot thank you enough, my dear friends, for all the prayers. I feel so much peace and serenity and wholeness of heart at the start I my journey, and I know that is the power of prayer!
Let me leave you with a compelling passage from Undaunted. Let your soul sink in these words
“If we trust Him with our broken and wounded hearts, He will bring healing, restoration, and wholeness. He takes the weak, the marginalized, and the oppressed and makes all things new. What someone else would leave for broken, He sees as beautiful. He cherishes that broken life, and loves, chooses, and heals to make it whole…The very thing that the enemy uses to try to destroy your life is the very thing God uses to help others. God can heal every hurt and can turn your scars into signs of strength for His glory. Your past mistakes, hurts, and pain can help give someone else a future. God doesn’t waste one experience of our lives..
I’ve marveled how Christ breaks us like bread and spreads the pieces of us to even more people- five thousand, ten thousand, more. And always, He is running to meet us, or walk through the valleys by our side. Even when I cannot see Him, I hear the beautiful gallop of God’s heartbeat for humanity.” -Christine Caine
Goodnight from Manila! 🙂