Thursday, May 29, 2008

Watch and see!

ACTION is the annual conference at Celebration Centre that brings together all of the Celebration Churches from around the word!

This year you can watch live on the internet at

or you can try to catch us on GODtv.

So far the conference has been amazing!! The praise and worship, as always is so great that we don't want it to stop. The new songs that Pastor Bonnie and her son Jon have written make me so happy!

The teachings have been great, Pastor Tom's teachings regarding the kingdom of God have changed my life over the past year and I know you will see why, if you watch!!

PS, you might see me overcome my fear of the cameras and even do some interviews!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


So today I went in to my appointment with immigration and my stomach did flip flops when Herbert told me that my application had been processed and I could go downstairs to pick up the letter that explained my long awaited results!

I went downstairs to the appropriate office and explained who I was. The woman gave me a stack of letters and I flipped through them looking for my name. What I was were lots of letters, each representing a person who wanted to immigrate to Zimbabwe and use their skills in this place. Some were approved, others were denied. There was never an explanation for either response…. Just yes or no.

But my name wasn’t there.

I asked the woman and she looked up my file number. My file was sent to the board THIS WEEK. It will be reviewed on Tuesday. Then she said, “You know that you are not allowed to be in the country now.”

I explained to her that I understood, and asked her when I could return to get my results. She said next Friday. But then she dropped a bomb,
“I review the files as part of the board. I can assure you that you have a 95% chance of getting denied.”

She wanted to know what I would want to work in Zimbabwe, and I tried to explain it to her. She said, “I believe you have ulterior motives.” I asked her if she was a Christian. She got offended but said that she was. I explained that my story only makes sense if you know God and believe He calls people to certain places.

Now, I know that my God LOVES to work with those kind of odds. My heart knows that, my spirit knows it… but I am having to do a little convincing with my head.

So I sat down in shock and tried not to cry. She went about her business with other people in her office and chatted with her friends for a bit. The she looked at me and told me that the office was closing and I would have to leave.

Here is my internal conversation:
“Ok God, what now?”
So I sit

Then she says, “Ma’am, I am closing. You will have to go.”

“Ok God, what now?”

Oh come on… are you kidding me?

So I stood up and said, “I know that this might seem crazy, and that as an immigration official it might be out of the question, but since I know you are a Christian, as my sister will you pray for me? I can’t go out there and face the world, walk down the street, get on a bus and go home without prayer. My world is crumbling.”

She called another woman into the office and I got on my knees and she prayed for me.

The same woman that said she was doubtful I would get a permit that she was in a position to approve started her prayer like this,

“God, You know that you have called this woman to work in Zimbabwe.”

I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that as the three of us prayed in her office that the Spirit was moving, in all of us.

I also know that on Tuesday, my permit will sit in a file with a whole lot of others. That a group of 10 people will look at it. They will all have preconceived notions regarding American women, NGO’s, social workers, Christians and however else they see me in those papers.

I need you to pray with me.

I am in a position that I have heard others call a “crisis of belief”. I say that prayer changes things. I pray for others, I ask people to pray for me. Today I stand here having to really determine if I buy that or not.

There is a song that we sing at Celebration Church that goes like this:

Let us pray
Let our thunder pierce the darkness
To rearrange the world around us for the Lord
Let us pray

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A call to service

On Sunday an announcement was made to the church that the blood banks in Zimbabwe are empty and that the consequences are being seen in the form of unnecessary deaths.

Pastors Tom and Bonnie and Dr. Wazara called out to the members of Celebration Church to donate blood. This afternoon Asher, Taps and I went to the blood bank to donate and it was amazing to see the smiles on the ladies faces as they commented on how many people from the church had come that morning.

They said that on a good day they might have 10 people come to give blood, but that already by 1:00 on Monday they had seen 24 people from Celebration Church!

I am so glad to be a part of a church that sees a need and calls to its members to fill it! I am even more grateful that so many have and will continue to respond!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Second Chances!

I was thinking this morning when I woke up super early on a cold Harare winter morning to go meet with the youth leaders at Celebration Centre, about how blessed I am that God loves to give second chances.

I do not LOVE to give second chances. I have opted to not spend time with people because of the choices that they make, to not talk to them, to not let them into my personal life because they have hurt me. I like to remember what happened the first time.

I woke up this morning, and said “Good morning God.” Like it sometimes happens, my first thought was, “how did I get here?” That is not an easy answer. I didn’t grow up thinking, I want to be a missionary… frankly, I didn’t know what a missionary was! I didn’t think, I would like to live in Africa, frankly other than my grandpa’s National Geographic mags, I didn’t even know Africa existed. Even a couple of weeks before I came here, people were not saying, “Regina is just the kind of girl that God would call to serve in Africa.” I was the girl who shopped, the girl that you didn’t invite rock climbing in Joshua Tree! It seems pretty ridiculous…. But more than being ridiculous because of who I am, it’s ridiculous because of what I have done!

You see as a young girl I learned to hide my difficulties and failures rather than face them head on and overcome. I am a girl who spent years of my life addicted to everything one can be addicted to. I have done ugly things, I have hurt people that love me. I have been rebellious and yet I am in Africa, living an amazing life of adventure. My life is full of love, beauty and passion. I live a story that is better than I could have written. How does that happen?

It happens because our God doesn’t exclude us. He doesn’t choose to remember the painful choices and rebellion. He pursues us and when we accept Him for exactly who He is and what He has offered we receive a gift. It is bigger than salvation. I know that missionaries have been talking about salvation for generations, but the gift is bigger than that. Yes we wont go to Hell. Hell is a very real place and if you don’t know FOR SURE that you aren’t going there… find out, get right, but that is not what I am talking about here. The gift is bigger. Not only do I know for sure that I am not going to Hell, but I have an AMAZING life. The gift is not just eternal life, it is LIFE!

He choose not to remember that Peter had denied him three time the night His savior was arrested. He chose not to remember that Paul had persecuted (and murdered) the people that were spearheading HIS mission and He chose not to remember all of the things I had done in blatant disobedience to His word.

What He remembered was this: That Peter and Paul were His son’s, that Regina was His daughter. That His one and only son was given as a perfect sacrifice so that we could have LIFE, not the one we deserved, but one that is better than that. Better than what we dream of.

WOW. Second Chances. Thank God for second chances. I could be Regina the drug addict, I could be Regina the unfaithful, Regina the unreliable but I am not… I am Regina, daughter of the King, missionary to Zimbabwe.

And I should probably start being a little more generous with second chances myself…

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hi friends!
I just want to post a little update because I can (there is power and internet--miracle) and because I miss you!

I was thinking last night as I was frantically trying to get ahold of my grandma on the phone (didn't happen) that I am so grateful for the plans God has for us.

Many of you know that my relationship with my mom was tumultuous. My first and deepest wound came from the thought that my parents didn't love me. I carried that pain around for what felt like a lifetime. In the fast few years, God has really begun to heal those wounds.

Over the past few years I have had amazing women in my life that have mothered me. These women have allowed me to see how special my childhood was. God didn't have a plan for my brother and I to be reunited with our mother, that was painfully clear when she died when I was 19. But He did have a plan for us to be mothered. He handed us over to my grandma and grandpa to parent us. My response to that could have been gratitude. To look at what God had in store as a blessing, but it wasn't. I was hurt and my response was that of a spoiled brat, "This isn't my plan so I don't want it."

Today my attitude is different. Today I look back and see that the opportunity God gave me to be parented by my grandma and my Aunt Cricket was a blessing of the highest order. They have taught me so much, and even when my response to my pain was to take myself through immense darkness, they loved me through it.

Today, not only am I taking the opportunity to thank them for what they have done, but I am taking the opportunity to thank God for his perfect doing so I am trusting that His plan TODAY, though it is not what I thought it would look like, is still perfect and I will be grateful for it.

My grandma still parents, she spends a lot of time with my niece Jaylin. She does all of the same things with her that she used to do with me. Chuck E Cheese and all, I hope that Jaylin grows up feeling impacted by my grandma's love at a younger age than I did!!
I love and miss you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I miss you!

I know it has been a long time since I have updated my blog! I am not ignoring you all, and I do want to update you all. So much has happened it has been hard to process through it all and know how to tell you all!

Things in Zimbabwe are moving along. Not a whole lot has changed other than the fact that we are now getting a lot of media attention from around the world because of the elections, praise God for that. Now the world will know what is really going on here!

I only have a little bit of battery left on my computer so I have to make this brief.

So much has been happening for me personally here in Harare. I know that things are coming together in a way that I might not necessarily understand at the moment, but I am trusting God and walking through the things that are right in front of me. Please keep praying for me!

You have all been asking, Taps is doing well. Everyday he makes me proud to call myself his big sister and blessed to have him around to sing to me and make me laugh!!

I miss you all!

Jesika, I know that this will not satisfy you, but I will work on something that will! :-) xxxooo