Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finally getting around to blogging! I've been back in the country since July 10th, but not really feeling all that great. Africa was amazing, I am not sure if it was amazing in a good way or a bad way. Being around the people and sharing hope with them was wonderful, but it's hard to be positive when you see that much pain. The need there is more than great and I have to admit that I feel overwhelmed. This is my second time coming home from Africa now and I'm having a harder time adjusting back to American culture, which sounds crazy because I wasn't over there for a really long time.

I am really struggling with one of the hardest questions about Christianity, if God is so good then why is there so much suffering? I've heard all the main answers about free-will and how we live in a fallen world, etc. etc. but that doesn't seem to be cutting it for me. I know that they're true and real, but it seems so cruel to see such horrible things happen, especially to children. It's as if some children really don't have a chance, they're born into bad situations, they're sexually or physically abused which leaves residue that affects them for years later. I think all of these thoughts are coming in so forcefully after Africa because over there the suffering is rampant, it is sad everywhere. And I think that I am angry about that. I know that it is not up to me and I know that only the Lord can heal, I believe that. I live by that, it is just hard to see sometimes because the world really is a fallen place full of evil. When Daniel and I were in Rwanda we visited the national genocide memorial and during one of the videos a woman described the population in Rwanda during the genocide as 5% good, 5% neutral, and 90% evil. Can you believe that? 90% evil and lots of the people there believe in Jesus!

I hope this doesn't sound like I am saying anything negative against Jesus, I would never do that because there's nothing negative to say. I know that my perspective is off about this whole thing and I am praying that the Lord will show me the right perspective. It's not God's fault that these things happen, I know that too. I am angry because people let them happen as well, people that are claiming to be following Jesus Christ. I am highly disappointed in Christians, myself included, a lot of Christians won't step outside of their comfort levels to help others. I read a statistic that said Americans alone spend enough money just on Christmas presents in one year for their families to end world hunger, now that seems a bit extreme and I doubt that it is totally valid but I am sure it is an astounding amount of money that could be going to helping those in need. I am angry at how greedy we are. I don't think that anybody I know is in danger of giving away too much. I am trying to give this burdensome thinking over to the Lord because I know that this is not mine to carry and that His heart is broken about this more than mine is.

Short-term missions are so tricky, I am so glad that I went and also so upset when I returned back home. We set up a medical clinic and saw 600 people in 3 days, that is unbelievable. I really saw the Lord move, I witnessed firsthand miracles of healing. People in Africa was so happy that we were there, they truly loved on us. I was so blessed by their love and hospitality, I have never seen anything like it. People that have so little, trying to give us what little they had. I never seen genuine love and joy like that here, okay never is a strong word, but rarely. I wonder why that is. Here are some pictures of the trip. Enjoy!

People waiting in line for the clinic!
Little Abraham, he is so precious.
Little boy waving to the camera.
One of the toddlers from Delightful House.
Beautiful smile!
This is Lily, she truly is an amazing person. She loves everyone she meets.
A little girl waiting in line at the clinic.
Kids in line.
I am not quite sure what she's mad at.
Little girls playing soccer, the little on on the right peed on me during several different encounters.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Orange Beach!

I just got back from Orange Beach, Albama where I spent a week with Daniel and his family. We had a great time! I was so blessed by all of the conversations and time we got to spend together! Rachel and I shared a room and every night we laughed for so long before we went to bed. Daniel and I had an amazing time together, we played in the ocean, read books, laughed so much! We found a sand bar out in the ocean and while we were walking on it saw a family of sting rays! I'm used to Myrtle Beach (no offense to any MB fans, but it's pretty trashy) so this was an awesome time. The Lord also was teaching me this week about serving people and how important it is. I found that when I took the time in the morning to listen He really gave me everything I needed to love the people around me. As Christians it's so important to spend time with the Lord everyday, I think it's such an awesome idea to think that He wants to bless us! Daniel's Uncle Billy also has a boat that we took out a lot, this was my definitely my favorite part of the trip. We would put our towels on the front of the boat and lay out while we drove around on the ocean. We made some stops on the boat too, where we'd dock the boat and go eat! My favorite time was when we stopped at Lulu's, which is Jimmy Buffet's sister's restaurant. We also saw the movie UP!, if you haven't seen it stop reading this right now and go see it. It's the best movie I've seen in along time, pure and simple fun. Here's some pictures from this past week!

This is a picture of the sunset from the restaurant at the Marina!

These are all of Daniel's cousins plus me and his sister! From left to right, Joann, Colter, Rachel (Daniel's sister), Daniel and Audra!
Daniel and I reading by the ocean! I re-read the 5th Harry Potter for the 13th time, that's not a joke.
Daniel and I at dress up night, he's such a cutie!

I saved the best one for last! Not only did I get to go to the beach, but I got to see Earth, Wind & Fire.. and Chicago! Hahahaha! Oh yeah! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Support for Uganda

Hey everyone! Just wanted to post (again today!) to let everyone know how my support raising is going for Africa. If you didn't know, I'm going to Uganda this June for a medical missions trips in an orphanage, then after that I'm traveling on (with Daniel) to Rwanda to visit the people there! I still have A LOT of money to raise by June 22nd. So if anyone has any ideas on how to fundraise or of anyone to send support letters to.. please please let me know. I trust the Lord to provide so I am not stressing out about it, I'm just making sure all of my bases are covered! I am open to any ideas, so please let me know! Or if you want to financially support me on this trip please send a check to Grace Community Church, 643 W. Lee Street, Greensboro, NC 27403, write Kat Burris-Uganda Missions in the memo line. Thank you again for your help, it is such a blessing! Enjoy your day! :)
Okay, I lied about the pictures. Daniel had taken a few on his phone and he emailed me this one. Yes, that is really Chris Martin and yes, this photo was taken on Daniel's cell phone. It is simply unreal that we were that close. I've been in Caribou Coffee all day working on school work, I'm in three online classes. I always thought that online classes would be easier than regular ones.. not these. My work load is crazy, I'm always posting on the discussion board or mailing in art projects. Congrats to Alan and Sarah on the new baby boy! :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Me, Beth and Nicole at the beach! Daniel and I drove down to meet our friends at the beach in Morehead City. It was a beautiful place and we got to stay in the neatest beach house. We basically ate a lot of chick fil-a. It was freezing for most of the weekend, most of us felt like we would never be warm again but we still mustered up the courage to jump into the ocean, a few of us even went sailing. I did not partake in that adventure; however, daniel, beth and I did pick them up later with cups of hot tea!

This is one of my favorite pictures Daniel and I have ever taken together, I'm a lucky to girl have such a handsome man!
Daniel and I dancing on the beach, our wonderful photographer Beth staged this one.

Daniel doing yoga by the ocean! Hahaha! He does have good form though.

The view from the porch steps, how gorgeous. The Lord really blessed us with this trip working out. Thanks Lord! :) Overall such a great few days! Daniel and I drove to Coldplay from the beach, where we had FRONT row tickets. I am not joking! There were not any other people in front of us, I could have reached up and touched Chris Martin if I wanted. Coldplay was such an amazing experience for me, I really feel like God worked it out so I could be there. It was His way of saying, I know things have been real hard this past Spring but I love you. And I felt His love the entire time. It was almost surreal, Daniel and I look at each other still a few days after and say, "We saw Coldplay, in the FRONT row!". Words can't even describe it accurately. I don't have any pictures because our tickets said we weren't allowed to bring cameras in. That's okay though, I'm thankful I didn't have a camera or all of my time would've been preoccupied with taking pictures and not watching the show. During the epic song "Fix You", Daniel and I were even on the big projection screens, it was unreal. After the show I stayed with my best friend Jaymee, who I love, and she drove me to the train station in the morning, where I rode an Amtrak train from 9:30 in the a.m until 7:30 p.m! I know, it was crazy.
Here are some pictures from my 21st birthday at Chateau Morrisette. We had such a great time eating amazing food and enjoying the scenery on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was so blessed to be able to spend time with my favorite people, what a great day.

My dad and I toasting our wine glasses, they bought me a special wine glass that read "birthday girl"!

This is my favorite picture of my mom, hailey and I. We look so happy! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

First blog!

Hey everyone! I decided that since I am far away from everyone this summer, I'd start a blog so you all could keep up with what I'm doing! Things have been crazy so far. I've already gone to the beach with two of my best friends, turned 21, went to the beach again with more people I love, and seen Coldplay in concert in the front row! I'm a little nervous to be living outside of Radford away from my friends and family, but the people in Greensboro have been SO welcoming and I can feel the Lord's hand moving in everything. I know I'm where I'm supposed to be for now, but I still miss everyone. I want Cra to come visit me soon so we can watch the American President! I still have so much ahead of me this summer, but here's some pictures of the events that have already occurred.