"There are two great moments in a persons life: the moment you were born and the moment you realize why you were born."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Joyeux Noel :) [Merry Christmas]

Joyeux Noël 
[Merry Christmas]

Joyeux Noël everybody!! I hope it was amazing for you and your family. I had the privilege of being passed around on the phone with some family back in California and one of my aunts (love you Aunt Leanna) asked me if we celebrate Christmas here in Cote d’Ivoire…the answer to that question is yes we do  haha

Christmas Eve and Day was packed like no other!! I don’t remember a busier Christmas. On Christmas Eve our church had an all night church service where Rod spoke. It started around 9, but in African time that means it didn’t really start until 9:30 or later. My Sunday school class preformed their play and it was HILARIOUS!! Especially since only a third of the kids showed up, but I think they did an amazing job. (I could be biased, but that’s ok). It was the coolest experience being with people whose only focus is on worshipping the Lord! Since Christianity is a minority here, only Christians celebrate Christmas, unlike the states where it can sometimes turn into a secular holiday. The Ivorians danced and sang like nobody’s business. They even taught us how to dance, although we can’t do it very well, we all still tried. I pray that I can learn how to worship like they do, with absolutely everything I have! It was the best way to celebrate that our Savior was born.

Christmas Day, we started late…which was so very much needed, in order to rest and catch up on sleep from the night before. Then all of the families living here on campus came over to our dorm for a late pot-luck lunch. I can’t believe we had that much food! We ran out of counter space, which hasn’t happened yet, haha and we had SO many left overs! (that’s what we are eating for lunch and dinner today). It was great fun! Later that night we exchanged our Secret Santa gifts. I had my friend Devin. I really did want to make something special for him, but I just didn’t know what to do. Haha However, I knew he really missed pies, so my friend Steph got her grandma’s apple pie recipe from her mom and we baked all morning long. (of course Devin, having the servant’s heart he does, asks to help…and my heart almost stopped haha). The great thing was that he had me for his Secret Santa. His gift was the perfect gift for me!! A certificate for unlimited hugs (he knows me so well: first of many in photo) and soon a video from my family, because I miss them lots. I love it! Haha he even cut up paper snowflakes, because we both miss snowboarding.

Although I miss my family and my friends at home, and this is my first Christmas away from home, I am so thankful to be here. It was an amazing opportunity and experience. It’s really cool to miss people you love, and wish that you were with them, but yet still be so content where you are. God had his loving, comforting arms around us. It was the picture perfect African Christmas 

Scripture of the Week:
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant-the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.” ~ Luke 1:68-75

And my favorite 
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” ~John 1:14

Dude how freaking cool is that…Jesus…like GOD came and humbled himself as a baby, because he wanted to reunite us to God the Father. It’s a beautiful story ain’t it? 

Prayer Requests:
~We will be leaving for four days for our Christmas break to see different ministry opportunities in Korhogo (north). Please pray for safe travels.
~The political situation...attached is an email from our patron, Rod about the situation. http://sn139w.snt139.mail.live.com/default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0
~God would prepare our hearts for our Home Stay.
~Our world’s would continue to get rocked.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finally! an update

Wow I am so lame…I said in my last blog that I would be posting updates more often, but…I’m lame. Haha internet wasn’t working for a week, and then I just got lazy. I’m sorry friends 

My Ivorian Family:
Anyways!!!! I will update you about what has been going on for the past two weeks. Last weekend (12/10) we were split up into groups of two and separated for our first time to go live with Ivorian families from our churches. I had the privilege to stay with M. Saro-Salif and his wife Madame Laurentine, with my friend Steph  I can’t express how unbelievable this experience was! Our family was so patient with us, and we ate food like you wouldn’t believe! Hospitality is held to such a high standard!! It was nothing like I’ve experienced before. Our family introduced us to all of their neighbors and friends at church, and even their family members in the market-place. For the first time since arriving to Cote d’Ivoire I have felt a part of the Ivorian church and a part of the community here. It’s amazing. People ask us now, where we were if we skipped church and if we’ll be with them for Christmas and it’s just SUPER COOL! Haha

Now for this last weekend…(12/18) our families had the opportunity to come and return the visit. We showed them our dorm and ate lunch together. They also got to meet our Journey Corps family and the families all interacted with each other and laughed about their weekend with us.

Last Thursday we started community service projects and mine was at L’arche. L’arche is a home for mentally disabled young adults. Due to the crisis the classes have been cancelled and a lot of things have changed, but they still hold onto hope. M. Coffee (such a fun name!) has only been working with L’arche as the director for a year now, but has huge hopes and dreams. The awesome part of L’arche is that they don’t see it as an asylum to just help these adults, they’re a family. And they make that known. That was the first thing that was said in our introduction that they were a family, and they wanted to invite us to possibly be a part of it. They also emphasized that not everyone has the opportunity to be a part of it, so I feel extremely honored. Please be praying for this family, and that the situation here would lighten so that classes could start again.

Sunday School:
So Sunday school has been a roller-coaster of confusion for the past two weeks. I was left alone with the kids two weeks ago to teach them Christmas songs. I totally don’t mind that at all, but two things complicate things. 1-I don’t speak a lick of French and 2-I can’t sing. Haha PERFECT  Thank the good Lord in heaven, who is amazing, that my friend Jason was randomly with me, and he is an amazing singer and guitar player! (he actually leads the Journey Corps worship usually). Then after that, Timothy asked me to come up with a play for the following week. I seriously thought he was kidding, but of course he wasn’t. So, I came up with the idea of just going through the bible and making different sections of the Christmas story and writing them down, and then the kids have to come up with the play. (I thought they could handle this, since they’re the older kids) So this last Sunday, Timothy and I split them up into groups of 4 and we’re making it a competition. So on Christmas Eve they’ll all be performing their sections of the play to the entire church and the best group wins. I am so stoked to see what they come up with.

Verse of the week (or two ):
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; My whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast I will praise you with the songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” ~Psalm 63:1-8

Quote of the week from a book I think everyone should read, “Meeting God in Quiet Places” by F. LaGard Smith
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could begin each day recognizing our great need for spiritual nourishment and strength and praising him for being the true source of our life, the One in whose image we want to be continually re-created. The more we come to know God, the more we appreciate how very much he desires to satisfy our hearts with their every longing and need. Nothing is too much for us to ask. Certainly he is our Source, but even more, he is our Sustainer. He suckles us [like a mothering lamb] with life and love!”

Prayer Requests:
 Political situation: It’s still tense, but life goes on as normal as it possibly can. I did get to see a little piece of a march, but it was peaceful.
 Christmas: For our Christmas here and the preparations for the 24-hour Christmas Eve service at church.
 Home-sickness. We’re all feeling it especially during the Holiday season, also please keep our families in the states in your prayers. They’re missing us also.
 The leadership team is now discussing where we will be living and working in Cote d’Ivoire. We leave in just four weeks! Wow! So please be praying that God would have us exactly where we will best be used for the glory of His kingdom. Also that He would be preparing our hearts to be transformed.

Thanks so much!! I miss you all like no other and I am praying like crazy for your Christmas season. Especially, that we would learn what the Christmas season actually means. Please tell me how else I could be praying for you guys. And as always keep me updated on life! Love you lots!! And pictures are coming super soon! (As soon as I can figure it out haha. ) they’ll be on a website called Picasa.

Monday, December 6, 2010

En la Village

Bonjour ya’ll! So this weekend a few of us woke up early to greet families. (It’s a custom to go and greet your neighbor, whether you know them well or not, and you just sit with them & talk). However, we did not know that we were going on a walk to do this : ) Needless to say, it was quite the adventure. On our journey we met a few old ladies, one of which escorted us to a courtyard whose son had just died, and we wanted to go and greet the family there. So instead of walking back out onto the main road, she took us the jungle route!! It was so cool. We met a man making moon shine at the river and he asked if we wanted any..Anglekia politely declined and said that it was too early in the morning for alcohol, maybe later. Haha it was great!

This morning we were paired up to go back out into the villages we visited (by ourselves!) and given certain questions to either ask or observe within a courtyard setting. The questions were for a class on hygiene that we are taking. My partner, Jamie, and I went to a lady right across the road named Amina. She works a fast food stand…now when I say fast food, it’s not McDonalds!! It’s a little shack looking thing where farmers, bicyclists, pedestrians or anyone using the main road can sit on a bench out of the hot sun and eat fish, atteike, beans, rice and vegetables or take it to go in a little baggie. Haha, I cannot describe the situation well enough, so thankfully Jamie took some awesome pictures. When we first saw Amina and greeted her I asked if she would teach me how to cook. She laughed at me (my French really stinks!) and said ok. So..Jamie and I were given a bucket of raw fish heads, fish tails and various cut up fish parts and another bucket of flour. We rolled the fish around and put them into a pan of boiling oil. Since this stand is randomly on the side of the road there’s no electricity or stoves or anything, so the pan of oil was balanced between three rocks with wood burning underneath. After all of the fish was done she offered us some food…AND I ATE IT!!!! It was actually the best atteike I think I have ever had! (Atteike is African couscous and for those who don’t know what couscous is it’s a root) and the fish wasn’t bad, and what I’m excited about is that I didn’t get sick from it : ) The customers got a kick out of the fact that we cooked the fish and everyone was super friendly and greeted us. [picture is me eating...more pictures will be up hopefully tomorrow on Picasa, be looking out for a link]

Side note:
After the elections…we now have 2 presidents!! Haha people joke around with us Americans saying that America hasn’t even done that yet. But in all seriousness, things have been heating up here in the country. Thankfully being on ICA campus is probably one of the, if not the most, safest places to be in the entire country and there has been no hostility towards foreigners where we are. We have already prepared for evacuation drills if need be. However, my heart breaks for the families here! People are truly sick of war and are yearning for peace. There’s a refugee family staying with us for awhile, because things were getting hectic where they were. When the president with the minority of votes was sworn in the mother of this family seemed overwhelmed holding her 4 month old baby boy in her arms. She got up and left with a few tears in her eyes. That’s when it hit me. My safety is totally secure (thus far) but these families lives are here...this is their home, their work, their everything!! We have the option of leaving and being evacuated if things get bad, they can’t! My heart breaks for them! This mother’s heart is breaking for her young child’s future. I’ve never been so thankful for freedom and safety at home, in my entire life. Freedom and safety are not a need...they’re a luxury! And it’s a luxury that we take for granted every single day! Please keep these families in your prayers along with the country. I heard Cote d’Ivoire made front page news back in the states, so hopefully you know a little bit more about what’s going.

Prayer Request:
~The country
~The Ivorian families living here
~Against spiritual attack

I can’t help, but think of the similarities in events between the crisis here in Cote d’Ivoire and in the Old Testament, when Judah was exiled and the Babylonians finally conquered them after 2 ½ years. However, I think it’s important to hold onto the truth that our Lord is a good God ALWAYS!! Even when times are bad…I like to remember
“For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” ~Jeremiah 29:11-13

Monday, November 29, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving : )

Wow so I was just talking to my friend Naomi about blogs and emails…GREAT IDEA she had…instead of me just bombarding you with one post every so often with everything I can think of to update you on I’m going to update more often with a specific topic or two. Less topics, more detail on specific topics and more often. Probably like once or twice a week. That way there isn’t a flood of info coming in and it isn’t a thousand pages long. SWEETNESS! Haha what do ya’ll think? I love it if I do say so myself.

So for our first ‘topic’ I’m thinking Thanksgiving. It seems appropriate since Thanksgiving was just a few days ago. No? Oui! (that’s yes in French and it’s not spelled Wee as to my surprise)

On Wednesday an annual Mission Baptiste Cote d’Ivoire (MBCI) conference was held here on ICA campus and those are the people we celebrated Thanksgiving with. In total we had about 40 people at the dinner table!!! It was insane : ) but so fun! We hosted the WorldVenture missionaries stationed in West Africa, the nationals living here on base and their families, all of the leaders and all of the journeyers, OH and a German : ) for our thanksgiving feast. For a few it was their very first thanksgiving! To be honest it was one of my favorites. We spent from 1:30 to about 7 cooking and preparing the meal together as the journeryers. We did, however, take a break for some Frisbee action, but other than that we were split up into teams of two to prepare a dish. My roommate, Holly, and I were in charge of the pasta salad (my favorite dish!). It turned out SOO good haha. After dinner we had TONS of desserts of course and just sat around the table talking and laughing. It was such a blast. I honestly cannot remember a day were I ate that much…you could not see the bottom of my plate when I first started and I even piled the food on top of each other. I was soo full it was crazy!

After the feast was over my family called and I had the privilege of being passed around the thanksgiving dinner table. It was my parents and brother George and two friends, Mitch and Brandon. It was fun talking and hear how they were all doing and for a little bit I felt apart of their thanksgiving dinner. It was fun. After our conversations were over I found a few of my journeryer friends laying out by our thanksgiving table looking up at the stars (oopps forgot to mention we ate outside). So I laid down and we ended up playing this weird laughing game where you lay on each other’s stomachs and try to make people laugh with out laughing yourself (I don’t know, it was weird) but we ended up just hanging out talking and looking at the stars (and of course massaging each other’s scalps). It was honestly the perfect end to the perfect Ivorian thanksgiving.

That’s what thanksgiving is all about, good food, good talk and good friends/family to share it with. I am seriously so thankful for so many things. First, for everyone at home in the states that have loved on me and let me love on them. My life will never be the same because of these people. My family and their support for me. And for my new family here, in Cote d’Ivoire. They’re great!! I am also still so thankful each morning I am blessed to wake up in such an amazingly beautiful place! God has been moving and working. He doesn’t need any of us to do anything, but he invites us along for the journey. I would love to hear what you guys are all thankful for and how thanksgiving went back in the states please!
Thanksgiving Scripture:
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I think it’s interesting that Paul says IN all circumstances and not FOR all circumstances. So we obviously wont be happy or joyful for everything that happens to us, but we still need to give thanks to a God who is always good!

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God. I will give you thanks forever!” ~Psalm 30:11-12

Prayer Requests:
-Please continue praying for the country…this is the second & final vote for the next president of Cote d’Ivoire. Their debate this week went amazingly well, so now we are just praying that their gracious attitude towards one another continues and that there is peace
-There have been plenty of sicknesses going around among the leadership team here. Please pray for their recoveries and that we may not get sick also
-Our one on one conversations with each other. That they may be intentional (they have been thus far but that we may grow in deeper community with one another)
-And finally for our church here in Cote d’Ivoire “the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few” please pray for more leaders to help out especially with the Sunday school.

As always I thank you so very much for your love and support. There are pictures from our thanksgiving feast and everything we’ve done thus far on myjourneycorps.com so please go check those out. I hope all is well in your homes and families. Please keep me updated on your lives as much as possible. Know you are loved and missed!!!

Love always and forever,
Alyssa Joy Grabarkewitz : )

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quick Update : )

OK so this is actually my fourth time trying to post a blog, so this one will be EXTREMELY short just because I have to try and beet the internet timing me out : )

Life here in Cote d'Ivoire is awesome!! God is moving and challenging us here in so many new ways and reviving some old ways. This past Sunday I was honored to join in on the high school group not realizing that I was expected to give a mini lesson on loving our enemies, but it went so well :) God was so there and used it to encourage and uplift me. It's frustrating here, at times, because we don't know the language, but yet it's comforting. I was reminded in John that the way people know we belong to Christ is by our love for one another, our neighbors and our enemies. The Holy Spirit is my advocate and it's such a stress releiver : )

Then last night we took a wild ride to the Bush. We rode on top of the 4X4's it was so fun but sort of hurt if you weren't paying attention and got wacked on the head by a branch (happened to more then a few of us). We ate dinner there and spent time marveling up at the sky and how big He is and how small we are. It's insane!

So for now I want to encourage you to go outside tonight and just look up at the stars or even watch the clouds...don't you feel small, but big at the same time? DUDE God is insane and I absolutely love it.

Please continue with the prayers for unity and against spiritual attack. Also please pray for the Cote d'Ivoire government, that the peace through the elections would continue. Part two of the elections are this Sunday. and the Muslim holiday "tabasky" is this week full of sacrifces so please pray that God gives them revealing dreams about who Jesus is, since they hold dreams very high up here.

Thank you everyone for your love and support! Our ministry here is slowly but surely going and I want you to know that you are just as much here as anyone. I hope to put up pictures and to post blogs more often so that you all on the state side feel just as involved as I do! You're the reason why I am here. Thank you ; )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To be Insane or not to be Insane?

So..12 more days until my departure for Littleton, Colorado and then it is off to Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa! This is insane right? It has been such a long journey already and I haven't even left yet! Today it officially hit me..wow I'm leaving SO soon and the nerves are starting to kick in. All in all, I know God is good and I KNOW from the bottom of my heart that this is where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do..now I just have to remember that : ) Some one told me once (can't remember who) that the things that are the most scary and the most riskful are the things worth fighting for, because they are the life changers.

It is insane to think that this Sunday is the last Sunday I'll be at Beachpoint for church..God has completely opened my eyes to what being a church is really about. I know that this is a real family, the way God intended. We are not a family by blood, but by the Holy Spirit. It is insane that knowing that the longest I've been away from my friends and family was for only 5 days at a time. Yet I'm now leaving for a year and living in a completely foreign country. It is insane choosing this huge commitment for my first missions trip. People have asked me "shouldn't you test out the water before diving in?" With all of these insane reasons not to go or to do something else.. it is even more insane to not go! God has moved in my life and I see Him moving in others! I am so stoked to see where He takes us and what He does through us!

So let's keep fighting the Good fight and allowing God to transform us each and everyday! I love you guys and thank you for all of your love and support! I can't express to you how much it means to me.

Verse of the week:
"Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." Isaiah 7:9b

also look up
1 Timothy 6:11-13 about how to fight the good fight
Romans 12:2 about letting God transform you

Prayer requests:
~against spiritual attack/strength to endure
~spiritual, mental, and physical preparation in leaving
~my family
~and continued encouragment

Thanks again! Love you and have a great week : )

Love your little sister in Christ,
Alyssa G.

Monday, September 20, 2010



Journey Corps is officially buying my ticket for Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa RIGHT NOW!!!!!! How? I do not know. The God we serve is a crazy God who provides in the craziest ways!! Thank you everyone for the love and the support...every dollar, every prayer and every word of encouragement was totally used by God through you and has meant the entire world to me!! WOW I am in shock : ) Something that I have been dreaming about and praying for is totally coming true! God is sooo good and He is a faithful God. guh! wow! there are no words haha..(i'll totally be getting made fun of soon but who cares..I'M GOING TO AFRICA : )) ok well it is time to go call everyone I know. Love you all! more updates coming soon once my head stops spinning.

~Alyssa G

Monday, August 30, 2010


Hey Hey...

So it's been awhile now, I think two weeks. Heidi and I had our first fundraiser together this past Saturday and it went soo well!!! I had the wonderful opportunity to meet so many new faces and welcome old ones to me. Although I was exhausted the entire day from being up until 1am and waking up at 5:30am it was worth it. Thank you everyone who came up and supported us. You totally made it worth while and your reward is in heaven with just one more jewel on your crown :)

Although the Le Cafe De Africa went better than I had expected, this past week was tough. I just received a phone call from the Journey Corps office in Colorado and found out our money was due extremely soon!! With about $700/month due still I was FREAKING OUT, and for the first time I actually felt the erge to give up. (Which is odd, since I have never felt like that before in my life). I've also been feeling things so not of the Lord such as impatience, anger, and frustration. In the midst of an amazing devo time at the beach, I realized that if I let these feelings that aren't of God take over and control me, then I let satan win. And we all know who really wins in the end : ) So I can't let that happen. Needless to say God is still so overwhelming good and patient with me, that there are no words or actions I could take to express my gratitude. He is still providing every day in the craziest ways too! Just two weeks ago a random lady from my catering said she wanted to support me and this mission! What an amazing God moment..haha..I left feeling super confused about what had just happened. So all in all life is good, hard and difficult at times, but it is still a gift from God and thus making it good!

So again thank you for your prayers, words of affirmation and support! It means way more to Heidi and myself than you know.

Prayer Requests:

~Preparation of my heart, mind, body and soul
~Preparation of my leaving speaks to those around me who do not yet know our Saviour Jesus Christ
~Financial support still
~Emotional and Spiritual support!

Some encouragement to those of us feeling overwhelmed:

"But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded" 2 Chronicles 15:7

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6

Thanks for caring! Love you guys, and I know that there's tons of stress and worries this time of year, so if there are any prayer requests or words of affirmation, please let me know!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Home Sweet Home : )

Wow oh Wow...

This is my first day being officially home for good (well until I leave for Africa). I have been traveling and working on the road for the past three or something weeks. I'm tired but there is no place like home and I cannot wait to finally sleep in my own bed.

High school camp was truly a joy and very refreshing. God is totally doing wonders in our high school group. It was amazing sitting back and seeing half of the group stay back for first time commitments or renewing old commitmentss, others making commitments to go into full time ministry. Oh wow! It was awesome!

Then there was the houseboat trip : ) So fun! I'm going to try to put a link at the bottom for you to check out. Anthony Seacrest made a quick video for everyone and it turned out great. There seems to be a theme that God is presenting to me in both high school camp and houseboats, not to mention my devotionals. Basically God has been saying that I need to surrender to Him, EVERYTHING! Which is difficult, especially since I'm not exactly sure what or how to surrender the things that I have yet to surrender. haha. but God is amazingly good and there's no need to worry.

The day we got home from the Delta I left with a few friends to Palm Springs to catch up and relax. We haven't seen much of each other since we graduated high school and it was nice seeing them. Then to Georgia to see my brother Jeff and his family. It was amazing and Georgia is so beautiful.

Now for the Africa updates!!!! ; )

Due to financial support the team has decided to postpone departure to Ivory Coast until late October. Such a blessing/bummer all in one. (mostly blessing) Collectively we were not where we needed to be financially and they would rather us all go together and learn and grow and enjoy this support raising, because there is so much to learn even before we leave. However, it's a bummer, because I have to wait another month :/ BUT I am one of those kids who still need the financial support, so again a blessing haha.

-The Silent Auction/Game Night fundraiser was originally supposed to be this Friday August 20th but due to traveling and my lack of calculating it will be postponed and the new date will be up as soon as I have one.

-T-shirts are in!!! they look so sweet it's unreal. Billy Morris designed it so it is a one of a kind original and then Brandon Le (like he hasn't done enough already) had the hook ups to get them nicely printed thanks to Jack's. They are now on sale with more to come and are $10 each

-Bracelets just came in about an hour ago : ) Right now there are only Adult sizes with Youth on the way. It has the Ivory Coast colors around the band and is printed "SHORTY GOES TO AFRICA" how perfect is that? Again these are on sale if anyone is interested $3 each

All in all life is good and God is better! A challenge for you and I this week, read Ecclesiastes. It starts out sad and depressing and turns out good. However, there is so much truth through and through. Basically everthing is meaningless and you wont know why until you read : ) Something my brother Jeff reminded me to "Stop telling God how big your storm is and start telling the storm how big your God is." Amen? Let's put faith in Him and know that we're in this for a reason.

Well please let me know if I can pray for you and have an amazing week!

Prayer Request:
-For me to surrender ALL.

-Financial support and peace

-My sister in laws mom just had surgery this morning on her spine (i think that's where). Pray for a quick recovery and God's healing touch since after all He is the ultimate physician.


I'm not sure if the video works because I am not tech savvy, so if it does not it is on my facebook. Enjoy

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Hello again,

I'm trying to make it a habit of posting every one to two weeks. This past week has been filled with amazing encouragment that I am so blessed and thankful for. I just recently found out that my support was due August 1st and was freaking out about it, but through my devotionals and friends and family members God has totally put those worries aside. It's amazing!! Talking with a wonderful friend, Heather Kogler, she even said as the week has been progressing she could see the worry and nerves slowly disappear. God is sooo good!

For this next week I'll be up at high school camp with my beautiful freshmen ladies. Please be praying for them and the rest of the Rock students going up. That their hearts may be truly touched and their lives changed. Also for the leaders going up, that we may be filled with the Lord's energy and God would give us the right words to say and the right moments and that we would be open to hear God's call on our lives. Camp isn't just for students lives to be changed, but also for leaders lives to be stretched and grown also. BUT most important, we leaders need patience : ) haha so please pray for that and that we don't suddenly lose it and want to break one of our students.

I'll also be giving a presentation tomorrow morning for two great Sunday school classes at Beachpoint called Sojourners and Truth Seekers. I am definitely not gifted with words and eliquent speech..so it'll be interesting to see how that goes : )

Prayer Request:
~Continued encouragment
~Rock Students at camp
~Leaders at camp
~My presentation tomorrow for the Sojourners and Truth Seekers
~Financial support for Journey Corps
~The Journey Corps team as a whole

My encouragment:

"Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." -Psalm 25:4&5
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." -Matthew 6:34
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!" -George H. Grabarkewitz (my dad..yes yes I do listen. Although it is so annoying when he says it, it totally applies haha so thanks dad)

I hope these words of truth will be encouraging to you whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or troubled.

Thanks so much for the encouraging words this week and for taking time out to read my blog. Love you tons and until next time have a wonderful week or so.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First Update

After giving a super quick preview of what Journey Corps is I thought I should give a quick update on what is going on with my life and how I discovered Journey Corps.

Well I suppose I should start from the beginning. I have a huge passion for Africa. My passion for Africa started in high school and I told Bill Staffieiri (our then youth pastor and now senior pastor). I then started praying for the country that night. I have not a clue to why that is, why out of any country or place or people did I have such a yearning to be there. Well it's a God thing and all I know that it is from God and for some odd reason or another that is where I am supposed to be at some point in my life. Last summer I had a strong erge or calling or whatever you'd like to call it to just go! After meeting with Bill Staffieri about my erge and the numerous possibilities of finally going to Africa, he suggested that I slowed my rolls and go to the Urbana Missions Confrence in St. Louis. I think I bought my ticket that day haha. There I met a man who was from WorldVenture and he heard about my situation in school being between a JC and a 4 year college and not knowing what to major in yet and my pull towards Africa and he shared with me about a training program. Well that was the only thing that caught my interest or attention, even the programs specifially designed for Africa and Africa alone didn't pull on my heart the way the Journey Corps did. When I got home I checked them out and met with a few people on the phone and was accepted a month later.

As of now I am still in the process of raising money to go. Although it is stressful it is sooo amazing! God is totally revealing Himself in bigger and better ways than I could ever ask for or hope for. It's awesome. In just the process of raising money I am learning how to be faithful and obedient and how to just give God control of my life. It is unbelievable!!! Dude if this is what I'm learning in just the preparation to leave, OH MY! I can't imagine what He'll be revealing to me when I'm actually on my trip.

Thanks so much for checking out my blog : ) If you have any questions, comments or concerns just let me know!

A huge help right now would be prayer! I wouldn't be any where near of where I am today without it and without the people who have been praying for me. So after every blog I'll be writing a Prayer Request list and any prayers that have been answered. So if you feel inclined to be praying for me here you go : ) I would love to be praying for you also so please please please let me know specifically how I could be doing just that!

Prayer Request:

~I may be faithful in this process and obedient to His word and command on my life
~The $18,000 would come and I would be prepared to leave in just two months!!
~That I may be used for the advancement of God's Kingdom
~My life be a testimony to many
~My life become less and less and Jesus become more and more prominent in it
~and as always His will be done and His kingdom come :)

Love you all and have a great day!!!

What is Journey Corps?

Journey Corps is a one to two year cross cultural, service ministry, designed for young people to use their gifts and passions, as they live in community, learn missions, and labor together. I will be living and working with the very people whom we are ministering to. Our base is stationed in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) West Africa. It is an awesome opportunity one of which I am so thankful to have the chance to be apart of. For any specific questions just email me at alyssagrabarkewitz@hotmail.com and the webiste for Journey Corps is http://www.myjourneycorps.com so that you can check it out and go more in depth about who and what Journey Corps is. Thanks for visiting : )