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March 28th, 2017

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Chapter 1 – Why I Am Going Back

March 28th, 2017

This is my story of how I got to where I am. This is how I know that this is a calling from God and not just something I decided to do. I read in a bible study that, “only Jesus can dramatically change something that has been true of you since birth.” Well, that is exactly what happened:

Almost a year ago, I was sitting on a couch in tears as I told my church missions group about my hesitations concerning the weeklong mission trip we had all signed up for to go to Honduras. You see, I had figured I would go on one mission trip so that I could say that I had been somewhere but now knew my true calling was here, in America, indoors, in air conditioning, and in my comfort zone. I thought it would be a ‘one and done’ type of deal. But even so, there I sat telling my team how much I dislike bugs, outdoors, nature, the sun, sweating, what a picky eater I am, how I actually quite like wearing make-up and feeling pretty, how much I like to control the situation and have a plan, along with so many other things. But most of all how my fear of the Spanish language and my brain’s refusal to understand and/or speak it had me convinced I could not withstand a week in Honduras. If you know me even a little bit, you know that this trip was a stretch for me. If you don’t know me, I’ll explain with this example; I do not like going to the beach because I think it smells bad, it’s to hot, it is guaranteed that you and anything you brought with you will be sandy and dirty for days to come. The is just too honest of a place for me between the bathing suit and not wearing make-up, all in all, it is not relaxing, it is too much nature. (Please don’t get me wrong, I am not a negative person, I am just allowing you inside my head, which, is very very dramatic!). Many times before leaving I had people ask me why I was going and tell me there were better trips for me, or I was going to die if I continued being me. But I toughed it out, I can do anything for 1 week!

One thing about me that has always been true is how much I love children. We were going to care points to play with children so I though it would make up for all the discomforts. But, I quickly realized that I overestimated my non-verbal communication skills. We had quite a few Spanish speakers in the group who ran up to the kids and immediately got them playing a game of tag. I laugh a little now thinking about how silly I looked trying to play tag with them but really just chasing myself in circles. I figured no one wanted to play with a stranger who couldn’t even introduce herself so I kinda hid in a shadowed corner and watched (like a total creeper). I felt so uncomfortable, I couldn’t talk to anyone and I couldn’t see how God could use me, I didn’t understand why He had sent me! I put my sunglasses on so no one could see the forming tears as I asked God to do something amazing. Suddenly a little girl ran over and touched my hip than ran away laughing. With the touch of my hip, God performed a true miracle! Within no time I had kids sitting on my lap, giving me hugs, and teaching me Spanish. They were just allowing me to love them as they showed me love in return. By the end of the day, I had mud caked up to my knees, I was pretty sure I had given some lice a very warm welcome on to my head (as I had children’s heads on my shoulders and my head on theirs), and I had collected a few bug bites since my sweat had washed away any and all bug spray I applied that morning. But here is the crazy part, I couldn’t go to sleep because I was so excited to wake up and do it all again! I loved those kids so much from just one day and very little actual communication. I felt like the blind man from John 9 whom God rubbed mud on his eyes so that he could see clearly. This feeling was not just a fondness, it was not pity for those less fortunate, it was not being caught up in a moment of emotions…it was true and supernatural love that can only be felt through the power of Jesus Christ Himself!

To spare the rambling and book writing that I’ve started, I will summarize the rest of the trip. We left the first care point to visit a second one. I felt sick! Whether it was carsickness or the pain in my stomach that there had not been enough time or a combination of the two, I don’t know, but I was certain that I would not like the second care point we visited. All my insecurities came rushing back and once again I was frozen with fear when we arrived. Even if there was a translator present to make a conversation possible, I forgot that I knew how to talk to children, I felt like a very rude mute. But of course, silly Cami, you would have thought that I would have learned by this time not to challenge God’s ability to show me blessings! I came across 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Oh, how that verse touched me because it was what God was doing in me. Love “in truth,” I still can’t get over the power behind those words and how perfectly they were delivered to me. I fell in love with these kids just as much and had one girl break me down in tears because I could not contain how much I loved this newfound sister in Christ!

By the end of the week I was once again sitting with my team crying but I was crying because I felt I had left such a big piece of my heart in Honduras. I wanted to throw a 3-year-old temper tantrum and refuse to get on the plane. The time had gone by too quickly. Life wasn’t the same. Ever since I got back to America, I have truly struggled, feeling it was not right, me being here. So I have lifted Honduras in my prayers every day and asked God for a way to go back and do the work that was left undone, to do the things He was so clearly pushing me to do.

Skip ahead almost a year and my church announced they would be traveling to Honduras twice this year, once in June and once in December. As excited as I was to go back, I also felt choked up when I saw that each trip was only a week long. I knew I had a calling on my life that wouldn’t leave me alone until I took action, so I did. I started planning a way to be in Honduras for a long period of time, to go and make an impact and dedicate myself fully to serving God. By the grace of God, I have seen mountains begin to move and miracles happen as He has opened certain doors and shut others. While it has not been easy and may be one of the hardest and scariest seasons of my life, I can see His hand on it.

I am so happy to announce that I will be traveling to Honduras with the first Action Team at the end of June and will not return until the second team returns at the beginning of December. I will be staying in Honduras for 5.5 months, assisting with administrative work, helping improve the website and connecting children with sponsors so they can afford to eat, go to school, have health care and learn about their importance and value that was given to them by the One who gave His life for them, Jesus Christ. I hope to help establish new activities at care points like a dance program to draw children off the street and into a safe place. One project that I would love to work on is a video system so that sponsors can get to know their children without having to travel. I want to create videos showing their life and have personalized messages for the sponsors. I will be working with Children’s Cup as a part of the outreach team at Casa de Oracion Familiar.

While this seems like a long blog, there is so much I left out. I included a lot about how these children affected me because I wanted to show how Jesus truly changed me. He opened my eyes, changed my focus, and allowed my heart to grow. Things that have been trademark Cami are suddenly gone. The final point that I want to make is a big part of my experience that I left out of the blog for the sake of confidentiality, privacy, and respect of the children and families I met there. The work that Action Church did in Honduras was incredible. We did play with children but that is not all that we did. We spoke life to children and families who were not yet in the family of Christ, who had no hope and saw no value to their life. A care point is a place where children can come. They are living very impoverished lives in the slums where their lives are threatened in multiple ways daily. The amazing people who run these care points give families a place to go to eat, teach them skills so they can make a living without having to sell their bodies, give them fun activities to do, help them with school, provide them with sponsors so they can go to school, and most importantly, teach them about a God who loves them enough to die for them, who wipes their sins clean, who knows them better than anyone, what they have done and what they have been through and despite it all, loves them. They teach them that Philippians 3:14 is true, they can do ALL things through Christ who gives them strength, and He, Jesus our Lord and Savior is the only qualifier to have that freedom, that strength, and that love. Although this trip was such a great experience for me, I am not going back for selfish reasons, I am going back because I have seen the need that is there and God has put it on my heart to fulfill it.

Please, if you feel it in your heart, support me so that I can be in Honduras for an extended period of time. I need the initial cost of $2,000 covered as well as monthly support of a total of $1,500/month. Whether is $1 or $1,000, your money will not be unnoticed or unappreciated. Please look at my other blogs if you want to participate in any of the fundraisers I am doing. Also, please support me in prayer. I have posted a blog listing prayer requests I have leading up to the trip and will post more once I get there. Even more, if your heart feels led, please consider sponsoring a child! I would love to tell you more about each one and help you connect!

Thank you so much!

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Prayer Requests

March 21st, 2017
  • Financial Support – I have a lot of money to raise and I have a hard time humbling myself to ask for help. Please pray that God will work in the peoples hearts to provide me with the funds I need
  • Fundraisers – please pray for my fundraisers, that people will show up, they will be successful, and they will help me move closer to my goal. To pray for specific fundraisers please see my fundraiser blog
  • Bella – while I am away I need someone to watch my dog Bella. While I love her to death and think she is the best dog ever, finding someone to watch her is hard because she does not get along with other dogs nor does she like children. She needs someone who will love to cuddles with her but who can also take her on walks every morning. Please pray that God will send me the right person who will love her as much as I do and be the perfect fit while I am away. I am really struggling with leaving her because I love her so much but if I do not find someone to watch her, I will not be able to leave.
  • Speaking Spanish – I have been working on learning Spanish but partially due to my learning disabilities, learning new languages is very hard for me. Please join me in praying that I will be able to have a good understanding of the Spanish language before leaving, that it will only improve upon arrival, and lack of language will not hinder the work God has for me in Honduras. Please also pray for me to have the time and motivation to dedicate to learning and perfecting this language. This is a BIG prayer request because it has created quite a mountain that it seems I cannot get around. However, we all know that God gives us mountains so that we can see Him move them. So I am ready for faith and God’s infinite glory to move this giant mountain!
  • Friends – I am worried about being in Honduras after my team leaves me. My parents have described me as “a talker” and I am worried about having someone to talk to. Please pray that I form quick relationships and make life long friends (who speak English) so that I can debrief at the end of my day.
  • Living Situation – Please pray for safety in my living situation. Also please pray that I will have no problem adjusting to a new life style. If you just want to pray over my living situation in general, it would be very appreciated!
  • Food – I am a very picky eater and did not eat any kind of Mexican food in the past. Since God placed this calling on my heart, I have been working on teaching myself to like new foods. However, I am still a picky eater so please ray for God to help adjust my pallet.
  • My Missions Team – I will be traveling with 2 different teams from Action Church. Please pray that we can come together as a team to do Gods work. Please pray that we will be supportive of each other, and not let differences, annoyances, or frustrations break the relationship that God intends. Please also pray that each member will be prepared spiritually, emotionally, financially, mentally, and in every other way they can be. I am so excited about getting closer to these amazing people and they are already so close to my heart! Please keep each one of them in your prayers too!
  • My Words And Actions – Please pray that God prepares me for what is to come, that when I open my mouth I speak through the Holy Spirit rather than out of discomfort or even out of my own desire. Please pray that every word serves a purpose. I want to bring glory to God’s name. Please also pray for my actions, that I will not let homesickness, tiredness, laziness, sickness, or carelessness over power me. Instead let me be lifted up by those around me so that I can lift them up in return.
  • Safety – Please join me in praying for safety
    • Going to a 3rd world country can be very dangerous. I have heard stories that have had me frozen in fear. But God is greater and nothing happens without serving a greater purpose. Please pray for my safety, for angels to walk with me wherever I go. For safety in my living situation, transportation, and daily activities.
    • Please pray for safe travel. For my flights in June and December.
    • Please pray for the safety of my health. Because it is a 3rd world country, it is not safe for me to drink the water. However it is easy to forget about certain things like melting ice, fruits and veggies rinsed in it or brushing my teeth and swallowing it. Another concern of mine is the mosquitos, I am not a big bug spray wearer (though I will become one), and the mosquitos carry diseases such as Dengue fever, Chagas, Malaria, Typhoid Fever, Zika, and a few others.  And finally please pray for my health in general. As I am in a new environment, eating different foods, and exposed to new things, pray for my immune system to hold up.
  • Children and Families – I will encounter many different types of people with all different kinds of stories. Please pray for their safety and healing. Please pray that God brings the right people my way.
  • Fear – Please pray that I overcome all fear and spiritual warfare leading up to and while serving in Honduras.
  • Purpose – That I do Gods work and don’t forget about the reason I am there
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