Author Archives: kayla wolff

About kayla wolff

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." Mark 16:15

What are you waiting for?

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If you can’t enjoy where you are today you will never enjoy where you are in the future.

Stop waiting for things to get better. Stop waiting for tomorrow. For next week. For next month. For your next adventure. For more money. For a husband. For a wife. For a new house. For a new job. Start living in today. Start making your dreams and goals a reality today.

Start saying yes today to things that scare you. Start chasing your goal today. Right now. Don’t put it off until new years, until you feel like you’re ready. You will never be ready. Stop letting fear get in the way of moving forward. So what if you fail? So what if you make a mistake? That’s how we learn. That’s how we grow. What is it that you can do today that will help you get where you want to be? Making a phone call, studying for that thing you are passionate about, sending an email, asking a question, excepting an offer even though you have no idea how it’s going to work out…

You are the only person stopping you from being great, from being happy.

This is something God is teaching me right now. As I am about to enter a new season I have found myself in two positions. One, wanting what’s next to get here so fast that I started to neglect the time I still had here in this season and two, being absolutely terrified of this next step I am about to take because I’ve never done it before. Being honest and vulnerable I have a fear of failure and a fear of letting people down. But with both of these situations I am facing, God is really working on them in my life right now.

The first is I will never be happy in anything I do if I am not happy right now. In this moment. If I can’t find something to be happy about now. Today. I will always find something wrong in the future as well. I can’t spend my days thinking about the next step solely and neglecting what God still wants to do in the now. We can’t live in the future, we can only live in this moment. While although yes, we can and we need to plan for the future we cannot spend all of our time living and thinking in the future. We will miss out on the best things, the adventure of life. I came across this quote that lined up with what God is teaching me”Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” That’s so true, don’t just rush through the day focused on what needs to get done and what the rest of your week looks like. But take the time to say yes to adventure, say yes to something spur of the moment (no matter how against your nature that is to do. Trust me, it’s not always easy for me to do something on a whim but sometimes we just need to let loose.) savor those moments because soon they will just be a memory. But they will be some of your best memories. The times you chose to live your life.
Second is “But what if I fail?” And I’ve come to accept that sometimes I will and that’s okay. God has taught me a lot this year about pleasing people, failing, asking for help, feeling like I have no idea what is happening but also persevering and showing me that’s it’s okay to not know everything, that’s how we learn and grow. But it’s not okay to not try. It’s not okay to sit complacently and let your life slip by and to live a life of mediocrity when you know your calling and you know your passion but the only thing holding you back is fear that you won’t be good enough. God has been teaching me how to ask for help even when it feels silly, even when it feels like something I should know, as well as how to stay committed to something no matter how hard it is and no matter how bad I want to give up, and how to follow His voice and take risks even when I can’t see the whole picture.

God has been doing a lot in my life this year and I can’t lie and say it’s all been fun or easy. But it’s been worth it, following Him always is. I’ve been challenged and I’ve been stretched. He’s still working on me and I never want Him to stop. I am ready to and am living my life today.

So what about you? What’s holding you back? What dreams do you have and how can you achieve them? What can you go and do right now to move forward and not be complacent? What choice can you make today to enjoy your life?

“Every day might not be good but there’s something good in every day.”

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A beautiful mess.

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“Do you like to hike?” I was asked this question by a friend this morning. I responded with, “I’d say… I like the end result of hiking. I like exploring new things and being at the tops of high places…. but getting there isn’t always fun.”

God really spoke to me through that answer I gave. So many times in our life we want to be at the top, we want to enjoy the view, we want to go new places, see new things, meet new people… but we don’t want to always do whatever it takes to get there. We ask God “what’s next” we ask “Why can’t I just be where you’re calling me RIGHT NOW!” Sure, God could just place you on the mountain top, he could just show you a new waterfall while you’re driving down the road. But the adventure, the stories, come from you hiking there yourself! It may be hard, you may get dirty, bruised, scraped, you may fall down, but you’ll also see more of his character in these times through his creation, you’ll see the nature around you, new animals and creatures, you’ll meet people along the way who will encourage you, you’ll find things you never knew existed. When you reach your destination you will be able to look back at the hike and appreciate it so much more. When you tell people about your experience you’re not only going to include the epic sun rise you saw, but how you got there, where this awesome scar came from, and how you found this crazy little shack on the way that served the best tacos.

The same with your walk with God. He may be calling you somewhere great but in order to get there you may have to battle some challenges, you might get dirty, you might fall, it may not always be fun. But you’ll also meet people along the way who will encourage you, who will share their testimonies with you of how God got them through the long road, you’ll learn new things about God and his character, you’ll become stronger, you’ll learn the road, you’ll know how to overcome these obstacles in the future, and when you finally arrive at the place God is calling you and you look back at the journey it took to get there it’ll be so much more satisfying. Then you’ll have the chance to help others on the walk, to encourage them and share your own testimonies of how God brought you through it and took you to new places.

If this is you right now, don’t give up! Don’t ask why you can’t just be there already. Instead, take a deep breath, enjoy the adventure, and embrace the hike no matter how difficult it gets because it can also be a beautiful time.

La vida loca

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Let me tell you a little bit about this crazy life I live because it’s been a while…..

  • The other week I finally invested in a Nicaraguan cell phone which meant I needed to visit Movistar (one of the phone companies here) to have it activated. Seems simple enough, except that I don’t speak Spanish… which I knew that fact and that is why Deby accompanied me. However, I do know enough spanish to know when the lady looked at me and asked “Come se llama?” (what is your name?) I replied, “Kayla! K-A… uhhhh wait… *frantically looks at Deby* How do you spell my name?!?!”  I don’t know the Spanish alphabet, and they pronounce all of their letters differently. So there I was. 22 Years old, couldn’t spell my own name. HAHA! Deby and I laughed a long time afterwards about that. She said “The look on your face was priceless!!”

Along with the purchase of the cell phone and having a Nicaraguan number, I have already received wrong number texts, “Hola, Wilmer desile atu papa que traiga jabon” — “Wilmer it’s dad bring home soap.”  “Estoy tratando de llamarte pero no tengo saldo. Por favor llamame” — “I’m trying to call you but I don’t have any minutes. Please call me”

  • A few days ago I was standing in the street waiting on Rene and Deby to finish talking with someone and on the other side of the street were some older men playing dominoes and listening to music when “why you gotta be so rude” started playing. Clearly, I started singing along… the entire song… in the middle of the street. Because what else are you supposed to do when everything around you is not your language and you hear something familiar.

 

  • Sometime last week I was walking down the street and I slipped on a banana peel in the street… It really is a real thing that happens… not just in movies.

 

  • And finally, last night I was in the shower and I felt something on my ankle. I looked down and at fist glance it looked like a glob of blood, I was like what in the world happened?! THEN IT STARTED MOVING… It. Was. A. Roach. Crawling up my leg. I quickly kicked it off and then it proceeded to chase me around the shower! I bumped in to and knocked all the soap and shampoos off of the wall and then had to pick them up while being chased. It was a traumatic experience. lol

In other news, all this month we’ve been meeting three days a week with the youth leaders in the church we attend to have a training seminar with them. We’ve been teaching on things like how to evangelize, having a vision for their ministry, and Biblical world view. That’s been going well. It’s been good to connect with and become better friends with them.

On Friday I will be going to renew my visa, can you believe I’ve been here for three months already? In some ways it feels like time is flying by but in other ways I feel like I’ve been here forever.

In a couple weeks we have another team of 12 coming in from Costa Rica to do ministry with our base.

Continue to keep us in your prayers! Love you guys!

 

 

The little things…

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I haven’t written in a couple weeks so let’s begin with story time. I had the realization the other day that “Doña” in Spanish is another word for “Señora” (Mrs.) However prior to this realization I have spent the last month thinking that the lady who owns our home’s name was “Donna Carmen” because every time Migi and Rene refer to her they say “Doña Carmen” meaning, Mrs.Carmen. Not Donna. Oh the mis-understood words.

Another funny lost in translation story is from my room mate Deby. I was asking her where he learned her English, at school, or what. She began telling me, ” I learned a little at school but then my dad bought me an English curse.” I was so confused for a minute because I knew that’s not what she meant and then I realized she meant “course” and started laughing so hard! Then I explained it to her, and then we both laughed until we had tears. “You were cursed with English!!!!!”

Living here is the best, we all get a good laugh daily at trying to figure out what each other is saying. It’s so wonderful. I’m starting to pick up on a lot of Spanish though which is good and I’m also learning Creol. Which is closer to my language but so much harder to understand since it goes against everything that is grammatically correct with English.

Alright! So, life lessons from the last two weeks. It’s hard hosting an outreach team. It’s even harder when you’re hosting twelve people and there are only four of you on staff at your base. For a while I was having a really rough time. Things were going wrong, I felt like every thing I did for about three days straight I messed up, I wasn’t sleeping well, I was exhausted, I was starting to feel sick, I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t smart enough- Every one in this house right now is bi-lingual, except for one girl and she speaks five languages. And then there’s me, who only knows English. I was starting to feel bad, like I shouldn’t be here, everything has to be translated just for me, I should know more. I called my mom, and was on the verge of tears. “I know I’m supposed to be here but I just want to go home” but I’m always reminded, if you left every time things got hard you would never accomplish anything.

I was talking with God though and asking Him to help me overcome these things, to have more patience, to encourage me and help me to just have a good day, and before I knew it, my days started to get better. God began giving me little gifts over the course of two days and at the end of the second day is when I really realized it. Every thing I had been wanting I had received. Everything I had mentioned or said, “ahhhh I really wish I had a …..” I got! They were minor things, but minor things that you don’t typically get here that I really wish I had. Examples: I had said to Deby one morning, “I really want chocolate milk and ice cream!” That afternoon we did ministry at the orphanage and unexpectedly they gave us chocolate ice cream!!! Which was close enough to the two things I wanted. One day last week we went and helped workers break rocks to give them a break from their jobs and I cut my hand and needed to buy band aids. Deby had given me a couple until I got to the store and they were the beige ones, and if you know me, you know I like fun things. So I asked her, “Do they sell fun band aids here? Or just the plain beige ones.” And she replied with “Fun bandaids?!” Which told me that’s a no. However, I went to the store yesterday and guess what! The ONLY band aids they had were cute ones with puppies, and monkeys, and flamingos. I was so excited! I brought them home and Deby, Rene, and Migi all said “I’ve NEVER seen those before!” One more super cool story, before I left home to move here I gave away my TOMS (shoes) because I didn’t plan on bringing them with me and a girl from my church needed shoes and they were her size. I did not want to give them away though because they were my favorite shoes, even though I had no intentions of bringing them with me. But since I struggled so hard with wanting to give them away that’s why I knew I had to. Anyway, all that to say when I got here I noticed that Deby and Migi both own a pair of TOMS and I was like “ahhh I wish I had mine!!!” but that’s impossible here. One, I can’t order things online and two, even if I could I can’t afford to spend that much money on shoes. So I didn’t think anymore about it, until yesterday. I was out shopping with a couple girls from the outreach team and we walked into this used shoe store, when I spot TOMS!!! I said “No way! They have a pair of TOMS!” I run over and pick them up. They’re my size. AND they’re only four USD. Needless to say, I bought them. Those are only a few ways God has surprised me this week and shown me His love and that I am were I’m supposed to be and that He’s not only interested in taking care of my physical needs but He wants to surprise me with things I like and want from time to time. He’s a good, good father.

I actually started writing this blog several days ago but never got a chance to post it. The team headed out this morning to go back to Costa Rica and finish up their last week of DTS. We had an amazing time with them and saw God work in some pretty cool ways while they were here. I’m so blessed to be able to be a part of this ministry as it’s in the developing stages.

This Monday will mark 6weeks that I have been here in Nicaragua, which is the longest I’ve ever stayed in another country before. This time however I’m going to far surpass the 6 week point and I get to stay!! Which is the best feeling. As hard and challenging as it can be sometimes, this is home. These people are my family. I’m finally starting to feel like I somewhat fit in in this country and I love it.

Thank you for all of your prayers! Love yall!

Give me your eyes…

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This week a main focus God has given myself and our team during our prayer times is to see the people of Bluefields the way He sees them. To look at this city not only with our eyes but through spiritual eyes and to be aware of what’s happening in the spiritual world around us as well as the physical. But first…. Story Time.

There I was lying in bed Wednesday night at 10pm all tucked in and exhausted. I’m tuning out the incredibly loud music and fighting from the bar across the street and I’m drifting into sleep when all of a sudden they play….. “IM A BARBIE GIRL IN A BARBIE WORRRRRRLDDDD” Followed by “girls they wanna have fuuuun ohhh girls just wanna have fun.” Followed by “NEVERRRR will I find someone like youuuuuuuu. I wish nothing but the best for youuuu” followed by “forever young I wanna be forever young” ALL while in a separate place the incredibly loud Spanish music was still playing and people were still shouting and dogs were sill barking. Until well after 11pm. It was crazy.  And if you’re wondering. Yes. Yes I did sit up in my bed at 10 PM and sing the entire Barbie Girl song line by line with the different voice inflections.  My room mate, Deby laughed so hard at me. 

But in all reality as funny as that story is, that bar is something that we are praying against. The songs they play are 90% in Spanish and they’re not good songs. They talk about drugs, getting drunk, and treating women badly most of the time, which are all major problems here in Bluefields. And these songs start playing every day at 2pm and continue until at least 10pm but sometimes go on until 12 – 1 in the morning. Even on weeknights. These songs are heard all over this community because they’re so loud and you can feel the spiritual tension here. It’s affecting us pretty hardcore and we’re fighting against it. In addition to praying we’ve also started playing worship music to over power the music from the bar from 2pm until we go to sleep so those songs aren’t getting stuck in our minds as well as in the mind of Esdras and Nissi (The base directors kids) who are only four years old. This is something you can be helping us pray for. Specifically the people who are going to this bar every night. Another main thing God has brought to our attention is the spiritual blindness of the people in this city. We are praying that God will begin to work in them and open their eyes so when we talk with them they will be more open to what we have to say.

Overall things are going really well here! This past week and this coming week we are having training for our new jobs here as staff. I will be in charge of all things communication and hospitality. I’m still learning what all that entails but essentially I will be running the social media pages, website, emails, making flyers, contacting/ recruiting teams who want to visit and students, welcoming people, getting things ready for speakers when they visit, ect. ect. A whole lot of things. lol! Next Saturday we are hosting a team from Costa Rica for two weeks, I am hoping to give updates while they are here but we’ll see. Our internet connection is already not very strong and adding 13 more people to our house isn’t going to help but I will try to blog!

Thank you for all of your support and prayers. Love yall!!!!

Not my will but yours be done.

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Let’s start this week off with a little story time:

Debby says to me, “We need to go grocery shopping this morning.” To which I reply, “..ok!”  We get in the taxi and ride to town. So far so good. Get out, walk to a market to buy some chicken and cheese, ok. Then 2dozen eggs from another place, walk down the street buy some fresh fish, turtle, and shrimp from some guy on the street. (I tried VERY hard not to vomit at this point for many reasons.. the smell, just looking at it…) then on to buy more meat from another market. At this point I can’t hold any more so I say “Deby! Can I please purchase a big bag to put all this in???” Thankfully next to the meat market there were bags for sale. The Lord is good. So we put everything in the larger bad which probably already weighs about 15lbs. THEN we purchase a large pineapple and a very large papaya. We put that in the bag. So now I’m walking through the streets carrying this large bag and Deby is carrying eggs and then we stop at a stand to buy vegetables. Like 5lbs of veggies or more! Then we walk into this large building and Deby looks at me and these many stairs and says “I’m so sorry.” To which I reply “yeah. No. Ima sit here with all this stuff while you go!” HAHA so I did. Then we went to a “grocery store ” where we had to check all of our current things into a locker. Bought MORE things. Then Deby put me in a taxi alone and sent me home. With all. This. Stuff. Half way here the driver says “you have fish?!” “…yes..” “SON OF A! No no fish in the taxi. Is it leaking?!?” “No sir.” (Because It hadn’t been leaking) then I get out of the taxi with all this stuff and he helps me and darn it if the dang bag holding everything, including the fish wasn’t leaking. He again said “SON OF A! You said no!” “I said I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry! I’ll wipe it off with my dress!” He said “no no it’s fine” THEN I HAD TO CARRY IT ALL FROM THE ROAD TO THE HOUSE UP THE STAIRS. How’s that for an adventure? (It’s okay if you’re laughing. It WAS pretty crazy)

I’m not going to lie, I had a hard time handling that day. It was a hard day already but on top of that, so many normal tasks throughout that day seemed to go wrong as well and I was so frustrated. I wanted to just pack up and go home. But I knew that wasn’t an option. So I sat down and I talked with God. I said “God. I know you want me here. Without a doubt in my mind I know that this is where I’m supposed to be. But God I don’t want to be here. I need you to give me your heart for this city, for these people. Help me to be okay with the culture. Help me adapt. Because this. is. hard.” Later on that night we were having our devotion time together and what was shared was “doing God’s will” Dale shared about Jesus and when he was praying the night before he died. He didn’t want to die. His flesh absolutely did not want to do it. But He wanted to please His father and do His will and He put that above His own desires. Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” With that, God’s been encouraging me to really study the life of Jesus during this time of adjusting. I want this to be a season of doing God’s will and not my own. No matter the challenges I face. But even in the challenges He does bring me joy and hope and a lot of that is through you guys! As I was spending time praying yesterday I received an encouraging text message, and then later on my mom sent me the song “This is not goodbye” By Sidewalk prophets. I had never heard that song before but it was exactly what I needed at that moment. We went on a bus ride through the city yesterday and that was so good because it gave me more of an excitement for where I live. God is doing good things here and in me!

I know last weeks blog and this one have been more so about the challenges I’m facing but there have been so many good times too. Deby, my room mate is amazing. She is so patient with me as I’m learning the culture and how to work in the kitchen and we have so much fun laughing and joking together. I really love her. The twins, Esdras and Nissi are amazing too. They’re four and I absolutely adore them! They frequently call me “Dana” lol But they’re so sweet and we have a lot of fun sitting on the floor laughing and playing together and their favorite thing to do is snapchat! “Dana! I want to take a piiiiiicture!”

Thank you all for your constant prayers. They are felt and they are appreciated.

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Some of the stuff I was carrying

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Waiting for Deby

 

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The fish man

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of my city                             Nissi helping me budget

A little bit of culture shock…

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Where do I even begin? I guess we could start with the airport. I arrived in ATL last Monday afternoon 5 hours before my flight to Managua, Nicaragua was going to take off. I found out where my gate was, got some food, and made myself comfortable in preparation for my layover. It was becoming closer to boarding time and I was starting to get all of my things together and sending out my last text messages. The plane was at the gate but as boarding time came the lady came over the intercom and said “Now boarding to Guatemala city!” Myself and everyone around me quickly shot to our feet trying to figure out where we were supposed to be!! The gate for Managua had changed but no one announced it. So we all took off running across the airport to the correct gate because it was already past boarding time. Thankfully we all made it but phew, what a rush.

All of the days since arriving have run together and it’s definitely been a lot to get used to. There’s a lot of difference between moving to another country by yourself and coming on a trip with several other people for a few weeks. One is well, the whole I’m staying pretty long term and that’s sunk in several times now and I may have cried a little, and I’m sure I’ll cry some more as the time goes on but for right now, I’m alright and am adjusting well to my new life. The culture shock has been real though. From being thrust into a new culture and not knowing the language, the currency, what in the world you’re supposed to do. You can’t even tell the taxi driver how to get home and have no idea how to cook rice. I can’t just run to walmart or target!!!! Because no such thing exist here or anything remotely similar. I had a dream about Target last night and it’s only been one week. HA! We live across the street from a bar that plays their music very loudly every. single. day. from 2pm- 12am. That’s fun. I did get excited yesterday though, I was in the shower and a VERY hispanic version of “All of me” By John Legend came on. It made me happy a little because it is the only song they play in English but mostly because it was being sung by a Hispanic man with a techno beat. Overall I think the thing I’ll most have to get used to is washing clothes by hand on the “pilla” or scrub sink. I am terrible at it and I feel like my clothes smell worse after I’m done. You’d think I’d have it down after 12 weeks of doing it on my outreaches but no. I’m still bad at it.

There are many other things that I could list I’ve had culture shock over but those are the main ones. All in all I love it here and there’s no place I’d rather be for this next season because I know this is what God has for me. This week we will be unpacking all of our things and getting situated in our new home and probably going out in the evenings to pray in the city.

I’m excited to see what all God is going to do in Bluefields and can’t wait to keep yall updated! Thank you for your prayers and support. Te quiero MUCHO!

Deby and I preparing lunch           Nissi is one of the directors kids

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One of the birds outside our window every morning           Esdras (Their other child) He frequently displays how I feel lol!

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The “washing machine”