Walking on Water

“You called me out upon the waters
The great unknown where my feet my fail.
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand.”

I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful bodies of water. From the Caribbean, to the Atlantic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean, to Victoria Falls and beautiful blue rivers in Africa, I can honestly say I’ve seen some incredible waters on this earth. It wasn’t until recently that I truly connected the idea of water, Jesus and what it means to have faith.

I’ve always known the story of Jesus walking on the water, but it’s taken a new meaning in my life lately, and it’s eerie how God has revealed to me the importance of this event.

IMG_3120In Zambia a few weeks ago, we taught the story to the children at Lifesong for Orphans. In short, Jesus approached His disciples by walking on the water, and not just any water, but it was also in the middle of a storm. The disciples thought Jesus was a ghost, but Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Oh how often Jesus tells us that, yet we fear so much!)

Peter had such great faith that he told Jesus to call for him. Jesus did, and Peter also walked on water. But when Peter lost sight of Jesus and focused on the winds, he began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” And Jesus grabbed his hand and saved him.

“I will call upon Your name.
Keep my eyes above the waves.
My soul will rest in Your embrace.
I am Yours and You are mine.”

Beyond teaching this story I’ve known since childhood to the kids at Lifesong, my friends Mo and Janeth played a song for me while we were in Zambia. The song “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong began to speak to me, as it did to Mo and Janeth. I didn’t really get a chance to listen to the lyrics until I got home and downloaded it, but when I did, it all came together for me.

Everyone has their own ways of relating to the story, but here’s mine. Me going to Uganda is God calling me out upon the water. I’ve never been in a position like this where I’ve had to have so much faith and rely completely on God. I have to trust Him for my safety and my fundraising. Some people say I am doing such a great thing and that I must be so strong. I look at it as God did this because I’m not strong. He wanted me to be in a position where I had to surrender to Him completely, because before now, I hadn’t.IMG_2678

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters.
Your sovereign hand will be my guide,
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”

Peter started to sink when he lost sight of Jesus and focused on the storm around him, and Jesus asked him why he doubted and where his faith was. There will be storms in Uganda. I will experience things I’ve never experienced before, and the biggest storm of all will be missing my family and friends. I’ll sink if I don’t stay focused on Jesus, and if I don’t keep my eyes above the waves.

God has been calling me to step out in faith for years, but only within this past year have I had the faith to step out of the boat and onto the waters. These final lyrics I will type now are so perfectly and beautifully written, that I feel like they came from my own heart:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feed could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”

—————————————————————–

Lyrics from Hillsong’s Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
All photos by Natalie A. Trout

High-quality H2O? Today is World Water Day

bobbleI’ve always found it hard to truly enjoy water unless I was completely, 100% parched. That is, until I got a Bobble. Maybe it’s because it’s cute. It has a red top and filter. It’s design is fun and the bottle is squeezable. The name alone – Bobble- is fun to say. And, of course, the water is delicious.

Since I got my Bobble, my water intake has drastically increased. Nearly every hour I’m heading to the water fountain to fill my Bobble with filtered water, which will then pass through an additional filter before reaching my mouth and making me happy. That’s some seriously “high quality H2O” that Water Boy’s Bobby Boucher would be proud of.

Today is World Water Day. How often do we, in America, really even think about water? It’s such a huge part of our everyday lives that we don’t even notice it. Water isn’t only readily available, but clean, fresh, cold and hot water is readily available to almost everyone. Some people even spend a couple bucks on a bottle of water, one of which they picked out of dozens of choices.

Such is not the case in most places in the world, and I have seen this with my own two eyes. The photo at the top is a stream of water in the village of Terencio in Nicaragua. I took this photo when I was there on a mission trip in 2011. Can you even imagine bathing in that water, let alone drinking it? In some places, they have no choice. That is 480633_10151287503896573_1606328051_nthe only source of water available to them. That picture isn’t of a puddle, it’s of a stream. Often their only source of water.

The picture on the right is one I took in Niger, Africa, where most of their water supply comes from the Niger River, an obviously unclean river. With half the country being covered by the Sahara Desert, water isn’t easy to come by.

According to the World Water Day website, 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Six to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.

It breaks my heart when I think of Mayrober, my sponsor child in Nicaragua, having to live with filthy, disease-infested water, as well as all the beautiful children and adults I met while in Niger. I’m thankful that Food for the Hungry and other organizations are doing all they can to bring clean water to these communities.

Take a moment to visit the World Water Day website to learn more about “focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources”. Be thankful today as you drink a glass of water. Not everyone on this planet can get a cool glass of water whenever they please.

World Water Facts and Figures

 

This might freak you out…

This is kind of weird.

It started in 2004.IMG_0305 (2)

I started having a recurring nightmare about being on a cruise ship that was knocked over by a giant wave. I would have it about every week, and it went on for about a month. And then, the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean happened. My dreams about the giant wave stopped. That seemed pretty strange to me, but I didn’t think too much more about it.

I started having the dream again in 2005. These dreams were more vivid. I was always on a cruise ship, it would eventually be hit by a wave, and the ship would sink. In April, the Norwegian Dawn was hit by a few giant waves. It didn’t sink, but people were hurt, and like before, my dream stopped.

IMG_0271 (2)In 2010 I actually went on a cruise (that’s where all these pictures are from). I’ll be honest- I was really excited, but I was also horrified. Cruise ships have always freaked me out. Not just because of the Titanic, but because I have always had a fear of being trapped somewhere and drowning. (And for the record, yes, I can swim, and I’m not afraid to get into deep water!) Somehow I survived the cruise without any anxiety attacks. I actually had a blast and would love to go on another cruise!

I had gone years without my recurring nightmare about drowning on a sinking cruise ship. And then in December of 2011, they started again. Do you see where this was going? I was at a friend’s house when we saw the news – the Costa Concordia had wrecked off the shore of Italy. Thirty people were killed. Like all the other times, my dream stopped.

IMG_2100 (2)It freaked me out big time. That’s three times that my recurring nightmare happened before a disaster on the ocean.

And guess what started a few nights ago? Yup- the nightmare. Last night’s dream was super vivid, probably the longest nightmare I’ve had. We all knew the ship was sinking, but people kept having fun. I was frantically running around the ship trying to figure out a way to save myself, but then it completely flipped up and cracked in half, and began to sink Titanic-style. I was on top of the ship, holding on for dear life as it went down into the cold, dark ocean.

For the sake of anyone taking a cruise anytime soon, I hope nothing happens.  But how weird would it be if something DID happen?! It really freaked me out a year ago with the most recent cruise ship disaster. I’m kind of freaked out that my nightmares are coming true for some people.

Of course, now that I’m telling everyone about all of this, nothing will happen. Isn’t that how it always works?

Please don’t put me in the loony bin.