Today's Update from Guatemala

Me with a Poli-Sci group from Las Vegas (I'm in the tan coat) for Obama's inauguration, 8 years ago. My how times have changed. At the time, being a new Christian, I didn't agree with Obama's politics, (I thought all "good" Christians were Republican BAHAHA) but I've since had some revelations about what Jesus stood for and how that relates to things like war, poverty, the sick, the lost, the sinner, the hurting, and the refugee. I won't get into it, but I will say I am still proud of our country although I'm in Guatemala. I didn't "flee" America. I still believe that politics matters and civil action matters, and I still desire to make a mark no matter where I am. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
by Laura Gabriele

January 20, 2017 at 11:37AM
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Today's Update from Guatemala

Amazing few days. Got to accompany Alejandra, Jenny, and Bryan to their first day back to school. Seeing the love their teachers have for them gave me hope in humanity. Had an awesome time meeting new friends at a women's breakfast, and started a girl band. I got a 5 star review from our AirBnB guest which means I officially operate a 5 star bed and breakfast! 😄 lol Our friend Daniel came for another visit and made us lasagna, which tasted like America! 🇺🇸 (the Italian section) 😉 All this, we just got our home ready to host a missionary family of 4 for a month! So we will be a full house. This fills me up knowing we will be using our space to serve, and it also majorly tripped my nesting reflex lol... 'et voilà we have a living room! 😍😂 That's 2 bucket list items, and a few things that should have been on the bucket list but I didn't know to put them there.
by Laura Gabriele

January 18, 2017 at 08:45PM
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Today's Update from Guatemala

To the people who have "peer pressured" me to grow, you inspire me... you make me want to dance! Truly great friends see what's possible for you and care enough to demand nothing less than your best. They remind you of your dreams and hold you to them. They point out opportunities and teach you that playing small isn't going to work. They ask you to step into what you're capable of, and most important: they love you through it, and are there for you through the growing pains. I'm not done growing, but sometimes I have to look at my life and recognize those who have (sometimes unknowingly) lifted me up. These amazing people who saw something in me and leaned in to help it blossom. This list is by no means exhaustive... and it's beyond beautiful. I want to be that kind of friend to other people. Everyone should be so blessed. This is my prayer- that you are blessed in this life way beyond what you could ever contain, so that due to overflow you have no choice but to give even more of your priceless encouragement away to people. The world needs more people like you...
by Laura Gabriele

January 16, 2017 at 12:47PM
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Today's Update from Guatemala

Praising God for what he's doing in my life!! Years ago I was asked to sing worship at church for the first time, but I told the leader I (sadly) couldn't do harmonies, because somewhere along the way I had lost my ear for them. For me, there had always been a lot of brokenness around music, and I had become very skeptical of myself, my abilities (or lack thereof) and especially my motivations. I had gone silent for a whole year, not even singing to myself in the shower or anything... after have pursued it as a career path since age 14. Worship leader Alyssa McLean asked me if I had ever prayed about any of that or asked God to help me get that breakthrough to Be able to sing harmonies again... and I confessed I hadn't. So I finally did pray because I wanted redemption, I wanted to become alive again... and within a couple weeks my ear was tuned to finding good harmonies without effort. Since then I've loved getting creative with that, finding those Gospel-power-chord harmonies, the things that get people elevated. And the beauty is I know it was all from God, and not my own strength or ability, that He was whispering them to me in love. Now my singing is a response to God's love, that I can echo out to people, and because I was once broken I know the love that made me whole and can share that. Very recently, my journey with music continued - something very similar happened. God unlocked the keyboard for me. I played worship today, yes on the *piano* which I hadn't touched for *years* until this Thursday. Listen, I had never been any good at it or even played in any kind of band or in front of a group of people before. I would cringe at my own playing and resolved never to subject poor humans to it. But on Thursday I was told it was needed. That no matter how simple, at least a baseline was needed. After years of trying and failing to play well enough to even accompanying my own singing, much less be distracted by a band on top of this, I knew my skill level was inadequate. But I remembered God's faithfulness in the past, and the encouragement Alyssa had given me to pray. So this time I had faith, and believed that God could fill the gaps. I swallowed my pride. I got out of my own way and my need for ego-preservation, and I prayed about it. He totally took the anxiety that had bound my fingers for years. I practiced up and by today's service was able to play, unencumbered, even doing fills, and intros when the lead guitar's power cut out, without hitting wrong notes. To me, knowing how much of a struggle it's been in the past, this is nothing short of a miracle that this was opened to me. I ran to God and He unlocked these things for me and took away the fear. Beyond grateful. I feel like playing all day! There is a part of the Bible that talks about separating the wheat from the chaff, and today's message was about allowing God to burn away the old to make way for the new. It's such a poetry of life that it should come at a time like this. It was uncomfortable for me to let go of that "I can't" mentality. I had to go into new territory with God. But I got victory, and I'm never going back to that old "I can't" place! I'm moved by God's faithfulness to pray over any and every impossible situation. Please, if you feel like something is binding you and feels impossible, pray over it! If you feel like you can't, pray over it and do it anyway wearing only faith! Let love and God's glory be your only agenda!
by Laura Gabriele

January 15, 2017 at 06:54PM
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Content by Laura Gabriele