Seeds and ripple effects

I’m currently sitting in the airport in Orlando Florida, amazed, humbled and excited to see how God continues to grow and expand this vision, bringing new faces and lives into it for his glory.

I was invited to speak at a middle school in Orlando last year and came not knowing what would come of it. The kids reacted to my story in such a sincere and powerful way it left them and their amazing faculty saying what more can we do? It almost served of a call to action as I shared my story starting with taking a small step of faith to Africa for the first time to visit the wells not knowing what would come of it.

I visited the school and spoke getting time to spend time with the students. I am completely blown away by their compassion and the way it has lead them, hearing from them I have no doubt God is raising up mighty leaders coming from this school in Orlando who are fostered by faculty that truly love, encourage and support their students. You can feel it, and you can see the fruits of their labor in the lives and hearts of their students.

These kids decided that they were not too young to make a difference, so they planned for a walk for a well! Hoping, some doubting if they could raise 5,000 for a larger water system, through the hard work of parents, students and faculty who were passionately committed to help change lives through the love of Christ they raised 3 times the original amount!!!

3 times what they planned for!!!

That is our God, he does more and more and more!!! We cannot out-give our father when we give to things that please him. Today I had the chance to travel back, speak and see the students who are clearly a generation of world changers. We heard from one of the middle schoolers who shared how he wasn’t sure if they could do it and they did way above anyone imagined! He spoke on behalf of his peers and was proud that a group of middle schoolers have the chance to make a difference in the world and they did it! For the glory of God. He spoke about their chance to be kind and generous to change lives and represent Christ.

I shared what the Lord put on my heart, how humbled I was to see the continuous ripple effects of this once small vision. I spoke of the seeds they each have planted, how one day they will stand before the Lord and see from the other side the lives that were transformed through their response to a call to make a difference. I encouraged them that this seed they planted for the glory of God will never stop growing, and the effects it will have for Gods kingdom is unlike anything they could imagine!

Other groups and schools heard about this and now are starting to say well if they did it, we can too! This group in Florida is sparking a movement among the youth to be a generation of world changers! Their actions inspired other groups of young people! Their response is sparking a movement, and the beautiful part is they probably don’t even realize that.

I spoke to them saying they should never forget this moment in their lives and should allow it to pave the path of planting seeds for Gods kingdom in all that they do, to whatever he calls them. Would you be a generation that responds? Would you be a generation that cares enough to make a difference for God’s glory.

I’m honestly humbled sitting here seeing how God will NEVER stop growing and expanding this vision, and as time goes more people rally around this vision and uplift and support what started with an adventure to Africa with my dad, no thoughts of what God had in store for us.

When you say YES to God get ready because it will be much more than what you could ever imagine, it’s far wilder than any dream you have, and it’ll never stop growing for his glory. It starts with a step.

My dad also traveled with me and he spoke and thanked everyone who was involved. He told the students that when he looked out at the group of young people he saw Devon. What he meant was he saw some young person who had a hunger and desire to make a difference, he encouraged them to tell their story, share what God has done through their efforts and hard work, not knowing what will come of this! Tell their story and realize the impact they have created.

It’s amazing to see the ripple effects and how more and more young people are catching this vision, it’s inspiring and exciting to be on this God adventure, one in which is much wilder than anything I could have ever imagined!!

To say yes to God and to surrender your wants, hopes and dreams to him, just see what he will do! It will blow your mind.

This is a simple reminder seeing a group of young people in Orlando Florida make a difference, it’s so exciting to see how they were a group that responded to a call in which was presented to them.

God is SO good and he longs to do good deeds for humankind, he is just looking for the ones who will say YES! Let’s be those people today, tomorrow and forever because he is worthy of everything we can offer and surrender to him!

If you told me all that would have followed that trip to Ghana almost eight years ago I would have NEVER believed you, but that is OUR God! Looking out at the many young faces with hopes and dreams of their own I am reminded of all the lives that will be like flaming arrows in the hands of the Lord, the lives that lay it down in his hands, saying wherever you send me, I’m in your hands, not knowing where it’ll land, just knowing it’s greater than what they could imagined. A generation of world changers sat before me today. I am so thankful for each one of them.

Thanks for reading, you are all loved!

Time to leave the sunshine and head back to the cold!! Lol

Dev

Step out, and step IN

I keep hearing the voice of the Lord, say

“Step out and Step IN”

I just wrote a Facebook post that said ” Step OUT and step INTO what God is calling you to, now is the time!”

and the Lord said, well write a blog post about it! So… here I am feeling almost confident this is a confirmation many of you have been waiting for, before you step out, almost making sure this is of the Lord, I am here to say… IT IS! If this is something that has been stirring within you for the past couple of months, but you haven’t had the green light, now is the time! God says go, the time is NOW!

I hope this serves as a confirmation to many of you. For those of you are holding back from a place of doubt, fear or insecurity that is NOT from the Lord. That is coming from the enemy trying to hold back what the Lord is breathing inside of you, that new direction, the new ministry, path, idea, passion, now is the time. Now is the time to Step out of yourself and fear, and step into who God is and what he is calling into.

Now is the time, now is the appointed time for the new thing God is birthing inside of you, it is time, and do not stay in fear, but boldly step with that the one word God spoke to you, and he will take you from there, but he needs you to step OUT first.

It requires our action, devotion and love. Undivided devotion is what the Lord is looking for in his people now more than every before. He is looking for the ones whose hearts are undivided so he can use them so powerfully in these days we find ourselves in. But it requires our action of trusting that he will do what he says he will do, AND MORE, much more than anything we can ask, seek, hope or imagine for. Because he is who he says he is, and he has much MUCH MORE than we can even imagine.

So, throw your fears out the window and take that next step, now is the time! He is pleased at your undivided devotion just to be with him, just to trust him and be used unto his glory. He is well pleased with individuals such as these!

You are ALL Loved,

Devon

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

John 15:16

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

James 1:22

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

Philippians 4:13

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

 

when it doesn’t go as planned

I just published a post about worship and disappeared and didn’t save in my drafts! How did that happen! I spent so long working on this post and was SO excited about it 😦

I even made 3 playlists at the end of the post for you! Well sorry about that, I guess I’ll rewrite/ hopefully find it… so expect a post coming early next week! Have a great weekend and I will leave you with this …

Psalm 96

There is victory in our praise, so keep on praising God for that victory that is yet to come, if you don’t understand stay tuned…

you are all loved,

Dev

 

Created with Purpose

 

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Purpose. 

This word is one the Lord has continued to speak to my heart, almost echoing inside my inner being wanted to share it with the world. To tell each person that they are Created with Purpose by a God who loves them and sent his only begotten son to die for them because they have such value and purpose here on earth.

John 3:16

Through PNN we have made a “Created with Purpose” T-shirt to be sold (today!!!) for our work in Ghana. All proceeds will continue to expand our work to rescue the most vulnerable children and place them in families where they belong. I have seen what this message can do, I have seen how it changes lives and instills hope back into the hopeless. The word purpose is a powerful one, and it brings the lost to life.

Whether you were born in New York City or Africa God has a purpose for your life! I encourage you to check the t-shirt out, support our cause, buy a shirt and wear this message hoping it’ll spark conversations with strangers or give it to a friend or family member for the upcoming holidays.

I gave one to someone I didn’t really know and the next time I saw them he was wearing it and told me how people were reading this shirt and started to talk to him about what it meant. It really brought joy that the message of God’s love and purpose is being shared! Here is the link , the shirts come in charcoal and maroon, I would love to see how you rock the t-shirt, our children in Ghana seem to be loving them already!

click here to shop t-shirts!

My prayer for these t-shirts is that this message would be more than just a t-shirt with a saying. That this saying is from the Lord and carries significance to everyone who reads it. It would either spark conversation or have people see that they matter and are created with purpose. I pray that this encourages the lost or hopeless, and reminds us even on our toughest days that God has a plan for us. That is my prayer as these t-shirts go out as they are being sold.

Hope everyone had a good weekend, I got to have my best friends come up from North Carolina, I haven’t seem them since June! Being together felt like no time has passed and soon it’ll be the New Year. This time of year always flies by too fast.

Have a wonderful week and thanksgiving! How are you celebrating the holiday?

We have so much to be thankful for 🙂

You are all loved, and created with PURPOSE!

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This is Rockson rocking the maroon t-shirt. He is so sweet and has such a humble and kind spirit. He came into our care with so much hurt and loss in his life, but God restored and healed his deepest wounds. Rockson dreams of becoming a pastor and soccer player. He loves this t-shirt and it’s message 🙂 We hope you do too!

Dev

family + freedom and love 

This photo captures so much in eyes. I see my family. I see a family that God has perfectly knit together in his beautiful timing. I see answers to the prayers of my childhood. Each child, each face, each story, each future as unique and powerful because it points back to our Lord and what he is capable of doing in one life. 
 We truly are one big family. When we are not together we remain together in spirit and in prayer. I can say that I see them only growing more mature, wise, smart and kind each passing day. Their futures are so bright, these very faces are the future of Africa. 

There are so many powerful things I would like to share that the Lord has done on this 4 acre land plot which the Lord saved to be used for his kingdom for such a time as this. I see how this small vision has exploded to give others visions. Others who come and stay with us for a week, the ones who call this place home, the staff, partners, donors, family and friends. I see the way God takes a small vision and multiples it to something much bigger than we could even imagine possible. 

We have become family. Yesterday I saw something from a young boy who first came to our home with so much trauma. He was scared of everything. He’d just scream all the time. He was constantly tormented. It was almost impossible to console him during those episodes. We didn’t know how to help him, it seemed like anything we did he did the opposite. He didn’t get along with anyone, and was very diffucult to be with. I prayed and felt the Lord speak to my heart. Just love him. Those were the Words the Lord spoke to my heart. It wasn’t about “trying to do something special” or “trying something which a psychologist would suggest” it was simple. It’s what Christ does best. Love

Through months of pouring into this child, loving him. Whether that came in the form of a hug, just holding him like an infant despite the fact that he was 9 at the time, an affirmation or spending time one on one in God’s word his wall start to come down. He would actually ask me to hold him like a baby since no one had ever done that for him. He just wanted to be held and feel accepted and loved. He was fearing less and less, he screamed less and less. One day he accepted Christ in chapel. Then his walls came tumbling down. Behind the walls of torment and trauma was life, beautiful joyful intelligent and talented life. There was heart and compassion. There he was, the boy God created him to be. Shining joy,  beaming happiness and confidence and a quite the sense of humor! 

I remember the first time he danced. When I saw this child danced I cried. I saw the true freedom that he gained through Christ. The beautiful freedom that we enter into. I saw chains drop, I saw complete adandoment in Christ’s perfect freedom. I started to see him run and laugh. Hearing his laugh brought me to tears. This is what Christ does for us. He sets us free, through his love, as we are no longer orphans and are adopted into his family. 

Now he so is confident, bold, secure and the trauma of his past has left him. He dreams of becoming a pastor. From a child who never got along with anyone now has taken the role of loving the little ones. Although he is only 10 I see the way he is attentive to their needs. One of our four year olds cried yesterday and he was the first one to pick her up, wipe her tears away and comfort her. This is what God calls us to do because we are all one family. To love the way he loved us. Love. 

Love changes everything. Love is everything. 

Belonging in a family changes everything. Family is everything. 

Blessed to share these stories as testimonies of God’s love and goodness and his faithfulness for whom the world calls “the least of these.” 

Just wanted to share this story with everyone. God is love, and he calls us to love each other the way he loves us. Have a blessed day.

You are all loved,

From a very happy girl in Ghana, Africa 

love has called my name

“From my mother’s womb 

You have chosen me

Love has called my name” 

As thousands of people gathered today in Ukraine to celebrate the first thanksgiving on the day that marks 500 years since reformation I’ll never forget this

Through Jesus we are able to connect to people we don’t even know.  How amazing is that! We can travel the world and instantly bond with someone over Christ. It’s like finding family you’ve never met. As those lyrics posted above played with thousands of people singing it I know that God calls each one of us, he’s called us for an amazing life. These lyrics register so deeply with me, God has known us each, by name before the foundations of the world were created, and he loves us, he wants us to invite Christ in our lives so God can reveal the plans he has in store for each one of us.  

No we don’t know the plans but that is the beauty of living a life for and with God, it’s part of the adventure, trusting him with the unknown. Having seen what God has done in this country through so many individuals it is a testament to what God will do with someone’s obidence and willingness to say yes. To say yes to laying down your plans, and trusting him with his.  It is so much sweeter to adventure with God. And he doesn’t need us to be anything, we just need to be willing. 

You won’t have all the answers, but he’s calling you, and it is up to you to say yes. It won’t be easy, it’ll be more more than you’d ever hope or imagine. (Trust me, I’ve seen him do it for me, and he’ll do it for you) 

Tonight in Ukraine thousands of people gathered, different speakers all gave similar messages to the people of this nation. I believe that God is doing something big in this nation. So many people gave their lives to Christ tonight. Words can’t really describe how amazing tonight was for the people of Ukraine and the ripple effects it will play around the world. Maybe I’ll try writing about this later on, but before I go to sleep I’ll leave you with this 🙂 

God knew YOU before you were in your mother’s womb. 

That’s pretty amazing, that’s something to be hopeful about, that God knows you, and he is ready when you are, all you have to do is say yes.

You are loved,

Dev

preparing my heart for the next adventure


I wanted to share this with you before I start my journey into a part of the world that I never really wanted to go, or had a desire to visit. Ever. Does that sound harsh? I know we all have those places or parts of the world that we don’t think we’ll ever go, but never say never 😉 

A year ago this trip was mentioned to my dad and I, he asked me if I’d like to go. Immediately I said no, I’m not interested in traveling there. I have a heart for Africa and orphans, that isn’t really where I am comfortable. Little did I know that God was going to change my heart, and show me that our passions are not limited to places or people groups, the same love God gives us for one place is for the world, sometimes it takes a little time (his timing) to understand that. 

Months had passed, we rang in a new year, I was busy in Ghana and this trip never crossed my mind. I was home for three weeks packing before I was traveling to Greece with my family and friends. It was on that trip that God did something amazing. Something he perfectly appointed.  

My time in Greece was coming to an end, and what happened completely caught me off guard. I was in Mykonos with my friends. We went out to a later dinner (like midnight!) because Mykonos is a very late island, families, young children are out and about to 2 am! It’s so awesome how lively the place is and how causal it is. After dinner around 2 am my friends and I went out and around 4 am we were making our way to our last stop when I encountered 2 children who would change my life forever.  I just didn’t know it yet. 

I saw these precious beautiful children in the street. At this point all the younger families had left. They were selling glow in the dark bracelets. They looked exhausted. As I watched them and we approached closer I realized, they were gypsy children. I immediately ran to them and spoke the little Greek that I could. From what I understood they were exhausted, they were siblings and they needed to sell their bracelets all night. My friend Cate bought us all a bracelet and my friends went to the next place. I couldn’t get these children out of my mind, my heart was breaking, I was trying not to cry. God was doing something, God had a divine appointment for me in Mykonos at that very hour. 

I went back outside to just be with them. I told them they were beautiful and the little girl looked at me like she’d never been told that before, she said no you are beautiful. I told them I would never forget them and I would pray for them. 

The next day I was online reading all about gypsies. I read about their lives and how most governments barely recognize their rights or provide any assistance. Some websites said they are treated worse than animals. God was doing something, he was breaking my heart for gypsies, I had seen so I was now accountable for what I had experienced. I thank God for those two precious children.

I texted my dad that morning telling him I felt lead to be apart of the trip that was traveling to work in gypsy camps in September. I told him that God had shown me that the love of Christ is for all people across the world, there is no distance too far, there is no people group that is too low for him to reach. Christs love is for all. 

I prayed about it for months before I gave an offical yes. Here I am at JFK preparing my heart for what God has in store for me in The Ukraine. I am traveling with Orphans Promise who originally started there. I think it’s been 10 years since it began! I cannot wait to experience a new part of the world and see all the amazing projects and programs that Orphans Promise has put in place. 

If you feel lead would you lift our group up in prayer as we set off to be the hands and feet of Christ in the Ukraine. I’ll be updating you as much as I can during my time there! 

I am so excited and thankful for this God adventure. It is so true when they say if you say yes to God you’ll never imagine where he will take you. How true this is today, I hope we all learn to keep on saying yes to God, to keep putting aside what may be a comfortable for us. God is waiting for us to say yes, and then he’ll take it from there! The same way God used two beautiful gypsy children in Greece to speak to me, he is putting things in your life to speak to you! Sometimes we don’t realize that it is him, but it is, God’s timing is perfect and he will never stop pursuing us!

You are all loved, 

Dev 

next stop Ukraine ! 

1 John 4:7-8 

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

The Freedom Project

Let Freedom Ring


Today we danced, we sang, we praised, we joined out hearts for the children of Kenya and we celebrated as one in freedom.

As we sang in church, I felt like this is what heaven is. Every tribe, and every tongue will praise God as one people, binding our hearts and souls together in amazement of how great our God is. Today was a glimpse of heaven at Victory Faith Church in Nairobi, Kenya.

Freedom.free·dom
ˈfrēdəm/Submit
noun
the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

What the Lord intended for good, the enemy corrupted, perverted, twisted for evil. Children are in bondage of slavery, of poverty, of disease, of abandonment, of a live sentenced to death. But God comes and sends others to break them out of these strongholds and set them free. Every child in this world needs freedom. Christ can break chains and give the sweetest freedom. I’ve seen children broken from chains, and dance and play in his freedom, the freedom Christ offers us, the freedom that we were all meant to dwell in.

A word that holds so much promise, hope and meaning. A word most people around this world never get to experience. They might not even taste it. Not these children today, they’ve tasted it, they live in it, and they know the Lord is good, and true freedom is found in Him.

Today in Nairobi Kenya we sang in Freedom because that is what God is doing here through Orphan’s Promise projects on the ground who are allowing the children who are apart of them to live in complete freedom. To have a life free of darkness, pain, abuse, or abandonment and enter into a life of freedom, a life found in Christ.

Orphan’s Promise felt lead to start recording CD’s with different projects to give the children they serve a chance to let the world hear their voices. To let their songs be heard throughout the nations. The first CD they recorded was with the children they serve in Ukraine. These children are coming from the gypsy camps which carries so much meaning. These children may have the least ability to share their voices because of the negative stigma they have in society. This was the nation Orphan’s Promise started in, and they called it the Hope Project because they know their projects are spreading and giving hope in a war-torn place.

Then they felt lead to Africa, Kenya in particular. I remember last year when they were setting off to record the album with children who I spent the last two days with, and children in a Maasai Village who I will meet in a few days.

What is AMAZING about this project is that they were able to write the whole album in 2 and a half days! Normally it takes 2 or 3 months to write and produce an album. What I love about this music is it is a real partnership with the children and culture in Kenya. They used Kenyan instruments, wrote in rounds which is common here and allowed the children’s beautiful voices to be heard. From the capital city and the children in a remote Maasai village.

When I heard it played for the first time a song called Holy Fire I got chills and started tearing up. This is the freedom the children are living in, it needs to be heard, and I pray their voices fill our homes and hearts and allows the world to hear their story.

As we sang these praises today I prayed that children all over this continent will sing. That this album will unite the children of Africa so the world can hear their voices and be changed by the power of the holy spirit moving within these songs.

Lora, who works for Orphan’s Promise and is a friend of mine shared something that really touched my heart and is something I feel the need to share. She was on the ground last year recording and writing this album. They needed someone to sing a solo in one of the songs called Holy Fire. Lora felt God tell her that a boy named Samuel needed to sing this solo. Everyone doubted her and questioned her decision, but she was firm in knowing what the Lord had shown her. He did it, and has a passion in music, he knows he is good at singing after struggling in school and questioning himself and his purpose. I thank God Lora listened to his voice. He always has a plan.

I got to see him hear his voice on the CD a year after recording it. The way he smiled was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Watching him sing and praise on stage today as the album was released showed me the power of God’s hand on our life. Here is a boy who was brought up from the dust and now has a future, found a purpose and given hope, finding freedom in through it all. 


Today was one of those days where your heart feels like it is going to explode. Over and over and over and over…again.

I encourage anyone reading this to buy The Freedom Project on iTunes today! You will not regret this and will end up listening to it all day. When you purchase this album you are saying yes to freedom. You are saying you care about the children of Kenya and you stand with them. That you have heard their story and their cry and you make a promise to listen and share it with the world.

As I heard and watched them dance in freedom I prayed these songs would be sung around the African continent. That this album would be an anthem for all African children. When you buy this you are standing with the children of Kenya, the children of Africa and the children of this world whose voices need to be heard.

I stand with the children of Kenya, I stand and believe in their freedom, I see it, and I want every children to not only taste it, but live in complete freedom found in Christ.


Let the world hear their voices today!

let freedom ring throughout the nations

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”