Missions Newsletter: Update From Caitlin

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MISSIONS UPDATE: 6/28/15

Hi, everyone!

As I believe most of you know, I had the great and amazing privilege last June, of serving on the island of Panay, with a small group of missionaries from Cedarville, Ohio. In sharing about this trip, I would like to first thank each and every one of you who helped to make that trip possible through your donations, and prayers. I cannot tell you how blessed I was, and still am, by your immense generosity and support. Going to Panay, Philippines last year was my very first time traveling out of the United States to share my faith. Being a missionary has been the desire of my heart since first coming to know Jesus, but it always seemed out of my reach. I didn’t know if I would really ever have the opportunity to share the love of Christ in another country, or to make large steps of faith. Just before hearing of the missions trip to the Philippines, I had been finishing up a 1 month devotional called “One Month To Live” that had really been working on my heart, and convicting me to do more in my walk with Christ. The book asked the question “What would you do if you only had 1 month left to live?” The writer emphasized the importance of living each and every day as though it were our last, and to glorify the Father with every breath we have, and to live a full life for Him with as few regrets as possible. During the entire study I kept thinking of the desire I had to share my faith more boldly, and to place myself in situations to stretch and grow me to become more courageous in Christ. I thought of all of the times I had felt prompted to do more, say more, help more, but had held back thinking “I don’t have the time” or “that might be awkward”. Made me feel sad, and wonder how God could have used me if I had just been willing, and had made myself available. I prayed that day, and all the rest of that next month that God would give me more opportunities, and give me the faith and boldness to do what was right this time around. He did just that. It was not long after, that a good friend mentioned to me that he was attending a missions meeting and invited me to go. At that meeting I heard stories of the great needs of the people of the Philippines, and the hunger there is in that country for the Gospel. I felt God tugging at my heart…I thought “This is a pretty big step out of my comfort zone. Bigger than I had counted on.” But knew that there was no more holding back 🙂 A quote from my devotional came to my mind: “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are for.” Needless to say, I signed up. From literally that day on, I was just assured over and over again that God was with me every step of the way, preparing everything. Nothing was lacking. God worked so much in me through the process of preparation for that trip, and while I was away. For the very first time I was able to experience what it meant to step out alone in faith just with the Father as my friend and Confidant.Copy of SANY4062-1

(Children I met on the side of the road. Sporting their wordless bracelets! :D)SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

One thing that came as a surprise to me when I was on the Island, was the poverty and immense need everywhere. It seemed that we could work from sun up to sun down, and just barely be chipping away. Yet every step of progress was so satisfying, and felt like such success! Another thing that was very heartbreaking to see was how many children were just roaming around on their own, half dressed or even naked, some In the city we passed could be seen digging through trash dumps, obviously homeless and looking for anything edible or possibly useful that could be found. I wanted to just snatch them all up and take them home to live with me! But I was told that I wasn’t allowed :,( Throughout the trip, there were so many things that changed my perspective of what the word “Need” really means.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

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But even more so than that, I was reminded of what the true meaning of “Joy” is. I have never in all of my life seen a more joyful group of believers than the poverty stricken Filipino families I met. I’m not sure that I saw a single man woman or child who did not have a smile plastered to their face, welcoming us with open arms. They didn’t come to us asking for money, or seem ashamed at the little they had. What they did say however, was “Show us how to fix this, or build this and we will do it ourselves.” They are hard working people. Joyful workers. There was no hint of jealousy or envy, that could be seen in their eyes.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Though truth be told I had more pesos in my pocket at that moment (first time setting foot in their country) than I’d wager much of the villagers combined together. Just Joy. That is all that could be seen in their faces. I was so convicted by that! Reminded of how much more thankful I should be.SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

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I have so much that I should be thanking Jesus for daily. So much that I should be sharing with others. The way that the church family there opened their arms to us, humbly and graciously, served as a great lesson for me. They wanted to share with us everything they had. The best of their food, the best of their homes (bamboo homes mostly :)…) They are true examples of what it means to be a cheerful giver._20150203_192123

Though the Gospel is spreading rapidly, there is still much to do. Many churches to build, and pastors to encourage, orphans to care for, and families to feed. I am so excited to be able to Lord willing, share these experiences with my sister and best buddy Callie Grace 🙂 I am so looking forward to seeing how God works in and through both of us on this journey. Thanks so much for your prayers and support! 

I love you all.

-Caitlin

Lessons From The Past: The Need For Our History

During all of the debate of the removing of the Confederate flag in certain states, many things have been on my mind. This issue in particular has reminded me of certain stories from our past. One of which being about the Cherokee people:
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“When Andrew Jackson became president (1829–1837), he decided to build a systematic approach to Indian removal on the basis of these legal precedents.
To achieve his purpose, Jackson encouraged Congress to adopt the Removal Act of 1830. The Act established a process whereby the President could grant land west of the Mississippi River to Indian tribes that agreed to give up their homelands. As incentives, the law allowed the Indians financial and material assistance to travel to their new locations and start new lives and guaranteed that the Indians would live on their new property under the protection of the United States Government forever. With the Act in place, Jackson and his followers were free to persuade, bribe, and threaten tribes into signing removal treaties and leaving the Southeast._20150625_163040

In general terms, Jackson’s government succeeded. By the end of his presidency, he had signed into law almost seventy removal treaties, the result of which was to move nearly 50,000 eastern Indians to Indian Territory—defined as the region belonging to the United States west of the Mississippi River but excluding the states of Missouri and Iowa as well as the Territory of Arkansas—and open millions of acres of rich land east of the Mississippi to white settlers. Despite the vastness of the Indian Territory, the government intended that the Indians’ destination would be a more confined area—what later became eastern Oklahoma.


The Trail of Tears (Robert Lindneux, 1942)
The Cherokee Nation resisted, however, challenging in court the Georgia laws that restricted their freedoms on tribal lands. In his 1831 ruling on Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia, Chief Justice John Marshall declared that

“the Indian territory is admitted to compose a part of the United States,”

and affirmed that the tribes were
“domestic dependent nations” and “their relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian.”

However, the following year the Supreme Court reversed itself and ruled that Indian tribes were indeed sovereign and immune from Georgia laws. President Jackson nonetheless refused to heed the Court’s decision. He obtained the signature of a Cherokee chief agreeing to relocation in the Treaty of New Echota, which Congress ratified against the protests of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay in 1835. The Cherokee signing party represented only a faction of the Cherokee, and the majority followed Principal Chief John Ross in a desperate attempt to hold onto their land. This attempt faltered in 1838, when, under the guns of federal troops and Georgia state militia, the Cherokee tribe were forced to the dry plains across the Mississippi. The best evidence indicates that between three and four thousand out of the fifteen to sixteen thousand Cherokees died en route from the brutal conditions of the “Trail of Tears.” 

Andrew Jackson is in those days was a known Indian killer, and yet today is so glorified, and his image honored on the place of our $20 bill. Why should the Confederate flag be removed, which was in truth a symbol of the separation of the states, but is also a reminder of the issue of slavery, while this man’s face remains on our bill? As dirty as it seems for this bit of history to be swept under the rug and forgotten, you do not see Native Americans rioting in the streets or screaming ” Death to White Supremacy!” Or “Native lives matter!” Or asking that his image be removed. Our history though not 100℅ pure, is important and should not be tampered with or taken away. My point in bringing up the history of former President Andrew Jackson and my ancestors, is to give an example of the fact that there are many people groups that can take symbols, or pieces of our history as an offence. We have all been wronged at some point. What will be left if we remove all that does not please everyone? What diversity will our Nation have? Symbols like the Confederate flag and Andrew Jackson’s face are not the cause of racism today. In reality, the U.S is the most culturally diverse and accepting of all nations. Reminders of the civil war, corrupt leaders like Andrew Jackson can serve to show us our fallen nature as human beings, and be a warning to us that where there is too much power given, power will corrupt. Constant accountability and perseverence is required to protect liberty and freedom in a land. History should be the thing that impassions us to fight to protect every belief and freedom we deserve, not the thing that we try to pretend did not happen. What of the lives that were lost in the civil war? What of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of war heros of the southern states? Should their freedom to fly their flag be infringed upon, because it offends a man from the north who is flying his ancestor’s flag freely? I can only imagine how I would feel if part of my family heritage were taken away. If the Campbell tartan was outlawed because they oppressed fellow lowlanders in the past. I would be outraged because I myself had committed no crime! I would be hurt, and protesting. A symbol of your heritage is not a crime and should not be treated as one. Especially perhaps when it is found offensive because of something that happened a hundred years ago. 


U.S history is important to keep, every detail. So that the mistakes and victories alike, are never forgotten and can serve as lessons for today. So that we may honor those who’s lives were lost defending what we so easily let go of today- Liberty.

I am very much afraid that the only purpose of bringing up this issue at this time is to cause more division between us all, and to pave the way for more laws against “that which offends”. 

That will lead to things which I am absolutely certain we do not want. 

We will never all agree on every issue and belief. The only thing that the removing of that which offends, can serve to do is cause more division between us, and more laws against our freedom of speech and RELIGION. 

It MUST stop here. 

Every decision that is made should be made with our future in mind as well as the present. 

Infringing on freedom will never lead to anything but pain and suffering. 

Freedom is a gift from God, our Creator, and no man has the right to take it away. 


-Caitlin Campbell