Sunday, February 27, 2011

Heading to the airport tomorrow...

Well, it is finally here friends. We leave for East Africa tomorrow (Monday). But, let’s get real; we have been on one fantastic journey on this side of the world without leaving the country. It has been amazing to watch God at work in His Faithfulness!

I don’t know what it has been like following the blog for the last 5 weeks, but writing the blog has been one of my greatest joys!!!! Just giving testimony about HIS HAND , Woooooooo Whooooooooooooo!

I wanted to remind you that if you want to keep up with the Retreat sign up as a Friend of Pure Joy on the web site. That gives you the opportunity to see what is going on while we are away!

Also, wanted to include one more letter from another heart after God that I know makes Him smile! In fact, I think a lot of you have made God smile in preparation for this Trip! Now I pray the missionary women will experience that smile as well before the next week and a half passes.

Love you all and remember us in your prayers! There is a prayer guide in the Friends of Pure Joy letter just sent out for this trip.

Loving you guys, Oh so Much!!!!


I just wanted to email you and tell you that we had the privilege of giving towards the sponsoring of the last missionaries who are going to the retreat in East Africa, We heard about your awesome ministry through a friend, and we have such joy in getting to be a part. My husband and I, are adopting from Ethiopia and our eyes have really been opened to the desperate world need as we have gone through this process of adopting. Our heart aches for the spiritual and physical needs of the people in Africa. We want to find more ways to help. We believe that what you are doing in strengthening the hands and hearts of the women missionaries who are already there is so wise.

I read through your blog and I love your trust in God to provide and your boldness in asking people to give. (Some could see those as contradictory, but they aren't.) You said, "Truthfully, in the past neither did I do well with that, but God has just given me this boldness going into this New Year to not be ashamed to seek donations for the things of God and kingdom work. As I have been saying for a month now, dab nab-it, we throw tons of money into things that have no eternal value! "
Amen. It is like when Paul says in Phil 4:17, "Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account." You are just looking out for what can be credited to their eternal account. We agree. We would like to make a deposit in our eternal reward account. We would like to store up treasure in heaven where no moth or rust destroy or thieves steal.

I was just reading Radical by David Platt and he said, "They believe that God has shown them great grace in order that he might use them to accomplish the glorious global, God-exalting, purpose that has been primary since the beginning of time, and they don't want to settle for anything less than radical abandonment to that purpose." page 82 That pretty much sums up why we are giving to Pure Joy. God has lavished His grace on us. By His grace, we know Him and love Him. He has given us material resources to help make the riches of His mercies known among the nations. We are thankful for you and your desire to honor the faithful servants of God like Philippians 2:29 commands us to do.
In His Joy!

Your Friends

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Ok, honestly I don’t even know where to begin this blog! Let me just start by saying the missionaries attending the Pure Joy Retreat in East Africa are ALL sponsored as of the writing of this blog on Wednesday Feb. 22, 2011 as all the committed sponsorships continue to come in.

This morning when I opened my emails I opened it to an email that was titled, “Praise God! The red line gets to go up! And that it did to overflowing because the 17 remaining missionary women were sponsored! Wooooooooooooo Whooooooooooooo!

Every retreat God puts a phrase or words in my heart that just come to the top throughout the trip in preparation. Wooooooooooo Whooooooooooooooo wins the prize this time!

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started this blog - I am so overwhelmed by everything He has been up to on this trip and we haven’t even left the country yet. Praise His Holy Name!

I had a blog ready to send out late yesterday to let everyone know that we had

36 sponsored and 14 more to go but Patty had not posted it yet. So when the person in the email read our blog they saw the last blog that shared the need for 17 missionary women to still be sponsored and they responded to that need. I have asked that they send me a short story of the testimony of how they responded to God without revealing their desire to give in secret. That will come later in another blog.

I do, however, want to share a few more stories of God at work in preparation for this trip!! This one is from Becky Davis, team member to East Africa. I just received it a little bit ago! Enjoy!

As a journalism/graphics teacher, I try to get my students involved in as many real world activities as possible. So, when I found out at the end of January that I would be going to Uganda to minister to missionaries, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get my students involved and to talk about Jesus with them in the process. I teach a lot of different classes at my school, six different ones. One of these is a graphics/screen printing class that makes t-shirts.

In one of our meetings, making a t-shirt for the conference was motioned. What better way could there be to get my students involved? The day I introduced the idea to my students I announced that there would be a competition to see what the t-shirt design would be. My students were so excited. The room was buzzing with questions. Questions came up, such as: “What is a missionary?”, “Why are you going to Africa ?”, “What kind of conference is this?”, etc. It also gave me a chance to talk about the verse Hebrews 11:1 at length about what it means and the feeling the design should have.

Doing this project really opened doors to talk with my students about God. I loved it.

We narrowed it down to two t-shirt designs, and had a donor that gave money to cover the cost. The t-shirts look great and one of them even glows in the dark.

I can’t wait to come back and speak with my classes and share pictures of what we did and tell them how the missionaries felt about the shirts.

Many of my students are praying for the conference and getting things together to bring. Working in a public school, talking about God is prohibited unless prompted by a student. I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to go on this trip. It has opened so many doors with my students and I haven’t even gone yet.

And another email I received from Kathy...


I am continuing to be amazed at the favor of God as we prepare for this trip to East Africa. The outpouring of support is phenomenal. And the generosity of people is humbling.

My church, St. Timothy, (that I won't officially be a member of until Sun.) is helping sponsor missionaries.

My daughter, Jenny, and her Sunday School class are leaving me speechless at the gifts they are providing as God impresses upon their hearts to give and to give generously.

People are excited to be a part of blessing others who are sold out to missions.

The body of Christ is joining together to provide for all the details of this retreat. And God is blessing me (and the team) as I (we) see so many people working together to make this retreat His retreat. I feel like I am experiencing a huge slice of heaven on earth with the cooperative, joy-filled effort of my friends and family.

I am so thankful to be able to see God in all the details.

We serve an awesome God.

In closing out this blog please know I am Praising God for you His Servants! Also, know any monies that come in beyond that which were needed to sponsor a missionary for the East Africa retreat will be put towards sponsoring missionary women to attend either the Central America Retreat this summer or the South America Retreat this Fall.

Loving you guys!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Hang On!

Well, my dear friends, we are truly heading down the home stretch! We leave the country 1 week from today! I can’t believe it is here! I am so excited watching God work in people’s lives through this journey together.

So, here is the up-date. We have 33 missionaries sponsored. A Big YEA GOD!!!!! So we need to get 17 more sponsored! As I told you before it is awesome to watch the stories unfold of how God is working on behalf of the missionary women. If you have not been keeping up with the stories please take time to read the blog from the last 4 weeks. Truly, you can see God’s hand at work! If you would like to share your story on the blog write me at and let the rest of us in on how God has directed you in giving for this trip.

Remember I told you I would keep you up to-date as the sponsorships come in. This should be one WILD and CRAZY week of watching HIS Hand!

Below are two more stories of God working in and through His people to accomplish His will regarding the missionary women in East Africa. The first story is from a Friend of Pure Joy named Jan…….The second story is from a friend in my Sunday school class named Kathleen.


Well, Vickie, I don’t really have a story of how this came about, but I saw the need from the P.J. email and God led me to respond. We are so blessed to be able to give generously each month to several situations. Originally, I was going to give 10% of what I am giving, but God gave me the idea to switch some things around this month to give to P.J. It is not normal for me to make known my giving, but I wanted you to know now so you would be encouraged and so you would know how to plan.

God opened my eyes big time to what He is doing around the world when I took the Perspectives course in 2008. I have a friend who is full time on the mission field in Papua New Guinea as a Bible Translator, and I know the dryness that can come on the field. I know how meaningful the Pure Joy retreats have been to hundreds of women, and I am very blessed to be a small part of His ministry of encouragement through you and the Pure Joy team. I hope to go with you all one day!


I usually have a "squirrel" fund. It is all the money I can shave off here and there. You know the $7 extra dollars from groceries or the $2.50 mail in rebate. Anyway I squirrel that money away, then use it later to send the kids to camp or for family vacation. This time God told me specifically to give it to missions. I've been praying where to give it for four weeks. Today He told me to give it to Pure Joy. As I took it out and added the extra from this week I counted it. It added up to exactly $503.00. Isn't God amazing!

As our week goes on I cannot wait to see how God will meet our needs according to His riches in Glory! I expect Him to meet them abundantly above and beyond anything we could hope or imagine! Why? Because He is God! That which He puts into motion He also equips for the journey.

Keep praying! Be obedient to the leading of the Spirit. Keep giving….and always be open to the truth that God may have you GOING with us someday! O, Yeah!

17 and counting it down!!!!!!!!!!

Love you all!!!

Just keeping the Donation button inside the blog posts for those that have asked for it! Don't worry, if you didn't ask for it you can still use it! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blog Update...WoooooooooHooooooo!

Ok, so if you know me I am having the time of my life right now watching how God is bringing everything into being for the East Africa trip. It is ALWAYS amazing for me to watch! I Love Him so much! Remember I told you I would keep you updated on the journey down the home stretch….well Buckle Up!!

So, yesterday afternoon I talked with Janet, one of our team members out of Longview, TX and she shared with me that they had received money for 3 missionary women. That raised the thermostat to 26 missionary women fully sponsored. Then when I got to my Wednesday night small group from church, they had taken up money and had a missionary sponsored plus an arm and leg of another! Hee-hee. Then when I was leaving, another one of our group members gave me the gift of another missionary women being sponsored. So I went to group for fellowship and the breaking of the bread of God’s Word and He gave abundantly more that I could even imagine!!! So we are up to 28 missionary women paid for. I tried to tell you ….watch the home stretch!!!

Ok, then yesterday I get this totally awesome story from Kathy down in Houston, TX about how God is moving and going before her as she continues preparations for the trip….I attached her email to me below! KEEP PRAYING, TRUSTING AND OBEYING!

Before I paste that in let me say this to each one of you …..This is why I love the ministry of Pure Joy International! It isn’t just about what God is doing in the lives of the missionary women when we get there but what He is doing in the lives of the team before we leave. It is an inside-out ministry! We could not even leave the country and already lives have been touched and changed through praying and giving and telling! Enough…the email from Kathy.

I just love God sending His blessings when we walk in obedience. I love that He shows us that He is walking ahead of us preparing the way. God has been delighting me with all the ways that He is bringing provision for the items for the missionaries. God's favor has been going ahead of me and I have been astounded by God's goodness and the generosity of friends, family, and strangers.

My toothpaste story was just the beginning. It was just so God. I had emailed my dental hygienist over the weekend to ask her about getting toothbrushes and toothpaste donated. She said that their supplies were low and she didn't think they could do it but she would check. When she went into her office on Mon. there was a tube of toothpaste with the words "Donate" on it. When the hygienist asked who it was for the answer was "whoever". She asked how much they had and she was sent to a closet full of supplies that she didn't even know existed. So, praise God, 50 toothbrushes and 50 tubes of toothpaste. On Tuesday, I went to get my hair cut. I had emailed Heather, my beautician, about getting salon shampoo and conditioner. I had no idea that she was able to get them. And the provision was double. One of her suppliers sent little packets to her for free and another supplier split the cost of little bottles of shampoo and conditioner. While I was getting my hair cut, another beautician came in and when she found out I was going to Uganda asked if I needed little gift bags. Did I need gift bags? That was a request I had sent out the day before to my friends. She did not know me but is donating 50 African looking bags-25 zebra print and 25 leopard print. God is simply amazing. After that, I went to Walgreens to check on candy. I enquired about an additional discount and was told that maybe on Sat. they could help me. I thanked them for their help, grabbed up 10 pounds of candy and went to check out. (The candy was already 50% off but I was looking for donations or a bigger discount.) When I was checking out the manager came and asked if I was the lady going on the mission trip. When I answered yes, he said he would split the cost of the candy with me. Not the store, but him personally. I was so humbled when he took out his wallet and laid his own money down at the cash register to help pay for the candy! God's favor again from someone that, again, didn't know me.

I have a cousin that felt a desire to sponsor a missionary when she found out that I was going to Uganda. Even though she wanted to give, she knew she couldn't because she had unpaid hospital bills from when her son was hospitalized in the fall. She went to lunch and when she returned to work she looked at charges on her computer. To her amazement and delight one of the bills had been reduced by $489.20. So can you guess what she did with her savings? She sent a check for $500 to sponsor a missionary. How God honors a pure heart. Wow, Wow, Wow!! God is so awesome.

I can't wait to see what God does next. I am falling more in love with Him each day!




I'v had a requst to put the donation button in my blog posts (you know who you are) so here it is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Keeping our eyes fixed...

We are two weeks out from leaving for East Africa. We now have 23 missionary women fully sponsored! Yeah, LORD, and yeah to all of you that are responding to the need! I love watching God work. That leaves us with 27 to go! The next 13 days should be so very awesome to observe! I will keep you posted as the sponsorships come in so you, too, can get excited with me! I don’t know how HE is going to do it, I just Trust Him to do it! If He is moving your heart to give, obey. Remember the song, ”Trust and Obey there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to Trust and Obey”. So, Be Happy!!!!

Well, I just got back in from Elko, Nevada Monday night where I have been since last Thursday night doing a Marriage and Family Conference. Now I hope you catch the humor in this since I have never been married and have no children, though God has blessed me with many spiritual children! I was sharing with someone last week that I remember the first Marriage conference I was asked to give for a church about 15-17 years ago. I told them I felt sorry for the people back then because I really had not been a believer very long at that point. However, God blessed it. I told them now that I’d been a believer for almost 21 years I felt even sorrier! Before I didn’t know enough, now I know too much! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha I tried to be easy on them, though! Don’t know if they would agree! If you know my heart you know that I am passionate about families! Specifically, children and the needs they have emotionally! Save a marriage…Save a family…..specifically the children!! Our theme was M.A.S.H. Making a Solid Home. I loved the bi-line they had under that…..Warring for Families with Counselor Vickie Arruda. I love that because they absolutely summarized my heart….Warring for Families. That really is the beat of my heart to fight for that which the enemy has stolen away from the family system. Love, Trust, Security, Self-Worth and Value, Morals, and Discipline. The enemy is wrecking the foundations of our homes BUT our God has given us everything we need to build them back! Ok, sorry, I could SO get carried away here!

So, back to our East Africa trip….Don’t forget to pray for the team, the missionaries, the messages, the worship, fellowship time, activity time, flights, and all the details that come together for His Glory!

Love you all,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tapping into those Heart Early...

Sunday afternoon I had the privilege of speaking to the Girls Missionary Auxiliary (GMA) at my home church, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. What a sweet group of young girls. I shared with them about Pure Joy International and gave them a little bit of insight into how Pure Joy began and how we are led to put together teams to go overseas to minister to our “m’s” on the field. Also was able to share with them lots of details about our trip coming up in several weeks to East Africa.
Can’t tell you the Joy it puts in my heart to see their faces and know that they are having the understanding of what a missionary does from the community level, to state level, to national, and to the ends of the earth! Great heart training for these young girls. They will be praying for us, giving, and someday maybe going with Pure Joy International. Several of the girls have already been on a mission trip out of the country. That is awesome to me!!!!

Well, we are in the home stretch for the trip. We have 20 missionary women sponsored as of today. So, 30 more to go! Don’t stop PRAYING and Don’t Ignore God if He directs you to give. Don’t assume someone else is taking care of it. Ask God if HE wants you to take care of some of it! Also, it is wild to watch God in the home stretch! He does amazing things!!

Keep Praying! Be obedient to give at His prompting!

Love you all,


P.S. Ok, I want to share with you another Team Member’s story of how they felt God lead them to join the Team to Africa. Meet Kathy Kolkhorst….

Vickie was in Houston recently and she gave her criteria for going on a mission trip. She said you must know that God called you and you must also have your husband's blessing. (Did you hear from God? And is your husband totally on board? ) My husband, Gary, and I signed up to go on our first international mission trip this June, so I never thought that going on a mission trip before that time would be anywhere in the realm of possibilities. I did not feel any pull to go. I didn't even know where (name of country) was for heavens sake! But the one thing I was sure of was that Gary would be supportive of it. It seems like Vickie mentioned the East Africa trip to me and asked me if I was going at least 10 times (I’m sure it wasn’t that many but it seemed that way!) and I said NO every time because God had not told me to go. But then on the last day Vickie was in town, God got my attention and my heart and He began to show me that He wanted me in (name of country). God’s call actually started a week before this but I just didn’t realize it. When a friend was working on her Bible Study, God laid me on her heart and she felt that one of the paragraphs was to be passed on to me. So she typed a letter and mailed it to me. This is what she wrote from Priscilla Shirer's study of Jonah:
"Your story starts with God. The mark you make and the eternal significance will be found in yielding to the intervention God sends your way. When the Lord speaks over your life, separating unto Himself for His purposes consider it your invitation. You have been given an opportunity to write a story beyond your expectations....Your story begins with God's call. It is not your legacy or lack thereof that makes you significant. It is God's call and your willingness to obey it. Like holy hero's you have an outcome you can't make out. The fog of life's journey will clog your spiritual sight, and the fear of the unknown is bound to make you consider bowing out. Don't back down. Correctly viewing and appreciating God's awesomeness and his love compel you to realize the distinct privilege of being used by Him".
When I first read this I didn't get it. Then I reread it and thought it had something to do with something totally unrelated. But looking at it now, I know that this was God's invitation. Over the time Vickie was here she said things like, "if you go to East Africa I can see you doing ............” Ok, I'm flattered but I'm not going.

Sometimes it is hard to miss God speaking to you and I feel that this is the case with this trip. In my quiet time on Wed., God spoke to me about going to (name of country. When I tried to change the voice in my heart and head I couldn't. My heart became so tender for the missionaries who have been called to spread the gospel but who live in conditions that we can't imagine. The thought of these women without a girl friend to talk to, the constant threat of disease, and the lack of things we take for granted (flush toilets, running water that you can drink), the loneliness, and the lies of discouragement that Satan can speak, brought me to tears. My heart wept for these women.

Shortly after that, I was talking to my sister-in-law about (name of country) as I was on my way to Bible Study.. She said, "I bet this is what God has been preparing you to do."

Another cracking of the heart-was I supposed to go?

I walked into Bible Study and the teaching leader was saying, "Is God asking you to go and serve somewhere?' Tears rolled down my face.

On the way to lunch where I was meeting Vickie, God started putting ideas for the East Africa trip in my head-"What is this Lord?"

Another friend called on Wed. and left a message saying she had never seen me have such "Pure Joy" on my face as I had on Mon. night at the event Vickie was speaking at. I talked to her later and she said that when Vickie had said that maybe God was calling someone from Houston to go to East Africa she immediately thought, "Kathy is going to go."

I fasted and prayed on Thursday and my answer was clear-I was going to East Africa.

Psalm 57:2 spoke to my heart—“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me. God sends his love and his faithfulness”.( I was in tears over God pursuing me and loving me so much that He didn't want me to miss Him!)

The icing on the cake was receiving a check in the mail that afternoon with a note saying to use the money as I saw fit!

I will have to say that even after all these signs (and after emailing Vickie to say I was going) I asked God to reconfirm that I was to go to (name of country) I was like Gideon just wanting some reassurance. God sent His confirmation through a woman that had lived in Africa. When I told her I was going to (name of country) she asked if I was going to (capital city of the country)-which is exactly where we are going!! God you are so awesome!

God is up to something and I'm hanging on for the ride. I can’t wait to see what wonders He performs in East Africa.

Kathy Kolkhorst

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feeling the Joy...

The Africa Team has formed! God is sooooooo good! The team is finalizing shots (OUCH!) and honing in on the final stretch before leaving the country. I am so excited and also realize that all the team will be living in “warp speed” until we meet in Dallas to board the flight out of the country. I personally will find great Joy in that meeting because it will be my first Starbucks in two months. All my friends know the importance of that moment! In the meantime, don’t slow down, don’t let up, and don’t ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit of God to get on board with us financially for this trip. We have 15 missionaries paid for as of this writing and 35 more ladies need sponsorship so pool your dollars; get your friends on board. Five here, ten there, 20 here, it all comes together and adds up. God’s word says the least will be the most. Don’t think your donation doesn’t count because it does! It impacts these ladies lives which in turn impact the kingdom!
A fun God moment regarding preparation for the trip happened Saturday morning. Patty and I went to Conway, AR to get our shots. While we were standing in the Kroger store waiting on the Pharmacist to show up Patty found a rack of (well, I can’t say what because some of the women might be reading this blog and it is a surprise). Anyway, she said to me “wouldn’t it be great if the store would donate one of these per women attending in Africa?”. “Yes,” I said, “why don’t you go talk to the store manger?” She opted out because that isn’t her deal. (We can let her off the hook here because she is very good and honorable in taking care of the money donated to Pure Joy). Truthfully, in the past neither did I do well with that, but God has just given me this boldness going into this New Year to not be ashamed to seek donations for the things of God and kingdom work. As I have been saying for a month now, dab nab-it, we throw tons of money into things that have no eternal value! I’m just not ashamed anymore to ask for funds to further kingdom work whether it is with Pure Joy or with any of the other thousands of ministries that are doing what God has called them to do. So give where He leads you to give! It’s all from Him anyway and He will take care of all He has orchestrated. Back to the story - I went to find the manager to ask about their willingness to donate the items to the women. In the meantime the girl I found wasn’t the manger but she asked where I was from. I said, “Morrilton”. She said I thought so, I recognized Patty. Seems that they all knew each other from growing up years and were in school together. Bottom line she went to the manager and he said yes. I mean no background check, no need to show ID’s, etc. Hee-Hee…just kidding. The point is God just orchestrated that moment. Isn’t’ it fun to be on board with Him and to get to be a part of HIS ORCHESTRA!

Hope you enjoyed the last blog as Penny shared how God worked in her life to confirm her going on this trip. I am going to ask some of the other ladies to share their stories along the way as well.

Please continue to pray for:

• The ladies in Africa that will be attending

• Their families that will be left behind

• The team members and their families that will be left behind

• Our flights and the weather

• The messages that will be spoken over the ladies

• The music we will lift up together in worship of Him

• The times of relaxation and fun fellowship

• The needs we are not even aware of will be met

• And that God will get every ounce of GLORY

Again I so encourage you to prayerfully consider allowing Pure Joy to become a ministry of your heart for prayer, giving, and going! Be open to His leading in all of these areas and know that I will more than gladly come to your area to share about Pure Joy and how you can get on board.

Loving Jesus, You, and the World that needs to KNOW HIM!