Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Something really unexpected, emotional, wild, etc. happened tonight.  I got an email earlier today from Visiting Orphans about a church our of California that has partnered with Return Ministries Uganda, the second ministry we visited during my stay in Uganda.  (The Lord is using Pastor Samuel in some incredible and life changing ways!) A few hours later I got another email yet this time from Pastor Samuel with this link (click here)Sitting in my living room I pull up this video on my phone. I was watching it thinking, "Wow! I miss these kids!" picking out faces I recognized, longing to go back and wishing Africa wasn't so far away. About five minutes in I started wondering how long this video was until something caught my eye.  If you watched the video you may not have noticed but having unfolded, sorted, folded, packed, repacked, and repacked some more, unpacked and distributed, making sure each dress got to a loving home, I noticed right away the fabric of one of the dresses my grandmother and her friends made that I took to Africa with me! I immediately stopped the video and choked back tears! It has been about four months since my team visited Uganda and the effects of our visit, and what the Lord is doing, are still being seen.

I don't know the full story behind what the team was doing but my assumption is the large duffel bag of stuff we dropped off just got sorted through and that team was seeing that the resources were being given  where they saw needs. What a blessing! The dresses are at 5:04, a pink plaid dress, at 5:22 a rust colored dress with tan ties, and at 6:37 a green dress with red strawberries (that is the dress that originally caught my eye).

I am praying that God will send me back on the December trip and I am trusting in His plans, however, I am still running very short in the amount of money I need to raise by December.  That was just one example from many of how your support can have a ripple effect with lasting visibility. Would you consider partnering with me and supporting my December return?  For more information contact machinnis@gmail.com.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. -1 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Support. Hope.


This video is very similar to the one I made when I first returned in July. I fixed it up a little and am asking for your partnership for my return in just two short months.  I have about two months to raise just under $4,000.  Please let me know if you have any questions or fundraising ideas.  I am also open to speaking at any meetings or events. You can contact me at machinnis@gmail.com.

Thanks and God bless!

Graduation countdown: 49 days :(
Africa countdown: 65 days!

Just came across this blog post and read it through tears. Since I haven't really shared many details from my trip I'll start here (advanced apologies for being vague, not sure how many details I can share)...Towards the end of the Uganda week of our trip we left Jinja and headed to Kampala to a children's prison.  Sixty Feet is a ministry currently working in the prisons to minister to the children and do as much as they can to provide basic necessities for these children who live in unimaginable conditions. Anyways, we rode our bus about three hours, I think, to what we thought was where we were meeting a staff member of Sixty Feet who was going to take us into the prison.  When we pulled up to where we thought was the right place, no one was there so we called and found out we were at the wrong one and were too far from the one we should have been at. I was pretty bummed because I really wanted to go but we knew that God had a plan! That night, the guy from Sixty Feet came to our guest house and spoke to us about how much they needed our help and I just felt awful that we couldn't go. I was wondering why on Earth we couldn't switch our schedule around to be able to go and just pretty bummed out.  That same night I started feeling kind of sick so I went up to my room after he finished talking to our group.  There was a smaller group of people that stayed to talk to him and worked it out to where a few of them were able to go the next day into the prison.  When I heard about it I wanted even more to go and was extra bummed out because I missed that opportunity.  The next night our group got together to talk about our day since we had split into two groups.  The group from the prison began sharing their experiences and I just can't even begin to do their experiences justice if I tried to retell them.  It is hard to even think about the description of how these children live without crying and asking God, "Why? Why your precious children? They are innocent." Needless to say, we were all very upset listening to these stories of hope or lack of. I knew then that God knew I probably could not have held it together had I gone. He is faithful and has a purpose and plan for everything regardless of our "plans"! I encourage you to check out https://SixtyFeet.org/2011/10/23/steadfast-love/ for just one story and God's promise for these children.  There, you will also find more information on Sixty Feet.  This is one of the places I may get to go to in December.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


That is all I can say. (Also a warning: I haven't posted in a long time so I have a lot to get off of my chest and catch up on!) I just got home from school and this is the first day in about two weeks that I even have time to sit by myself and enjoy a leisure activity.  I have been so busy I can't even begin to tell you about it! While always busy, I feel so blessed!

This week I realized that I hadn't updated my blog in FOREVER! I am terribly sorry to those of you who do check for updates.  I couldn't even remember if I had mentioned my upcoming trip to Africa.  My days fly by so quickly that Monday, quicker than ever, turns into Friday.  I can't even try to explain how quickly my jam packed weekends fly by.  A lot has happened since my last blog post.  I turned 21!!!!!!! It was such a blessed birthday because my incredible friends constantly point me to Christ! I am probably one of the only 21 year olds that can say I remembered my birthday and was able to function the next day. Praise!

I will be the "full time teacher" in my classroom in 7 days.
I graduate 67 days.
I leave for Africa in 83 days.

I mean really, that list could go on and on... I have to finish my assignments before I start teaching in a week, find someone to live in my apartment, work, raise funds to actually get to Africa, survive until graduation, participate in my sorority, apply for jobs!!!!!, and still try to live somewhat of a normal college life while I still can.  The fact that I am leaving my second home so soon is really bittersweet! If you would have asked me four years ago where I was going to college it certainly wouldn't have been here, one of my favorite places on Earth.  God has such an awesome plan for my life! Thankfully, I have put my hope and future in His hands and am as calm as someone as busy as me can be (I think).

While this all sounds great, I, like any honest person, have been struggling as well. I think I mentioned this in one of my previous posts but I really feel convicted to share this because I know it is a common struggle. A few months ago and especially this time last year, I felt like I was the only one God wasn't "speaking" to. He had definitely changed my heart and my life, that was evident but I just still felt like I was missing something.  When I returned from Africa, it took me a while to get in the swing of life here but I starting spending real, quality time in the Word.  That is when I really noticed what it meant for God to "speak" to you. You may not hear a voice but there's just this feeling when you know you are right where God wants you.  It's not that God wasn't speaking to me, I just wasn't listening! Anyways, now that I have experienced such spiritual growth, I can totally tell when I am lacking.  Being as busy as I have been, I really haven't been spending time in the Word and I can tell.  The Lord desires a relationship with each and every one of us but just like any relationship, there has to be more that one person.  How amazing is the grace we receive and to know that even when we fall so short, He is waiting right where we left off, longing for us to run back to His arms just like an earthly father would! Praise the Lord for that!

Something so great happened this week, well besides being blessed with the most incredible friends and mentors EVER and being able to meet with them and talk about life and the Lord! My sweet friend, who has been to Africa, and I meet regularly and it is such a great opportunity to talk about our hearts and Jesus and she is just so encouraging to me! About a month ago, after reading Becca's blog, who is currently at Canaan Children's Home, I got so upset. I have the picture of me hugging those three sweet boys right beside my bed and thought of the song Albertine by Brook Fraiser. She says, "Now that I have seen, I am responsible." It is really such an incredible song and touching song and I listened to it the whole way back to the States.  I told myself I would never forget those children yet I realized that I slipped back into this lavished (and pretty disgusting) life that we live here in America.  I was just so upset with myself for "forgetting" about those children.  Amy reminded me that even if we really do forget about them (which will never happen), God never will! He loves those children more than anyone in the whole world could! Wow, I can't wait to embrace their tiny, soft, loving little bodies again!

...So back to what happened this week.  I have really been so worried about raising my support in time for my trip! Like really worried!!! And even more worried that I'm not more panicked than I already am. A really sweet girl whom I had never met before donated money, no questions asked, and then yesterday, I received my first support check. Though it is a very small amount in the grand total, it all adds up! When I got that check in the mail I could just hear God saying to me, "Do you not trust me? Really?" I found myself praising God and thanking Him! Lord I really do trust you! I trust that if I really am supposed to return to Africa on this trip, He will provide! My earthly self is telling me that there's no way I can do it in time and the Holy Spirit in me is reminding me of God's promises that "with God all things are possible." I ask that you partner with me in prayer that He will provide! If you feel like the Lord is calling you to support this trip, I would love to talk with you! You can reach me at machinnis@gmail.com.

I am reminded of my first favorite verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

One last note: If you are interested in joining Abby and I along with a team from Visiting Orphans this December on our Kenya/Uganda trip, there are still spots opened!!!!!!!!!! Ask me about it!