Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A New Year [Update]

Sawatdee, Kha! 

A Bright New Year
It is crazy for me to reflect over the past year. So much has happened, and now I am a sophomore at BCOM! I have learned a lot in the past year, and it is hard for me to find the words to summarize it all in a few short sentences. I now understand so much more about sanctification and intimacy with Jesus. Jesus likes me, and He likes you. Yes, He loves us. He loves the world and came for us. But even more than that, He likes us. He knows us in our ugliness and sin. He knows us in our brokenness. He knows much more about us than any other person. He understands us and through it all, He likes us. He wants to be with us and desires time with us. He wants to be a part of every moment. I’ve learned that you definitely cannot put Jesus into some box.

At the end of May, I had the chance to return to Kansas Bible Camp (KBC)as a group leader for the Leadership Training Camp. It was a great week, and I again felt surrounded by the body of Christ. KBC has a special place in my heart, and being able to return is such a joy. My heart is filled by the conversations I share with others there. I returned in June and July for three more weeks which I spent as a counselor, sharing the gospel and having conversations with the girls. I have had some very interesting conversations this summer, but one of the most encouraging ones was when one of the fifth grade girls asked me to pray with her so she would trust Jesus. I also loved having discussions with the high school girls about what the Lord has to say about a variety of subjects. I also spent time with my family which was really great; it was hard having to leave them all at the end of summer. On August 3rd, with all of my things packed into my car, I begin the drive back to Minnesota. Then on the 5th, my team left for Thailand.

There is so much I could share about Thailand. I absolutely fell in love with the culture and people. Three days out of the trip, we went to an orphanage. I have never been someone who loves kids ministry, but I absolutely fell in love with those kids. We didn’t speak the same language, but we found that it didn’t matter. We communicated in any way we could: smiles, laughs, giggles, ‘sign language’, charades. We also worked with a ministry to give women and men opportunities to leave the bars (and a life of prostitution) by job training starting with making jewelry. I had an overwhelming peace when I was in Thailand and I came away from the trip absolutely wanting to be able to return next year for my 16 month internship.

Upcoming Adventures                 
A lot is happening in the next year and I am looking forward to all of it! First of all, an opportunity arose last spring to become an RA with a program for students with disabilities. I was accepted for the position this summer, and I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the two young women who will be moving in very soon! This program is called Beyond Limits and gives these students the opportunity to develop skills to eventually become independent and live on their own. For me, this means I am living in an apartment with the other female RA (my good friend Kendyl), and we will soon be joined by the two women who will be living with us. All of our responsibilities as RA’s are designed to encourage equip them with the skills they need.
The other exciting part of this year, aside from my sophomore year of college, is that I will be spending the next year in preparation for my 16 month internship which will begin next fall. I deeply desire to go to Thailand. In order to go, I need to raise $30,000. I need to raise about a third of that in order to go, and the rest should be in monthly support. This is a daunting task, but the Lord is gracious and good, and I know I can trust Him. I have many people who have been supporting me, and I am eager to see where these next steps will lead!

Please be praying for:
  • The young women who are moving into my apartment, that their transition will be smooth.
  • Grace as I step into a new position as an RA, and that the Lord would be leading me.
  • Wisdom in pursuing internship and following Jesus.
  • Financial blessing in the next year and that I would be able to raise all the funds needed to go.
  • Peace throughout sophomore year even when my schedule gets very crazy.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! I am so eager to see what the Lord has next. This summer has been such a joy, and I’m sure the next year will be even better.