Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Journey

For those who weren't able to attend the commissioning at my church here is my little speech in which I presented. The idea was to explain to the church how missions has become apart of my life and what I'm planning to do. 

I'm a firm believer in that when difficult times arise it is often God's way to prepare people for a specific purpose. At least this idea has played into my life significantly. Before I ever thought about missions, I struggled with living life my senior year of high school and first year of college with the idea of where God was in my life and if there was a God who was He? I had to sink to the darkest point in my life in order for me to see a glimpse of hope. Through closed-minded thinking and taking control of my life, I was shutting God out and it didn't feel good. I didn't know my purpose in life and often asked myself what was I going to do with my life. Once I sought God out, He showed me that He had great plans for me. It is truly amazing what open-minded thinking can really do, even if it's a simple thought about the way a person acts or an outlook on a situation. While I have been attending a mission-oriented church and went to EMHS, I always felt that missions were a great things for someone else, but not me. It was just something my friends would end up doing and I would support them. You see my closed minded plan was to go to college right out of high school, graduate, and start a family. That didn't include enjoying my life or taking time away from school to explore and obviously, God had other plans.

While in this dark place in my life, God showed me hope, hope that there was life ahead that was worth enjoying and living. Reflecting back I have realized that if I had not been attending Zion or had the opportunity to attend EMHS I would never had thought about missions. I'm so thankful that the Mennonite faith embraces missions at every age. The idea of missions was never a thought until my mom mentioned it to me. Surely, she had no idea that I would take her up on it and to be honest neither did I. Funny how little things can change, so now I'm here embarking on a new journey in my life. I'm at a time in my life that I'm tired of the normal everyday routine and ready for some new challenges. I'm eager to start the Eastern Mennonite Missions YES program and expand my knowledge of the Bible, learn from other people, and learn some new things about myself. Through much anticipation, anxiety, and nervousness I think I'm finally excited to leave my comfort zone. And like Micah 6:8 says, "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." I'm excited to grow in Christ and be able to trust in Him with every ounce of blood in my body.

As I now have exactly a week [now 4 days] until I start my training in Harrisburg, PA I would still love your continued thoughts and prayers. I cannot thank each and ever one of your enough for all of the support, thoughts, prayer, and money. I feel embraced, uplifted, and loved by you, my church.

Thank you to everyone who has been in prayer for my team and I through this journey thus far. I'm excited to meet everyone Sunday, though it will be hard leaving my family and friends. I know God has given me this opportunity to glorify Him and I'm eager to see what this experience has in store. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The New Year is off and going whether I'm ready or not. It's finally hit me, I'm going to be gone for 6 months.  It's weird to not have to think about buying books and figuring where my classes would be for the next semester. Instead I'm raising money, getting vaccines, and trying to prepare my heart for what God has in store for me. I was warned that before I left I would experience a wide range of emotions regarding training and outreach. Whoever told me that was 100% correct. Many of the emotions have been ones that test my faith and often make me second guess myself. I often think this is the way God is preparing me for the next step in my life.
Ever since I was accepted into the YES program I have be amazed that I'm actually going to go overseas and help. I have always thought the idea of "missions" was good, but didn't see myself ever pursuing anything like it. It took me awhile in life to realize that God's plan is the only plan a person can be guided through. I thought through the majority of my life that I could control my life the way I wanted it go. Once I realized my thinking was wrong, all of my ideas about myself ended up going the opposite way. For example, the idea of a person having depression. I thought depression was something that a person could control and that when they felt down they just needed to suck it up and snap out of it. Boy was I wrong, because this idea in turn was something that I would experience. See for me God was the one that I turned to praise him and thank Him for giving me such a blessed life.  When I realized I had depression, I turned away from God because why would He let me have something so destructive and what did I do to deserve this? Within the last year God has turned into my rock. Though this wasn't the case for the past few years, I struggled with who was God and if there really was such a thing. I have often thought this overall ordeal that I have experienced was preparing me for the overall plan God had for me. The thought has become evident as I know for a fact if I hadn't hit rock bottom then this idea of "missions" would never have been a thought, idea or even happening in my life. Since helping others is obviously in God's plan for me it's exciting and nerve racking.
Training starts in 22 days and will go to March 19.  Training for the YES program is often about finding yourself and team bonding. My team for Honduras consists of 2 guys and another girl. It has been made known to me that a team leader(s) may come from an outside person and would come later to training. However, if they feel that a leader is better suited within the four of us then they will pick a leader from our group. While in Honduras our team will work with our contact person Matthew Keiser check out his blog here: http://honduraskeiser.blogspot.com.  The only thing I know what we will be doing at this point is playing with kids at a dump within La Ceiba, teaching english and setting up a vacation Bible school. All the details have not been given quite yet, but I will be sure to keep everyone updated via emails and here too.
For now, I will leave you. Please pray for me as I continue to prepare for training. Thank you for everyone's support through everything, I really support it and I'm truly grateful for having such an amazing support system!