Sunday, July 24, 2016

Trusting Jesus

This post is a little late because I spent most of last week camping with my church's youth group.  Now, let's be clear, we weren't exactly "roughing it."  Unless beach camping in Malibu, with running water and delicious meals like smoked tri-tip, chicken tacos, and sausage breakfast burritos counts as the rough life.  But, we did spend the trip without power and cell service which means we were off the grid for longer than any currently living high school student has ever chosen to be off the grid before.  It turns out that being off the grid is exactly what our kids and leaders needed.  Without YouTube, Facebook, tweets and texts life seems to slow down.  Each morning, our 45 minutes of quite journal time was like a peaceful getaway with God.  The sound of the waves and wind were a relaxing break for my over stimulated brain.

On Monday, we journaled about Psalm 139.  I was struck both personally and as a small group leader, by verse 1 which begins with, "Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me."  Since accepting my position with ITeams I have started a monthly newsletter, a blog, an Instagram and I have even spoken at my home church a couple of times.  As I move forward, it is becoming time for me to make personal appointments and begin building a solid team of donors, but I have been nervous about money conversations.  What if people don't believe in our ministry in Quito?  What if I have trouble sharing my heart and enthusiasm for the work of Jesus in Ecuador?  While reading Psalm 139 I was reminded that God knows my heart and my fears.  I was encouraged in the knowledge that God is always searching the inner parts of who I am and that he will be leading my conversations.  As a small group leader I was super encouraged to remind my students that they, also, are never alone.  God knows their passions and desires and he has a plan that will lead them into a life of true fulfillment.

Youth camp was a great opportunity to experience a small part of what I will get to do in Quito.  As a teacher, I have such a heart for children.  I love to encourage them to stretch out of their comfort zones and to strive towards their goals and passions.  I am so crazy excited to work with a program that will teach and bring together students from the US and Ecuador!!  I will have the opportunity to remind children from all over the world that God is searching their hearts and that he constantly knows and loves them!!

So in the future, I'm letting go of nervous.  I am trusting that my love of God, his son and his children will shine!  I am trusting that prospective donors will be just as excited to partner with me in support of uniting children from around the world!  I am trusting Jesus!

Sunday, July 3, 2016


I don't actually leave the US and launch into full time ministry until mid 2017, but it certainly feels as though my life has already begun to orbit a whole new planet.  13 days ago, I was beginning to wonder if I had somehow slept though my own launch date only to wake up while my life was entering an atmosphere that I was not completely confident I could survive in.  However, that was a long 13 days ago.

13 days ago, while I was trying to fall asleep on the barely carpet covered, concrete, LAX floor (as hard as I try, I keep ending up there) I was tired, thirsty, sleepy and nervous that landing in Costa Rica was just going to confirm my deepest unspoken fear.  It had been weeks.  I'd been putting on a good face and explaining to others, while secretly trying to convince myself, that I was smart, determined and capable of anything.  But, let's be honest, I have a degree in math.  MATH.  The acquisition of language, English or otherwise, has never been on my list of talents or skills.  I just couldn't bring myself to say it out loud.  I don't know if I can learn Spanish and I definitely don't know if I can learn enough to network and build lasting relationships in a Spanish speaking community.  Well, I've always been taught that God meets us where we are and boy am I grateful that that's true.

10 days in Costa Rica affirmed that I remember way more Spanish than I could have hoped and that I am totally capable of learning and building relationships in Spanish.  Far beyond my hopes and expectations, I also made several amazing new friends. Before Ecuador, I will be returning to Costa Rica for language school.  The next time I am sitting on a plane to San Jose, I won't be nervous.  Instead, I will be anxiously anticipating spending time with the family I found at La Montana Christian Camps.

God manages to constantly surprises me.  I'm not sure why I would have thought that this trip would be anything other than surprising.  I was so absolutely affirmed.  I know that I can trust that whenever this ship finally launches, God will have made sure I am totally ready!!!