Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week 8 of Ministry Partner Development

Hello!  This is my eighth-ish week of support raising, whoot whoot!  The Lord has brought me so far and still has a lot further to bring me.  I have learned so much about trusting the Lord and what I was doing that I called "trusting the Lord".

A couple Sunday afternoons ago, I was together with a handful of ladies from my college-young adult group and we were sharing what was happening in our lives; I began sharing what had been building up for a while.  I shared my frustrations and struggles with Ministry Partner Development and life in general (but mostly about MPD).  I had been feeling anxious, spastic, overwhelmed, and exhausted!  None of those feelings are awesome to feel, I think everyone can agree on that.  After my neurotic spill, my friend said 'you're trying to micromanage God'.  At first I didn't want to believe that I would do such a thing; I am the person who doesn't dig details and who likes to go with the flow.  The reason I had picked up these qualities was because I realized how involved MPD would be and I wanted to make sure that I was diligent with MPD and did it in excellence.  My intentions were nice, but they were misdirected.

Another friend told me that: yes, I should be responsible about this whole process, but I SHOULD NOT be stressed about the process.  This is a time for me to see how God provides for His people; when we are obedient to what God says, He makes a way for us to carry out His plan for our lives.  This was a comfort to me: to know that God's Sovereignty takes precedent over my anxienty, and micromanaging.  This isn't to say that it's okay for me to worry, because by me worrying, I'm taking my trust from God and placing into my work ethic.  Well that's not right!  Since that day, I have truly begun to trust in the Lord with His plan for my life.  It feels good; now, when someone says no, or I cannot get in contact with them, I don't feel anxious.

Although, each day takes me consiously trusting in the Lord to provide through people, that I may or may not know, it's an adventure...and I like a good adventure!

There'll be more later!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

no pressure, just be awesome!

As a future teacher (I'm studying Music Education), I am constantly reminded of what is proper dress and decorim for the classroom;  things like dress/skirt length, proximity with students, vocal inflections and pitch, and the list goes on.  Well, I've felt a lot of (self-inflicted) pressure to maintain this "persona of a missionary".  I thought of missionary women as long skirt wearing, loose bun wearing, living with Pigmies (in Central Africa), and bug eating women; and I was okay with all of that, because I have always wanted to be a missionary!  But this self-inflicted pressure to be as close to perfect is not healthy, and thankfully I've been delivered from that.  Since this internship is with a non-profit organization, I have to raise all of the money for this job, I do this by contacting a whole array of people.  Some of the people I know, and others I have never met before.  Impressions, whether they be first or not, are very important; so I have felt the need to talk a certain way at all times, and to dress a certain way at all times.  Yes, I am an ambassador of Christ so I should represent Him well; but, no, I shouldn't put on a facade of who I think others expect me to be.  I am reminded of the people God used and uses to do His work and it comforts me to see that they, in fact, are not perfect or even outstanding by worldly terms.  Everyone thought Noah was crazy and yet the Lord loved Him and used Him.  I will no longer try to live up to the assumed expection, because ultimately I answer to God; I want to live my life so that it's pleasing to the Lord.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

support letter

Hello!  Below is the letter I've sent to people asking them to become part of my ministry team,  I've taken off some information (like my address).  Enjoy!

Hello, I hope this letter finds you well! I am so excited to share how the Lord has been moving in my life. I am a senior music education major at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and will be graduating with my Bachelors in Music Education in December. I have grown immensely in my relationship with the Lord throughout college, and one of the main contributors to the growth is an organization called Campus Crusade for Christ, an interdenominational Christian organization founded in 1951 by Bill and Vonette Bright. It is through this group (Cru for short) that I have learned how to deepen my relationship with God and how to effectively share my faith. I have also lead Bible studies and discipled ladies on my campus. This organization has helped equip me to share my faith and to live my faith.

Since returning from a Summer Missions Project to Costa Rica in 2009, I really felt like the Lord was leading me into something different than I had planned for when I graduate. Through a series of events, my graduation was pushed back to December instead of May. Over the Winter Break last year, God really made it clear that I was to apply to minister overseas after I graduated. When I submitted to His will, I finally felt at peace about my future for the first time in a while. The anxiety and frustration about the future went away because I knew that the Lord would provide and protect when I chose to be obedient to His plan for my life. This obedience led me to apply to intern with Campus Crusade for Christ as a Short Term International (STINT) missionary. I will be STINTing in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and is in South America. I will be in the capital, Buenos Aires, and will be working with their Cruzada Estudantil y Profesional para Cristo (their Campus Crusade movement). Although, the country is Roman Catholic for the most part, many people do not practice their faith and, like many places in the world, many of the people do not have relationships with Jesus Christ. My vision for the Argentine students is for them to learn to live a Spirit filled life leading to obedience to the Lord. This obedience and sensitivity to the Lord's will will lead to the nationals taking ownership of the Cruzada Estudantil y Profesional para Cristo movement and continue to trust the Lord to "win lost students to Christ, build them up in their faith and send them out to do likewise".

I am so excited and humbled to be used by the Lord in such a way; this is something I have dreamed of since I was very young. I get to trust God with using me and others to “win lost students to Christ, building them up in their faith, and sending them out to do likewise” and all in another country, and in another language!

Officially, I leave the 1st of January in 2011 and until then I am working to find a team of ministry partners who will enable me to serve in Buenos Aires next year. Like 72% of missionary organizations, Campus Crusade for Christ has no central pool of funds and thusly relies on the consistent financial support of concerned individuals and churches. Would you prayerfully consider becoming part of this ministry by financially supporting me with $100 dollars a month or some other amount? All donations go to Campus Crusade for Christ and are tax deductible.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

some great information

I found this website recently and was really encouraged by the information I found.  It's a website that reviews Christian charities and non-profit organizations, it shows numbers on money and and assess different aspects that are important.  Check it out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

...a wave tossed in the ocean...

Hello!  So lately I've been thinking a lot about death; there have been a lot of deaths that I've heard of or known a person that it more directly effects lately.  Me dying is something that doesn't frighten me or even make me feel uncomfortable, and even the death of others doesn't typically bother me.  Death is a part of life, everyone will die, I've grown up dealing with death; ever since I was a little child people in my family (grandparents, great aunts, friends of the family, parents, siblings) have died.  But I keep thinking, what if your death doesn't matter.  Now of course one's death matters, there are (hopefully) people that love and care about them that will miss them when they're gone; but what if one's life was so unawesome, so uninspiring, the people and places left behind are not changed?  Does that not terrify anyone else?!?

When I die, I want people to remember not so much me, but how the Lord changed the world through me.  This isn't to be the "Coléa Show", I want my life to be filled with evidence of the Lord moving and shaking the world!  I want people to come to Christ, to open the door of their heart, because they saw a life that was exciting and purposeful, because they saw a life that they wanted.  I want my life to inspire others to live life the way it ought to be lived.
Looking at what I just typed, it seems kinda vain; am I saying that my life is so awesome, or that I'm doing everything right?  Surely not!

What I'm saying is that I want to leave a lovely footprint on the hearts and lives of people that I've know throughout my life here. Not so that it hurts more when I leave, but so that they can say that they have truly know someone who served the Lord with all their heart.  Now the trick is, in order for people to say that about me, I have to actually do that.  No pressure, just be awesome!  This puts a great responsiblity on me that I know I literally can't do by myself; I must constantly depend on God to live such a life that speaks loudly of Him and His Glory.

When my momma, grandmother, and brother died, we had a collective funeral for all of them (because they died at the same time), and people literally had to be turned away from the funeral.  The church was huge, but there were people standing in the aisles and in the doorways!  The peopke that came to give condolenses  to us, the family, were people who were touched by one of them in some capacity.  Some people, my momma had only met once, but boy could she leave an impression; she loved people and allowed the Lord's love to burst through her.  It was impossible to come in contact with my momma and leave her untouched by the Truth and Love that comes only from God.  My grandma had former students and whole communities come to her.  She did so much for her community and left such an impact on her students that people from decades ago came.  And my brother, although only six when he died, had many people from his school come and was made an honorary Tiger Scout by his troop.

Like I said, I've been to MANY funerals,  and there's nothing worse than going to one where the person was liked by those obligated, to one where no one has anything good to say.  I want my funeral to be of one that celebrates all the great things God has done in my life and in others' through me; how fantastic would that be?!?  A funeral where people say stuff like: "man did she love Jesus or what",  "she always talked about God's love and truth", "she helped me deepen my relationship with the Lord", "she served the Lord with every ounce of her being".

Serving God always turns out well, even when it doesn't makes sense to us, or when we don't get the results that we want/expect; I want to obediently serve God to bring Glory to Him and help better His Kingdom.  I am being obedient to God by serving in Argentina and I hope the Love and Truth of God bursts through my every seam and invades the hearts and minds of others around.  I want people to undoubtedly know that I love God and desire to serve Him.