Happy February! Y’all, I know it’s been a little over a month since I have blogged and vlogged…but that is because it has been CRAZY over here. However, all this craziness has brought my heart closer to my dear sweet Savior and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
MOVING: After a sweet month of holiday celebrations with my CA family, moving day came! On January 7 I packed up my life in 3 suitcases and boarded a plane from Burbank, CA to Wichita, KS! I spent the first few days at my sister’s house getting settled and learning the ropes at my new job. Then, I moved into the home of Ron and Diane Caffrey, and let me tell you, they are the sweetest blessings to me on a daily basis – I do not deserve their love and care for me. I also jumped right in to serving at Grace Bible Church and being involved in their college and career ministry, CORE. God has really knit my heart to those here and I am so thankful to have a few months of life with these people I love so much!
WORKING: I am working Monday to Friday from 8am-3pm at Lincoln Elementary as a Title 1 Teacher’s Aid. My duties throughout the day range from guiding reading, to one-on-one time with struggling kids, to helping in phonics, to corralling kindergarteners, to monitoring lunchroom, to guiding an English tier group, to teaching math and language arts, and time in the classroom shadowing and assisting a teacher. Every day is an adventure bringing new challenges and opportunities to love on and care for these precious kiddos, most of which come from heavily traumatic homes. The staff and teachers are kind and compassionate making my work environment a joy as well as an incredible place for me to learn from their years of experience. The Lord has used this job to expose many pockets of sin in my heart (impatience, bitterness, lack of compassion) as well as reveal a passion in me for inner city/low income ministry. Working at Lincoln has its challenges and heart-wrenching experiences that bring tears and pain on a daily basis; but, I love this job and am thankful for the opportunity to share the love of Christ in a very tangible and impactful way and I cannot wait to see how God uses what I learn here for His glory in the rest of my life.
SERVING: It has been a sweet gift and great joy to be a part of and serve in Grace Bible Church. On Sunday mornings we have Grace Life tables where we study 1 Thessalonians and pray for each other, then in main service our pastor, Bart Horton, is taking us through the Gospel of Mark and Jesus’s plan of salvation through humble sacrifice. On Monday evenings I am a member of a Grace Group that meets at my pastor’s house and we have about 16 folks in the church from all walks of life gathering together to study “You Can Pray” by Tim Chester. This study has been radically altering my personal prayer life as well as the way I approach God on a daily basis and being vulnerable and intentional with those in my group has pushed me closer to Christ every week! Occasionally, I am able to serve in Kids Club on Wednesday evening and every week I babysit for another Grace Group on Sunday nights. I am also privileged to be a part of the budding video team at the church producing missionary updates and church resources. God has been SO kind to allow me these opportunities to serve and grow alongside the precious people of GBC.
FRIENDING: One of my favorite aspects of living here in Hutch is the blessing to be a part of CORE. This young adults group is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before and I have been so thankful for the opportunity to get to serve in this ministry. We meet together at the church every Wednesday @8:30pm for food, a quick game, worship through song, teaching from God’s Word, and small group discussion. What’s most unique about this time is that each element of the evening is run by young people – my people! There are older believers from the church who sit in with us, but the worship team, the leadership, and the preacher are all local college and career students. How exciting to see people my age on fire for the gospel and desiring to make more and better disciples of their peers. From the very first time I interacted with this group back in September, they have welcomed me and integrated me into their lives to the point where it feels I’ve always been a part of them. Some of my nearest and dearest friends have come from this group and CORE has become family as they push me every day to be more and more like our great Savior and King.
GROWING: Now you may be asking, “what are you doing to prepare for TWR MOTION during these months in Kansas?” and that is a fantastic question! Apart from simply pursuing the Lord through daily time in His Word and consistent communion with Him in prayer, He has provided quite a few ways for me to intentionally train and become more equipped for life as a missionary. Serving on the CORE leadership team is helping me develop humility in discipleship and integrity in my daily walk – both areas that are vital to a sustainable ministry and faithful walk with Christ. Producing videos for the church is helping me develop my video/directing skills necessary for my job with TWR. Working at Lincoln and serving in Kids Club is helping me develop my heart for the lost and growing my desire to be a part of bringing God’s truth to those who’ve never heard. Also, in the weeks to come, my pastor and I will be meeting to intentionally attack areas of sin and lack of discipline in my life as well as taking me through specific ministry preparation and discipleship so that I can be a better servant of my Master and a more effective ambassador for Him through TWR MOTION.
I know this has been a long blog and I am sorry about that…God is just doing SO much and I needed to share of His faithfulness and great care for me! Hold on, there’s only one thing left I want to talk about…
I titled this blog post “Pleasing People vs. Trusting God” and the reason is twofold. 1) After five years I finally finished the book “Pleasing People” by Lou Priolo and have just recently started the book “Trusting God” by J.I. Packer. 2) These concepts of pleasing man and trusting God are issues I struggle with and one cannot exist with the other. Throughout my study of the fear of man vs. the fear of God, the Lord has revealed many sin areas in my life that reveal this tension between loving people and loving God. Now, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t love others, I mean that is one of the greatest commandments as said by Jesus Himself! I do mean however, that if I am loving people and their opinion more than I love God and His opinion, then I am in great need of a heart and mind adjustment. Pleasing people comes from a root of pride that says, “I deserve the affection and love of others because I am worth it.” Pleasing God comes from a heart that is humble and admits, “I am an unholy, unrighteous sinner who cannot do anything to earn His favor.” Understanding this basic tension has helped me to see how dangerous it is to live for the applause of man. When I choose to value people’s praise over God’s I am denying the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross and saying that God’s love for me is not enough. His work for salvation and His perfect care for me is not what I need to be happy and content. WOAH – ugly!! I see this in almost every area of my life – conversations, life at church, interactions with family, service, work ethic, and especially my thoughts. What does this have to do with trusting God? Well, the antithesis to trusting in myself and what other’s around me think, is trusting in God alone and His truth. If I truly believe that God is all-loving, all-powerful, and all-good, then I can TRUST He can and will always do what is best for my good and His ultimate glory. He has all the power to do whatever He pleases. This does not mean I will always understand or like what He chooses to do, but it does mean that I don’t have any grounds to question Him or place any stock in anyone’s opinion but His perfect one. My time in Kansas so far has shown me my great lack of faith in my good Father and how desperately I need to deny my people-pleasing heart and trust the only One who can truly satisfy and provide all I need to live.
Praise the Lord for His love and care for me and His power to accomplish His perfect will for my life! Now it’s time for me to trust this truth and live by it…
Time for this month’s jaw drop…the Lord has brought my monthly support to 84%!! I am completely floored by His continual grace and kindness in this support raising process. Thank you to each and every person who has sacrificed to join with me in the spread of the Gospel to the most unreached! I cannot believe it has been an entire year since the Lord first started building my support team! Thank you to each and every one of you who have sacrificed to join me in the work God is doing around the world – you are the greatest blessing! Please continue to pray for the final group of supporters making up that remaining 16% in His perfect timing.
I am now shooting to move to North Carolina and start in June 2018 due to my desire and conviction to finish the semester at the school and a few service opportunities in the church at the beginning of summer.
Attached is a link to a video I put together explaining what I’ve been up to these past few weeks, how you can be in prayer, and in hopes that I will be able to connect with you to pray for and encourage you in any way I can! My prayer is that you would be encouraged by God’s work in putting the gospel on display!
always for the Master,