Tuesday, August 21, 2012

That's a Wrap!

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

I want to thank you all for the support you've given me this summer! Through your prayers, I know that God provided both a spiritual uplifting and a barrier of protection over me. Through your financial sacrifices, you partnered monetarily with God in what He is doing in the Czech Republic. Through your encouragement and friendship, I was reminded of the believers who had my back. In the times when things got difficult, your words encouraged me.

This eight-week trip has come to a close, and I am now settling back into Little Rock. My senior year at UALR starts this week, I've already resumed a few shifts at work, and soon life here will be back in full-swing... but I know that this year is intended to be different, to be special. Because I believe that my work in the Czech Republic is not yet done.

Throughout the summer, God made it clear to me that I should continue to join Him in the Czech Republic... I hope to move there after graduation and stay long-term. Just today, God gave me yet another confirmation that I am truly following His will for me. This last year in the States will be a season of preparation, and I hope to be intentional in all things that I do. I praise God for this, that He has already answered my prayers by providing a woman with very similar missions experience to mentor me through this next year!

Therefore, though my short trip is over, I know that there is much ahead... may God's glory continue to shine! Please stay in prayer for me as I continue to seek God's guidance, and I challenge you with this: keep your heart open for how God wants you to partner with Him in the Czech Republic. Your presence in my life is not merely a coincidence, and I have experienced the spiritual blessings that come with joining God in what He is already doing. After all, spreading the good news of Jesus is what life is all about, right?

Grace and Peace to all of you... we'll be in touch!

Deuteronomy 8:17-18
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's Nearing the End

The other day, I was thinking back over the past seven weeks. With just a little over one full week left, I can see my trip wrapping up. What is the story of my trip?

If there's one thing I've learned so far this summer, it's that there is a special unity that comes by the Holy Spirit. Throughout my experiences with the Czech Christians—as well as several American teams—I've noticed something special: instead of feeling like a random group of people haphazardly stuck together and forced into stressful situations... it feels like a family reunion.

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in the Spirit and of one mind.”
-Philippians 2:1-2

I've spent almost two months forming and strengthening relationships, and I'm now able to look back and recognize the fruit of that. I still have one more youth camp this week, and then next weekend I will be saying goodbye—to all of my friends, my new church family, and this country that I love. While I plan on returning next summer and staying for a longer term, it still is very painful to think of having to leave.

How you can pray for me this last week:
  • Pray that I will have strength. Strength to stay joyful this week and keep pressing love into people around me. Strength to withstand the upcoming good-byes.
  • Pray that I will have courage. Courage to share the gospel with the non-Christians that have built good friendships with. Courage to share the love of God with the ones that need it.
  • Pray that I will pursue the relationships. There are three non-Christian friends coming to church with me tomorrow! With all of them, I've been deeply investing into these friendships throughout the summer, and now they are all anticipating joining me at church!
  • Pray that I will be prepared. I already recognize that I will have a weighty culture shock when I return to the States. And I won't have much time to readjust—within a few days I'll be back at work, and I start the fall semester one week after I get home.
  • Pray that I will be guided. Throughout this next year, I have many decisions to make. How I can get more Biblical and theological training, how I can study more of the Czech language, what steps I should take to create a more permanent stay for me here.

I want to thank all of you again for your continued prayers. I know that this would not be possible, if not for the prayers of all of you back at home. I look forward to reconnecting with you when I get back and sharing more in-depth just how much God has done in me and through me this year.

Your sister in Christ,

P.S. Sorry I have not sent out an update in such a long time. On July 16th, I began a run of three English camps back-to-back. I haven't had much time for anything else!