Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”
This verse is huge! For me right now God is using it in my life to encourage me in witnessing and sharing the gospel. So many times I fall into the sin of legalism and “having to” or making myself follow God because I am supposed to do it. Not because I am in love with Jesus Christ our Lord. When I am this way I have such a hard time starting conversations or seeing opportunities because I am trying to do it alone. He reminded me tonight that all I can do is fix my eyes on Him at ALL times! I need to be in awe of who He is in my life and what He has done for me. Through that God will fill me up with His Spirit and I can’t help but to proclaim His name because I am too excited about who He is to keep it inside that the gospel of Jesus has saved my life and given me hope. He will perfect my faith in Him and overflow in the way I live my life! I don’t have to rely on myself to see opportunities or worry about what to say, because my God is with me always and will speak through me when necessary. Praise Him for that! I pray I can be reminded of this each day and not let the sin that easily entangles me to pull my eyes off Jesus.
So Honduras was really cool! We had no idea what we were going to be doing, but God had a plan. I definitely learned to be really flexible in the plan too. We mainly did manual labor such as painting and shoveling. It was really cool for me because most of the mission trips I have been on have been evangelistic. I really enjoyed being able to be physically used for the Lord as well! The people here are so encouraging. Our driver Leo was amazing. He has such a heart for the Lord and the ministry (Heart to Honduras). Everyday he had so much joy and was always cracking jokes. It kept our team really relaxed I think at times. 1 Peter 3:15-16 was true for me in Honduras as well. I had prepared a sermon for Uganda and I ended up not being able to share it. When we got to Honduras I found out I might could share it there, but the night before I was going to share I found out I wouldn’t be able to because we didn’t have a translator. The next morning though, when we arrived at church, I found out that the pastor did want me to preach. So in that moment I just had to give it to the Lord because I was really nervous an didn’t have a lot of time to prepare or look back over it like I wanted before I preached. It was neat though because God provided a translator for me who was a teacher in the town. He showed me that no matter what we have planned I always need to be ready to give a reason that I am serving Him, and share His word!
So France has been awesome!! The missionaries here are incredible here and are so encouraging. We have been learning a lot about community, and we have had a great example of it before us our whole time here! It’s been really cool to see the light in such a dark place. Pray that people would open up their hearts to the Lord this next week as they have kids camp! (basically VBS). We have been helping them prepare for that and reaching out to the community trying to put Jesus’ name out there. It has been really encouraging to see how much of a servant everyone is for us and want us to have a good time. They are always trying to make things easier for us. I have really enjoyed getting to know them and learn more about how long term missions work!
So we are in Uganda now!! It’s a really cool ministry. We have been helping women who have been taken out of the sex trade make necklaces. Sarita created the necklace business to help the women find a way to support themselves so they don’t fall back into the sex trade. The cool thing is that the necklaces are sold in America so you can help support the women and the ministry by buying one!! The website is http://www.imanilove.com I encourage you to check it out! The ministry also has a home for younger girls in school whose parents have left them or can’t afford them. Some of them have even been sexually abused. We have been able to show them Godly love and encourage them as well!! It’s really neat to see the Lord using people’s different talents on this trip! Such as, Luke and I were able to use our past sheet metal work to help close in a outside kitchen they have!! It’s all because of Gods grace that we are able to be here and be used by God to love on the women.
Hey everyone! We are now in India and its such a blessing. The children just want you to love on them. They don’t care what we do with them, they’re perfectly happy just sitting with us and resting. Especially when it is really hot outside. I met a man named Matthew who works at the orphanage and he owns a motorcycle. He taught Brian how to ride the motorcycle and then let me ride it after Brian was done. It’s so cool to see how they’re are just open to us with everything that they have. Even they’re cherished items. The children are so willing to serve us as well. I tried to sweep the prayer room for them and the owner got one of the girls to do it for us. She wouldn’t let me have to broom even when I basically begged her for it haha. It is really cool to see that they are willing to serve us even though we are there to love them and serve them!!!
So I we have been in Hong Kong for two days now! We have made five trips total across the border and I have only been stopped once. When I did get stopped Luke showed up shortly after too. We had to wait for about an hour and a half to get my passport back. It was really encouraging though because Luke and I met two people from Ohio that were taking bibles across as well. It’s cool to see that the Boss is using other people to do the same thing we are as well!! Overall we have taken about 2 tons of bibles across from the five trips me and the group I was with made! I would be more specific but the risk is too high.
Have you ever thought about where God is leading you?.. I didn’t until I was headed to Wyoming the summer before my freshman year of high school. Before that I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior, but I never knew what it meant until I was on a van headed to Wyoming. I realized that God wanted a relationship with me and that meant spend time in the Bible. So I started reading the Bible a few weeks before we actually left for the trip. When I went to the meetings they were talking about sharing the gospel with everyone, and up until that point in my life I didn’t know what the gospel was. I spent the whole meeting trying to figure it out! I finally asked my partner and made the connection between it and Jesus’ life and death on the cross for us. I knew how to be saved but never realized it was called the gospel. The trip was a real eye opener for me and after we got back I started being more serious about my time with God and seeking Him.
So that next fall I started high school and was not as consistent as I should be with my time with God. The one thing that really drove me my freshman year was that my friends were in the leadership group in our youth at my church. I knew what they had to do to be in the group so I started trying to be like that. But as I read God really got a hold of me and showed me that its not just something to do but its a life. Through high school it was a constant struggle to stay in the word of God. Jesus requires you to surrender your life to him (Luke 9:23) and to deny ourselves to follow Him. There are many times where I was on fire for God, there were also times where I was not where I needed to be and sadly it was more the later because I was not willing to surrender parts of my life to Him. Then sophomore year at summer camp I felt that God called me to ministry, but when I got back home I ran from it and ignored it taking it as a call to witness more. Towards the end of my Junior year I became a whole lot more consistent in my time with the Lord and really started growing. The summer after my Junior year I went to Africa and we went from village to village sharing about God our creator and Jesus Christ. I loved every minute of it, and did not want it to stop. When I was in Africa I started thinking about my call again and if it really happened or not. I talked to the missionary there and we prayed together about my call, and that night I told God that whatever He wanted I would follow Him.
As I continued to pray about what the Lord wanted me to do I felt like I was supposed to get my engineering degree and lead me into that. I found a college and I really liked it so applied to it and it alone and that was where I was going. This was fall my senior year of high school, and I went to passion 2011 in January. Through all of passion I was really looking for God to tell me something big, but it never came. My girlfriend though got called to ministry and I was super happy for her! It was very exciting! Once I knew that I started praying about how that would change our relationship and gave it to God and let Him lead it. When we got on the bus to go home her and another friend (who was called last year) shared about there call as I sat there and started thinking about myself and there God wrecked my world. I had had a peace about engineering but in that moment I had no idea. I felt like I was going to be somewhere other than here at some engineering company. Right there, I started praying and telling the Lord all my thoughts. After a while of praying and thinking I was settled and not freaking out so much and knew the Lord was in control and would one day reveal it to me. The next day I asked our associate youth pastor to play a specific song and he told me he would if I would explain why it was so important to me. So, I did. As we were worshiping that night I really felt the Lord leading me to write down what I wanted to talk about at warrior weekend (a guys weekend for our youth). Writing that down led into the Lord leading me to surrendering my life to Him. When He called me I told God to take my girlfriend out of the picture and if He still wanted me to surrender to ministry I would follow Him and He did just that and still wanted me. It was incredible!
That summer I was an intern for our youth and after the internship I realized that it wasn’t youth ministry that I was called to and I had a heart to do missions. Not that I didn’t like the internship I loved it and the Lord showed me a lot. I just know its not where I am called. Towards the end of the summer one of my friends got back from his mission trip and called me wanting to talk about it and share it with me! We met up and he shared everything it was so fascinating!!! He told me I had to do it haha at first I was like whatever but then I really started thinking about it. As I started praying and came to where I had to decide and Global Journey was the trip I was most comfortable with so I applied. A few days later I got a call from the leader of the trip