To stay united and updated about this process of getting to One Mission Society, what's happening throughout this support-raising journey, and where I am in the meantime!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

OneWeekend and pics from Btown

OneWeekend is only five days away!!!  This weekend-long retreat is an awesome opportunity to deepen your relationship with Jesus, unpack how God might be calling you to missions, and get a clearer understanding of what it's like to be a missionary, as well as the many different ways you might fit in!

It was such a gift to volunteer during part of the first OneWeekend event in Nov. 2010, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for this weekend. 

Please be praying for us (the team facilitating the weekend) and for the 15 participants who will be arriving Friday and staying on OMS campus until Sunday afternoon.  We are praying for five more participants to come this weekend, so if you are interested, please contact me!  

In January, I had the opportunity to go to IU Christian Student Fellowship to share about this opportunity at Encounter, their Thursday night worship service.  I'm so excited that two of the students are already registered for OneWeekend, and we are hoping to see a few more :)

It was snowing so hard that night that I remember my co-workers worrying about me as I headed to Bloomington, but I left this trip feeling so nourished and just reminded that God knows just what we need.  I went down to make an announcement, but left feeling fed... He is good!  The women in the picture below are some of my spiritual sisters...they are quality and deep-- just being around them filled me up!!!  But having the chance to worship, hear Chris' sermon on Romans 10 and connect with supporters and friends made it that much better!

The next day I was able to catch up with my bro over Runcible breakfast...yum!  I stopped by a friend and supporter's home on my way out of town.  I think it had been months since I'd seen Mark and Cindy (and their kids pictured below), but they are dear friends and the first family I lived with while starting to raise support with OMS.  Cindy discipled me during my last couple of years at IU!  What started as a quick visit quickly turned into dinner and then helping put the kids to bed and then heartfelt conversation about some tough stuff and then prayer and then before I knew extra night in Btown.

All this may seem everyday to you, but to me, it is just an example of one of my favorite things-- deep friendship and relationships that God gives us to nourish and encourage us in who He is!!!!  It's easy for me to write this tonight even a few weeks later, because I am finishing this weekend feeling the same thankful for time with good friends, for my church family, for how He has provided!  Praying tonight that He will provide the same for you, too.

"I find myself praying for you with a glad heart." Philippians 1:4

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Going to Africa!!!!

I'm leaving for Africa on March 8th!!!!  Surprised?!  Me too :)  Our International Ministries Director thought Africa would be the best fit and timing for my next trip, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to go and minister alongside our missionaries while gathering material for stories and communications work!  I'll be going for two and a half weeks and spending time in Burundi, Mozambique and South Africa!

I've been rushing to get in touch with the missionaries there and make it to Burundi while a missionary named Michelle is still there.  She is an OMS missionary loaned to a ministry called Sister Connection, which connects widows in Burundi with sponsors in the U.S... pretty cool, huh?  Sounds like it's straight out of James and I can't wait to learn more about it!  I can't believe things are coming together so last minute, but all the field leaders have said it's a go... apparently, I'm the only one who thinks going on such short notice is a little crazy :)

All that being said, I'm longing for your PRAYERS right now!  It has been confusing for me to try and keep in touch and correlate with people in these three different countries, and we have yet to apply for my visas.  I have felt so out of my element in trying to figure out the procedure for planning a trip and coordinating the schedule when I'm going alone.  I'm so thankful for help from Bill at MFM in planning and booking my tickets!  Please be praying over the planning, communication and just that the Holy Spirit would give me peace and direction as I'm preparing and trying to pull things together.

It means so much to have you as a teammate in this ministry!!!  Thank you for making this ministry possible!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How's that for lunch on Super Bowl Sunday?

Did you know that more than 1 billion people are suffering from hunger daily?  And perhaps even more staggering—a child dies every 7 seconds because of hunger-related causes?

I walked into my apartment building Sunday afternoon and it smelled awesome—Amanda must have been cooking something good!  She and her husband have told me I always have an invitation to join them, but I shut the garage door and told myself, you have plenty of food upstairs for lunch.  It was then that I had to remind myself I’d already had lunch.

A bowl of corn/soy powder mixed with water. This was our lunch on Sunday.

A few weeks ago, Kate and Storly (who are leading our Sunday school class on "The Hole in our Gospel") told us we'd be having a lunch after class one day when our pastor could come, so that the class could ask him questions about how our church is responding to poverty and missions.

What they didn't tell us until the moment before we went into the next room is that this lunch would be the same corn/soy blend powder that World Vision sends to people groups suffering from hunger.

I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do this.  It’s hard to think that this is the relief we are sending, and obviously, we all had a much easier experience eating it than those who normally receive it.

For example, even just the fact that it was made with clean water, that we didn’t have to go fetch that water and that we had dishes to put it in, are all things that aren’t a given in the countries that receive this food aid.  Not to mention the fact that we all knew when our next meal was coming, and probably many of us even spent the evening eating more Super Bowl snacks than anyone needs.

Kate, who used to work for World Vision, got a hold of some of the powder and mixed it with water earlier that day.  It made for a grainy consistency, almost similar to that of grits, but this certainly tasted less substantial.  There were a few chunks in it.  Not chunks of food, just chunks of powder that had not been dissolved all the way.

If this doesn't sound very appetizing to you, consider least there wasn't mud mixed in with ours.  In "The Hole in our Gospel," Stearns quotes an article from The New York Times:

     "In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the destitute. 'It's salty and it has butter and you don't know you're eating dirt,' said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. 'It makes you're stomach quiet down.'"

Can you believe that?  Storly, who is Haitian, reassured us that this is true.  Kate, who has also lived in Haiti, said that this corn/soy powder mixture is made into cakes with mud and then sold in Port au Prince.

Speaking of Haiti, click here to read an amazing story!  The story is about Junior, one of the seminar students I spent time with in Port au Prince, and it is an awesome example of God's power.