Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
"Seek HIS will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take."
Why does this concept always seem so difficult? I find this true in my life. I want it my way, my time, my agenda. Me. Sometimes I think God lets us move in our own direction for a little while, and then He makes His plan known. Right about the time everything I try to do seems to be falling apart, He whispers and says, "Christian, I am right here. Speak to me and find peace in my plan."
For months now, I have been trying to figure out my plans for this summer. I started pursuing a study abroad trip to the middle east. After months of going through that process, God made it clear that the door for that trip was closing. This was a process that took much prayer and patience. During that time, God taught me a lot about my need for His provision in my life. After that door closed, I continued to pray about where the Lord wanted me this summer. I pursued a few job opportunities in Little Rock with Starbucks and other locations. Those seemed to maybe have a positive outcome. As I moved in that direction further, the door was closed again. I'll admit that I was discouraged, but I wanted to keep praying. I knew God had purpose, and He had a plan.
A few weeks go by and I got a phone call. Sarah Ray with Yobel Market (our original contact with Canaan Farm) wanted to let me know about a trip she was leading to the Farm this summer. She had heard that I was praying about where the Lord wanted me for the summer. Sarah asked me to consider going to Canaan Farm this summer to help lead the trip, and assist in multiple projects. Of course I was instantly excited, but I knew I really needed to seek the Lord on this. I got off the phone with her and called my parents. I asked them to be fervently praying with me. I also asked a few of my mentors to do the same. I asked God to clear all thoughts of circumstances...time, money, details, etc... and to speak to me on this. Through confirmations in scripture and seeking wisdom from my parents and mentors, I feel God is clearly calling me back to Uganda this summer.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed."
Now for the details. I will be going with a team of roughly 18 students/parents/interns. The leaders will be leaving around the 26th of May, and we will be there 1 week before the students and parents arrive. We will then be there for 3 more weeks with the new arrivers. Multiple projects will be happening during our time there. Canaan Farm is in the process of starting the construction of a primary school. I will be assisting with the details surrounding the construction of staff housing for the school as a well as construction of the school. As many of you already know, Yobel Market started a jewelry making project with women on the farm a few years ago, as a way to provide sustainable income. I will be helping start a micro-finance loan opportunity for the residents of the farm, which they can apply for to help grow their businesses. Also, being a returning visitor to the farm, I will be able to be an ambassador to the farm for those who've not been. I will continue to develop the relationships V-team started when we were there last year. The opportunities for ministry and growth on the farm are endless, and I am responding to God's call to help and be a part of all this. The need there is great and I am open to whatever God may have for my time there.
The rough timeline of the trip is from May 26th to the end of June or beginning of July. I need to raise $1300 for my plane ticket which I need to purchase very soon. The cost of my time there which includes all visas, travel, food, lodging, etc. is $1000. So with my plane ticket and living cost, I am in need of raising $2300. I know this is extremely short notice, but I am trusting the Lord with His provision. I ask that you pray for this trip to Uganda, and also pray about supporting me in this. As you know, it is already the middle of April and May 26th is very soon. I need to purchase a plane ticket asap. I am praying and trusting that God will provide in this, and asking that you would be a part of this with me.
If you would like to be involved either in prayer or giving, please contact me by email or phone (provided at the bottom). If you plan on making a financial contribution, checks can be made out to me and mailed to the address provided. As you know, time is of the essence, so a quick response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
20501 Roland Heights
Roland, AR 72135
Friday, April 2, 2010
Today is April 2nd and I was texting Andrew last night. Little memories of our trip last year pop into my head ever so often, and I like to share them with the guys. The one I was thinking of yesterday was from our time in India. If you've ever ridden in a car in a developing country, you notice that people are not shy when it comes to using their horns. This holds true excessively in India. We would often drive around the countryside to smaller villages to do evangelism with some of IREF's evangelists. One of the times we were going out, we rode in a school bus. We spent probably about 3 hours in the bus moving from one location to the next. So, back to the horn honking. Our driver was horn crazy. I don't think he let off the horn for more than 2 seconds at time. This wouldn't have been so bad, accept for the horn was the volume of a train horn. So for 3 hours, we sat on a bus, tired and most likely with headaches at this point, listening to a train equivalent horn. On top of that, the driving there was nothing less than INSANE! So the story is, I texted Andrew and Evan about this and we had a good laugh.
I decided I wanted to write a post today, because 12 months and 1 week ago, Andrew, Evan and I landed back at Denver Intl. Airport. I can't believe it has already been 1 year since we were on our trip. Often throughout this last year, I would about how long it had been since we were in a specific country or at a specific place. Now, we have been back in the states for over a year. This last year has been so exciting for the 3 of us, figuring out what God wants for our lives and how our plans are usually vastly different than HIS. At this point, almost 3000 miles separates us, when only a year ago, half time 3 feet barely separated us. I have now been at John Brown University for almost 2 full semesters. Andrew has been touring with a Christian Rock band from Ft. Collins, CO for about 6 months now, and Evan is living in LA working as a barista and plugging in to a community of believers out there. We know we are blessed and we are so thankful every day to God and how His plan for our lives is perfect. It is hard being apart from each other, but we know that we now have lifelong friendships in each other.
So, I want to share with you about some things of my life that have happened in this school year. Back in the fall, I started pursing a degree in Business Administration. I found out last year through prayer, and just elements of who I am, that I really wanted to study business. The reason I could see my self doing this is because of the opportunity that it presented for my future involvement in ministry. Last summer, I met with a director of a ministry located in Colorado Springs and Quito, Ecuador. This ministry is called HCJB Radio. I shared with her my dreams and thoughts of the future. I told her I desired to study business, and that this was something I really felt that the Lord had been directing me to. I asked about how this could be helpful in ministry. She told me that a huge are of need in ministry are people who have a heart for service but are also good at organization, numbers, financing, Business. This was encouraging to me, an affirmation that what I was going to be pursing was something of need in the world of Missions.
My meeting with this lady was in July of 2009, I started school in August. The moment I stepped foot into the business program, I knew I was where I needed to be. One class that really began to stick out to me was accounting. I had never had any experience with accounting, so everything I was learning was completely new for me. About half way through first semester, I started thinking about what it would for me to change my major to accounting. Through the first part of the, I really began to gain a passion for this subject. I know that totally sounds weird, who has a passion for accounting? Come on! But it's the truth. I mean, I knew the only reason I was hear was because of the grace of God. If he wouldn't have brought me here, I would never have known that I was good at and really enjoyed this subject. I began to pray about switching my major to Accounting, which since I was already studying business, a switch to Accounting was not that drastic. Many of my classes would already transfer over. I spoke with some of my professors about the options surrounding this degree, and the vast need in ministry for people who know this trade. After about 3 months of contemplating this, I really just felt peace with this decision. Last week I officially switched my major.
I am excited, because next fall, I will be studying Accounting for Non-profit Organizations. This is essentially what I want to do in the future-Accounting for ministry. I know everyone has their calling, and I am so thankful to have a calling to ministry of any kind. I never thought that accounting or business could be a ministry need, but as I look into it more and pray about where the Lord wants me, I learn that this need is great also. I know we never have it completely figured out and we shouldn't. We need dependence on the Lord for provision and guidance. So right now, I am trying my best to listen to His voice and His moving me.
As I sit here, I do really think it's awesome to see where the 3 of us have ended up. Evan is witnessing to a new crowd in LA, and learning about what it means to be all things to all people. Andrew is playing lead guitar for a rock band and touring the country. And here I am in northwest Arkansas, studying accounting for a future in ministry. Thanks so much for keeping up with us, and for keeping us in your prayers. Love you guys.
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