Cru Summer Mission to San Diego!

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A few days ago I talked about applying to one of CRU’s summer mission trips. Well, yesterday I got accepted to join the mission team! SO excited to see what God has in store for me over there. This will be another short trip, 10 days to be exact. During those ten days we will be¬†focusing on walking with God intimately, training in ministry skills, sharing the gospel in a number of contexts, discipleship, leadership development, and involvement in small group bible studies.

This link goes to the site where you can donate to my trip. The total cost for the San Diego Adventure trip is about $1,400 which covers housing, transportation, some of my meals, and ministry expenses. Any amount will help! Shoot, I’d be happy with a 2 dollar donation haha. Whether you’re able to donate or not, prayers for my trip and team members will definitely be needed. You can pray for our team’s leadership, the individual members of the team, the travels of the members, the people we will be meeting and discipling and the overall personal and spiritual growth for everyone involved in the trip. Thank you in advance for anything you are able to contribute!

Here is the link ūüôā

No “what-if”s allowed

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I wish it was easy for me to express what has been going on in my heart lately. I haven’t been able to get missionary thoughts out of my mind, and lately I’ve been seeing direction from God about it. I’m becoming more and more sure that missions are going to become a huge part of who I am. A few days ago, I got a new Instagram follower named Kelsie. I had no idea who she was but when I clicked on her page, I noticed something cool about the pictures she had. They were all taken in different countries, loving on and working with people from various places. She looked like she was having the time of her life! I saw that each one of her pictures had a hashtag that said #theworldrace… So I looked it up.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so overwhelmed with positive emotions all at once the same way I was while I browsed through this page. There was this ringing feeling in my heart that made me feel like it was going to explode with happiness. Sounds weird, I know, but this is the best way I can describe it. The world race is a Christian mission trip that takes a small group of believers to 11 countries in 11 months. Each month the group spends quality time in ministry with the people they meet the designated area. They do everything from planting churches, spending time with the little ones, meeting and praying with families and sharing personal testimonies. Its my dream in one trip.

I keep wrestling with what I perceive to be reality, and the “what-if”s.While I have absolutely no answers for them, or how things will work out, I’m going to put into practice what I know to be true: I don’t have to do any worrying because if God wants me to be somewhere, He will get me there. He will guide every footstep, and remove every boundary. “What-if”s are extremely irrelevant to Him. My worries will always be unnecessary when they are related to His plans for me.

Proverbs 3:5 (ESV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Help: Can’t Get Missions off My Mind

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Its only been a month since I left for my Nicaragua Mission trip. A month. One. It feels like so much more time has passed. I thought I would come back, move on from the impact of my trip, and get back into the grove of my regular boring life. It didn’t happen that way. I still have the trip on my mind. The kids, the adults I met, my teammates. I still have the Nicaragua mission on my mind- missions in general. I’ve been looking at what trip I can go on next. I’ve applied and will hopefully be joining one of CRU’s summer missions in May.

At some point during my Nicaragua trip, I think God planted a seed in my heart, a love for and a deep interest in missionary life. I would love to do longer term missions. Maybe months, maybe years. The possible locations and ministries are endless. I think the first two steps in this process include praying for God’s direction and talking to other missionaries. I’m looking for current/former missionaries to talk to about their experiences. I have questions about how long they’ve been on trips, where they’ve been on trips and what kinds of things God showed them while they were there. So far I haven’t had much luck, but I know that it just means God has specific people he wants me to talk about this with. Patience seems to be key in this situation. I’ll keep you all updated throughout the journey!

Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

February 16th: Happy Birthday Dillyn

Today marks a particularly special day in my life. My Godson, Dillyn, was born on this day four years ago. Its really weird because even though these four years seem to have flown by, it feels like he should be older than he is. His personality has always been more mature than his actual age. He is four going on forty. By far the funniest and smartest little four year old I have¬†ever met. He’s truly one of a kind. Here’s a limited list of why:

He steals the heart of most people he meets

 

And makes new friends very easily

He’s bossy

And if you don’t listen you’d better watch your back!

He’s a THE¬†ladies’ man

He’s basically apart of the youth group at church..

He does hair

Appointments only.

He also makes a great breakfast in the morning

ALWAYS on the move!

Whether he’s on his way out on a bike, in the car, or just plain running.

 

He’s had multiple professions in his lifetime

Including, but not limited to a police man, professional bowler, batman, a cowboy, a pirate, soccer assistant, and a professional baseball player

 

He does some pretty strange things

 

Buttt he’s my Godson. And I love him with all my heart!

Happy birthday to my favorite little human

Empathy vs. Sympathy

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I spent yesterday evening at a weekly bible study held by United Campus Ministry, a Christian organization on campus. Every Monday night we get together from 8-9PM and have a local pastor come in to do a study of their choice with us. This week Jim Foran of Saint Joseph the Worker Parish joined us to talk about a few different devotions created by the Henri Nouwen Society. Henri was a famous Catholic priest, theologian and writer who’s writings focused a lot on solitude, community and compassion.

Yesterday we read through a few of his devotions and one of them really stood out to me. It was titled¬†Solidarity in Weakness, which actually happened to be the daily devotion¬†for yesterday’s date. It talks about the silent joy created when we share our humanity and decide to suffer with¬†someone in despair. Reading the article automatically made me think of a video I saw this past summer about sympathy versus empathy.

As you can see in the video, sympathy can be very different from empathy. Sympathy is more distant. Did you notice how the sympathetic animal spoke to the bear and fox from outside of the hole? It never stepped anywhere near where they were standing. Even when placing the silver lining around those clouds it was from the ladder. Sympathy says i’m busy with my own stuff but I do see that you’re suffering so you’re in my thoughts. Empathy, on the other hand, is more personal. Empathy means making a connection with some one else’s problem. It can mean being there to listen, or just simply being present. Empathy usually requires taking some time from a busy schedule to continuously check in¬†with someone. It means looking at a situation from the other person’s perspective, not assuming what things are like and speaking on those composed thoughts.

I think sometimes it can be hard, and quite draining to take time to be with someone during their suffering rather than just being there for¬†that person. It can be easier to tell someone that you’re praying for their situation than to actually go and pray with them.

Either way, both sympathy and empathy are appreciated at any difficult time. There is just something extra special about an empathetic response to a tough situation.