Wednesday, June 23, 2010

all for 1 week!

Last week was the third official week on project. The week started off at our Sunday night weekly meeting when the staff came running up in front of all of us and did the dance to the all for one song in Highschool Musical One. The moment was pretty priceless watching our entire staff and some of their children do a couragraphed dance in front of us. That night we were given the message that the next week was one of the most important weeks on project. Community week was one in which we truly needed to learn how to be a family of God and needed to learn to care about one another. John 13:34-35 states "A new command I give you: Love one another.As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another. This verse was pretty much our goal for the week just to learn to love one another and grow together as one body. The second very large part of the week was that what one person knew everyone needed to know. They told us certain people would be getting information during the week and everyone needed to get it. We however were not allowed to text people that information. This was a crucial rule we had to follow and were told that if this communication didnt happen there would be consequences. We didnt really set up any sort of communication system in the start of the week because we figured everyone could just past the word on and eventually everyone would hear the information. The week continued on and as people recieved information they passed it on. I found out tuesday morning that we were having a picture on wednesday at 6 pm. On wednesday morning I was told that we had to wear solid colors to this picture. By the time I got to the picture it became clear that not everyone had recieved the same information. Apparently one of the clues had been that no one could wear a white shirt and the shirts were to be completly solid with no writing. Another clue had been that we were not allowed to talk when we got there. As Gary stood up and asked if everyone had heard the no talking rule or the no white shirts rule it became painfully obvious that our comminication style had failed. He told us that in the softball game on saturday we would not be starting on an evenn ground. That night our entire group of 92 students called an emergency meeting and suprisingly within 10 mins everyone was there. We talked about how we needed a system set up because obviously hopping everyone would eventually hear the clues did not work. We decieded that we needed to meet up each day to share our clues and information because that was the only way we could be sure everyone would hear the info. Thursday night we met again as a group and found out we needed to pick colors managers and umpires for our team. We also were giving a note that saying for friday morning we were only allowed to haveone alarm clock go off in each buliding and after that the person who had to leave earliest for work would have to wake up the next person. No one was very thrilled with the idea at all but eventually we were ableto get it all set up so that we had everyone being woken up by the previous person when they needed to go to work. I'll admit it was a little nerve wracking depending on another person to come and wake you up because if they forgot there was no way you were getting to work and it would mess up the schedule for everyone. Thursday night we had womens time and they served us sandwiches and chocolate strawberries and we ended the night with a massive dance party which was pretty fantastic. Friday night I went to see Toy Story 3 with a group of people and I have to say they did a pretty great job with it. Saturday at 5 we all met to eat dinner together and then all 92 of us put blue and white paint on our faces and walked to the softball field singing we are team Jesus instead of we are the titans. The game was probably one of the most encouraging things ive ever done. As each of us went up to bat our entire group would chant and cheer for them. Just to see our community growing and building up was pretty encouraging. Sunday was a pretty busy day even though it was our day off. A group of us got to go play soccer in the 100 degrees for and hour and a half which was just a really cool way for us to bond. That night we went to something called the international dinner and although I can't sare much of what happened exactly I can say it was pretty life changing. It made me think about things I had never considered and just opened my eyes to how other countries see us. More then that, though it showed me the repsonibility we have to sharing our faith with others and just how comfortable our culture and country has become.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

week 2

Last week was killing the giants week on project, probably the toughest week of project so far. We were asked sunday night to each write down a few goals for the week for sharing our faith. We set a goal combined goal of having 2582 conversations with people, and with there being 130 of us all together that seems like a pretty big goal. Our focus was the idea that if we were to dedicate one week to sharing the gospel what would that week look like? After working an 8 hour day when coming back home many of us would have loved to just come back home and relax for an hour or two before the next big thing started up. But last week were were challenged to instead take the little bit of free time we had and use it to go and share our faith. I quickly realized that in order for me to do this I would have to ask someone else for the strength and energy because there's no way I could do it on my own. As the week went on and I talked to some of my friends on project it became apparent that we were all exhausted but yet we continued to rely on God to give us the strength and energy to do what we knew we were being asked to do that week. A group of us decided to go large group sharing on friday after work and we had some truly amazing conversations. We talked with this group of four people and were encouraged by the fact that they were already christians and they believed in what we were doing. We even got a chance to pray for them and ask God to protect them and bless their family, and at the end they even sang to us which was really cool. Sunday afternoon everyone was a little frustrated with the fact that they had planned something on our one day off but it truly turned out to be a blessing. Our entire project played games on the beach and I got to play soccer in the sand which is something Ive always wanted to do. All in all it was a great chance for all of us to hang out and enjoy eachothers company after the long week we had. That night we all ate together and then went on a picture scavanger hunt which was a blast. As we all came back together at nine in the park the staff shared with us what God had been able to accomplish through us that week. We were able to have 2600+conversations over 600 gospel presentations and saw 101 people come to Christ. It was so cool to see how God had truly used us for his purpose that week and also how he gave us the strength to do his work even after working 40 hours during the week plus all of our project stuff. This week on project I have already begun to see God work in me. One of these things being reliance on him. Yesterday at work was the worst day I have had in along time. There was so much negativity going around my office the atmosphere was draining. Along with the office just about every person I talked to on the phone was angry or yelling at me about something I had no control over. by the end of work I just wanted to go home and cry. It was only through Gods strength that I was able to keep my composure on the phones and manage not to yell back at anyone. I think He may have allowed me to go through yesterday just to remind me that I can't do it on my own I truly need him. Another thing I have been working on this week is just continuing to ask God to remind me that I am worthy to be here. In the picture above is my impact group on one of the nights we went sharing and also last friday when we went mini golfing (my group won!). I could not ask for a better group of people to be like my family here on project. I have found myself lately realizing I feel like im not worthy of these people. I feel like I dont deseve to have these people with me telling me that they love and care about me daily. But I truly thank God for these amazing brothers and sisters because through them I see more of his love for me daily. We went out sharing on tuesday night as an impact group we broke off into smaller groups and I went sharing with liz lindquist and Brian. When we went up to our first group of people and asked them if they had a few mins they quickly said no and didnt really give us a chance to even talk. Then the second group of people took our survy but we could tell they werent super interested and they didnt want to go through the KGP. After that me brian and liz were feeling pretty discouraged so we started praying and asked God to lead us to who he wanted to talk to and just to allow us a chance to have a great conversation As we looked up we saw this couple sitting a little ways from us so we decided to approach them and see if they would be willing to talk with us. As we started talking with them the lady told us that last week on the beach some mnpeople had come up to her and she had taken the survey. She also told us they had given her a KGP and she had promised them she would read it. She started to share with us how excited she had been to read it and just some of the things she had learned in it. It was such a blessing to be able to talk with them and I'll never forget the man telling us multiple times "dont be discouraged, keep up the good work" because it seemed as if God himself was using these people to remind us that we are there for him and even when people reject us its ok because we are not out there for ourselves.
Thats just a little of my heart and how ive already seen God working in my life this summer. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be here and can't believe 4 weeks are almost gone. It's crazy to think the staff leaves us in two weeks and then project will be half over. I can't wait to see what God has instore for us the rest of this summer!
Thank you all for your prayers and your support for me this summer!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

what God has been teaching me so far

So I decided to start a blog so I can share with people some of the things I have been learning on summer project so far and also so I can update people on my life down here.

Well driving 22 hours to get to North Myrtle beach seemed like a great road trip that everyone should get to try, or so I thought. The trip started off pretty well we left Minneapolis at about 6:30 on tuesday morning and were scheduled to arrive here in South Carolina at about 4 ish or something the next day. However our car ended up breaking down in Indianapolis at about 5 pm on tuesday night and put us about 6 hours behind schedule. Although we had some rough times that night trying to figure out how we could even make it here and if the car would be fixed God was faithful through it all. He provided a hotel for us to stay at and some great people to take care of us that night, and He kept us all safe. Although that situation was a struggle it was cool to see how close it brought me steph and angie even though before that moring we hadnt hardly even been friends. We arrived in NMB at about 1 in the moring and sadly evenone was already alseep. The next few days of being here and meeting people made me more and more excited to spend the entire summer here. It has been cool to see how its so obvious that all the people placed in my bible study were put together through God. We can all relate to eachother so much and I can't believe how close we have gotten after knowing eachother for only 2 weeks. The women in my study have encouraged me and helped me grow so much in my spirtual walk already. I have also come to love the boys in our impact group, and our group has had some really amazing times together and some great laughs. I can't wait to continue to grow in relationships with these people! God also provided me with a great job this summer and after a week of training tomorrow I finally get to answer the phones by myself. yay! I'm excited to get to know the people at my work place and also to see how God is going to use me there. Working almost 40 hours a week and then having planned project stuff all the times leads to little free time, and makes it hard to make time to connect with those who arent here. So I want to let you all know right now it's not that I dont miss you because I do and I can't wait to see everyone when I come back! One of the things which is planned into our schedule each week is date night with Jesus on wednesday night. This is where we get to go and spend 2-3 hours just us and God. Last week that night was probably one of my favorite times on project. During that time I was reading through my journal and came across something I had written 2 days before project. It expressed my doubts and fears of going on project some of those being; not being good enough to go, not having people here for me, and my friends forgetting me while im gone. Im happy to say as I read those fears God has made me realize those truly are lies the devil wanted me to believe. He has shown me again and again that this was his plan for me and that I am suppose to be here. He has brought people into my life who care for me and love me for who I am. But lastly he has finally helped me work through my issues of never feeling good enough. That in itself has been something I have struggledwith forever but God has finally showed me that although we can't be "good enough" for him, He loves me anyway. When we are able to find our self worth in God it becomes less important to us what others think of us and more important that everything we do is for God. A second lesson I have been learing a lot about is loving other people. This week our theme is killing the giants and the focus is on outreach. Before coming to project I would say my outlook on sharing our faith and doing outreaches on the beach was pretty low. I didn't see the need and didn't understand why we had to go do it. God however has really been working in my heart on that and has begun to break my heart for those who are lost. We had a sermen on sunday moring which really just opened my eyes to the fact that without Christ we would be just like them. There is not reason that I wasn't born into a broken family like so many others. No reason why I am not like our new neighboors who just moved in on sunday and have begun partying by 3 in the afternoon everyday. No reason, other then that God loves me and called me to him. But he doesn't just love me, he loves them too just as much as he loves me. Realizing this began to show me my need for the gospel and has given me the strength to be able to go and share my faith with others. Because without the gospel I would be just like them, lost. In fact I am even on the outreach team something I would have been completly against before but now im sure God is going to use it to stretch me and continue to help me grow.

Well anyway thats all I have for now but I can't waith to see what God will continue to show me and teach me as the summer continues on!!

prayer requests,

That God would continue to move in our hearts here and continue to break us for the lost

that God would soften the hearts of those we talk to and open them to what we have to say

that God would continue to work through me and break me of any feelings of rightousness I have and show me my own need for his grace and the gospel

that I would have patience at work when dealing with people who are demanding and rude, and that I would be able to show them Gods love and grace anyway