The Challenge Conference is the national youth gathering for the Evangelical Free Church of America. This is the first time that the conference will be held in New Orleans and we are super excited!
Please pray for the students who will be coming to the conference from all over the country! We know that this is an opportunity for them to grow in their walk with God and serve the living God in the city of New Orleans. They will be partnering with various ministries including TouchGlobal to work on 15+ jobsites every afternoon. They will be prayer walking in the communities of our local churches and church planters to further their work and multiply the Kingdom...and why...all to the praise of His glory!
Selfishly, I'm EXCITED because I can't wait to see what God has in store for my city! Who knows what the ripple effects will be of 5300 students coming to share Christ's love to this city and I'm so excited to be a part of it. Yes it'll mean very long days and lots of work but again, it's all for the glory of God! Who knows how God will work in the students' hearts as well and if some of them would be willing to serve in a longer term capacity in their future..who knows, maybe they'll be my next intern?? again whatever God has in store for each student, volunteer, community member, staff person, we are open and willing to remain humble obedient servants of our Chief Shepherd!
The conference begins tomorrow with registration and ends Thursday night with a clean up day on Friday. On Sunday July 8th, I take off for Haiti for until July 12th. Please continue to lift us up in prayer!
1 Peter 5:2-4
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
|Ms. Ruby in her completed home!! :)|
Ways I stay energized:
daily quiet time with my Lord
coffee talk with friends
mentoring - aka operating in my sweet spot
meeting new people and hearing how God has worked in their lives
(I know these are ways I stay energized because when one of these is lacking for any extended period of time, I begin to run on fumes...also when I'm feeling stretched or forget the reason WHY I am working and living each day then I start to run on fumes.)
|Top Photo: Enjoying Ethiopian food with my roomy Eliza and friend Faith!|
What's energizing me today??
First off, my Lord and Savior who chooses to use me in this Kingdom work! Without the energy He provides, I wouldn't make it. (Col 1:29 - To this end I labor, struggling with all His might which so powerfully works in me.)
|Share time with TX and AZ teams hearing how God works in them|
What else is encouraging me today??
I am so encouraged by all of my interns, past and present, along with my adopted staff members who I have the pleasure and joy of shepherding during this summer:
|Lisa leading worship! I could listen to her all day!|
Interns Lisa and Nathan have started a friendship with a gentleman they met at a block party. The young man is a professed Muslim and is willing to hear more about Jesus! How God is just awesome is Nathan's time in Lebanon has given him background in the Muslim faith and the ability to read Arabic which Nathan did read from the Qur'an. Please pray for Lisa and Nathan as they continue to meet up with him and that God would work in his heart to reveal the truth of His Son!
|Ronnie leading a jobsite at Mr. Don's home|
This week we are lacking jobsite supervisors so Ronnie and Jen have stepped up to the plate and filled in! Chelsea has completed a project of making bookmarks for volunteers to take with them that have all of our contact information on them and ways to stay involved. She is also working on making prayer cards for our short term staff and interns! I am so blessed to get to work alongside all of these awesome young adults who are on fire for the LORD.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
So I don't know if it's a TouchGlobal thing or maybe a ministry thing or a life thing but one thing is for sure...if we are not careful, pretty soon we will start to "run on fumes."
|The Fume Radar|
First, let me explain the radar...then we can get into the lesson of it over the next several blogs.
Think of the radar like the Engine temperature gauge in your car....cold is on the left and hot is on the right. This radar is a little different in that it's a GOOD thing to be energized..that's the goal. So if you are ENERGIZED, you are not running on fumes, you are well rested, and overflowing with energy to accomplish what is set before you...and to do it with joy too! You are working in your sweet spot and holding onto tightly the passion vision and calling for your life. STABLE means that you have perhaps lost some of your drive and energy but you are perfectly able to keep moving forward and only partly running on fumes. The stable stage could mean you have lost part of your joy and aren't getting adequate R&R. If you are in the DANGER zone, that means you are operating completely on fumes, too many things coming at ya, perhaps operating outside your sweet spot more than you prefer, haven't rested, and you have lost the majority of your energy and joy. Your drive now comes from "let's get this over with so I can collapse later."
I, for one, will tell you I have been on every single part of this radar. It didn't just happen when I came on the mission field either...I remember days like this in college when I would study "on fumes" for exams after a full day of classes, clubs, and meetings. Those fumes just sneak up on you if you aren't looking out for yourself and them.
Today in our staff meeting, I had each person in the room tell me where they were on the radar. And yes we had some people in the "danger" zone. This gave them time to share what's going on, why they were in the danger zone, and we then covered them in prayer. This I pray will continue to remain on our white board throughout the next 9 weeks of summer teams. We need this reminder and self-evaluation of "where are we on the radar this week?" and "I need to tell someone I'm getting close to the "danger" zone so they will pray for me."
I want to come back later this week and go over how we end up in each zone and what can we do to stay energized in the midst of our everyday lives but today I ask you to stop and think and pray about....
where are you on the fume radar???
Monday, June 4, 2012
|Nathan, Lisa, and myself at the waterfront|
I had no idea when I left New Orleans at the end of November 2011 if I would even have one intern this summer come since I could only focus on support raising. Of course God in His sovereignty and awesomeness raised up FOUR interns for NOLA this year! So if you count my three in Haiti, I have SEVEN! Just like last year! God again, you alone are in control and able to do much more than I can ask or imagine!
I'll let them introduce themselves more in detail later on this week but just know their names are Lisa, LaKerria, Emma, and Nathan. What is the coolest thing is each of them were led to intern in NOLA in completely different ways:
|Lisa getting her hair did at the block party|
Lisa is in fact the only one who has served with us on a previous short term mission trip with her college John Brown University in AR.
Nathan was with ReachGlobal in Lebanon and when his visa to stay for the last 3 months of his term was denied, God led him to us.
LaKerria is the daughter of a family I stayed with in NC who was looking for an internship for her degree in psychology at Liberty University. While I was having lunch with her mom and dad, her mom called her so we could chat on the phone...and the rest is history!
Emma was connected with us through another ReachGlobal missionary as he was talking with Emma's dad and found out Emma was taking time off from school so to look into missions...again she began the process and is now raising support for her 3 month internship with us!
|We had barely got out of the car and Nathan had somehow found a chainsaw and a roof to climb! haha should be a great summer!|
GOD you are just amazing!! You Lord are my VERY great reward!! It's not about the work Lord, it's about the relationships you put in our lives to point each other back to You!
Lisa and Nathan arrived this weekend and will get settled in this week. LaKerria comes end of June and Emma will arrive once she is fully supported. Please join me in praying for these interns and that God would grow them deeper in their faith this summer and out of their deeper relationship with Him, they would truly know how to love their neighbors wherever they are!
Praise God for who He is!
|God knows her name...a little girl at Maxo's school|
Komon ou ye? Mwen remen Mango! (Creole getting a little better!!)
I am safely back in the US from a very awesome amazing blessed trip to Haiti. I praise God for the opportunity to see His hand at work in Haiti and I'm excited for the partnerships that have been formulated since the earthquake to see God's Kingdom come in that country.
I got to spend some time with Maxo, one of the community leaders, and his family. We first met Maxo early on after the earthquake and he served as a translator for us. I was able to help him this trip with his English and Spanish institute. I asked questions of the students and they responded in English. One question we asked was "Do you like English and Why?" Their response was that they loved english for the doors it opens if they know the language well. The best part was I then saw the students around the community and was able to continue practicing english with them. Again I'm blessed that God lets me serve Him and His children in Haiti.
Please continue to pray for our staff in Haiti! After taking 5 hours to get groceries I saw only a small picture of how daily life in Haiti can be more complex than a day in the US. Pray for rest, refreshment, protection, and rejuvenated hearts to serve the Lord there!
|girl talk in Haiti|
|view from my morning run up the mountain|
|Ashlee and Jane! love these girls!|
|street in port au prince|
|baby Michele at OLTCH|