Friday, March 14, 2014

Why I like Share Time...

Every Thursday night, we gather the teams together after dinner and we simply ask them to share with the group something they were encouraged by this week, reminded of, or challenged by.  Being on staff with Crisis Response, it can be wearisome to see fewer houses being rebuilt, fewer people coming to Christ, and fewer volunteers coming than before.  So for me personally, I like share time because it reminds me that God is ALWAYS at work and He has us here for a reason!  It reminds me that we're still here serving because there is still a great need in this city for the Gospel to transform people's lives and for them to be physically restored to their homes.  We're still here because God is continuing to use a storm to transform the lives of those coming to serve!

Here are a few examples of what was said last night in share time by our volunteers:

1) thankfulness for the unity among the different volunteer teams.  Everyone is from all over with different backgrounds and experiences and yet because of Christ we are one!
Greenville and Dordt Colleges united!
2) thankfulness for team members and how they were able to be a family

3) reminded to be thankful for what they do have

4) enjoyed going on prayer walks because usually when I go on a walk, I'm only thinking about myself and my own was nice to go on a prayer walk where I was looking out for others and asking God what to pray for in the community

taking time to meet neighbors on a prayer walk with the Northwestern team
5) hope when we reach George's age (love ya George) we are still humbly serving the Lord like he does!

6) It's amazing to see what God can do when we surrender our lives to Him
team bonding with the Vine Church and Greenville College
7) I'd never been a mission trip before so I had no idea what to expect.  I've seen God work in so many different ways this week I'm just blown away!

I hope and pray we can all take time out each day to give thanks to the LORD for all He's done!  A team member shared how on a prayer walk, a deacon shared with him how we're called not just to tithe our treasure but our time as well.  He said 10% of our day is 2.4 hours and he hopes he can remember to always give not just his finances but his time as well to the LORD!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

All the way from Washington

Mark and I were blessed by the "came the farthest" couple at our New Orleans Wedding Reception.  Amanda and Kye were all the way from Seattle WA!  What makes this couple great is not just that they came all the way from Washington state but that I hadn't seen Amanda since March 2008!

I first met Amanda at Rock of Ages Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans when our teams were partnered together during our one week mission trip in 2008.  (Yes this is the trip where I felt God's call to come serve in New Orleans after graduating from college.)  Amanda and I stayed in touch once returning from New Orleans that year and she has been a faithful supporter of God's work through me from day one! She told me how she prays for me every time she sends her monthly support!  It just made me want to cry because I know without the generosity and prayers of God's people I couldn't be here and I'm SO THANKFUL for Amanda and her partnership with me in God's Kingdom work!

During her visit, we were able to show her Rock of Ages (from the outside at least) and show her various parts of New Orleans.  Kye is from Texas so he saw the impacts of Katrina when everyone had to evacuate.  It was great to share life with this couple and again, I'm completely amazed that God would allow Amanda and Kye to visit.  His timing is always perfect!  Amanda and Kye are recently engaged so we got to talk about all the fun wedding planning details too!  I know God will continue to bless them as they seek Him and His will for their lives. 

I want to thank all of my ministry partners who pray for me and give of their treasure so that I can live out my calling here in New Orleans!  My heart is filled with gratitude and love for each one of you!  Thank you for your partnership in seeing God's Kingdom expanded in the wake of crisis!