Friday, August 22, 2014

Debrief: a series of questions about a completed mission or undertaking

This week I have the opportunity to type up the notes from my debriefing appointments with Emily, Mallory, and Jamie.  Each debriefing took a good chunk of time but in all honesty, it should have.  These young ladies didn't just give up one week of their lives to serve with ReachGlobal Crisis Response; they gave up two to 2.5 months (not to mention the time they put into the application process and support raising prior to arrival). I can only imagine how long their debriefing would've been if they had stayed for longer! 

Each debriefing is geared to allow time to reflect on the internship.  We ask questions like what did God teach you, what would you want us to change, what should we continue to do, etc.  Then we take time to prepare them for their transition to the next phase of their lives.  We talk about what a Biblical re-entry looks like and the potential roadblocks that will arise when they return home.  We want to prepare them as best we can so they take a defensive stance and are ready for whatever could be thrown at them.

I would hope and pray that the interns return home excited and willing to share everything about their time with us.  If you are near someone who just returned home from a mission experience, please take the time to ask them about their experience.  They want to share and they want someone to listen!  I would also hope they would share how they grew in their walk with the Lord and where they saw God at work this summer. 

I pray the interns return home and experience:
-seeking God's will for their life with new intensity
-excited about finding new ways (or recommitting themselves) to reach out and/or use newly discovered abilities
-assessing their gifts and passions
-excited about new spiritual disciplines - prayer, Bible reading, fasting, new worship styles...

Lord, please be with the interns who just returned home from serving you in ministry this summer.  Lord please continue to fan into flame their love for you and their love for others.  Give them a hunger and thirst for you and your Word.  Keep them safe from the enemy who wants to pull them back into their old routines that didn't glorify you and who wants to take the lessons you taught them this summer.  Keep their eyes fixed on You Lord and how they can be the light to those around them.  Please provide Godly friendships and a local body of believers for them to learn, serve and grow with.  I know I can't be there in person but Lord you are with them always!  You have their backs!  As much as I want to be with them in this next phase of their life journeys, I cannot, but I can always trust You with them.  Lord, give them wisdom about decisions they need to make, give them peace about whatever uncertainties lie ahead, give them your comfort during hard times, and give them a desire to set the example for the next generation of Christ followers.  In Jesus's name I pray, AMEN!    

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Best Thing For Me

Well that's it. Last week ended and it's now a new week.   Jamie and Mallory are off to school and Emily leaves tomorrow for Staten Island. How is it that the summers go faster every year? 

I praise God for how He has moved in the lives of these young ladies. Through them, I was reminded that if you're willing to step out in faith, God can do things, move things, reveal things, and give you things you were never expecting.  I have to stop looking at circumstances with my two little eyes and start trusting God that He knows what He's doing even when I don't know what the outcome will be.  

I was reminded of DIVINE ENERGY! Too often I rely too much on myself (wow if that's not the understatement of the century).  The girls and I had to persevere through some hard, long, tiring days and we knew it was only because of energy supplied from God that we made it through.  I don't want to rely on myself but there's definitely the battle to try.  

I like how these two reminders are connected.  Stepping out in faith means you are doing something that isn't completely visible to you. So you have no idea what to expect and in order to stay faithful til the end, you need His divine energy.  Praise God that He wants to supply us with energy!  Praise God that He gives us opportunities to step out in faith.  He doesn't reveal the whole plan, but He does want to lead us and guide us.

I prayed at the beginning of this summer that God "reminds me every day that the most important thing I can do as a leader today is to keep seeking God in depths of my own soul - no matter what it costs."  Granted I can't say it happened everyday but most days I knew the best thing for me and the girls was for me to keep seeking the Lord. He met me in ways I didn't expect that spoke straight to my soul and for that I thank God for this summer. Thank you Jamie, Mallory, and Emily for pushing me closer to Christ! Love y'all and praying y'all rely on His divine energy as you step out in faith!