Friday, June 25, 2010

Sorry it's been so long!

OK! So let's say that it's been a crazy busy two weeks...lets not just say it's been...it HAS! It has been SO busy, and I get more and more exhausted. Besides that fact, I'm sorry I haven't updated for awhile.
We had a All for One week last week. We were told that we had to communicate EVERYTHING by word of mouth. Meaning, if there were specific instructions to an activity, we had to find out by word of mouth. The first few days were very frustrating, not so much for me, but just as a project. We were all very confused and there didn't seem to be a way to get around that fact. Well, we decided to have a group meeting right on the spot. The problem was, was that there were only 10 people in the area...SO we had to practice:) In 10 minutes we had all 91 of us (i believe) in that spot having a meeting! It was awesome. It got better towards the end of the week:) We ended the week with a softball game staff vs. students! I think my favorite thing was when we were walking to the park. We walked in 4 lines down the street screaming "We are Team Jesus" (like We are the Titans). We were ONE! All coming together for one purpose. We proceeded to 'play ball'. It was so much fun seeing how we came together and worked together. We almost won the game...by about 3 feet! but after much screaming and cheering and hooting and hollering the staff won 24-23. :( I really didn't care because it was done with such a great attitude throughout the whole game! I also hit the ball and got onto first, which was the only thing I wanted to do! :)
This week is Prayer and World Vision week. We had an eye-opening international dinner to kick it off. We all learned so much and it was kind of a continuation of All for One week...we came together. Many people are now listening to where the Lord is calling them. It's been really cool! We proceeded to have an AMAZING Sunday night meeting. Shanti spoke on 'World Vision', talking about the different sites we have all over the world (Australia! East Asia, France, Uruguay, 4th Journey, Ghana). We had worship time after that, lots of us needed Kleenex's. You could feel the Holy Spirit in that room, laying on our hearts His burden for the lost.
I just have to say it has been a hard week for me. Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally, Mentally, you name it and I was exhausted in it! I got hurt playing soccer on Sunday, which meant my "free time" was taking up by ice packs:/ I'm doing fine now:) Monday I was still feeling a little out of it, not feeling rested from our "free day". So I went into Tuesday pretty tired. Tuesday 2 of the 4 people that were working at Chick-fil-a were sick...which meant I would be the only one at the store because we have a kiosk at another mall. SO I got stressed out pretty fast! Right when I felt like I was getting a little better...corporate came. Those of you who do work where your corporate come, you know how everyone gets really stressed! Plus we were abnormally busy that day! I could NOT wait to get home and take a nap! I get home, lay down. I laid down and just started crying out to the Lord because I was so exhausted and not wanting to do anything, just wanting to have a day where I didn't DO anything. I got probably about 20 minutes of nap time, 40 minutes of just laying down. I felt my phone ringing, but didn't answer because I was too tired. I woke up about 10 minutes later to a text from Alex (my sister) that Sophina (my baby sister) was being admitted to the hospital. It said "don't freak out" well, that's exactly what I did! It was pretty much the last straw of the day. Something that I didn't mention was that it was also outreach night...which means telling other about Jesus. I had no idea how I was going to get through the night! WELL, after realizing that satan was trying to stop me from sharing, I immediately started praying for strength for the night. Then Tracey Holt came over and prayed for me. I was no where near the point of jumping around all excited, but I had this peace from the Holy Spirit that I had enough to get through the night.
I went sharing with the Liz in my small group:) We both were pretty exhausted, but fully trusting in the Lord. We had great conversations the whole night, but what was awesome for me was our conversation with these 4 girls. They were all cousins, all from different spiritual backgrounds, but we got into a deep conversation with them. They didn't want to go through the KGP with us, but they had some questions for us. One girl asked "why do good people suffer". MAN! The Lord immediately gave me words and Scripture to share with her! I don't think I uttered the word "um" once (which is big:)! I told her how my family and I have gone through so many hardships this last year, with Sophina being sick and dad not having a job, etc. I was able to share how we've seen people come to Christ because of how we've handled our hardships. We have been able to give glory to God and glorify Him through that. I explained it a lot better:) I also shared with her a verse I had just memorized about 4 days before, Romans 5:3-5. It talks about how suffering produces endurance, character, hope and it fit so perfectly into what I was saying! I was able to share my heart with these girls and especially this one girl. I'm praying that she will think on that and search for herself! So I came back just at peace with the Lord, and praising Him for answering my prayers! I found out during our group sharing time that many other people were being attacked by satan that day and how they also had to rely completely on the Lord for strength! It was so awesome:)
Work has been interesting. I've just been getting really tired and a little frustrated. Tired because I was switching my days off which meant I worked pretty much 8-9 days in a row...not fun! Frustrated because I haven't been able to get into many conversations with my employee's, due to me being on register and they being on back bar. I know I'm put here for a reason, but I want to be fulfilling that reason! and just for all of us Project people, we are very tired and trying to keep in our minds how we are to be like Jesus. The 'honeymoon stage' is WAY over:)
Okay so I need to get to bed, but I'll let you know what I need prayer for
-Exhaustion-I'm still mentally,physically,and emotionally exhausted. I'm needing supernatural strength to get through these days!
-Project-that I will continue to deepen and develop friendships!
-Student leaders-staff have picked out the student leaders for when the staff leave. Please pray for wisdom and strength as they lead the project!
-my quiet times-I get so busy and want to just wind down, but I need to spend time in the Word before doing that (just an fyi to let you know how busy I've been, I live 1 block away from the beach and I have not enjoyed the ocean or beach for over 2 weeks!)
-my neighbors-tonight they were aiming Roman candle's at people in the street...it's hard to have compassion on them!
-Nate and I- Nate is going to be leaving for Griffith's Mid-year conference. I won't be able to Skype with him for awhile, I might be able to talk to him for a little bit, but it will be tough.
-me...just in general, that the Lord will continue to work through me and remind me that I am HIS desire and treasure.

God Bless

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Giants are Killed!

Right now I am sitting in my room listening to the thunder rumbling outside, with the screams and shouts of our new neighbors mixed in. It's peaceful, but at the same time a reminder of what we are being called to do this summer. These seniors are drunk already and they just moved in this afternoon! The smell of pot,beer and cigarette smoke are all around us. The foul language and taunting are also a part of this summer. Each week we will get a new group of high school seniors who come and party...and not just one party...everyday, all day. I seriously don't know when they sleep! They are awake when I go to bed and awake when I leave for work (at 8 in the morning). It's so sad to see what they are living for right now. One of my teammates told me that one of the kids said that his mom told him that he would be disowned from the family if he came here. Can you imagine?! A mom trying to keep her son and not even the threat of disowning stops these kids!
This last week we had a week called "Killing the Giants". I think I mentioned it in my last blog, but it is when we conquer some of our fears with evangelism. We had to make goals for how many times we initiated conversations. Like asking someone to go through a survey with us. Our goal was 2,582 initiated conversations with 91 people sharing for 5 days. Our final count was 2,677!!! We talked with 2,677 people in 5 days! Crazy. Our other goal was gospel conversations and that was 550 or something like that. We had 627 gospel conversations out of the 2,677 initiated!!! AND the awesome thing 101 people came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior!
This last week wasn't easy at all. I really was excited to go out sharing, but after working an 8 hour day, and on my feet for those 8 hours. I didn't want to go out and talk with people, I wanted to spend the one hour I had at home to myself! I had some hard days of being exhausted and not having any strength in me. I was disappointed because most of the conversations I had, the people were already believers. I was able to get more comfortable with going up to strangers and asking them about death and Jesus! The night before the final count I wanted to go out sharing and there was only one other person who wanted to (where I was hanging out). So Dan and I went out Friday night to talk with people on Main Street and on the beach. We talked with a few people but nothing much resulted from those conversations. We went on the beach hoping to find more people to talk to, we talked with this one girl named Paige. She is 19 and working on the fast track to prosperity. I asked her a couple questions from the survey and then Dan shared the Gospel with her. I was praying for Dan the whole time, but I just felt like she didn't really care and wasn't listening. He really pushed the point of how important the decision to let Jesus Christ be Lord of your life is! He also said that we didn't want her to pray the prayer just because it's the right thing to do...it has to be something that she desired. After thinking about it she decided that it was a decision she wanted to make!!!! I know have a new sister in Christ! It was just a sweet ending to a frustrating week.
Tonight I really wanted to go to bed because of the stressful week I had, but I felt that the Lord wanted me to go out sharing. I decided to go out and share. I knew that a lot of the students had just moved in so they hadn't heard about us:D I went with Diego this time. We went in the Carnival, but there was no one really to talk to. Then we went down Main Street and after a bit we went up to this young couple. We asked them what they thought happens after death, their answer was reincarnation. We then asked them what would you tell your friend if he came up to you and asked you to help him become a Christian. They said "just find out for yourself. We don't know anything about it". Our last question (s) was How would you rate your desire to know God on a scale from 1-10 (high-low)? They both said a 10. Usually when people say 10, they are just saying it because we're Campus Crusade people. BUT we were telling them how we really enjoyed that they were being real with us, so I knew that's what they meant. We then switched the question around. "how would you rate God's desire to know you?" They both said 1! My heart just broke! This whole time the storm that I talked about at the beginning of the blog was coming closer...and right at that point it started raining. It's not a nice Minnesota rain, it's HUGE drops of rain. We ended up giving them the booklet with Diego's email address on it and thanked them for doing the survey with us. I know that we talked with them for a reason, but MAN the timing of the rain was frustrating. I felt like the Lord was opening their hearts. I'm praying that I run into them again (and recognize them!) so I can go through the booklet with them. Please keep Joe and Cathryn in your prayers. They need to hear how much Jesus Christ wants a relationship with them!!!
Well this is just a quick update on my week! I'll write a little bit more on Tuesday:) Thank you all for keeping me in your prayers! I really could use prayer for energy and endurance...my body is not used to this kind of schedule!

God Bless

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wait!? Where did this week go?

This last week has just flown by! At the same time each day seems like a few days! It has definitely been a week of getting rid of myself and not putting me first. It's been a week of the Lord showing me so many things that I need to learn, that I can't keep up! :) It's been a week of having a 40 hour job and then going to activities an hour after you get home. It's been a week of sadness as my roommate goes home because she has to have surgery on her ankle. It's been a whole week since I wrote last, and it feels like it's been a month!
Well, I finished my first 40 hour week at Chick-Fil-A! YAH! My feet kill because I'm on my feet the whole time, but I did it! Now I'm gearing up for the rest of my work week. Work has been going SO well! I have just been praising the Lord for the people I work with and the place He put me. Friday I was planning on doing the register because I had been trained and did a good job at it. WELL, the Lord had a different plan for me. I was put on making fries. I was pretty frustrated at first because I wanted to be the one to talk with people and help people, etc. I didn't feel like I could do that making fries with my back to everyone! I asked the Lord to help me change my attitude because I did NOT want to make fries. The Lord answered my prayer!! As it got closer to the lunch rush, I was starting to like it:) Then we got hit with lunch...and I just kicked those fries out! I had a nice rhythm going so it turned out to be really fun. Actually, my boss told me that she has never had a better fry person! It was just so good to hear that because I had asked the Lord to help me do everything for His glory and He did! I did the best I could do because it wasn't for man, but for the Lord and with the Lord's help. I walked away from work just amazed how my attitude had change from earlier that morning. I now have become the person that can do any of the jobs up front. I can do the register, do the fries, make the sandwiches, fry the filet's or nuggets, or bag stuff. I now LOVE to do stuff on the back line. I still would love to do the register, but I'm content doing whatever they want.
Work took up a lot of my day (8am-5pm, including the driving), so I didn't do too much this week other than the activities planned for us students. We had our first night of outreach on Tuesday and had at least 10 people come to Christ. That was with pretty much no one on the beach and the weather not being very nice. Wednesday we had reflection night, date night with Jesus. It is a night that I know I need in order to get through the rest of the week! I have 6:30-9 (or later) to spend time with Jesus. At first I was thinking I wouldn't have enough stuff to do, but I found out I ran out of time! Thursday we had our weekly meeting. It was hard. I had wanted to be on the worship team, but found out I wasn't on either team. I was struggling with wanting to be up there SO bad and leading 130 people in all-out worship. I knew that the Lord didn't want me on worship team, but it was still hard for me. Throughout the rest of the week I realized how good I'm not on the worship team! It's a lot of work, you practice, you learn the songs you don't know, etc. I now know that if I would have been on worship team...it wouldn't have been good. I would have burnt out way too fast and not have been able to lead people in worship. I am now thanking the Lord that I'm not in that ministry area!
Friday was our evening off! We still had to work, but Project didn't have anything planned. So I got to Skype with Nate:) It was a little difficult because there's not really a place on project that you can have a private conversation. We had a wonderful time together and will next Tuesday be celebrating our 6 month anniversary! It's crazy that we've been together for that long, but at the same time it seems like we've been together for way longer:) It's been rough with both of us trying to adjust to my new schedule and not have too much flexibility in when we can talk, etc. We're doing really good though finding ways we can still have time together and be with each other. I hung out with some of my friends, planned a Sunday School lesson with my impact group. Saturday was a work day, I got home and we had Project Social! We had a huge dinner with all 130 of us! Then we went to the beach to have some fun! There were 3 groups and had sand castle competitions, bike races (on the beach), and beach boche ball! It was a lot of fun...I didn't come even close to winning in any of them. Though we did get a complement on our moat for our sand castle! Then we went back to have some ice cream. This wasn't just any bowl of ice cream...it was a huge mixing bowl that you had 3-4 people eat out of! We put all different kinds of ice cream in it and then put about every type of toppings on you could think of! It was crazy huge and delicious:) After that it was about 9ish and still plenty hot out. So about 50 of us went to the beach to have some fun! I tried something very new to me...skimboarding. You skim the waves with your board that you jump up and stand on. I watched a few people do it, and wanted to try it. I didn't fall, but I didn't go very far. Then I tried it a couple more times, went farther but fell down both times! (I have a bruise on my knee to show for it:) There was a thunderstorm coming in so we had to get out of the water. All of us sat on the beach and watched it come in. It was SO beautiful and awe-inspiring! As I was heading back up I found out that my roommate had hurt her ankle skimboarding and was at the hospital! We had a HUGE prayer time for her in our gathering area. She found out that she is going to have to have surgery on her ankle, because it's badly broken. Brooke had to leave project. It was rough for all of us. She left yesterday, we actually didn't even get to say good-bye or get a roomie picture because we thought she was going to leave today. :( Sunday my impact group and I did a Sunday School lesson for the church we're at. It went well, it was very interesting, but enjoyable to work with my fellow friends! We had a bunch of fun:) I hung out with some friends for the afternoon.
We had our Sunday night meeting, it was SO amazing. The Holy Spirit just filled the room. It's so awesome to sing with 130 other people singing their hearts out! We got challenged to 'Kill our Giants', our fears with sharing. So we made a goal of how many people we want to share with, share the gospel with and a goal of overcoming a certain fear in our life in ministry. So this week is going to be intense! The Lord has already brought so many people to Christ this week it's crazy! Monday was Bible study. It was a sweet time with the other women. I love those girls! It's so cool to see how we've opened up to each other just in the last weeks and we didn't know each other before coming to Project!! How awesome is that?!
Today is my day off. I have lots to do today, but wanted to keep everyone updated! Thank you for keeping me in your prayers!

Prayers for this next week
-Killing the Giants week. That I won't give up before I start. The goal is big for me, and I sometimes have a hard time starting.
-Work. Energy throughout the week. That conversations will open up for me to share the gospel with them. Cathy, Wendy, Andy, Jackie, Marie, Tanika, Courtney, and more.
-Energy in general. I am worn out already and it's only Tuesday.
-That I will make wise use of my time. when i get home I just want to relax, but I need to keep going!
- That I won't bottle up, so to speak. I want to be vulnerable with my bible study girls and leader.
-Friendships, that they will continue to grow and deepen throughout the week!
-My time with the Lord each day will grow me closer to Him!

God Bless!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

First week!!

Hey y'all! I thought you'd like to know what's happening down here:) Let's just say it's busy, busy, busy! I knew that it would be busy coming into this trip but WHEW! Your ready to go to bed by 9 every night. I'm loving it here! It's been amazing meeting all these women and men of God. It's funny to hear people say this, but it's so true! "I feel like I've known you for SO long!" You hear that almost every day.
We have a few different groups that each person is a part of. One is our Bible study group. My group has 5 girls (including me) plus one of the staff, Melissa. We are studying Mark together. We meet up once a week on Monday nights. The girls are SO awesome! Some of you might have taken the love language test or have heard of it. WELL, all of us girls' #1 love language is touch. So we're constantly hugging and rubbing each others back and playing with each others hair, etc. For guys that might sound weird, but girls it's totally normal:) We are already getting SO close, view video:) videoThe funny thing about my group is that there is another Liz! It's kind of funny because Melissa will say "Liz I'll meet up with you at 1:30 tomorrow!" We'll be both standing next to each other and be like "which one?!" It's fun! I love those girls already and it's not even been a full week.
The other main group is impact group. Impact group is when we have one of the guys' bible study meet up with the girls'. The guy's have already made dinner for us. The best thing was one of the nights we had an Iron Chef thing going on for the WHOLE group. We used a TON of dishes, and the girls didn't have to wash a single one! It was very nice...we might just have to think of something to do for them:) Every week we'll have dinner together. So we're thinking that each time we'll have to time ourselves when we go pick up the grocery's, to see if we get a shorter time each week as we figure out the store.
The other group hasn't started up yet, but there are different groups of ministry that we will be a part of. The staff actually leave about half way through, which means we have to lead the project! So all of us will have a different group to be a part of to help run the project. Some will be on worship team, prayer team, outreach team, behind the scenes (techy stuff), our group meetings, etc. So next week I'll hopefully know more about that and start to get to know those people in my group!
Some of the things we do daily is work, group get-together's, ministry nights, etc. Each night except Friday night we have something going on from around 6-9:30pm. It keeps you busy especially if you work from 8:30-4:30 or 5 every day! Each night is different. Sunday is dinner with our impact group and we also have our weekly meeting. Monday is dinner with our bible study and then we have bible study after that. Tuesday we have our main outreach day from 6:30-9 and after that we meet together and share the stories from that night. Wednesday we have reflection night, which is where we have 2 1/2 hours of alone time just with God. It might seem like a lot of time, but I know by the middle of the week I'll need that time with Him. Thursday we have dinner by apartments and then our weekly meeting. Friday is when we have our evening off. Saturday we have all 130 of us eat together and then we have a project social! Work is every day for me except for Tuesday's and Sunday's. So on top of all of that I work from 8:30-4:30:) Keeps me VERY busy!
I hope that this gives you a little bit more into the ministry this summer! I can't wait to tell you more of what the Lord does! He has already brought 8 or more people to Christ! Praise the Lord! There have been a number of conversations where the Gospel has been presented to the point of decision. Please be praying for the hearts that have heard the Gospel but did not receive. That people in their lives will talk with them and bring them another step closer to the Savior! Today I'm going out sharing with my discipler so please be praying for that as well!
Other prayer requests are : time. I don't have much extra time during the day, so that I will use it wisely. Friends. That I'll continue to be open and get to know them better. In general just that I will be bold in sharing my faith. Work. That there will be conversations that will open up to share what God has done in my life and what He can do in theirs! Thank you for all of your help in getting me here! Please let me know how you all are doing! I can't promise I'll respond, but I love to hear things from home!

God Bless