Thursday, July 24, 2014

Any Updates?

Hi everyone!
I just wanted to send an update before we leave in just over a week!!  First I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported me or any member of the team whether it be through prayer, encouragement, advise, or finances.  God never intends for His work to be done in isolation and I’m so glad that He doesn’t!  It means so much to us to see the sending team God is shaping.
A lot has happened since I sent the first letter (in the mail) so I wanted to catch you up.  First thing is that I won’t be going to Mexico right after Uganda.  There are many reasons for this, part is lack of communication between myself and the organization I was planning on working with, part of it is a lack of adequate time to plan the trip out, and part of it is finances.  I had a tall order financially to make this summer/fall workout and God has not yet opened the doors to fulfill that order.  As of today (7/23/14) I’m about $1,250 shy of being fully funded for Uganda and I have had very little come in specifically for Mexico.  My God is a great God I know He can take care of what I need for Uganda and I know that He may be closing the door to Mexico at this time for whatever reason but even though thing aren’t where I thought they’d be by now God is still at work.  In that He is still working, if you haven’t already done so would you consider being part of the sending team for either the team as a whole or myself?  I can’t help but think of Paul whenever I’m sent out and how he shares the joy of ministry with all his supporting churches, I’d love to be able to share that with you!  
Tonight we had our last meeting as a team before meeting to head out on the 4th.  At the meeting we spent some time alone praying and thinking.  There were two main things, other then praying, that we were asked to do with that time.  First was ask God what He would have us (individually and as a team) learn, see, do etc. through this trip.  The second was to not only write down what we think or expect God to do, but also what we personally desired from the trip.  After the time apart we came together and shared our top one or two things and I thought I’d share with you also as you are part of the team!  What follows is what I entitled “Hopes for Uganda”
1.  I’m so excited and deep desire to truly see God at work in a place I’ve never been.  God is God no matter where or when you are but God is a personal God who reaches individuals, cultures, and eras in different ways, much as you and I talk to the various people in our lives in customized ways.  We use different vocabulary and body language, there’s a different leave of intimacy, and we spend time with each one differently.  I believe God works in our lives similarly; He reaches us in a way that makes sense in our relationship why still fully maintaining His consistent nature.  I’m excited to hopefully see God working in ways I’ve never seen before!
2.  I’m super excited to support and encourage the staff.  I’ve realized recently that my heart is in ministry, when I’m not building into others lives and when I feel like I can’t spend time with someone because my break is over, or I have to run to the next thing, or whatever I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much, if anything.  I end up drained when what I was doing wasn't that “hard”.  Because of that I’m so looking forward to our aim on this trip being to love-on the staff and build into their lives.
3.  Along with that I’m really excited to get an opportunity to refocus on service.  I’ve, for many reasons, seen myself slipping from the other focus to the me focus and I don’t like that.  I’m anticipating that this trip will help remind me of why I love serving and get my head back in the game, so to speak. 
4.  Our theme for the trip is “Portraits of Grace.”  Grace is something that I can see God writing all over my life right now especially and I’m excited to have this opportunity to dive into the topic and intentionally focus on it.  I hope to see God teach me how to both give and receive true grace. 
5. Lastly, at least lastly from the short list I wrote down during the meeting, I hoping that God will use this trip, the team, me, to light a fire under the behinds of those who are staying home.  Not everyone is called to cross-cultural missions BUT everyone is called to missions.  I’m hoping that through this trip people will start to think about missions and their role in the work and then get up and do what God is calling them to do.  We as Christians are called to have our citizenship in heaven and our focus in eternity, is that your focus?  Do you live each day like Jesus is returning tomorrow?  If not I hope this trip encourages, convicts, convinces, teaches you (and me) to make changes. 
So there you have it, my current short list of hopes for this trip.  There you also have an update so you know best how to support and send.  Hopefully you realize just how important you are as part of this team.  I want you to know how important it is to those who are sent that they be sent well, knowing that there is a team staying behind that will support them however God calls them to support.  Thank you for being part of God’s work!

Following His Leading,

P.S.  If God so moves in your heart to support us financially please consider donating online on gofundme at specifying whether your donation goes to an individual or the team as a whole, or if you’d rather send a check please make it out to Village Bible Church and put “Uganda” and the name of the person/people you’d like the support to go to in the memo field.  Address to the church is 12671 Buaro St Garden Grove, CA 92840.  If you’d like specific prayer requests please ask!