Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mercy House

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
 (Micah 6:8 ESV)

I'm writing to let you know about a ministry that is just getting started called The Mercy House. I am so excited about what God is doing, and can't help but share it with you!

Each summer, Student Life brings students to the United States through Compassion International to travel with us and tell their story to the teenagers and kids they encounter each week at camp. They are all graduates of Compassion's Child Development through Sponsorship Program and are now a part of the Leadership Development Program, which puts them through college (also through sponsorship).

The girl that traveled with my Student Life team last summer is Maureen Owino. She's from Kenya, and has a powerful testimony of growing up in absolute poverty in the slums of Nairobi. She was rescued from poverty because of the ministry of Compassion. The Lord is doing some really awesome things in and through her life, and during the summer, we prayed together about what God had in store for her after she returned home. I have to say that I don't know that I've ever been more challenged spiritually by any one person than I have been by her. Maureen knows and loves God's Word, and she believes it with incredible power and authority. I told her all summer that I wanted to be more like her, and it's because she so reflects Christ in all that she says and does.
"I thank God for poverty."
I overheard Maureen say this so many times this summer. 
She said that if it weren't for poverty, she wouldn't know Jesus.

"Your background does not determine your future, it shapes it."
Maureen's sponsors wrote this to her in a letter, and it's something that she lives by every day.


Maureen and me - Summer 2011


Backtracking, last year, Compassion sent a team of bloggers to Kenya, to blog about what Compassion is doing and raise awareness. Kristen Welch is one of those bloggers. She met and spent time with Maureen, and even came to visit her while we traveled last summer. Long story short, she and her husband felt led to open a maternity home in Nairobi, and God has made a way! They have achieved non-profit status, and are opening this year. Maurine is training in Ethiopia right now so that she can be the Executive Director of the Mercy House.

Here's where you come in. I'm trying to help Kristen and Maureen raise awareness for what God is doing in Kenya and will do through Mercy House, so you should definitely check out these links for more information and to see how you can be a part of what God is doing in Kenya!

Mercy House website: http://themercyhousekenya.org/
Kristen's Blog: http://wearethatfamily.com/
Maureen's testimony on youtube (from camp this summer): http://www.youtube.com/user/slblueteam2010#p/a

If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion, click the link on the right or let me know! I would love to tell you more about it.  I have sponsored a little girl in Kenya for the last 4 years and it truly has changed my life.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January?

Can someone please tell me where January went? Between taking a seminary workshop in New Orleans, a crazy busy month at work, traveling to Boone, NC for our Student Life Ski weekend, and house-sitting, it has flown by, and the next few weeks promise to be just as crazy! I've got a family wedding in New Orleans, trip with SL to Chattanooga, and our Compassion trip to Kenya in February (more about Kenya to come)! You're only young once, right?? According to the boys I'm watching this weekend (5 and 7), I'm not a grown up because I'm not married yet. Well, shucks! I guess I'll just stay a kid for a little bit longer ;)

Have I mentioned yet how much I love my job? If you don't know, I'm a Ministry Event Coordinator at Student Life, which means I spend the year planning and preparing everything for a summer full of camp! Once summer hits, I'll travel with one of our Directors and a summer staff to put on 11 youth camps all over the country. We will be one of five teams on the road this summer. I had the opportunity to serve with Student Life last summer and it was an incredible experience. We got to see God move in the lives of countless teenagers and adults, and He got all of the glory for it. At this point in my life, I love to be behind the scenes. All of this prep work is much more fun than it is actual work, and I absolutely love the team I serve alongside.

One of my biggest responsibilities is working with our summer staff applicants, and it's so much fun! I love reading their stories, talking to them on the phone, and emailing with them to make sure everything's all set for them to interview with us for a summer position. If you have any college-aged friends who are looking for a ministry opportunity this summer, send them to our website for more info! Tell them to hurry though... the application deadline is January 31!

I've found an incredible church home at The Church at Brook Hills, and I feel blessed to be able to hear David Platt preach every week. Today's sermon was incredible... you should definitely download and listen! I've joined the choir, and absolutely love it. This has already begun to be an incredible chapter of life, and I can't wait to see what else God has in store...

I'll leave you with a few pictures of recent events...

This is the truck we took to Student Life Ski last weekend - packed to the gills! 

Matt, Ryan, and Ben setting up the Servant Life booth at Ski... ha!

Worship with 750 students and adults at SL Ski!

Lots more to come... keep checking back!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obey

Don't you wish it was easy to obey? To automatically respond with, "Yes, God!" anytime he asks anything of you? Oh, goodness... so do I! Unfortunately, it's just not the case, and I have a strange suspicion that it's not going to change anytime soon. Ha! As believers, we are called to obey, no matter what it may look like to us on the outside. When God says, "Go" we just go.

I feel like the word Obey is one that the Lord is constantly bringing to my mind... I think it's because it's at the heart of our relationship with Him. He desires for us to be faithful in everything, but we can't do that unless we are walking in obedience. In my mind, obedience is putting feet to our faith. If we really believe, we will obey. If we really trust, we'll obey. It's as hard as putting one foot in front of the other.

Did you read that last sentence? Even if you did, read it again.

It's as hard as putting one foot in front of the other.

Some days, it's just plain hard to move your foot. It's often easier to waste time than to obey, it's easier to sleep late than to obey, and it's easier to do everything else that we had on our to-do list than to obey. See my point?

Obedience isn't usually the easy thing, but oh, it's such a sweet thing. There is such peace in knowing that you have been obedient to God.

In his sermon on Sunday, my pastor (David Platt) made the point that Jesus is worthy of absolute surrender, and it's just so true. He can be trusted. He is good! 

When we choose to obey, we are surrendering our lives to Him... even if it's just one step at a time.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 
For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
(Luke 9:23-25 ESV)
 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the queen of good intentions

Well, here I am. I've decided to give blogging another try, and this is where I'm camping out. I feel like it's aptly titled... "Story of my life." In case you're wondering, that's what it's going to be. I'm not an absurdly interesting person, but I serve a mighty God who is living and active, and I'm a part of the story he has written, and I can't wait to share it with you.

I have been known as "the queen of good intentions." I have books on my shelf that I have read most of, but haven't finished, and I have a big stack of books that have yet to be opened.


There are projects (like the scarf I tried to knit) that just sit, unfinished as well.



I tend to over-commit myself and have the best intentions to do things that eventually never get done.

It's my prayer that this will be a year of finishing. I don't want to be known as "the queen of good intentions" anymore, but I want to finish things, and finish them well. I have goals that I want to accomplish, and I can't wait to see how the Lord is going to use each of them to stretch and grow me. 

So, this first post is going to be short and sweet. Stick around though... there's more to come. Life is good and God continues to be faithful.