Monday, July 12, 2010

The Start of a Journey

You have seen it briefly in the news, movies tell it like a story, and you have probably read about it, but something changes when you witness it. Your heart breaks for those without the hope of justice, the hope of Christ. Human trafficking, child soldiers, genocide, poverty, AIDS, children living on the streets – these are only a few of the injustices that millions face every day. In the last several years God has been calling my heart and softening it towards these people and now the time has come for me to take up this incredible opportunity that God has presented!

But first, a little background into where I am at now: I have just finished my freshman year of college at Lee University. At this remarkable school I gained a year of liberal arts credits and joined hearts with a solid group of brothers and sisters in Christ. Over winter break, however, I felt God’s pull towards a discipleship program far from Cleveland, TN. After a few months of praying and many confirmations not only of my prayers, but also those of my parents, I applied to Youth With A Mission’s (YWAM) Justice Discipleship Training School. A few weeks later I received a letter of acceptance and I can hardly begin to explain how thrilled I am!

So this means that on September 29th, I will fly to Kailua Kona, Hawaii where I will attend a Discipleship Training School designed to train those who refuse to stand on the sidelines and observe the atrocities of our world, with a set of skills, deeper knowledge and understanding of God.

This school will run for 24 weeks, starting on September 30, 2010, and ending March 11, 2011. The first 12 weeks will be spent in an intensive lecture phase where I will be taught by the mothers and fathers of world missions. They will encourage me in furthering my relationship with God by teaching on:

  • the character and nature of God
  • listening and communicating with God
  • effectively communicating God's Word
  • a biblical world view
  • prayer, intercession, and spiritual warfare
  • reconciliation
  • spiritual gifts
  • God's heart for the poor and needy
  • missions and evangelism

During this time, I will also learn many skills that will increase my outreach effectiveness. Some of these include:

  • learning how to build water purifiers and water tanks to help fight the water crisis that kills two million children every year
  • life-changing educational opportunities for young people in developing countries; to assist in eradicating poverty through education.

The second half of the program will be spent on field assignments targeting areas of poverty and injustice in both Asia and Africa. During this time I may end up in Cambodia, Thailand, Togo (West Africa) and Haiti (these may change but are the current options). And depending on the outreach this will mean either working in teams of 10-12 people in orphanages, with street children, trafficked and sexually abused women or AIDS victims. These are only a few of many possible places God will lead me to over the course of the last 3 months of this adventure.

I am so excited about the opportunities and experiences that God has in store for the coming year and I hope you see the value in what we will accomplish. As you can imagine, a trip like this requires financial support from a number of people. Fees for the 12-week lecture phase of the school (approximately $4,300 with room, board and tuition) are completely covered. Thanks to God for providing $4,300 in excess scholarship money I received this past year from Lee and the State!!! However, cost for the 12-week field assignment (which includes airfare, food and housing) is estimated to be $5,000-$6,000 needed by mid-November.

Oh! And I just bought my plane ticket from here to Kona, HI and after much searching got a one-way for just over $400! Wow- Great Deal! This I was able to raise this summer with my temporary job at home working for my mother's faux finishing business, LADesign. I also am working part time at a local pottery painting business, called Hotsy Potsy, and of course taking up the occasional babysitting opportunities! ;) Praying in the funds is something I have never had need to do before but am so enjoying the way He provides so faithfully! I hope to keep this blog updated with the developments of this next phase of life and hopefully you will get to see a greater change in my life than ever before!

Thank you for your constant prayers and encouragement during all this!

Love Always

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