Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Honduras! (and all that entails)

I found out yesterday that I am going to HONDURAS this summer with LeaderTreks :) I am beyond excited and I feel totally blessed that God is going to use me there. I'm so excited to work with students and to challenge them and be pushed and stretched through work projects and ministry opportunities.

Yeah, soon enough I will be here:
Pulaphanzak Waterfalls, Honduras

Actually, here is the full itinerary for my summer, not all the dates are included cause I don't know those yet either.
May 31st - Leave for training in Chicago
Week of June 9th - Helping to lead a level 2* trip in Dayton, OH
Week of June 16th - Leading 3 two week-long level 3* trips in HONDURAS
Week of July 28th - Philadelphia for a training event for a group of students 

I think the latest I"ll be done is August 3rd. Haha, I don't really know, but that's part of the adventure and excitement of it all! 

So, I desperately need your prayer support. This is going to be an awesome, long, and exhausting summer. Pray that my ministry to these students is effective and that their ministry to the people of Dayton and Honduras is fruitful for God's kingdom. Thank you :)

* You can read about the different level trips here.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Summer :)

I am sooooooooooo excited right now!! I am so unbelievably blessed and encouraged. Last week I had three interviews with LeaderTreks for the intern position and.... I got the internship! I am going to be leading mission trips and developing student leaders all.summer.long. The interview process was tough, but really affirmed my desire to follow God's direction and showed me that I will be able to do this. 

Honestly, right now I don't know much about what I'll be doing. The only thing I know is that I will need to use my passport which is absolutely fantastic and means I'll be going overseas :) I have no idea how long I'll be gone either!

My job will be mostly to encourage, support, and develop the students' leadership skills. We will be doing work projects (possibly involving work with building/fixing houses or orphanages) and leading a local VBS program for the kids in the area. Working with students is something I LOVE doing. I love to be able to just talk and teach and encourage people. The best moment is when I know that they are really understanding some part of God's truth and it totally hits home with them. I am so excited to see kids learn responsibility, develop leadership skills, and grow spiritually while also getting closer with their team. I'm excited for myself to do the same! 

Most likely I will be in Honduras or the Dominican Republic which is AWESOME not only because I love to travel and will be able to rekindle the ole Spanish skills, but the fact that God is using me in such a cool place is honestly very encouraging and I'm really excited to serve Him this summer. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Do you ever have those things that you feel God is telling you to do and you ignore Him?

Does He hits you in the back of the head with it later?

Recently that happened to me. You know what I learned? Obedience is what God requires of us. 

John 14:15-17 says:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you."

If we love God, we will keep His commandments. We will listen to Him and obey what he commands us to do. But God does not leave us high and dry to accomplish this on our own... No, He provides a Helper: the Holy Spirit. And this is honestly the only way that I think I can survive and remain sane: knowing that the Spirit lives inside me and guides me along the way. 

Earlier this year, my roommate Taylor told me I should apply to LeaderTreks for the summer internship. I had no intention of doing that, because this internship is unpaid and you have to raise support. I was not going to have any of that nonsense. This internship is a ministry/missions experience, and I'm a business major. This internship requires me to be out of my comfort zone and will be really hard (also really rewarding). Well, I looked into other internships in the business field, you know so I could gain experience related to my major... and so far nothing has worked out with that. Coincidence? I think not. Not when basically everyone else knows what they're doing this summer and I'm still clueless.

So, last week I applied just for kicks. I had this voice in the back of my head saying, "Hey Kristen, you should just apply for this. Don't worry about it, don't think too hard. Just do it." So I did. And I'm still in the applying process, so far "they" have talked to a few of my references and I'm supposed to talk to one of the directors by the end of this week. I'll have about a month to raise almost $2,000 and I will have no idea where I'll be placed, or even if I'll be in the country. So that's exciting! And really scary! But you know, this is what trusting God looks like. A lot of the times He doesn't let you in on His plans. So, if this all works out, I will have to trust God to provide the necessary funds and the strength to get through 8 weeks of leading youth mission trips in an unknown place.

Pray for me! I'll update and share what happens with all this. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lose Control

Isn't it amazing how the Lord works in our lives? Receiving answers to prayer has to be the best moments of my life. This is the story of a night where God reached His hand out to me right where I was and reassured me of His presence in my life.

The last few days have been really really hard. Without revealing a lot, let's just say that there is a situation in my life that it completely out of my hands but will absolutely directly effect me. Now, if any of you have ever met me you will know that I am a complete control freak. I have to know exactly what is going on, I want to be able to influence the final decision and if I can make something happen then I try to get my little hands on it as much as possible. Sometimes I think that God laughs at me when I do this. And then He takes His big wonderful Creator hands and just lifts the problem out of mine and tells me that He's got this one covered.

So in the last few days in my anxiety stricken life, I have come to the realization that I can't control this. Just because I've realized this does not mean that every single minute is anxiety or worry free. Because that would  just not be true... I am human and I fail to trust God even when He makes things so obvious to me. Yesterday, I received a note of encouragement in the mail. This note came from a girl that I live with but we're not particularly close. She heard a little bit about what is going on in my life... and she wrote me a note letting me know that she's praying for me and that she could emphatize with my situation. Who doesn't love those kind of notes? She encouraged me to read Psalm 37:4-5. Later on that night, I randomly decided to listen to a women's Bible study on the book of Ruth. I turn it on and the speaker immediately says: "Open your Bibles to Psalm 37. Hahaha, well God I guess I am supposed to read Psalm 37 today, aren't I? This passage says to delight in the Lord and trust in Him. That is the exact opposite of what I was doing. Verse 7 says to be still and wait patiently for God. I'm very very bad at patience.

So that was a kind of wake-up call slash slap in the face reminder that I really needed. But what came next was also unexpected. Who knew the Book of Ruth was about a woman who had to realize God is in control? Yeah, this girl didn't. So I'm listening to Diane Comer speak about how this story is a story of Hope for anyone who has ever been disappointed. This story is all about how God is still in control! He has everything covered. I am 100% craving control in my situation. I am panicking and wishing I could say or do something to influence the outcome...but the only One I can trust who is in complete control is God. Ruth was scared for her future: everything she ever relied on was gone and she had a lot of anxiety. I can relate to that. Can any of you?