Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Embracing Change

As of 30 minutes ago, there is only 2 short weeks that seperate me and Haiti! I am so excited to be able to have the opportunity to serve in a country that captured my heart 2 years ago! However, this experience is completely new to me. I trying to figure out things that I will need to survive in a third world country for almost 3 months, making my rounds to family and friends who want to spend time with me before I go, and mentally preparing myself for life outside of this country for period of time that far exceeds my previous 14 day trips.

My mind is not completely focused on my trip yet. Today was full of goodbyes, just for the summer and some of them were for good. Johnson has blessed me with so many amazing people to walk with in my journey in faith, but I can't help but feel sad and angry when they are taken away so quickly. Being away from people such as Gretchen and Kate for 3 months is going to be hard enough! On top of that, I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends in the world, Chanelle, for good. She has big things in store for her, but I am very sad she will not be a part of my life everyday like she has been for the past year. She has truly blessed me on so many levels and she has been a huge source of encouragement for my trip to Haiti! I am so blessed to have such people in my life, and I know that God has a plan for all of these friendships.

Back to Haiti! I feel like the past 3 months have flown by too fast! It shouldn't be time to pack my bags yet or stock up on granola bars... yikes. I am so nervous about the trip. What if I get sick? What if I'm not cut out for long-term missions? Will god be able to use me as an effective loving vessel to the people of Haiti? I desire nothing more than to be that... a loving vessel. After all, the two greatest commandments are love God and love others. If there is a will, there's a way, right? I sure do hope so! All I can do is be available, which I feel like going to Haiti will mean I am available to do His work, and to be obedient. Please pray for my nerves and my willingness to be obedient to anything God wants me to do this summer! Thank you all for your support and love :) Blessings to everyone!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Channeling Esther

Today in History of Israel, our topic was the book of Esther. Esther is one of my favorite stories in the Old Testamnet, and probably the entire Bible. There is so much courage displayed throughout the ten chapters, courage of a seemingly normal Jewish girl.

Esther was choosen to be a canidate King Xerxes' search for a new queen. The story continues with plots to kill Esther's cousin, Mordecai, and her people, the Jews by the King's most trusted advisor, Haman. One of my favorite lines from the story is when Mordecai is urging Esther to go plead for the salvation of the Jews from the coming execution. She is afraid because she knows that if she goes to the King without being invited, she could be killed on the spot. However, Mordecai urges her by saying that she might have been placed in royalty "for such a time as this."

Let's stop there. God has plans for our lives if we allow him to have control. God's plans passionately pursue his followers, and cannot be missed. Like Esther, we have a choice to obey or to walk away. People time and time again say that they never know what God wants to do with their lives. It's hard to hear God's will when you are not listening for it. Therefore, as Christ followers, we are called to first be avaiable, and then be obedient. Esther was obedient to death. She knew the consequences, yet she continued in faith that she was in God's will.

As many of you already know, Esther lives and she delivers the Jews out of the evil, murderous hands of Haman. She had faith in BIG God who can do MASSIVE things.

I am going to Haiti this summer on an internship with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. Though I am extremely nervous about this experience that is totally foreign to me, I find peace that this is what God is calling me to do with my summer. The story of Esther has been a complete blessing to me because though I am not saving a race of people in Syria, I am going to discipling believers in one of the world's darkest countries. However, I feel God has placed this burden on my heart of the Haitians, and that He is the one who has made a way for me to get there, just like he made the way through royalty for Esther. Who knows, maybe God has called me to Haiti "for such a time as this!" The only way to find out is to be obedient to his call by going and working hard to build His kingdom.

God Bless :)