Greetings, beloved friends and family!
Spring is coming to Marion, Indiana! The sky is sunny and hopeful, and the cool breeze whispers, “The earth is coming back to life again!” Easter, too, is almost here. I hope your heart is being renewed this Lenten season. Jesus makes all things new.
First, let me apologize to those of you who wrote me this month. I have neglected to respond to quite a few emails, simply because this time has been so hectic. Oh, what a month February was! Anyway, know that I haven’t meant to slight any of you. I think of you often, and love you very much.
In my last update I spoke about the spiritual attack that was so evident in my circle of friends and church family. Well, the battle goes on, but we rejoice in the fact that the LORD is a gracious provider. He gives us the strength we need, and I’m discovering how to place my joy in the LORD, even in the “midst of the fray.” A thought that runs through my mind frequently is one that Neta Jackson shared with the women of my church when she visited a few weekends back- “Worry is rehearsing our problems. Prayer is rehearsing God’s promises.”
I also asked you to pray for me as I worked on my senior project. Well, I’ve completed a very rough draft- but the project is far from what I would like to present at the beginning of April. So, please continue to pray that the LORD will graciously guide my mind as I restructure the paper and prepare for the presentation.
Here at school, we just kicked off our “10 days to stop traffic” campaign. Kim Hunt, my wonderful roommate from the months I spent in Cambodia, Rachel Arend, my dear suitemate for the past two years, and I are co-facilitating some seminars about human trafficking this week. “Trafficking 101” and “When Trafficking Hits Home.”
I graduate on April 26th, which is just over 5 weeks away! So, for the past months, I’ve prayed, “Where do I go, next, LORD? With whom do I go?” I looked into opportunities with several different organizations, but kept feeling drawn to a ministry I had contact with in Mozambique. When I think of the relationship I want to have with God and how I desire to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, I think of Iris Ministries. The people in this organization are passionate lovers of God and people. The best way I know to describe them is to say that the flow of their ministry is like a kite, carried on the winds of the Spirit’s direction. (Yeah, it’s kind of cheesy, but that’s the best way I know to describe it!) Wanting to be part of this work of God, I took a step of faith and applied to their missionary school.
Well, I have some exciting news! I have been accepted to the Harvest School of Missions for the months of June, July, and August! This school is in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province of Mozambique. I will leave for Africa at the end of May. This school has been described as a “missionary boot camp”, and the first two months (June and July) will be spent receiving intensive missionary training. I will live in the midst of a center for children. During the week, I will attend classes taught by missionaries and evangelists from around the world, read books, write papers, help out with the work at the center, and love the kids. On the weekends, my teachers, classmates, and I will load ourselves onto flat-bed trucks and travel into the distant mountains and villages to put into practice what the LORD is teaching us through practical ministry and evangelism among the Makua people. I am so excited to walk with and hear the voice of the LORD in Africa again!
After graduation from the school in the beginning of August, I will travel to Iris’ base in southern Sudan (http://www.iris-sudan.org) to work alongside Michele Perry for a month. In 2006, she pioneered a work in this country that has been at war constantly since the 1950s. Since 2005, there has been peace in the south, and the people are trying to rebuild their lives. Sudan has been in my prayers for the past few years, especially regarding the current genocide in Darfur, and I want to see if the LORD is opening a door for me to minister there long term.
So, I definitely need the Holy Spirit to surround me and guide my steps in these days. I thank you for faithfully praying for me. Without Him, friends, we can do NOTHING. He is our life and breath and being. Oh, God, how we need You!
A Few More Thoughts…
As I was thinking about how to get into ministry, I remembered my college debt. I have had to take out loans to fund part of my college education, so the reality is that after graduation, I will have still have college bills to pay. Many of you have financially supported my ministry in the past (for which I am exceedingly grateful!), but as I thought about long term service, I didn’t want the weight of my debt to be paid through your missionary support.
Then, a professor of mine approached me with a business opportunity. Two years ago, he began an independent, internet-based company to pay off his own school debt. After looking into the business, talking with those who have been successful at it, and praying a lot, I began my own internet based business. It is called African Harvest LTD. I sell quality products which are easily accessible online, and all of the profits from this business will be used to help pay off my debt and support my ministry. So, this is a new, and at times frightening endeavor, but I’m trusting that the LORD will work it out. If you would like more information about my business, I’d love to talk to you about it.
-That I finish my college career well (senior project, final papers, exams, and saying goodbye well to my friends).
-That the LORD meets my every need (airplane tickets, official documents to get into Mozambique and Sudan, tuition for the mission school, in the new business, etc).
-For the youth group I work with, that the LORD will reveal Himself in real ways to them.
-That my heart won’t stop yearning for more of the LORD.
Thanks so much for your love and prayers.
All for Jesus,