So I have an irrational fear of phone calls. Kind of like Gru in Despicable Me 2.

I have no idea where this fear came from! Luckily I don’t have a flamethrower, so I’m still making phone calls for building up my ministry partner team. BUT this is how I feel. Phone calls are weird because there’s no visual cues to pick up on, and you never really know if the person’s going to pick up or not.

My dad asked his high school boys’ Bible study how many of them were afraid to talk on the phone. Nearly 3/4 of them have the same fear as me! Then my mom asked her high school girls what their biggest fears were, not even mentioning the phone. Two of the five said that talking on the phone was what they are most afraid of! Apparently I’m not alone here. It’s even got an official name: “telephonophobia.”

Ok, so it’s not to the point of a phobia. But it’s there. And I’m trying to figure out the root of it. I think that most of it comes down to not trusting God. I’m generally really awkward on the phone, and I’m afraid people will think worse of me when in reality I’ll probably just give them a good chuckle. When I call someone , I am afraid of what they might think of me when I ask for a chance to share what I’m doing with Cru.

I don’t need to be afraid. I can rest in who I am in Christ. I can trust the Holy Spirit to speak through me to the people I call. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10). I know that God has called me to serve with Cru next year, and I can trust that He will make it possible. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thess 5:24).

Makes me think of this song…

“I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord”

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Short-term Mission: FREMONT, CA

I’m back in Fremont! Which is quite pleasant, considering Davis is supposed to be a whopping 108 all week and it’s a pleasant 91 here.

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Ahhh Fremont I love you

Coming home to Fremont isn’t a “break” from ministry. It’s just a fun change for a little while that gets me thinking a little differently and learning some things about God that I might not learn in my daily life in Davis. Kind of like a missions trip.  Check it out!

MISSION TRIP 101: FREMONT STYLE

1)The Mission

It’s in the title, it’s got to be important. My mission for the summer is to grow deeper in my faith and prepare to intern with Cru for a full year as well as serve those around me.

2) Meeting Your Team

This is the most awkward part of any mission trip. You meet all these people you never even heard of and they’re your team and you’re working with them. But the cool thing is you’re all united in your mission to reach people with the Gospel. Right now, I am building up a team of financial partners and prayer warriors to support me as I intern with Cru next year. I’m not gonna lie, it can be reeeeally awkward. But it’s also incredibly exciting to meet people who are like-minded in Christ, and I have been so encouraged by their confidence in God’s ability to use me. Like a mission team, these people are now my family and we’re in it together, ups and downs.

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If my partners have chickens, does that mean I have chickens on my team too?

3) Cultural Adjustment

Fremont and Davis are polar opposites. I am re-adjusting to Fremont culture, which I absolutely love. I love that I can walk by ten different families at the park and none of them are speaking the same language. I love that the little kids here are actually normal little kids who play on the street. I love my church with its services in 6 languages and its heart to reach our community. And OH how I’ve missed the food.

Festival of India. LOVE IT.

Festival of India. LOVE IT.

4) Outreach

Honestly I wasn’t that excited about serving 4th graders, but this Sunday my heart broke for them as we talked about the pressures put on by their parents, struggles at school, and squabbles with siblings. The girls in my group had no concept of a relationship with Jesus; it was painful to listen to them talk about their faith as a set of rules. I can’t wait to go deeper with them and with the high school girls during the week.

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Youth ministry last time we went camping…ridiculous

5) Spiritual Stuff

Missions trips are HARD spiritually. I’ve been loving how much time I have to dig into the Bible and learn more about who God is, and raising support to intern has been faith-stretching to the point of tears (Yes, Anna cries.) God is teaching me about patiently trusting Him, about letting go of the little worries, about letting Him work on me and not trying to fix everything myself. It’s a good hard. But it’s HARD.

6) Family

Usually on a mission trip you adjust to being out of contact with your family. For me, I’m adjusting to living in a family again! I love that there’s always someone to talk to, and our family is becoming more tight-knit as we have TIME together this summer.

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We’re not your typical family…

Graduation! Now what?

Hello dear friends!

In one week I will be finished with my undergraduate education and moving on into a new chapter in my life. I am graduating with a degree in International Agriculture Development, and I’ve discovered a passion for agriculture that fits in perfectly with my love for the world and my heart to see change in struggling communities. I have also fallen in love with with the people who work in agriculture. Down to earth (haha), friendly, honest, and very spiritual, these people fight hard to make a living and help their families and communities. My dream is to use my skills in agriculture as a way to bridge cultural gaps in closed countries and reach this often-marginalized group with the Good News of the Creator who provides for them, loves them, and can give them more hope than the rain clouds in the sky.

workin' on the farm

And that is why I am staying in Davis next year, interning with Cru on the UC Davis campus!

What?! Yeah, that’s what I thought at first too.  By the end of fall quarter, God was opening my heart to the agriculture majors on my campus, and I was having incredible spiritual conversations with them. I loved my classes, loved my internship, loved my plants, loved everything, and was looking at grad school. A friend asked me if I’d thought about interning with Cru on our campus, and it was flat out no.

Then I went to Cru’s winter conference and seriously started to consider applying to intern with Cru in South Africa for a year.  I got home and began the application, but my heart was growing for my own campus. “Maybe God is leading me to stay,” I wondered. The thought really scared me, as one of my biggest desires was to get as far away from Davis as possible, as quick as possible.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Davis. But Davis is small. The culture on our campus is to go to another country for missions. The blatantly “expected” thing for me to do was to intern in SA, and rumors had been circulating for months that I had made up my mind. Plus, I love SA so much. Our campus has seen so much staff and intern transition in the last four years, and staying in Davis started to seem like a halfway house,  a consolation prize of sorts, that thing that they “congratulate” you for after telling you to wait a little longer. I applied to intern with Cru, and I stated that I would be willing to go to either place. After about 8 hours of phone calls later, I was assigned to Davis.

I am THRILLED. God has softened my heart so much, and He is working in mighty ways on our campus. I am excited to get valuable ministry training before I work towards reaching people in closed countries, and I can’t wait to see how God grows me here in Davis before I leave.

I get another year to continue relationships with my ag friends.

I get another year to pour into the girls I’ve discipled since their freshman year.

I get to share my joy with our students and show them that Davis is not a halfway house. They are worth 100% of my passion and are just as worthy of my love as South Africa.

This is where I’m called. This is where I want to be. I can’t wait. I’m thanking God that He’s made His will so clear and that He’s chosen to reveal how it fits into the long-term dream He’s given me.

 

So that’s the story 🙂 I’ll be spending the summer finding people to partner with me and my ministry, both financially and in prayer and words of wisdom and encouragement. I’ll likely contact you at some point in the summer to let you know how you can partner with me, but feel free to contact me anytime with questions, comments, anything! Hope to see you this summer!

Post-Project Musings :)

I am finally starting to feel better, and being home for a couple weeks has given me a great chance to reflect on the summer and to consider where God might be taking me in the next few years! 

So what did I learn this summer?

  • I learned a ton about what it looks like to start a student-run campus movement. As we met with students on some of the campuses that were harder to reach, we got the opportunity to cast vision for the students and show them how they could lead their friends and classmates in Bible studies. This was really exciting, and I liked that it focused less on us forming relationships with them and more on the students forming relationships with each other. This is much more sustainable in the long run because we have to come back to school here!

    Rhodes University in Grahamstown

  • At the beginning of project, I was hesitant to step into a pseudo-leadership role on the team but was pushed into it as I was one of only two students who had been to South Africa before. In hindsight, I think it was a great experience, as I learned a lot about what it looks like to lead in word and action while still letting students experience things on their own. As my teammates came to me with cultural and ministry questions, I was able to use my past experiences to help them understand ministry in PE. I was really surprised at the huge amount of respect I received and it was so neat to see God use mein this way.

    Dinner with Lisa, a UCD junior this year. We had the greatest conversations and found out we had a lot more in common than we thought!

  • Last year in CRU at Davis we talked about how every relationship is a two-way discipleship opportunity. Unlike last year, I was one of the older students on my team, and I had the privilege of bringing younger Davis students with me. I noticed God using my conversations with them to encourage them to take steps of faith, and I was often convicted as I listened to God speaking to them through me and realized my need to grow in the same areas. Taking steps of faith is a lot easier when you’re doing it alongside someone else!It was so encouraging to see God redeem struggles in my life and use them to help others. Even the students on campus showed me the Gospel in ways I’d never heard it explained before. “God is such a gentleman,” one girl repeated over and over. 
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    How can you resist this? One of the girls at Jerusalem Ministries

  •  I realized that God has placed a deep passion in my heart for community development ministry, whether it is in the US or in another country. We worked with an organization called Jerusalem Ministries in a local township that provides Christ-centered community services such as vocational training, drug rehabilitation, aftercare programs, and a library. I love to see how whole neighborhoods are affected by Christians who share the good news not only through words but also through pouring into their communities. Christ modeled this idea so well, and I am excited to follow His example with my life.
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    He was totally sacked out in my lap for a good half hour while we watched the little girls’ dance class. The girl in pink next to me never left my side while we were there- so sweet.

    As I am entering my senior year, almost everyone has asked me what my post-graduation plans are. To be completely honest, I don’t know yet. I’m looking at different programs, including STINT in South Africa and a Christian international agriculture development course with ECHO. I’ll be going to a conference in the fall with CRU to learn more about what it looks like to be a Christian in the workplace. I’m not too worried about not having a plan yet; pray that God will continue to lead me. 

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Potential STINT 2014 team? hahaha Khaya’s trying to talk us into it

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…but agricultural ministry sounds awesome too!

 

 

We are home!

Sorry for the long silence, I got disgustingly sick and haven’t had internet for about five days. But I’m finally home and with my family. It’s great to be back, but I miss my team a lot as well as Port Elizabeth.

I’ll write more later, but in the meantime here’s a link to my photos 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151352623473496.563183.792328495&type=3&l=e6183ff509

Last few days…

It’s Friday afternoon, and we are officially done with campus ministry here. It’s so weird to think we’re flying home on Sunday morning. I definitely have mixed feelings…I’m stoked to see my family, but I absolutely love living here. I’ve made so many friends and it is hard to say goodbye. I don’t have much time now, but this has been a very interesting week and I have some cool stories. For now, be praying for a girl named Adel who is seriously considering accepting Christ. Pray also for good closure as we finish up the project and our time in PE with the stinters and students.

Retreat!

We had a lovely retreat this past weekend, we got out of PE and went to the middle of NOWHERE and just hung out for a couple days. It was so great to spend quality time with the team, I feel like it’s been hard for me to get to know people well because 1)our team loves watching TV, and 2)I was sick for a week. So a weekend where I was feeling good and we had no TV was awesome. We drove out on Thursday and we made it there without many problems…minus a concussion, a traffic cone, and some goats. Haha something always goes wrong with us. Christina got a concussion in the car because she hit the window (we don’t have enough seatbelts). Then Hannah ran over a traffic cone and it got stuck under the car. And there’s always the goats that are crossing the road… But we made it! On Friday, we took a morning to spend time with God and then we did “clearing the air” which is basically a giant conflict resolution session with the whole team. We talked about issues and misunderstandings, and it was very easy and painless. Our team gets along really well so there wasn’t much to talk about. We spent some time down on the river and then had a birthday dessert for Janelle. We spent the night playing encouragement hot seat, and it was so great to have time to encourage each person on the team.

On Saturday, we just rested and hung out until it was time to leave for the safari. Michael tried to do a backflip on the trampoline and missed…lots of blood, a gash on his head, and a headache but he’s fine! I’m telling you, this team is a doctor’s nightmare. We were all able to go on the safari, even Michael, which was a huge blessing, and it was fantastic! We saw way more stuff than last year, it was stormy so the lions were hunting and the herd animals had all joined into one huge herd to protect each other. I got about two feet away from a rhino, and even closer to a lioness!

Pray for us as we wrap up our time here this week. It’s our last chance to connect the students to the STINT team before we leave, and we’re trying to meet with all of them one last time. Pray that we wouldn’t be stressed by the short amount of time but that we would glorify God in how we use it. Also all the girls were sick this weekend, and we’re still not feeling great, so keep praying for health!