Archive for March, 2009

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Preparations

March 31, 2009

We had our first Mi2 Conference call last week. Talk about a lot to process!

It’s beginning to hit me how much preparation for Kenya I need to do while jugging school and running! I’ve sent out letters to friends and family asking for prayer and donations. It’s kind of difficult to get all of the correct papers together when half of my information is at home!

Here’s a rough outline of my schedule:

May 8th- Head home after last Final

May 17th- Travel to Tennessee with Mi2 team for orientation

May 20th- Leave for Kenya!!!

August 7th- Return to Louisville

August 10th- Return Home

It sounds like we’ll be writing a team blog when we’re on the Field, I’ll post that link as soon as possible.

Right now, I have to really dive deep into the Word and let God prepare my heart and mind to serve him in my everyday life and in my overseas experience.

And, while I’m not looking forward to spending nearly three months away from Daniel, I also have faith that we will both grow closer to our Heavenly Father, and thus, closer to one another even in our time of separation. And it makes me appreciate the separation we’ve already had to endure through this school year, God’s perfect plan has already helped us to be ready for what is coming!

I should also make note that there is our team of 5 going to Kenya (Me, Lauren, Courtney, Dan and Ben [whom I have yet to meet]). There are also 2 guys going to Poland during the same times (Dane and Erich). Be in prayer for all of the other interns as they get ready for their trips.

Courtney, Lauren and I all attended High School together, and we’ve been close friends since middle schoool. It will be awesome to share this summer with two girls that I’ve grown up with spiritually!  What a blessing to have two great women in my life!

awkward1This is what we have to look forward to this summer…

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Ken-ya Believe It?

March 12, 2009

This summer, I’ll be spending late May-early August in… KENYA!

kenaydig1Obviously I’m preparing by placing strange objects on top of my head.

I was accepted into the Missions Internship Program to Kenya about a week ago. I immediately said “yes”, I know this is where God wants me. Unfortunately, Daniel wasn’t accepted. We had been looking forward to doing missions work together. I guess God has that in the plans for another time. My friend from high school, Courtney also accepted. I’m so excited, nervous, terrified and blessed all at the same time!

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Mi2 Application Essays

March 10, 2009

I just wanted to share what I wrote for my essays when applying to the Mi2 Internship to Kenya:

1. Explain an attribute of God that has highly influenced your life?

God’s faithfulness is one characteristic that speaks volumes to me. I accepted Christ in 6th grade, and up through high school, I was a comfortable Christian. I attended church, I was a part of small groups and I always prayed at dinnertime with my family. I always knew that God was with me growing up, but I had not yet experienced His authentic love and his eternal companionship.

My first year at college was a definite breaking point for me emotionally and spiritually. My family moved out to Colorado just as I began as beginning college, I felt like they abandoned me, and in turn, I didn’t put much effort into my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I distanced myself from both new college friends and Christian friends from home. I secluded myself; I did not seek help from God or from any other Christian friends. I was not allowing the Holy Spirit to fix the brokenness in my life. I was shouldering all of my struggles and trials, and the weight was crushing me.

This stage of my life went on until the end of my first year of college. During the summer of 2007, after realizing how alone and miserable I was, I longed to have a relationship with Him. I started to read my bible, I felt God in church and I began to reconnect with my Christian friends from back home. Before school began, God allowed my family move back to Kentucky.

Heading back to college in my second year, I was a completely different person, and people began to take notice. I was back to my happy-Holly self. However, I’m human, and the stresses of school began to weigh me down again. Even though I knew the Lord was always present and all knowing, I had not asked Him to reveal His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence to me. Part of me knew that living as a comfortable Christian was unacceptable, yet I didn’t quite understand how to change that. During the summer of 2008, God revealed so many aspects of Himself to me. I finally began to understand that God craves a relationship with us. He wants us to be 100% about Him because He is ALL about us.

God has been teaching me so much about forgiveness, love, friendship and relationships in the past few months. Even though I am in the midst of my parents’ divorce, God has continues to put wonderful Christian people into my life who offer love and advice to both my family and me. I am finally realizing that giving everything, everything to my Father in heaven is the best possible way to live my life. The Lord has always been present, no matter what situation I’m facing. And in the darkness of this world and the struggles that come along with being human, my Father’s pours out His light into my life without end. He truly is faithful.

2. How do you expect this internship to impact your worldview?

The Lord created everything out of nothing. There are essential biological processes that every human being on the planet shares. Our Father meticulously and carefully planned out every complexity that we, as His creations, possess. There is an elemental connection that binds me to every single person on this planet. There is such a vast array of people on our planet that I am continually astounded by the creativity of our Father. Yet my heart absolutely breaks for those who don’t know this wonderful Creator.

In my opinion, Christians growing up in America are often sheltered from the world. I’m not talking about being guarded from questionable television shows or music with explicit lyrics; we are so immersed in our culture that we don’t realize that the world is full of people who are very different from ourselves.

I was blessed to go to Poland for three weeks in the summer of 2004 on a mission trip. We took inner-city Poles camping and hiking and we had opportunities to share our faith with them. I’ve also had opportunities to go to places like Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and even other cities within the States. Every place is unique, and in each place, it is indescribably awesome to me how God loves and cherishes each and every person.

I honestly don’t know what to expect from participating in this internship. My prayers have been for the Lord to open and soften the hearts of the people that we will come into contact with. I’m tearing up thinking about the little children with distended stomachs from being hungry, or about the mother who has worked hours on end to provide shelter for her family. Do they know that there is someone who always loves them? Do they know that there is a Father who always provides?

I think that we as Americans often have preconceived notions about people in other countries. I don’t know what to expect from interning in Kenya. I began to pray from the moment I heard about this trip that God would use me in remarkable ways. I also pray that He reveals himself in ways that I’ve never seen before. I pray that my heart opens up even more to the people of this world, my brothers and sisters. I want the Love for our Heavenly Father to be the blood that runs through the veins of every human. I want the family of those who love the Lord to pulse with one rhythm, to the song of Life that the Lord has given us. I want to go beyond the elemental bond that all humans share; I want every person, in the farthest corners of the earth to be connected to the unbounded love of our God.

3. How do you view missions are a part of your calling in life?

I’ve had a strong conviction to show God’s love and compassion to other people. I know I’m not cut out to be a minister, a professional songwriter or an incredible author. I do know that I can serve people. I know that God loves when we decide to use our individual talents and unique abilities to praise him. This call to missions has become my passion, and if it’s God’s will, I would be so blessed to be in the mission field for the rest of my life. I want to bring light to those who live in darkness; I want to bring love to the broken. I want to help people rebuild their lives while laying the solid foundation of a life set upon Christ our Savior.

I am well aware that it is not my actions that will bring people to Christ, but it is the Lord who draws people near as He accomplishes His work and His purposes through me. I am nothing, and He is everything.

I’m at one of the many points in my life in which I’m not sure where God is taking me. I’m nearly finished with school, unsure about my future. Experiencing the fullness of life through missions would be a humbling and insightful opportunity to better understand God’s plan for my life. I think people, me included, are too accustomed to doing what is comfortable. Missions aren’t convenient; they often require you to leave family, friends and familiar places. Missions aren’t simple. Missions aren’t cheap. Missions aren’t a “typical lifestyle”.

Missions are our calling as followers of Christ. If I am to be a disciple of Christ, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

We are to follow Christ’s actions of selflessness, service, compassion and love. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2). This is our call from the Lord. This is my call to missions.

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Up and Running…

March 2, 2009

Let’s get this blog back online. I’m hoping to have some awesome news to share within the next week.

Our family is in the process of a divorce:

My parent’s relationship hasn’t been perfect for the past 23 years, in fact, they’ve endured many struggles. Me and my siblings have been subjected to numerous separations. Recently, my mom’s decision to follow her will instead of God’s will is ultimately bringing divorce upon our family. I don’t condone divorce, but according to the bible, my father does have the right to separate from my mother. I’m praying that both of my parents will look to God for direction in this new stage of their lives.

My dad, who I had never seen as a spiritual man (though he attended church and played in the church band), has made a radical decision to work on a relationship with the All Mighty Father. So many people have been praying that my dad would RUN to the Lord and unload everything at His feet. Finally, my dad is doing that very thing, and you can absolutely tell that his life is being transformed by the grace of our Father. I am so proud of him!

dadmat

I believe my mom is  disillusioned by her demon, and every day, my prayer remains the same- that she will turn back to the Lord and let him provide.

But prior to all of this, multiple friends had suggested books to read:

Captivating (John and Stasi Eldredge,) Wild at Heart (John Eldredge), The Shack (William P. Young), and Love, Sex and Lasting Relationships (by Chip Ingram)

These books, along with countless talks with close friends and family about relationships has given me such insight and knowledge about how God wants our relationships to be. I could not have been better prepared to handle my family’s situation. I praise God for everything he has done to guide me through the darkness of this world. Now, I have the strength and the courage to say “I think sex before marriage is wrong, here is God’s plan for an awesome relationship” to others. God’s ultimate desire is for us to be in a relationship with Him. When we are in love with our Creator, he blesses us by placing other people in our lives. Additonally, the CD by Tenth Avenue North, “Over and Underneath” blends pure, biblical messages with catchy melodies and great singing. Check out their song:

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

Speaking of being blessed, I’ve been happily dating the wonderful Daniel for 8+ months now, and I don’t think I could be much happier! He’s shown me so much about God, about myself, and he’s taught me more than he can imagine. I’m so grateful that I’m blessed to have such an amazing, caring, thoughtful, funny and strange best friend 🙂 Even if he is mono-infected, he’s still pretty sweet!

holdan

Besides fully relying on God to help me through these trials I’m experiencing, I’m hard at work pursuing my biology undergraduate degree.
What am I going to do with a Bio degree you ask? I have no idea, but God has a plan 🙂

I’ll be posting again on Friday, hopefully with exciting news!