Killing the Giants [week 5]

7/4/16

Raise your hand if you like being uncomfortable.

Obviously I can’t see you through the screen, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’re not raising your hand.

Yeah, neither am I.

Luckily, this week was all about stepping out of my comfort zone. And I honestly mean that without a drop of sarcasm.

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Sharing my faith, not with the goal of converting, but rather to share the hope that I have and bring glory to God, is not always the easiest calling to answer. 1 Peter 3:15 says,

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Often there are ‘giants’ that get in the way of us confidently sharing our faith with anyone who may cross our paths. This week’s goal was to kill those giants and take bold steps of faith in order to advance the Gospel. We focused this mission in two ways- first, we set a personal goal of how many times we wanted to share the Gospel. Second, we wrote down the names of people who we may be fearful of sharing our faith with.

The Lord wasted no time in helping me reach this goal, and he certainly flexed his power as well. As I shared in my last two posts, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster lately. However, the Lord used my weakness to show his strength. Early in the week I was able to share the Gospel with three of the boys I coach. In fact, one of them actually told ME the Gospel!

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I asked him, “What do you know about Jesus?”

Ramon, 11 years old, said, “Well I know that you have to accept Him as your Lord and Savior.”

He went on to say that he knew Jesus died for our sins so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life in heaven.

Mind you, this all stemmed from him previously telling me that he knows our bodies are temples of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says,

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.”

How cool is that!! God works in some crazy, awesome ways… Not only answering my prayer of providing an opportunity to share my faith at work, but also an unspoken prayer of helplessness in not being able to change these kid’s lives. Romans 8:26 says,

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

He certainly gave me an opportunity to share the Gospel, which has an undeniable power to change lives.

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To wrap up Killing the Giants week, our team embarked on a two day outreach at Summerfest. It just so happens that this event is said to be the world’s largest music festival.

The intention was to share from 5-8 on Friday, however by the time I got home from work, changed, ate, and made it down to the grounds it was roughly 6. To add to this craziness I got all the way to the gate, only to be told that I had to take the handle off my GoPro and bring it back to the car. At this point I was covered in sweat and not impressed…  I finally made through the gate by 7ish, which only left me an hour to talk to people.

Yet again, the Lord used my frustration and weakness to bring him glory. One of the first conversations I had resulted in two girls accepting Christ as their Savior. Man alive… it is so not about me, my inconveniences, or my agenda. The Lord is sovereign and he is so so good!!!

The game plan for Saturday was to stay as long as it took to reach our team goal of Gospel conversations. Our aim for the week was 333 conversations, and by Friday we already had nearly 180. The Lord provided, as he always does, and we surpassed this goal within just a few hours. And by the grace of God, we have 20 new brothers and sisters in Christ!!

Now, I want to ask you a question…

What do you do when you have something exciting?

Typically- you want to share that news with everyone, right?! THAT is why I share my faith. Because I know the hope and love that I’ve found in Jesus alone. I’m excited about that- I’m excited about the truth of Jesus washing me white as snow through His sacrifice. I’m excited about spending an eternity in perfect paradise- no brokenness, sadness, pain… I want to share that free gift with everyone!

So while it may be uncomfortable and faith-stretching, sharing the Gospel brings about great reward. In Ephesians 6:19 the apostle Paul says,

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

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To add to the excitement of this outreach, we were also able to enjoy some awesome music along the way too. I highly recommend looking up the band The Racer. They’re an indy rock group with so much passion and talent that had me hooked after 20 seconds of their first song. No joke. After this concert, we got to see Gavin Degraw live!!! Milwaukee is a pretty cool city…

All this just for the staff to leave us…

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We knew this day would come, as staff are only here for half the mission, but the first month flew by. This transition definitely caught me off guard. Anyway, I want to take a minute to express my thankfulness to them:

Aaron, Brenda, Paul, Jenn, Andrew, Alesha, Kara, Bridget, Kasey, Ashlinn, Hannah… if you’re reading this, thank you x64342123. Thank you for the prayers you prayed months before our mission. Thank you for the careful and prayerful consideration it took to choose our team members. Thank you for all the long hours spent planning our trip. Thank you for the accountability during support raising. Thank you for the warm welcome upon our arrival. Thank you for pulling strings, putting together details, and making everything run smoothly. Thank you for laughing with us, playing games with us, eating with us, and driving us around. Thank you for teaching, guiding, loving, encouraging, and challenging us. And most importantly, thank you for being strong, God fearing leaders that kept Christ at the center of everything.

I also want to especially thank my Discipler. Ashlinn- you are a true gift from God and an answer to many prayers. Thank you for never leaving my side while navigating my brokenness and walking through it for me when I couldn’t move forward myself. Thank you for making me laugh, for being true to who Christ has made you, and loving on me no matter what. You are a sweet, sweet friend and I cannot wait to continue to build our relationship. 🙂

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With the departure of our staff, each student was given a leadership role. I was entrusted with our ladies small group and I could not be more excited to continue to grow alongside my sisters! Despite things feeling a little quieter without a handful of kiddos running around and adults to converse with, this change presents an awesome opportunity to grow in our Christ centered leadership and team cohesiveness.

So, here’s to the first month in Milwaukee and all the glorious ways the Lord has been working! Stay tuned for updates on month two. 🙂

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This week you can join me in praying for:

  • For Ramon, that he would come to know the Lord as his Savior
  • For the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile
  • That our team would continue to strive toward Christ as we take on new leadership roles
  • That the last month of mission would continue to be fruitful and our hearts would be continually refreshed by the Lord

 

Thank you so much for reading about the work the Lord is doing in and through me!!

God bless. 🙂