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Posts Tagged ‘missions’

the greatest gift is to give?

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

My friend Shelby has the opportunity to go overseas to Asia for the next five months. It’s been an exciting ride watching her put such faith in God’s plans for her. She had to quit her job at school, forgo her last semester of school, etc. all for an unsure plan. But now it’s all coming together, and God has allowed me to have a small part in it.

Shelby called and told me of some troubles she was having fundraising for the trip, and that the trip was in jeopardy. We brainstormed some ideas, and I helped her set up an online donation system. But I decided I should help a little, especially since it was the end of the year and me being okay with money and all (which doesn’t happen often). So I sat down, and wrote a check for a number God told me. I thought it was too much, but I had a peace about it. (I am a tightwad at heart.) I wanted to surprise her, so I didn’t tell her. Over the next few days, God really amazed both of us with the money that was raised. Shelby called me on Sunday and told me how much she still needed for the minimum amount for the trip to happen. I couldn’t hold it in any longer:

That was the amount I had sent her.

So I thought I would share. It really blessed me to be a part of this story.
Shelby still needs help. Please click on the link above and pray about donating.

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Categories: Ministry Tags: , , , ,

No longer with my ‘Elijah’.

Oswald Chambers is one smart man. This is what I read yesterday morning:

It is not wrong for you to depend on your “Elijah” for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay…

Alone at Your “Jordan” The Jordan River represents the type of separation where you have no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one else can take your responsibility from you. You have been to the Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are facing it alone. There is no use in saying that you cannot go— the experience is here, and you must go. If you truly want to know whether or not God is the God your faith believes Him to be, then go through your “Jordan” alone.

Alone at Your “Bethel” At your “Bethel” you will find yourself at your wits’ end but at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you come to your wits’ end and feel inclined to panic— don’t! Stand true to God and He will bring out His truth in a way that will make your life an expression of worship. Put into practice what you learned while with your “Elijah”— use his mantle and pray. Make a determination to trust in God, and do not even look for Elijah anymore.

(My Utmost for His Highest, August 11)

My Elijah was my planned future. You know: high school to college, college to camp, camp back to Lexington. But now there is nothing. My “Elijah” has left, as God has willed it. No more parental financial support, no fall back of “being a college student”. And now that I’ve been back in Lexington for a week, my faith is being pushed. Will I fall back into my same habits? My same friends? My same struggles?

God has called me somewhere not here. And I’m starting to make concrete plans to make it happen. But I don’t have the support of those I need most. They have given me questions: “How are you going to make enough money to live?” “You don’t know anyone, how will you deal with being alone?” “Why would you want to leave the great job and life you have in Lexington?” And now these questions have become my questions, when in the beginning, they weren’t.

And this is the question I’ve finally come to: Where is the balance between being realistic and stepping out in faith? Because realistically, you have to factor in money, finding a job, the logistics of a situation. And I have a lot of that to consider. But also, don’t I have to just step out first and then let God catch me? I’ve been listening to stories of my friend Kyle and Chris that took an insane cross country road trip without plans, but trusting God would take care of them. And He did. Is my situation any different? I no longer have a plan, should I go ahead and keep moving forward? I know God will take care of it all, but I don’t want a comfortable life. No Christian should settle for that. And I feel like Lexington would be doing that. I’m comfortable here. It’s easy here.

I don’t want a comfortable life. That would be like staying with Elijah.

Veil of things to come.

So I just got home from about 6 hours at church: playing bass, worshipping, listening, eating, cleaning, and learning. I love my church, it is so filled of love and service and giving. But during the financial/vision meeting today, I got to thinking about how much our church strives to be like a New Testament church more than anything I’ve ever been a part of in my life. We bathe everything in prayer, spend oodles of time together, and revolve around home meetings and giving of our time and money. I am so proud to be a part of the body, and am always encouraged when I spend time with my church family.

But all this got me thinking even more about the gospel, how Jesus is seen today, and why God gives us the different passions that He does. I used to not have a heart for missions, and would admit it to your face. I was more concerned with relationships here with those I spend time with everyday, and that is how I shared the gospel: discipleship. It used to make me angry when people were so missions minded that they forgot about growing here. All of that changed when I went to the Dominican Republic. I’ve been on a lot of missions trips, but that is the one that God used to change my heart. I still believe wholeheartedly in discipleship and strive to incorporate it into my relationships everyday, but now I realize how much growing and living together includes talking about our separate passions for missions.

God has been so faithful to me since my decision to return here to Lexington. I found a good job doing something I like in less than a week, am enjoying a renewed relationship with my best friend, and am diving headfirst into some goals for the next five months or so. But I have been struggling spiritually with purpose. I am so long-term minded, and I don’t want to waste the time I have being young and out of school and not tied down. I want to see more than what the Southeastern United States has to offer. It doesn’t help that my best friend from camp just drove to California and back, regaling me with tales of all that’s “out there.” God has placed in me a passion for missions, and maybe more than a week or two. I’m talking a year or two. That’s right – little ol’ Ashlyn who loves sitting on her mac wants to spend extensive time where there is no electricity, much less Internet, doing manual labor and planting churches.

But as for now, I’m going to pray. Pray that God continues to grow my passion. Pray that I will remain open to opportunities. And pray for those who are already gone or going: Peggy in Costa Rica, AC in Cambodia, and the gang going to Africa in May: Erin, Paul, Tracy, Josh, Evan, and Kim.

I’m starting to fully realize the truth of the verse incorporated into my new tattoo: For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.