Friday, June 10, 2011

Growing...



I haven't blogged in a while, but I have a very special thing on my heart that some of you may enjoy reading:

About 8 months ago, I felt lead to become an EBA Summer Missionary. I had heard about it through many people, and I thought that it would be a very productive way to spend my summer. God continued to tug on my heart for the next few months about it, and I finally decided that I would give it a try. I applied, interviewed, and was accepted as a Summer Missionary in April. I was excited but also nervous about what was ahead. I knew little about the program, really. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into.

Orientation started one weekend in May. I was so nervous. When I walked in that room with all the other Summer Missionaries, I didn't really know anyone. Little did I know that 21 hours of orientation that weekend would give me about 15 of the closet friends I think I will ever have.

At the beginning of orientation, I'm pretty sure I was definitely one of the more quiet ones. I never really have much to say, so most of the time I just keep my mouth shut. That changed.

On the first day, we received these huge binders with our name, the VBS logo, and some other stuff on it. I felt official. When I opened that binder up, I was all smiles until I saw the schedule. Everyone had to share their testimony. I was even more nervous now. If you know me well, you probably know that I don't really enjoy speaking in front of a group of people, but as the week went on, I was getting a little excited about sharing my testimony with my team. It didn't mean that I wasn't still nervous, but at least I had a little time to think about what I was going to say.

That Wednesday night, I shared my testimony. I probably talked for 15 minutes, but it seemed like an hour. I was nervous but also excited that I was getting to share my story. Somewhere along the line, the schedule got mixed up, and we had skipped a couple of people sharing their testimony. I believe that this happened for a reason. After sharing my testimony, Sarah LeCroy, who was supposed to go the night before, shared hers. It was crazy to see some of the similarities between the two, and I may not have noticed it as much if she would've gone when she was scheduled. I couldn't help but to feel this special bond with her. This is when I knew that being a Summer Missionary was what I was supposed to be doing.

After orientation was over, and I was almost completely comfortable with my team, we started the hard work. Multiple trips to the Mission Center and to various community centers suddenly developed me into a different person. I now truly have a heart for missions. If you asked me a month ago how I felt about missions, the answer would be nowhere near what it is now. I know God has great plans for me to serve in the future.

Now, after working two Bible schools this week and having fun with my team, I have seen so much change in my heart. If you asked me to sing or dance in front of anyone a month ago, I would've never done it. Now getting up on stage at VBS to sing and dance is my favorite part of each day. If you asked me to speak in front of a group a month ago, I would've chickened out. Now I'm confident that God speaks through me when I have to speak to a whole church group about our program, and I don't have to worry.

Next week is a big one. I'll be leading youth at a church I've never been to. I'm nervous, but I'm also confident that God will pull me through after seeing what He has done in my life in the past few weeks.

It really is a good feeling to feel like you're growing so much and to see God in it all. I know that I will be a completely different person by the time this is all over with. I thank God for the awesome opportunity I have been given. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Please pray for our team and for the people we're going to be reaching this summer!