I am excited to share that I have raised 85% of the support needed for my mission! Thank you to all who are partnering with me financially and through prayer. Thank you to Trinity Klein and the So They Can Fund that has generously gifted me a grant. Thank you to St.Mark and all its members for continuously supporting and encouraging me throughout the years. I want each and every one of you to know how much your gifts and kind words mean to me. Thank you for partnering with me to continue the work God is doing in Guatemala. Please keep me and the Guatemalans in your prayers.
What have I been up to this summer?
Summer Camp! For two months (June and July) I worked as a summer camp counselor at St.Mark. I was the lead teacher for the 3rd-5th grade class and we had a blast! I enjoyed being able to spend my summer with the kids who I have seen grow so much over the years.
God also placed some pretty amazing coworkers in my life this summer. Not only did we enjoy each other at work but we also built strong relationships outside of work. My coworkers have been such an encouragement to me this summer that it will be bittersweet to leave them in September.
This past Sunday Pastor H. spoke on Ephesians 2:8-10: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God_not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
When I reflect on this I am humbled. God made me to do good works, works that He is preparing me to do. He sees the needs of people, needs that I sometimes can’t or choose not to see. Yet He has chosen ME to meet those needs through the good works He has prepared for me. Knowing this gives me the confidence to know that I will be in Guatemala because of what He has prepared. The people I talk to, the people I serve, the people I grow close to will all encounter these good works that come from Christ Jesus
Oh the day that I am able to begin on this journey God has prepared for me in Guatemala!
Me and Noe, one the kids that attends bible lessons in Xaya
Let me tell you how it all began.
I had just completed my freshman year at Concordia Texas and had moved home for the summer. God had been putting these different thoughts in my head about going on an international mission trip. I had been looking for different opportunities, preferably one that was low cost as I was supporting myself through college. At Concordia I had met a wonderful woman named Pat who is the Director of Can-Do Missions and signed up for a Fall trip to Guatemala. I had been on a mission trip before but I didn’t know that this one would change my life. That October (2014) I spent a week in Guatemala with Groundwork Guatemala. Each day we would travel to different areas and spend time with the kids playing, singing songs, and learning about Jesus’ love. I still remember our first day in El Rincon. We were waiting for the nurses to set up the clinic so I started playing soccer with some of the kids. We were playing right in the middle of the road, dodging cars, bikes, and cow manure. When it started to rain the kids didn’t even think about stopping and we played on! I remember having a feeling of peace and happiness that first day. I asked God that if the desire I was feeling was from Him that He would bring me back again. He sent me back 6 more times.
Visiting the school in Buena Vista
VBS with a group of almost 200 kids
After my first visit I returned to school with confidence. A confidence in the fact that God was calling me into ministry and I prayed every day that He would send me to Guatemala. I learned to be intentional in my daily life to make His will my will and to keep my eyes open for opportunities to use what He had given me to share His love.
When it came time to find an internship placement there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted to go. In December 2016 I returned to Guatemala with my program director and a couple of other students to participate in the second Guatemalan Youth Gathering (Conectados). After many conversations an opportunity came up to work with Castillo Fuerte Lutheran Church and the Santa Cruz Mission in Amatitlan, Guatemala!
Fast forward six months and here I am. As I am preparing both financially and spiritually I cannot contain my happiness for what is ahead of me but at times I am also scared out of my mind. I used to say that I had no fears when it came to leaving because I knew that it was something God wanted me to do. Now that leaving home has become a reality I find it harder to accept the fact that I am leaving my family and everything I have ever known. But I know that God will place people in my life that will make my transition feel like I never left home.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21