Monday, June 9, 2014

Fears, Hopes, and Prayers of a Voyager

As I fold a donated well worn shirt and place it inside my suitcase, my heart beats fast as I picture a Lugazi orphan inside of it.  I have packed, unpacked, and repacked my suitcases a total of three times... I don't leave for another two days so that means a few more times of this process.  This is like nothing I have ever done before.  I have no way to measure what this experience will have in store, even though there are pictures, even though there are stories, I feel God moving through my heart wide and deep, tearing through every veil, bringing light to every shadow.  I am preparing up for the experience of a lifetime.  Butterflies, anxious, yet endearing dreams flow through my mind, and ohhhh I cannot wait.  To hug a little child in my arms, to experience the love of Jesus in a raw new way, to completely let go of whatever I think is going to happen to just let Jesus take the reigns of this one.  This will be scary, this will be incredible, this will be painfully beautiful.
Wednesday, June 11th, at 7:30pm, I begin my voyage, journey, adventure to Lugazi, Uganda.  There is so much unknown ahead of me and that both excites me and makes me anxious, but mostly enables me to surrender all my fears and hopes to prayers as I ask the Lord to strengthen my heart for this time of deep seeking and growing.
As the day approaches, the vision of what this trip has meant for me has begun to grow closer and clearer, and with that has come some anxiety of all the empty gaps of question:
"what am I actually doing? will I be able to handle this? am I right for this? maybe someone else is better. can I really preach the gospel in the way it needs to be heard?"
are just a few anxious impulses that I see Satan has cleverly crept into my otherwise eager delight to embark to be with the people of Lugazi.

One word has been made clear to me that I need to ponder and remember in light of what is to come: COURAGE.
courage is defined as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery".
And I know that with faith in Jesus, through these days in Uganda and all my days: "this mountain that's in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea".
The bible talks on courage and boldness and I have found a few key passages that I hope to rest upon in the face of fear, uneasiness, and anxiety.

Luke 12:22-34
2 Timothy 1:6
"For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control."
Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

I would appreciate prayers on my behalf:

  • seeking to faithfully serve the Lord without hindrance
  • grabbing hold of courage + boldness to use my gifts and talents when there is opportunity
  • God using me despite myself, my weakness, my fears, my insecurity
  • God would continue to "test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24)
On my team's behalf:
  • that we are seeking to please God together
  • encouraging one another in light of Jesus' patient & redeeming love
  • be open and honest with one another and emotionally available to corporately share and assess the upcoming situations with each other
  • lay down our expectations for the experience and each other in order to seek the Will of God
  • stay safe and healthy so we can focus on what we are there for
You can learn more about what I will be doing in Lugazi as well as keeping up to date with my team HERE.  We hope to update our blog as often as time allows us.

Annie Koeller, Meredith Monke, Lauren Holstein, Madeline DeRaud, Joey Farbstein

I am so grateful to all my friends and family for their support and all the encouragement that has made me the person I am today.  I praise God for each and every one of you.

resounding in my heart & soul: 
"Jesus, You make me brave."

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