Five months of discipleship and growth. One amazing God…and a whole new life.
January to June
My time at Gateways was incredible. God did such a deeper work in me during my second year there. I am no longer the same person I was 6 months ago. I don’t have all the answers for ministry, but I trust God to lead me and have much clearer and purposeful direction.
Before my second year at GTS, I knew I had a calling to the nations, and that I was also called to bless Israel and the Jewish people. But that was it. I’d never really sat down and thought out what it really meant. We had a week of classes this year where we talked a lot about our callings. We prayed a lot, wrote a lot, and ended the week by writing down individually what we believe our life statement is. This is what I wrote: “Nations and generations; these are a part of my inheritance from God. I will carry God’s fire to the nations. I desire to be a part of bringing healing to national scars, causing restoration between enemies. I will speak destiny over generations, spurring them on to spur each other. I will seek to be a mother to a generation that is looking for love and leadership. I will lead an army of young people into the nations & will call forth the older generation to be mothers and fathers. I will see Israel and the Church restored to one. I will see Israel accept her Messiah, that the world might see life from the dead through their return. I will do all this and more to bring glory to my God.”
This is what I am living to do. This is what I feel God has called me to. I don’t have all the answers right now as to how this will play out, but I know that God will lead me each step of the way. I believe it will include various countries, various ministries, various ways of fulfilling it.
One of the biggest changes in me this year, is God has given me such a renewed and deeper love for ministry. Living in Ukraine and pursuing my calling in ministry is no longer something I’m doing just because it’s what I know God has called me to or all that I’ve ever known – it’s my passion. I LOVE serving God and people. There is no greater satisfaction in my life than doing what I was created to do. Everyday, I feel so satisfied with life, because I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing….and loving it!
Another ‘new’ thing, is living everyday full of God’s joy – joy that is indescribable…literally! For a couple of weeks now, I feel like I have tasted and seen what the joy of the Lord is, what abundant life is; and now that I’ve tasted it, I don’t ever want to lose it. Never have I felt such a love for life, people, and God. I honestly feel like a new person. I have more life, more joy, more determination, more purpose, and more direction.
Into the Future
For the next 6 months, I will be staying here in Ukraine, serving with my family and my church. God is on the move in Lviv, Living Word Church, and Blessing Ministry. I am so excited and honored to stay and be a part of it all. We have a lot of things happening this summer – including hosting 2 World Race teams at Bethel (our ministry house) for 3 weeks in August! We will be holding a VBS, painting the house, a baseball camp in the village, gardening, street ministry, food distribution for the poor…..plenty to keep us busy! In addition to that, one of the things I am really passionate about doing during this season at home, is building and deepening relationships with young women in my church. I believe that one way I can fulfill part of my calling is by building relationships with people – being a part of their lives and praying for them, just walking through life together. Then….
Come January, I will be packing my bags again and heading to Cyprus for the Gateways Beyond Internship!!! I am so excited about this and am fully convinced that this is what God is calling me to. My parents, Gateways leadership, and I are all in agreement about this being the next step after these seven months at home. While not having any specifics of how my calling will play out, but knowing it lies in the nations and leadership, the internship will be a great asset and resource in launching me into that calling. As an intern, I will have the opportunity to clarify my vision during this time, while being involved in everyday ministry situations. I will have more personal interaction with the staff and leadership of Gateways. Being more involved in the inner-workings of an international ministry will be a great training and launching ground for what God has next. While working alongside the staff, we will also have weekly training sessions in Leadership Development, the Vision and Values of Gateways Beyond International, and how to prepare and lead short-term outreach trips.
On the practical side of things, this means I am again working on saving money and support-raising for the internship. The cost of the internship is $5040 (this amount is due by the end of this year), plus outreach fees of approx. $1840, and airfare which will be about $500. I am working as hard as I can here to make as much money as possible. God is already providing some small jobs for me here, in addition to continuing to make jewelry. Even with these opportunities, I will not be able to make enough to pay for everything, so I need your continued help to take the steps God leads me to take. As I begin to fulfill this calling and continue this lifestyle God has called me to, I need you and others who will be willing to come alongside and partner with me in this vision to bless the nations and generations. Everything will be helpful – one time donations of any amount will help, as will monthly support (even just $10…every bit helps!).
As always, thank you so much for your prayers and financial support for me – they are certainly not taken for granted – and thank you for walking through this journey with me.
Many blessings on you and your families!