How has your involvement in Nehemiah Teams/P52 changed you/your view on missions?
I believe this summer has really solidified some of the things the Lord has been teaching me about His plans for my life. This summer has brought me to the point of being willing to go wherever the Lord leads, because honestly He has shot down all of my excuses as to why I cannot go (and believe me there was a list)!
Being involved with the Nehemiah Teams this summer has given me just a small glimpse of missionary work (being around supervisors, others involved in missions, reading missionary biographies, etc.) and it has been so exciting to see the Lord’s work being done and I cannot help, but want to be a part of it. This does not mean that I know what to expect next or anything, but this does mean that I am not only willing, but I want to go.
· In what ways did God surprise you this summer?
The Lord really has surprised me with how He has given me the energy I need to get up daily to do what needs to be done (with a smile on my face). I remember the second full day we were here we were playing and having fun with the children literally from dawn until dusk. We all came back to the room so exhausted. We made a video saying “Day 2: They have so much energy.” After that we just began to pray that God would give us the energy we needed to do the work that needed to be done for this summer and all we needed to love these children more each day. Though some days are more challenging than others I can honestly say the Lord has been faithful to meeting our needs for energy and love.
Another way the Lord has surprised me this summer is how He orchestrated together such a wonderful team. I know that one thing most people fear in settings such as this is not getting along with their team. The idea of being in a foreign country (stressful enough) and then not getting along with the people you will be with all summer sounds more challenging than necessary. Really I can only thank God for how much my team and I get along. Though we are all so different we still have so much in common and it is as if we balance each other out well. Being blessed with such a great team has really made the summer all the more enjoyable.
· Why should people sign up for Nehemiah Teams/P52?
If you feel at all that the Lord has given you a heart for missions or if you want to grow in this area then I believe you should sign up. It will really change your life. When you are immersed in another culture (especially when you do not know the language) then you have only Jesus Christ and your team to rely on. It puts you in a place where you will draw closer to the Lord as well as other believers who have a similar heart for the things the Lord has laid on your heart.
The personal growth material will challenge you in your walk with the Lord as well as show you how much the Lord desires for all people to come to know him on a personal level. There really will not be many opportunities like this in your life so take them while they are available.
· Is there anything else you would like to share?
Before college I knew the Lord was calling me into social work and that he had given me a heart for adoption, foster care, and orphans. Still I did not know what that was supposed to look like in my life. Then, during my sophomore year in college the Lord started opening my heart to the idea of cross-cultural missions. So for the last couple of years I have been trying to figure out how these two desires (that I believe were given to me by God) would look like in my life. This summer has just really helped me to see that when working with children in adoption, foster care, or orphanage type settings that no matter how much I can work to change their situation they really need Jesus Christ. This summer being at an orphanage I could see the joy in so many of these children, because they know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This has helped me to see that I need to desire first to share Jesus with them and then to help them deal with their circumstances.