Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Bug Lessons in the Wilderness

Evergreen trees, the Rocky mountains, starry nights – these are just a few of my favorite things. I’m a wilderness gal, through and through. At least that’s what I’ve always thought… This summer I stepped into a vastly different wilderness than the one I’m used to. The wilderness awaiting in Asia was unlike any I had ever experienced.

In prep for my Asian adventure, I filled my hiking pack with cliff bars, bug repellent and dry fit clothes. I also asked the the Lord for a ‘summer verse.’ I was hoping for an encouraging piece of scripture to lean on. Something along the lines of “I can do all things through Christ” or “You will soar on wings like eagles.” However, the scripture I felt whispered across my heart was Deuteronomy 8:2.
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (Deut. 8:2)
This verse is less of an encouragement and more of a forewarning. The wilderness referenced isn’t the Rocky Mountains that I love to wander, but rather the land the Israelites hated to wander. After reading this verse, I had a knowing in my heart. A knowing that my summer in SEAsia was going to be incredible. Incredibly hard and incredibly difficult.

Read more about Leah Beth's summer on her blog.

Worth It

Worth it.

This was the very first thought that popped into my head as the wheels of flight 1588 touched the ground in Philadelphia, PA. Exactly 141 days before, I was sitting in a hotel room in New York City, reluctantly putting in an application for summer missions overseas. This came as a response to a small group I attended where we walked through Psalm 90 and focused in on verse 12 which says, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." With a heavy heart, I wrote myself a note in my Bible that said, "Don't waste your life, kid."

I can say very confidently, this summer was not a waste. At debrief, I was asked to summarize my whole summer in one sentence. To me, this seemed impossible. 8 weeks in one sentence? No way. But as I thought back over each and every person I met, only one sentence came to mind.

There is so much I could tell you about people God chose to use this summer and the way He revealed Himself to me and strengthened my faith. We could talk about perspective, about growth, about all the amazing things BlueSky has to offer, about how many kids we saw come to faith in Christ this summer, and so much more. But here is the gist of everything I could tell you... do not be afraid to follow the Lord and pursue the callings He places over your life. 

He can literally use anybody, even you. 
He can use your brokenness.
He can use your doubt.
He can use your mess-ups, your discouragements, your highs, and your lows. 
And I can promise you this... it will be worth it. Every. Single. Time. He is so so faithful, and He will never stop pursuing us.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you that supported me both financially and in prayer. Your encouragement and support meant the world, and I could not have made it through the summer without you all. I cannot wait to share the next adventure the Lord takes me on, and as I said last year when I returned home from NYC,

Until everyone sees.
Until everyone hears.
Until everyone knows.
Send me.


Read more about Amy's summer in Kenya on her blog.