where to start?
I'm going to start with the story that has taken up the last two months of my life. An amazing one, a crazy one, but a beautiful one.
So here goes.
But for all of the good and amazing things God worked through me and this blog, I still wanted more. While it is only natural to want to go further and further into something once you've found God's love and your own heart in it, there was one major opportunity I had been hoping for that hadn't come yet: a chance to travel somewhere new to spread God's love and find a deeper understanding of where God might be calling me to work in the Missions field. I'd hear about a trip to one place or another, or a group that was doing something, but either schedule conflicts or money always got in the way of it. I felt like the Israelites in the desert at times, praying for a new call, a new sustaining message from above.
January 30th, 2012, was a regular day in my life. I was wrapping up schoolwork and got a couple alerts that a lot of friends I had gained through Reece's Rainbow were in an active conversation on the RR Facebook group, and that my name had been mentioned. When I clicked on the conversation and read through it briefly, I came to understand that a mom from the Dallas/Fort Worth Area of Texas was looking for a teen advocate to speak on Orphan Care at her church. This talk, if someone stepped forward, would involve manning a “station” at a 24 hour prayer vigil anticipating the church's spring break mission trip. This mom felt that the message of orphan care and missionary work would tie in well with the trip since much of it would involve reaching out to Sudanese refugees (and their young children) who now lived in Dallas.
My first reaction to this trip was despair. How on earth could I get to Texas? Would my message affect anyone? Would I really do anything that would have a lasting affect? Nevertheless, I went out on a limb, half of me thinking it would fail, the other half of me praying it would work, and asked the mom some questions about the trip and some other details. The mom, whose name was Marj Ochs, said that they could both pay for my plane ticket and host me in their own home. Right there, even though I had been a “doubting Thomas,” God had already moved two of the biggest mountains- the expense of traveling and lodgings. Marj told me she needed to talk more in-depth with her youth pastors, Shawn and C.M., about making this a reality, but once they had cleared the idea and it had been cleared by the other Youth Pastors on staff at the Compass Church Campuses, we could begin planning flights and other important events.
I was extremely blessed in the fact that both of my parents supported me 100% and were willing to pray with me, help me plan, and even have one of them come down with me. I kept the matter among my family and a few confidants before Marj told me it was looking more and more like a reality, and then I began to quietly spread the word about a missionary opportunity I had in the works.
Finally, the week arrived when, on a Tuesday afternoon, Marj told me all the Youth Pastors would meet to finally set things in stone, a definite “Yes” or “No” answer. I prayed, thought hard on it, prayed more, and then waited. When I finally got the courage to ask, it was a “YES!” God had blessed me with both an amazing opportunity and a great group of people working with me in Texas.
The next few weeks flew by with phone interviews, travel plans, and getting hand-out materials and a video presentation together to show at my Prayer Station. On top of that, 3 adoptive families I knew in Texas (besides the Ochs family, who were adopting from Eastern Europe) wanted to meet up with me, either at some middle-point or at their own homes, so we could finally meet in person. With all of these plans and conversations being made, it didn't seem like too long before I was packing my bags and getting ready to go.
.......To Be Continued......