If you are an artist or a crafter, I would like to ask you to consider donating a few pieces of what ever you create to our His Voice Global Weekend. We are doing a kind of "Goods for Orphans" table and all the proceeds will go to build the fourth Orphanage in South Sudan.
The point of doing this is to let people know that being engaged in local missions is as easy as making it a part of your everyday.
Take Brooke Lynn Photography for example. Brooke has a heart for the orphans of Sudan. She contacted me and asked how she could partner...how she could do something. As the conversation went on she decided to donate half of her profits to His Voice Global. Practical. Thinking Global, acting locally.
She is in St. Louis so if you are too, check her photos out here and her blog out here. She is pretty awesome.
I will be selling some wicked cool t-shirt scarves and screen printing some goods. Want to add to the table? Let me know if you are interested!
Working with His Voice Global is sort of a dream job for me. Right now, I am working on a conference which will be held in Bolivar, MO.
We will be spending the entire weekend of Sept 23rd-25th discussing and teaching holistic missions. The tag line for the weekend event is "global engagement with local roots". As His Voice Global is not a "sending'' organization, we feel like part of our duty is to give practical ways to make a global impact while being locally rooted.
I love attending conferences so I am loving being on the other side of things. We have speakers lined up that I cannot wait to hear from!
Some of the speakers and breakout session leaders are Amber and Vernon Burger, Dave Becker, Adam Thomason (founder of Red Revolution) and Dr. Rodney Reeves (Author and professor at SBU). One of my favorite things that will be happening is the His Voice Worship Band led by Zack Atchley will be there...I can't wait to see him and his beautiful family!
If you have any interest in healthy, holistic missions, you don't want to miss this weekend. Just click here for any details you may need!
Last week, Andrew and I went on Vacation. We got home on Saturday from a mission trip to Costa Rica with our new church (Youth) and realized that if we could make it to Florida by Sunday night, we could jet to PCB on Monday morning and surprise our old youth group students (LUMY) and go to their closing camp session with them! We called their new leaders, Joy and Elliott...also some of our best friends...and they said, "Bring it on. This will be a great way to show the students that we are a community that goes beyond location." And as it turns out, the weeks theme was "Konnect" which made it a perfect and fitting surprise.
God bless Joy and Elliott - Thank you guys for letting and making this happen!
So, Monday morning we got in the car to head to PCB, I was so excited I was shaking! this is not a stretch of the truth. Elliott had figured the best way for us to show up would be for them to check out and load the bus and then meet in the lobby and gather them all together to give a last minute talk about "deep connections". That is when Allyson came and got us and we walked through the sea of students at Bigstuf and around the corner and there they were all in a circle, being led by some of our dearest friends (which is such a blessing, because we know their leadership is strong and TRUE and that they will love and pour into these students just as we did). As we turned that corner one by one they saw us and it was one of the most BLESSED moments of my life. Here is a really shaky video of it!
The thing that set this over the top was the way the Lord really just spoke to me over the next hour. Guys, there were so many tears. Grateful, happy, blessed tears of joy and love. I got to hug the heck out of these amazing students. I got to look at their faces and tell them that I love them. AND I DO!
I am going to try to explain this and I hope it makes sense. I felt like all of the laboring over the souls of these students for the last 5 years was just resting in front of me. It has been 5 months since I have seen some of them and when they saw us and teared up and ran toward us and hugged us for long sweet hugs, It was I like I felt the most amazing peace and rest and blessing from the Lord saying, "This is the reward of pouring out your time, your prayers, your wisdom, your sanity, your sleep. This is the reward of your seeking after Me in leading these kids. This is what your life is about. This is living with purpose. Your love of these people has made a difference for MY KINGDOM."
I seriously cannot explain what I felt, so I am chalking it up to the ministering of Holy Spirit to my soul. It was the greatest was squeezing Nicks face and hugging so tightly Christian and Daniel and Shelby, getting to see Kaylee and Chelsea before they head off to college, praying next to Kelley, Bailey and Krista and worshiping with my arms around Holly and Delaney next to Madison and Amy, Seeing one of my small group girls (Katja) as a leader to Josie and Alyssia, seeing Allyson, Katie, Werm and Aaron lead...and seeing one student there who will only know Joy and Elliott's leadership and being so blessed by that thought. Looking at all these blessed students and knowing that they are in good hands of leadership, watching Joy and Elliott lead them... just...wow...DEAR LORD I SAY THANKS!
If you are one of our students, I hope you know how much we adore you and long for you to run after the TRUTH of the Gospel. We pray that you will give your lives up to it! I cannot explain how amazing it was to see your faces and wrap my arms around you! You are beautiful and cherished! Don't give up. Trust Joy and Elliot and let them lead you...they are wise and will work through your "stuff" with you. Let them unpack scripture with you!
And...know that we think of you often and will always be connected! (and you can contact us anytime!)
Since moving to TX, I have only posted one of those "funny moments" between Andrew and me. It isn't that they don't happen as often, is that I tend to forget when they do happen and so I don't write them down. Then later, I am all, "Andrew, what was that really funny thing you said?" and that is always weird...so they don't get posted. But sometimes...Sometimes...things are so awkward and funny that I don't forget. So here is a short story from last weeks vacation in Destin, FL.
DON'T JUDGE ME!
Me to Andrew: "Okay, I do NOT mean this to sound racist, but every black person I know doesn't like being in the sun because they don't want to get darker...but there are a lot of black families who vacation on the beach in Destin."
Andrew to me: "Okay, I don't want to sound closed minded, but I can't believe I married a racist."