Sunday, July 8, 2012

How I got here.

I feel it is important to share how God has lead me to where I am today, specifically related to Poland. So, join me as I take a few steps back in time.  I know this has been in God’s plan far before I can remember or know. But when I think back on when I felt God preparing me for Poland was in my junior year of college. A few girls and I began a book study/pray group/accountability group every week. The spring semester we decided to read the book Sun Stand Still. It is a book based on Joshua 10 where Joshua is fighting to capture land for the Israelites.  They are fighting a hard battle and soon night will fall and the fighting will halt. Unfortunately, Joshua knows once this happens they will not be able to secure the land. So he stops and prays. But it is more then a prayer: it is a command. He asks God to stop the sun. He asks for more daylight so they can continue to fight and win the land. God hears his prayer, sees Joshua’s faith, and halts the sun. The bible says the ‘sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down for a full day’. THAT IS CRAZY! And yes, Joshua’s army did conquer the land and won the battle. So, this book goes on to encourage the reader to live with audacious faith to see that God has big plans for all of us, we must ask and be ready. We must live a faith like Joshua, Moses, Noah, Rahab, Mary, Paul, and all the disciples. Because we are no different then they are and our God is definitely not any different. We must fully give our lives to Christ because really what is life without God? Our whole being is to bring glory to Jesus’ name, even in our mundane daily tasks. So can you see how these book really challenged me? Well, I started praying that God would use me now for his glory and I prayed for my future after college that he points me into the right direction. And I gave that fully to him. And I prayed that prayer so many times over my junior and senior year.
            Last summer, I had the opportunity to backpack around Europe for three weeks with my friend Cate Cavanagh. We had the best time. We stayed with a missionary family in France and were able to see the work they do. You would say I caught the travel bug. Once I got home I wanted to go again! Interacting with different cultures and learning their ways was so interesting to me. I added living in a different country to my bucket list. And so my senior year began and I kept up my prayer that God would show me where the next step after college would be and gave it to him. I began searching the web for social work jobs, ranch hand summer jobs (yes, this is not a joke….though my family laughed!), missionary work abroad, teaching English abroad. Basically everything and anything! I emailed people and organizing. I kept this up the whole year and was getting a little discouraged and anxious by the spring when I had no leads. Yes, a few crying phone calls to my mom. 
       And then one day when I was doing my mundane daily asks of buying toilet paper at target I saw a friend there and we got on the subject of travel. I told him about my desire to go abroad. He gave me the email of his mother who was a missionary in Slovakia. I then emailed her and she connected me with a missionary family in Poland.  They were in need of a camp counselor for three weeks this summer. I emailed back and said that sounded wonderful but I was interested in staying longer then three weeks, and I was hoping to be somewhere for 6 months to a year. Side note: when I began this whole process I was saying three months…how did I get to a year? :) She emailed back and said they were actually in need of a person to teach kids English during the school year. She said they had a lot of need, and could use me. They needed help in their after school program working with inner city kids, which I have done for the past 2 years in winona and loved every minute of it. It all fit so well. My head just about exploded….for almost a year I got all closed doors and never much feedback and here all the doors were opened. I had prayed and prayed that God would make it clear to me and the answer was clear. I got excited! Then I got nervous. Then I was excited. And then stressed. And happy. The emotions have continued this way, however I know that God is in control and he will work all things out. He does not lead us astray. So I have faith in him that he will continue my journey to Poland. It hasn’t been the easiest or the way I have planned it. I have already learned so much about myself, God, and life through the journey so far. I haven’t yet left, but I feel like I have already begun the adventure.

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