A Journey Down Memory Lane

I found an old letter I sent out when I was a summer missionary dating all the way back to 2006. I find it strange to read my old writings. Did I really write that? It is crazy, anyway, if you are interested, read on.

As I sit down to compose this, all I can think about is WOW! My second
summer in Burley is drawing to a close. I am so sad, but so exceedingly
glad at the same time! How can it be that God has chosen to use me here in
this area? I don’t know the logistics, but I know that He did indeed call
me back to the Gem State!

My time here has seemed short on some occasions and then on others seems
endless! However, I’ve seen God’s hand in everything that has been
accomplished! So here is a summary and maybe even a repeat of some of my
events of the summer.

This summer I got to experience a lot of Idaho’s natural beauty. I thought
of the flowers and every little intricate thing happening in the outdoors
and I would think, ‘How much more does He love me?’ God is fanatical about
us! The scenery is most phenomenal. The feeling of overcoming a mountain
(literally) to the top is such an amazing and wonderful feeling!

I saw God working in people’s lives. Anytime you work on a team, it’s a
bit hard, personalities can clash, coordination is always intense, but
unity is a must. My team and I have grown and I think we’ve done a pretty
great job being unified. I saw God work on the relationships that I began
last summer. They’ve become much sweeter and dearer to me and I enjoy the
fellowship that I’ve encountered. I’ve also seen Him in the relationships
that I have newly built. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to come as
a stranger and leave as a friend. I enjoy people so much and so meeting
new people is most amazing to me!

The realization of Satan and his spiritual warfare tactics became
ever-present to me. I knew Satan wants to defeat us and anything we do in
the name of Christ, I didn’t fully realize the magnitude of it, until I
started to question if God really placed me here, or if I had just gone on
my own will. God has placed a desire in my heart for Idaho and the western
part of the United States and Satan just wants to make me feel incapable
of having God work through me.

God has also shown up personally in my life. I know that this is a
foreshadow to the rest of my life, because I know that I am to serve God
with my life. This summer’s Lifeway VBS theme was Artcic Edge, for those
of you who did other things–well, I know God was in that too. For me, I
encountered the Arc-tic Edge twice, once at my church of service and
secondly on a mission trip to a nearby city. Courage was the theme and the
people that were chosen to display courage were really enCOURAGing to me.
This summer has been one of the hardest mentally and physically for me. I
have hiked to the top of a mountain, I have gone four-wheeling, I
participated in FAITH canvassing , and many other life-changing
encounters. I’ve gone to the edge, I have relied on God and I know that
God will enable me to accomplish what He wants if I will only surrender
and have the courage that He will move. My question now is ‘Where will I
go next?’ I feel an ultimate calling to North America, but I would love to
venture out into the International setting. I just don’t know, everything
sounds exciting!

VBS was also a challenge to me because I have never taught the age of
Pre-Ks. My endurance was put on the line. They are so full of energy and
it’s so vital that the foundation of Christ is laid, even then. However,
my teammate and I pressed on and we had two ask Christ into their lives
from our class!!

I saw God in meeting a woman named Rita during our mission trip to
Bellevue, ID. She was a woman with a rough and gruff exterior, but is
SCREAMING desperately for love and to be cared for. She operates a thrift
store and has been up to her ears in stuff that people have left outside
of her house. We went and cleaned up shop taking over 3 tons of garbage to
the land fill. She came to church the Sunday after we left. May God
continue to TEAR down Satan’s foothold in her life. UPDATE: A few weeks after
I returned back, I found out that Rita came to faith. I have not checked on her
in many years, but I pray she is walking with Christ.

God was moving while we were in Bellevue–people don’t move to Bellevue to
go to church, they move to experience Idaho’s wonderful bounty of outdoor
activities. That week we saw over 30 people come to know Jesus as their
Savior! We did FAITH canvassing, VBS, a sports clinic, and Rita’s. How
awesome is God that He should use our meager vessels for His service! We
also experienced team unity in a way I haven’t before. There is usually
some sort of a squabble on a trip that involves seeing each other 24/7. I
didn’t encounter any burned bridges in our group. We even had Bellevue
students join us in letting the city know about Jesus!

Upward Basketball Camp was something only God could do! There was little
preparation and information given to us before we started. The kids did
grasp the daily devotions very well. Some memorized the memory verse and 2
even prayed to have Christ in their lives. WOO HOO!

We’ve helped a church member clean up around his dairy. I have decided
that I make a pretty good country girl and I don’t mind to get dirty–as
long as I have a place to clean up! We pulled weeds, broke down milking
instruments, rescued kittens, milked cows, walked in corn fields, and
ministered to the guy who owns the dairy. Relationships are either surface
or skin-deep, take a relationship to the next level–find out about them!

Through all the times I’ve encountered good or bad, the people I’ve met,
the places I’ve encountered, God’s beauty has become more real to me. I
know that my life’s call is to be in the ministry side of things. Not just
with my God-given mandate, but with my career. This may or may not make
sense to you. However, I know that God has trained me since I was a young
girl to deal with what the ministry had to offer. Being a leader of that
this summer has proven that and has taken my calling even deeper.

I wish I could fill you in on all of the marvelous things that God did. If
I did I might write an Ebook! This is only a glimpse, I don’t think I can
express everything my heart feels. I am really looking forward to seeing
how God will use me once I am back in my “natural habitat”. I am excited
and pumped.

HE HAS DONE GREAT THINGS!

Thank you so much for being prayer warriors, I can’t tell you to what
extent your prayers were actually answered, but God did some beautiful
things!

Servin’ It Up

-Emily

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