About Impact

Monday, September 28, 2009

Living Examples of Jesus - Part 11

Showing our cheesiest smiles while watching baseball with the Chicag09 team
Photo by Sam Peterson

I ran into my friend, Seth, this afternoon and he brought some encouragement with him. As I thanked God for the encounter, I decided my next blog post would be about what he has taught me through Seth.

Seth Bible

Seth is one of most intriguing people I've ever met. One minute he makes you laugh so hard your crying and the next you are scratching your head trying to figure out what in the world he is talking about. He's an phenomenal musician whose heart desires nothing more than to fully worship God. Seth has an amazing talent of arranging notes and words to create powerful works of music and art. We are nothing alike but I love serving with him. Whenever I do I'm reminded of God's creativity.

I've learned over this past year Seth is also incredibly patient. I have to process things out loud and Seth became one of my sounding boards this summer. Sometimes this meant sitting and listening to me ramble for while stuck in Chicago traffic. He never complained or checked out and even offered his perspective along the way. I'm confident Christ was the same way, listening as his followers shared what was on their minds.

Seth also has this great skill of recognizing the little things in people and encouraging them with it. At what seems like the most random time, Seth stops the conversation to point out something great he sees in someone else. I've seen him do it with students, leaders, and friends. They are simple, yet powerful words. It reminds me of how Jesus saw things in the people he met and called it out of them when they needed it most.

I'm so grateful for my friendship with Seth and his faithful obedience to Christ. Thank you Seth for allowing God to use you to teach me and many others. Thanks for showing us Jesus.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Ministry

I took a huge leap of faith by turning in my letter of resignation without having another position lined up. It was evident that God was working and I knew he would reveal the next step in his time. That is exactly what he did!

Today I met with the director of Impact Ministries International and accepted a position doing campus ministry right here in South Bend. I will have the privilege sharing Jesus with college students across the area and helping them build an intimate relationship with Him. How exciting is that?!

And if that isn’t exciting enough, I’ll be working alongside my good friend Lowell Kosak. I’ve spent a ton of time talking with him about campus ministry, asking questions and learning a ton about loving Jesus and loving others, and praying about Impact’s ministry.

“So when do you start?” may be your next question. Well, I’m already volunteering in the ministry and will continue to do that as I raise the financial support needed for the position. I am so excited to see how God will use his people to provide that support. He has already proven his faithfulness in amazing ways the last few months.

I don’t have any words to express how incredible grateful I am to be a part of what God is doing here on our local campuses. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouragement during the last several weeks. Buckle your seat belts. The fun has just begun.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Taking a Leap

The beginning of August has become the time when I look back over the summer and start processing what I've learned and how to apply it to the school year. This year was no different until I realized I was standing at the edge of the cliff and God was asking me to jump.

All summer I watched as God confirmed my call to student ministry. I was amazed by how much I learned about the Spirit and his presence in my life. As I started to pray about what this meant for my classroom I started to feel very uneasy about going back to school. I didn't think much about it but then I started to wonder if maybe what God had been preparing me for all summer was going back into full time ministry.

I began spending every free moment with God praying, reading, studying and listening. During the summer I had started talking with different churches and ministries about possible staff positions and now I didn't feel at peace about returning to Edison. I felt a pull to resign from my position at the school so I would be free to move wherever God led. Of course that didn't seem logical so I ignored it. Then the tug got stronger and stronger. I knew God was asking me to jump and leaving the classroom was what my jump.

After seeking some advice from people much wiser than I am and talking some more with God, I turned in my letter of resignation. Since it was so close to school, I agreed to stay for three weeks to help with the transition and give the district more time to find a replacement. Tomorrow is the end of those three weeks. I don't know for sure what God has in store next but I know he already has it figured out. There are a few possibilities on the table that I'm pursuing and God will make my next step clear in his time.

When I told a friend about my decision she said, "That's not a step of faith. That's a leap!" It certainly is but I'm not worried about what comes next for me. I can't tell you how incredibly excited I am about what God is doing. Taking the leap wasn't the easiest thing I've done but it is by far one of the most freeing.

If you are ever at a point where God asks you to jump, do it!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Summer Flashback, Part 2

I've been sharing some thoughts from my summer that were never blogged about when they happened. Today we take a look back at the events of July. Now July was suppose to be a rather relaxed, unscheduled month. Yea that didn't happen and I'm glad.

High School Week 2009 - Rock Lake Christian Assembly
While I was home for the Fourth of July I found out only one high school student from my home church was signed up for camp. Well that didn't settle well with me so I started recruiting. There was one student in particular, Kyle, that I felt strongly I needed to get to come. I was having no luck. So I went home several days before camp started to try to change his mind. I'll be honest the encouraging words became begging very quickly. The good news is after recruiting his friend, Lexie, to come a few hours before camp started Kyle decided to come too.

It was an incredible week to watch the transformation happen in both Kyle and Lexie's lives. I got a front row seat to watch faculty members pray for these two and watch God grab hold of them and show them his love in a new way. On Friday Kyle's dad baptized Kyle and I had the privilege of baptizing Lexie. It was humbling and incredible to have God so very clearly include me in His plan for the week. It reminded me once again how present his Holy Spirit is in my life and how active the Spirit is.

Prayer Journey - South Bend, IN
A couple weeks after camp, I met up with some friends from Impact Ministries International to pray over the college campuses in South Bend. I'll admit at first I really didn't want to be there but after about ten minutes of praying for ND and the students there everything changed. God spent the 2 days I was on the journey throwing new insights and reminders at me from every angle. God completely shattered what I thought student ministry would look like for my future. My journaling during these is one massive list of bullet point ideas that just kept coming my way. I couldn't do anything else because I was so overwhelmed my the information I was being throw at me.

I left that prayer journey with my head spinning and absolutely no clue what was going on in my life. Nothing made sense. Nothing seemed right. Something was missing and I was just waiting for God to make sense of it all. That chaos in my head was only the beginning of the whirlwind that would take place over the next few weeks. More on that tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Summer Flashback, Part 1

Since I never really blogged much about my summer, I decided I'm going to spend the next few days sharing some highlights. These posts will lead up to the big news I've been anxiously waiting to share.

Road Trip #1 - Quincy, IL and St. Louis, MO
I spent the first week after school ended with my younger sisters. While on that trip I asked God to use this summer to prepare me for the next school year. I didn't know what that meant exactly I just wanted to give him the next two months to do whatever he needed to do in me. He should have made the buckle your seat belt sign a little bigger!

VBS 2009 - Vestaburg, MI
It has become a bit of a tradition to travel home and help my home church with their VBS each summer. This year it was held at Rock Lake Christian Assembly, where I grew up going to church camp. During this week I had the opportunity to reconnect with several of the students from our church. Some of those students were in the Sunday School class I taught in high school. Others were students I use to baby sit for. Little did I know some connections and conversations that week would come into play later in the summer. (Sorry have to wait until part 2 for the rest of that story!)

Deeper Life 2009 - Michiana Christian Service Camp, Niles, MI
I can't hardly make sense out of anything I wrote during this week. It is so scattered and random! And truth be told, I'm still processing this idea of covenant. But there are a few things that caught my attention. There is a continuous theme of belonging to Christ and letting him completely reign in my life. It all started with two simple phrases God spoke very clearly to me on Day 1.
Sarah, I will fulfill my purpose for you.
Sarah, I am worthy of your trust.
When I first wrestled with them it became clear that it wouldn't play a huge rule in the week but that God needed to keep them in my heart and mind all summer. Much like the notes in my journal I left this week a little confused. I felt God confirming my call to minister to students but more uncertain of what that looks like than I ever have before.

Chicag09 - Chicago, IL
If you really want to know what happened on this trip and more of my thoughts, go check out the team blog. There are stories, pictures, and reactions galore there. I learned much more about myself than I would have ever expected. I discovered new things about how I process, lead and communicate with others. I learned more about how present the Holy Spirit really is in my life. At one point in the trip I journaled at length about this weird tension that seemed to be rising up in me. I was beginning to feel pulled in a couple different direction and I didn't know what to do with it. I couldn't articulate any of it. I simply wrote, "Abba you are doing some thing deep inside me that I just don't understand. The awkward, uncomfortable feeling of being stuck between an impostor and the beloved."

So that was the month of June and July got even better. Come back tomorrow for that part of the story! Until then I've got to get some sleep. I'm not even proof-reading this. Don't judge me!