Sunday, April 28, 2013

And so it begins!

I think it's starting to hit me - this is actually happening! Not so long ago, this was all just a vague idea. Now there are names and places and plans, and I'm realizing how much I need to get done before I leave! I am so grateful for my friends and family who are helping me to stay organized and get stuff done because it can all seem pretty daunting when you put it all together. I've been studying Spanish, learning as much as I can about Honduras, and praying a lot, but I have had a mental block when it comes to fundraising. Where do you even start? When people would ask me how I planned to raise $10,000 I would have a mini panic attack and think "I have no idea!" Well it turns out God put some amazing people in my life to help. I've already received several generous donations (I'm up to just over $1000 now!), and my friends and family have come together to plan a really exciting benefit concert to kick off my fundraising efforts. The concert will take place outside on the lawn at my church, St. Michael's by the Sea in Carlsbad. We'll have several local musicians playing from 2-5pm on Saturday, May 11th. Admission is free so if you're in the area bring a lawn chair or blanket and come on out!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Blame it on my personality or the culture in which I live, either way I am not very good at waiting. In a world of instant gratification, whatever I want to know is just a click away. Heaven forbid the internet is down or my phone is dead. I've always joked that God's goal for my life is to teach me patience. Well, here's one more opportunity to learn! As I've begun to prepare for my year abroad, I can't tell you how many times I said "If I just knew..." At first it was "If I just knew if I was invited to the discernment weekend." Then, "If I just knew if I was invited to continue," "If I just knew where I was going," and so on. These are not things I can look up on online! And of course there's the 'then'. "...then I could ask for the time off from work," "...then I could start fundraising." I did need to get the time off work, and I do need to raise $10,000. These are legitimate concerns, right?

I don't think it's a bad thing to want to know more. This is an exciting time and there's a lot to prepare. It's the worry that gets me into trouble. But I know that if this is something God is calling me to (and I think it is), then there is no need to worry. Everything will happen in good time - in His time, which is so different from my own. All I can say is it's a good thing God knows me so well. He tells us time and time again not to worry. One of my favorite biblical passages, and one that I keep coming back to, is from the sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells the people to look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. They don't worry about what they will eat tomorrow or what they will wear, but God cares for them. And if God cares for the birds and the plants, how much more does he care for us? The chapter concludes with some great advice, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6). And the Apostle Paul tells us how to keep from worrying. In Philippians 4:6-7 he writes "Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

So as I continue through this process, and I start to think, "If I just knew what day I will be leaving," or "If I just knew what type of clothing I should wear," or whatever else comes up that I haven't thought of yet, I will be reminded yet again that there's no need to worry. For in the midst of uncertainty, we have peace through Christ!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shared Joy

There is a popular proverb in Honduras, which reads, “La alegría compartida es una alegría doble; el dolor compartido es medio dolor.” Shared joy is double joy; shared grief is half grief. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he says “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” No matter what language we speak, we are called to live in relationship with each other and to share in one another’s joys and sorrows, victories and struggles.

Six years ago I began a journey that I thought would be over in just a few short weeks. As I prepared for a short term mission trip to Sri Lanka the summer after my freshman year of college, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I discovered was a small glimpse of what it means to be part of the body of Christ. I was blessed to meet and work with my brothers and sisters half way across the world and begin to understand just how big God is. It took me a long time to sort through everything I experienced in Sri Lanka, but I knew I needed to continue sharing the love of God in Christ. Now, three years after graduating from college, things are finally coming full circle.

In a few short months I will be embarking on a great adventure. I have been accepted in to the Young Adult Service Corps of the Episcopal Church as a Christian missionary. In late summer, I will be leaving San Diego for Honduras, where I will be teaching for one year. I am so excited for this opportunity to build relationships with the people I will be working with, strengthen connections within the Church, and continue to share the love of God in Christ.   But I can’t do it without your support!

The total cost for my year abroad is $20,000.  Thankfully, the Mission Personnel Office of the Episcopal Church will generously fund half of the year’s expenses.  I am responsible for raising the other $10,000, which is only $30 a day.  Please consider joining me in this amazing adventure as a prayer or financial supporter. 

As we share in this journey together, I pray that our joy is doubled!