Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catching Up

Hello Everyone, I hope this update finds you well.  I find myself in awe of the life I have been given.  Over the past 8 years I have experienced more than I could have ever thought possible.  I have also matured into far more of a man than I could imagine being when I was 18.  Things that used to fill me with anxiety now just look like opportunities to learn something new and maybe have some fun along the way.  

I am coming up on one of the largest transitions I've ever been through.  On March 30th, I will officially finish my commitment to full time staff here at Youth With A Mission Denver, where I have been serving since 2006.  The swings in emotion I feel about it are intense and sudden, but I am convinced that it is time to come out from here and see how far the Lord can take me.

To me it all seems like a highway leading up to this point.  When I was 13 I told God I wanted him to use my life in any way he wanted to.  When I was 18 I came to YWAM for the first time and told him the same thing.  Jesus is worth giving everything up for.  After all, no one else has suffered as he, no one else has achieved more than he, and no one else is more deserving of the gift of my life and all of my life than he.

I have grown comfortable here, friendships have formed into something close to family as they have come through many trials and heartaches.  My friends' children feel like my nieces and nephews.  The halls of this place feel as if I belong in them. I am filled with vision for the future, hope for what doors God may open for me, but the cost of stepping out into that is grievous.  I am trading something familiar, and, while challenging, incredibly rewarding to step out of these doors and not know where the wind may take me.

I don't think that Jesus wants us to never be happy, or to take away from us everything that matters most just so he can prove a point.  I think that giving him freely what matters to us dearly is the only way to actually experience a boundless love that surrenders not out of obligation or guilt or, in some cases, asceticism but out of a desire to be in union.

It also makes me think about missions in new ways.  Coupled together, a book called "When Helping Hurts" and an old sermon called "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" have really challenged me to examine the reasons I desire to be in missions.  I will never grow tired of experiencing a new culture and developing bonds of friendship with people who, at first glance, have very little in common with me.  New food, new ways of doing things, and feeling finally like a place is a little (or a lot!) like a home away from home. I always want to continue learning how to embrace new cultures and ways of doing things, and always try to put the people first in everything I do.  I want to write more about that, but to shorten this post, I want to let you know what I am doing next.  

My plan is to spend April driving back to Pennsylvania visiting some friends along the way (provided I can find a car!), then to fly to Colombia, South America on May 2nd.  I will be there about 2 months, then I am hoping to go to Africa and help with some agriculture projects going on there.  I don't have tickets yet, so it is all subject to change, but it is time to step out, explore a little, and risk with God. Your prayers are much appreciated in this time of transition!

With much love,


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