Thursday, June 14, 2012

Taking the Gospel to the Nations.

Day 15.

"For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." 

Ephesians 4:16-20

The past fifteen days have gone by so unbelievably fast, and so much has happened since my first post! 

On-Campus Ministry:
Last Monday was the first day of campus outreach, and it ROCKED to say the least. Team members who had never shared their faith were proclaiming the Gospel with boldness and in complete reliance on the Spirit. Half of the students and staff went to the University of Miami to evangelize, and the other half went to Florida International University. At UM, our group collaboratively spoke to students from 12 different countries. This past Monday, we went back to the cultivate relationships from last week as well as build new relationships, and we were able to speak to people from 11 different countries. Miami's extreme cultural diversity allows us to reach people from many different countries and religions (and it's also why Miami Summer Project is practically international...but not). While the Lord is using us to plant seeds, He is also using our experiences on the campuses to grow us in confidence and faith in Him. Within one week, the emotions of the team have changed dramatically from fear to excitement. I cannot wait to see how the Lord will grow this particular outreach- so excited!!   

"And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation."  Mark 16:15

Christ Fellowship Homeless Ministry:
Movie night calls for large amounts of popcorn!
Another ministry that is particularly close to my      heart is Christ Fellowship's homeless ministry. This past Friday, Christ Fellowship hosted its monthly movie night for the homeless. We were able to serve the homeless an unlimited amount of popcorn and lemonade while they enjoyed Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol :). It was a very stormy afternoon, so Christ Fellowship also served as a shelter to the homeless. Those of us who volunteered were so humbled that night as we were able to completely serve the moviegoers, meeting their every need throughout their stay, and at the end of the movie, providing them each with PB&J and cookies to-go. This past Sunday, another group of volunteers had the privilege of going to Christ Fellowship to serve, and like the group who had served previously, they too found it to be a uniquely humbling and satisfying experience. 

 "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" 
Matthew 25: 34-40

The Relentless Job Search:
Metro movers, trains, buses, trolleys, automobiles, and bikes.
Miami Summer Project has exhausted all means of public transportation, circumnavigating the city for hiring businesses. While 31 students have established their ministry locations, six of us are continuing to tirelessly search for jobs, apply to more and more businesses, and make phone call upon phone call. Discouragement is definitely looming amongst us, but also a call to complete humility and submission to the Lord's will. I, personally, have found that no matter how many applications I choose to fill out or how many references I have, how pretty my resume is, or even how much experience I have, ultimately it is God who can open those doors: it is completely in His hands. Resting in this concept has definitely been a struggle but at the same time, inevitable. For those who have established jobs, they are quickly building relationships within the workplace and reflecting the love of Christ in all they do. The jobs range from fast food to retail to hard labor to many more places, and I have complete faith that the Lord will use us in each of these different fields to reach out to the community and, as always, bring glory to Himself. 

Prayer Requests:
1.  that our Ministry Locations be used as a means to serve God and not ourselves 
2.  that those continuing the job hunt will not grow weary or become idle
3.  for the continuation of "successful evangelism" on campuses
4.  for seeds to be continually planted throughout Miami and that the Lord will grow them :)

God bless! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Post Numero Uno.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

( pic of Miami from the airplane wooh! Miami Summer Project has a LOT of ground to cover ;] )

Hola amigos y familia!

I cannot believe it has been five days since arriving in Miami! The project took off the moment I landed in Miami and has not ceased since. The project officially started with a welcome dinner Tuesday night where I had the pleasure of meeting 40 wonderful students along with an absolutely incredible staff of solid Christ-followers! The night concluded after a lovely time of Cuban food and great fellowship, and the work began bright and early on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, we were oriented for job hunting. The job hunt has definitely proven to be quite exhaustive but is also causing us to lean on God in patience and confidence. While the majority of students have landed jobs, the rest of us are continuing to complete application upon application in a mad scavenge for hiring businesses. We are all confident in the Lord's plan for us and know that He has prepared the perfect "ministry location" for us this summer.

A rough agenda of Cru's Miami Summer Project includes establishing jobs (aka "ministry locations"), partnering with two local churches, actively participating in small groups, attending weekly Cru worship meetings, engaging in discipleship, evangelizing weekly on college campuses, and ultimately, being a light wherever we go, harvesting the land toiled by project teams that have come before us. As a team, we will be studying the book of Ephesians throughout the summer with Ephesians 2:10 as our theme. From Ephesians 2:10, the following project objectives have been set for the summer: (1) that we will grow in our understanding of what it means to be made in the image of Christ, (2) that we will be faithful, teachable learners of what it means to serve Him, (3) that we allow our relationship with Christ to overflow and influence those around us: "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are being perished" (2 Corinthians 2:15).

A few nights ago, a Cru staff member flew in to teach us the importance of "our stories:" the compilation of experiences God has placed in our lives to shape us into who we are today. Lindsey, the staff member, explained to us that our stories make us relatable to other people, and they allow us to see God working more clearly in our lives. Sharing our unique testimonies with others is a great tool when evangelizing, but before doing so, a lot of refinement needs to be done in order to be impact-ful. I ask for prayer as we shape our testimonies into powerful evangelizing tools in preparation for our work in weeks to come, whether it be on college campuses, at our ministry locations, or even in our growing relationships with the hotel staff.

This morning, ten of us traveled to Christ Fellowship- one of the project's partnering churches- and had the wonderful privilege of serving with their homeless ministry. This special ministry offers hot showers, clothes, meals, and a Church service to the homeless in Miami. It was such a blessing to be able to greet and love on the visitors, and I cannot wait to develop growing relationships with these people throughout the summer!

Further prayer requests...

  1. patience and confidence as we continue the job hunt   
  2. sweet fellowship and strengthening of bonds among team members and staff 
  3. that GOD is glorified in our obedience    
Thank you so much for your prayers and support!! God bless you :).