Summer for Jesus

It’s with great joy that I will be going to the Middle East this July with a stellar organization called Fire and Fragrance to love and serve the beautiful people in the nations! This is my first ever “solo” missions trip and currently feeling all the feelings (excited, nervous, joy, etc.). I wanted to take some space to write a bit more of my heart journey towards making this step in going to a risky place to spread the Gospel.

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When I was 10 my family and I lived Abu Dhabi, UAE, for 3 months, and that trip remains one of my fondest memories. There was something about the culture, the people, the language, and the relational aspect of living in the Middle East that planted a tiny seed of love for the Muslim people and the Middle East. There have been opportunities to do missions since then through church, but nothing ever sparked my heart, and if I was to go, I really wanted that heart spark! But honestly, I can’t say that I had a profound moment with God where He said, “go to this nation at this time and do this.” I longed for that moment, but realized that maybe God planting seeds when I was young and the slow growing process I’ve been in is just as profound as the heavens opening up and hearing the voice of God telling me to go.

The past few months I’ve learned that God does speak to me, I am equipped to share the gospel through Holy Spirit, and sometimes God doesn’t tell us what to do but opens unexpected doors and walks with us through our decision process and actually delights in us making decisions with Him. As I’ve grown in deeper relation with my Father, I’ve been able to recognize when He’s prompting me to act, say, and do. Regarding my decision to do missions this summer, it was exactly that: a nudge, a prompting. I’ve also learned that I have a choice with God: to say yes or no. God has given me free will to choose, because in the choosing I grow deeper with Him. I learn from Him, I seek Him more, I partner with Him. And that’s what God is all about: relationship. It’s why He sent His Son, that cost Him everything, to die for all my sins: to be in relationship with me. So my heart has now been growing in saying “yes” to God every day, and with that has come this bubbling up desire and courage to say “yes” to doing a mission trip.

I’ve also grown in discerning through decisions and walking in as much wisdom as I can. This entire process of deciding to do missions is one of very small “yes-es”, but also having to learn to say “no” to other things, a very difficult lesson to learn. I first said “yes” to the idea of doing a missions trip with my roommate, and then a friend of ours sent us a bunch of links to organizations with trips this summer. One in particular stood out for many reasons. The timing was great, it was with a reputable organization, they were going to locations that have been on my heart since a child, it was pretty cost effective, and it includes training to further equip us to share the Gospel. That interested sparked my “yes” to the process of deciding whether or not to go. After that, I said “yes” to applying, an interview, and to a nation. At first, my heart was torn between two nations, and I realized the only thing keeping me back from the one my heart really longed for was safety. The Middle East isn’t safe as we all know. I’ll be going to a place very close to a war zone. That’s scary. But I trust this organization and their long-term missionaries there, as well as God. He’s the safest place to be. He also gave me a few tangible signs to go to the Middle East, and I’m so thankful I asked Him to and He gave them to me! Once I finally said “yes” to everything, I had so much excitement and peace in my heart.

Now I begin the scary, scary, scary journey of fundraising. Honestly I’m terrified. It’s hard to ask people for money, and I’ve walked with the mindset of being unworthy to receive from people or feeling like I owe it to people. I’ve lived with fear of inadequacy and fear or man for a long time. But God in His faithfulness and goodness has taught me that I am worthy and powerful through Him. I think one of the reasons I’m to go on missions is for this process of fundraising, learning to accept from people without giving them a tangible return. My hope is that a monetary gift can be multiplied by soul saved and lives changed in a nation that needs the love of Jesus. I believe God is my provider, but now my heart gets to finally catch up with this belief and transform my life into living as God as my provider. Now that’s exciting!

All in all, God has grown me so much, and I am falling in love with Jesus and becoming close with my Father every day. He’s equipped me to go, just enough to say “yes” but still rely on Him to teach me and fill me with His strength. It’s been the best few months growing in intimacy with God, learning about who Jesus is and how I am to live like Him, and building a foundation in God’s truth that can stand on against anything Satan throws my way. God always wins, He loves His children so much, and He’s always faithful. I’m really excited to grow and learn in the Middle East from YWAM Kona leaders, my FF team leaders, the long-term missionaries, the local believers, the people, and God. Please pray for me for safety and financial provision! I’m believing in full financial provision! And if you do have it on your heart to give financially, shoot me an email and I can give you info on how to do that.

Stay tuned for more posts pre-trip and post-trip. I know there will be lots of stories to share and I’m stoked to do so!!

With love and joy,

//Catherine//

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