At the beginning of this month I was privileged to help take about 100 middle school students to camp in Malaysia! The weekend consisted of: s'mores, skits, fun music, kayaking, rock climbing, zip lining, bonfires and most importantly the gospel was shared and presented in cool and relatable ways! I had a cabin of 5 girls who represented the American School AND the British School. These five girls had a relationship with Christ previous to the camp, but were able to re connect with God in a powerful and real ways over the weekend. One girl was stirred to start praying for her school, another realized she was too busy and needed to cut some stuff out in her life to spend more time with Him, another (who is usually pretty bottled up and harsh) was moved to tears and for the first time I saw her outwardly focused and her selfishness seemed to disappear. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young"-sometimes people perhaps are quick to question what these "camps" can really do for kids of the middle school age-do they really change lives?-they are young, they haven't really "lived" yet. From this weekends experience I know first hand that God can move in anyone, in any place at any age.
Many other cabin experiences were similar-quite a few students (a lot of 6th graders) prayed to receive Christ in their hearts. Some wanted a "re-set" and were able to commit again, their path, to he Lord. Other students simply needed to ask questions about divorce, about Jesus, about the pressures of school. I was incredibly blow away by the love and tenderness shown by every WL volunteer-High school students and a few adults; they simply became the international witness of Jesus!
Praise God for this weekend and Praise God for New Life.
Whats been going on?
A lot of the reason I held back at sending out an email sooner, was the fact that our staff here in Singapore is going through some big changes; I wanted to communicate with you these changes after things seemed to be more concrete. This summer will bring a lot of change: My Area Director, Brad Akin, his wife and three children will be moving back to the States (after 6 years) where he will be working with YoungLife college at Arizona State. My fellow field staffer, Sarah Mae, will also be moving back to the States where she will be looking at options within the YL world-Japan is high on the list of potentials. My other fellow field staffer, Kelsey Bryant and her fiance Evan Starr have just accepted a YoungLife college job in Michigan and will also be moving back to the States....A lot is happening! I am so excited for my friends! Though there is a little sadness, I mostly feel at peace with all the new transitions-it is a supernatural peace that surpasses my understanding.
Good News?!-I'll be staying here :). My friends Eric and Abby will be staying as well! AND we just received official word that a Regional Director from California and his lovely wife will be MOVING here over the summer! They are a great couple and have such a great vision for this place-he has had over 20 years experience in YL in CA and Washington and he really thinks Singapore YoungLife could take off even more that it already has been! I am excited for them to get here and excited to share life with them!
My Heart. My Work
A lot has been happening-I have been busy busy busy...but now life seems to returning to a more normal pace which I am thankful for! Camp is behind me, my assignments for all my YL trainings are in so now Campaigners and Clubs are on the horizon while I start making our summer camp plans more concrete! In the last few weeks my HS friend, Heather and I have been able to start an 8th grade girls Bible study-which developed after WL camp. It is so exciting for me to see Heather take initiative and disciple this group of girls-I am very proud of her! In addition to that we have multiple Bible studies that are running weekly or bi-weekly and I also find myself spending quite a bit of time on the British School campus as well!-The service project I lead is under way and I even have some returning students from last term!
Though life is busy-I have found that this semester ( I realize we are just hitting the mid point) has been very good for my heart and soul. I have become a morning person-which means I get up early, run, shower, dream, pray, talk to God, read my Bible, Joural etc usually all before 9 AM. If you know me, you know this is a big deal! ha-usually I'm a night owl. This seriously has so changed my life and the Lord has been teaching me so so so much. I feel this year I have had to TRUST Him more than ever-in work, in personal issues, in life period. Another thing I have been learning is that this life is "but a vapor"-we are here for such a little time.
This idea was most certainly solidified with the arrival of the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and now radiation disaster. YL Singapore and YL Japan have close bonds as we work on trips with them etc so it was incredibly hard to see and I am still blow away by the magnitude of the disaster. We are so thankful God kept our friends safe, but we continue to pray for the country of Japan. Please pray that the Lord could use YL and other Christians in a mighty mighty way. Japan is one of the hardest/slowest moving places to reach for Christ-maybe during this time of crisis hearts can be changed!
I saw many of you over the Christmas and New Years Holiday-thank you ever so much for welcoming me with such open arms. Your love and support means the world to me. Because of Christ working in YOU, kid's lives were changed at WL camp, Because of you generosity YL Singapore is growing, transitioning staff and casting great visions for the future, because of Christ and your prayers we can see the country of Japan turn around for the good. Because of the faithful prayers of the Saints and the Lord, I have learned to trust and put my hope in the Lord more and more each day!
God bless and keep you