Hitting the Ground Running

img_20190319_080457_297-1At the 2019 International Social Work gathering for Azusa Pacific University!

A Long-Overdue Update!
To “hit the ground running” means to start something and proceed at a fast pace with enthusiasm. ClichĂ©, perhaps, but it seemed a fitting title for this newsletter. After many months of preparation, I was finally able to start raising support in preparation for my departure to Ecuador! The past two weeks have been filled with emails, phone calls, and meetings. It has been a blessing and a joy to share with family members, friends, and others what God is doing in my life and the ministry He has called me to join in Ecuador. God has already provided for this journey in some incredible ways, and I am excited to see how He will continue to clear the way for me to follow His leading.

2019 International Social Work Gathering
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 International Social Work gathering for the Azusa Pacific University study and service abroad program. This year there are three teams heading to Kenya, India, and Ecuador! It was through this program that I first visited Ecuador last year, and it was exciting to share my experiences with the new team heading there in June! The gathering was a wonderful time of fellowship and planning for this year’s program.

Missionary Training
On April 15, I will fly to Colorado for a month of missionary training at the Mission Training International in Palmer Lake. The program offers practical training to prepare missionaries for the challenges of working in a foreign country, including learning a new language and immersing into a different culture and building healthy relationships with team members while maintaining relationships with friends and family members back home. I am excited for the opportunity to meet other missionaries and eager to learn all that I can in preparation for the field!

Thank You!
I am deeply grateful to everyone who has prayed for me, encouraged me, committed to supporting me financially, and otherwise helped prepare me for this ministry. I could not do any of this without you! I look forward to keeping you updated on this journey over the next several months!

Learn more about Jungle Kids for Christ at
junglekidsforchrist.org

How You Can Help in April

  • Pray for God’s guidance and blessing in my efforts to raise support, and for opportunities to share Christ with others through this process.
  • Pray for safety as I travel to Colorado for missionary training.
  • Share this newsletter and encourage others to join the mailing list!

First Steps

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An update on my life post-grad

Since graduating with my Master’s in Social Work back in May, I’ve often shrugged and provided a vague answer when asked about my career plans. An exciting opportunity has been in the works for a few months now and I’m thrilled to finally share the news!

In June, I visited Ecuador for three weeks with a team of other social work students from Azusa Pacific University. We partnered with several organizations there to provide training and support for their staff. Most of them are heavily reliant on volunteer work and donations, because there is little government support for social programs. These wonderful organizations serve the most vulnerable members of society and it was a privilege to work alongside them.

From the moment we landed in Quito, the capital city, I fell in love with the country. The more time we spent meeting people, learning about the culture, and working with the organizations, the more I came to love Ecuador. I wondered if the reason I didn’t have a job lined up at that point was because God had something planned for me overseas. As we visited each organization, I would pray and ask God to show me if He was calling me back to one of them.

While all of the organizations do outstanding work, I was most excited by Antioch Christian Academy, located in the jungle town of MisahuallĂ­ (mee-sah-wah-YEE). The school provides education, counseling, and other support for children and their families to help break the cycle of poverty and abuse. The minute we stepped onto the Antioch campus, before we had even met a single staff member, I knew God was calling me to serve at the school.

Not at all by coincidence, we quickly learned that the school was looking to hire a social worker to provide additional support for the students, the staff, and the community – and our team was asked to help write the job description. My own experience, knowledge, skills, and interests line up almost perfectly with what the school is looking for. At that point, God’s calling for me could not have been any more clear. I have never felt so sure of anything in my life as I was in that moment when I knew I would be returning to Antioch.

After an application process and an interview, I have officially been offered the position! But that is only the beginning of this journey. The job requires a month of missionary training in Colorado, six months of Spanish-language training in Quito, and a two-year commitment to the school. It is an unpaid position, and I will need to raise my own support before I leave for Ecuador in May 2019. God has already shown up in throughout this process, and I have faith He will meet me in my fundraising efforts as well. I would love for you to partner with me in any way that you can.

I cannot fully express how excited and humbled I am by this opportunity. A year ago, I was in such a drastically different place emotionally and spiritually that I could never have imagined being called to missionary work in a foreign country. I owe this all to the healing power of Christ, and to those who have stepped in during the past year and a half to be the hands and feet of Jesus to love me and support me. Thanks to you, I now have the chance to turn around and serve others who desperately need to hear the Gospel.

Learn more about Antioch Christian Academy at
junglekidsforchrist.org

How you can help in October

  • Be in prayer for the staff and students at Antioch Christian Academy and my preparations to join them.
  • Share this newsletter and encourage others to join the mailing list.
  • Plan to attend an upcoming fundraising event!