What’s Going On…

Heey! Long time no see. *nudge nudge* It’s been while and we’re not going to talk about my year and a half absence from this space. Oh, wait, hehe, I just did.

Anywho, I thought I would give a little recap of the past few weeks and a sneak peek at what the future holds. Things are about to get really exciting.

Sunday the Fifth of June: After church, most of the youth came to the fellowship hall to make signs and help build props and a set for the VBS our church would be hosting the following week. Our wonderful but scatter-brained youth pastor gave us our assignments for VBS that morning, which included a skit that we would be performing each morning. Needless to say we all were very unprepared. But we managed to create enough props and signs for the place to look nice-ish. Over time (the course of several hours,) some of the set pieces began to wear down and I took on the roll of stage engineer and director. Fixing things with unholy amounts of duct tape, rubber bands and safety pins.

After spending several hours hard at work on VBS prep, I had a mission meeting for Nicaragua. Which is where I’ll be heading with 12 other members from our church this Friday, June 24th. We practiced the EvangeCube, a cube that sort of resembles a Rubik cube. As you move the cube around, the pictures help tell of the story of the Gospel and our need for Christ. We will be using this as an aid to show the people of Nicaragua about God and his son, Jesus. We went over the packing lists, any extra supplies we would need to bring, who would be doing daily devotionals while we were there and our daily schedule. We also shared some of our favorite bible verses with one another and explained why they were important to us. Mine was 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10.

 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Later that evening Haddie and I decided that we were going to attend youth camp with our youth group this summer which just so happens to begin this Monday, June 20th.

Week of June 6th: Aside from helping with the skits every morning I was tasked to help Spencer and Davis with the Music portion of VBS. Over the course of 5 days we taught music and sang with over 125 kiddos. This week was one of the most tiring weeks I’ve had in while. Being in constant communication and contact with so many people was a lot for my introverted nature to adjust to. On the 3rd day, I ended up “hiding” in the youth room to take a nap because I was getting attacked by allergies and on one side of my face, I was pouring through my eye and one nostril. So much fun guys. I’m pretty sure I resembled something like that of Niagara Falls. During the week, on one occasion I helped out the 3rd-5th grade class when our pastor who was teaching the class had to run out on church business. VBS ended on Friday and I could hear everyone let out a collective sigh. Here are some photos from the week.

Week of June 12th: On Sunday, we met up with our Nicaragua team and had dinner at McAllisters. Afterwards, we went shopping for sports equipment that we will leave in Nicaragua for the kids, jars of peanut butter, bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and all the bug spray one could need.

On Tuesday, our whole family drove to Dallas to drop my Dad off at the LoveField Airport where he would fly to Chicago and then travel to Goshen, Indiana by way of train for an orientation on truck driving. Before dropping him off we ate at Rosa’s Cafe because it was Taco Tuesday and then went downtown (Highland Park area) to pick a friend of a friend who would be traveling with my Dad to the orientation. After saying our goodbyes, we went by Parkland Memorial Hospital where we paid 5 dollars for parking to go inside and look at the memorial of JFK. (In April, we went to the old Parkland Hospital where JFK was taken. It was a pretty chilling experience.) We hit up a Sonic on our way home, then had a little pool party.

Wednesday was a busy day of writing packing lists and buying a lot of stuff. And there’s still some much more I need to get before I leave for both trips. I’m trying to be chill about packing because I’m one of those people who like to pack for every instance.

On Thursday, Spencer hosted the first college Bible study class. On the way to his house my car started to over heat and I calmly panicked. I made it to his house fine and decided to call my Dad after the study was over and the car had time to cool down. Spencer made all of us dinner but I was so nervous about the car that I barely ate anything. After everyone was finished eating we all introduced ourselves and talked a little bit about what college everyone was going to and what they were majoring in. I being the only one there who hasn’t got a year of college under her belt.

Spencer taught the study on 2 Timothy 1:1-14. One of the questions he asked everyone was how we were being persecuted for the Gospel. During the study I couldn’t think of an answer but on the drive home having time to process my thoughts I came to this conclusion.

I can’t think of a time in my life when I have been persecuted for the Gospel. Being in the environment I grew up in and having been homeschooled there hasn’t been much room to be bullied, ridiculed for my faith. There is no doubt that when Paul was writing to Timothy that Christians were bring persecuted for their faith, I mean Paul was in prison. But in this day and age and especially living in the U.S., I haven’t been physically or mentally persecuted for the Gospel. But then I realized that suffering can be used in place of the word persecution.

We suffer because without the suffering and sin that fills our lives we wouldn’t know our need of the Gospel.Which isn’t a bad thing, and though it feels like it is, God uses this to draw us to Him and to His grace. The Bible says that through our suffering we are glorifying and gloried in God.  The Gospel is Christ Jesus. The only man to walk blameless on this earth, to suffer every possible misery and temptation and yet only utter love from his lips.

Philippians 1:29: For it has been granted to you that for your sake, you should not only believe but suffer. It’s granted to you. It’s given to you. It’s a gift to you with a big bow that you will suffer.

2 Timothy 1:12: That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

After the Bible study was over, I went outside and called Dad about the car. He walked me through what I to do if I wanted to be able to drive the car home tonight. So I had to go back into Spencer house and them him what as going on with the car and ask for some water. Spencer and his friend, Connor stood there swatting away mosquitoes, talking and watching me as I proceeded to “fix” the car. Which I eventually did? No not really, but just enough fixed so I could drive home. Everyone said their goodbyes and Spencer said that if I needed any help later on, to just give him a call.

The following weekend was a blur of repeated trips to Walmart, countless to-do lists and stressing out.

Sunday morning, our pastor called up all who be attending the youth camp and going on the mission trip to pray over us and wish us well. And that was lovely.

Later that night we had dinner with some missionaries who are Bible translators for Wycliffe that had attended our church earlier that day.

Sunday night I still had not finished packing and wouldn’t do so until Monday morning. Packing can be challenging. Packing for 2 trips back to back can be even more challenging. So I woke up at 5 am to finish packing for youth camp.

I’m extremely excited to share about my experiences at youth camp and the Nicaragua mission trip. So stay tuned for more blog posts.

Sincerely,

Saralyn

 

P.s. The last few paragraphs were written since returning home from my adventures. I didn’t have time before hand to finish this post but I still wanted to publish it. The rest was written Saturday 19th of June. *high five*

 

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