Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Would you like fries with that?

At the time of my last post I didn't yet have a job here in Charleston. I have since started working at McDonald's and I'm (somewhat) Lovin' it. It has been such a great opportunity to see the working class of the Charleston area and to be able to serve others. I've been on the drive through mostly and it is definitely a stressful position. We're constantly trying to take orders and money, and give out food as fast and accurately as possible. My McDonald's is busy almost all day, from 7am until I usually get off around 2:30pm.

I've met some great co-workers and found fellow Christians in the workplace other than one of the other people on the mission trip that works at the same one.  I've only survived each day with a smile because of God and the strength provided by the Holy Spirit.  Every morning I wake up and pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and continue to pray for that throughout the day so that I am able to keep a positive attitude no matter what happens. I've already had some good conversations with my co-workers about where they're from and why they're in Charleston, and my hope is to have some spiritual conversations with them in the coming weeks.

In the past two weeks God has taught me quite a bit via 1 John. He's opened my eyes to clearly see that, without a doubt, sin is the obstacle between fellowship with him, but that he made a way to restore that fellowship through his son, Jesus Christ. I've learned that obeying God comes from loving him, and that obedience isn't a burden, but something to take joy in. 'And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I Know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected' 1 John 2:3-5.

In 1 John 2:3-5 we find confidence in our salvation. God's ultimate commandment is to love. The first and second commandments were to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself. We are able to follow these commandments because God first loved us!

This week I'm praying for God to fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I might love everyone I come in contact with. I'm continuing to pray for his provision for the rest of the cost of this trip, and that he would do mighty things through us during our time here in Charleston. I'm also praying that he would continue to prepare the hearts of everyone we will come in contact with, and will cultivate the seeds we have already planted.

Every evening God reveals himself to us all with views like these

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New people, different place, same God

I've been here in Charleston for a week now, and it feels like so much longer. My days are filled with activities, meetings, trainings, time with God, and perhaps some time at the beach. In the week that I've been here I've met 44 other believers. 27 are students from college campuses all over the US, and 17 are the Cru staff, also from many different campuses.

What I've learned is that it doesn't matter where we're from, or where we are.  Each of us believes and loves the same God. We all have the same forgiveness, the same ability to have a relationship with him, and the same goal of sharing the gospel with those around us. I've learned how to share a small tract effectively with others, as well as how to have a better quiet time with God.

There are five teams that us students could have been placed on, based on what we most enjoyed doing, or were best suited for.  I've been selected as one of seven members of the outreach team. We've planned our first outreach for downtown Charleston this coming Saturday, June 11th! I have to say that I'm nervous about it, but I'm excited to see how God will use me to plant seeds in the hearts of the non-believers I will potentially come into contact with.

During one of my quiet times this week I chose to focus on 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  For me, if I don't remind myself of this I can find myself thinking that my sin is too much. The great thing is, our God is a faithful God who not only forgives us our sin, but forgets the sin as well. In his eyes, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I am spotless, and my sin is already forgiven.

This week I'm praying that my desire would be to spend time with God, and in His word more and more. I also pray that God would use all of us on this mission for His glory and according to His will. I ask that He prepare the hearts of all of those that we come in contact with, and that we would go boldly to share the gospel with them.

This is my outreach team!