I made it to South Africa! After 3 layovers, passing through 3 continents, and a few new friendships along the way, I have arrived. Isn’t it funny how, when you get a new place, you start really thinking about the last one?
I am so full of gratitude for the people God placed into my life during the past five months I spent in Denver. Thank you to every person who was excited for this trip and offered an encouraging word.
A few specific shout outs:
Wellspring global missions small group
This group of people taught me so much. Being around a group of people living life missionally right where God has placed them has inspired me more than I can say or write. Every person in this group sought the Lords will for their life and understood the call to missions: brining the gospel to every nation. We talked about what it means to share with people at work, how pursuing missions really looks, and the impacts that a misisonal life can have on relationships. These people fed me with physical food but also rich wisdom and knowledge. They asked me questions, offered advise, showed me what it was to live like Christ, and prayed for this mission. Thank you to the Merrills, Pollocks, Moores, Janet, and Jamie!
Denver Seminary Culture and Mission class
I wasn’t expecting to take a Seminary class when I moved back to Denver, but boy, am I glad that the Lord put this into place! My classmates were BRILLIANT, insightful, kind, and open. I am so excited for what the Lord will do in each of their ministries. This class transformed the way I thought about missions. We read the Bible missionally, going through key passages and seeing how God calls us to gather and scatter. I started to see flaws in the individualistic American church and how that affects my own views, desires, and motivations. I tend to go off on my own, come up with my own plans, and attempt to build my own little kingdom. I used to think about church mainly as a place where I could be fed, but now I see that God designed church for so much more. He gave us community to live out missionally. He calls us to meet together so that we can be sent out. Gather and scatter. Stay tuned for more on that later.
I also enjoyed meeting and often bumping into Tyler who lead my send off prayer, thank you for all the encouragement! Finally, being at Denver Seminary allowed me to spend many lunches with Christiana who has been such a dear friend for so many years, what a blessing to share so many meals with you!
I actually found Summit in two ways. The first was through the recommendation of an International Mission Board representative and the second was through a job posting at Denver Seminary. Eventually, I made it to Summit and wow, I am so impressed with this community! The first service I went to I was invited to dinner afterward. Immediately, me, a newcomer, was invited into intentional community. I learned about the members of the church who were involved in prison ministry and foster care—two very difficult fields. The church hosted conversations about racial reconciliation, a topic I’d never heard in a sermon in Colorado before. This community understands the gospel and lives it out. I’m so grateful to have crossed paths with the Highlands small group, Brian, Jason, Stephanie, Kayleigh, and Kerry.
I just knew that there had to be a group of Christian hikers in Denver so I did a quick facebook search and sure enough, there is! I highly recommend it to anyone reading this. Spending time in nature with a group of believers is really wonderful and filled my soul while I was in Denver. Special thanks to Jonathan for organizing all the fun adventures!
This is my Dad’s church and it’s a great church! Bob made me feel so welcome every time I walked through the door with a big hug and Pastor Billy’s sermons were so spot on. I’m grateful for all that wellspring has taught me over the years and the way that they display Christ to their neighbors and care for the poor and sick. I’m also so grateful that I met Kristine through Wellspring! We met up for coffee and in just a few hours I learned SO much from her. She is a gem and I am so excited for God has in store.
I’m grateful for Rachel who invited me over for dinner in Denver and let me take care of Jasmine. I only watched Jasmine for a few days but I seriously think she is the best dog. Rachel makes a 10/10 chicken dinner. I’m also grateful for Allegra who hosted me in Stockholm! I was a perfect stranger, apart from the fact that we are both Smithies, and Allegra took me in for a night, fed me, showed me around. Just wow, she is amazing and the kind of host I aspire to be!
Colorado Secretary of State office
Thank you to Julia, who listened to me ramble on and on about waste management in South Africa! You are a dear friend and a I’m so glad out desks were within shouting distance. Of course, Suzanne, thank you for being an inspiration and mentor to me for so many years. Lynn always gave me interesting work to do and key blogging experience to support my new blog venture! Being a Policy Fellow taught me a great deal about the law and gave me the time I needed to makes steps toward future goals.
Of course to my family and friends, thank you for loving and supporting me.
All of these people and groups have prepared me for the work I am about to do for the next four months. They have given me the courage to rise, step out, and seek Him.
Please pray with me, that on this mission “I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above the earth (Psalm 57:9-11).” Please pray that the Lord would prepare the hearts of the children I will teach to be open to the gospel. Please also pray as I prepare to train my fellow volunteers on the Commune Engagement curriculum, that the Lord would give me the words to say, activities to do, and a humble heart toward wherever He would take the training and course in general.