This last week was somewhat of a rough week. It started off with believing a lot of lies-believing I’m not wired up for this kind of ministry, I’m not capable of doing this everyday, it’s too draining, I don’t have the personality for it, God can’t use me here, etc. Lie. I found myself being sucked into believing these lies, and as a result, it stealing my joy. I have been putting a lot of expectations on myself-tellng myself “you’re here to share the gospel with students, so if you don’t leave with a ministry to show for it you have failed.” Lie. I was confronted with letting the fear of rejection and failure cripple me. I was not even aware of these fears until this week. Now that I am aware of it, I see it not only playing out on campus, but has even carried over into my relationships with people from time to time, but that’s a whole other story! Thankfully, Tuesday at ministry training, Jesus met me right where I was at. We studied 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and made observations about God’s role and our role from these verses.
v. 17 – Gives new life; continues sanctification process
v. 18 – ALL FROM GOD; He reconciled us to himself; GIVES us the ministry of reconciliation
v. 19 – God reconciled the world to himself; God gave us Christ; displays mercy
v. 20 – GOD MAKES THE APPEAL TO THE LOST through us
v. 21 – God made Jesus to be sin; IN JESUS, we are righteous
v. 20 – THEREFORE, we are ambassadors FOR CHRIST
Being reminded that I am solely called to translate the message of the gospel was so freeing! My role is so small. I am not needed. The Lord is the one who makes EVERYTHING happen-give new life, change an eternity, soften hearts toward the truth, sanctify believers. I am just the mere vessel he may choose to accomplish these things through. The pressure is off of me and I found so much freedom in that this week. It has really allowed me to simply enjoy my time on campus and come expecting to walk into good works.
I also continue to be confronted with the deep heart issue of not wanting to love and pursue people who don’t want to love and pursue me back. This has been a common theme during my trip so far. I think the Lord is really pressing to redeem this area of my life, and even though it hasn’t been easy, I am so thankful! The gospel tells me that I am crazily loved and pursued without hesitation even though I hated God and was sprinting in the opposite direction. This is the truth I pray would compel me to crazily love those around me and pursue them because I was pursued!
The central theme of this week was the Lord reminding me that it’s not about me. JESUS saves, not Catherine. JESUS loved me and pursued me, while Catherine did her own thing. JESUS paid it ALL on the cross, so Catherine didn’t have to.
It’s been cool to see the Lord really expose my weaknesses to the point where I have no where else to turn other than Jesus. Galatians 6:9, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, and John 6:66-68 have been the truths I keep running back to.
Tuesday night we had our first investigative bible study and 10 first year girls came! It was so worshipful. They not only showed up, but they engaged with questions and comments. Cebesa may very well be a believer already, so Paige and I are going to continue to invest in her and treat her as one, while helping her learn the “hands,” such as how to study God’s Word and how to share her faith, so please be praying for her.
Thursday afternoon, Paige and I were able to get lunch with a first year named Relo and follow up with her about the bible study. It was incredible! We asked her what she learned from the bible study; her response: “I learned what repentance was and that it’s not about what you do.” Amazing, right?! We continued to press in a little more and also, had the opportunity to share the bridge diagram with her, as well as our testimonies. I can’t say for sure if her faith is in Christ alone at this point, but either way God is moving in her and leaps and bounds were made with her in the last week! Pray for her as well, please!
Friday night we invited a bunch of girls to have a spa night in a common area in the res. We talked, ate snacks, painted our nails, and sang and danced! Yes, the stereotypes are true. (Pictures to be posted Photo Diary)
Today, our team went to the Lion Park & Carnivore’s (a restaurant)! I got to play with baby lion cubs!!! I also got to be face to face with a giraffe, while feeding and petting it. (Pictures to be posted in Photo Diary) Carnivore’s was interesting. They bring out huge skewers of meat one after the other…from Impala to Zebra to Crocodile to Kudu to chicken, pork, and beef. I won’t lie, it wasn’t my favorite-too much meat for my liking, but it was a cool experience!
As we head into week 3, I am pleading with the Lord to continue to save women in Jubilee and make them gospel lovers and laborers, as well as begging God to CONVINCE me of the gospel and that I am lavished in grace and can now rest because the debt has already been paid by Jesus!
With His Great Love,