July has been a weird month. (But, honestly feel like I could say that about every month since March!)
Last month our YWAM base had started to gather together again for worship (socially distanced in an outdoor space), share meals together in small table groups, and return to somewhat “normal.”
However, because of the rise of coronavirus cases in Florida, we went back to stricter guidelines on the YWAM base this past month.
July has been another round of navigating disappointment and grief, slowing down and adjusting. Through it all, the question persists, “How do we prepare for what’s next?” If there’s one thing 2020 has taught all of us, it’s that sometimes we really can’t prepare for what’s next!
Part of the disappointment and adjustment that I’ve been processing this last month is a change in my work at the base. My team was planning to host Launch Event in August, an event for young adults here at YWAM Orlando. That event has now been postponed until spring of 2021.
I have so much peace that God has great purposes for the Launch Event and there will be even greater fruit to come next year. Even though we are not able to host the event in person, we are still planning on doing a webinar with the students who had registered.
My work in the Missions Engagement department has transitioned from planning for the event and writing devotionals to now preparing for the fall. For the next few months I’ll be calling churches and schools to set up events for YWAM Orlando to go and present mission opportunities to students. In the past I have seen the Lord do amazing things in public schools and high school youth groups and those experiences have been fuel to the fire to make these phone calls and set up events! Though it has been a transition in the focus of my work, it has been incredible to see God continue to weave my past experiences into my current ministry work. He writes such a greater story than we could ever imagine!
Another way I have experienced God’s kindness in the midst of this changing season is having some more time in my schedule to pursue ministry opportunities that have been on my heart for a while.
More and more God has been speaking to me about what it looks like to love our neighbors. Jesus was intentional about not just hanging around people he was comfortable with. He ate meals with the tax collectors and prostitutes, with the Pharisees and religious leaders, as well as with family and friends.
Since downtown evangelism with students has been postponed at our base right now because of the virus, I have felt a tension and longing to be around people who are different than me, people who don’t know Jesus, and people who maybe just need a friend.
I have been processing a healthy conviction that if I am a missionary, I should regularly be among people who don’t know Jesus. (To clarify: I don’t want to sound cynical about living and working on the YWAM base. It is a huge blessing and a great community to thrive and grow in. I believe it is God’s purpose for me to live here right now!)
That being said, with less work to do in Missions Engagement, I have been able to schedule time to go downtown Orlando with another staff member for local ministry. Once a week we have been doing a “prayer drive” around one of the notoriously rougher parts of Orlando, then hitting up a coffee shop and reading scripture at a popular park in the heart of the city, handing out granola bars and praying for people as God leads.
It feels like a really small and simple “yes” to the Lord right now, and I wrestle with the question “is this really making a difference?” But I am taking Jesus at his word in Matthew 13:31-32:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
Creating time in my week to be present with my neighbors in some of the hardest places in the city, to pray, to read out the Word of God, to give out a granola bar – these are the tiny mustard seeds that God has placed in my hands. I want to be faithful in planting these seeds and trusting that He is the God that does more than we could ask or imagine. Believing that these small seeds will produce life and fruit.
HOW YOU CAN PARTNER
- Favor with churches and schools as we plan missions engagement events with students this fall.
- Creative strategy for local ministry and insight into how God wants to specifically touch people in Orlando.
- Salvations in Orlando!
- Wisdom with upcoming decisions in my personal life.
THANK YOU, as always, for being my family and support. Would love to hear how you’re doing and how I can be praying for you!