The past couple years have been filled with a lot of questions, a lot of waiting, and a lot of uncertainty. It has been a season of grief and a season of grace as I wrestle with God’s calling in my life and what that looks like right now. I have had a lot of questions and a spirit of unsettledness for longer than I care to admit. But through this time, God has been gracious and patient with me, as I walk through a season of grief and transition. He has been working in and through me, teaching me to when to say yes and how to say no,. He is stretching me and challenging me, as I am choosing to surrender and let him redefine my calling as I settle in to life stateside for a while.
Letting go of my plans and my timing and trusting His, has opened new doors and opportunities as He is transforming my heart for the community he has placed me in here and now. Earlier this year I spent some time prayer walking on Casino Road with a good friend. As we prayed for the families, the community, and the brokenness in Everett I began to share with her about a family God had put on my heart. I shared that I felt that God was calling me to invest in them and disciple them and that through them he would begin an even broader work in this community. Just 5 minutes later I see their car drive past, they recognized me, and quickly pulled over and got out of the car to stop and talk with us. In that moment we had the opportunity to talk with them and pray for them. This was just one of the many signs that God was opening up doors to love and serve this community of Everett and to share with them the hope that is found in Christ.
Another step of fully committing to this community meant trusting in God’s provision and moving up north to be closer to the community God has called me too. He quickly provided an affordable living situation with an amazing couple from church which gives me the opportunity to spend more time with the people here and a lot less time in traffic.
Another way God opened up doors is by providing two new job/ministry opportunities right here on Casino Road. One of those is with the non-profit organization called Hand in Hand which I have been serving with as a volunteer soccer coach the past couple of years. This organization also runs an emergency shelter for kids that are brought into the foster care system and organizes many community outreach programs in order to serve the families here on Casino Road. Now that I am working for them, I am able to use my Spanish regularly to translate and interpret for the families we serve and be in and amongst the community regularly.
I am also working for Youth For Christ as well. Their Citylife program reaches out to at-risk urban youth in order to mentor them and share with them the love of Christ in a real and tangible ways. We have club twice a week with about 50 different youth. I cant wait to share more about how God is working, but I will save that for the next post. If you or anyone you know are interested in volunteering to come in and cook dinner on a Tuesday night let me know! I would love for you to come meet our kids! They are amazing!
Photo Credit to Lady & Gent Photography
I am attending church here on Casino Road which has enabled me to engage the community even more. In partnership with Youth For Christ, the youth pastor at our church and the Youth For Christ staff are working with some amazing students to raise up and disciple a team of student leaders to love and serve the community and in the church. God is moving in some pretty amazing ways raising up a passionate group of individuals with a heart to know, serve, and obey God! I am excited to see what God has in store for this next year!
I am still coaching soccer and have a pretty amazing team of U15 girls. They have grown so much this past year both as players and as beautiful young women and I am proud to be their coach! We started out the year in a pretty tough place with a lot of drama, but through it all we have become family! I look forward to standing in the freezing cold and pouring rain with them each week. We have a soccer tournament this next week and then a small break from games as we begin training for spring soccer.
Finishing school is another one of the things I want to focus on while stateside as I continue to pursue my Bachelor of Biblical Studies degree at Eternity Bible College in California. The flexibility of online classes has been great for ministry work and I have some of the best teachers. Still have a little ways to go, but I love getting to take what I am learning and apply it directly to the various ministry opportunities I am involved in.
My family is changing too. I now have two siblings living in other states, a Dad who is married, one niece, one nephew and two more on the way. It is a busy season, lots of changes, lots of ups and downs, but God continues to prove himself faithful over and over again. I know it has been a long time since I last posted. Life has been busy, and the waves of grief that wash over at the most unexpected times leave me missing my mom and at times overwhelmed with life. But as I love the students I work with, I find healing. God has filled me with a newfound understanding and compassion for the students as I allow my grief and pain to give me a glimpse into their story and their hurt. As I share my story and learn theirs we can cry and mourn together. This process opens up the door to speak life and truth into their life offering the hope that comes from knowing and experiencing the love of God. God works best through my brokenness and vulnerability as he demonstrates his power and his love. I am so thankful for the hope he gives and the redeeming work he does in my life through this process. There is so much to celebrate in the midst of the challenges of life and I can’t wait to share more of these stories with you in the months to come.