|Posted by Alyssa on May 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
I haven't posted in a little while due to the craziness that ensued as I was trying to finish up the semester. But now I'm done! And it's time to get to work.
First thing on my "Return to South Africa" list: Find a sending agency. As I've mentioned before, I have been talking to two different agencies, Christian World Outreach and The Mission Society. Tuesday, as in tomorrow, I have a meeting with the vice president of CWO and I am super excited. He asked if we could meet to discuss it a bit more and to answer any questions I may have so I'm a little confused as to what this meeting entails. Within the process of becoming a missionary through CWO there are three separate interviews that need to take place. Only one needs to be face-to-face and since they are based out in Colorado I'm thinking this might count as my face-to-face. So, I may have an interview tomorrow, or a casual meeting. Anyone know how to dress for that?
I will say I'm a little anxious. Of course there's the whole, is this an interview or isn't it? What should I wear? How can I be prepared? What do I talk about first? But then the reality starts to sink in: This is it. This is what I've been waiting for since January, and, basically, my whole life. This is the beginning of my career, my life. That's a whole ball of excitement and panic all rolled into one.
On to the next set of exciting business. I mentioned previously that I was going to make bracelet's to sell to raise money for my ministry. This weekend my family is having a garage sale and I'm going to sell bracelets! I couldn't be more excited to finally start raising money! (I've used the work excited four times so far in this post, but I just can't seem to find a better word to describe how I'm feeling about these amazing opportunities) My goal with the bracelet's, along with raising money, was to give college students, or anyone who's struggling financially, an opportunity to be a part of my ministry by either making or buying bracelet's. There are a few different styles/types of bracelets and my goal is to make video's explaining how to get the material, make them, and get them to me. There will be more information on that later this week, as well as how to buy them yourself.
My main focus with my ministry supports is that you feel connected, a part of my ministry, not just some fringe factor. That's the reason I created this website/blog and that's the reason I decided to sell bracelet's and give you the opportunity to donate your time and money (and craft skills) to financially support my ministry. It has been such a blessing already to see some of my friends get excited about making these bracelet's and having a tangible way to help me get to South Africa as soon as God allows.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I ALMOST FORGOT! This summer (pending a thorough background check), I will be working with a church in West Michigan as a small group leader for one week of VBS for African immigrants! How amazing is that? In Michigan! God never ceases to amaze me. I can't wait.
Also! I received an email while back from the head of JAM ministries (I should probably learn his official title) in response to the question, "Should I start with a JAM year (will explain) or wait and just come as full time staff once I've raised enough support?" Okay, first off, a JAM year is a full year serving God through JAM (Jabulani Africa Ministries) working with the camps, outreach, churches...basically anything they tell you to do. So, back to the email, he said that he and the staff had been talking and praying about me (let me just stop and say how absolutely amazing this is to me. Not only is it cool that they all prayed and discussed it together but what's more amazing is that they found the time! They are going into a year of massive changes and are all heading in different directions to train leaders and build up the ministry. And they stopped to pray about me. Cool.) anyway, they prayed about it and felt, as a group, that it would be best for me to start with a JAM year and work on my writing projects on the side. This way I can get a better picture of the ministry as a whole and a feel for what it's going to take to write the Bible study material, and other things, instead of heading into it full force before I'm grounded in the ministry and getting overwhelmed.
Now, I happened to be on the phone with my mom when I got this email so I read it to her. Once I had finished reading it I was like, "Well, that's cool." My mom, a little confused as to why I wasn't freaking out with excitement, made this statement, "Alyssa, you wouldn't have to raise money through an agency because it's short term. You could go after you graduate." My mind then exploded. If this is true and I can raise money on my own for this JAM year, then that means I could be back in South Africa as soon as January 2015. That's a year and a half away! God is good to me. Doing a Jam year will also give me the ability to give church's/people I'm asking for financial support a clearer picture of JAM, my ministry within JAM, and logistics. I'm still in the process of praying, and waiting for God's guidance, but I sure hope he allows me to do this JAM year in 2015.
|Posted by Alyssa on March 12, 2013 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
Hello! Welcome to my site.
If you haven't yet, please go to my "About Me" page and click on the "South Africa 2013" link in orange on the left. This will explain the purpose for this site and my passion to return to South Africa. It will also catch you up to date as this blog will start where "South Africa 2013" left off and continue to keep you updated on the progress of returning me to South Africa.
Two weeks ago I finally had the opportunity to tell my church what God has been doing in my heart since January. It was a priviledge to finally tell them of my passion for South Africa and to hear their excitement after the service. I love my church family, and feel rather comfortable up front as I've been on the praise team and grown up as a Pastor's Kid. None-the-less, I absolutely hate public speaking. I shook the entire time. (Now, I realize that when it comes time to travel to churches to speak in front of people I've never met, I'm going to have a problem. Rest assured I am working on this area. Failing, but working.)
After I told my church family, I started the long process of looking for a sending agency. So far I have communicated with New Tribes Missions and ABWE. After a conversation with a New Tribes employee it was clear that New Tribes has a different focus than my own. ABWE has a slighty different focus as well, but we are still communicating back and forth to see what God's wants me to do. I kind of feel as though I'm running out of options. It's not required that I go through an agency but I know most churches will not support me unless I have an agency.
I also can't do much in the area of raising support until I have an agency which has been difficult for me. I wanted to start raising support two months ago! I just want to have the means to get to South Africa as soon as possible. Jesus said to the two farmers that He would bring rain, but only one prepared his fields for the rain. I want to be the farmer preparing her fields and then letting God do the rest.
This website is my first attempt to prepare myself for ministry in South Africa. I know the reality of the years it can take to raise financial support for missions, and that discourages me, but I also know that I serve a gracious and powerful God who can do whatever He wants with our seemingly gigantic obstacles. Personally, I can't wait to see how and when He will get me back to South Africa. I sure do hope it's soon. =]