Hey everyone! 🙂 It’s been more than a month since I returned home from my three-week scouting trip to the Czech Republic, and I’ve been just as busy here as I was there. If you read the report about my scouting trip (you can find it HERE), you’ll know that God was working in my life while I was away. But one new lesson I’m learning is that mission life doesn’t end as soon as I step off the mission field. This time of preparation and training in the States is also part of my mission calling, a chance for me to grow. And God is just as involved in my life here as He was in the Czech Republic. These are just some of the ways He’s been at work.
I spent three consecutive Saturdays in October attending a “People Skills 101” class at Grace Covenant International’s headquarters in Platte City, MO. I’d leave home at 5:00am and wouldn’t return home until 5:00pm. Which is quite a bit of travel. But it was worth it.
My friend Dallas Elder, the director of Grace Covenant International, taught the class, and it was a real privilege to sit under his teaching. Dallas always seems to get right to the heart of the subject matter, and he has a real talent for getting his students to discuss what they’re learning. I made several new friends there, and reunited with a few that I’d made at the Ignite Conference in September. Together we studied the Scriptures and learned how real people skills flow out of Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It’s in loving God first and also loving ourselves that we can truly begin to love other people. The class brought to light a lot of needs in my own life. I have many insecurities that I need to face in order to be able to minister to people in the way that they need. I’m beginning to seek the Lord’s healing in this area, and am exciting about finishing the class homework and finding new opportunities to practice what I’m learning.
Another important life update is my recent discovery that I had skin cancer. I knew there was a possibility that the abnormal mole on my neck could end up being cancerous, but I never actually dreamed there was anything wrong until the dermatologist removed it and the test came back positive for melanoma. I’ll admit I was shocked and fearful at first, but the shock soon turned into thankfulness. I’m so grateful the cancer was caught early, that I was given good care by my doctors, and that this is all happening now before I move to the Czech Republic. God is guiding my steps on this journey, even when I can’t see Him doing it.
Please be in prayer for me as I move forward. I still have two more appointments to get through. One will involve further investigation for cancer, while the other will include surgery to remove the danger area on my neck. Please pray as I head into these appointments, and as I recuperate from surgery. It’s surprising how sore your neck can get when it’s all stitched together and healing.
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with coffee. I hate drinking it, but I love the people who do. 🙂 Working part-time at a local coffee shop gets me out among people while also providing a source of income. Some of the customers I come in contact with only want to talk about their order. Others, after noticing the huge bandage on my neck, actually cared to inquire about my health. A few are interested in my mission work, and one older gentleman — a grandfather figure in my life — actually supported me on my last two trips. From crazy stressful days to dressing up for Halloween with my awesome coworkers, I’m thankful for the people God has placed in my life.
One last prayer item! Plans are underway for me to actually move to the Czech Republic in the coming year. But before I can, I have a lot of work to do raising monthly support and juggling a lot of different details. Please pray as plans start to come together, and as I begin to move forward. I’ll keep you updated about my progress.
Until next time!