The blog has been slow this summer, but the bloggers’ lives have not been slow and uneventful(at least not mine)! It’s been over two months since I blogged, and I can’t possibly fill you in on what God did this summer all at once, but I’ve got some highlights to share and I really want to blog! 🙂
This is me with my coworker, Ada, at English Club! Every Tuesday we held an English speaking club near the boardwalk as an outreach. Each summer there are tons of college age international students working in VA Beach to experience American culture. A lot of them are eager to improve their English and it’s such a simple thing to make this available to them. All they ask is that we talk to them in our native language! We occasionally played games and brought food to snack on, but mainly everyone just wanted to hang out and make friends. The weeks that I went, I met people from Turkey, Russia, China, Moldova, and also the Middle East(can’t remember the specific country). This is a great form of outreach for so many reasons. The most important reason is that those who kept coming back to English Club formed friendships with us. They would hang out and play cards with some of us at our motel and come to our events, weekly cru meetings(ours was called Pac. Ave) and parties. It was very cool to see that take place and Gospel conversations came up so much. Praise The Lord! 2 awesome and loving Chinese girls I befriended, Angela and Jane, are now reading the bible! Angela said one of the reasons she is investigating Christianity(she was raised Buddhist) is because she saw how confidently, joyfully, and passionately the friends she made on project proclaimed the gospel and our deep belief and desire for Jesus. Seriously, isn’t that great?! I know sometimes when I go out sharing the gospel, I’m just doing it out of obedience and obligation, and I feel like I’m “putting in my time” and then I can check out of sharing as soon as possible. But what if we were always genuine and joyful presenters of the gospel, instead of just business-minded pedalers?- It would eternally impact God’s Kingdom, that’s what!
I’ve been back from project for exactly 2 weeks, and boy, am I missing it. But I am severely pumped to “plant some seeds” on Kent Stark and Kent Main’s campuses next week!
I just want to take a moment to praise God for this summer and what He is doing in my heart! I want to give a big shout-out to all of my supporters out there! I would not be here without your prayers and finances! I love you all very much and feel very blessed to have such a community surrounding me in this journey!
” Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.Whatever he does prospers.”- Psalm 1: 1-3
What are you rooted in?
What am I rooted in?
I find myself looking to family and friends, school and the many things of the world. When I read this verse I envision a beautiful picture of a tree and it’s roots. I love the picture above because it’s roots are deeper and more intricate than the actual tree. This is how I want to be with Christ! I desire for Him to be my purpose in life, by everything, what I am rooted in, what keeps me grounded, what makes me who I am, involved with every part of me, my source of life! I desire to be rooted in God’s word and His people! Lord I can’t, but you can!!! The LORD is my strength. I have been given grace and my job is to share His great news with the rest of the world!
I apologize for not blogging in a month…Here’s a quick update: I was baptized in the Ocean!, had a sleepover in Cape May with my action group (my Bible study group), DDR’d and ski balled at Jilly’s arcade, The Staff on project left and we were all given new roles, our impact group went on a creative date on which we went on a dolphin/whale watching cruise! I have the privilage of being one of 2 Impact Group Directors. Impact groups consist of one girl’s Bible study and one boy’s Bible study. It has been so much fun getting to know not only my action group, but my impact group and as many people on project as I can! Everyone here is very encouraging and friendly! I love the community here on project! There are always people to share your joy with and to sit and discuss similar struggles with! The importance of community is definitely something I want to take back to Kent State!
Well it’s hard to believe, but I only have 2 and 1/2 weeks left in OC…wow is all I have to say!
Here are some pic’s from the summer:
Well, it’s been a little quiet on the blog this week. Here’s a song Eric St. Jean wrote about Ocean City SP. Eric’s on the staff team at Kent State with his wife Nicole and this summer they’re also serving on the OCSP team.
Enjoy, and we’ll work on rounding up some student stories this week…
So week three was supposed to be focused on Inner City Youth and we got to choose where we wanted to go to love on children. I chose to work with the Somali Youth Club and love on some Muslim children, but when my team got there we realized that we wouldn’t be working the kids like we thought. We actually helped the directors of the club with their office work and whatever little jobs they needed. At first it was really discouraging because I wanted to be with the kids but I knew that God put us in that situation for a reason so I tried to have a good attitude about it. I was totally blown away by how generous and nice Somali people were. They would give us food every 5 minutes, make us take breaks after doing one little job, buy us water or whatever else they could get away with. They took us to lunch one day in limo to a Somali restaurant and they gave us certificates at the end of the week. They served us more than we served them. But we got to talk to them about their religion and tell them abouts ours. We also got to learn more about their culture and it was a great experience. God has just put Africa on my heart even more and I know for sure now that I’m going there at some point in my life.
Tonight was probably one of the best nights I’ve ever had. Our project boys put on a “Brothers Serving Sisters” night for us and it was amazing. They cooked us dinner, served us, wrote us a song, wrote us love letters, gave us flowers, and loved on us like Christ. I really struggle with focusing on relationships more than I should, wanting them, and being upset when Jesus doesn’t do it on my time. But tonight made me realize that God doesn’t work on my time and that He knows when I need a guy and when I don’t. I trust Him to bring me a guy like they showed me tonight. One who will lead me and love me like Christ does. They told us we were all beautiful and that we all have the most amazing hearts, which is more important than looks and weight and whatever else the world tells us. It was exactly what I needed because I do focus on weight more than I should, always worried about what I eat and how much I’m working out, and it was a heart check for these guys to tell me what was important and attractive. I need to focus on chasing after the Lord and letting my heart for Him shine out instead of how I look and comparing myself to society’s standards. These guys made me feel beautiful for the first time in years and I’m so thankful for every single one of them!
It’s hard to believe that I only have one more week here with these people. I was just thinking about how I had no desire to come on a project but God brought me here anyway and it was exactly what I needed. I can’t wait to come home and work on what I’ve learned and just love on people more. I also can’t wait to get IJM going again! We had a Nigerian rapper come and talk/rap for us this week whose sole purpose in life is to fight for the rights of the oppressed and it just made that desire in my heart so much stronger. He has devoted his whole life to helping these people and it was inspiring. This week is prison ministry, what I’ve been waiting for all project!! I’m so excited and can’t wait to go meet all the inmates and love on them!!
Drinking from a fire hose…… this is how I feel right now. God is literally filling me to the brim and overflowing me thank goodness I can write it all down so I don’t forget anything! These past 7 days have been awesome and just like this whole project i’ve grown a ton!!
I was given the privilege along with 2 other guys to lead the Physical Training of the project for the last 3 sessions of this project. I was so worried that I wasn’t gonna do a good enough job or that I was insufficient for the position but it’s crazy what happens when you give God the controls. I almost felt like I went into a trance cause honestly I don’t remember a whole lot but It all worked out. And nobody hated me afterwards even though I didn’t feel the PT was easy by any means! Being an aeronautics major I like to think about it this way……. God is like my autopilot and He’s saying “Brandon!!! Brandon!!! give it over to me, let me control the plane”
Also when staff left we were given control of the outreach and our team did awesome!!! We went to the beachfront and started to play this game where you get on someones shoulders and the person on top has to put pantyhoes over their head and then put an egg on their forehead and the point of the game is to smash the egg on the other persons head with a gatorade bottle! Definatley something we will be playing at Fall retreat! Unfortuantley the life guard shut us down because they thought we were playing Chicken. So we weren’t too happy about that but that didn’t stop us from doing bigger and better things. Just two days later we rehersed an epic battle on a field near the beach front as an outreach I can’t wait to show you the video! It is similar to the Virgina Beach Epic Fight on the beach. Look it up on Youtube if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Anyways I got the role of the leader of the “Bad Guys” so please disreguard the fact that in the video I said there is no God because I know that he’s there. It was so awesome to do this fight it’s something that you dream about doing when your younger but never got to do! It was awesome to be able to share the Gospel while doing something that was so much fun! God was 100% in it!!!!
One thing that has been challenging for me is the men to men time in which the 6 guys in a cabin just go over some really really really deep stuff. It has really been a struggle for me to dig up some of the baggage that I’ve been dragging around and I’m gonna have quite a few amends to make when I get back to the good ole 330. But I know it’s God that’s bringing up these convictions so I’m confident that this is something that He wants me to do!
Our 4 day unsupervized camping trip is coming up tommrow and I’m soooooooo pumped for it. I’m gonna have some great stories when I get back. But on the same hand please pray for the trip we don’t want anyone seriously injured and no rain!
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers I can’t tell you how much I need them and that I really appreicate them!