Wow! I did not really know what to expect going to Trek. I walked into it with 1 friend and left with 10 friends. I am so grateful to God for the opportunity to go and to you for supporting me through your prayers and financial support. Because your investment in my life, I grew spiritually and poured into others around me as well.
Here is a video of what I did over these 5 days
Through team building activities of climbing over a 12 foot wall, getting across the tire swing obstacles, and getting tubes over a 15 foot pole without the tubes touching the pole at any point, I learned how crucial teamwork is in the Kingdom of God. We were asked to relate our experiences on the obstacle course with ministry.
A few things I learned through this is that my ideas do not have to be followed. Other people’s ideas are just as good or even better than mine. I also learned that when doing ministry, we can to dump too much responsibility on one person just because we observe them to be good at something. The ability to change strategy mid course is crucial. Being able to make something that is good is better and being able to be inclusive are important. Trusting and listening to each other is also so important. I know I would not have gotten across the tire obstacle I did without my team’s help. We need each other in the Kingdom of God. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Being able to use our strengths and give others room to use their abilities is good. Its important to be vulnerable about personal struggles to other believers (with discernment of course) because it breaks the isolation the devil would like us to stay in and helps us break free from spiritual bondage. God desires us to grow in grace in the context of community.
I learned a lot about discipleship. Discipleship is not easy. It is much easier to give a flashy church service or worship time or give someone some money or do something for someone than to disciple someone. Discipleship is learning to love people through their junk. My tendency is to be so repulsed by the junk person carries that I reject the person. God is growing me to be able love people through their junk and learning when to encourage and when to confront always calling out the person God created them to be. Jesus did not call us to lead people to Christ then drop them. He calls us to do life with them like Jesus did demonstrating and teaching them how to live like Christ. Something one of the speakers said was “Save the ones you can,” meaning don’t let your sins or someone’s else’s define you or keep you from discipling. I got some practical tools and guidelines of what others who disciple like to do too including Bible study tools.
My friend Annika Vold said that one thing that she will take back with her is something God said through me to her about God being my Heavenly Father. Something she said to me that has stuck is not to blame my self for feeling anxious. In other words, she said that is important I love myself in the midst of my own struggles because Jesus loves me in them. That was really encouraging.
I got the opportunity to go evangelizing as well. Chris, the guy I was with, and I got the opportunity to interact with 3 people. No one prayed with us to enter into relationship with Christ but we had one really good conversation with a man fishing and had an opportunity to pray over a homeless lady who struggled with drug addition and broken relationships.
Here’s a link to the day I went evangelizing:
The last day of Trek, one of my new friends Luke said he would be interested in supporting me on any future missionary endeavor . This really encouraged me because I and you are called to go to the ends of the earth and make disciples of every people group on earth! None of us can do it alone. We need each other.
Through Trek I learned so much from those around me and was able to face personal challenges and start to overcome my personal fears of rock climbing and leading in worship playing an instrument. I built relationships with others through getting sort of lost in the woods, canoeing, sitting around the campfire, and sleeping out in the woods. Thank you all for your prayers and financial support. Through them I am now more equipped to pour into others and deepened my ability to form healthy strong relationships with other believers.
The cool thing is that the relationships I built with 4 of the people I went to Trek with will carry into our ministry together back at our campus of UW Stevens Point. Super Cool!!
This is a picture of my group. From right to left starting at the top is Michelle (leader/trekker), Luke, Jeremiah, Chris (StevenPoint), Joe, Chris (team leader), Davis, Jenna, me, Annika Vold, Brianna.
May God bless you and keep you and may his face shine upon you as you keep your eyes fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ.