Growing in Grace in the Context of Community at Trek 2018

TrekGroupPic (2)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

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gjoB1qxuinOywvKO1PQ33PLhR-Ux9sWy

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:

 https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Q5cqKNsnjfaJAk8gUE-cQjZluOQhAiq4 

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!!

Trek

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.

 

Summer Plans-Trek and Pine Lake

Picture1

As my semester draws to a close, another chapter of my life is closing and a new one is dawning.  I will be completing my first year at UWSP. Right after I complete this semester, I am going to Trek a 5 day leadership/evangelism training with Cru in southwestern Wisconsin in Wesby and spend the summer a camp counselor at a Lutheran summer camp called Pine Lake Camp, one of the 3 Crossways Camps.

Trek is a going to be a challenge me to by spiritually, physically, and mentally. Not only will I be growing in evangelism strategies and deepening my relationships with my brothers and sisters in Christ but I also will be doing a lot of physically strenuous activities including splunking and rock climbing. These two activities will definitely be challenging to me because I do not like dark holes in the ground and I don’t like dangling off of a cliff face. But how else am I going to grow spiritually unless I allow God to have my insecurities and allow His plans to be built in my life?

Here is a one and a half minute video that gives a snapshot of what Trek is from last year’s Trek if you want to watch it. It is pretty interesting (you have to copy and paste the url in a search engine as the video won’t play in my blog :))

http://uppermidwest.org/summer-missions/trek/

Capture

Would you all be able to pray for God to have His way in my life and that I would be in a place of humility to receive what He desires to give me? Also would you consider partnering with me financially for this 5 day training. It costs 369$ but through UWSP Cru, I only need to pay $244. If you are interested in investing financially  in my eternal future please click the link below to my Go Fund Me Page.

Image result for go fund me

https://www.gofundme.com/trekleadershipevangelism-training

Thank you all for partnering with me through your prayers and/or financial support. I am so grateful. I know I will meet other young men and woman from other college campuses in the mid west also desiring to grow closer to the Lord So I am excited for what God is going to do.

 

 

Whispers of Spring

Hello everyone,

As I’ve watched the earth unthaw from our long winter, I’ve been in awe of God’s beauty, wisdom, and majesty that I see through the songs of the birds, the warmth of the sunshine, and the brilliant sunsets later in the evening. Image result for spring and snow

As the end of the semester approaches, I have increasingly trying to budget my time for assignments and due dates to avoid crunch time as much as possible.

Going to school to be a teacher, I just completed the 55 hours of time  I needed to spend this semester in different classrooms in different elementary schools in the area. These times, difficult as they were to complete, gave me perspective as to why I go to school. I gained experience as a teacher as well as gained new friends and new relationships with students that I will miss. I have so much of God’s heart for these kids. I just pray that I rest in Christ’s finished work at all times, remembering His grace is a gift no one can earn so that I do not ever feel I need to earn His grace.

A few weeks ago, my professor hurt his leg falling on the sidewalk outside his house on one of the icy snow storm days we had this year. I asked him after the next class if I could pray for his leg, he invited me to do so and God completely healed his leg. Praise God! The cool thing is my friend Helena who is also a believer in my class unbeknownst to me had left a little note of encouragement and gift on his office door that week as well. Our professor was so incredibly thankful to both Helena and I. What an opportunity to be part of God’s plan to encourage our professor in the ways of God. Not only that but as my friend Helena said to me later, many people in that class act so disrespectfully toward our professor, that our obedience to Christ really does shine and people really do praise our Father in heaven on account of us.

Well, I pray that God continues to build His kingdom in you and through you all. May you always know that nothing you do with the motivation of pleasing Him is ever done in vain. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without His knowledge. May you fix your eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith. Praise God!

Image result for winter thaw pictures

Spring Semester Update Highlighting Evangelism

Entering my spring semester, I did not realize the magnitude of the assignments and requirements that would confront me. Thankfully, God has been a strong support to me. Having completed my first semester here already, I came into my second semester already  having strong Christian friendships, having a church body away from home, having a job, knowing my way about the campus, and having some sort of idea of what my daily routine would be.

It is the mercy of God that I did not have to navigate this semester having to start over again from scratch due to the work and school assignments. I thank God for the opportunity to trust Him this semester.

 

IMG952474 (1)
My friend Annika and I

This spring semester I have had the opportunity to go evangelizing or “sharing” as they call it here with my friends Annika and Mara.

The first week of the semester that we went, I felt prompted to talk to this one girl so we walked up to her. Upon entering into conversation with her, I saw God’s hand all over this encounter. This young woman was very open with us when we asked about her life and beliefs.

She said had grown up in a Baptist household in which she felt forced into religion. She also said she hadn’t gone to church in a while and kept reiterating that she should start going to church again throughout the entire conversation. She related to us also that she had just asked God for a friend because she felt lonely. This resonated with the sense of loneliness I sensed in the Spirit when we walked up to her. Soon after praying this, she told us that a girl had walked up to her one day and started talking to her when she was eating lunch. Now this young woman said that the two of them were best friends. She also mentioned something about checking out Cru with her sister to learn more about having a relationship with God. Since all 3 of us are a part of Cru or Campus Crusade for Christ, we encouraged her to do so and told her the exact day, place, and time the next Cru meeting was. Another friend of mine Cana who happened to be in earshot when we were talking with this young woman came up to us and asked her if she knew this other girl who looked just like the young woman we were talking too. Come to find out, Cana knew this girl’s sister and had been encouraging her to come to Cru. How cool is that!I felt the Holy Spirit’s leading not to ask her at this time to become a follower of Jesus so I did not. We just concluded the conversation by encouraging her, demonstrating God’s love to her, and praying for her.

What a privilege it was to partner with God to reach her with His joy and hope and love. We later saw her and her sister at Cru. How cool it is that God was and still is reaching for her!

The second week of the semester when Annika, Mara and I went to go evangelizing, God gave us the opportunity to lead another young lady into relationship with Jesus! This lady had had a general understanding of God but did not understand that we are saved through grace through faith.

As you think of me in your thoughts and prayers, can you pray that the religious spirit that permeates the campus is lifted and replaced with genuine relationship with Christ?

There are a lot of changes that are coming down the pike at the UWSP campus. There are a bunch of humanities majors being cut, meaning the professors who teach these majors are most likely going to lose their jobs. At the same time, some science majors are being added the school so more science professors might be being hired. This has caused some hard feelings from professors being affected to those who are not. There is a lot of tension consequently. This is an excellent opportunity for the body of Christ to reach out to students and staff a like.

Would you pray for strategy and wisdom for the body of Christ to reach out with the love of Christ to professors especially?

Could you pray with me as well that the body of Christ here on campus matures and grows in faith and walks in the power of the Holy Spirit? Could you pray that the genuine openness to hearing the gospel continues and increases? Lastly could you pray more believers intercede for this campus and the body of Christ?

Personally would you pray that I have my identity rooted and grounded in Christ.

I pray that you all prosper JUST AS your souls prosper (emphasis on the spiritual part). May you all know the width and the depth and the height of our Heavenly Father’s love and be refreshed by His Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of 2017

Thinking back over this past year, I see how God weaved space and time to create moments in which I grew.

Being in South Korea opened my mind to another culture and people. Our Heavenly Father  enabled me to see the South Korean people with His eyes and His love. His love for the Korean people enlarged my heart. Through the time in South Korea, I realized that I have a desire to guide others along the path of righteousness like Jesus and put their hand in His hand. Thus I am in school at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point attending the School of Education or my own (SOE).

After relocating back to Wisconsin, God gave me the opportunity to deepen my relationships with my family and brothers and sisters. He also gave me the opportunity to taste teacher life in a public elementary school near my house. Through my time there, I recognized my inability to solve each child’s problems and felt my dependence on Christ.

During the summer, I had the opportunity to work with the McReynolds family, an amazing family and former missionaries to Haiti. They opened up a lavender farm called New Life Lavender and Cherry Farms just this last year immediately outside of Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Every morning (or sometime during the day), Laura McReynolds begins the day with prayer. All of us ladies working in the farm store and/or kitchen, joined hands and glorified our Heavenly Father casting our burdens on him, praying for each other, and asking Him to care for and bless all the people He drew to the lavender farm that day. What an amazing, precious time! Never before had I been given the opportunity to pray with my employers for the day on the job site. I learned so much about God’s character and heart through the generosity and kindness of the McReynolds to customers and to their employees. I enjoyed my Heavenly Father’s love, generosity, kindness, joy, and wisdom through this precious family.

Another lesson I learned through my relationship with the McReynolds family is the importance of daily fellowship with other believers in prayer, in mission, and in life.

Acts 2:42

 “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” We are stronger than we are apart. 🙂
Transitioning into college this fall has been an amazing experience. It’s been new friends, new classes, new challenges, and new opportunities. I’ve grown so much! Praise God.
If there is anyway I can pray for y’ll just email me at jesus.chaser1314@gmail.com or respond to this post.
I pray you are refreshed and renewed by the life-transforming power of Christ!

                                         IMG_2241 Top pic.: butterfly on campus. Bottom left: South Korea. Bottom Right: My friend Courtney and I by lavender at New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm.

 

Hometown Missionary

Hi fellow missionary partners! I thought you may want to know what God is doing in my life right now.

After much prayer, I am going to obtain a teaching degree from a public university of Stevens Point Wisconsin in the fall. I am going to this university as a missionary on campus. I desire to learn Korean and Spanish.

The program I am completing will take 3 years. Afterward I will have a degree with which I can go anywhere in the world to teach students about Jesus and how to speak English. I can also teach kids in America all the way through 8th grade.

Right now, I am working a lot. Nonetheless, God is still giving me opportunities wherever I am to encourage people in their relationship with God or start a relationship with God.

I pray God’s blessings on whatever God has for you. As we sow and water the seeds of God into the lives of people around us, I know that God will grow them in His way and His time. The more I grow deeply into Jesus through spending time alone in His presence and fill my soul with God’s words the more I love Him and trust that my Heavenly Father is all He says He is and I am exactly who He says I am.

Much love in Christ,

Rachel

P.S. The first picture is my team and I the last night in Korea. The second picture is me at the airport about to fly back to the States from Korea.

 

 

Korea Outreach week 3

img_1215img_1211img_1206

During the third week of Korea, we partnered with Joann Church, a Methodist Church in Korea. On this day during that week my team, Pastor Daniel, and some of the young adults from the Church went to a missionary cemetery, missionary museum, legislative building, DMZ, and DMZ tunnels on the South Korea side (this tunnel was made by North Korean army; it’s discovery started the Korean War).  Our whole purpose of this was conducting spiritual warfare against the spiritual forces of darkness that would seek to destroy Korea and are keeping the Korean people in bondage to lies about themselves, God, and others.

Walking through the Yanghwaijin Foreign Missionary Cemetery and museum was impactful for me on a personal level because I was a missionary to Korea. Reading the headstones of ordinary nurses, doctors, businessmen who gave up promising professions and personal desires to go to Korea for the rest of their lives touched me deeply. Many of these people never saw their relatives back home in America ever again this side of eternity. I was amazed at how God stirred up the hearts of people around the world at the same time during the late 1800s to evangelize Korea then known as Joseon.

The gratefulness of the Korean people to God and the foreign missionaries He sent to Korea is obvious by the preservation of the Korean Church heritage by the museum dedicated to remembering what God did for them. The Yanghwaijin Hall tells the “stories of the missionaries who are buried at here: who they were, why they sought out Joseon…and what they did after coming to Joseon.”

img_1439-1
Thanks again for everything! Love in Christ Rachel

Korea Trip: English Dream Camp

img_1126

img_1143

[In this picture you can see my five friends/students in the small group I led and my translator Jinhee Woo. My friend Esther is sitting to my left. Next to her is Chrystal. Behind me next to the guy giving me bunny ears is Emily. Behind her friend is Raphael (black hair and glasses). Next to him is Artie (Av) (blond hair). These five were my students.]

Hi fellow missionaries! I have so many testimonies of what God did in Korea that I don’t even know where to begin….

Let me tell you a few stories of what God did during English Dream Camp because you are a missionaries too. Because of your prayers and financial support many people entered relationship with Christ, hundreds of people were encouraged, and people received physical and mental and emotional healing from God. So even if you couldn’t be physically present please do not feel like you are less a missionary than me because I was there and you weren’t because that is a complete lie. We are on equal ground. Because of your faithfulness and your faith in Christ, you talked to God about Korea, me, my team and the people we met. And you gave money to a vision. You had faith that God was going to impact people for His kingdom, change lives, work miracles, and lay the ground work for a unified Korea. And He did and still is! Your investment is reaping a bountiful harvest of souls and an impact we will not fully understand until we see Jesus face to face. Thank you for trusting God!

Alright…testimony time…let’s see what God did!!! 🙂

Esther, the oldest one in my small group (older than me actually), was afraid to talk to me in English at first. Actually, all my students acted extremely shy. The second day (Monday) she was sick so she missed quite a bit of teaching.  Even though she seemed extremely disinterested in the camp, my team leader had exhorted my whole team to ‘love the heck out of people.’ Consequently I wrote her a note saying ‘Jesus understands’ in Korean and gave her a chocolate heart. I prayed for her healing the next day (Tuesday)  because she still wasn’t feeling good. Even though she didn’t see me praying for her, I knelt by her sleeping bag and asked God to heal her. I felt nothing whatsoever and continued with my day. After lunch, she came to the afternoon class. She told me she felt better. Jesus healed her! Before the class started I was talking with her. She looked bored and told me she wanted to be home. I asked her why. She told me she liked the quiet. As she was speaking Holy Spirit helped me understand exactly what she was trying to say. Holy Spirit helped me understand that what she was actually saying was that she felt uncomfortable here and she did not like it. I felt discouraged when she told me she wanted to go home because I had never had a disinterested student I was intimately involved with but did not allow that feeling to take root. I told her that being uncomfortable is where Jesus wants us.  I told her “It is not easy but it is the best thing I possibly did.” I told her it was the best decision of my life and that she won’t be disappointed. Later that day, I saw light in her eyes for the first time since we had met on Sunday. Wednesday evening when we had lunch together, I got to know more about her. She told me a friend had first invited her to come to church a few years ago but that this week God touched her life. Holy Spirit told me in my heart that she had surrendered her life to Jesus without praying with any person. God had just touched her life and I could see it in her eyes. Isn’t God amazing!!!!

One the second day  of Pastor Park’s English Dream Camp, Raphael, one of the guys in my small group said something profound. He said he has been to a lot of Christian camps but this is the first camp in which he actually started to think. With all the others it was an emotional experience. But after the feeling left, it was gone. It was emotionally based not a knowing or a true relationship. In Korean churches, people are passionate worshipers and prayer people but the church goers are told what to believe from the pastors. They do not in general have relationship with God themselves. Raphael saying he that he will be thinking about what God is speaking to Him during the camp after the camp is a break through. Raphael was another guy I saw God visibly transform during this camp. On Tuesday he raised his hand during our small group saying that he had not heard God’s voice before. On Wednesday during intercession for North Korea, Raphael raised his hand when I asked if anyone had heard God speak to them anyway. He told me Philippians 2:3-4 had come to mind. He said he had read the verse the men’s bathroom that morning (they had Bible verses on the door). This verse reads “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” He said that He felt that God wanted us to care about the North Korean people not just ourselves. Heavenly Father had put that verse in Raphael’s mind. The light burned in Raphael’s eyes like never before. He actually gave that testimony in front of a whole bunch of people at the end of the week too! I am actually still in contact with him and he just texted me yesterday that God is still speaking to him and he is still talking to Heavenly Father. God rocks. If you think of him could you pray that the stress of school does not dim his focus of God and that he continues to mature in Christ?

These are just two out of hundreds of what God did in this camp. Guys these kids entered relationship with God. I promise you God’s words which you prayed have not returned void.

The first small group, I had sensed Heavenly Father wanted me to speak on quiet times. “How many of you have heard God’s voice?” I asked them through my translator. Only Artie (Av) raised his hand. The rest had not. ‘That’s why you talked me about quiet times’ I thought. Holy Spirit spoke through me to explain and encourage them how to hear God. I realized that God really had to come through though for each student because I can speak all day along about God and who He is but until they experience relationship with God themselves it means absolutely nothing. I deeply sensed my total dependency on Christ to come through. Oh! Another thing God really nailed in my heart during this week was identity. Like some of you already know, Korean people do not consider themselves beautiful naturally. Girls are told they are ugly by their own parents until they get plastic surgery to look like a Western woman. And all Koreans struggle with the need to be perfect and always be the best at the expense of all else. 14 hour school days six days a week are normal for high-school students. Through out the week God really wanted to nail identity in these guys. God gave me such an anger against the spirit that says to these precious people they are not good enough. God love and anger burned so much in my heart for these kids I actually cried. God spoke value and identity into these students in the camp. Jesus through me told the girls ‘no ademdawa’ which means you are beautiful in Korean. If the girls said I was more beautiful, I said no no we are equally beautiful. When Crystal told me multiple times she was ugly, I asked why she thought this. She told me she did not know. I encouraged her to ask God what He thinks of her. This is because it is only when God establishes her identity that she will be able see herself as beautiful and come out of her shyness into who God sees her and who He created her to be.

Oh…I could go on and on talking about what God did in this camp alone but I’ll close for now. All my students were hearing Heavenly Father by the end of the week. He came through like He always does.

I love you all with the love of Christ.Because of you, God touched and is still touching not only Esther, Raphael, and Chrystal’s lives but the hundreds of others who’s testimonies I have not told.Thanks guys. Here are some pictures from the camp plus a picture of the Korean night. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Nothing is To HARD for OUR LORD

God loves the Korean people so much. Each one is so special and unique. The Korean people are some of the most hospitable, relational people ever.  I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart to God for sharing His heart for the Korean people with me and my team. We just finished our first camp.

The first picture is of Sonya and I. She and I immediately connected. She speaks great English. She told me that I encouraged her so much by my passionate praise of God during “Nothing Is Too Hard for Our God” worship camp. She encouraged me so much though by her presence. She has such a heart for her Korean brothers and sisters.

The next picture is of the worship leader James and I. He has such a heart for the Korean young people to step into the role of the worship leaders God has called them to be.

The 3rd picture is my small group. It is crazy how Holy Spirit knits hearts together in love even though the language barrier is a great hindrance.

Jee hye was a divine appointment for me. She was sitting next to the translator. She felt quiet shy around me and even though I felt stressed Father still connected us. I felt heavenly Father ask me to ask her if she danced. She said no. Then I asked if she liked to worship. (I realize until later that we were in were worship camp but God did).  She told me what I said throughout the camp touched her. We are friends now and I have her number.

Love you all. I got to go.

Could you pray I have greater intimacy with God and do ministry out of a place of His rest?

Could you pray for all the Korean people we are going to encounter throughout this next camp and campus ministry. Please pray they see how much God values them and how much God loves them.