Since my last blog I have traveled to China and then back to Tennessee and now I'm sitting at the YWAM base in Colorado Springs, CO. During my time in China I realized a lot about myself (good and bad), and about missions, or in general serving God. As I have told many people since being home, China was the hardest mission trip I've ever been on. No doubt. I have never been so out of my element with weather, culture, food, housing, team dynamics, leadership, and the overall purpose of our outreach (counseling). And of course, like anything in life, I could sit here and complain about everything that went wrong or how uncomfortable I was at times, but I have chosen to look at my time in China as a learning experience and to challenge myself. It's always so humbling to get knocked off your "high horse" by our Almighty God, and that's exactly what He did. Fortunately, I'm not ashamed to admit it either, because it's in my weakness that He is magnified. When I got back home from China is when I really began to debrief my outreach and ask God to show me exactly what He wanted me to learn from the hardship I experienced in China. What I realized is that I went into China with the wrong outlook and mindset, and with too many expectations. I should always put my expectations on God, but never on circumstances or humans. God will never let me down. God spoke to me a lot about missions. It was the most crucial piece of information that I learned from my China experience. MISSIONS IS NOT ABOUT ME. After my time in China I have a whole new perspective on serving the Lord. I came to the realization that the mission field can often be an intense, uncomfortable, draining place. And, if I'm not giving myself 100% to God's will and the people I am trying to reach, THERE IS NO POINT. There is no point in pursuing missions if I can't lay down my desires and my needs and comforts everyday. To sum up that last sentence would be "taking up your cross", like in the verse Luke 9:23, which says, "Then He (Jesus) said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." I could go on and on about the amazing lessons God taught me in China, but I think it would be more fun to show some pictures!
|The Great Wall of China.|
|Some of my team.|
|My buddy from an orphanage in Beijing.|
You might be wondering "What in the world is Kelly doing now?" or "What kind of adventure does she have planned next?" And since I've dropped off the face of the planet, meaning I deleted my Facebook and Twitter, it's probably been hard to find out what's going on in the life of ME. Like I said in the beginning of this post, I am in Colorado Springs, CO. It's an extremely long story of why I'm in Colorado but I will summarize the best I can.
In March 2010 my parents visited me in Kona, Hawaii while I was doing my DTS (discipleship training school). They were very impressed with YWAM and were interested in looking into the program and seeing where they fit in. After they got home from visiting me God laid on their hearts to open a YWAM base and they assumed it would be in East Tennessee. But, normally people have to spend years with YWAM, first doing their DTS, then staffing, and then getting all the training they would need to open a base. So, my parents decided to take that first step: Crossroads DTS. They began their DTS in September 2010 in Kona, HI and then ventured to Kampong Thom, Cambodia for their 2 month outreach. But, if we rewind back to the end of lecture phase, during the 50th anniversary of YWAM is when God spoke to my parents about where to open the YWAM base. In different and obvious ways God began to speak over both my parents the word "Trinidad". Instead of opening a new base in Tennessee, God had bigger and better plans. Little did they know, until God revealed, that there was a YWAM base in Trinidad, Colorado that had been unused for 5 years, just waiting for someone to reopen it. And, God chose my parents.
I've been asking myself, "where do I fit into all of this", and that's exactly what my next step in life is going to expose, that exact question. I'm leaving tomorrow (5/10/2011) for Cascade, Idaho. (Random, I know). I will be gone for 2 months, staffing Mission Adventures at the YWAM base. To learn more about Mission Adventures you can go to http://www.missionadventures.net/ywam-idaho/. My goal in doing this is to be trained and learn as much as I can about Mission Adventures so eventually I can either run it myself at the Trinidad base or teach someone else how to run it. I'm really excited to see how I like Mission Adventures, because a vision my parents and I have is to see MA being ran with an emphasis on families. God has been speaking to me countless times concerning families. My heart is completely geared towards families and seeing restoration, renewal, and God's original design put into practice and accomplished. So, as for me, I can only see 2 months down the road in my life. But, that's where the fun part takes place, right? WALKING BY FAITH.
|Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains. View from the Trinidad base.|