Rejoicing in Everything

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” -Romans 5:3-5

I have always wondered how some people get through hard times. When I go through trials, I try my best to remember that the pain is only temporary, and that it is a part of God’s plan for me. I have hope in that. If someone doesn’t know God, what do they have to put their hope in? For most people, this verse is a reminder to persevere through the hard times. But God doesn’t say to persevere, he says to rejoice. That is not as easy of a task. How do I rejoice when everything seems to be going wrong? The verse goes on to say that these troubles strengthen the hope of salvation that we have. So I think that these trials are just another way that God wants to pour His Holy Spirit into us. The more hope and faith I have, the more I want to go and share it with other people.

So no one said this year was going to be easy for me, or for any of us. It is supposed to teach us and stretch us in ways nothing else could. Some things are going to be really difficult, but God is stretching me. The farther I am stretched, the more people I can touch. Adjusting to a new culture is fun and exciting. I have a new family, and a new home. Some parts are not so easy though, and the busier I get, the more I will have to learn to keep my focus, abide in Christ, and keep on keepin’ on. But I’m SO excited to finally start meeting kids, building relationships, and sharing the Gospel.

All that talk about trials and tribulations makes it sound like I’m miserable or something. That’s definitely not true. I have loved every minute of my time here in this first week and a half. My host family is seriously amazing. We are very close already and are always poking fun at each other. I have loved getting to know the rest of the gap year team as well. Having a group of friends to share this new experience with just makes it that much better.

British sunsets are awesome. I’ve always been obsessed with the sky, so this makes me really happy. I just love the fact that God paints a different picture for us every night.

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Everyone here has been so nice and welcoming. I’m missing my Southcrest family for sure, but the congregation at my new church has been awesome. I’m so excited to get more plugged in and start leading the youth. I have been so blessed to have dedicated leaders pouring into me the past 5 years, I can’t wait to pass the blessing forward and share my experiences with these young people. I want to show them that there is nothing better than living with a true passion for God.

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It has been so awesome to reconnect with people that I met while I was here in July. We got to go back to the cafe church that we helped launch just a few months ago. I love seeing God at work!

Please keep me and my team in your prayers as we start working and sharing God light!

Until next time,

Cheers!

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