When I told God I didn't think this was possible, I'm pretty sure He must've laughed at me. I told Him I didn't see how I was supposed to do this – and yet here I am fitting the last pieces in.
I work full time as a Nurse Aide, over here in Michigan. I take care of elderly people, and absolutely love it, but this summer I'm leaving them to share the love of Jesus elsewhere.
In August of 2015 I started praying about summer 2016 and my desire to spend time at The Boardwalk Chapel in NJ. In September, after talking to a lady I know, I had a desire planted in me to spend time in Mears MI, helping at Grace Adventures camp, and hopefully somewhat with the Harbor House ministry.
See, I didn't feel God was calling me to leave my job as a Nurse Aide, but at the same time, He was clearly telling me that I was to spend this summer elsewhere. I wrestled with Him – I told Him that I wasn't sure what my employers would say – I told Him I didn't know what my parents would say – I told Him how hard it would be to leave my residents for such a long time, knowing some of them would probably pass away while I was gone. I told God I wanted to go, but I saw so many things that could hold me back...
She continued, "Even though your family may support you and those around you may support you in going, ultimately no one else is going with you to meet this "Aslan", Its gonna be you and God.
So it comes down to this: are you willing? Are you willing to go when people are offended, when you may lose something if you leave it behind? Are you willing to go though no one else believes you should, but you know God wants you to follow? Are you willing? I feel like that's what God is asking you right now, He wants to know how willing you are to follow Him and how much you'll give up."
She was right – I could feel it. God was asking me, "Are you willing?"
The next day, I was scrolling through FaceBook and started reading a random blog post. When I got to this part, I nearly started crying:
"I think every Lucy is likely to find herself standing alone now and then. Even though Susan, Edmund, and Peter wait nearby – they cannot hear that singular call of Aslan. And sometimes she stands in the wood alone and without even hearing the Lion. "
In an unconventional way, God asked me if I'd heed His call. He was Aslan, calling in a voice only I could hear – and He was telling me to come.
As I trusted God and took the steps to plan my summer of service, everything fell into place. I am taking a Leave of Absence from my job for June 1st – August 31st.
I am looking to raise $2,200 to cover my expenses. I need to cover the expenses of travel, food and housing at the Chapel, and to cover my insurance while I'm not working. If you're able to help in any way with that, I'd really appreciate it. :)
Here is a link to my GoFundMe page.
Here is a link to my GoFundMe page.
So that's how I got to where I am now. If you want to keep reading, I'd like to tell you where I'm going:
Grace Adventures camp is a ministry near to my heart. I spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 on staff in the kitchen, and I have gone to visit every year since, even if it's just for a weekend at a time. They impacted my view of others, my confidence, and my faith – I love seeing how they are doing the same for others. They really are seeking to reach others with Christ in ways that go beyond one's stay with them. I will be helping them serve up to 300 or so campers and staff their meals.
Through Camp connections I have learned about the ministry of The Harbor House of Hart . The godly people there foster teenage girls, and run outreach programs into their community. I will be spending August with these two ministries, serving where I'm needed. :)
The Boardwalk Chapel is a ministry of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in New Jersey. I was on staff in 2013 for the summer, and spent 2 weeks of my vacation in 2014 there; this year I will be there June and July. They have a small chapel space right on the Boardwalk – there, people are presented with the Gospel through preaching, music, and skits.
During the day our team attends Worldview Seminars, practices for programs, and shares the ministry of the Chapel with anyone who comes through our door. Every week a new youth group from other states joins us. They help us run programs and go evangelizing with us. It's a great opportunity to show other young people how to present the Gospel to others.
Most nights we have a program where we invite anyone walking by to join us. Visiting pastors do short, fifteen minute sermons, we preform songs and skits that are specifically geared towards sharing the Gospel, and we share testimonies of God's grace.
After the program is done, we split off into teams of two or three and go out witnessing. Our goal is to start conversations about God with others – to show people who God is and why He should make a difference in our lives.
Please be in prayer for my teams that I'll be working with:
Please pray that I'd quickly integrate into the flow of the kitchen schedule.
That I'd have energy as I am only spending a few days home between NJ to Camp, and will be adjusting to a new team.
For The Harbor House:
Please pray that I'd be able to build relationships, and be an encouragement to their household.
For The Boardwalk Chapel:
Please pray that God would give our team boldness as we share the Gospel. We want to truly show the love of Jesus, and who He is.
That we would have unity together and build each other up, even when we become tired and not all personalities mesh well.
That we would stay well - it is so easy for colds and other sicknesses to pass around when you all live close together, and aren't always getting enough rest.
Thank you for your prayers and support! I can't wait to see what God is going to do this summer! ^_^
~Ophelia - Marie Flowers