Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10% to Go!!

I am praising God for His marvelous provision today!! As of now, I have 70% of the support I need. Praise the Lord! However, in order to depart for BFA I need to have 80% of my monthly support pledged. I am currently in need of 10% more, which is $200 per month.  This could be 20 people at $10/month, 10 people at $20/month, 5 people at $40/month, 4 people at $50/month, 2 people at $100/month, or of course 1 person at $200/month. If you are interested in giving, or know of someone who is, please contact me: laurenholland25@yahoo.com. As soon as the last 10% is pledged, I can buy my ticket and make plans to leave. God's provision is awesome, and I am very excited to see how He is going to provide for this next stem. For information on how to give and giving options Click here: Donate Today!
God is so good, and I pray that more people will continue to catch the vision and partner with this ministry!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No Fleece Necessary

'Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14

We serve a God who created the universe, sent His Son to save us, and works in our lives daily, and yet we doubt His ability to answer prayer. Sometimes when I pray, I have this "if you're able to" mindset. I ask God for things, or to do things, but for some reason deep down, I don't acknowledge that He's truly capable to answer. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time trusting, especially when I can't see whom I am trusting. The more proof I see that the person is really there, the more inclined I am to trust. However, in the verses above, all it tells us to do is ask, and He will do it. No fleece, no strings attached. Just ask. "I will do it." That's not an "If I have time," or "I'll try." It is "I will" from "I am." The ultimate goal? "That the Father may be glorified in the Son." He delights to give us good things. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whim there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17 Our response? "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to god the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17
We ask in faith, and when He answers, we respond in thanks. 
The reason for this contemplation is that I have experienced a major answer to prayer.  A couple of weeks ago, my church took a survey to see how much people were interested in committing to giving.  Pastor has been wonderfully supportive, and has expressed many times that the church wants to help me get to BFA as soon as possible. This past Sunday was the deadline for responding to the survey, and Sunday evening I was informed that they want to assume 50% of my support. We asked, He answered, and I respond with a heart overflowing with gratitude. This places me very close to the 80% mark, though how close is yet to be determined. 
As support continues to come in I would ask you to pray with me for several things:
  • That the remainder of my support would come in
  • That details such as paperwork, etc. would come together
  • Packing process - wisdom in what to take, and what not to take
  • Small items needing to be purchased before I go
  • Language study - I am endeavoring to absorb as much German as I can before I get there!
I would also like to thank every family and individual that has contributed to my support thus far.  I am incredibly grateful, and I pray that God will reward you richly! To my incredible church family: many, many, many thanks! I am overwhelmed at how God has led, and I am so thankful for you! 

I look forward to keeping you updated as much will be happening in the next few weeks! Germany gets closer by the day!


Friday, September 24, 2010

New Team Members and a Camera

I am overwhelmed by the response to support letters.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed!! What I never realized before this experience is how humbling it is to be in this position. To see how people have given so sacrificially is indeed humbling and a rebuke. One week from yesterday is October 1st. When I think of what God has done in the past month, I am again in awe. When I think of how we will see Him work in the month to come, I am excited.  To anyone that may happen to read this that is older and more mature, you maybe be thinking, "how naiive!" But to have as my only choice to lean on Christ is a thrill indeed. Though I trusted Him to a degree before, I am learning to trust Him in new ways. Each day is another opportunity to exercise this new trust.  For example, the other day I was praying about a new camera. My dear old Kodak of 5 years finally stopped working, and I was trying to rationalize spending 2 years abroad with no pictures to illustrate what I was doing. I asked the Lord about it, and gave the thought of a new camera to him. I knew it was a little thing, and if He wanted me to go without it, than I would. So yesterday, by way of some tithe money, some forgotten birthday money, and a UPS truck that had no idea it was delivering a gift from God, my cute little Samsung SL50. I know that this wasn't something REALLY exciting like a plane ticket, but to me who doubts much, it was just another evidence that God cares about the little things. Because if He provides for the little needs, then He most certainly cares for, and is in control of the big ones.

I also wanted to share what a blessing it has been to spend this time at home. God has a way of making us be still, and I am enjoying the quiet time and spending quality time with my incredible family. I do not deserve to be so blessed! I have also been soaking up the fellowship with my wonderful church family. After being away at BJU for so long, it is good to be back and renew friendships. God has given a wonderful praying support-group of Christian young women, and I have been blessed by spending time talking and praying with them. At a time of life when my side of conversations consists of support, Germany, me, support, Germany, and more support percentages, these women have served to broaden my perspective past myself.  What amazing fellowship we can have when coming to God's presence together!

 "The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." Psalm 16:6 


As I contemplate the measures I am to take with support-raising, I must keep before me the blessings He as already given. He is faithful!

Monday, September 20, 2010

10 days

Today is September 20th, which means that October is a mere 10 days away. My goal is to be in Germany in October, and I currently have about 10% of the 80% pledged support needed.  God has provided already in  many humbling ways, and I know that He is able to provide the rest.  If you are interested in joining the support team, please see the links at the bottom of the page, or email me personally at laurenholland25@yahoo.com. There is a definite need here, and the sooner I can leave the better. Please pray with me that people will give as God leads them, and that I will continue to trust.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I am overwhelmed with the incredible care God provides. Several new supporters joined the team this week, and I am extremely grateful! Pray with me that God will continue to provide!

Friday, September 17, 2010

While the weather is nice, I've taken to having my devotions outside in our front yard.  Today, as I sat thinking and praying about support, noticed the sparrows. There had been one or two hopping around all week, but this morning there was a whole flock of them foraging through the grass and evidently gorging themselves on something very tasty.  "I wonder if they are even aware of their needs," I thought. The same God that cares for them, cares for me, and yet I sit here and wonder if He remembers I'm here sometimes.
 "Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Luke 12:6-7 
 God, grant me a bigger picture of Who You are, and a greater measure of faith to believe Your promises to me are true.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pressing toward the goal

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
I find myself returning to this verse throughout this process. It's exciting to know that the same God who empowered Paul and worked in him so mightily is my God too! 

Last night I received notification from TeachBeyond about new supporters! Praise the Lord! Support is coming in His time and His way.  Thank God for His Sovereignty!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Motivation

Just wanted to share the chorus to a hymn we sang in church yesterday. I had mindlessly sung the words many times before, but yesterday they embedded themselves in my mind.

"Oh the height and depth of mercy!
Oh the length and breadth of love!
Oh the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above!" 

As we sang, I realized that this, above all, needs to be my power-source. God has given us everything, and what does He ask of me in return? That I live my life wholly for Him, a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) for His complete honor and glory.  He doesn't leave us unequipped, but gives us, "all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3)  

As I thought about the words to the song, all that I have been given, and the ministry I am joining, I was greatly humbled.  He has given me so much, and now I want to give back by pouring into the lives of others the love the He has given me! In order for that to be my motivation in October, it needs to be my motivation today. 


Friday, September 10, 2010

It's in the Little Things...

Once again, I am reminded that God hears our prayers.  This morning as my mom and I went on our routine walk, I was feeling kind of down and out. My confidence in the fact that God could and would provide was pretty low.  We prayed as we went, and I am ashamed to admit that mine was an attitude, of "Please do, though I don't see how it's possible." I was immediately remorseful, and asked Him to strengthen my faith. This afternoon with the mail came a monthly supporter. Praise the Lord! This is His work and doing, not mine. Proverbs 3:5-6