These last three days, I was at a leadership retreat called “Gear Up” with all the other Cru leaders in my region, the Sioux Empire. God has really blessed our region with more staff than ever, and the whole region’s movement is growing, as we have begun movements on other campuses, which is super exciting. We basically planned out the year in a vague way and planned the first few weeks of school specifically. It was the wrap up of the summer before school starts up again. God pretty much affirmed the things he’s been teaching me this summer.
For example, God has been giving me a heart for the world. I may not ever be able to go overseas, but I have begun to pray for it. Ethiopia seems to be brought up in many random ways. Just when I forget about it for a moment, it comes back into my view. It started this summer when a family from Ethiopia staffed Project. They are International Campus Crusade staff. Also, another family that was there had adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia years ago. What? Girma told us what God was doing in Ethiopia, and what the plan was for reaching the unreached people groups in the country. It is really fascinating! Ethiopia is a Christian nation, though Islam is attempting to come in and take over. If Ethiopia becomes Islam (Islam reaching the unreached people groups first), Islam will have the upper hand in taking over the rest of Africa. And then I read Isaiah 18, which speaks of Ethiopia, as well (I had to read a commentary, though, because it was a tough chapter to interpret!). Oh, and then this weekend, I met a girl who has two brothers also adopted from Ethiopia. World missions has been discussed in the book I’m currently reading, “Radical” by David Platt, and it was a seminar at the retreat. When I think of world missions as of late, I think of Africa. Specifically, Ethiopia. I also feel led to intern on campus after I graduate. Many of my friends are planning to STINT (short-term international) for a year after graduation, but I really like working with college students. I think it would be awesome to pour into others who are still in school and encourage them to GO.
Another thing that God has been continually teaching me was that he uses the Multiple Sclerosis I have for his glory. I was asked to share two minutes of my testimony in front of everyone there, so I spoke of my MS diagnosis. I may not see how he uses it, but I have faith (aka TRUST) that he does. MS encompasses a few of my biggest fears for the coming year and for the future in general. It is so unpredictable, and at the most inopportune times it restricts me physically. How can I climb four flights of stairs when I am having trouble walking? What happens when my hands are too tired to function properly and I need to write or practice my instrument (and I play percussion!)? How can I stay up late bonding with friends, when I would pay for it? However, even these worries are opportunity to trust in the Lord.
I am looking forward to the year. As we were planning, I began realizing how far out of my comfort zone I would have to go this year. But I will learn so much and be better because of it! And my new favorite word will be the one I cling to even more than ever: TRUST.
TRUSTing and smiling, Anna =)^2