If I ever doubt the grace of God (and I will, believe me), I hope I think back to this summer in the Badlands, where His grace was more evident to me than it has ever been.
This summer I have been selfish. I did not look on the people around me with love when I should have, I avoided hard conversations, I was not often honest in the areas where I was struggling.
Yet, I saw God move in this little random town in North Dakota in a way that I can’t even express.
People who had never heard the gospel before asked hard questions, I found friends from all over the world and got to love and be loved by them so well. I was met with a peace that brought healing from my last semester and rejuvenation for the one to come.
When you trust the Lord with something like your summer…even if you withhold a few of the parts of that thing…He is able to do more than you could ask or imagine and move in profound ways.
Now that I’ve been home for about a week, it has been too easy to slip into complacency when it comes to my relationship with the Lord.
But God in His continual grace just reminds me gently how loved I am here at home too and that my summer was no mistake. And He reminds me that I can fall back once again into His arms, despite how many times I will try to pull away.
Things I learned in the last 5 days of doing life in North Dakota:
1. God will meet you where you are at, wherever you are at, even if you travel hundreds of miles to get there. As soon as we arrived for our first day of Cru Summer Mission, I was met with a few days of rest and peace. I can’t even begin to tell you how desperately I needed them after this last semester – the most difficult emotionally and educationally I have had. Now that we are in Medora and settling in, I have fallen in love with this little town and the people in it. I can’t wait to spend the next 11 weeks here and I couldn’t be more assured that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
2. This walk with God can be joyful because of the gift of the Holy Spirit. This has really been the theme of mission so far in our quiet time materials and group meetings. If I claimed to have any boldness in my faith I would be lying through my teeth. It is through His Spirit that we are able to live a life that honors God, not through any of our own strength or actions. One thing I have always struggled with is finding joy in my walk with the Lord, and honestly being jealous of people who seemed to have found that joy. I am starting to see that I was trying to do it on my own strength, but it is through His Spirit that I am equipped to find a joy and peace in everything.
Uffda (apparently an expression North Dakotans use)! God is just so good.
Summer 2019 I have an opportunity to participate in a leadership development project with Cru in the city of Medora, ND. For 12 weeks, I will be living in Medora with the 325 people that come here to work for the summer. We will work during the day and participating in leadership development and outreach projects in the evenings and over the weekends.
Every summer, our mission has the opportunity to influence people from the nations that gather to live and work in Medora. This summer, I will be able to meet and work alongside people from around the world as well as those from the U.S. We pray for them, befriend them, and seek to point them to Jesus as the Way. the Truth, and the Life. We disciple those that respond to Christ. We have the opportunity to minister to them as we do life with them and pray that God will take the gospel to other places as they leave with a love for Jesus and heart for their people.