It’s only been 3 days since I got here but it feels much longer! Here I go with attempting to be concise…
My team is awesome. We have 10 girls and 4 guys, and 5 staff members. My roommates are so sweet, and we’ve had a lot of fun hanging out together so far. There’s definitely been a lot of laughter in our apartment. 🙂 My room consists of Megan, Ashley, Lexi, Molly, and myself. Three of us are from Ball State! I’m glad I’ll get to be in close proximity to project friends during the school year. We bought a really large bag of tortillas, and we’ve given our apartment the name, “International House of Tortillas”. IHOT, if you will. Hahah. Silliness. All these women really love the Lord and it’s been so cool to hear their stories and get into their lives a bit. I’m excited to continue to go deeper in the relationships here as project progresses.
Since we’ve been here, most of our time has been spent getting to know the area and our teammates, and training for ministry. I think the coolest parts have been exploring SDSU’s beautiful campus, casting vision for the project, and going to a Latino church.
Just to make a note and put a picture in your mind for where we’ll be doing ministry… the campus is multi-level with white Californian-looking buildings (if that makes sense), and covered with beautiful plants that I’ve never seen before. Most of them anyway. Some of us have been running in the mornings, and the hills are killer. But the stunning scenery makes up for it 🙂
This morning we had a group meeting where we talked about our vision for this project. One thing we want is to reflect the church in Acts 2, and become the kind of familia that other people will see and want to join because of Christ’s love. This means, basically, encouraging one another towards Christ and loving one another well. The other really cool thing about this project is that we are the first ones here. There are 10 new Destino plants around the U.S. and we are one of them. There will be summer projects here for years to come, and we will have started a Destino movement that could eventually grow to have hundreds of members. It’s a cool thought that some of my Spirit-led actions here on this project while working for the Lord could have an affect on someone 10 years from now. We’re going to be working with this rapidly growing people group. We watched a powerpoint with some stats about the Latino people group and the growth really is insane. It’s also cool to think that these same people whose lives will be changed by the Lord could potentially go to the Middle East and be more accepted by the culture than someone who was, say, purely Caucasian (like me), and could share the Gospel there. God is on the move, friends.
The other really awesome thing that I have experienced is church at Vida Nueva. The pastor there is blind, and bilingual. He used to be a radio talk show host so his voice is wonderful. He came around and greeted each and every one of us before church started, which shows his character. Pastor Sanchez – he’s great guy. But get this… we went to the bilingual service and at first he was leading worship on the guitar. He would pray in both English and Spanish, alternating between languages to translate what he just said. And when we sang, he would do a couple verses in English and then switch to Spanish. His English was probably better than mine! The best part was when the translating devices for the sermon weren’t working and he would read the sermon notes in braille, speak it in English, and then say the same thing again in Spanish. So this guy was basically Superman. I was very impressed, and it’s actually helping me to learn more Spanish. Also, almost every Latino person in that sanctuary came up and greeted each of us personally. That right there is what I love about the Hispanic or Latino culture. They are so hospitable and considerate. Going to that church made my day! And right afterwards we walked to get frozen yogurt so that wasn’t bad either. 🙂
Things are going well here. You can definitely continue to pray about the transition… that our team would continue to mesh and be vulnerable with one another so we can grow together, and that we would really learn what it looks like to be in an Acts 2 community.
Another prayer request would be for our ministry here. Pray that God does big things while we’re here, and that we would not limit Him but rather expect the impossible. Pray for the students who have never been sharing before, or who have never shared their faith with anyone. They are gonna be fine, but are a little nervous to go out for the first time. Pray for boldness, and natural interactions with students here.
We’re not quite sure what things are going to look like from week to week yet. This ministry is being pioneered of course, so nothing is tried-and-true. Pray that God would lead us to solid connections to help us find students who want to join or lead the Destino movement here.
Thank you guys for your prayers and support. By the way, I can’t be sure until all the donations go through the computer system, but I think I’m almost fully supported. Praise God for He is faithful! I think I only need about $200 more or somewhere around there. So close!
More to come as more things happen 🙂