Gordon College and Boston

Monday to Wednesday this week I got to go to Gordon College to recruit with World Horizons. While we were there we got to sight see a little bit around Boston. I got to film two of my friends dumping tea in the Boston Harbor, which was fun. It was fun to walk around the city and see some of things that I grown up hearing about in American History classes.

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Make Him Known

In my last post I shared about an awful thing that happened to me recently, now I am going to share something happier.

About a month ago, the international director of World Horizons, the missions organization that I am training to be a part of, came to our office for morning devotions like he usually does on Thursdays. He said he had been invited to speak at a Brazilian church in the Boston area for their Missions Conference and they wanted him to bring someone with Children’s Ministry experience. When I heard that, I immediately wanted to go, Children’s ministry is what my degree is in but I haven’t had many opportunities to do it since graduating but it is still what I want to do in the future.

Today I woke up at 3:45 AM and got in a car to ride all the way up from Richmond to Boston and got to teach about 30 elementary age children about making Jesus known. The theme of the conference is “Know Jesus and make Him known” and that is exactly what I want to do with my life.

Today I got to teach a group of kids about how a man named Phillip, one of Jesus’s 12 disciples, made Jesus known to an Ethiopian man.
Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Go

The Disciples After Jesus: Phillip

Acts 8:26-40

After Jesus died and came back to life three days later, he spent 40 more days with his disciples on earth and then he ascended into heaven to be with the Father. When Jesus left the disciples he gave them instructions to go and teach other people about him.

The disciples quickly got to work teaching other people about Jesus and the good news of how saved them from their sins. They told people about how Jesus had taken the punishment for our sins, so we would not have to. Some of the disciples stayed near the city of Jerusalem and some traveled to faraway places.

Today we are going to learn about a disciple that we do not hear a lot about but he definitely Dared to Go when and where God told him to go. Philip was one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples. One day an angel from God told Philip to go to a road in the desert that goes from the city of Jerusalem to another city called Gaza. The angel did not tell him why he needed to go there, but Philip obeyed anyway and Dared to Go.

When Philip got there he met an Ethiopian man who was an official of the Ethiopian Queen. The man had just gone to Jerusalem to worship and when he met Philip he was reading from the book of Isaiah, a book that is in the Old Testament of the Bible. This book has a lot of prophecies about Jesus before he was on earth.

Philip asked the man if he could understand what he was reading, but the man told him that he did not understand it and needed someone to explain it to him. The Ethiopian man invited Philip to sit with and read the passage of scripture he was reading, he asked Philip several questions. While Philip explained the passage to the man, he also got to teach him about the good news of Jesus and he told him about miracles Jesus did while he was on earth and how he saved everyone from our sins.

While Philip was talking, the man decided to believe in Jesus and wanted to be baptized. There was a nearby pond, so Philip baptized him right then and there. After this encounter both men went on their way. The Ethiopian man probably went back to Ethiopia and got to share what he had just learned from Philip with the people he knew there. The Bible tells us that Philip went on to share the gospel (the good news of Jesus) in several towns.

Since Philip listened to God and Dared to Go, he got to teach someone about the gospel who might not have ever heard it otherwise.

Memory Verse for the Week:

Psalm 96:3

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all people.”

A week ago today.

I am writing this in hopes that it will help me heal.

A week ago today, I was assaulted in the parking lot behind my apartment building and my phone was stolen. I don’t care if no one reads this, but I need to get it out of my head. I don’t want to scare people but I am also posting this because people need to be aware. This does really happen and it does really happen here.

What happened has played over and over in my head everyday since then, what I could have done differently to have not gotten in that situation in the first place, what could have happened if I hadn’t done what I did to get out of the situation. A lot of thoughts about the “what ifs” and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I was getting home from my shift at the Short Pump Town Center, last Wednesday, and sitting in my car listening to the last song on the radio. A man came and knocked on my window – he did not appear to be threatening, he just looked like the dozen of other homeless guys around my neighborhood. I opened my door to tell him that I didn’t have any cash or anything to give him.

He told me that he didn’t know how to use the ATM and wanted me to walk with him to the bank on the corner to help him with the machine. Innocent enough, but I have seen too many crime shows to feel comfortable getting out my car and walking with some strange man in the dark, so I said no. This made him frustrated but we kept talking, I wrote down for him how to use the machine but told I didn’t want to go with him. He asked if I was going home, I didn’t want to tell him that I was home because I didn’t want him to know where I lived.

Then he told me he had a gun with him that he wanted to sell, at this point in the conversation I still didn’t feel like he was really a threat, probably because he didn’t take the gun out. He asked me if I wanted it or if I knew anyone who might want it, I said no. We kept talking for a bit then he told me to take him to the ATM again, I said no, I didn’t want to get out of my car with him.

Then he told me to take him to the 7/11, I told him that was definitely not going to happen, I wasn’t going let him in my car. I told him I couldn’t help him anymore and tried to shut my door. He blocked my door and would not let me shut it and got closer to me. This is when I started to get scared. He wasn’t leaving and he had told me he had a gun, at this point he mentioned the gun again and said he was going to get it out.

I was really nervous at this point but I tried to stay calm, I asked him if he was going to shoot me if I did not do what he wanted me to do. I don’t know what made me ask that. At this point I had been talking to this guy for at least 5 minutes, while I felt weird about the situation and I knew I was not going to do what he wanted me to do, I guess I was still hoping that he would just go away. I had my phone in my hand, ready to call 911 if the situation did get dangerous.

He told me he was going to shoot me if I didn’t take him to the 7/11. I this point I started screaming and trying to call 911, he reached into my car, pinning me in, yelling at me to stop screaming. I kicked him and kept screaming. He grabbed my phone and ran away.

I was in shock for a little bit but then I got out my car to try to find someone to call 911, since I didn’t have a phone anymore. I screamed for help again, trying to get someone to help me. I thought about going up to the apartment to get a phone from a roommate but then my friend and neighbor, Sam came out because he heard screaming. A couple came down the alley from the opposite direction and called 911. By the time the police got to where we were, my roommate and friends, Jeans and Skye came down and Sam called people from our organization that live close and our director and they all came over.

I did a report with the police and thankfullying Hillside has security cameras and caught him on tape. That night the police caught a guy that matched the describtion and the detective took me to see him, but it wasn’t him. He is still out there, somewhere. I don’t have high hopes that they will catch him, which freaks me out more than a little bit and makes me worried that he will come back. The stolen phone has been deactivated and added to AT&T’s stolen phone list and is basically just a paperweight now. I don’t care about the phone, it has already been replaced.

My phone case is my wallet too, but thankfully by some kind of miracle when he grabbed my phone it popped out of the case and he only got away with the phone and I still have all my cards and ID.

I am so thankful for the community I have here that came to my aid and surrounded me that night and have prayed for and with me since then. I am thankful for my roommate, Jeans, that lets me text her that I am coming home, so that someone is expecting me home by a certain time. And I am thankful for my co-worker at the mall, Carla, who texts me to make sure I got home safely.

I have signed up for a self-defense class in May, I have bought mace to carry with me and I have signed up for counseling.

Carrot Cake

This weekend I was planning on buying cupcakes for an Easter lunch potluck with my friends because I did not have time to make cupcakes. When I got to the store they did not have any good cupcakes. But they had carrot cake.

My dad makes carrot cake almost every year for Easter. And since he is Indiana and I am in Virginia, Walmart carrot cake will have to do.

Resurrection

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Forgive

Jesus’ Resurrection

Matthew 28:1-15, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-54, John 20:1-29

This week we have talked about the last week before Jesus died on the cross. On first day we learned about Mary washing Jesus’ feet with the really expensive perfume and when Jesus road into town on a donkey and people shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Praise God!” Then the next day we learned about the last supper that Jesus had with his disciples and told them about communion and took them to the Garden to pray. Next we learned about how Jesus was put through an unfair trial and condemned to death and how he died on the cross. Today we are going to learn about what happened after Jesus died on the cross. Something amazing happened, Jesus did not stay dead! Death could not keep him!

Three days after Jesus died, on a Sunday morning a few women, including Mary, went to the tomb where Jesus’ body was buried to mourn him. However, when they got there they saw that the boulder that had been covering the entrance had rolled away. When they went up to the tomb and looked in, they were shocked because it was empty. Jesus’ body was not there!

The women were confused but then two angels appeared to them and they were scared. The angels asked them, “Why are you looking among the dead for the living? He isn’t there! He has risen from the dead! Remember when he told you that he would raise back to life on the 3rd day after he died.” Then the women remembered that Jesus had said this.

The women ran to tell the disciples what they had seen and heard, but the men thought that this was nonsense. Peter went to the tomb to check it out for himself and he saw the same thing the women had and he believed Jesus was back.

Later Jesus appeared to the disciples and he continued to be with them and teach them for 40 days. After the 40 days, Jesus ascended (went up) to Heaven to be with God the Father. Jesus told the disciples that he was going to be with the Father to prepare a place for us to come when it was time for us.

As humans we have all sinned, done things that we know are wrong but do them anyway, it is in our nature as humans. The Bible says that the punishment for our sin is death, that because we are sinners, we all deserve death. Jesus is fully man and fully God and he is the only person to ever be perfect. Jesus never sinned. Therefore, he did not deserve to die the way that he did. Jesus loved us so much that he took our place, he took the punishment that we all deserved so, if we believe in him, we would not have to. Because Jesus took our place, when we believe in him and call him our Savior, God dares to forgive us of all our sins. This means when we die and are not on earth anymore, we get to go and spend forever with God!

Memory Verse for the Week:

Ephesians 4:32

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”