Hola Hola, amigos!
Considering I started the month having no clue what to expect, January pleasantly surprised me! I moved into a new host family home, Rock City Youth came in like a wrecking ball, and my birthday was the highlight of everyone’s month!
January started out with a move! I am now living with Pam and Brad Boseker. Pam is my discipler (mentor). As part of my Development Plan from Rock City Church, she and I meet at on the couch once a week for a lesson on evangelism, how to study the Bible or we focus on one Bible theme. These lessons with Pam are changing how I view God, how I read the Bible and how I view myself in God’s plan. One-on-one mentor time with Pam is definitely something I would not be getting if I were in San Salvador right now, so I am appreciating that beautiful perk of being stateside! One of the greatest parts of living with my mentor is that I get daily encouragement and support for this unexpected life detour I’m currently in.
After a month long hiatus, Rock City Youth came back in 2016 with a night of killer worship and a solid message from our Rock City Church Lead Pastor, Chad Fisher. Not only had Youth been on break for a month, but I was in Colorado for the month of November, so it had been since the end of October that I had seen my Youth comrades! Being back with the students laughing, catching up on life and praising God was just what I needed in the midst of my season of uncertainty. Turns out they weren’t so disappointed that I’m still around. 😉
A few weeks ago, Amanda, the Rock City Youth Pastor, and I decided that part of my uneasiness of being in Ohio was that I no longer had a schedule. Fortunately for me, Amanda is one of my more ingenious friends!
We sat down and figured that as a full-time employee of Reliant Mission, I should be working about 40 hours per week. So what am I doing with those 40 hours? My Development Plan from Rock City included:
- Weekly counseling appointments
- Twice a week discipleship meetings with Pam
- Weekly Spanish lessons
- Rock City Youth Leadership
- Intentionally deepening my relationship with Dad before leaving the country
We scheduled out the appropriate amount of hours for each of those activities and I was left with about 13 hours to fill.
When I began serving with Rock City Youth, I was put in the position of the 9th-grade girls’ LifeGroup (small group) leader. I absolutely loved this job and it solidified my passion for youth ministry. Since then, I have been moved around a bit to fit the needs of Youth, but I have always been a LifeGroup Leader. Pastor Amanda decided that it was time to up my game and strengthen my building muscles.
In Rock City Youth, I was a leader, spending time with the students and committing much of my schedule to connecting with them. I was now going to become a builder. I love being a LifeGroup leader, and honestly, I’m pretty good at it. But the next level, administrative stuff was where my skills were weaker. As a builder, I am building up new leaders to be able to go out and reach the students of Columbus.
I am now the Rock City Youth Leadership Coordinator! Youth is fortunate enough to be rapidly growing with students AND potential leaders. In the past, when someone has expressed interest in leadership, we’ve welcomed them aboard, background checked them and threw them in the pool! But as a growing organization, we need a more official and thorough process of onboarding new leaders. It is now my job to develop that process and implement it with oncoming leaders.
Yeah…I really had no clue how to do that, so this was going to be a challenge. I’m more of a people person – I can convince a brick wall to be my best friend! But coordinating all those friends into a well oiled Youth Leadership machine…?? I didn’t even know where to begin, but I was ready and willing to learn!
Amanda introduced me to a few of the web apps she has been using to organize her Youth Leadership Team. Using these apps, leadership requirements and my own experience as a leader, I got to work developing a process.
This has been a challenge for me because as much as I love being organized, getting organized can often be difficult for me to initiate and maintain. I also know very little about what requirements there are for a person in leadership at Rock City Church and how to accomplish those requirements. I also wanted to make sure we were developing a very clear process so that when I do move to San Salvador, whoever takes my place can simply step in and pick up where I leave off.
Amanda and I have a pretty good system worked out that includes a thorough system from a person’s initial interest to shadowing a Youth Leader Pro to placing the applicant in the best fitting leadership position.
Stepping out of my comfort zone of LifeGroup leadership and into a new, more administrative role isimperative for my future work in San Salvador. A year ago, Jorge, the Iglesia Gran Comisión Youth Director, told me that the leaders of the church had been “praying for someone to come and help with our youth ministry!” With my small group leading abilities and my leader-building skills, I will hopefully be God’s answer to that prayer. Whatever need is the greatest, I will be able to step in and begin to help.
Another immediate need is for someone to help update sponsors of the children in the Development Centers of El Guayabo and Soyapango. We are blessed to have over 200 children sponsored, but that means that there are over 200 people in the States wondering how their child is doing and how their money is helping. I am eager to jump in right away and begin connecting the sponsors to the child they help to support.
I’m spending more time in the Rock City Offices working with Amanda, still accomplishing my Development Plan, and enjoying life with my friends. It’s definitely not the ridiculously, crazy schedule I was maintaining over the summer and it’s not the blank canvas I was struggling to fill last month.
Call me Goldilocks, because this schedule is just right. (ha! I slay myself sometimes!)
OH! The greatest part of the month was my birthday! DUH! On January 21st, I solidified my position as a woman in her thirties by successfully turning 31! WOOOO!!!! As a Christmas gift, Dad and Cathy gave me some money to spoil myself with, so on my birthday, I did just that. I got a massage and a manicure, watched 2 hours of Law & Order: SVU and for the 19th year in a row, the fam went to Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse for dinner! The following night, Dad was kind enough to host a birthday party in his home! I think the last birthday I celebrated with that many teenagers was back when I WAS a teenager! We had a selfie wall (a background for selfies – NOT a wall of selfies of me. Although that would have been clever), Chick-Fil-A chicken and the loveliest cupcakes I think I’ve ever seen! The night was filled with the people I love. It was the perfect end to a perfect birthday.
So. When am I leaving?
I still don’t know anything yet. And believe me, as soon as I do, the entire world will know! There will be a Facebook post, email, blog, cloud writing…believe me, you will know! But here is what I do know, to borrow a snippet from my previous blog post:
“Yet” means that I am still pursuing an answer, that what I am praying for will happen at the right time and that I still have hope. I rest in the truth that just because God is silent on the matter does not mean He does not hear me. God hears my cries and He will answer my prayer of moving to San Salvador. He just hasn’t…yet.
“Because He bends down to listen I will pray as long as I have breath.”
- That God would continue to guide the days, weeks, and maybe even months that I am still in Ohio.
- That people would continue to support my ministry, whether I am stateside or abroad.
- That Rock City Youth would continue to grow! I recently discovered that “Make Out Calendars” are a thing, so it is evident to me that this generation is desperate for unending love and the only place they will find it is in the arms of their heavenly Father. This world needs youth ministry.
- For growth in the Iglesia Gran Comisión (San Salvador church that I will be working for) Youth Program! The needs of youth are not specific to our country. The Salvadoran youth are just as desperate for love and acceptance and the church’s youth ministry is working diligently to point them towards Jesus.
- That my Dad and I would continue to have quality time together and that through it, our relationship would continue to strengthen.
I would also love to pray for you! Please text me or call me letting me know what your prayer needs are. Rock City Church is on Day 12 of a 21 Day Fast. Rather than taking something away, I am adding something in to my life. Every morning at 6am, I am waking up before the sun for an hour of pure prayer. No devotional, no journal, not even my Bible – just me and God in the quiet stillness of the morning. It would be a privilege to include your prayers and praises in my new morning ritual.
be cheerful no matter what // pray all the time // thank God no matter what happens.
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