Happy September and happy beginning of a new Fellows year! This is always an exciting time for our Fellows and everyone involved in the program, but it also a time that requires a lot of prayer. We want to cover every aspect of this program in prayer as it would not exist if not for God’s provision and grace. This year is all about starting well, so we pray that our Fellows would start well, starting at the very beginning of this year. Please pray for them as they transition into a new season of life in a new city. Pray that they would be open to what the Lord teaches them this year, however He chooses to teach them. Pray that their insecurities, unknowns, and uncertainties going into this new year would be washed over with immeasurable peace. Pray that they would learn to love this city and its people, each other and those surrounding them, and most of all our God truly and deeply.
As followers of Jesus, we are all headed in the same direction, toward face-to-face life with King Jesus. It makes sense that as we travel together as pilgrims…
God always has a plan. Often His plan is confusing, exhausting, and overwhelming. Looking back at the year in the Fellows program, I see how evident His hand was in each confusing, exhausting, and overwhelming moment. I worked as Program Assistant at Boosterthon Fun Run. Boosterthon proved to be the biggest blessing, while also being the greatest challenge. The role brought me so far outside of my comfort zone. I couldn’t begin to know how to crawl back into it.
The family of Boosterthon was one of genuine love, compassion, and encouragement. While I felt that I wasn’t in my strengths during my internship, that did not stop the Boosterthon team from validating me as the person God made me to be. It is because of Boosterthon that I found my passion for people, and specifically students. I found a desire to use the school campus and community as my mission field.
Boosterthon showed me what it means to be selfless and love others while showering them with God's love. It is because of my time there that I am now a school counselor, teaching character education every day. I will forever be thankful for the Booster family. So lean on the promise that God has designed every second for your best interest even when it is confusing, exhausting, and overwhelming. We need confusing, exhausting, and overwhelming to bring us back to surrender.
“What? We are going on a mission trip to where?!”
I remember those exact thoughts when I learned that our Fellows class was headed to my home state for a week-long mission trip. In fact, I probably laughed out loud. However, when our feet hit the ground in Chattanooga and I saw where we would spend the next several days, my opinion changed.
I knew that we didn’t have to go a third-world country across the globe to do a “missions trip”, but Chattanooga made it tangible. I never knew that I could be so oblivious to circumstances so close to home. This trip opened my eyes and filled with memories that I will never forget. We helped fix a house and move one of the ministry’s neighbors. We volunteered at a local afterschool program, put on a skit, and played a lot of basketball. And we worshipped with community members and heard their testimonies.
I lived overseas for over a year after college, and I am passionate about missions abroad. However, I believe now that we must be focused locally to impact our own communities. We do not have to look outside our own home, neighborhood, workplace, church, or schools to see the desperate need for Christ. My time in Chattanooga as a Fellow will always impact how I see my faith integrating with my daily life.
With more hope comes more intimacy with our Father. He is a giver, and as you press in and stop striving – the more you encounter His actual, tangible love.