October 29, 2012

Our Decision to Serve

Greetings from dreary Rochester, NY! I hope and pray that you're safe from Hurricane Sandy wherever you are. 

Josh and I are keeping warm by scrambling through the toughest part of our fall semester (a feat made more difficult by the fact that classes are cancelled until further notice.) We’re looking forward to taking our final courses here at Roberts Wesleyan College before we graduate in May, as well as (perhaps unwisely) tacking onto our schedules several fun extracurricular activities such as theater ministry, dinners out on the town sponsored by our senior class, a young adult church group, and even intramural water polo. The way we see it, when will we get an opportunity to do these things again?
We have been blessed by many amazing and unforeseen opportunities while studying at Roberts. As followers of the blog may know, at the start of this past summer we returned from a semester abroad in Ávila, Spain which was required in order for Josh to complete his major in Spanish. Even now, we can hardly believe that we spent five months in Europe as a young married couple. God has been so good and has never failed to provide the resources we need to accomplish His will.

Josh and I absolutely love travel. We love exploring languages, history, cultures, and of course, food.  The truth is, we have both been somewhat convicted lately by how self-serving we have always been in our traveling. We have put a lot of effort into planning out our adventures so as to get the most possible enjoyment and excitement from them, rather than planning how to give something back to the communities that we have visited.

This is why we have decided to travel with a student organization known as Enactus to Guatemala City, Guatemala in August of 2013. 

We are planning this trip with the express purpose of giving of ourselves in order to serve others. In particular, we plan to serve underprivileged children and single mothers who have been delivered from physical and emotional abuse to live at the Hogar Mama Carmen. Some of these children are orphans, but through vacation bible schools, English classes, and even basic entrepreneurship classes for the older children and mothers, our team hopes to show them that someone loves them—and more importantly, that Jesus loves them.

The mission of Enactus is to enable global progress through entrepreneurial action. Their values include imagination, courage, determination, and accountability, as well as placing a strong emphasis on teamwork. Enactus (formerly known as SIFE for Students In Free Enterprise) has active chapters in almost forty countries of which Guatemala is just one. Last year a SIFE team from Roberts traveled to India for a similar project to what we are anticipating in Guatemala. Enactus's approach to missions is to meet the immediate needs of the poor and hungry, but to then go a step further by teaching them practical business skills that they may be self-sufficient members of the kingdom of God. Our hope is that the people we help will be empowered to help others in turn.

As excited as we are about this project, we are also scared. Of course there are more pressing things we could be doing with the few thousand dollars it will take to visit Latin America for two weeks. We could be saving up to pay back four years of college loans. We could be planning to start a family. 

The thing is, we don't feel right about asking God for His blessing, financial or otherwise, if we are unwilling to give back to His kingdom in some way.

It may seem unwise to some, but we are taking a leap of faith and trusting not only that God will provide the funds to make this mission trip a reality, but that His eternal rewards will far outweigh this small sacrifice. 

We would appreciate your prayers as this life-changing opportunity approaches! 

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