Over the next 5 months, a group of young adults from Knox will be preparing to travel and lead a teen summer camp with a church in Latvia (more specifics are coming…). We want to invite you along in our preparations! We’ll be posting a series of blog posts to keep you apprised of our plans and God’s plans for us as we work with Josiah Venture, partnering with local churches in Eastern Europe, and loving teens by hosting amazing summer camp experiences. We’d love you’re prayers, questions, and support along the way. This month, find out how our team member, Holly, has felt God’s leading in her life and why she chose to join the Knox + Josiah Venture Partnership this summer!
When I heard about this opportunity to go to Latvia and work with the youth there, I was drawn back to when I was at Urbana 2012 and being challenged to serve abroad. Before I talk about looking forward to serving in Latvia I want to start by talking about my mindset before attending Urbana 2012. For those who don’t know, Urbana is a missions conference in St Louis Missouri, USA where Christians from all over the world come together every 3 years to learn and fellowship together between Boxing Day and New Years Eve. Prior to attending Urbana in 2012 I had no intention of EVER being a part if a missions trip especially one that was outside of Canada. During my time at Urbana God broke my heart for people around the world. At Urbana you get to meet Christians from all around the world like Ecuador, Japan, and Nigeria. After hearing about other people’s life experiences and the work that has been done and is being done for God’s glory, I surrendered my insecurity and fears to God and prayed that if it was God’s will to serve abroad that He would graciously give me the strength and confidence to do it.
Flash forward to a few months ago, this past fall 2014, when this Latvian trip was mentioned. I became intrigued by what the trip entailed and began ticking off check marks in my head. It is a missions trip for adults ages 18 to 35 years old, check. I am in that demographic. Part of this missions trip will involve working with youth, check. Being an Early Childhood Educator I have many experiences working with children and teenagers and I like working with them. Most recently, it was revealed the type of camp we will be serving; a music fusion camp, check. I feel comfortable being a part of something like that since I have studied piano from when I was 8 to 17 years old and am in Knox Senior Choir. With being totally qualified for this missions trip I turned to God and asked, “Alright, God, what are you up to?”. After time in prayer I recalled a song at Urbana that I learned called, “I will go”. Some of the lyrics are,
“I will go, I will go, I will go Lord send me…
Take everything I am.
I’m clay within your hands”.
I believe that God gives us skills and experiences all for His glory. Some skills and experiences we think are not going to be useful in our lives. I learned piano a long time ago and don’t play anymore, yet now I will be able to use my knowledge and singing gifts with youth in Latvia. Being devout in my faith in Jesus Christ for 9 years, God will use my walk with the Lord to share the gospel with those around me on this trip.
Going on this trip will stretch me to “let go and let God” just simply by hopping on a plane that is going to Europe. I have never been to Europe and I have a fear of travelling. Being a Torontonian will help. Knowing people from around the world and having eaten different ethnic food has prepped me for this trip. Again, God using life experiences to aid us in trying times. Being in a leadership position will push me to be prayerful as I serve day by day to be a good witness of God and letting God be the center of it all. I look forward to being a part of this missions trip and sharing my experiences from it afterwards.