Summer wrapped up and and we have begun a new school year. As you can see I'm a little behind with the blog to update you all on what's been happening. This past summer was filled with so much, and I think I can say it was the best Summer I've ever as a part of H2O. There were a few small trips for Ben and I over the last few months, but most of the summer was spent here in Cincy working. During the summer all of our life groups come together and meet in one place instead of having different ones in each dorm. This gives everyone a chance to meet new people, hang out with friends who are in other life groups, and affords a our leaders a bit of a break for the summer. This summer we saw so much community grow from our combined life groups and I am happy to say it helped so many in our church grow deeper in their faith as well. It can be hard for me to meet and make new friends because the roles I have as a staff member make it so that I am not often meeting new people in our congregation. The combined life groups gave me a great chance to get to know so many more people in our church as well as strengthen friendships with many people who I only knew a little, which was a wonderful blessing to me.
I went on a few trips for work this summer, one of which was to a Leadership Training (LT) our network puts every summer. We have for years now been sending our students to the the LT in Colorado, but before this summer we were asked to consider the LT program in New York. So a few of us from Cincinnati and our new church plant in Buffalo put together a scouting trip to experience the program and campus. The LT is held at a large YMCA camp in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. During this trip we went to some of the main teaching sessions, got to know some of the students who were out there, and helped teach and facilitate some smaller group learning sessions. We enjoyed all there was to see from the beautiful surroundings to the structure of the LT program. We not only took time to evaluate the LT program in New York but used much of our free time to survey and enjoy the many activities offered at the camp. We went hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, boating, played volleyball, sailing, and had plenty of good quality time with each other. This trip was such a blast and I was thankful to be a part of it. We have not fully committed to switching, however, it was a very successful and promising trip. Not only did we get to see the merits and amenities of the LT program in New York, we shared some valuable bonding time with each other. Above are some of the many pictures I took while on this trip. God's beauty was all around us and I am so thankful for my staff team and the Buffalo team who came with us.
Our Students' Summer Experience
As always we sent students all over the country and world this summer for different trips. We had dozens of students join with many other Christians from around the world to help share the Gospel in a many different places this Summer. Some went overseas, some went other places in the US, and some stayed in Cincinnati and helped us to continue our mission to engage our surrounding community with the Gospel. Below is Lucas Myers' description of his experience from his mission trip to Indonesia. (Lucas is pictured on the left and Caleb another one of our students who went with Lucas is pictured on the right.)
I had the privilege of spending 8 weeks this summer in Indonesia alongside 50+ college students from all over the nation sharing the Gospel. We stayed on the island of Java, which is the most populous island in the world. Roughly 95% of the population on the island are Muslim. It is illegal to share the Gospel in Indonesia, but we were called and sent by God to share the greatest news anyone could ever hear. So we listened to Him, and responded with our faithful YES. Caleb and I were partnered together with a team of 4 from LSU, growing in fellowship and going out together sharing the Gospel. Together, our team got to build relationships and share the (Continued below)Gospel with roughly 30-40 people, which is so cool! The people we reached and people who came to know Christ was all the Lord and His doing. Praise God that He used us and we got to witness His love, power and glory. One of the saddest and yet encouraging parts of the summer was getting to share the Gospel, and hearing from them that they’ve never heard the Gospel before. One of our friends asked us, “If you truly believe this is the only way to heaven, the truth, then why haven’t any of my Christian friends told me about this?” These people are unreached with the Gospel, and unnoticed in the world. BUT, praise God that we were sent to reach them with the Gospel and notice them with the love, grace and truth of Jesus Christ. One of the coolest moments was handing one of our friends a Bible and them responding with, “this is the greatest gift I have ever received.” Our friends were people of peace and so desired to seek after the truth. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” We got to sit down with them and open up the Word of God, the truth that they’ve looked forward being filled with their whole lives. As a team, we went through plenty of physical warfare, and we believe that was all from the enemy trying to distract us. But praise God that He not only delivered us from that, but He kept our eyes on Him. We got to admit weakness to present His perfect strength through us. 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” As we left, we got to hand over our friends to those there for the long run that will continue to pour into their lives the love of Christ. I want to invite all of you to start praying and considering opportunities to go overseas on summer trips. The Holy Spirit is speaking to you and so desires to partner with you, for the nations to hear the Gospel and enter into relationship with Jesus. This summer has changed my life and my intimacy with Jesus has grown so much since coming back. I learned that the Lord just wants our faithfulness. My perspectives have changed in a lot of amazing ways in bringing glory to His name, seeking rest in Jesus, and going out and making disciples of all nations.
Some quick job updates! I would like to inform you all of a couple new ways I am serving
H2O Church. The ways I have been serving our church are as:
Women's Ministry director
Post-Grad Ministry Director
Starting this year I will also be adding
Children's Ministry Director
Service Team Co- Director
During the summer my husband, Ben, had the opportunity to preach a sermon. If you would like to listen to it click the link below.
If you would like to give to the ministry that I am doing here at The University of H2O click the link below. Our staff is fully reliant on the generosity of others to do the work we do here. I am completely honored and blessed to have so many wonderful people on my team already and to continue to do this work for the kingdom I need people to continue to join my team. Thank you!
H2O has a Bonfire store with some of our new and old designs for shirts if you would like to purchase any of those items you can click the link and check out our store.