The time has finally come.
In about a week I will be boarding a plane and heading to Tacoma, Washington. You see, for the last year and a half I have wanted to intern with a ministry called Soma (it is the Greek word for body). My plan was to head out there last summer but for several reasons it was not possible. However, this summer is the summer.
Here is what happened. While I was visiting my family at home I happened to delay returning to Moody so that I could go to church with the fam. After the service I caught up with a guy named Caesar.
C and I go way back. Caesar took me on my first mission trip to Czech Republic. Lets just say the first day ended with him dousing Bactine on leg wounds located on a blubbering 10 year-old who decided to run down the big hill and accidently fell into a poisonous briar patch. (Bactine+little wounds with some plant poison in them = legs bursting into flame.) So yeah, we’re pretty tight. (Not really.) It is okay though because I don’t think that he remembers any of that.
Anyways, Caesar encouraged me to check out and apply to be an intern with the ministry for which he is the vice president. After a couple of months I was connected to Pastor Derek Hiebert. Derek was great. We talked several times on the phone and he seemed to take some interest in me.
For the summer of 2010, my original plan was to head out and intern with him at his church. As we talked more, heading out that direction seemed more and more like where God was leading. But do you know those times where you feel like God may be leading you in a direction, everything is clicking, plans are coming together, but then there is one major thing that doesn’t come together? And then all of a sudden it seems like God says yes this is a good thing but not right now. Yup that was me last summer.
I just did not have the money. I had a problem of cash flow…there wasn’t any. So my solution was to try and find a job. Maybe Starbucks would employ me and then transfer me to Tacoma, there is probably a Starbucks near the church (they’re everywhere!). Nope. That plan did not fly. I called at least (honestly) 100 places trying to find out if they would employ me. None of them worked.
So I was pretty bummed. However, Derek was optimistic that things would work out for the following (this) summer. And for the summer of 2010, I went to CHBC. Turns out God knew what He was doing and my frustration simply made me look foolish. “But I don’t want to go to camp!” “Too bad. Trust me, this WILL draw you to myself. Though you dont want to go, Chris, you will get more of me.”
So the summer ended and I went back to MBI. I kept in contact with Derek. We talked and decided the best course of action to prepare for this (2011) summer was to send out support letters since clearly getting a job was pretty much out of the question. The letters would force me out of my comfort zone (I very much dislike doing that kind of stuff), if I raised enough I could focus all my time on the internship, and it would give people the opportunity to sacrifice for my mission. I was apprehensive. Well honestly, I thought the money would never come in.
Derek and I, using Google docs (that is so cool!) drafted and redrafted the support letter. Finally, the day after spring break ended, I sent them out and left it up to God. I was astounded at the return! People sent in money! About two weeks after originally sending them out I had already received $1600! Also, my parents were gracious enough to buy my plane ticket (I had anticipated paying for it all). Man, God is good.
Because God was gracious enough to prompt people to give, I get to go. I am incredibly thankful. Thankful and excited. To bring it full circle, I am leaving June 6th. This is a totally new experience for me and I am fired up to see what God will do.
There are some things I would like to say in closing:
1) Derek, thank you. It means a lot to me that you took such an interest in me. Seriously. That you would share your time (and your home with me this summer) when you have many other things grabbing at your attention speaks volumes. Thank you. I am excited to finally meet you face to face.
2) Thank you to all of you who contributed to send me on mission to Tacoma. I do not take lightly the sacrifice you have given to support me. I will steward the money well and.
3) For everyone please continue to pray for me. At this point I need safe travels and it would be nice if the airlines did not lose my luggage (just sayin’). But please pray that I would finish well. It seems like a weird thing to pray for at this point. That you would finish well? You have not even left yet. Yeah I know, but it seems appropriate to entreat the Father that He would draw me closer to Himself. That I would be closer to Him when I finish the internship than when I started.
4) And finally, please continue to receive updates. Subscribe to my blog or check back regularly. I plan to update regularly on the previous week, ask for prayer requests, and encourage you in helping to stir your affections for Christ.
Overall I am pumped. I am pumped to see how God will work, how my understanding of the Gospel will deepen, and taste real Seattle coffee.