WOW! it’s been a couple of months since I last updated you guys and SO much has happened!
Last year I started my journey as DTS school staff, and this year I’ve taken up the challenge to lead the school with my beloved friend Courtney! Let me tell you, it has been a steep mountain to climb, but it has been well worth the effort. Leading the school this year has given me even more responsibility and a vast amount of opportunities to grow and give back.
Our staff team this year was comprised of all Americans from the west coast! Tyler and I from Washington, and Courtney from sunny southern California. Our year has been full of challenges, but in those challenges we’ve found victories. One of the challenges we faced this year was all of us being in entirely new positions; Courtney and I as fresh-faced DTS leaders, and Tyler staffing for the first time since completing DTS. This certainly taught us a new level of grace for each other and especially for ourselves (I’m still working on the one for myself). Without a doubt though, we have seen God be faithful to show up throughout the year. I’m excited to lead together with these two in the new year and into outreach.
This past fall Jesus has been speaking some key things to me about Identity, that have really been hitting home. We all know that the source of who we are, our identity, is rooted in Christ (at least it’s supposed to be), but, what is Identity? Where does it come from? How does it dictate my actions? How do we put into practice what it looks like for us to live out of an identity based in Christ? 1 John 4:19 says “We love because He first loved us”. That sounds like such a nice, happy verse, but it’s entirely ineffective in our lives if we don’t realize the second part of it: “He first loved us”. We can’t love people well until we realize how much we are loved ourselves.
Love gives us strength, energy, daring, and the ability to step out in confidence and not fear failure. It changes how we look, but more importantly, how we approach the world and the people in it. The deeper revelation of God’s love for us, cements our identity and grants us greater ability to love those around us. Taking the time to strengthen and develop the identity that God has spoken over us has the ability to change lives. Our culture today gives people so many options as to where to find their source of identity, but when we walk out in that confidence of “He first loved us” it gives us stability and the ability to speak into that brokenness.
It has been truly amazing to see each of our students, and ourselves, grow in accepting the reality of 1 John 4:19 (“We love because He first loved us”). I’m excited to see how it will continue. It’s thrilling watching Jesus tug on their hearts as they grow into the leaders He’s called them to be.
Looking ahead, it is with immense pleasure that I can announce that our team will be going to Russia for outreach! There is so much I’m looking forward to seeing and being a part of! God has so many wonderful things in store for us and our team there. I know that we are beyond blessed for the opportunity to see all this country has to offer. We will be mostly driving through the western part and would really appreciate your prayers as we travel and do ministry.
Some key prayer points for myself and my team would be:
- Prayers for Health: Winter time brings sniffles, and that coupled with hours of driving together can make for some tested immune systems.
- Team Unity: Our team is made up of 5 students and 3 staff, We want to be dutiful to pursue deep relationship together and push each other towards Jesus.
- Safety Driving: We will be mainly driving across Russia, with me as the primary driver, so prayers for safety in harsh road conditions and inclement weather.
I’m excited to see God continue to move in the lives of the students as they begin outreach and get to put into practice the tools they’ve been given while in DTS. As always, if you are eager to know more about what I’m doing please don’t hesitate to send me an email, I would love to share more with you!