Saturday, May 22, 2010

The First Act Finale...

Phew! It's here... in four hours, I will be leaving my house to head for the airplane that will take me to Minneapolis... and then to Chicago... and then to City "BJ" in Country, and then to final City "YC," where I'll be spending the next six weeks of my life. And, naturally, I'm still packing.

My mind is running the race against sleep deprivation and stress, and right now it's falling behind. To be honest, the last day or so has found me doubting, stressed and unsure. I feel so unprepared... but somewhere I know that it's not me who needs to be prepared. If I wasn't ready and equipped to do everything God wanted me to do in East Asia, I wouldn't be going. It's as simple as that. And maybe tomorrow they won't let me on the plane to Minneapolis- where the team is meeting- or perhaps (sketchy as I am), I won't make it through security when we finally get into the country, and they'll send me back home... and I'll know that I wasn't ready. But if I get there, then right there will be where I'm supposed to be.

I have faith that God wants me in East Asia right now, and that he will take me in all my insignificance and ineptness and use me for His plan. Please keep praying for courage for me and the team, and that we will build each other up as we experience discouragement and doubt.

I won't have internet in East Asia, so I won't be able to keep up this blog while I'm there. However, my lovely sister Erin offered to update the Facebook group "Aimee's East Asia Adventure!" whenever I call my folks to give them an update. Here's the FB group...!/group.php?gid=110716855607717&ref=ts

So there you have it. I'm typing from the bed I desperately want to crawl into and pass out, with clothes and travel snacks strewn about my bedroom waiting to be given their honorary spot in my carry-on luggage, and hoping against hope that my check bag weighs less than 50 pounds. Sleep will have to wait.

Thank you guys so much for your encouragement and support... it means so much to me. Please keep praying for me and the team: for safe and smooth travel, for quick acclimation to food/culture/time zone, for energy and boldness, and most, MOST MOST importantly, that we would be filled with the Holy Spirit as we witness to the Asian people, and that the Spirit would have prepared their hearts, too. I love you guys, and I can't wait to tell you all about the trip when I get back... because you're as much a part of this adventure as I am.

Signing off for a few fortnights,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An update before I head off to the land of dirty diapers and giggles, cooties and unrelenting viruses, where infinite patience is a requirement, stories involving dragons and firetrucks a necessity, and games of "I'm an airplane!-Teacher, make me fly!" keep arms sore and spirit lifted.

In two days, I head off to the get-the-scoop conference in the Twin Cities, where I finally get to meet my team! I am thrilled (and, as always, a little nervous) to get to know the folks I'll spend and share this life changing time with. These will be the folks who help storm East Asia with me-- and if they're as snazzy and kind as they come across on Facebook, then we'll be juuust fine. I'll also get the details of the mission: where we're going/staying, the cultural and spiritual climate, just how we're going to affect the country for Christ, what an average day looks like, and if I will have access to coffee on a daily basis, or if I should break that addiction Pre-EA. This weekend, I'll also be trained on how to share my faith in E.A. I'm intrigued by and interested in what changes we'll have to make in evangelism styles to best reach the people of a completely different culture-- I've only ever presented my Jesus in the way that makes sense to me, personally... even on the mission trip Brazil. But the culture one has grown up in shapes mindset and thought process, and one adapts to that -- if solely to avoid social exclusion. I'm ready to learn how to share Jesus in a way that will be applicable to the East Asian people. So ready.

In the last post, I mentioned that my Iowa residency application wasn't due until August. In an interesting turn of events, it's being reviewed... right this moment. Please pray that the committee will clearly see the difficult steps I've taken to strengthen my case for residency, and let me be--as my second cousin Rick says-- an Iowegian!

And support, you say? Why yes, support is coming along as support always does: in God's timing. I'm at about 25% right now, and a colossal, enormous, and resounding THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me so far! You guys are so faithful to let God use you to take a chance on me and the mission God has given me--you rock! =) One thing I'm struggling with during the support raising process, though, is confining God by numbers. It's my nature to calculate out daily averages of support I need to meet to reach my goal in time, project when I will meet my goal if the support keeps arriving at a steady rate, calculate the probability that I will actually pull this off... and that's the problem. I, I, I... me, me, me. The only "I" that I should be worrying about is the one in this concept: "I" serve the God who is not restricted by probability or worldly views of feasibility. He is going to make this happen according to His will, and none of this is in my control. Not even close. Over the past year, God has taken the time to patiently teach this thick-headed and slow-learning pupil that He will always provide for me, even (especially!) when it seems hopeless. He will ALWAYS give me what I need to serve Him, and that is all that matters. I would ask you to pray, too, that this mindset would penetrate all my doubts and fears, and I'll be able to laugh at the lies of insecurity that are trying to grip me.

Oops, the work world calls... and it sounds a lot like two and three year olds singing "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed..."

Much love!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Holy schmokes! Check out what God's doing in East Asia:

Make sure you read the article, too.

Oh, and a brief update: I sent out my first round of support letters this week... I'm praying like crazy for God to bring in what is needed for me to do his work, and checking the mailbox obsessively.

I also found out that my residency application isn't due until August. For those of you who don't know, I'm establishing residency in Iowa so that I won't be financially beaten to death by the ridiculous out-of-state tuition rate. This takes a minimum of 12 months, during which I must live and work in Iowa, be financially independent, take no more than six credit hours at a time, jump through this hoop, hop on one foot, etc... Overall, it's a fairly nasty process. For the sake of strengthening my residency application, I'm not supposed to spend more than 2 weeks out of the state... but what about the country...? I'm not sure of the effect this trip will have on my residency status. Right now, the plan is to make some anonymous calls about hypothetical situations, and see what happens. Even if it means doing the 12 months over again, God has shown me that in the scope of eternity, it's not a big deal. At all. So whether I get to keep my residency or start from scratch, East Asia, here I come!

Oh! Credit goes to the indubitably fantastic Andrew Meredith for sending me the China article :)


Monday, March 8, 2010

Testing, Testing 1-2-3...

Hey folks!

First post... I suppose I should fill you in:

Here's the basics: I got a call last night from one Steph Lepak who told me that I had been accepted to go on a six week mission trip to East Asia! Whoaaa... talk about mind blowing. Through Campus Crusade for Christ's East Asia Summer Project, I'll be taking language classes in an (intentionally unnamed) East Asian country, taking the opportunity to get to know the students on campus, and developing relationships with them so that I can share with them the most important thing they'll ever hear: the message of Jesus Christ.

Ohmygoodness, I have so much to do. I'm a list person, and my current "E.A. To Do" list was too much for one (or even two!) sticky notes. Talk about intimidating. But for now, I'm working on my support letter, and praying for things to fall the way God wants them to.

In this blog, I'll do my best to keep you updated on, well, everything. From the preparation for the trip, straight through into my actual time in East Asia, I'll fill you in on the bumps, the bruises, the accomplishments, and the miraculous things that I just know God's going to do. I'll keep you in the loop about what I need prayer for, and answered prayers, too.

I'm so stoked guys!

Much love,

PS- The "Xin" in the blog title means "Faith" :)