Bekah's Heart, Crossroads, First Trinity, Internship Highlights

Joyfullyblessed… by Crossroads CONNECT

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?  If I haven’t, well it’s A LOT!  Sometimes I even hate using the words “job” or “work” to describe my internship here at First Trinity because I just simply love what I get to do each day.

Anyway, I’ve decided that a lot of my friends/family back home (and even some of you here at First Trinity that are not directly connected with High School or College Ministries) never really hear about what I’m actually doing on this internship.   To fix that I’ve decided that every once in a while I’d give an update about one specific area of ministry I’m focused on.  While there are many I could start with, I’m really excited about Crossroads right now, specifically Crossroads CONNECT  and thought I’d share about that first.

Crossroads (for those that don’t know) is the name of the high school minsitry here at First Trinity.  This ministry makes up about half of my job description this year and deals with everything related to high school ministry… activities, events, Sunday school, summer trips etc.  The idea behind the name “Crossroads” is that high schoolers often find themselves at a crossroads in the decisions they are making and Crossroads programs are aimed at connecting the ancient truth of God’s Word with real life issues of high school students.  It comes from Jeremiah 6:16 which says:

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls.”

A new Crossroads program started just four weeks ago and is called Crossroads CONNECT.  This weekly gathering specifically for high school students meets on Thursday nights with three main goals:

  • to connect high school students with Jesus (to connect “real life” and “faith” in high school students’ lives)
  • to connect high school students with each other
  • to connect high school students with the First Trinity Family as a whole.

Throughout the year we hope to reach these broad goals through many means including devotions, Bible studies, games, activities, service projects, and more.  

What we do specifically each night kind of rotates.   Once a month we will have a service project around church.  This not only was a request of the students (to have more opportunties to do service projects) but will also help connect them to First Trinity as a whole as they explore opportunities to serve and see others who serve in the church.  Once a month will be more games and activities.  While we hope to create an environment every week where students would feel comfortable to invite their friends, this game night each month will be specifically geared toward inviting friends to check out Crossroads.  The other weeks of each month are spent doing activities, Bible studies, etc. which dig deep into the issues high school students face and what God’s Word says about them.

So there’s kind of an overview of Crossroads CONNECT!

Want to pray for this new program?  Here are some specific things to pray for:
– that God would continue to be present each week as we discuss real life issues and His Word
– for opportunities through this for students to connect with other congregation members and that God would provide adult volunteers passionate about these goals
– for the relationships that are being formed through this weekly gathering
– for students to be challenged to know God more and to show Him to their friends

Blessing, Crossroads, First Trinity, Joy, NY Adventures

JB… Two months of Joy and Blessing!

Well, as of yesterday, I’ve officially been in New York for 2 months.  In some ways it’s hard to comprehend it’s been that long and in other ways it feels much longer.  In any case, I truly am loving life here.  As Jason pointed out though, it’s crazy to think that 1/6 of my internship is over.  What’s even crazier is that it seems like everything is just now getting ready to begin!

 

Fall programming starts tomorrow (well kind of today with Youth Band) and I’m excited to see what God has in store for this year.  (Another post is coming about this). 

 

 

In the mean time, check out some more exciting adventures and blessings that happened recently:

 

On labor day, the Whited family invited me to go hiking/geocaching with them and I had a wonderful time!  Here’s a picture that Wisken took of me by The Eternal Flame (I think that’s what it was called) at Chestnut Ridge Park. DSCF6624 Natural gas comes up in the rocks behind a waterfall and someone lit it at one point. 

 

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It was a beautiful day hiking, geocaching, picnicing and just enjoying life together out in God’s beautiful creation.  Here is one of my favorite pictures from the day:

DSCF6603HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD!

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Now fast forward from Monday to earlier today (Saturday).  Some amazing youth that came to help around church today.  Our main task was cleaning/rearranging the youth space, but the youth are so awesome that they agreed to help out for a few minutes on the renovations taking place in the preschool. 

 

Here are some pictures of the youth (and the amazing Mike Zekas) in action:

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Awesome job team!

 

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I truly cannot thank God enough for the COUNTLESS blessings that I’ve found here in New York and specifically at First Trinity in the last two months.  Thanks to everyone who’s made it so wonderful!  I’m excited to see what adventures the next 10 months bring as well!

Blessing

Joyfullyblessed … by the “Little” things

While I was in Africa, I was amazed over and over again at how God works even in the littlest things.  When I stopped to think about it, I realized that God wasn’t DOING more in Africa, but my eyes were just open to it because of the new situation.  Upon my arrival back to America (and for the 2 months since then), my prayer has remained that God would keep my eyes open to the amazing work he does each day that I would have passed by or counted as coincidence in the past.

 

I admit that sometimes it’s easy to dwell on what we DON’T see him at work in, but below are some of the “little things” that have blessed me recently.  I guess they’re not really “little”… they’re “God-sized”!  And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by them… He’s “simply” answering prayers. 🙂

  • Homegrown fruit and vegetables from congregation members
  • Seeing the youth excited to share their experiences at NYG with the congregation 2 Sundays ago and the Women’s Bible Class this past Monday.
  • A package from my sister
  • Volleyball on Wednesday nights – an opportunity to meet new people and exercise all at the same time while having fun. 🙂
  • Getting to have lunch with my teammates each day
  • A congregation member commenting that they were praying for me the whole time I was presenting at the VBS reunion on Sunday
  • A classmate from school who has texted me every week for at least the past month asking how he can be praying for me and the things going on at my church
  • Numerous phone calls, texts, e-mails and notes from friends/family with encouraging words… often at the “perfect” time.
  • Moments of Laughter – like Addie imitating Sailor Jack saying “You’ve got to be kidding” or simply sharing joy with a friend
  • Just “happening” to read the PERFECT verse in the Bible at the PERFECT time

AND SO MUCH MORE!

 

God… open our eyes to see YOU… even in the “little” things. Amen!

 

And now I turn the question back to you, my beloved blog readers… what “little things” has God blessed YOU with/through recently?

First Trinity, NY Adventures

joyfullyblessed and made NEW!

There have been a lot of NEW things in my life lately.

 

The summer started by purchasing a NEW car (well actually it’s used, but new to me).

Then I headed off to many NEW experiences in a NEW country, Uganda, coming home with a completely NEW perspective on life. 

A week later I moved to a NEW city in NEW York into a NEW apartment in order to start a NEW job at a NEW church.

After about a week in this NEW place I headed off to NEW Orleans with the youth group for the National Youth Gathering building NEW relationships with the youth and adults (some of whom I hadn’t met before we even got to NEW Orleans). 

I’ve adapted to NEW schedules and NEW routines meeting more NEW people, daily it seems.  There are NEW grocery stores to get used to (or lost in) and while simple things like a NEW hair cut (which happened today) may not seem like a big deal, it’s still something NEW.

 

New isn’t necessarily good or bad… just new. And in the midst of the newness… it’s beautiful to see what has stayed the same.  Sure there are changes in relationships when moving across the country from my family and friends, but my new schedule has allowed me more time to keep in touch/reconnect with many of them.  The trip to New Orleans allowed me to see many family members and friends from all over the country, all over my past.  And most of all, God has remained the same!  Despite all the newness, the “old” doesn’t really go away… it seems just to be a part of an even bigger picture… a part of the process where God continues to make me new.  These “new” things combine with past things to make me who I am today.  

 

I can tell you all about the new experiences I’m having and post pictures of the new places I’ve been, but oh how I wish I could describe for you on here the way God is making ME new right now… from the inside, out. 

 

The whirlwind of all this newness has caused me to seek Jesus in beautiful NEW ways and it’s such a joy to be able to see him at work truly making my heart new… restoring me to Himself, again… and again…. and again.  I really do wish I could explain it to you, but it’s impossible.  Instead, I’ll just pray that you would experience the newness as well!  He proclaims in His World:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor 5:17) 

And check out his passage from Revelation 21

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Our God is making everything new and one day he will restore all of heaven and earth to it’s beautiful fullness, like he originally desired… no pain, no crying, no death… only JOY and abundant BLESSING!  Oh how I long for that day!

 

Whether everything seems NEW in your life right now or you feel like everything’s so old you need to get out the dust rags, I pray that you would be able to experience a newness found only in a Christ… a newness that one day, will NEVER fade!

Crossroads, First Trinity

Joyfullyblessed… at the NATIONAL YOUTH GATHERING!!! :)

DSCF6282Picture this…. 25,000 teens in lime green backpacks, gathered in one city, with one purpose… to look, listen, and live what it means to believe in Jesus Christ.

It was such a blessing to be able to experience this trip to New Orleans with youth from my new church, First Trinity.

Here are some highlights and God sightings from the trip:

  • Well, as an “initiation” of sorts to my new church, my wonderful coworkers prompted the youth group to tell everyone in the airport on the way that it was my birthday.  The singing and birthday announcements continued not just for that one day, but yes, EVERY day of the gathering. 🙂  I even got a cupcake with candles out of the deal. 🙂
  • Getting to see lots of friends and even family from all over the country. 
  • An opportunity to live out our faith cleaning up this lot with our group and 2 other youth groups.  It went from THIS:
     DSCF6141
    TO THIS:
    DSCF6145
    The kids (and adults) even worked in the pouring rain to make it happen.
    DSCF6131 DSCF6143  
  • 5 of the girls donated their hair to locks of love.
    BEFORE:
    DSCF6185 
    AFTER:
    DSCF6236 
  • I loved opportunities to just have fun with the youth group and get to know them.  Like this picture here after we built the St. Louis arch.
    DSCF6248
  • We also saw God in Chef Randy who provided meals for us everyday so we could avoid long lines and expensive food.  You rock Chef Randy!
    DSCF6251 
  • One of my personal favorite moments of the gathering was the mass Worship Service we had on Tuesday night.  During this time, Jesus’ body was broken and his blood poured out for each and every one of the 25,000 participants.  As I thought about the many family and friends I had scattered throughout that superdome, and heard the pastor talk about this being a “foretaste of the feast to come,” I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.  It was a tiny glimpse into heaven and what a cool though that despite how AMAZING this event was, it’s still nothing compared to what the celebration in heaven will be like!!!
    DSCF6253 
  • There are so many more God moments I could list from amazing conversations with youth to randomly meeting a girl who’s going to be a freshmen at UB this fall in the bathroom at a mass event.  I had a great time and was truly BLESSED and filled with JOY to get to experience those 5 days with the wonderful Crossroads group at First Trinity!

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LOOK…..LISTEN…. LIVE!

WE BELIEVE!