Many apologies for not keeping you all updated with what has been generally going on. Daily I have been updating my Instagram with photos of the day with a long description on my thoughts or what has been happening. There has been so many things that have happened that I wish I have been recording what my initial thoughts were and what the Lord was speaking to me in that specific moment. I am so bad at recalling specific sentences or phrases of conversations, but I’ll do my best to recall what has happened.
One of the first weeks of SOS officially starting (which totally seems like forever ago but yet like just yesterday) I was confronted by one of the SOS students asking to talk to me about something. Having no idea what the topic was, I prayed until the time we spoke (two days later) asking the Lord to fill me with the Holy Spirit, give me wisdom & words of knowledge, and that He would use me to speak into the other person’s life and/or vise-versa and that either way I would be acceptant about it. When we finally found time to speak to each other, the information I took incredibly well.
Although knowing the context of the situation would be helpful for you to understand the awesomeness of the whole thing, it would take me way to long to explain and it is a bit to personal for me to open up about it as of now. More so this story is a great reminder for me and those involved to recall later on in life.
I can say that if I didn’t prepare my heart in prayer for two days before, my natural reaction to the news shared with me should have sent me in an outrage and bitterness towards multiple people. Because of the Lord’s goodness, settled upon me was this supernatural peace that I can’t really explain. After experiencing this and needing time to process to what just happened, I talked with one of my friends here at the Schloss who knows both sides of the story and worked out the information presented. Both of us shared with each other what the Lord was doing in each of our hearts and we had a sweet time praying for our friendship, the situations going on, and praising the Lord for who is and what He is/was doing.
Second half of the summer consisted of two major trips around Europe with groups of SOS students: Munich, Germany & Venice, Italy.
At 6 in the morning, 9 of us hopped onto a van heading first to a concentration camp that was used during World War II. This experience was very eye opening and emotionally recking. While walking through each part of the audio guided tour, each of us were emotionally stricken and eye opened after studying and learning about the concentration camps for the majority of our lives because of classes we took and/or movies we have watched that were based on real life stories. I would say that if you ever have the opportunity to tour a concentration, do it. It places a respectfulness in your heart towards the historical event and reminds you of the hope that we have- that one day we will be in heaven with our Lord and Savior forever- where there will be no more sorrow or pain.
After spending the morning at the concentration camp, we went to my very first Hard Rock Cafe where I had a little taste of home: eating a delicious hamburger with mushrooms. Yummy! With full tummies, we decided to split up at the town square to do some small group site seeing, shopping, and snack/drinks consuming. Spent some fun times with Sierra and Dominique before almost being late at our meeting spot!
Next we drove to our Roomescape appointment, which we drove to the wrong location the first time, missed our appointment, and had to reschedule with a different Roomescape location. Earlier Scott & I were team captains and picked who we wanted for a split room competition. Scott picked Sarah, Kerr, Dominique, and Someone and I picked Adrian, Diletta, and Sierra. With 60 minutes, each team was locked in a separate room and had to find the key to get out. My team ended up getting out with minutes to spare, while Scott’s team ended up not getting out at all. It was a fun & stressful time, but well rewarding in bragging rights.
For dinner, we went to an Indian restaurant where the waiter took forever in giving us the bill that we had to ask him 3/4 times. If that didn’t happen, I would say that the food is well worth going to travel miles for.
Paul, Alessandro, Danielle, Jessica H., Alisa, Kevan, Eli, Isaiah, and I drove about 3 hours to the very popular Venice, Italy. We left at 6 in the morning to arrive around 10AM to meet with Diletta, her sister Sharon, and her friend Abigail who were going to show us around the city telling us difference facts and stories. The Grand Canal was a sight to see. There were so many bridges to cross over and so much walking involved that we decided to cut off the tour at around 2PM and split up into smaller groups, meet back up at our starting point at 6PM. Eli, Isaiah, Alisa, and I made our little group and walked around looking into different shops and buying different trinkets for home. I even found some of my favorite stationary in the color blue. Yay for more letters!
If you would like to write to me, I would love to hear from you. I promise I write back:
Kaiser Franz STR 124
Millstatt 9872, Austria
After enormous amounts of walking, we stopped outside of the Grand Canal at a restaurant to consume pizza, pasta, and soup. This time was my favorite part because I got rest my feet, and talk about Eli’s and Isaiah’s experience at the castle before they left later on that week. I love the discipleship portion of this whole entire summer I have spent here. It reminds me the importance of being intentional with each of these students and allowing the Lord to use me as a tool to guide their lives.
Last half of the summer, so far I think it has been the most challenging, heartbreaking, and emotional part of the whole summer. One, people whom I have built close relationships with are leaving back to their homes where I will either see them later in life or maybe never again. Two, Amelia left August 3rd and has been running the housekeeping department with me and has been carrying part of the “intern weight” this summer. Now David and I have been trying juggling the things that she was responsible of in order to finish strong this summer.
I am at the point where I can barely hold on anymore, but that my strength and reliance is on the Lord to get me through each day. I know He is faithful and I trust that He will continue to use me and work through me as the summer is coming to a close. As I’ve shared these thoughts with Bec, she shared with me a familar Bible story that dawned on me because of a new perspective.
After Jesus performed the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, the disciples got on a boat and was caught in the middle of the storm. The disciples had the skills and capability of operating the boat- they were formally fishermen before Jesus told them to follow Him! Bec was saying that we can have the skills and knowledge necessary to combat the storm, but it is because of the Lord’s will that we are still in that storm. Sometimes we are with other people, but other times we are standing alone; it is there that the Lord meets us and calls us out onto the waters like Peter did when Jesus walked on water towards them.
I hope this update satisfies your interests a little bit as to what is going on and what has been going on in my life this summer.
- Renewed strength from the Lord to finish off this summer strong
- Love for the new set of SOS students
- Wisdom for what to do when I come home
- Focus on the Lord and a tentative ear to hear what He wants to teach me through prayer and the reading of His Word
- Divine appointments with each of the students to disciple and nurture them in their walk with the Lord