Birthday Resolutions

I’m turning 21. What have I done with the first 21 years of my life? I’ve tried to follow the Lord faithfully, but so often I fail. I’m going on GlobeTREK. It’s a long overseas missions trip, which will challenge me in ways I don’t even realize yet. How am I preparing myself? Jonathan Edwards wrote some Resolutions. I’d encourage you to read them; they’re powerful words from a very godly man.

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-resolutions-of-jonathan-edwards

These are some of my resolutions. I don’t write these to show how spiritual or godly I am. In fact, they pinpoint weaknesses. I share them in the hope that they will challenge and encourage you as well!

  • May this coming school year be a year I can look back on and say, THAT is when I really grew in my understanding of my Heavenly Father’s care for me.
  • When I was able to see more clearly the depth of mt sin, and the overwhelming, undeserved grace of my Saviour.
  • When I grew so powerfully in my prayer life.
  • When I could see with faith the answer to my prayers, and continue to think about the Lord throughout the day.
  • When the Spirit finally worked and produced in me a mind pure of impure and malicious thoughts.
  • When I truly was able to serve others not expecting anything in return.
  • When I built deep relationships which were Christ-saturated.
  • When I understood His character more fully.
  • When I saw so much of the world’s pain during GlobeTREK, but also understood His care and provision for this dying world through the Messiah.
  • When I was able to leave behind so many things which hindered my walk with God.
  • When I had problems and struggles, and yet saw God’s hand of encouragement and provision though the trials, and grew stronger because of it.
  • When I was able to live in the moment and invest into the people around me; not constantly longing for what I had in the past, or worrying about the future.
  • When I learned to rest in unshakable peace, knowing that He works all things for good.
  • When the Spirit taught me to “cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for [me].” 1 Peter 5:7
  • When I was able to overcome my fear of what people think of me, and speak boldly about my precious Jesus.

These are my prayers for GlobeTREK. I can’t do this on my own. Neither can you. But that’s the beautiful simplicity of the gospel. Jesus understands our human limitations because He became human. And He understands God’s requirement for holiness because He is also God! Jesus died on the cross-not because He had any sin of His own. He chose to take my sin and yours so that we can avoid the deserved punishment of hell. I know that my sin is forgiven, and I will one day be brought home to my Father in Heaven. Until that day I will work, with His help, to obey Him faithfully and tell people around me about Him. May this be our heart cry and prayer every moment of every day!

“Keep steady my steps according to Your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.” ~Psalm 119:113

In His grip, Naomi

Silent Auction and Information Night

I’m hosting an information night and silent auction fundraiser for GlobeTREK on July 28th! The doors will open at 6 PM! At 6:30, there will be a presentation on Mozambique, as well as information on GlobeTREK. I will be explaining what all of my travels will look like, and what the work in Moldova includes. The evening will be held at the Aylmer United Reformed Church, 49823  Talbot St E, Aylmer, ON N5H 2R1. 

I have a number of silent auction items available, including Norwex, books, baking, passes to the local adventure farm Clovermead, an oil change, and many more exciting items! There will be a dessert social (with coffee of course) as well as some live music. Babysitting will be provided, and children are welcome!

Hope to see you all there!

In His grip, Naomi

 

 

His Eye is on the Sparrow

I have finished my TESL course in Toronto now, and have moved back home working full time for my parents. The course was required towards my Bachelors, but not offered on-campus at Prairie. TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), helped me realize that TEACHING English is very different than being able to SPEAK English! I found the grammar difficult, but for the most part I really benefited from the course, and made some new friends along the way 🙂

I immensely enjoyed my month in Toronto; I’ve never lived in the city before, so it was a different experience! Toronto is a diverse, beautiful, busy, unique, and exciting city. Some firsts included taking the subway, taking the streetcar, and trying new ethnic foods (stuffed grape leaves are delicious!). I explored the Allen Botanical Gardens, pictured above, and the Eaton Center. But living in the city is also busy and impersonal. Most people won’t even look you in the eye as you’re going down the sidewalk. They’re not unfriendly, but have places to go and things to do. I felt dehumanized at times. Living in the dorms at Prairie with 100+ girls, to a city where I knew hardly anyone was quite the change. I understood more fully what it means to feel lonely with hundreds of people around.

And it makes me think. I have been blessed with so many amazing people around me. My family and friends have surrounded me with love, care and support. But the woman trapped in sex trafficking is marginalized. She’s isolated from her family. She’s told her only value comes from her body. Her God-given characteristics of compassion and love and empathy for others aren’t valued. She’s dehumanized, and emotionally and physically manipulated. Society doesn’t recognize the problem. But the church must step up and be willing to have her eyes opened. 

“Injustice that is Invisible Inevitably becomes Acceptable.” 

~Greg Cunningham

I am simply asking you to educate yourself on this topic. So many people don’t understand how wide-spread this injustice is. If the church, God’s hands and feet on this earth, won’t feel her pain and seek to help, who will?  

Preparations

“So what are you doing to prepare for GlobeTREK, Naomi?”

“It’s good to have you back! What’s next for you?”

“When do you leave on the next trip?”

All excellent questions, and I’m so glad you’re interested! Thank you for being curious about GlobeTREK, and I so appreciate your willingness to ask about my adventures!

I’ve been doing a lot of things, getting back into the swing of living at home and working. It’s been really good to be back with my immediate and church family!! The adventure continues as I go off to Toronto next week to earn my Teaching English as a Second Language certification. Please pray I will be able to find a place to stay in Toronto!

I also have been doing a loooooot of fundraising. I have deadlines throughout the summer that are mandatory to meet to remain in the program. This avoids having a crippling debt at the end of the summer, because we have expenses throughout the summer as well. (Soon plane tickets will get booked!!) Please, consider partnering with me financially as I prepare to go to Moldova. It has been a lesson in trust and waiting on God, balanced with learning to ask for support. I greatly treasure your prayers.

Other prep includes getting shots, a police check translated into Romanian, filling out visas, handing out thank you cards and fundraising letters, spending good quality time with my family, and lots of Jesus time. People ask, “how many people are going with you?” Well, 2 other teammates, but if Jesus wasn’t along we wouldn’t be able to do it!!

My Dad and I recently attended a showing of a new documentary about human trafficking right here in Elgin County. Afterwards, I went up to the woman who’d done so much to gain awareness to these injustices in Canada, and explained what I was planning to do. “How can I be preparing myself to work with these women and girls?” She looked at me intently, and replied, “you’ll never be ready. But keep praying, keep fasting, and stick with Him tight.” And so I believe working to know the Lord deeper is the best and most important preparation.

Yes, some people are called into the mission field to people who have never heard the Name of the Lord. But each of us have a mission in our children, spouse, siblings, co-workers, friends! So keep following Christ faithfully, seek to know Him deeper, and speak of Him boldly! “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.” ~Is 55:6

In His Grip, Naomi

Moldova!!

I’m excited to be going to Moldova for 6 months, in Eastern Europe! “Where is Moldova?!” Glad you asked. It’s that little bitty country sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania.

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A bit about Moldova:

  • Moldova is the poorest country in Europe
  • The society is very godless because the country used to be Communist, and is still deeply influenced by atheism
  • They have one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the world, with a large percentage of that being sex trafficking
  • Abortion rates are also very high; one woman I spoke to said it’s as high as 80%!!

Hearing these statistics hurt my heart. Think about it. Eight out of every ten women who have had abortions. Millions of women who have experienced the horrors of being trafficked for their bodies. And all that within a society which has, for the most part, forgotten and rejected God, the only true Giver of Hope.

Fortunately, there are people who are working within Moldovan culture to share Christ’s hope. Beginning of Life has counselors inside the abortion clinics, offering financial and emotional support to women. They are invited by the government to come into schools and warn students about the dangers of trafficking. Beginning of Life offers a new beginning to women who have been abused, teaching them hands-on, marketable skills. They also work in prevention, protecting young girls from experiencing these horrors in the first place.

And I get to be a part of that.

Please join me in praying for Moldova, and the people there who are seeking to make a difference. I don’t know what I’ll be doing exactly yet. I don’t know a lot of the details. But I do know I’m very excited about it!! And who knows? Perhaps my Father will use even me to influence those yet-unknown people for His glory.