...and just like that, another year of mission has begun! Woohoo!
Mission Leader Training (MLT) ended a few days ago. Since then I have been fighting a cold and exhaustion while at the same time getting myself back into gear for another season of mission partner development (MPD, formerly known as PSR) before Mission Team Training (MTT), the School of the New Evangelization (SNE), and all of the other Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) that come with being a missionary for Saint Paul's Outreach (SPO).
Before we get any further, here is our new team for the year! Please keep us in your prayers!
Training was pretty surreal for me this time around. It was hard for me to really enter into the first few days; I think my mind was still processing how fast the year really ended. It's hard to believe that I've been serving with SPO for just over a year now. Crazy! I thought I would feel older and wiser by now, but I don't think that's entirely true. Sure, I'm more comfortable with my surroundings, I have a better grasp on what I'm doing and what my unique role is, and I have a strong foundation of relationships built up here in Minnesota. Praise God, for I am so grateful for all of those things. However, I have found a lot of humility in the fact that, as far as what the Lord is going to do this year, I am just as clueless as I was when MLT ended last year. The Lord has never fully clued me in on what He was trying to accomplish in my life at the time; and, truthfully, I have grown to appreciate this fact. I have found a lot of freedom in taking a step back, throwing up my hands in surrender, and knowing confidently that the Lord would do His thing as long as I do mine. In the summer, that thing is to pray and to work, or as St. Benedict puts it, "Ora et Labora."
To those readers who may be unfamiliar with what serving with SPO entails, my primary duty during the summer months while students are not on campus is to build up and cultivate my team of mission partners. This team is made up of those whom I have had the great opportunity to meet with and share stories about the incredible year I've had on mission, and who believe in this mission of SPO so much that they want to make sure that I am able to go on campus to build up the Kingdom of God as best as I can. Their generosity has blessed me immensely and I am so grateful. The Lord has given me a lot of grace in this area of mission.
At MLT this year, the female missionaries had our own separate talk on fundraising by two incredible women who work in development for Chesterton Academy (chestertonacademy.org). Going into the summer this year, I was not exactly optimistic. However, this talk ignited a fire in me and changed my perspective once again! The women who spoke with us reminded me about the basics of why I serve: because the work is important, generosity has the power to change people's lives, and because "The world is a hot mess. We're changing it."
God has placed a beautiful call on my life, one that honors, humbles, and challenges me daily. I am so excited to see what this next year of mission will hold. Until then, I'm doing my best to pray, to work, and to share about this great mission with boldness and certainty. And so the wonderful adventure continues, into year 2!
To Jesus through Mary,
My name is Rebecca. This blog is a documentation of my life as a missionary with Saint Paul's Outreach - in Minnesota, Florida, and everywhere in-between. Thanks for stopping by!