Responding to the Great Commission

In the midst of new student outreach, the NAU chapter explored creative ways to respond to Jesus' call to go out and make disciples. We hosted a proxe station called "Extreme Heart Makeover," which was an interactive display on campus that dealt with issues of the heart and gave students in our chapter a chance to engage the gospel with other students in a non-threatening way. Students were asked which personal characteristics they want to get rid of--i.e. selfishness, anger, racism. The outpouring of this event consisted of numerous encounters with NAU students with the gospel and almost 30 interested in investigative bible discussions! I am now leading one of these discussion groups with my small group co-leader, Jodi. This is an exciting partnership as I get to encourage her as a bold leader even more! We are meeting weekly with a girl named Siobhan who has come from negative experiences and a distorted picture of Christianity, but is interested in issues of faith. Together we are studying Jesus-centric passages and asking lots of questions. Here she has heard (for the first time!) why Jesus came to the earth and what that means for us. Do we not serve a God who is perfect in power? A Father that is drawing his daughter, Siobhan, towards him? I am floored by His might and power. Pray for Siobhan's faith journey and that the NAU chapter would continue to grow a culture of evangelism and act in response to the Great Commission.

Building Foundations: NSO, Small Groups, & Discipleship

In IV campus ministry, our vision is to see the lives of students transformed by Jesus, the campus renewed, and world changers developed. New student outreach (NSO), small group bible studies, and discipleship are three key ways we are living out that vision.

New student outreach got off the ground quickly as the NAU campus experienced the largest freshman class to date. The student leaders responded quickly and excitedly to this need of new students to be in fellowship. Our biggest hit event was a huge bonfire out in the woods that everyone came to. Theo and a student actually helped burn an old couch! Since the beginning of the semester, we have been seeing 300+ students attending our weekly large group meetings and about 200 of those students have been plugged into small groups. I would love to see the entire chapter invested in a small group community. Pray that the students on the fringes would be absorbed by authentic community.

I am leading a freshman women's small group with two student leaders (Jodi & Hannah, below) and in the last 1.5 months we have been able to reach out to many women who are new to campus and in need of fellowship. Jodi is from Hawaii and is an exercise science major, while Hannah studies special education and is the oldest of eight siblings. This year our IV small groups are digging into the gospel of John where we will study Jesus' life and learn what it means to be called his disciples. We are exploring the idea of having missional small groups. A missional small group is a group whose members not only take care of each other, but seek to transform the community around them by advancing the kingdom of God. I am excited to be caught in the middle of this exciting work! This year one of my major roles as an intern is to lead, train, and build community amongst these 45 small group leaders in InterVarsity.

And finally, as a means to disciple our student leaders, I am mentoring four young women (Jodi, Hannah, Neshe, and Emily) weekly. Emily is one of the 24/7 prayer leaders here and is passionate about seeing students devote themselves to prayer. Neshe (pictured with Emily) is such a delight. She is half-Turkish and her name means joyful in turkish! I get to encourage these women in their faith and challenge them to respond to Jesus' call on their lives. Pray for my relationships with these blossoming leaders as well as the freshmen women in my small group as I will be a significant influence in their lives this next year.

New Team, New Adventure: The 08-09 Interns

My favorite perk of being an intern is that I am not the only one! There are 5 other interns that are on my team and we get to work alongside each other this next year--encouraging, praying, and carrying burdens for each other. How sweet is that? I love how each of us is so different and brings a unique perspective to the table. It's a beautiful picture of God's kingdom that I get to reap the benefits from!

Our team consists of 3 Arizonans and 3 Coloradoans, 3 men and 3 women. What a good balance, eh? Stephanie (right) is still a student who is finishing up her studies in graphic design this semester at NAU. Here we are working together to help the new freshmen get plugged in with small groups. Theo (left) is a friend from UA who blesses our team by making lots of homemade bread and cooking great meals. Matt and Nathan (below) graduated from Colorado School of Mines as electrical engineers. They are both really smart and they encourage me to use my mind to glorify our Father. And then, there is the lovely Lauren (below), Matt's wife, who graduated from Northern Colorado University. She and Matt were recently married this summer and they are great hosts as we often meet together in their home as a team.

I cannot express how grateful I am for these men and women. We are able to be friends (easily, I might add!) and co-workers united by a common desire to see community lived out and modeled for the 300+ student fellowship here at NAU. Like with the early church, we are working to devote ourselves to good teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).

Transitioning Northward: Tucson to Flagstaff

Hoş geldiniz, arkadaşlar! That means "welcome, friends" in Turkish...

My life in the last few months has been marked by transition and the experience of many new things. I transitioned from college student to "adult" in the real world. I went to Istanbul, Turkey by myself this summer to study abroad. I moved from Tucson to Flagstaff. I started my first job(s) as a college graduate...and the list goes on! And all this happened in a matter of about 3 months. So guess what?? I am a grown-up now! Or at least I feel more like one. But, despite the newness and unfamiliarity (and sometimes, stress!) of everything, I have peace and assurance that where I am now is exactly where I should be--in Flagstaff, AZ as an intern with InterVarsity.

First off, I graduated this May from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of science in Regional Development and said goodbye to many dear friends in Tucson. Then in June, I left to spend two months of my summer in Istanbul. I was honored to receive a fellowship from Princeton and the U.S. Dept. of Education to take part in an intensive summer Turkish language program. This was an absolutely awesome experience! Though it was challenging traveling alone and studying really hard all summer (after graduating, too!), I do not regret the adventure I was able to have. Some highlights from the summer include: 1) rekindling a friendship from last summer with my Turkish friend, Saba (pictured above), 2) visiting the cities of Adana and Izmir to see good friends (shout out to Chelsea!) and eat amazing food, 3) exploring really old stuff and places (Istanbul was the home of three major historical empires!), 4) worshiping and praying with the Turkish church, 5) making significant progress on my learning of the language, and finally 6) swimming across the Bosphorous Strait--from Asia to Europe!

Upon my return from Turkey, I immediately moved to Flagstaff to begin new student outreach and training for my internship at NAU. I am grateful to have a great living situation. I am staying this semester with Sue Mills and her family and am happy to say that their two girls, Joy and Abby (see right), like me and let me play with them. Also, I am blessed to have found part-time work outside of my internship relatively easy (thanks Esther!). I am a library and tech aide at a local elementary school here. I find this job not very stressful and actually fun at times when I get to teach a child (or teacher!) how to operate their computers and use the library. Outside of work on campus and at the elementary, I have found ways to seek rest and adventure by riding my bike around town, developing friendships with the interns, hiking, cooking weekly for the Mills family, and taking up swimming regularly again. I just joined the Masters swim team here in an effort to get back in shape and enjoy the sport I once loved so much.

So here I am. A bona fide adult in a new city with new jobs and new people surrounding her. It's really crazy, actually. But, nevertheless I am excited to see what our Father brings my way this year as He reminds me of who I am and what He's calling me to. Adventures await!


At long last, a blog is birthed.

Hey everyone, welcome to my new blog! As you know, I have had a questionable reputation in maintaining a blog in the past. I hope to prove that wrong and now begin logging my new adventures in Flagstaff, AZ. Thank you for stopping by (and for your patience)! :-)

*A side note: the title of this blog is a reference to C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle...