This is an email to a guy that I have been getting to know ever since I was in New Zealand. He is a missionary in Vanuatu. Which is an Island in the South Pacific that is west of Fiji. I was talking to him for a while because I wanted to come and help him out, but I was low on money and time. I want to meet him in Vanuatu someday soon. Ben is from England and is working through the missions group YWAM.
He wanted to know what my summer was like in Colorado at Training Ground, and in a short summary this is what I said...
Good to hear from you... Training Ground did finish up on the 1st of August. It was a great experience for me. I was put in a position where I had to find my own work to put myself through the program. Everyone else at TG were given construction jobs from a local company in Colorado Springs, but three of us, including myself, were not. I had to go to a "labor finders" and find jobs on Craig's List. Many times we had to knock on doors and just ask if we could help them with anything. It was different for me. Everything was uncertain and out of my control. Sometimes this was hard to handle, but I feel like I learned a ton from this. I saw what it was like to be at the bottom, to struggle, and I found out that I can survive there. I think the main theme for me over the summer was embracing (instead of avoiding) struggle and hardship. I always avoided struggle and wanted everything to be easy, but I realized that "easy" made me weak. If I am willing to go "down" and feel my struggle/sin then I will be stronger for it. I know that is why we are taken through hard times or why God takes us through something hard. He wants us to cling to Him for our strength, and most of the time we won't do this until something goes wrong. To see my sin and cry because of it was something I was never able to do. I am still having a hard time with this, but this summer I was able to see this for the first time and it was horrible. But, even though it truly was horrible it was, at the same time, one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I saw that faith in myself will take me nowhere and I must have the body of Christ and His sacrifice to be able to see and cling to any shred of hope. He is the only one that can offer change or hope in this life.
Tell me about yourself and how things are going in Vanuatu... I would love to hear. Thanks so much for thinking about me and taking the time to write me.
Hope to meet you someday,