We are in the middle of a series of blogs introducing our Journey team for this summer. If you are joining us for the first time, I encourage you to go back and check out those you missed. Enjoy the stories of how God lead each of them to give up their summers to serve in Africa!
Introducing Becca Kennedy:
I’m Becca Kennedy. I am 20 years old, a junior missions major at Belmont University, and I am from Birmingham, Alabama, smack dab in the heart of Dixie. I love Belmont so much. I have so enjoyed becoming a part of the Belmont culture. I am in the Honors program, which is a small, joyful, and nerdy community that has made my college experience what it is. I have been a Spiritual Life Assistant, which is an upperclassman student who comes alongside freshman and helps them adjust to life at Belmont, both socially and spiritually. This spring break I will be leading a University Ministries trip to Opopka, Florida, to spend some time with migrant farm workers there and learn about life through their experience. And on top of all these opportunities, I am blessed to have some incredible friends here on campus who constantly encourage me.
I am unbelievably blessed to be a part of Journey. I am so excited about this summer! I have known for a long time that I wanted to spend this summer out of the country doing some sort of mission work, but I had no idea where God had planned for me to go. I was constantly googling “missions opportunities” or “missions organizations in India” and other things like that, but finding an organization that you trust is hard (especially on Google). One day in class, Lauren, whom you all know, told me I should apply for Journey. I listened and wrote the website down in my planner, but for some reason I didn’t pursue it. One night, I was sitting in my apartment, and suddenly Journey popped back into my head and a wave of peace attacked me. I knew I was supposed to apply for Journey. That very night I filled out the application. I know that the Lord has created me for the purpose of sharing His Name with children. I am so excited to see what that looks like this summer. I know that the heart of our call as Christians is spreading the Gospel and making disciples, and it is in obedience to that call that I want to go to Kenya! The Lord said, “Go.” We do not have the option to stay!
Romans 8:37-39 is an encouragement to me at all times. When I am faced with guilt and shame, feelings of unworthiness, or fear of not succeeding, this verse is an encouragement.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I find myself often looking to my own power to face my challenges, be they fundraising or loneliness or homework. This verse is a reminder that my own strength or cleverness or even my own belief—these are not the answer to my difficulties. We are conquerors through Him who loved us. Not through our own merit, but fully because of His grace and His decision to use us.
Introducing Christian Junker:
Hello fellow Choose to Investors! My name is Christian Junker. I am a Junior at University of Northern Iowa (GO PANTHERS!) and cannot wait to grow with Choose to Invests help this summer! My major is Athletic Training (or sports medicine) and I have minors in Biology and Chemistry. I am also planning on going to graduate school for my Masters in Physician Assistant Studies. Other than loving every moment of snow and blustery winter fun that Cedar Falls, Iowa, has to offer, I enjoy playing the piano, singing, drinking coffee and listening to musical scores and talking about just about anything. At UNI I am a little bit of a jack of all trades; besides working with the sports teams as a required part of my major every semester, I am also involved in the video board (or Jumbo-tron) camera crew, as well as The River (a college ministry at Prairie Lakes Church). Oh, right, I am also a Resident Assistant and have the wonderful opportunity to live out Christs love for 40 guys every day and come along side them to show them God loves them. This can be challenging at time, since we are a state school and I have to follow certain stipulations as far as talking about my faith goes with residents, but I have noticed that my residents have noticed I am different than others and they want to know why. That is my way in, living out the love of Christ for others to see in hopes they will want to know why. I am very excited to be Journeying to Kenya this summer and one of the biggest reasons why is that I want to have a chance to fully devote myself to God in a place that might be uncomfortable and that will challenge me to really dive into discipleship. Discipleship is something I haven't had the greatest exposure to and I can see that I am lacking the skills to help others grow in Christ past a certain point, this is something I want to fix and Journey seems to be just the place to do it. In addition, I love working with children and showing all children that they are special and God has a plan for them and getting to be God's hands and feet in a situation like this is one of the most powerful experiences to be blessed to be a part of. Something I have been trying to work on is knowing that everyone needs to hear something slightly different from God and we should not be "reading off a God script," but should be working to show that individual where to turn and who to look to for the answers. Treating each person as an individual who is loved by and precious to God is something that I take very seriously, and here is a verse that helps me remember this.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
I hope to be the blessing God has planned for the people of the world, both here and in Kenya. Thank you for your support and I hope I can be even part of the man God wants me to be.