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JOURNEY: Social Media Blast

Intro Journey 2014 is beginning to form, and we want YOU to be a part of spreading the word about it! We want you to join us in a week of thankfulness and reflection upon all that the Lord has done through Journey in the lives of our alumni and donors!

November 4th-8th, we are going to have a journey social media blast.

The purpose of this is not to make the name of Choose to Invest or Journey famous, but rather to get the word out about how the Lord is using Journey to awaken the next generation to know Jesus and make him known.

We are encouraging each of you to reflect on how God has used journey, the Africans, and members of the Journey community to draw you closer to himself. Each day of the week will have a different theme, with a different thing for you to post about on facebook, instagram, or twitter.  The final day we will all be posting the same graphic! Feel free to participate in as many days as you want! And use the hashtag: #myjourneystory, in your post! Follow @ichoosetoinvest on Instagram, @choosetoinvest on twitter, and like our page on Facebook for updates of what to post throughout the week!

We hope that this week will serve as an encouragement and time of thankfulness for our alumni, and also provide a glimpse of what Journey is for applicants! Join us in our telling of “the Journey story”. Below is a list of the days and what we will be posting

 

Day 1: One Word

  • What one word encompasses/defines Journey for you?

Day 2: The Lord used this African to teach me this…

  • Picture of child/student/RP leader that God used to teach you something

Day 3: The Journey Community taught me this…

  • What did God teach you through being part of your community as a Journey team?

Day 4: A picture and verse that summarizes their Journey

  • Scripture, picture, & hash tag only.

Day 5: Why Journey?

  • Why are you thankful you went on Journey?
  • Graphic/picture provided

JOURNEY: Reflections

God is so sovereign. I find with most of our Journey interns, that the Lord teaches them the most once they are at home. Here is former intern, Stephen Van Gorp's reflection on his Journey experience.

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God taught me so much about his character and what it means to follow him wholeheartedly. I am so grateful to have been a part of what he is doing in our brothers and sisters in East Africa. I want you to know he is still doing a mighty work in this world through his people. I cannot begin to express all of what God taught me this summer through this experience but it did require dying to my selfish desires and needs daily, and walking in His Spirit accepting his grace and love. I truly learned to rely wholly and only on His Spirit to provide me with the comfort, peace, love, patience, and joy that only comes from him.

Journey was unlike anything I had experienced before. It knocked down many barriers, and made me fully dive into the culture. We worked, taught, worshiped, learned, ate, and slept alongside many of the community members. This made us bond and grow very close very quickly, and I saw what I believe is the true mission experience. Paul traveled around the ancient world preaching with nothing but his bible. He relied fully on God and his people to provide for all his needs. Doing this first hand in turn forced me to rely fully on his spirit for all my needs. I was truly blessed to have experienced this alongside other brothers and sisters, and they were just that. I have had many other experiences with similar communities, but the “Journey Culture” is truly unique. I’m happy to say that not only do I have brothers and sisters all over the U.S. who journeyed with me but I also have brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. It may be cliché to say that, but really it is true. When we arrived in each village we were greeted by the community members we would be working and staying with. We were thrown into their culture and way of life. Learning to live like them first hand is an indescribable experience. They themselves accepted me as one of their own and because of that it fueled not only our relational growth but also our spiritual growth. It opened up new doors and bonded us together in not only our experiences together but also in his spirit as the Body of Christ. We were doing life together as Christ had intended it to be and like it was originally lived out in the book of Acts.

It was initially difficult for me to lose this as I came home and tried to transition back into “normal life”, but I quickly realized that I don’t need to transition back. I can take what I learned there, and apply it here. God took me all the way to East Africa and I experienced Him in crazy, new ways, but he could have done that in me and taught me those same lessons at home. It’s not about your environment it’s about your own sense of adventure and your own sense of pursuit after a God who is so desperately pursuing you.

-Stephen Van Gorp

 

JOURNEY: Reflections

As a new group of interns transition into the season of Journey, it is only natural to reflect on all that the Lord did this summer. While each Journey team is different, we have found that for the most part every Journey intern walks through very similar seasons. We thought that now would be a good time for Journey interns from this past summer to reflect on all that the Lord brought them through just a few months ago. Below is a bit of Sarah Beth's experience from the summer.

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Although I continuously have to remind myself that this summer was not a dream, the deep heart pains that I feel each time I reminisce reinforces its reality. J2013 was different from any experience that I have ever been apart of. Many people ask me if it was different due to not being home for two months, living in a third world country, or not talking to my family for so long, and of course those were factors but the real difference of this summer was the experience of true community.

I always thought I had good community at home (I truly do, shout out to my homegirlz in the mountains), but the intentionality of this group was beyond anything I have ever been a part of. Through that community you could truly see the interconnectedness of the body of Christ. I was able to recognize that I don’t have to do it all, I don’t have to lead at all times, but there are others in the group who God have purposefully created differently to lead in different situations. It was slightly painful to be opened to my selfishness in such a way, but I rejoiced in recognizing that I was on the road to sanctification. The more that Jesus pushed his way into my heart, the more of my nastiness had to come out. Being able to walk in that bit of righteousness with others who were going through the same thing made it more real and helped me, on a personal level, more able to cling to the victory.

Being back home and back at school has been a major test of my person reliance on God and my own God-given strength to continue to walk out that victory that I claimed so many weeks ago. Although this is a trying season, I have so many sweet reminders of God’s faithfulness. Whether that is through the Squirrelz group text, or through some obscure way, God constantly shows me His unfailing love. I am now able to experience Jesus is the simplest of details and I can thank all of my African brothers and sisters for being living examples of that joy. East Africa has forever stolen my heart but that is because my maker is so apparent there. I would like to thank each of the Choose to Invest staff that poured out so much to make our experience what it was and what is continues to be. Thank you Summer Staff for so graciously loving us and loving us well. Thank you to my other interns for pushing me to be more like Jesus. Thank you Father for reminding me that I am holy, blameless, and chosen. To Him be the glory

Hitchhike to Help

   

In April I had the opportunity of talking with Carter Able, a Journey 2010 intern. He told me about a fundraising idea he and some friends were working on known as Hitchhike to Help. While talking to Carter he told me that he wanted the money raised from the event to go to Kimbilio Project. I was ecstatic and loved the idea!

In April I had the opportunity of talking with Carter Able, a Journey 2010 intern. He told me about a fundraising idea he and some friends were working on known as Hitchhike to Help. While talking to Carter he told me that he wanted the money raised from the event to go to Kimbilio Project. I was ecstatic and loved the idea!

Carter and his friends set up a great website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. At the end of July, five of Carter’s friends set out to hitchhike from Nashville, Tennessee to Los Angles, California carrying only what would fit in a backpack. Supporters were able to keep track of exactly where the participants were in the country and follow each participant’s blog. All of the proceeds went to Kimbilio Project. They were about to raise over $2,200 and donations are still coming in.

I loved following these guys’ journey across the United States raising awareness and money for Kimbilio. There were people from Michigan all the way to California that kept up with Hitchhike to Help and also contributed to their fundraising goal.

We are very thankful for Carter Able, Josh Helton, Aaron Sheats, Kevin Terry, Robby Berry, Jon Mitchell, and everyone else who had a hand in making Hitchhike to Help a success. You can view the participant's blogs on their website and hear more about their journey to Los Angles. I would encourage you to make time to read some of their blogs. Reading about their trip was very inspiring. They sacrificed a lot to see that Kimbilio is built so that we can provide a refuge for orphaned and abandoned children in East Africa.

Check back tomorrow to find out specific ways you can be involved with Kimbilio Project!

Edward Phillips

Director of Kimbilio Project

 

God Saves...

Shae - Journey 2009

As I have been trying to write this blog, so many things have gone through my mind. I miss Kenya, I miss my friends from Invest, WOW, my life has been sooo different since two years ago, I don’t even know how to express how much God did while I was on Invest, and gosh.. GOD… YOU ARE AWESOME. I could sit here and tell you all how amazing Invest was (because it was AMAZING) but that was just the start of my journey to where I am now. When I left Invest two years ago, my life took a turn that I was not expecting. I transferred to a major public University in Indiana and let’s just say; I started living a double life. I started school as a girl who was scared, alone, confused, missing Africa, and very insecure. Right before I left for school, my boyfriend broke up with me, my family and I weren’t as close, my mom was sick, I wanted to be in Kenya, and I really didn’t have any friends at this new school. God made it clear to me that this college was my mission field for the next three years, but at this point, I just didn’t want to feel alone. I struggle with being a people pleaser and because of that, I made friends in many different places. From parties, to CRU, to girls in my dorm…. yup, I started to have a lot of friends but as always, that was not enough. I was still in love with God, but at that time, I didn’t believe that He could truly be my everything and I was already sucked into this world of party, lust, boys, selfishness, and not feeling worthy enough. I also felt a lot of shame and started to hate myself for everything I have been doing. During this time though, God was faithful. He started showing me my passions and gave me amazing professors who believed in me and what I wanted to do. He gave me an even greater desire to pursue my goal of wanting to help victims of sex trafficking and slowly started putting people in my life that were a greater influence and I didn’t even know it. The following summer I wanted to go back to Kenya so badly, but God had plans for me at home. I started serving at a restaurant and became really involved with my college small group. These girls and I journeyed through the lies that we have been feeding ourselves and the insecurities that we let control us. It was hard, yet so beautiful, to be open and honest with these girls in the areas that I struggle. I started to become more vulnerable and admitting to my sins that I have kept so down deep in my heart because I was afraid of judgment from them. I learned what it meant to have my Father love me and pursue me in beautiful way. I felt new..I felt freedom.. I felt loved… I was redeemed. I am not longer buying into the lie that I am a sinner but rather, that I am a Saint. I learned that my sins do not define who I am but that I am a Christ Follower and for once I believed it in my heart. Shortly after that I got the chance to travel to Southeast Asia where I got my first experience working with woman and children trapped in this lifestyle of prostitution and human trafficking. God showed me a purpose and even better, told me I would be going back to Africa. This past summer, I got the privilege to live in a rescue home for girls coming out of prostitution and spend my summer with 45+ children in Mozambique. God has given me a passion for those who have no one to hear their cries, girls forced into prostitution, girls who hate themselves, girls who are so poor that they sell their bodies to buy some rice. These beautiful and amazing girls are the people who God has given me a desire to serve and love. He has given me a passion for my campus and those who are lost and looking for love in the wrong places. A passion to travel the world and see what is going on to my brothers and sisters overseas. I have gone to three other countries since Kenya and God has been given me a desire to go back to Africa and my heart smiles every time I think about this. He also has given me a vision to open a rescue home in Africa for girls coming out of prostitution. Me!!!! A twenty-two year old girl who still struggles with abandonment from my parents not wanting me, boys, the typical college lifestyle, insecurities, but I am grateful that my God still sees me as Beautiful. THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE sees me as faultless, lovely, and worthy. I am humbled to serve the God I serve, humbled for the opportunities He has given me, and excited for the Journey He continues to lead me on; even when I mess up or lose track of him. This year I am a senior and it will be my last year! (WOOT WOOT). I have been asked to be on the servant team here with CRU leading a small group in the dorms with another girl and I am so pumped about this. I have also been able to educate people on what sex trafficking is, and be an advocate on my campus for this population. I am graduating in May and I have no idea what I am going to do after that, and for once, I am okay with that. Wow, reading through this, I just have to Praise Jesus for bringing me out of the darkness and giving me new life. GOD, you are an AWESOME God. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14