I have been home from Kenya for 22 days now and have spent so much time processing everything I experienced. My days have been filled with a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts, whether that means laughing, smiling, or crying as memories run through my mind. I would be back in Kenya right now if I could be, but I am learning to trust in God's plan and recognize He has me where he needs me right now. I know I am home for a reason and He is going to use me back at school this fall as a student ministry leader. Since being home though, I have been challenged by God on numerous occasions. The main thing that has stuck out to me is the challenge to see Jesus in disguise in every single kid I work with - not just the kids in Africa. It is easier to show love and compassion for the kids in Africa because they deserve it. It is much harder to have that same heart for people here who hurt me, upset me, or annoy me. But then I think about God and how He LOVES each and every person the SAME amount - He loves me despite all of my mistakes. I have been working for Skyhawks again this summer - being a coach and director for tennis camps. Some kids I have a harder time loving because they don't listen, or are disrespectful, or act up and upset other kids - but it is those kids that I know I need to try to love even more. I try to look at them how God would. It has really changed my attitude at work. I know at times my mind wanders at camp and I wish to be back with the kids in Kenya instead, but then I remember that these kids here need my love too... I don't know their story. Sure, they might not be an orphan, but that doesn't mean they don't need love or to feel valued too. They still need a positive role model and encourager - this is my time to let Jesus' love shine through me. I'm not saying I'm doing a perfect job at this... I still lose my patience at times and get frustrated. But I'm living and learning. And I know I still have A LOT to learn. But I know God has a plan for me and is going to use me wherever I may be - whether that is in Washington, California, or all the way in Africa.

I'm also learning to let God use me how He desires... even if that means going out of my comfort zone. I've never really been the type to step up and be a leader but this summer I was a director at the Skyhawks tennis camps. I was really hesitant and nervous for the job. I had to run the camps, keep them organized, deal with the parents, complete the paperwork and manage both the kids and staff. This was a challenge for me but it was a good one - it forced me to trust in God that everything would be okay. Every morning was a new prayer before work. I had to trust that He was with me when a kid was injured and I didn't know what to do, or when a parent complained to me and I had to fix the situation. I had to recognize that everything was out of my hands... I could do my best work and then rely on God. This year at Point Loma I'm going to be a student ministry leader for a tutoring ministry that I was involved in last year. We go in the inner city in San Diego to Southeast Church of the Nazarene and tutor at-risk youth, hang out, eat snacks, and play games. I originally was going to co-lead with my roommate Audrie, but God had a different plan. I know this is going to be a stretch for me to lead this ministry alone, but once again, God has it all in control. I'm trusting in Him this year and know that He has some crazy awesome plans ahead. I know He won't give me anything I can't handle.
 


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