Friday, May 18, 2012

My dear friends, the Lord has given me the opportunity to go to Bolivia. Whoo! Long story short: I need your help to get there!

Here’s how it happened: The day after I graduated from the University of Michigan, I hitched a ride to Cedar Campus for camp with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IV). Oh how I love Cedar Campus! I spent the week serving in crew track, folding laundry, making new friends and hugging old ones, cleaning bathrooms, breathing in beautiful Michigan air, and windexing many cabin windows! The Lord is teaching me how to serve (not a natural inclination for me), so I’m thankful for opportunities like this to get messy and serve. God is also teaching me to be thankful for each day and present in each moment. Still, my anxious response to new friends at camp asking what my summer plans were: “I have no idea! Meh! Gah! Wahhh!”

The Lord says, “Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and He will give you peace beyond understanding.” God is so cool y’all.

I had no plans, had just graduated, and had successfully completed 12 credit hours of freaking out. Yet, God put Matt Grimm at my table for breakfast one day. Matt is a staffworker with IV and began talking about his trip to Bolivia in June. The trip is a short-term ministry opportunity with IV to serve the Ayore community in Bolivia. Much of the trip will be serving at a retreat for young girls who have a very serious chance of ending up in prostitution as their future occupation. There will be teaching from Scripture, caring for precious Sisters, and serving the Ayore community. So…after hearing about the trip and thinking it sounded great, Matt said he was still recruiting students! And ideally, the students would speak Spanish! Bah!

I was hesitant to get my parents on board, to fundraise $3000, and to travel so far away. But, I had a dream one night of speaking Spanish to some kids who were drawing animals and who showed me where the (dream) bathroom was, and I woke up so excited to begin fundraising for the trip (and needing to go to the bathroom)!

I can’t wait to see where I can serve in Bolivia. God uses weak people to accomplish great things through His power. God doesn’t need me, but wants to open my eyes and heart and teach me about His heart for the world, for the poor, for the lonely, for the underserved. As David Platt wrote in Radical Together, “The Gospel that saves us from work saves us to work.” God’s Word says that we are saved by grace, through faith, and not by our works. In other words, our good deeds are dirty rags. God is immeasurably greater than us; how can we compare! We can’t earn God’s love or our way into heaven. We can’t be good enough people. It is grace. The Gospel that saves us from work saves us to work. True faith in Christ gives us contagious joy and fills our hearts till they’re bursting and we can’t do anything less than share it and desire good for others and serve. Am I still learning how to do this? Yes. Am I looking for opportunities? You betcha.

It is so clear in Scripture that we are to help, love, serve, and offer our lives for the sake of others. With that, check out the official trip description (below) and consider supporting me!

Human trafficking, poverty, and racism are part of life for the Ayore people in and around Santa Cruz, Bolivia, but God is working in their midst. This 3-4 week project will minister through community outreach and a Bible-based retreat to young girls at risk of entering the prostitution trade. The project will also partner with IFES Bolivia with opportunities for campus ministry through evangelism, English language groups, and worship. We will experience the challenges of cross-cultural ministry, face issues of injustice, and develop our own relationship with Christ as we grow in our reliance upon his strength. Spanish skills are required and fluency is preferable.

First, please pray for the Ayore community in Bolivia, that they would know God’s love. Pray for me as I prepare to go serve with InterVarsity. Pray for safety for our travels, and open and willing hearts. Pray that God’s will be done.

Second, please consider supporting me financially. I have to raise $3000 before the trip, and we leave the last week of June! I just received the email last night that I got accepted to the program, so my apologies for the short notice!

Gifts are tax deductible, and you can make checks out to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and send through the mail to me (or hand it to me in person) at:

c/o Alexis Delaney
1183 Oxford Ct.
Lake Zurich, IL 60047

Need an envelope and stamp? Let me know and I’ll send you one!
I have full confidence in the Lord that if He wants me on this trip, He will provide the means for me to go. Consider partnering with us in this mission to love and serve in Bolivia.

Thanks my dear friends.