Steph is a good friend of mine from university. We met freshman year, and pretty much instantly became good friends. We discovered that we are quite similar and happened to be taking the same course--Social Work. So as we proceeded to go through the program together, we spent a lot of time hanging out, talking about God's word, taking pictures, going on adventures and roadtrips, giggling together, praying and crying together and praising God together. Oh yea, we also spent time being completely stressed over our Social Work Theses, and then rejoicing that they were done! haha. Stephanie and I even shared an apartment for a year. We often talked about the places we (mostly she) wanted to go and the things we wanted to do..So it wasn't surprising that the day we walked in graduation together, we both left within 24 hours for our respective trainings to go overseas. So, you see, I am not the only one living abroad.
Stephanie was also living in foreign countries this last year. 11 of them. She was moving each month with a group, to serve people in 4 different continents, in countless different ways, from loving on orphans, to building buildings, to mentoring college students, cooking for teams of 20-30 people, bathing kids in the street, shoveling cow poop on a farm, and much, much more.. I could never pretend to tell about all the things she did. If you are interested, you can check out her blog here. With that being said, Stephanie returned to the States in June, and after just 2 months has again left her home.. but this time to go to Georgia. The state, not the country. ;)
Talk about brave.
I know this post seems really random, because it's not about me.. But I have just been thinking a lot about her recently and am really impressed by the way that she lives her life. Steph, in case you didn't already know, I am proud of you! I am so glad to call you my friend.
|That's my crazy awesome friend, for ya! :)|
I've been challenged so much in the past year and a half by Stephanie's writings and experiences, but more so by the heart and the person behind them. It's sad for me to say that we've talked I think 2 or 3 times in the last year in 'person', aka Skype, and somewhat sporadically through email. Still, I am just as excited for this next step in her life! It's awesome for me to think about all the things that she has seen and heard...and that now she will continue to do something about it, from the States (and maybe Spain for a bit). It's encouraging to me to see God move in unexpected ways, knowing that He has great plans for us. It doesn't have to mean living in a foreign country. Who knows? It might. But either way, there is faith involved.
No matter where we are, we must always trust that God will provide for our needs. And that's exactly what Stephanie's doing right now. She is still in the process of raising support so that she can live down south and do the work she believes God has for her right now. But she's already there. In Georgia. I'm so challenged and blessed by that. I'm sure that She would not mind if some extra people wanted to help her out by contributing to her financially ;-) so if you're interested, let me know, or go to her blog and contact her through that.
But even if you do not feel led to support financially, or follow Stephanie's blog, I hope you are encouraged to follow Jesus. No matter where He leads. So, what's next for you? Maybe you're not planning to physically move, but God is asking you to do something differently. Maybe he's asking you to step outside of your comfortable living and engage people around you.. those who have less than you, those who are not just like you, who need someone to love them. (Oh yea, you can also be praying for me, as I consider what to do when I return to the States in January.) So whatever it is, I pray that we would all have the courage and the faith to follow, one step at a time. Wherever He goes.
As they say here, "Thank you. That is all."