On Sunday I gave three mission updates at my home church. The first two were at the two morning services, and the third was at children's worship. I was incredibly nervous to be speaking in front of so many people. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking. I had no reason to be nervous sharing about what God has been doing in life in a room full of people who are for me, but I was. I kept repeating to myself that it isn't about me, that it is about God. I knew that God would give me words, and that even though I was stumbling over the words, God was in control. I hope that people were encouraged by how good and faithful God has been in my life. I know that I was encouraged by all the prayers that were prayed for me and for Sudan. I felt very loved.
I think the prayer that blessed me the most was prayed by one of the girls in children's worship. She prayed that I would make new friends in Sudan and that I would have fun. I have wonderful friends in Richmond who care about me enough to order me to ice my knee by email after falling on our run. =) I have many friends from high school and college that I am still very close with that I will miss dearly. This little girl's prayer reminded me that although I will in some ways be able to keep in touch with people that have meant so much to me, I need to be praying for the new friends that I will make in Sudan. These are the people with whom I will be sharing meals, taking walks, and reading scripture for two years.
I was wonderful to be a part of children's worship and see a group of 6 and 7 year old children reading scripture, praying in front of their peers, and singing songs of worship. After I gave a quick update to the kids at children's worship, they had the opportunity to ask me questions. They asked great questions about how the children in Sudan live and about how we clean water. It took me until my second year of college to feel like I understood what being an engineer means, so I didn't worry too much about explaining what I would do as an engineer to make water clean. Though at one point I had the impression that some of the children think engineers can perform miracles by turning the ground INTO water. =) Being a part of children's worship was such a blessing, and I am thankful to be a part of a church that loves missions and that shares that love of missions with the children in the church. Maybe in 15 years some of the children sitting in children's worship will be a missionary serving and following God's will for their life.
After the service I wasn't even really sure what I had said. I assume that I said some of the things that I had prayed about and written down over the past week. Some of the wonderful women in my Bible study assured me that I actually did say something that was comprehensible.
I can't say that I won't be nervous next time I give a mission update. I may always be nervous before public speaking, but I pray that it will never stop me from doing what God is asking me to do.