Family and Friends,
I’m excited to share that, for the 2nd year in a row, I’ve joined a team in Dallas that partners with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through personal relationships. We pray and strive to be living witnesses to Christ’s redeeming, healing love. I’ll be able to revisit young professionals in Tirana, Albania’s capital, whom I met last year, and, for the first time, I’ll travel to Poland to help launch a new ministry, re:generation, to those seeking Christ’s healing.
I’ll fly out this June 29th for Tirana, where a Dallas mini-team of 7 will join forces with CRU staff to host “coffees” (one-on-one chats over coffee) and seminars on leadership topics for young professionals. As we equip them, we’ll also form friendships and share the love, truth and freedom that come from knowing and glorifying God here on Earth and spending eternity with Him after death.
About mid-way through my 17-day trip, I’ll transition to the Poland team. This mini-team of 7 Dallasites will also work with CRU to host a summer retreat to introduce re:generation, a 12-step biblical recovery ministry for hurts, bad habits and hang-ups. We’ll have the opportunity to discuss recovery topics, give testimonies, facilitate small group discussions and engage in team building activities. We hope to launch re:generation in Poland in the fall of 2018 and guide the ministry remotely from the US.
In all, 40 Christ-followers from Dallas will travel as 1 team then split into 6 mini-teams to 5 cities in 3 countries (Albania, Hungary and Poland) to spread the Gospel through 3 distinct ministries (high school camps, young professionals seminars and re:generation) over the span of 24 days. Would you please consider partnering with me? I’ll outline what that looks like a little later.
The Gospel We Share
So, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = “no way,” and 10 = “absolutely sure”), if you were to die today, how sure are you that you would have eternal life with God in heaven? If you were standing before God, and He asked you why He should let you in, how would you answer Him? My answers to these questions 18 years ago would have been “5” (I needed to serve my time in purgatory first) and “because I tried really hard to be a good person.”
Growing up I learned that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead, but I never fully understood why. He’s GOD after all - a part of the trinity. Why did He HAVE to die? Wasn’t there another way? It wasn’t until His mercy broke me, that I truly sought to understand why He was allowing me to suffer.
I joined a bible-based recovery/discipleship ministry called re:generation and began to dedicate daily time to studying His Word. I learned that God is entirely free from moral evil; He is absolute moral perfection; He is holy. As such, His standard for those who would dwell with Him is also holiness. But my sins make me unclean and what I truly deserve is eternal separation from God. Even if I lead a perfect life from here on out, I can never undo all I’ve already done wrong. Knowing this, in His infinite love and mercy, the LORD provided a way.
Adam and Eve were the first to be separated from God for their sin (they were expelled from the Garden of Eden) and ushered forth the first sacrifice/death (an animal was killed to provide them clothing). Later, God directed Israel to create a sacrificial system. Sacrifices were a picture of the great cost of sin (death); they were reminders to turn from sin and to have faith that God would provide a substitute to atone for that cost.
That substitute was Christ. The only way God could restore us and stay true to Himself would be to meet His own standard for us. He would have to make the perfect payment for sin, so that we could be restored to His perfect goodness. All we have to do is accept Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
We can all have absolute certainty that we will be with God forever in heaven when we die. When He asks us why He should let us into heaven, we can answer, "Because Jesus paid the penalty that I deserved, and I accepted His free gift of eternal life."
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Now I can say that the year the LORD broke me was the year He led me into his presence. Those trials were for my good. He is merciful. And now, He’s calling me to share what He’s done for me. I’ve led a small group of 14 women through the same recovery/discipleship program that led me to Christ, but I know I’m called to do more. In praying for direction, I felt called to Luke 4:18-19:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
This discipleship trip is another way for Him to continue His work in me and to use me to reach other people as well. By partnering with me, you become an active part of His work too.
Why Albania and Poland?
Albania is consistently ranked among the least religious countries in the world. After World War II, the Communist regime took control and systematically persecuted and suppressed all religious observance and institutions. It eventually banned religion to the extent that Albania was officially declared to be the world's first atheist state. 2017 marks the 26th anniversary of the fall of Communism and the return of religious freedom to Albania. Today, roughly 60% of the Albanian population adheres to Islam, 15% is Christian and the remaining 25% belongs to other religious groups or is not religious at all. There is a great need for spiritual healing in Albania and an incredible opportunity to spread the Gospel.
After World War II, the Soviet Union established a communist government in Poland that lasted until parliamentary elections in 1989. The elections set off a chain reaction across Eastern Europe that resulted in the fall of communism and the Soviet Union in 1991. Today, Poland is one of the most religiously conservative countries in Europe, with polls suggesting that up to 87% of Poles are Catholic. However, there is still a great need for spiritual healing and recovery in Poland. It is estimated that nearly 2.5 million Poles consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol, with nearly 10% of the country being directly affected by alcoholism.
Dates: June 29 – July 15, 2018
Size of Team: 40 overall, 7 on the Tirana Young Professionals team and 7 on the Poland re:generation team
Cost: $3,500 for flights, in-country expenses and a donation to CRU
Prayer: This is an incredibly powerful way to partner with me. Please be praying for the following:
-the Albanian and Polish people – that God would stir their hearts to be receptive to the Gospel
-boldness - that I would be brave in sharing God’s love
-financial provision – that God would provide for the cost of the trip
-the CRU organization – that it would be able to effectively execute the logistics of the various programs
-the Dallas team – that God would use this opportunity to make us more like Christ every day and that God would be glorified in everything that occurs
Online Giving: All financial support goes directly to the CRU organization and is tax deductible. If you are willing and able to support our team financially, I would greatly appreciate you letting me know via email, so that I can be sure to verify that the gift was appropriately assigned to my team. Online giving is the best way to support us as you will receive your tax receipt directly.
1. Go to https://give.cru.org/give/0936907.
2. Click on “Give a Gift.”
3. Select or enter the amount of your gift.
4. Choose “Single Gift” as the frequency.
5. Click on “Add to Gift Cart”.
6. Click on “Proceed to Checkout.”
7. You will be prompted to fill out information to complete the process.
The website is secure for credit card payments. If you’d like to give via check, cash, or telephone, just let me know, and I will get you the details. Thanks for considering supporting me. Let me know if you’d like to know more about the Dallas team, CRU, re:generation or Christ’s sacrifice. I’m excited to share about each!
“The light shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5