school of discipleship

Video Testimony: Living for Jesus

If I were to sum up what the Lord worked in my life through my two years in Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship program… (that’s really hard to sum up by the way)… two things stand out.

Jesus.

Living in light of eternity.

That’s what it’s really all about.

If you care to watch, here’s a short video the team made about my SD story.

Okay, Deep Question Time

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Yesterday morning my sister Clara and I were eating breakfast and talking about asking hard questions. Sometimes we joke around, and say “Okay, deep question time” or “Whoa, that’s oceanic” (meaning really deep.) But asking a friend questions that are beyond the surface, or questions that show we care, helps knit our friendship that much deeper, or helps create a friendship where there was not one before.

Clara has a penchant for asking deep questions. Basically, she has a thing for it. A common occurrence when we’re washing dishes*, or making tea, or going on a drive (now that we live in the country) is for Clara to ask, “So, what has God been teaching you recently?”

Sometimes I don’t know how to answer that question right away.

But I’m so grateful for Clara pressing on to take relationships a step deeper. I have been challenged to do this too, and see how it becomes a blessing to both me and others.

These are some questions I am asking people in my life:

  • What is God teaching you right now?
  • How did God call you to serve here?
  • What are your goals for this year?
  • What aspects of God’s character is He revealing to you?
  • And… do you know of any good churches in Terrell?**

How beautiful is it that having these conversations not only grows us closer as friends, but brings joy to Jesus too?

Crystal Stine’s blog post The Questions We Need to Ask got me thinking about reaching out as a friend and asking questions, and was part of the inspiration for this post. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it.

I’ll close with a quote from Crystal:

“The questions we need to ask don’t need to be long or deep or fancy. They just need to be honest and from a heart that is willing to truly listen to the answer. It’s about knowing your friend, what her passions are, and asking God to show you the best way to pour love and encouragement into her life.” (source)


*When Clara and I wash dishes together, it’s actually more common for us to sing than to talk.
** This question recently led to a beautiful conversation with my hair stylist!

Entering a New Season

Meet the January 2014 School of Discipleship Second Year Graduating Class! That’s quite the mouthful to say. :)

I had the privilege to walk through 2014 with these 13 men and women, with all the challenges and joys of being the very first SD2 class. We were affectionately known as the “guinea lambs”!

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First row: Joshua, Nathanael, Josiah, Christian, David, Jarius, Daniel | Second row: Natalya, Taylor, Lanae, Trula, me, Amanda, Sharlena

The Lord has taught me so much through this year and through my classmates. The various health struggles through  the year, moving from my hometown, adjusting back to being in the USA, new roommates, and an almost-overwhelming amount of homework… those things were all hard. But it seems like God works through hard things to teach me the most. He taught me trust, dependence, and faithfulness in the little things (a few of the many lessons).

Whether they realize it or not, my classmates taught me many things too. :) Perseverance. Passion for the lost and boldness to share the Gospel. Trust. Unity. Loving the differences in the Body of Christ. Patience. Commitment. Knowing God as our Father. Using our talents and creativity to glorify God. Joy. Putting others first.

We graduated from School of Discipleship on December 9th, and since we completed the second year of the program, we’ve really finished. Each of us are pressing on to what the Lord has called us to next; some to Bible college, some to overseas missions, some back home, and some coming back on staff at GFA. I’m one of those coming back on staff. I’m still here at Gospel for Asia since my family serves here, but it’s pretty different not being a student and not being around my classmates anymore.

My classmates and I are now entering a new season, and it most likely will hold more change, more transition, times of uncertainty, and struggles. But I know that we can walk with confidence in Christ, pressing on to know Him more and make Him known.

Read over this passage from Philippians and let it sink into your heart. And instead of just closing this window and clicking over to the next tab in your Internet browser, maybe open up God’s Word and spend some time with Him thinking about what He’s called YOU to do.

“Yet every advantage that I had gained I considered lost for Christ’s sake. Yes, and I look upon everything as loss compared with the overwhelming gain of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. For his sake I did in actual fact suffer the loss of everything, but I considered it useless rubbish compared with being able to win Christ. For now my place is in him, and I am not dependent upon any of the self-achieved righteousness of the Law. God has given me that genuine righteousness which comes from faith in Christ. How changed are my ambitions! Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his sufferings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead. Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ.” – Philippians 3:7-14 (Phillips Translation)

How we’re linked to the mission field

This short excerpt from my recent October Newsletter gives you a small glimpse of how GFA staff or students and their support team are linked to the mission field in South Asia.

I serve full-time in Gospel for Asia‘s Web Department, in addition to taking School of Discipleship classes. I don’t always explain much of what I do or how it’s linked with reaching Asia, so I want to take some time and do that.

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Right now the main things I work on are: GFA Canada social media (writing and posting several times a day) and Blog for Asia (a program for bloggers to use their voices to make a difference in Asia). I am also learning some web design, getting my toes wet with Google Adwords (advertising with Google), and helping make Veil of Tears follow up calls.

That gives you a small picture of my role in Web. By serving behind the scenes at Gospel for Asia, my life is linked with over 16,000 national missionaries serving in more than 10 Asian nations. I found this awesome explanation in the SD support brochure:

“Working in the ministry as a GFA School of Discipleship student, I represent more than 200 of these missionaries. My role behind the scenes is absolutely essential in helping win the battle for souls on the field. Think of it this way: The soldier who fights on the front lines has a team of people backing him up, keeping the supply lines open and enabling him to remain focused on the battle. Both the soldier and the team are equally important to the outcome of the war; one cannot survive without the other.”

To all those partnering with me, you are part of that team! Thank you.


To learn more about supporting me to come on staff with Gospel for Asia, visit www.gfa.org/ht/elch.

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Announcement: God’s leading for what’s next

Sometimes people ask me what I’m going to do after this year of School of Discipleship. In case you’re wondering that too…. I’m excited to announce that I have been accepted on staff with Gospel for Asia!

God has given me a passion for missions, and especially for India. Before and during our trip to South Asia last fall, the Lord confirmed that He wanted me to continue serving in ministry here at Gospel for Asia. Then, God directed me to be a student for another year, and this year has been an incredible time of equipping and growth. And now, the next step God showed me is staff, keeping on serving Him and helping to reach the lost in Asia!

My first year of SD in Canada pushed me out of the nest. I had to decide whether I wanted to follow Jesus and serve him because that’s what my family does, or because that’s what I was going to choose. And I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.

It’s a privilege to be part of a family who serves the Lord. Dad and Mom have been so influential in living out what it means to follow Jesus and to serve Him, and I’m so grateful for their example.

So what’s the plan? The big picture plan is to keep running hard after Jesus, with everything I’ve got. :) Also as I finish this SD year (by God’s grace!), I’ll work on raising support for staff.

Read more in my August/September newsletter…

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Find out how you can support me here.

Victory Through Surrender

“The self is the one and only thing we own. It is the one thing we brought into the world and it is the one and only thing we will take out of the world, and the one thing we have to live with intimately day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. So the kind of self you are determines your life happiness or your life hell. Someone has said: ‘The most used word in hell is ‘I.’’ To be centered in your self is to be in hell – now.”
—E. Stanley Jones, Victory Through Surrender

I am super challenged by the Self-Confrontation Bible Study we’re doing right now in School of Discipleship year 2, as well as by Victory Through Surrender by E. Stanley Jones. I know the struggle with myself will always be there – and that’s why I have to keep surrendering myself and my whole life to Jesus.

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 1:6

This is one of my favorite verses. I can have confident hope knowing that God will complete the work He started in me!

studying
Working on a speech/presentation for our discipleship class.

update and newsletter

portrait from Clara

Good evening! This is just a quick update. It’s a super busy season in my life right now – I am a student with the School of Discipleship, learning and growing a lot, and being challenged daily. I hope to post more soon :)

I just sent out a newsletter, and you can read it too: https://eliciamoose.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/elicia-feb-2014-newsletter.pdf

 

Seasons of Change

I’m excited to be doing School of Discipleship year 2… but instead of returning to snowy Canada, I’ll be staying in Texas! This unexpected change of plans happened just this week, and I miss Tim Horton’s and my Canadian family already. It’s always an adventure to follow wherever God calls and I want to keep trusting Him and His plans for my life, like I’ve been reading in Jeremiah 29:11-13.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

So Texas friends, I’ll be seeing you more often!

PS – to find out more about what School of Discipleship Year 2 is… check out my most recent newsletter right here. Also, I’m raising financial support for this year of discipleship. You can support me at www.gfa.org/sd/elch.

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A Testimony of God’s Provision and Confirmation

Before I even came to Canada, God used two things to totally confirm that I was supposed to come. While I was raising my support, I was
praying that I would have 100% pledged before I came. Looking at my support report a few days before I left for Canada, I realized that God had answered that prayer! Many people had been generous with one-time gifts and monthly pledges, and God showed me His provision by bringing in my support.

Six days before I was set to fly to Toronto, I got out my passport and had an awful realization. My passport had expired last August! Oh no. Mom and Dad and I began praying, and looking into getting my passport renewed. It was easy to blame ourselves for this mistake, but we had to choose to believe that God is sovereign and is in control. Romans 8:28 and Matthew 19:26 were promises that encouraged me.

The normal route to renew a passport is to go to the post office, make an appointment, apply for renewal, and wait a few weeks for the new passport to come in the mail. But I didn’t have the time to do that – I needed to leave in 6 days!

It was a situation that seemed impossible for humans, and that was just the place for God to do a miraculous work! The leaders of GFA Canada and an auntie who helps with travel things for GFA gave us good advice about renewing my passport quickly, and directed me to go to the Federal Building in downtown Dallas. And I got my passport just three days before I left for Canada!
Every time I tell this story, God’s provision completely blows my mind. He completely confirmed that it was His plan for me to come to Canada, and it is so exciting to be here, right in the centre of His will.

hello from canada!

I’m a few days into my second week at Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship here in Stoney Creek, Ontario. So far everything has been fantastic. There have been hard parts, and challenges, and struggles – but God has been so faithful to me so far. He’s not going to stop now.

Last Wednesday my classmates and I finally found out what we were itching to know — where we would be working in the office! My ministry placement is in the Web Department. Trevor is our coordinator, and besides myself, two other students are in Web: Ashley and Crissy. Working together is already such a blessing. Part of my job is writing some posts for the Gospel for Asia Canada blog (blog.gfa.ca). So far I’ve put together posts about our first week at School of Discipleship (read that here,) and what we’re learning in class (read about knowing Jesus more over here,) and then my most recent post was about myGFA (this one has a video too! click here to see it.)

I’ll probably be posting over on that blog more than here. They have us pretty busy as School of Discipleship students. Three times a week we have class; throughout the week we have assignments; we work in the office Monday through Friday; we have morning prayer, evening prayer, and house prayer; we have activities on the weekends.

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Last Sunday (January 20) we visited Niagara Falls! This is our class. Left to right: Crissy, Abigail, Michelle, Daniel, Rueben, Ashley, Sharlena, Elicia, Chris, and Barb (Rueben and Barb are our house mentors.)

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