I'm off! About two months ago, I received a message a from a missionary friend saying that she was wanting to put together "a video for the purpose of sharing what's happening in the ministry [that she works with] down in Honduras in hopes to connect people and ministries here who would like to partner in prayer as well as financially with the ministry/church in Honduras. We have a lot of ideas, but are not entirely sure how to execute them in terms of what to include in a video, how to go about getting good footage, how to put the video together, etc." A week later I met with Erina, the friend that sent me this message, and her dad to work through some of their ideas. The conversation started out by talking about what they would need in order to produce a video themselves. An hour and a half later they posed a question to me "Would you be interested in coming down to help us produce this?" Now, I find myself sitting in the Chicago O'Hare airport waiting for my flight down to Guatemala! I've never been one to pass up new opportunities, and I feel that this is what God has called me to for the next month an a half. "Guatemala? I thought you said the ministry you were going to was in Honduras. Why are you waiting for a flight to Guatemala?" Good question! Knowing that I will be going to Honduras for this video project, combined with an upcoming trip to Peru in June, and who knows what else God has in store for me in the future, I have decided to spend a month in Guatemala taking Spanish classes at San Pedro Spanish School near Lake Atitlan. I will be taking four hours of Spanish a day, five days a week. In April, I will then take a bus to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to work with the ministry down there in putting together some ministry videos. Pray for me as I travel and take Spanish classes. Pray for the ministry in Honduras, Salvación y Alabanza. I'm excited to be able to take on this new challenge and can't wait to see how God works through this opportunity!
Teacher Tim... Mid June, my team of seven had the chance to take on teaching five English classes for a week. I had the opportunity to fly solo and teach the "Intermediate English" class. My class was made up of five students and I loved being able to get to know each of them while (hopefully) teaching them a thing or two about the English language.
Alexa and I took the opportunity to get up early and go for a hike to watch the sun rise over the Tanzanian hills.
I have set up a new blog on the Adventures in Missions server for my World Race trip. That's right, for those of you who don't know, I have been accepted to The World Race! Don't worry, I will continue to crosspost updates onto this blog, so you can continue to get updates from here. That blog will just be World Race related. Please consider supporting me on this new journey that I am undertaking!
It was a late summer day like so many before. The clock struck 5 p.m. and I left my job at the television station. Before pulling my minivan into the driveway, I stopped past the mailbox. What I found inside that box planted a seed in me that's been slowly growing ever since. It started out so small... an excitement mixed with longing... my mind was filled with memories, faces and stories of wonderful people that I had met just months before when I had traveled to Guatemala... I thought of the lifelong friendships from my month in Russia a few years back... the seed has slowly matured and sprouted over the last half a year. The piece of paper in my hand wasn't even meant for me, it was addressed to my parents, it was just a single postcard, with a photo and a short message on one side. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." ~ Matthew 28:19-20 It was a support letter from my cousin (for all practical purposes... she's actually my dad's cousin's daughter, but who's keeping track?) Jenna Hartkopf was asking for support to go on "The World Race" a missions project that will take her around the world over the course of a year. 11 countries in 11 months. Out of curiosity, I looked up The World Race website and found out about the organization and the mission trips that they do. By the time my parents had gotten home, I had already place the postcard back in their stack of mail and they eventually stuck it on their refrigerator door. Deep down, that little card stirred up a sense of adventure, a longing. I've been telling people for years that I want to do missions for a period of my life. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories and building relationships with God at the center. I know that I don't need to go to another country or place to do that, but I as I live my life in the states, I find myself getting comfortable... getting "busy" and filling my schedule up with projects, Bible studies, worship team practices and all kind of other "good" stuff. I find it easy to loose track of building those relationships both with the people around me and with God that I know I was meant for. That night I met up with a few friends and mentioned the race to one of my good friends. I didn't mention that I was thinking about going but it was definitely on my mind. As the days went on my thoughts of the race faded but the longing for moving on to something more than a 9-5 job living out of my parents basement and doing the same things from one week to the next kept growing. In January, I thought a little bit more about the race as Jenna set off on her adventure. Then last week I saw a friend's Facebook status say: "found out today that I have been ACCEPTED to the world race!" It keeps coming up, and popping into my head... could this be God trying to tell me something? This past Thursday night I had the chance to share my thoughts, fears and excitements about the race with a group of friends. I currently hold a full time job with benefits. I've been working at Lakeland Public Television, a PBS affiliate in Minnesota, for the past five and a half years... I have job security, I can plan out my life months in advance... I know what to expect. Since I finished college I was telling myself "I'll stay where I'm at until I'm out of debt, and then I'll move on." I've said "Where I'm at now is good for me right now, but eventually I'd like to do work more related to spreading God's kingdom..." the idea of media missions has come up a ton, which is why I took three weeks off last March and went to serve with Student's International on their media team. I've been given a skill set that helps me tell other people's stories through video, photography and audio. I've been living out of my parents basement for the last few years because I don't want to get tied down to owning a home in Bemidji and it makes better financial sense than renting from someone else. Guess what? As of June 2011 I have paid off all of my debts, I am now living with a surplus in my bank account and I know that it is time to get out of my parents basement. So what's holding me back? The unknown? The fear of not know what would happen after the race? I don't think so, no mater what, I need to move on with my life, and this seems like a good time to do that. I have now filled out my application to the World Race, we'll see what happens, but no matter what, it's time to take a step away from the comfort of the world I think I know and truly discover the world that God has created!
Last March and April I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and put together some highlight and promotional videos along with photography with a group called Students International. I realized that I never posted the videos that I made while down there, so here's the first. This video is a highlight video for Taylor University students, who were in Guatemala on a spring break trip. I shot a majority of the footage and edited it all.
It's hard to believe that our trip to Guatemala is already over, it was certainly well worth every minute! While in Guatemala I had the chance to work in media ministry, which involved going around to all of the ministry sites that Students International (SI) has in Guatemala. It was exciting to see how God was at work through the organization and all the projects that they were involved in. Continue reading Back in the states
Over the weekend, we had the chance to purchase our plane tickets. We fly out of Minneapolis around 7:30 p.m. on March 18 and get in to Guatemala City just after 11 a.m. the next morning (with a long layover in Texas in between.) From Guatemala City we will be picked up and taken to our ministry sites. Christy and I also had the chance to go to the clinic on Tuesday and get our needed immunizations :)Â We had about an hour long consultation with the travel nurse about what she recommends that we do and don't do once we get to Guatemala... what I got from it is that as long as we don't eat the food, drink the water, get bitten by bugs, take showers, go swimming, brush our teeth and make sure that we stay safely in a cloud of deet, we should be fine :P Ok, maybe it wasn't quite that extreme, but it was close.Â It's the nurse's job to be paranoid.Â I plan on being careful, but mainly to listen to what the Student's International staff tells us. I was able to to get support letters mailed out on Wednesday. We are looking for people to pray for us as we prepare to go and each of us has about $2,400 to raise. If you are interested in helping us financially reach our goals visit our Support page. Things are starting to take shape for our trip and I look forward to seeing how God works in and through us as we serve Him.