Thursday, March 20, 2014

119 Hours

Did you know that there are 168 hours in an entire week?

About 49 of those hours are for sleep (assuming that you sleep about 7 hours per night on average), which leaves about 119 hours awake or active in a week total.

119 hours. 7,140 minutes. 428,400 seconds.

That changes my entire thought process when someone says "How was your day?" or "How was your week?" Because it's a lot of time to summarize in a few sentences.

You never hear anyone say: "Well, about 59 hours of the week, I spent at school or doing homework, and then about 2 hours this week, I spent doing chores and laundry, and then..."unless they're a mathematician or hyper-scheduler or something, I don't know, but that's not your every day summary of a week.

A lot of the time I have to think about my week, because I really do spend between 50 to 60 hours at school and studying, and then I spend who-knows-how-many hours on the Internet: emailing, calendar editing, checking and updating social networks, and...dare I say it, watching YouTube and playing Candy Crush.

But here's the really sad part:

When I calculated how many hours I spend doing life with others, I figured out that the average total amount of time I spend with my closest friends are 6 hours.

Yes, you read that correctly: 6. hours...out of 119.

Now those 6 hours only account for the times that I'm actually in the same building or room with said friends (not including school). That does not account for other activities on weekends where I might run into them on occasion or the times where I text, call, e-mail, or instant-message them.

But even still: 6 hours is a very small number. If that were a percentage of their week that I was doing life with my closest friends, it would be about 5%.

I think if a lot of us made a percentage of how much they are doing life with their brothers and sisters in Christ out of the average 119 hours we have in a week, I'm sure many of them would not be fully satisfied with that number.

Everyone has a lot of time that they spend working, raising families, being productive, and keeping things like their houses and finances in one piece, and thanks to the social networks and the Internet itself, we have lots of ways to communicate with one another.

But communication and "social interaction" is not at all the same as doing life, or spending time face-to-face.

I know for sure, that if I really had the desire, and worked at it, I could possibly turn that 5% of my week doing life with others into a 7%, and then maybe even 10%.

Building relationships and doing life with others is one of the key fundamentals to being God's church and growing in Him...and yes, it's a very hard thing to do. But isn't that what being a Christian is about?Glorifying God and loving His people, even when it's hard?

We have 119 hours in every week to glorify God and do life with others. How are you spending yours?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Where I See Myself in 19 Weeks (and How You Can Help!)

A few months ago for the 30 Day Blog Challenge (which I still have yet to officially finish....sorry), I answered the question: "If I could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?" My answer was Europe.

But I have a confession to make: that was the general answer.

Every summer at my church, several people in the congregation go on a mission trip to an English camp in Eger, Hungary. For several summers, I've been dreaming about going to Eger with my church. Here's what has usually gone through my head: "I really hope to go there someday," or "I can see myself going there in the future." But more recently, I've been praying very hard about it, and the monologue in my head has turned into: "I'm ready to go to Eger this summer. And it's only 19 weeks from now. I'm sure I'll get there soon."

Here's some info about the English Camp that our church missions group will be going to:

The campers in Hungary are people my age: mostly teens, but specifically, they are young people from the ages of 12 to 21, and a lot of them don't know Jesus because of the gypsy cultural influence in their community.

When I think about my own life and background, I know that I am very blessed. God worked in amazing ways so that I could have several opportunities to know Him more. But then, there are plenty of kids out there who don't have the same background as I do, and while God has a perfect plan for them, I know that I can use my gifts and abilities to help them find out what theirs are in order to serve God, too.

I have three objectives in going on this trip:
1) To share the gospel by way of getting to know the kids and sharing my testimony with them.
2) To teach teens about a language that they are interested in, which also happens to be my native language: English.
3) To get to know the teens in order to establish friendships with them, so that they can get better at their English by communicating with a native speaker such as myself, also, so that they can know more about American culture as I also get to know more about Hungarian culture, and that they may be led to Christ by the example of all the missionaries coming to the camp.

Here's the downside: this trip costs money. In order to raise enough, I'm going to need some help. If you are interested, here is a way to start:
Buy a t-shirt! White Fields Community Church (the church I attend), for the very first time, is selling t-shirts, and all of the proceeds go to missions. Plus, they come in multiple different sizes and colors! If you're interested in buying one, check out this link: (P.S. All you have to do is click on whatever colored shirt you want in the middle of the page, pick the size, and buy it! Careful, though, at the bottom of some screens, you might find ads that say "You Might Also Like," which don't belong to the church.)

Within the next few weeks/months, I'll probably come up with some more ideas for people to help, but for now, if you have any questions, please let me know, and please consider buying a shirt for the missions team! :)

Another way to help in a big way is to pray. Here is a list of things that I'll need to prepare for this trip, and a list of things that the camp and the missions group will need prayer for, as well.

Please Pray for Me as I Try to Accomplish These Things in Preparation for the Trip:

  • Applying for and getting a job in the near future
  • Getting my very first passport, and making sure preparing to fly overseas goes smoothly
  • Preparing my heart and mind to be a useful missionary and to help the missions team
Please Pray for My Church, the Camp Leaders, and the Future Camp Attendees as Camp is Coming Soon:

  • All of the other people on the church missions team will have their hearts and minds prepared to minister the camp attendees in the way that God sees fit
  • The camp leaders will have clear minds to have as much prepared that's necessary
  • The future camp attendees will have open ears, minds, and hearts to learn English in a way that is the least frustrating and most beneficial to everyone
  • Many of the future camp attendees will come to know more about Jesus and accept Him as Lord of their lives
I hope that I will be able to go, but in the meantime, I'll be praying that this missions trip goes according to God's plan, and turns out wonderfully, with or without me. If it is the Lord's plan that I go this year, please pray that I'll be able to use my gifts and experiences to minister in a way that is pleasing to God and brings more people to Him.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!

Don't forget to check out the link above for a t-shirt! :)

Questions for the Reader: Have you ever gone on a missions trip? What was it like? Do you have any advice about missions for me? Do you have any advice about traveling out of the country?

"For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!' But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, 'Lord, who has believed our message?' Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: 'Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.'" --Romans 10:13-18