I never imagined that when I moved to Vegas that I would ever come across a ministry that I simply have fallen in love with, ministering to Refugees. I have learned so much about myself since moving here 1 year ago. I have been thrown into uncomfortable situations, ministries I don’t particulary like and then there are others I have adored and can’t get enough of. God has used my experiences here to teach me more about my gifts and talents, things I thought I knew about myself, I was wrong. Since being a part of our new and developing Refugee Ministry I am beginning to understand my love and gifts for teaching. The teaching environment brings me such joy and fulfillment. I am still seeing how God is molding and shaping my abilities to fit into that. I really enjoy teaching children…watching their little minds figure out things for the first time makes my day! The same applies to teaching the many refugees I have encountered over the past 2 weeks. They are wide eyed and eager to learn just as children are. I have come to see how much I love spending time with them, helping them to adjust to their new home, America. Many of them come to the US, afraid and dealing with years of war, famine, persecution and a variety of other things from their country of origin. It amazes me each time I sit and get to know them how God is bringing the nations to Las Vegas! The ministry is continuing to develop each day…I will keep all of you posted! In the meantime, here are some photos from the past weeks and a write up I did about tthe ministry, read, look and enjoy!
Each week several families come from countries all over the world to our city of Las Vegas. They are not seeking money or power, but rather freedom and a better way of life for their families and children. These families have been tagged ‘refugees’. They have either escaped or been sent away from their country of origin due to war, famine, persecution, etc. The refugees have been sent to a land foreign to them to live in camps and communities together. Some of these refugees may be forced to live in the camps anywhere from 2-30 years or their entire lifetime. When the ability to leave arises, a government agency called UNHCR interviews each family member and sends them through a lengthy process that decides which country of refuge they will be sent. The US allows refugees to enter through several different cities, one being Las Vegas.
When the refugees arrive to Las Vegas they are given little to no assistance on learning the basics of being an American. They often come to the states confused due to a language barrier and are mostly clueless about the everyday things they we as Americans take advantage of. They face obstacles that we can’t imagine. The act of doing laundry and working their kitchen appliances proves to be very difficult. They need American families to take them by the hand and show them the basic details of living everyday life in Las Vegas. It seems so simple to us, however to them, taking the time to show them and to love and be patient with them means so much. They are so gracious and thankful for the kindness Christians have been showing them. They often encounter opposition in their travel to America and are simply looking for a friendly face and a kind word to encourage them through the difficult process of moving to an unfamiliar place.
Our encouragement to local churches and families is to consider and pray through becoming part of the ministry to the refugees. Every little bit helps, and the reward is incredible!
My crazy busy spring has been complete with Raceway Ministry events, Clark County Fair Ministry, Modest is Hottest girls event, Crosswalk Prayer across the city…needless to say it’s been full of planning and activity and so much FUN! I am still awaiting a few more events to round out my spring, and then comes the calm before my next ministry storm.
In the meantime, I am so privileged to be a part of a student ministry event in Texas this weekend. Back in 2006 I interned at FBC Colleyville, in the DFW area. Every spring, they are so gracious to invite me back to serve for a few days. I LOVED that experience and more so do I love the students and get so excited to go back each year to serve at their Disciple Now weekend.
The event has been dubbed EPIC weekend. I am looking forward to seeing the BIG things God does with the students, leaders and the Colleyville community this weekend. The best part is, I get to be a part of it, which is Amazing! Check out the link, the event is sure to be insane!
I spent my Sunday evening watching the Miss USA pageant…I was overly excited to have Miss Kentucky in the Top 5! The small things in life make me smile it seems. However, during the questioning I was browsing through Twitter while watching and found several comments or should I say “opinion” from Perex Hilton’s tweets. If you are not familiar with Perez, I will inform you….he runs a celebrity gossip blog/website, always full of info on the latest in Hollywood life. I must admit that I have read it from time to time. Perez is also a openly gay man who embraces like most of the United States sam sex marriage. I’m about to step on some toes…so here we go…
Perez is entitled to his own “opinion”, which I put in quotes because he assumes himself to have the only ‘right’ opinion. As a judge for last nights pageant, held in my current home Las Vegas, he continually tweeted that Miss California is ignorant…hmmm. His questioned for her as one of the final 5 related to same sex marriage being legalized in Vermont, he asked if she shared their view and if this law should be passed throughout the United States. He disliked her answer…imagine that. She stated that her opinion is taht marriage is for a man and woman only, which I firmly support. She was quickly booed by the majority of the audience, surprise surprise. Check it out…
The term tolerance has been taken out of context severely when in relation to this issue. We, who support God’s Word and commandments are often called ignorant or intolerant toward alternative lifestyles…FALSE. As follower of Christ, I do not support same sex unions, BUT I do love those who have chosen that lifestyle. Christ calls us to love not to always agree. Why are Christians not allowed to have their own “opinion”…it is however not mine, it is God’s, our creator and father. We are expected to move with culture and accept all lifestyles…anyone who says that cannot possibly own a Bible…God’s Word is true whether you choose to believe it or not. I am called to love men like Perez. Jesus loves men and women such as he…Jesus was and is not ‘tolerant’ as in supportive of our sin. If Jesus constantly changed with culture, how would we then trust in Him. A flaky and inconsistent God?? I’ll pass.
As for Miss California? She did not win the pageant.
Growing up in Louisville I was surrounded by so many godly men and women who encouraged modest behavior in all areas of life. So, you can imagine my surprise when I moved to Las Vegas and encountered several young ladies who have no idea what modesty looks like in the life of a Christian girl. I was amazed at the number of teenage girls who have grown up in the church who have never been taught how to behave, dress and speak modestly. I think most often, the world sees modesty as an oppressive action against women, when in fact, God has intended modesty to protect young women. God created women in such a way that is appealing to men. Women are designed to embrace their femininity and live fully in the way God fashioned them.
This weekend, April 3-4, I am part of a team of women sponsoring and putting together an event specifically designed for teenage girls in order to encourage them to protect not only themselves through modesty but the young men around them as well. This issue of modesty and purity hits so close to home for me. Due to several events throughout my childhood and through personal experience, I am so passionate abuot teaching young ladies the things I wished I had known earlier. At the age of 16, I was blessed to become part of a church family that did the utmost to encourage godly behavior from me. My desire is to pass those teachings on to today’s generation of young girls.
Be encouraged! God is doing some amazing things in Las Vegas and I am so privileged to be a part of that!
**April 3-4 at Shadow Hills Baptist Church, ‘Modest is Hottest’ featuring speaker/worship leader Jaime Jamgochian.**
And the busyness begins…
As most of you know, as a special ministries missionary to Las Vegas I am a part of various ministries throughout the year…currently: Raceway Ministry MADNESS is what I like to call it. My posts will be few and far between until this major event is completed.
I wanted to go ahead and plead for you prayers for this ministry…you can check out the PRAY link to find out more.
One last thing before I return to the circus…as I was looking through several other blogs on my break today I came across some fantastic photos that truly capture our fabulous city. I am privileged to call the photographer friend…my dread-wearing friend Micah. Here’s my favorite photo from his recent post. For those who know me best, you know it’s my favorite simply due to my love of music. Micah, you’re a rock star.
Today I woke up and realized that I was 24 years old. Yes, I know, 24 is not “old”, however when I had a moment it suddenly hit me that I wasn’t 16 anymore. Life has the unique ability to sneak up on you without a warning. High school doesn’t seem that long ago…then there’s college, WOW! where did it all go. I crossed paths with so many wonderful people and places along the way, it’s amazing to think about.
I laughed to myself today when I though back on my junior year of high school. I distinctly remember sitting in my 3rd period Chemistry class talking to my classmates about what my life was giong to be like after graduation. The words are burned into my mind, “I’ll graduate, go to UK and find my husband…we’ll get married when I’m 19 and have 2 children by the time I’m 22…it’s gonna be so perfect!” Funny….now I’m 24, single and living in Las Vegas as a missionary. My life is a far cry from 19 and married.
My wants did not fit what God thought my needs were. My desire is for that husband and children to come along at the perfect time…for now, I’m soaking up every bit of life experience that I can. I’m still sorting out this whole train ride…wondering where I’ll be in the next 5 years. God sure has surpassed anything I could have ever imagined for my life, it should be quite extraordinary to see what’s ahead.
I hope to share it with each of you reading and keeping up with my crazy life…much love from Fabulous Las Vegas.
Fresh from talking about beloved friends I am beyond excited to have my dear Texas friend Suzy on a plane coming my way as I write. Having a friend like her has been such an amazing experience the last 2 1/2 years. Suzy is a true Texas girl and a part of the Aggie nation…a Texas A & M grad for those who know nothing of the Aggie cultlike following.
I met Suzy back in the summer of 2006…we both interned at FBC Colleyville serving in the student minstry. I think I speak for the both of us when I tell you that neither one of us expected to find a friend in the other…God has a sense of humor it seems. We were forced to work together and much to our surprise found a dear friend in each other…when I want to sing in the car at the top of my lungs or drink Sonic limeades, I can think of no one else to do it with other than Suzy. Her visit this weekend will be filled with both I’m certain. Las Vegas has no idea what it’s in for.
suzy loves birthday cake.