For those of you who do not know, I am going to dig in Israel in the month of July this summer! :D I am so very very excited about this trip. I have sent out letters to several family friends from Lakeshore Lurtheran Fellowship Church back in Spring Lake, MI and have been BLOWN away by the wonderful wonderful support I have received from them. WOW! God is soooo good. Anyways. I figured it might be nice to include my letter here, to explain a bit more about my trip and everything, if you're interested in reading it! :D Anyway. I am very much looking forward to July when we will be there digging! (less then 3 months away!) The Lord has provided two very flexible jobs this summer that had no problem with me being gone for a month! That's Admissions at Concordia, where I have worked my first two years of school, and then Gorkha Palace, a Nepali/Indian restaurant in North East Minneapolis! Praise the Lord for answered prayers!
Here's my letter, if you would like to read it:
As I am getting older, I am finding myself involved in many exciting things around the Twin Cities of Minnesota. This place truly has become my second home, and the Lord's been directing my steps as to where He wants me. Since my last "fundraising letter" to go to Honduras in 2009, I have been growing and maturing and exploring various things in the Minneapolis and St. Paul community. I am currently living in an Intentional Christian Community house in South Minneapolis learning urban ministry. This past year and a half has been the longest that I have remained inside of the country since I started high school. It was really hard, but I truly felt the Lord's call to stay in the country, gain experiences here, and patiently wait until He calls me overseas again. This summer, I feel the Lord calling me to travel! (Praise the Lord!!) It is an opportunity of a life time: spending a month in Israel doing archeological work on a site right off of the Sea of Galilee. The official name of the trip is the Northeast Insula Project at Hippos of the Decapolis (Sussita). I will be staying at Kibbutz Ein Gev which is close to the site, Hippos, where I'll be digging. For more pictures, videos and information about the trip, you can visit http://hippos.archaeology.csp.edu/.
I will be traveling with a fairly large group; many of them students from Concordia University, St. Paul. The leader is Dr. Mark Schuler, who has been my mentor and advisor for the last 3 years. We will be doing daily devotions, as well as studying and looking at the history of the early Church and what was going on during the New Testament times. I will also be taking a class to study the relationship between Jesus and Muhammad. This will help me better connect and understand ministry with Muslims; which has been my passion the last several years. The reason why I feel so called to go is to deepen my understanding and study of the Bible. I will be working at the site digging from 5am to 12pm. The rest of the day is spent with some free time, our daily devotions, occasional lectures, lap work, and trips to places such as the Dead Sea or Jerusalem on the weekends. I have been doing short term ministry most of my life, including several trips to Honduras. These have been amazing experiences, but I find myself hungry to spend a month solidly searching the Bible and discovering how real and true it really is, in the context of where it was written. Most of my life has been spent doing, and I truly feel that the Lord is calling me to have a season of learning and growing in His word and world. Spending time to invest in this type of ministry will help me in my future ministry, wherever that may be. I know it is dangerous in the Middle East right now, but I thank the Lord for supportive parents who are letting me go, and a strong and mighty God that will be watching over me! I will be with very experienced travelers and in very safe hands.
I wanted to send this letter to invite you all to be praying for me as I prepare for this journey and while I'm there! By His grace and for His glory,