Greetings! I hope you enjoy this update on my life and what the Lord is doing. I miss you all and send you my love.
I have now been back in Cyprus for a month and a half, and I cannot describe the pleasure I feel to be in the will of God. I know I am where I am supposed to be and doing what makes me come alive. So, I wanted to write and tell you a little bit about what I am doing here.
This year I am a part of the GTS I team. The program is divided into three parts: a first year school, a second year school, and an internship. My main focus is with the first year students. I live in a beautiful, warm house where I am the R.A. over seven first-year girls. I joke with them that I am Marmie and they are my “Little Women,” even though some are my age or older than me. They are a great group of girls and I love having each one of them in my house; however, being an R.A. does produce many challenges that help me grow. I must enforce the house rules, make sure everyone is keeping everything clean, and ensure that any problems that arise are resolved quickly and in a righteous way. As the R.A., it is also my responsibility to lead the morning runs twice a week. I have never much enjoyed running, but just being surrounded by so much beauty makes it worth it. My weeks are very full and I am definitely working very hard; nonetheless, it is a joy to be working alongside others in a community of people who love the Lord and care for each other. My other responsibilities include writing and editing the GTS blog (www.gatewaysbeyond.org/gts2009), helping with child care once a week, preparing lunch for the community on Tuesdays, creating all assignments for the student journals, monitoring class on Wednesdays, and creating the service schedule and supervising the service time. Service time is every day from 4-6pm when the students do all of their chores. Creating the chart for 22 people may sound like a breeze, but it proved to be quite a challenging task. There are 16 first-year students this year—11 girls and 5 guys. The theme for the school is “Shine” and God has already done so much in each life. He has been shining the light of His love on all of our hearts, and you can already see in the faces of the students that their lives are being changed and they are being filled with His goodness. They are shining!
On March 8, we leave our beloved island and head to Israel for a month. In the past, the Israel trip has been a two week trip to experience Israel. This year, we will be there longer and we will continue with our program while there (worship, teaching, etc.) as well as traveling around and experiencing the amazing land. Personally, I am most excited about camping in the Negev desert and doing a 16 kilometer hike! We did not get to do this during my school, and I have always wanted to. It has been 5 years since I have been to Israel, and my heart is longing to return. I am so excited!
I am thrilled to announce that we all (1st year, 2nd year, interns, and staff) will be going to Ethiopia for our end of the school outreach! I have never been to Africa before, and I have especially wanted to go to Ethiopia for the last 6 years. Gateways Beyond has a long history of reaching out in Ethiopia and has a strong relationship with many in that land. While in Ethiopia we will be reaching out to the large Jewish community there, ministering in orphanages and prisons, and encouraging the Church. Ethiopia was one of the first places to receive the Gospel as is seen in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8; we know their heritage is rich.
I want to express my deep gratitude for all of my family and friends back home who have been such an encouragement to me. Thank you for your prayers and support—they are so vital to what the Lord is doing in and through me.
This is a faith based community and none of the staff receive a salary. We are all here through money that we have earned back home and by the sacrificial giving of so many of you. I still need around $800.00 for the Israel trip, and I am also beginning to raise support for the outreach to Ethiopia (probably around $2000.00) If you would like to give a one-time gift or pledge a monthly commitment, any amount would be a blessing. You can follow along more closely with me through my personal blog (www.hiddenroyalty.blogspot.com) as well as through email. I am also writing a weekly blog for the GTS at www.gatewaysbeyond.org/gts2009. I would love to communicate with you more, so feel free to write. Blessings to you in the name of the Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
P.S. I am sorry, I have not been able to get any pictures to upload to the email. Hopefully soon I will get some pictures up.
www.gatewaysbeyond.org/donate (You can make a note that the funds are for me)
Or you may send a check to the following address:
PO BOX 155101
Ft. Worth, TX 76155