Monday, November 26, 2012

Network or Perish? The Story of Antioch Church

The second biggest reason I hear that people can't or don't want to meet with us as I make phone calls asking to share the vision of our ministry with people is that they don't have money to support us right now and so it would be a waste of our time.  I completely understand that it might feel awkward to meeting with someone who is going to ask you for money at some point (especially if you haven't seen them for a few years). I also completely understand that tight finances are an extreme reality for a large number of families in our world today due to the economy and job market.

We always tell people straight up when we call that part of why we want to meet is that we are looking for prayer and financial partners for our ministry and we would love for them to pray/consider partnering with us financially. We do this because we don't want to be deceptive and just spring asking for money on someone and also because it is simply the reality of our lives right now. You always hope that it won't deter people. You also always hope that people will know your hearts. That you genuinely consider them friends and partners and want to get together with them regardless of money.

I can safely say that some of our greatest meetings have been with people that have never supported us financially and we know going in they most likely wouldn't do so. Some great, encouraging prayer and relationship building has happened during these times. For this reason we try to encourage  people to meet with us whether they feel they will support us financially or not.

Beyond the encouragement aspect, you never know the new relationships or networks that will come out of that relationship and that meeting. Last weekend I met with a friend who felt they would not be able to support us but was kind enough to meet with us anyway. She invited us to her church, Antioch, on Sunday and then out to lunch with a bunch of folk afterward for their bimonthly after church lunch at Rubios.

First, I was so encouraged by the church gathering. This was a young, vibrant, yet intimate gathering of mostly young people though there was certainly diversity on every level. They worshiped passionately and they cared for the lost and the broken. For instance, they were focusing all this month on conversing about how they can better serve orphans and foster children in our world and their community.

Second, after the gathering, I was able to share with a number of people the ministry we would be doing as well hear about the amazing ministries the different people in this community were a part of, many of which would fit perfectly on a college campus! We were able to encourage one another and even make plans about how we might support one another's ministries in the future. A whole new network was opened up to us by this one person who was willing to introduce us to her friends. Who knows if any financial partnerships will come out of it, but one thing I hope people realize, the finances are just step one to get us there, the partnership really comes as we do ministry together that furthers the Kingdom of God in our world.


Want to make an appointment? Email us @ brandon.servant@gmail.com or comment below


Interested in supporting us financially? Click on the giving tab on our blog.

Can't right now? Maybe you would pray about whether or not you have a network that would be sympathetic to the cause of Chi Alpha Campus ministries. Maybe you would consider helping us to broaden our network of prayer, financial, and ministry support as we seek to further God's dream for University campuses.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

least dramatic stomach flu ever!

I knew it! All Mommies out there know what I am talking about...that sick mommy instinct when you just know that something is about to go down, and you are usually right! I have proof from my last blog post that I felt deep in my soul that my kids were about to get sick! In fact, I spent three days in prayer over my children pleading, begging God to keep my kids healthy. It's funny how my prayers began to change as the days went on. The first day was pleading for God's mercy to keep us all healthy. The 2nd night I was wrestling with God as I felt He was saying, "Do you trust me?" I full on said, "No God! In fact, I don't trust you because I know my kids are about to get sick!" (For reals I said that...is that bad?) By the third night I was praying, "God help my lack of faith." And that night God said, "Just trust me!"

 I was freaking out about all of us getting sick because we are about to leave for Santa Cruz tomorrow for a support raising trip. I have soooo been looking forward to this, because I have missed Santa Cruz and its people so much! I just knew that we were all going to get sick and we wouldn't be able to go, or worse we would get there and all be sick and not be able to meet with people. Oh the scenarios that went through my head (I won't tell you about the one that involved the grapevine and kids throwing up in the back seat). Sure enough, I barley put down my prayer journal and dosed off to sleep last night when a little voice gently woke me up saying, "Mommy, I threw up." It was funny because I was not even surprised. I think I said something ...in my still half asleep state....like "I know you did." and we walked to the bathroom to clean up. Now Peyton is my easy going child, my mom has appropriately nick named her "Pollyanna" because she is always finding the good in every situation. For example, I suggested we make her a bed on the bathroom floor because I figured she would need to be there for the night and you would have thought I said, "lets have a camp out in the back yard!" She began jumping up and down with excitement and we were both laughing as we set it up.  I left her there on the floor with her comforter, blanket, stuffed bunny and pillow with a smile on her face. Even though she threw up all night long, every time I checked on her she had a smile for me and by morning she was back to her normal, happy go lucky self!

Two words "Only God" right?

As I reflected today on...the least dramatic stomach flu episode ever... I realized that God and I have been playing this same game a lot lately.

"God I DON'T want to move from Santa Cruz!"
"Trust Me."
"But God I DON'T want Peyton to have to switch schools half way through the year."
"Trust Me."
"But God where will we live and how will my family function with out our own place?"
"Trust me."
"God I DON'T want my family to get sick."
 "Just trust me."

As I went through my day today I noticed that much like the peace I have received in every situation since our move, today was no different  Yes, there are still family members that could catch this bug, but I am no longer worried about it. The anxiety is gone and God is still faithful.
I have been doing this exercise every night before I go to sleep where I simply write out my "acknowledgments" of who God has proven to be to me. Here is a sneak peak at one of my writings:

"I acknowledge that you are my teacher, my leader, my provider and my guide, praise you father because you are good. I praise you because you are all knowing, all wisdom, all grace and all love and I acknowledge that nothing can happen in this World that will ever change that. I acknowledge that you are president over this world, that you and only you can save us and bring us peace!"

On this night that can be stricken with anxiety over what is to come of our nation, I encourage you to take a moment to write down your "acknowledgments" of who God is to you. Please use this blog or the facebook page to jot them down. Nothing would bless me more than to see your praises to our God!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

unpacked suitcases



When Brandon and I were planning our wedding we felt it was important to have a time set aside during our ceremony to invite our mentors up to pray over us and our future ministry together. I remember in the order of service this section was called "The Commissioning." By far, that moment was my favorite part of the whole day because God showed up. It was powerful and extremely meaningful to our future together. I still remember very specifically what each person prayed over us, for example I remember Archie, one of Brandon's mentors, got a vision while he was praying about what our life and ministry together would look like and he said he saw our house with mess everywhere, full of happy children and unpacked suitcases. I remember in the moment thinking that sounded odd and not something that I would ever wish for my life because it sounded...well... chaotic! Well I have to say his vision must have been prophetic (although I won't own up to the mess part) since leaving our church job in August and starting this journey with Chi Alpha I cannot begin to tell you how many suitcases I have packed and unpacked. In fact, right now as I eat my freshly baked pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins we carved tonight, I am staring at a pile of suitcases that have not been unpacked from last weekend and in just three short days they will need to be repacked for yet again another weekend trip!

 God is good! Isn't he? 

I would say our life right now is a bit chaotic but I can tell you that we have happy children and a God who is faithful to supply our every need; In the midst of the chaos he has given us peace.

Just for a quick update, we are in full-swing support raising mode! We plan to be gone every weekend from now until the end of December meeting with potential supporters. I have to say, for two extreme introverts we are holding up rather well under the circumstances. I wouldn't say meeting with five different groups of people in one day is our favorite or most comfortable thing to do, but God never said serving him would be comfortable, yet he is always faithful to equip us for the task at hand. I love this quote from one of my mentors “God does not call the equipped, he equips the called” So true, right? Not speaking for Brandon but for me personally, I leave each meeting feeling humbled, blessed and more positive than ever before that we are right were God wants us to be.

Our kids are holding up well too. This has been a special season for them of spending lots of time with both sets of grandparents and I trust that they will always hold these memories they are making with them close to their hearts. Both Peyton and Amber are doing well in their schools here in San Diego. In true "Peyton/Amber" fashion they are doing well in very different ways. Amber is flourishing socially at her school, making lots of friends and learning the meaning of being a good friend in terms of sharing and caring. Numbers and letters are not the least bit important to her at this time but I figure in preschool getting your social game in order may be just as important. Peyton, on the other hand, is flourishing academically and could care less about her social game. Just today I had a meeting with her teacher and she was telling me that they gave her a third grade reading comprehension test and she got 100% on it! They also gave her a STAR test (a test that includes all areas of learning, math, writing, reading, etc.) and she tested at a 2nd grade level. As I was telling Brandon this news I watched as his eyes welled up with tears and he choked, “She is just so precious…I am so proud of her.” As I caught him wiping a tear from his eye I knew that he was feeling emotional because his little girl is excelling in something that he cares greatly about…education. I had a thought in the midst of that cute little moment with my husband that God is just like that, looking down on us and saying "aren't they precious” unpacked suitcases and all I know he must be proud...how do I know this? Because we are embarking on an adventure that he cares greatly about.

A huge thank you to all of you that have said "yes" to being on our support team! A prayer request that you can join with me on is health for my family. There is a lot of sickness going around in my kid's school and I worry about the kids and us getting sick with our busy traveling schedule. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer! Love to you all!