Machaela is one of our college students that is serving in Salt Lake City, Utah for 8 weeks this summer. She is working with a church plant in the area that Mars Hill has built a partnership with. Pray for Machaela as she serves with this church and shares the gospel with the people of Salt Lake City. Below is her blog that will be updated weekly.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to an all-knowing God” -Corrie Ten Boom
Hello to all! I hope this finds you well. First week here in Salt Lake has already been quite an adventure ranging from battling sickness since day one of getting here to getting immersed in the culture right away. Coming out to SLC for the summer is a huge stretch out of my comfort zone. Even though I am only out here for 2 months, it’s a lot to leave family and friends, dive straight into a new culture and do life with people you never knew existed until only a few months or weeks ago. Despite health and uncertainty of the unknown, I can already tell that this summer will be challenging and full of growth. Time and time again I have to remind myself of God’s perfect promises. Hebrews 6:13-20 is a section that has stuck out to me this week. In these verses, it is talking about the certainty of God’s promise. How God made a point to show that he keeps to his word. Even when I do not understand why I have been sick my whole first week or trying to figure out why I am here this summer, I do know that the Lord will be faithful to finish what he began. I ask that you all will join me in prayer for good health not only for myself, but for the rest of leadership as two of the pastors have also become ill. Pray for opportunities for ministry out here through new relationships that are being built currently and in the future.
If you know me, then you know how uncomfortable I am with the unknown. I like to have an idea of what is going on and to know the potential of how things will pan out. I like to have control. Being here in Salt Lake has definitely been living in the unknown, but that is okay. Something I began to learn shortly before leaving Mobile, and ever since my arrival in SLC, is that living life on mission (and just life in general) is something you cannot have full control over. I can’t always plan every step of the day and what is going to happen. I have to live everyday with open hands surrendering my fears, anxieties and plans to the Lord and wait expectantly on what he has for the day. Psalm 103 was key passage for me last week. Two verses that I have kept in mind are verses 19 and 22.
Psa 103:19,22, “The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all . . . Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!”
The Lord is at work and he is over all. The Lord is at work in this city and in the people here. I have been able to see how the Lord is at work in the conversations I have had and the people I have been able to connect with. Sure, there are some mornings I wake up and have reservations about the day, but trusting the Lord with what he has instore and reminding myself that I am not God, reminding myself of his promises, and that he is over all, allows me to see him in the day to day things.
I ask that you guys continue praying for relationships being built, wisdom and for our staff to be sensitive to what the Lord is saying and doing, and opportunities to speak truth and life into others.
Week 3 is here! This week has been a lot different than the rest. I now have some sort of a routine down, places to go that I can call “home,” and people whom I now call my community. Community is something I have very much come to value from my time at Mars Hill Church. I value having a group of people that have become family, people you do life with, and trusted friends who speak truth to you. Community here in Utah has been a precious thing. If I am being honest, the past few weeks have been a bit hard spiritually. I have been feeling so dry. Being in the word is hard, praying is hard, doing the study I am going through with my host family has been hard. Having that community, though, is sweet. I am fortunate to be around people who are like-minded, constantly speaking truth to me, and want to do life and encourage me. It has been a huge blessing. The study I have been going through here is called Saturate. Last week the theme was community and discipleship. There is a paragraph that stuck out to me:
“It (discipleship) is the ongoing process of submitting all of life to Jesus, and seeing him saturate your entire life and world with his presence and power. It’s a process of daily growing in your awareness of your need for him in the everyday stuff of life. It is walking with Jesus, being filled with Jesus, and being led by Jesus in every place and in every way.”
This happens by not only spending time with our Heavenly Father, but when we spend time in community with others. We grow in our relationship with the Lord and through that, we are able to pour into other people. The mission of Ekklesia is “to see Salt Lake City saturated with the good news of Jesus.” This happens by community and discipleship.
I ask that you guys continue praying for community and relationships that are being built and that have been built. Pray for our staff and pray for what the Lord is doing here in SLC.