Thursday, August 27, 2015

GSP Hall of Faith: Reflection on a Global Summer

This summer, I met some amazing people at an International student program where I had the privilege to serve as a staff person for a ministry I work with.

As I think about these 48 people from 20 countries, I  am struck by their faith. Here's a little tribute to these international friends that became family to me.

GSP Hall of Faith:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith the Global Student program was formed, trusting God's command, so that the Gospel would be spread to the ends of the earth. By faith each student filled out an application, believing that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
By faith the Sandquists believed God. By faith they sorted through applications, trusted God to bring the exact people from the exact places for this exact summer.
By Chiti despite her fears, came in courage believing God could use her life to impact Zambia.
By faith Prisca, when denied a visa the first time,  reapplied, and trusted God to work on her behalf. By her faith she condemned the world's powers and trusted God as her ultimate authority. By faith she led her team and discipled well.
By faith Natasha drove to a remote place and prayed for housing in America. By faith she came early to the US, learned English and allowed God to speak into her life in unhindered ways as she encountered more of her Heavenly Father.
By faith, Hengi, when called to go to the USA, a place she didn't know ,obeyed and went, even though she did not know where she was going.  By faith she boarded 8 planes and left Tonga to come to Colorado to grow in discipleship. She was looking forward to the Lord using her to invest in the people at her company, that they would know God and labor for him
And by faith David K, accepted being a team leader, trusting that God could use his life to produce descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. By faith he translates letters for Compassion to impact children in his country.
All these people, and others arrived in Colorado Springs and trusted God to receive the things promised; they arrived in a foreign land and  admitted that they were foreigners and strangers on earth and it was worth it to trust God for the summer.
These students who walked in faith in these ways are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would not have sacrificed their summers, money, comfort, and time.  Instead, these students long for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Trista, Ianna and Wendy came to America and trusted God to speak to them, despite their language barriers and class schedules. By faith they brought joy and love to those around them.
By faith Josue dedicated his summer to growing in discipleship and evangelism, so he could impact a generation of students through mathematics in french speaking Africa.
By faith Romans allowed Jesus to mature him in a community of believers. And by faith he grew a beard and composed songs about his beard.  By faith he will marry a Christian girl from the Baltic States.
By faith Robert trusted God to use his life to impact Tanzania. Starting with each member of his family, God raised up believers out of his trust that God could do and will do impossible things. By faith he will be the first full time staff in Tanzania.
By faith Don and Susan, served behind the scenes and committed to love those from other nations, when they could have decided retirement and lounging around for a summer was more appealing. They served fruit, taught English, and loved students that needed the tender care they could offer.
By faith Rachel trusted God for cheese curds, goat meat, ground nut paste, hibiscus leaves, white corn meal and other crazy food items used for cultural nights, to give a glimpse into the nations. By faith she had the privilege to work among people that will change the world, believing in faith and hope again the vision for this life.
By faith Levina matured into a strong leader, trusting God to use her.  She chose to not let her age or past determine her worth, but allowed God to use these things to strengthen her as a leader. She regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than popularity because she was looking ahead to her reward in heaven.
By faith Jonathan left his car in the middle of Kansas after it broke down and persevered to arrive in Colorado springs. By faith he led worship and will return to Witchita with a strong vision to labor.
By faith the Barbus uprooted their whole family to America to learn how to more effectively and strategically reach their campus in Germany. By Faith, Finn accepted Christ in his heart. By faith they fought off bees and birds, and smiled through all of it.  By faith Tom ate a lot of American food without complaining.
By faith Wei Shan decided it was better to rely on God than rely on people to fill her deepest needs. By faith she will impact woman in East Asia as others have impacted her.
By Faith David S killed rattlesnakes with the rest of the groundskeepers. By faith the groundskeepers worked long, hot hours with attitudes of joy. By faith they sang songs and smiled as they planted, weeded, carried rocks, and beautified the Glen.
By faith VJ will reach India and Kenya. By faith he encouraged Galatians and Gentiles alike  through the word and humor.
By faith Doug used his wisdom and leadership to call men to a higher calling. By faith he fought off parasites and trusted God to use his life even in his weakness. 
By faith Kari left her job and applied to GSP. By Faith she helped others discover the giftings and personalities that God gave them and how they could be used effectively in the kingdom.
By faith Jecka decided to hope. By faith she let God use that Hope to influence her outlook on her future.
By faith Ola, Kevin, and Daniel always had smiles on their faces, spreading the Joy of the Lord to all they encountered. By faith they served at many cultural dinners behind the scenes.
By faith, Anna H didn't let her anxiety keep her from following Jesus to GSP. By faith she blogged and shared with others the amazing things that God did in her life.
By faith Sarah allowed the Lord to grow her heart for the world and her outlook on the nations as an American in an international student program.
By faith Kasper led his team of men with joy, believing God could multiply his life. By faith, he was hungry to grow in how to effectively reach people from all nations within his own nation.
By faith Tereza stopped working as a caregiver in Norway to allow Jesus to rock the foundations of her faith. By faith she now rests in Jesus arms instead of holding on to Jesus by her own effort.
By faith Breanna trusted God in her running training schedule to not just train physically, but to run the race towards Jesus.
By faith, Mindy waited for a letter saying she could return to Canada for school. By faith she accepted Christ in a land far from her home and trusted God to come to GSP.
By faith Andrew came to GSP, depite his father's illness. By faith he grew in trusting God, even when his Father passed away during his summer. By faith, he made amazingly great food just using the T-House kitchen. 
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Julia, Evan, Muraya, Natalie, Matze, Anna from Ghana, Shelby, Yvonne, and Kendrea who through faith climbed mountains, led worship, flew across oceans, greeted guests at Glen Eyrie; made hard decisions to honor God, left boyfriends at home, pursued growth, rode bikes, hiked Pikes Peak, loved others, whose weaknesses were turned to strength; who art journaled, grew in purity,  and who became powerful in battle against the enemy.  
Women like Quingling and Juhyun who let the truth of God speak louder than lies in their lives. Who grew in confidence as they believed God for their identities. 
There were others who were watering flowers, driving golf carts , praying for countries, learning skills to disciples, writing songs, and sharing the Gospel around town. Some faced guitar playing hippies, rodeo cowboys, Alaskan hikers, and undercooked rice. They were worshipping the Lord, studying 1st Peter and its impact world wide, memorizing scripture and art journaling.  They are world changers, but the world is not worthy of them. 
They wandered on trails, explored through the glen, ate at camp creek, served at Glen Eyrie, lived in Aspen, the Chalet, Echo Rock and T-House. They had times with God in the carriage house, the coachman's lounge, the Garden of the God's overlook, Agia Sophia Coffee shop and Lady Bug Outlook. They traveled to SMR, learned how to Salsa and Swing Dance, went on a boat on Grand Lake, fed Giraffes, went to Walmart, rode roller coasters  ate S'mores and rode a cog railway up Pikes peak.
These are all commended for their faith, and are believing God for their promises  since God has planned something better for us as a community than we could have ever had alone. They are still trusting God for his promises to be fulfilled across the globe.

This blog inspired by dead rattlesnakes and Hebrews 11. Often referred to as the Hall of Faith, this blog models that Biblical chapter and captures a glimpse of some of the amazing people I met this summer.