Monday, June 22, 2009

Phase 1

The first step in this journey, after I prayerfully submitted an application to WorldWide Witness and was accepted, was to write a support letter. Because my spring semester of senior year was best described as crazy, it took me a while to get this all together. Many of you who are reading this probably received one because I included a note about this blog within the letter. However, there are friends who are easier to connect to online, so I thought I'd include what I wrote in my support letter here.

Hopefully it will provide a broader explanation of why I'm choosing to go and what I'll be doing.

Here's a portion of the cover letter from the director of WorldWide Witness:

"The Halbert Institute for Missions at Abilene Christian University encourages and equips men and women to participate in God's mission. As part of the Institute, WorldWide Witness gives students the opportunity to develop ministry skills by working with experienced mentors, either in summer internships or (after they graduate) in longer apprenticeships. In addition to the good that they do during their internships, many of these students will become long-term missionaries or informed and enthusiastic supporters of missions in local churches...This year WorldWide Witness will place students in more than twenty-five different locations around the world - places as diverse as the Bronx, New York; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Solwezi, Zambia; Auckland, New Zealand; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Nottingham, England."

And here's my letter:

I never expected to come to the end of my college years and sit down to write a support letter. Therefore, I come before you humbly, a bit awkwardly, but thoroughly sincere in wanting to include you in what lies ahead.

It is likely that you know my link to Auckland, New Zealand, was formed many years ago. My family moved there when I was four years old, and in the four years that followed, I learned to read, to write, and to ride a two-wheel bicycle. It was the place I had my first day of school, my first missing tooth, and my first crush.

It is foolish to deny that this common location has not influenced my decision to go into an internship through Worldwide Witness in the four months immediately following my August graduation. However, I am confident that the calling on my heart to love and give back to the land and people of New Zealand has grown stronger than my desire to go bury my toes in the sand at Whananaki beach (a favorite campsite of my family). That is the way it must be. I would not have peace writing this letter to you otherwise.

Here is a glimpse into what I’ll be doing: North Shore Church of Christ has graciously invited me into their small church. I have expressed a desire to walk alongside the middle school and high school girls and work in other forms of youth ministry. I also hope to put my graphic design and photography skills to use if they are of need. I know with a small congregation there will be many different tasks to do that I can’t even foresee, but I’m looking forward to being able to contribute and learn and grow.

What does any of this have to do with the art degree I’m about to hold in my hand? Perhaps nothing at all; only God knows. However, the advantage of being a graduate is that I am able to commit to more than the standard two-month summer period, and I look forward to the extra depth of relationship and personal challenge that will be possible in my extended time. In walking this out, I do not have any set plans beyond the New Year, so please pray about the doors that will be opened when this internship is through.

I must emphasize the importance of your prayers over my life, my heart, the North Shore Church, and Auckland. But, as it goes with these circumstances, I must ask you to prayerfully consider financially supporting me in this endeavor as well. It is an expensive one, totaling $4000, which includes airfare, room and board (I’ll be living with families within the church), other expenses within my internship, and a modest compensation amount.

Love and thanks,

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Lily~
    I'll be following your blog with joy, great interest and prayers for you. Thanks for taking the time to put your journey and experience in writing. It helps keep you closer!
    Love you, Mum


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