"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

Monday, August 9, 2010

Homeward Bound

Wow, i can't believe that i am almost home! In a couple hours i will be back in Grand Rapids and with family and friends. In so many ways i know that this summer has changed me and helped me grow. Yesterday after church we had a "non-goodbye" party at Northgate park and we had food and soft ball. It was a great time talking with friends and having fun the last night i was there. It was such a blessing to be surrounded by these people and to know that this is not good-bye, but more like a "see you soon"!

And so as i leave, i know that i leave friends behind and a home to go back to, but i also look forward to the loved ones waiting for me in Grand Rapids.

So this is the end of my Adventure my Jubilee Experience, but a new one awaits me when i get home. God has a way of surprising me and bringing new things into my life so i am looking forward to what is coming and what he has to show me!

Learning to Live under Gods Influence,

Kristen Soule

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4- You say Good bye, and I say Hello

Wow! Only 6 days left until i will be getting off a plan in Grand Rapids. This summer has flow by and now that i am at the end i find my self so thankful for this opportunity and thinking about everything that has happened this summer. I have had so many awesome opportunities this summer to learn about ministry and see if i fit well in that part here is just a little of what i have been able to be a part of:

- Prayers groups
- financial Planning
- Children's ministry
- Worship leader
- Dave organizer
- Event manager
- women's group
- evangelism walk/prayer walk
- listening conversations
- Sports for Life volunteer/score girl
- News letters
- Greenhouse volunteer
- Fire works fundraiser
- Pastoral Visits
- Club 56 (5/6th youth group)
- Oasis (High school/middle school youth group)

So many opportunities, so many wonderful conversations with people from our church, the organizations i have helped with, and around our neighborhood. It is hard thinking about leaving when i have grown so close to the people here. They treated me like family, and i became part of theirs. Here are just some people that i wish i could take to Michigan with me: Dave, Susie, Julia, Anna, Justin, Christina, Gilbert, Beto, Sita, Gilberts mother, Caralina, Micheal, Leo, Diedra, Nene, Erie, Lainie, Tonya, Linda, Shana, Katie, Joe, Taelor, Jesses, AJ, Ralph, Sarah, Roy, Erin, Keith, Edie, Roger, Dave's Parents, Naola, Tanesha, Govan, Giovanni, Yietsen, Gladis, Ginese, Esela, emily, Sade, Kelsy, Julie, Perla, Marlen,Diana, Ravit, Navea, Nahaji, Coco, Elizabeth, Beana, Juliana, Yanet, Louis, Ray, Raul, Edwin, Kimberly, Fred, and many many others. All of them in some way or another have come into my life while i have been here and taught me something.

Yesterday my host mom, Christina, and i were talking about when i have to go. She told me this, "Kristen, you came here a an intern, but you are leaving here as my Friend" Wow. it breaks my heart to tell the kids at the Greenhouse and at Church that i have to go...they want to know when i will come back....ah and i don't have an answer for them...do i want to come back to Sacramento...ABSOLUTELY...when that will be is a little harder to answer. All i know is that the people here mean the world to me, and have helped me grown so much, and i would hate to think that this is goodbye for forever. So as i say goodbye to Friends from Sacramento, at the same time i am so looking forward to seeing friends from home, to see family, and to see Eric. I have missed them all and can not wait to be near them all again. God has been so good to me and i have been greatly blessed with support from friends and family from all over while i have been away! I look forward to talking to everyone about the wonderful people i have come to love here in Sacramento, when i get home to Michigan.

Blessings and see you soon!


July 25- A Smile from a Child

This whole weekend I have been stressed about this very day. I have been praying and tryng to convince myself that no matter what happens today it is all in Gods hands and we’ll see what he shows us. Today was our Fun Day Sunday. We invited families from the Greenhouse to come and get to know our church by playing games, and singing, and eating together. I was a little nervous because this morning it just seemed like something dark was in the house. Everyone was crabby, the kids were complaining and saying how they didn’t think the games would be fun, so needless to say I was very excited to get out of the house and get to church to put things together. Things were going fine, but when more church members came it seemed like everyone forgot what they were doing and didn’t understand what was happening, so once I went around and told people their jobs again and things seemed a little more under control I had just enough time to make it to the greenhouse to meet the children and walk over with them. So I was dropped off at the apartments where the greenhouse is by Susie and the whole while I was there I prayed that kids would be there. I was trying to convince my self that if no kids were there that it was ok. So I get there and right away I see a group of children waiting. I walk through that gate and a little boy out of the crown shouts my name and ran to meet me and give me a hug. As you can imagine, instantly stress left and a huge smile spread across my face. I was able to put the stress of details behind and then focus of the fact that this day is not about the success of the event but the opportunity we have to show these kids the gospel and the love of God. SO when we made it back even if things weren’t quite what i imagined, it didn’t matter. The kids had a really great time, and it was amazing to see new families come to church. Dave had the kids and adults come into the sanctuary for a special drama, where some of the girls from the greenhouse and our church were able to participate and act, but he also had everyone joing in a confession at the end, and asked that if people agreed with what they had just said and wanted to give their lives to Christ to talk with him afterwards. It was absolutely amazing, we had just enough food, and prises for everyone, and the children were so sad when I told them it was time to walk home. We even received a thankyou letter from a mother who had come with her boy friend and son last minute. Is was awesome to see how God provided.


July 23- Spiritual Tension

This evening after helping out at the green house, I went to Dave and Susie house for a farewell dinner. Their German exchange student, Christina and her mother, Petra, leave tomorrow to go home to Germany. We wanted to give them a dinner of foods that they have never eaten before. We made steak and grilled chicken. We grilled yellow squash and zucchini, and corn. We had steamed artichoke, and rice. It was al absolutely wonderful and they really enjoyed it. It was a great evening not only was Petra and Christina at Dave and Susie house, but so was Roy and Sarah, and Dave’s Parents. Sarah is so much fun and one of my closest friends here along with Christina and Susie. After dinner Dave, his father, Roy, Sarah and I spent a couple of hours talking about history, sports, and history of the church. Dave’s Dad can answer some of the most random history questions and give accurate Dates to so many of important things. Sarah and I realized just how little we know about US history, something that I really hope to change. We also talked about different religions like Mormonism and jehovaswitness. These two religions in particular are very present on our neighbor hood. They are on the outside of the apartment complex and one of the largest Mormon churches right in our neighborhood about three minutes from my house. It is so sad to see accents of poverty and spiritual tension in our area. There are a lot of different churches and many, though they wouldn’t admit to it, are strictly white, black or Hispanic. The Baptist church in our neighborhood is literally dying because it’s congregation is all elderly white members. We have at least two Spanish churches and a couple that are primarily African American churches. SO it was interesting learning a little bit more about these areas of spiritual tension and talk with other people who are so knowledgeable and to converse and learn with each other.

In Him,