Thursday, January 17, 2013

So thankful.

I cannot even begin to say how thankful I am for the church family here in Hermiston. God has been so good to us through the years, and although there have been hard times when we could not figure a way out; the Lord has always shown us a way.
Moving to Hermiston was a decision of faith for me… I love our home in Lebanon. To think of other people living in my house, makes me a little angry at times. My whole life has been moving from one city to the next, and my adult life has been no different. The biggest prayer I have prayed in my lifetime is just being somewhere long enough to not feel like a stranger anymore. But, thankfully, no matter where we live, in the church I do not feel like a stranger.
I have felt so cared for; from cleaning and readying our house before we came, to stopping by just to say hi, I have been so blessed here. It is a difficult thing for me to admit, to be honest, because I am a very independent person. I like to believe I can do everything myself without the help of anyone else, but without the help of the church here I am not sure what would happen.
So, thank you Hermiston Church of the Nazarene. You have blessed our lives so much in the short time we have been here, and although I have not been able to give each of you a huge thank you card for everything you have done (I am horrible at doing this), I am SO thankful for each and every one of you. I pray that God will let me bless you in a similar way in the near future.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ready? Set? Go! Arequipa, Peru!

Hi everyone! This is Valerie, and as many of you know, I am a student at Northwest Nazarene University getting a degree in Christian Ministry with a minor in Family Ministry. I look forward to graduating in spring of 2014, but to do that I must complete a mission’s trip.
Even before I knew that it was a requirement of the degree program, I felt God calling me to go on a mission’s trip, but I had never had an opportunity to do so with four little ones at home. Kyle was able to go to Arequipa, Peru in summer of 2011, and had an incredible experience promoting, ministering, and experiencing over 6,000 people come to Christ.
This summer is my first opportunity to go on a mission’s trip and I cannot be more excited! I am registered to go to Arequipa, Peru with Extreme South America from July 10th through July 24th to continue the work that Kyle and Lebanon Church of the Nazarene and many others, began during their time there. The biggest need that I have is prayer. Would each of you be in prayer before, during, and after the time I am in Peru? I am also working on fundraising for the trip, with the first expense being the cost of my plane ticket which is around $800-1,000.00 depending on the time frame of purchase. Outside of that, the cost for the trip is around $2000.00. I already have the deposit paid, and am now raising funds for the rest of the cost for the trip. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated! Included in this letter are ways that you can give.
If you are able and willing to give to help support the evangelism efforts in Arequipa, Peru, please send checks to my home address, but made out to Extreme Ministries. 

Please make all checks out to Extreme Ministries. 

My address is:
552 West Orchard Ave. 
Hermiston, OR 97838

Your prayer and generosity is greatly appreciated! 
Thank you for your time,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Are People Clutter?

I am a Christian, and I am friends with a lot of Christians, and I also spend time on Facebook because it is how I keep up with said friends who do not live near me. I now live in a town where I know about five people, and Facebook helps me stay connected to past relationships. I love this, but lately I have noticed more than a couple of them with status updates like, “Just cleaned out my friends list,” or “Time to de-clutter my friends list on Facebook.”

Every time I read a status like this, it bugged me a little bit, but I could not figure out why. It has never occurred to me to “de-clutter” my Facebook. If I get tired of someone’s posts, I just select not seeing them on my news feed. It takes all of five seconds to do this, and it is super easy. So it seems weird to me that good people, people I love and want to keep up with even though some of them live outside the country, would choose to “de-clutter” their friend’s lists.
Since when did it become okay to refer to people as clutter? It is difficult for me to understand why someone who loves the Lord, wants to live a godly life, would call people, clutter.

I suppose my perspective is different than most. You never know who on your friends list is seeing your status update. I have a friend from high school who I had not talked to since graduation in 2000, but we were friends on FB. We did not really talk on Facebook, either, but one day out of the blue moon I received a message from her saying how much my posts have helped her see Jesus on hard days. This is no small thing to me, and I feel that God can use a random status update to brighten the day of someone I have not spoken to in over 12 years.

What does it say to a non-Christian person about who we are as Christians, when we refer to others as clutter?

And would anyone end a relationship in real life, telling the other person that they just need to downsize their life? It seems outright ridiculous when put into those terms.
I have recently been “de-cluttered” from someone I thought was a friend. This kind of thing comes off as incredibly hurtful for the person that has been un-friended, especially when that person thinks the relationship is on good terms.

As Christians, we need to think about the footprint we are leaving online, as well as in person, so that our actions reflect the life and love of Christ in the world.