Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting to know Katie Gibson...

Hi! I am Katie Gibson. 
I am a Junior studying Religion with a focus in Compassionate Ministries.  I serve as a resident assistant on the second floor in Tennessee Hall, and I love it.  I am from Valdosta, GA where I live with my mom and older sister.  My dad just moved to Lompoc, CA about a year ago. While at school, I attend Trevecca Community Church and, when I visit home, I am a member of the Valdosta Church of the Nazarene.  I really love Nashville and the people that I have met here. I also like to paint, be crafty, play frisbee, and enjoy warm weather. 
I have a passion for serving people; that's what encouraged me to apply for Immerse. I am very excited for this summer and what God has in stored for me and our team. The only mission trip I have been on was to Jamaica last Spring Break and it was only ten days.  One of the things that I learned on that trip was that we didn't have to bring God to the people there in Jamaica, he was already there.  I know that's how it will be in Romania.  God is already there in Sighisoara, we just get to experience him and the community that he has there.
We just had the opportunity today to talk to a volunteer missionary that lives in Sighisoara, and I can not explain how helpful and encouraging it was to hear about the culture, people, and how life is kind of like there in Romania.  If you would have asked any of the four of us going on this trip, what we would be doing there, none of us could really tell you. And maybe we still couldn't really, but now we definitely have a better idea.  I think this is just what our team needed to hear because sometimes not knowing exact things can be discouraging.  I think that it can also be stressful especially for some of us who are planners and like to know what is going on.  I am so thankful of the time our team spent together today and the things that we learned today.  If I could give an adjective describing my day, it would definitely be encouraging.
I know God has a plan, and every day I need to remind myself that it's okay that I don't know what it is right away.  We still have three months to prepare, and I know that God will reveal his plan in the right time, even if it's not my time.  I'm going to be leaving behind a lot of great things this summer, but I am looking forward to what God has in store for me and for our team on this journey.
I hope this shows you a little bit about myself.  I want to try to be as honest as possible, and thank you all for reading this and sharing in our journey.  I am looking forward to keeping you posted on everything that is going on with our team! 
- Katie

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh hey...I'm Evans :)

As the semester and summer goes on the four of us will alternate writing updates and we thought you all would like to know a bit about each of us and why we are going on this trip. So we want to take the next couple blogs to introduce ourselves for those of you that don’t know all of us.

So HELLO! I’m Evans Knowles and I am a sophomore graphic design major at Trevecca from Ooltewah, TN. I have a great family--two fantastic parents, one older brother, a sister-law, two younger sisters that are twins, a 4 month old nephew (that is just the cutest), and a larger extended family full of pretty much the best people ever. I love my family, God has certainly blessed me with them!

My passion is people. Ask anyone, I'm a people person and I love it. If there's an event or social gathering, I'm usually there. I want to love on people, make them feel included. That's what I want to do on this That's what we're called to do. I'm not perfect at it always, in fact I'm rarely perfect at it; but, it's what I strive to do. Everyone should be loved...there's no for anyone not to be.

I am excited, nervous, thrilled, and a million other emotions about this trip. First and foremost, though, I am so excited to see what is in store for us this summer! When I applied for Immerse I was not sure that I would get chosen and I certainly did not know what I was signing up for. All I knew was that I had always thought the idea of a long-term mission trip was fantastic, life-changing, and all around amazing but I had pretty much assumed I'd never go on anything longer than a week or two trip---I'm a graphic design major after all, long term mission trips didn't seem like something I'd get any chances for. Honestly, before applying that was a hold back for me, I had friends applying that were religion majors and I thought, "Well, yeah mission and religion majors, that makes sense. But graphic design, not so much." At the same time, however, I've been on a journey for the past year or so just trying to figure out where I'm going and where God's taking me and mostly what it looks like to trust in God's plan, even when I have no idea what he's doing. I'd say there is certainly no accident I heard about this trip when I did with where I am in my walk with God. Therefore, my interest was peaked and, with some nudging and encouragement from friends, I decided to jump right in--even with as little as I knew (and still know) about the trip.
One of my favorite Bible verses comes from Ecclesiastics 3:9-13 and says
"God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he's left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he's coming or going. I've decided that there's nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That's it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It's God's gift.” (The Message)
That's what I want to do, make the most out of every opportunity God puts in front of me, even when it's scary how much I don't know about those opportunities. This trip is part of that for me. This is me trusting that God has a great and wonderful plan for me. This is me coming to terms with what will not be an easy summer at times. So yes, I'm scared of all the unknown. But I guess Jesus never said following him would be easy--I mean really, carrying a cross would be the opposite of easy. This is me embracing a call to love. This is my confusing scared excitement. This is my readiness to be challenged.

This is me. It's nice to meet you!
I can't wait to take you on this journey with me and my team!
 - Evans