via @pope saint victor
Kairos has made it easy to get involved with flood relief. I was ready to head over to Youth Encouragement Services but we were notified today that FEMA is set up in that neighborhood and they have blocked the area to volunteers. So instead, we were asked to help out by bringing men's and boys' socks, underwear, and clothing to BBC. I made a Walmart run after work and dropped off a few things. Another great way to find a place to volunteer is Hands On Nashville. It's so easy to sign up! I found a couple of opportunities for Saturday and Sunday. Join me! If you aren't in the area or don't have time, you can make a donation to the Nashville area Red Cross.

The water supply in the city is critically low. We're still running on just one water treatment plant; Metro is practically begging people to do their part and cut water consumption at least in half. No doing laundry or dishes (not that I am at all sad about that!) They've even gone as far as telling people to not shower if they can help it. Of course all the young adults and college students are more than happy to have an excuse not to shower. :)

Over lunch our mission team met. A nurse came to give people shots. I am up to date on everything, so I didn't need any shots (woo hoo!). We are leaving for Newfoundland in 86 days ... just over 12 weeks. This will be my first missions experience out of the States. It's funny because I've had moments of being really excited about this, and moments of totally thinking What have I gotten myself into? I know I can't go confidently and do this on my own, but when I was doing beach evangelism in Jacksonville during STP, it was amazing to see God do things through me and the other students. The Holy Spirit is stinkin' awesome. When I'm focusing on my own abilities (or lack thereof), it's easy to worry and doubt, but I'm going to Newfoundland knowing it's not up to me. Nothing I say is going to convince people that Jesus is Lord, but God is in charge--a king's heart is a stream of water in the hands of the Lord; he turns it as he pleases. (Proverbs 21:1) He certainly handles the hearts of the rest of us.

I'm preparing my heart for this trip like I'd prepare a suitcase. I won't get up the morning we leave and throw a few things in my bag and head out. I'll pack strategically and in advance. I'm asking God to give me a heart for people, a deep passion for the gospel, and for boldness. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a pretty quiet person, so here goes nothing but total faith in my Creator.

I've also started reading John Piper's Let the Nations Be Glad: The Supremacy of God in Missions. I'm a big fan of Piper, but his books take me a long time to read. I have to read like every page three times to understand what he is saying. One thing I really like about Piper's books is that the format is roughly like this: "Sentence about something. (Scripture to support that statement.)" I'll be sharing my thoughts on what I read as I work through it.

Today was a very exciting day! A "this-is-so-great-I-really-want-an-ice-cream-cake" day. At work, we got the first (of two) books from the printer. These books were a 6-month project. My part consisted of 400+ hours on top of my normal workload so seeing the final result is very rewarding. Now if I find a mistake in this printed version, I am going to be kicking myself. I had always hoped to "be published" someday, but I would never have imagined it would happen at 22! My main role with these books was compiler/editor, but I've got lots of stories and thoughts though so actually writing a book and getting it published still holds a spot on my bucket list.

Anyway, these books are wonderful resources for anyone working with kids! They will be available on June 1, but you can go ahead and order yours here: Super Duper Babies-K or Super Duper 1st-6th Grade.

I'm totally serious about the ice cream cake.

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