Posts by emilyproude

My Roller Coaster Ride

September 9th, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016 0 comments on “My Roller Coaster Ride”

I cannot believe that this internship has come to an end! What an incredible summer of learning, being stretched, and growing!

It’s hard to put into words what exactly the Lord has taught me, or what I have experienced here. From living in a cross-cultural community, to traveling across southern Africa, or practicing 12 spiritual disciplines to draw us closer to the living God, every experience has taught me something I hope to bring home with me.

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From the very beginning, I was so excited to live cross-culturally in a community of believers. We all got to know each other in depth by founding our relationship on a common desire to glorify Christ in all that we do. Little did I know the amount of challenges that come from living with 15 other people. But it was in these moments of uncomfortableness and frustrations that we learned to address conflict in a loving godly way together as we continued to strive for unity.

I loved all the teachings we had this summer! We dove into so many topics in depth that challenged the way we viewed the world and God’s mission. My perceptions of justice and mission has been radically shifted, and God has planted a passion in me for seeing his people come back to him. God wants to be with his people! He longs to restore and bring justice to brokenness and poverty around the world. And if we have truly encountered the living God and believe that this is his mission, it shapes the way we see everything else in the world.

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I feel like my heart has been on a roller coaster. There have been days and experiences where I have felt like I was on the mountaintop, and other days where I’ve felt like I was in the desert. I have felt so joyful and on fire for God, but he has also brought me through periods of silence and confusion. The amazing thing is that either way, I have learned something. God has used every single emotion and situation to teach me something. And it hasn’t been easy. But it has taught me to trust God at ALL times, and to surrender my heart to him. I want to be the one to control my own spiritual journey, and I want to be the one who knows what’s going on in my heart. I’ve learned that there is so much more rest and freedom in releasing that control to the Father. There is so much rest in smiling back at him and trusting that he holds my heart.

I am so thankful for every experience this internship has brought. I am thankful for the amazing people I’ve met, and precious moments spent with the Lord. I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who has loved me unconditionally through every moment and doubt. Going back home will be hard. But it’s comforting to know that it will just be another season that God brings me through to deepen my roots in Him.

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Emily Proude • 2016 International Immersion Intern

Finding Treasure

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016 0 comments on “Finding Treasure”

As someone who talks a lot, it’s hard to sum up the past month in a short update post, but I’ll try my best.

As you may have noticed in my past update, I love to learn. We can all learn so much every single day. And when you’re a part of a three-month intensive international immersion internship (that’s a lot of ‘I’ words!), it’s hard not to take something away from every experience. So, that’s what I’ve been up to: more learning!

Beat the Drum was an incredibly powerful experience for me. Digging into a biblically based HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention curriculum is something I’ve never done. Honestly, I was nervous to present this program to a bunch of high school students. I didn’t know where they were coming from or what they had been through already. I was worried about appearing naive, or that they wouldn’t take things seriously.

Form 45 Entry 713 Fileupload 10Boy, was I wrong. After the first day of teaching in the schools, each of the students wrote letters about their past and some of the questions they struggle with. It was when I read those letters that I realized how much this curriculum is needed. And not just the curriculum and awareness of HIV/AIDS, but the good news of Jesus Christ. These students are searching for purpose, meaning, and value in so many places, unaware that Jesus wants to give them life to the fullest.

I was able to really connect with some of our students one on one and hear their stories. It opened my eyes to the way that Jesus transforms not only our hearts, but every single area of our lives as well. That once we allow Him to be our everything, everything else changes.

Our time in Lesotho was incredible! Who knew that there was this beautiful mountainous kingdom in the middle of South Africa?! I sure didn’t!

Form 45 Entry 713 Fileupload 9Our outreach consisted of pouring into the ministries that LXP Lesotho runs, getting to know the community, and serving them in various ways. We got to participate in some of LXP’s programs including the Saturday kids program, computer classes, Bible study, hosting a soccer tournament, and youth worship team practices. It was awesome to see the work that God has been doing in Lesotho through the leaders of LXP, and how He is changing the community through them.

We also spent our mornings repairing a road in the village, visiting and praying for families, and organizing evening services of worship and prayer. It’s incredible how God taught us all different things through the work that we did this past week! We witnessed the incredible power of prayer, and saw those prayers answered. We learned about the darkness that exists, but that the kingdom of light is so much stronger.

Form 45 Entry 713 Fileupload 8Personally, I have learned a lot about surrender and have been challenged to give up control. Surrender requires so much trust and humility, and involves every area of my life. It’s hard to surrender my ambitions, plans, and identity to Him! But I’m understanding that the things we hold so tight are often the ones that need to be released to the Father. And what better hands to leave my future in than the Creator of the universe?

Surrender is deep and so freeing. I am still learning what this means, and how it can be applied to my life, but am excited to see how God uses it. Giving up control has already given me so much rest and peace!

Reflecting back on this past month, and the whole summer really, my perspective of missions has been radically shifted. Evangelism is important, and making sure people understand the gospel is necessary, but what good is it if people don’t actually know the living God? The Lord has been pressing on my heart the weight of knowing Him as our treasure. He wants His people to know Him intimately and deeply, so that they find Him as the source for all the needs in their hearts. In this beautiful realization of who God is, we find our joy. Missions is helping people discover who God really is. We must have Him as our treasure of highest value, to whom nothing else in this life can compare.

So, there’s my short summary of the past month of my life!

In a few words: the source of true joy is found in surrendering everything to the Father, upon understanding that there is nothing else on this earth that can satisfy us but Him!

I’m excited to keep on living out and sharing this reality wherever we go!

Emily Proude • 2016 International Immersion Intern

Man, I love learning!

June 29th, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016 0 comments on “Man, I love learning!”

My experience so far with EXP is hard to put into words. We’ve already spent one month in a different continent, country, and culture. Learning has become a daily…no, hourly, thing.

One of my favourite parts of life and learning is being able to interact with people. I love forming relationships, hearing life stories, and really getting to know a person. I just love people in general. So, for me, community living is great. Not only do we have the opportunity to live with 16 other people, but we also get to learn about different cultures, and different ways of life. It hasn’t been easy, but any challenges that arise can be seen as opportunities to learn and grow. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together. We’ve run through the mist of Victoria Falls, and snuggled up around a campfire. Mostly, we’ve just been doing life together, and it’s been pretty cool.

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I’ve learned that every single person I’ve met here, whether from Zambia, America, or South Africa, has a story. And each story has played a part in shaping that person into who they are today. Our stories can affect our lives now and the way we live day-to-day. Our pasts can affect the way we view others, or how we may approach situations differently. And at the very same time, through Christ we can be free from any bondages or burdens of the past that hold us down. I’ve been learning to be aware of this; to understand the context surrounding different situations, and to reflect on the best way to approach them. Whether it’s being involved in ministries, or just in daily conversations, our experiences are a part of who we are. And as family in Christ, we are already united! So even though each of our stories are different, they somehow emerge in this experience!

Man, I love learning. That’s a great part of life, too. We have daily classes, and great teachers, who’ve taught me so much. I’ve learned about the heart behind Creation, and what God has done to bring us back to him. We’ve explored the Christian hope of the new heaven and earth, and God’s heart for missions and Africa.
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I think one of the biggest things that has hit me during class has been the reality of God’s plan of restoration, and how that can be brought into our lives. As Christians, we are called to a life of mission. And our mission is to join God in restoring His people back to himself. He wants to renew this broken world, and not only that, but He wants us to be a part of it! He cares for the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of his children. How crazy is it that we can be a part of his ultimate plan for eternity right now!? Pretty amazing, eh? (Sorry, my Canadian is showing).
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God is a patient teacher. He isn’t bothered when I ask too many questions. He isn’t annoyed when I come before him with my heart in tangles and ask him to help me sort things out. I’ve been learning through each challenge that God actually cares. His solutions to my problems may not look like what I expected, and may not come right away, but He is good and faithful. And REAL.

I’m excited for the future. We’ve all grown so much, yet I know there is so much more to go. So, as challenging as it is, I’m learning to expect the unexpected. To seek the Father through this whole experience and continue to be a student and child of the living God!

Emily Proude • 2016 International Immersion Intern