Posts by jennafort

Resonating Hearts

August 14th, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018 0 comments on “Resonating Hearts”

“God doesn’t have a mission for His church, but a church for His mission.”

We, as Christ-followers, are given authority to call out what is permitted or forbidden on earth– as is in heaven. (Matthew 16:19). This implies a large responsibility as part of our basic calling on earth: to fight for justice and expand the Kingdom. 

During justice week, we learned that righteousness and justice are meant to exist together. Righteousness, as defined by God’s moral character, and justice, as defined by the actions that flow from His character, create true shalom (peace) when working together in perfect unity. 

I have learned a lot from the book of Matthew, chapter 24. It’s not really up to me to decide whether I should or should not help an individual in need. This has truly changed my perspective as I prepare to go home to the States. If there’s a need that I am capable of meeting, then it’s my responsibility to do it. 

My heart really resonates with the holistic approach to fighting for justice. It’s so important to look at the whole person: spiritually, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and socially. While spiritual empowerment is the focus and foundation of fighting injustice, I believe every part of the person affects another part. If one is lacking, it is likely that another will be negatively impacted as well. As I am preparing to begin graduate school for physical therapy at the end of this month, I am especially encouraged to enter my new field. I plan to use physical therapy as my platform for ministry. It is critical to use a multidimensional approach to therapy, realizing that an individual is far more than just their physicality. This opens the door for spiritual empowerment. 

Before the internship, I believed that our basic calling in life as believers was to love God and love people. Since then, I have revised my perception of our basic calling as believers. We have another responsibility and that is to fight for justice and advance the Kingdom on earth. So, our calling in this life is to (1) love God and love people, and (2) fight for justice and advance the Kingdom. I plan to make this my mission in life, in all that I do and in every place that I am. 

I love the idea that Frederick Buechner proposes about vocation being where your great passions and the world’s deep hunger meet. I think this is something each one of us should deeply consider– what are our greatest passions and how can they be used to serve the deepest hungers and needs of this world we live in? This action in itself is the first step to fighting injustice and has the potential to cause waves of influence across the world. Let’s all do our part and take on the injustices of the world together.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Fort – 2018 Immersion Intern

Overwhelming Hope

August 1st, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018 0 comments on “Overwhelming Hope”

Outreach in Lesotho was incredible! I enjoyed learning from Godfrey & Elizabeth and about the heart of LXP Lesotho. It was really cool to meet new friends and be immersed in a totally new culture. It’s so encouraging to see how God is already working in the lives of people in a new place. Early in the week, I felt that God was placing on my heart a strong, overwhelming feeling of hope for the ministry in Butha-Buthe and the future of Lesotho as a whole. It was super different and extravagant compared to anything I’ve felt before. I trust that that God will continue to provide for and lead this ministry. LXP Lesotho has got it going on, and the path that God has put ahead for its people and those that it reaches is a path of righteousness.

My greatest joy: on our final day, we had a chance to get back into the village to give farewells to new friends we had met earlier in the week. My group made one additional stop at a new home. Another female intern and I had the opportunity to have some “girl time” with a high school girl who was currently struggling with her identity and finding people who she could talk to about her challenges in life. After sharing our own stories, she felt comfortable with opening up to us about her own. I believe that there is such power and freedom in sharing your story, and it was clear that this was her first time really ever doing so. I had the opportunity to speak life and God-given identity over her. I could see the beauty in this daughter and I wanted her to realize it also. She told me that nobody has ever told her those truths before. I feel like this was the moment I really came alive on this trip and felt that I was truly living out my passion: helping others realize their full potential and get to the point where they are flourishing, rooted in their identity. If this was the only thing that happened during my time in Lesotho, the only thing that I came 36 hours on a bus for, then it would have been worth it. No doubt. Praise the Lord. 

Aside from the extreme weather conditions, my greatest challenge was likely the language barrier. This was the first time I had been immersed in a culture that spoke a language with clicks and sounds that my American English tongue was absolutely incapable of making. As someone who enjoys learning the names of new friends and diving into a conversation, it was difficult to hear someone speak their name and not be able to repeat it back to them again. To get past this, I did my best to say his/her name until I finally came close (which often was a good laugh) and continue conversation as normal, even if it meant that the next day I’d have to practice their name again the same way. It was a good & fun challenge.

I learned a lot from how Godfrey & Elizabeth do ministry during our time with them. They emphasize ministry as a lifestyle versus a scheduled time commitment on a given day. They kept their yard and home open for anyone in the village to pop in and out as they wished throughout the day. Often times, the yard would be filled with kids running around playing football and life would carry on. This was super encouraging, as I’m currently trying to determine how I can best do ministry in my career as a physical therapist in the future. Maybe I don’t even need to integrate the two per se, but do my career as a PT and live a lifestyle of ministry.

Additionally, throughout the course of the internship, I have been learning about the power of vulnerability. This came up again during my time in the village on the last day. When I allowed myself to be vulnerable, it opened the door for the girl to also open up and share her story. This allowed for a deeper connection and conversation about God’s love for her.

I’m also learning how amazing it is that obedience to the Lord can transform lives. It was really cool to see how truly allowing Holy Spirit to lead never resulted in a failure but always a really good thing during our time in the village, whether it was healing or connecting with someone who so badly needed a friend. Trust is so big, and it was really cool to feel the Holy Spirit lead the way he did.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Fort – 2018 Immersion Intern

Teachings and Takeaways

June 26th, 2018 Posted by Immersion Internship – 2018 0 comments on “Teachings and Takeaways”

What’s up friends & fam?! How has it already been five. whole. weeks. since I left the States?? It’s wild how the time is soaring past. While the time since stepping off the plane in Zambia has been flying by, it certainly hasn’t been uneventful. I have been growing in ways I didn’t even anticipate and it has been pretty special. So far, this experience is building a new foundation and setting the trajectory for the rest of my life. Where do I even begin?

Let’s start with the people. It’s amazing how this group of interns feels like a family. We’re all brothers and sisters, brought from several different places and cultures to take part and be immersed in this kingdom culture experience for three months. It’s pretty inspiring to see us all come together. To be totally honest, I was really second guessing myself leading up to the internship– due to my own insecurities– and whether or not I should still come. I am so thankful that God was persistent and brought me here regardless. I’m grateful that His plan for me is far greater than my doubts. I seriously cannot imagine not meeting these people and everyone else on staff. So many genuine men and women of faith to look up to and walk with. It’s really cool being in a community like this, in which we can all walk through this experience together, speaking life into each other, building one another up and empowering our brothers and sisters to live into the identity that God spoke into us at the very beginning.

Let’s talk about the teachings now. WOW. We’re going on week five of teachings and I’ve already learned so much– so much about myself, so much about God’s heart, His character, and His dream for creation: this world and its people. It has all been incredibly formative in making my pursuit of the Lord’s heart truly my own. I’ve experienced the Lord’s presence in ways I have never before. I’m learning just how intimate this relationship with my God is meant to be, and that’s pretty awesome.

Let’s talk ministry now. YES. On Mondays, my small group has the opportunity to serve at a farm of some close friends of the ministry. The profit they bring in from selling crops and animals goes toward funding education for orphans in the community. This family also recently planted a church called, The Point, which is actually based in Holland, MI. They also lead ministry and business classes at their church to empower young adults in entrepreneurial careers with ministry at the core. The leaders of these ministries are really genuine, inspiring, and down to earth people who are clear agents of change in Choma. I am really grateful to have the opportunity to serve alongside their mission– it has been an enjoyable experience to be a part of. Amongst the Bible studies, home visits, and other happenings on the base and in the compounds, I am making some great connections and building some pretty awesome relationships with some really incredible people. This upcoming week, another intern and I have the opportunity to teach a mother of one of the girls in our Poetice Kidz group how to read the Bible. This will be a really rewarding and challenging experience, however, I’m excited to dive deeper into the Word with this family!

Alright, so my biggest takeaways up until this point…
I have ~loved~ learning about my true identity. I’m working on living my true-self and believing that I am who God says I am– totally living into it and living wholeheartedly. This has been life changing! I am also really enjoying learning about Kingdom culture and how God intends His people to live together. This has been eye-opening and super cool to experience in this community. It’s been pretty special getting to be a part of such a unique experience, and I am confident it will change the way I see the communities I live in the future– inspired to cultivate a Kingdom culture on earth.
Lastly, our basic calling in life is to love God and love people. As Christians, our mission in life is to join Jesus in advancing the kingdom. I’m learning that mission is something that truly can be done in every area of my life. This is really encouraging, as my two greatest passions regarding my life ahead are for missions and physical therapy. I’ve had a dream to be able to integrate the two into my future career, it’s just been a matter of figuring out necessarily what that will look like moving forward. I have been encouraged in hearing that several of our teachers have other careers while also still making ministry a huge part of their lives. I’m stoked to learn more about how God will continue to reveal His plan for me in the coming months.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Fort – 2018 Immersion Intern