Posts by OnnaDrake

The Lord is Faithful

September 9th, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016 0 comments on “The Lord is Faithful”

My entire experience, summed up in three to four paragraphs will only be giving a glimpse into how vastly amazing this adventure has been. I am so thankful for all of the ways that God has grown, challenged, and cared for me. When I decided to leave for this adventure to Africa, I knew that I would have to allow my heart and mind to be in full surrender to God and give Him a chance. As I stepped onto the South African Airways plane for an eighteen-hour flight, I committed to having faith in all God showed me on this trip. Twelve weeks later, as our time comes to a close, I am amazed at the ways that God has revealed himself to me through His faithfulness to my boldness and trust. My hope is to carry this trust as I go back to the States.

Poetice and EMIZ are transforming lives in Livingstone, Zambia. Their focus is not only among the community and in outreaches, but also in each of us that have lived here for the last three months. When I decided to be a part of the internship I had the expectation that I would be constantly doing ministry with vulnerable and abused women. I thought my main focus would be helping restore girls who were a part of Girls Revolution. I loved building relationships with many of these beautiful young women who are striving for purity and want to learn about Jesus. Every Thursday we would sit in a small group of about twelve girls and learn about purity. They shared their stories openly and asked tough questions in order to seek wisdom for their day to day living, but this was not my focus.

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When the days began to turn into weeks and I thought we were getting into a rhythm of ministry and discipleship, we were challenged again by change. Different short-term missions would come work alongside of us in ministry and we utilized the extra hands available by creating special events for the children around our community. Towards the end of summer, the interns had an incredible opportunity to lead and facilitate one of these groups. Reach for Life camp was incredible as we had 100 teens from five different schools spend time getting to know the Lord so much more. Some of these teens had heard about purity from Girls Revolution as well as our Beat the Drum program we facilitated in July. Beat the Drum incorporated awareness to the dangers of HIV/AIDS and incorporated biblical principles to living a life of abstinence. God transformed lives and made himself audibly, physically, and mindfully present to so many of us. However, these ministries and intentional times with individuals was not my focus.

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Discipleship was one of the richest aspects to this internship. Throughout our time in Africa, we have had leaders from within the ministry and across North America teach us, in depth, about the Lord. Our mornings were dedicated to these rich teachings and learning more about the fullness of the Bible and God’s promises to us. God pursued me. God chased me back into communion with Him and began to show me how much He truly loves me. He began to refine me by fire so that I could begin to feel the freedom of His friendship. God feels my hurts and He has been waiting for me to release these hidden pains in my heart. I am God’s ministry and His grace is always available, I just need to truly receive it.

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God made me His focus. He wanted to redefine my relationship with Him and show me how He is my guiding friend. I wouldn’t change these last three months for the world. I loved every moment and I experienced the beauty of building relationship with cool Christians. 😉 I am sad to be leaving, but incredibly stoked for the adventure ahead. The Lord is faithful.

onnadrake ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Onna Drake • 2016 International Immersion Intern

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

August 3rd, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016 0 comments on “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

It is hard to put the month of July into words. So many unexpected and unique experiences awaited each new week for this girl. God was selfish for my time and he made me fully aware of this during Beat the Drum(BtD). I fell ill to a bacterial infection that stayed with me longer than I’d like to admit. Even though I was unable to participate in beat the drum program, God was teaching me multiple lessons on; grace, how incredibly complex His plan is for everyone, and how dearly He cares about me. After Beat the Drum, we went to Butha Buthe, Lesotho for outreach and it was a phenomenal time. Praise God that I was healthy enough to participate on this journey. God is a beautiful friend with so much care and concern for each of His children and I’m in love!

When I became ill with the infection, I was in horrible pain, spent more time sleeping than awake, and was on a very strict diet. All of this frustrated me. I was angry and trying to get back into the swing of things as fast as I could so that I could still do BtD at the schools. I had the privilege of connecting well with my teaching partner and we were excited to share God’s word together in the schools. I was disappointed every morning when I would wake up with no change and sometimes feeling worse than better. The days were long and my mindset did not help. However, I was reminded of how I needed to keep my heart open to allowing God to speak during this time. The pain did not subside that day and my physical condition did not change, but my spiritual and emotional conditions were being shifted.
Form 45 Entry 686 Fileupload 9I’ve been focusing on the verses in 1 Peter 1:6-7 during my time in Africa. It reads, “In this you greatly rejoice though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” I did not know how much these verses were going to apply to my life during my time here. As I have continued to learn more about God’s Holy Spirit and his heart, I am finding a renewed and deeper genuineness in my faith. God showed me the gift of grace in this week. How to receive grace from others and the love that is so abounding within it!
Form 45 Entry 686 Fileupload 8This theme of receiving grace continued as we traveled to Lesotho. However, now that I was learning to receive grace, I was noticing how I can give grace even more fully. What a hard concept! Grace continually brings you to a state of checking your heart and intentions. I realized during our trip to Lesotho how freely I have used the word grace, without bringing attention to its action. As I was still recovering from my illness, the first couple days I struggled to find energy and strength to engage in conversations with my exp family and was easily irritated. I had to rely on God’s strength and earnestly ask Him what my purpose was in Lesotho. My heart was restless and I struggled to know why. On Sunday I was at my wits end with trying to be engaged with our ministry in Lesotho and feeling so empty. I was disheartened and frustrated that I had only experienced one day of thankfulness and complete fullness in the Lord after recovering from my illness and was back in a drought. I didn’t understand what God was trying to teach me and I had no desire to know. My ability to be fully enthralled in the ministry of Lesotho was lacking and it hurt my heart, especially because much of our outreach focused around my passions and interests. In the mornings we did physical labor, followed by going into the community and building personal relationships within Butha Buthe, and we would end our afternoons in a time of prayer and worship with the whole community. Later Sunday afternoon I decided to spend time with Jesus. I began to journal my thoughts and God did an incredible transformation. He spoke directly to me and used the analogy of my beloved steeplechase in track! Through this time, God essentially reminded me of how I need to keep my focus on the goal. Life is not always about finding the happy moments, but the perseverance. Whether that perseverance is for a long-term goal or finding God in today, we cannot be discouraged when He responds in His time. 1 Peter 1:6-7 is my goal right now. I must allow God to fully refine me by fire so that my faith will be fully genuine.

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God continues to stir in my heart how I am his mission and he is jealous for a friendship with me. Until I fully open my heart to him everyday, our relationship can only be dictated by my willingness. This is the blessing of free will God has given us and how it makes our time with him that much sweeter. God has so much to teach each of us so we can live out His mission. I know I mentioned this in our other blog, but it creates so much depth in how to live life. By living in light of this knowledge, God has been able to show me how he can open up more of my heart, heal hurts and take burdens that I have caged.

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onnadrake ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Onna Drake • 2016 International Immersion Intern

“Loving and being loved is the greatest of human joy” – Edward E. Ford

June 29th, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016 0 comments on ““Loving and being loved is the greatest of human joy” – Edward E. Ford”

Poetice International and their partnership with EMIZ has been a blessing since day one. I am in awe of the ways God has blessed these ministries with so many strong and capable leaders. Through their examples, support, and love I have found another home while being a part of the Elijah Experience Internship 2016.

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It is hard to know where to begin when talking about the ways that God has challenged me on this trip and how He is using each day for growth. Before entering this trip, I was scared. I didn’t know how well I would relate to the rest of my team, I was accepted only two months before leaving, and my relationship with God was weak. God had asked me to find a deeper connection and communication with Him again if I decided to partake on this journey to Africa and was accepted. Sure enough, I committed to this opportunity knowing that vulnerability was about to be in full swing. I distinctly remember thinking on our 18 hour flight, when I stepped onto that plane, I was choosing to let go of my own desires for at least 3 months and see what God wanted to try and show me.

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Our first week was spent in Choma, Zambia where we were taken through a series of challenges to grow our team into a family. One of these challenges included telling our stories to each other. I knew that God was already at work in my heart when this challenge was given. John emphasized that the time we have here and now is unlike any other opportunity we will get in life. This is it. We can choose to be fully engaged and enthralled in what God wants to show us right now or continue to live on our own will. My days in Zambia have been guided by this mindset. I want to look at each moment as an opportunity.

The last three weeks can speak for themselves on the amount of faithfulness God has shown me as I’ve continued to step out and trust what He is doing. As I ask the hard questions and keep my heart open to His will, the Lord redeems my mindset. I am learning to not only to depend on the Holy Spirit, but also God’s faithfulness. I love love love how much teaching we get here. I’ve never had anything like it in my life. Every single day we are able to learn more about God through speakers for almost three hours. I am drinking from a fire hose of information!

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Something that has impacted my life throughout all of our lessons is hearing more of what God’s heart is. The Bible is God’s story and how He is using His story to form us. We are God’s mission. God longs for relationship with us and even though I’ve heard this said to me my whole life, it has a new meaning right now. God is not distant from feeling emotion with and among us. God longs to walk next to us in life more than metaphorical speech. The best way God continues his personal relationship and encounter with each of us is through prayer. I cannot tell you how much prayer has impacted my life whether it was in the States or in Zambia. As I have looked at my relationship with God differently while in Zambia it has directly correlated with my prayer life. Prayer is powerful and effective. I look forward to what God wants to speak to me throughout the next two months and the rest of my life.

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onnadrake ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Onna Drake • 2016 International Immersion Intern