This week was tough! First day back from Mexico and all I wanted to do was catch up on lost sleep! Devil has been attacking us this week more than ever! We prayed for patience, strength, spiritual growth, and we were all tested on it! Families were struggling spiritually; everyone had something they needed prayer for! The Mexico trip drained us, and it seemed as though everyone was spiritually dry. I personally fell behind on my bible reading, my sleep schedule was thrown off, and though I wanted to do better, I was just physically weak! (And, I know, first hand, that I wasn’t the only student who felt this way). We needed that spiritual food, and the need was most definitely met when God brought Fred Penney and his wife, Valerie Penney from Canada!
Fred and his wife spoke on preaching. Oddly enough, the most important thing about preaching is to know your scripture, and since we all fell behind, this really motivated us all to get right back into it. Though the way Fred taught us to attack scripture was very new to me, I was surprised at how well it worked! His formula for reading scripture and then teaching it to someone else fit like a glove! The Word of God opened up to us in a completely new way! He and his wife spent a whole day covering Lectio Devina (which is when you focus on hearing God’s voice through scripture). In our cell group, we got into groups and prayed together for a personal revelation, and God opened up messages to each and every one of us! It was so powerful!
My favorite part about Fred was how he got us all involved! He made sure to keep us awake, and gave us hands on work! He asked us to prepare several skits in class to teach us to pay extreme attention to detail (the skits, by the way, were hilarious, as well as educational), and his ultimate assignment was to prepare our own sermon. Being the greatest bunch of students ever, of course, a majority of us left the assignment to be completed the night before (myself included, #guilty). This might have been the most effective and beneficial assignment yet! Not only did we all get a glimpse of what it takes to prepare a sermon, but I feel like I taught myself more than I taught my peers! It took me about three hours minimum to prepare a five-minute sermon! (The amount of respect I have for pastors and preachers has skyrocketed this week!) This really put things into perspective for a lot of us! Some of us really enjoyed the experience; while others discovered that preaching might not be their calling (you know who you are).
Meanwhile, this week was our last week in our group ministries with the elderly. Thanks to prayer, it was also one of our favorites. Being the third week, we gathered up our biggest crowd and sang worship songs together followed by a great game of BINGO. I just want to give ALL GLORY TO GOD! He made all of this possible, without Him, it just wouldn’t be fulfilling! Through Him we were able to really connect with the elderly, and be accepted into their lives. (Just a side note; I also feel like I’ll never be satisfied with just any game of BINGO unless I’m playing with them!) It brought us so much joy to serve our community, and so much sadness to have to leave them. Next week is our first time with jail ministry. I won’t lie, I’m more nervous than I am excited, but God’s got a plan with this one too, right?! Stay tuned to see how that goes.
#TestimonyOfTheWeek: So this week it gets personal! I’ve been enrolled in both Bethany Bible School as well as American River College up until this week. I stayed enrolled into a 4 unit Spanish class, thinking that it was a good idea because eventually I planned on doing Gods work in a Spanish speaking third world country (and obviously, I’d need some basic knowledge of Spanish). BUT, taking this class also meant that I couldn’t be a part of a lot of things that came along with bible school. All the fun things happened after class, and I’d miss them because of my Spanish class. This week was the week! God finally jumbled up the courage in me to drop the class after He sent me an angel (Anna Chipak) with the answers to all my prayers! She reminded me of what was more important and that God would NOT leave me nor forsake me! He will prepare me better if I put in 100% to Bible School. To be honest, I haven’t regretted dropping out since! It took a load of stress off of my mind, and overall just helped me sleep better at night! I wish I had done it sooner! I’m just so grateful for God’s messengers. I know that I’m not the only one who recently quit school or work and just couldn’t feel better about it! Praise God!
– Oksana Kambur