Thursday, September 29, 2011

UCI--The Beginning

I've been scatter brained, overwhelmed, up, down...
So many different emotions all rolled into one.
I have been exhausted and running on pure adrenaline for the past week.

I'm not completely settled into my new home yet.
Moving has been quite the experience.
Everything happened so insanely fast,
I didn't have time to actually pack.
I threw my belongings into trash bags and tossed them into my tiny car.
(Something I learned from my best friend Jodi).
I left my bedroom and bathroom at home in complete and utter chaos.
(Sorry mom).
And I'm still waiting for my bed to make its way down here.
I've been sleeping on the floor that past week and a half.

I have to admit,
I'm completely out of sorts.
I have moved away from everything that I know and the people I cherish.
All to start a new job I don't quite know how to do (yet) in a totally new place, 
with people I do not know and who don't know me.
I honestly feel like a freshman in college all over again.
Timid, quite, scared, unsure, and getting lost A-L-L the time.
I am quite the newbie.

I completely forgot to pick up my camera most of last week.
But, I did get a few pictures from my very first week on campus!

The Rooms.
Jill, Erin & Margo.
Cru Involvement Fair Booth.
My old roommate from SLO was on campus too, working with Epic.

Ashleigh and I with Peter the Anteater.
Our first Cru weekly meeting of the year!
I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks.
-Getting better acquainted with the campus.
-Getting to know each of my teammates. 
-Getting to know the students.
-Spending more time with my roommates.
-Finding a church and getting involved with a small group.
-My freshman girls study--that I already love.
-Beginning discipleship with 6 very wonderful women.
-Fall retreat preparations.
-And hopefully, feeling more comfortable and settled.

God is already doing amazing things here at UCI.
I can't wait to see what else He has in store.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Support Update--Lessons Learned

Yes, it did in fact happen.
God did it!
I am fully funded and a officially a Crusade staff member at UCI.

God absolutely, positively BLEW my mind in the process.
I wish I could say exactly how and when all my support came in.
But it happened so unbelievably fast, I'm not actually certain when it did.

What I can tell you is that I have never in my life experienced God in this way.
I am still in awe of the things He did.
The miracles He gave.
But mostly, I am in awe of the fact that He poured out
 so many blessings when in reality I deserved none of it.

I spent my entire summer in fear, stressing and worrying.
Completely doubting the Lord's faithfulness.
Doubting He would provide for me.
It makes me sick to my stomach really.
And yet, in His perfect timing, He provided ALL that I needed.

Lesson Learned: 
The Lord provides.

God will provide for me exactly when and where I need it.
Nothing more, nothing less.
His provisions are perfect.
The support raising experience I will never forget.
It is one that I will probably have to revert back to when I start doubting.
It will most likely one day be a story for the kids!

Lesson Learned:
The power of prayer.

I honestly should have spent more time in prayer in the earlier weeks of the summer.
It was only when I reached desperation, that prayer became the thing to do.
But even though I fell short, like I so often do;
I can honestly say that God answered every single one of my prayers.
Every specific detail, He nailed it.
God does hears us and He answers.

Lesson Learned:
Yep, I still hate talking on the phone.

I honestly thought support raising would break me of my irrational phone phobia.
Nope, not at all.
I still hate making phone calls, more than ever in fact.

Lesson Learned:
How awesome my supporters are.
I don't want to brag or anything,
But I have the greatest team of supporters, hands down, no questions asked.

A team of family, dear friends, old friends, new friends, my friends friends.
People I knew a long time ago, people I know now and people I have never met before.
People who are close by and people who are literally across the world!
 I am so thankful to each and every one of you.

Thank you for taking a big huge step of faith.
Thank you for joining me in this ministry to bring the Gospel to the lost.
Thank you for being bold and trusting God.
Without you I wouldn't be where I am.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
My heart is continuing to overflow with joy and love for each and every one of you.

I am praying, and will continue to pray, that the Lord will bless you
and your giving beyond anything you could ever imagine!
I am so excited to have you alongside me in this ministry.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Support Update--Only 13.3% Left to Go!

The past 3 days have been rough.
Things have been at a slight stand still.
I have felt hopeless.
I have been praying, pleading and begging God to give me miracles.
After countless phone calls only to get voicemails and hundreds of emails and 
facebook messages to people I know well, slightly and not at all...
I felt that there was nothing but silence form the Lord.

Ugh, here we go with the waiting again...
Why is patience so painful for me?

Yesterday I woke up bruised from the days before,
but determined to keep pushing forward.
Determined to get this done.
I spent some time with the Lord asking that He would bring me to 80% by the end of the day.
I worked all day with absolutely no progress (that I could see that is).
I was still sitting at 75%.
My heart was aching.

I then got a phone call from someone who is overseeing my support raising.
She gave me one last and final deadline to get my support in.

This Friday the 16th.

It was a difficult conversation.
But, she spoke such encouraging words and prayed for me.
She didn't (or at least I think she didn't) know
that I was balling my eyes out while she was praying for me.
All I could think to myself was this is it, I'm done, there is no way I will finish.

I had to get out of the house.
I went and ran 5 miles, it was a gorgeous evening.
I spent those 45 minutes talking with the Lord.
I continued to ask Him for a miracle.
"80% by tonight Father, 80%, You can do this!"

Well I'm here to tell you God answers prayers,
and gives us miracles.
I came home from my run and my night completely changed.
I went from crying tears of worry to crying tears of joy.

Last night my support reached 86.7%.

The Lord brought me up 11% in just one night!
Not only did He bring me to 80% but exceeded it by 6%.
Sometimes I feel like God likes to show off.

Last night I went to bed feeling...

I felt so full of the Lord's Joy.
I was in awe of our God who provides for us in unexpected ways.
Who blesses us beyond anything we deserve.
Who DOES hear our prayers and answers them.
Who's timing is perfect, despite what we think.

I only need SIX more people to give $100 a month.
Then I can meet up with my team and dive into this campus ministry.
It is very important I finish by this Friday.
Next Monday marks the beginning of welcome week for the incoming students at UCI.
This is where we will get to meet the thousands of incoming freshman.
My heart longs to be able to be a part of it all and to see what the Lord has planned!

I'm praying for you six (or more) people that the Lord has called to be a part of this team.
I'm praying that the Lord will bless your decision to be a part of this ministry,
That the blessing of your gift would be given back to you to supply your needs.

If you would like to join me in this ministry of reaching the Lost with the Gospel.
you can join my team HERE.
Please feel free to email me, I would love to connect with you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Support Update: The Homestretch

I should very much be sleeping right now.
(It's 3:30am)

But I'm not.
Pretty standard as of late. 
Anxiety tends to keep me up now most nights.
If I'm lucky, I'll be asleep before the sun starts to come up.

Today was a rough day in the world of raising support.
I feel pretty beat up and bruised.
I'm tired.
I'm emotional.
I really feel like crying, but I haven't (yet).
And I have that ever so slight gnawing in the pit of stomach that just seems to linger.

Today was one of those days that I kept asking God those two things...
"Why" and "How".
Two words that are so detrimental.
They provoke so much doubt.
I can't stand them.
I hate questioning God.
And yet I find myself doing it all the time.
Today was a constant struggle for me.

The answer is...
I don't know "why" and I don't know "how".
And that is precisely how God wants is for the time being.
I just have to be patient.

I hate to admit this,
but I am probably the most impatient person you'll ever meet.
Which is quite funny considering the fact that
God always seems to be putting me in situations where all I do is wait.
You think He might be trying to teach me something?...
Yeah, that's what I'm starting to think as well.

In other support raising news:
I am currently sitting at 75.5% supported.
I am only in need of 9 more people to join my team at $100 a month.
We are now into the single digits!
That is less than $1,000 a month folks.

I'm DYING to be done.
I"m DYING to be on campus.
I'm DYING to be with the students.
I'm DYING to see God change lives.
I'm DYING to see what the Lord has in store!

But I can't until I am at 100%.
I'm on the homestretch, I can feel it.
I'm sitting on 3rd base.
And I am just waiting for that last teammate to bring me sliding into home.

And what a happy and joyful day it will be
when that does happen!

If you would like to hear more about the ministry I will be involved in
with Campus Crusade for Christ,
I would love to hear from you!
You can email me at this address:

If you would like to make a donation and/or
join my my monthly support team...
You can do that here!

"God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful".
-1 Corinthians 1:9

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Support Update: God will Always Meet Our Needs

Our God is an awesome God.
A God who provides what we need.
A God who DOES answer prayers.
And a God who loves us unconditionally.

In the past week I have seen 13 people join my support team!
I am now at 69.8%.
The Lord is bringing me that much closer to being able to report to campus.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to this weeks staff planning meetings.
But, I am trusting God that this is all in His perfect timing.
He will bring me down to UCI exactly when He wants me there.

I was given another extension to get the rest of my support in by this coming Monday, September 12th.
I'm praying, and asking you pray with me,
 that I can be done with support by then.
September 12 is our student leadership retreat and want so badly to be there.
We will be taking students away for a couple days to equip them and challenge them to be leaders in the movement this coming year.
It will also be a great time for the students and us staff to seek and spend time the Lord.
It would also be a great opportunity for me to build relationships with students.
I'm dying to be there!

Oh I'm praying, praying hard to finish.
I'm so anxious.
Anxious to finish, anxious to make the move to Irvine, anxious to be with the students.
But most of all, I'm longing to be a part of what God is doing,
to share the Gospel on this campus.

I'm continuing to look for people who are interested in this ministry.
People who have a heart for other's to hear the Gospel.
I will be working this next year to help fulfill the Great Commission.
How cool is that?!

I'm still in need of people who want to join my team.
I only need 10 more people to give 100 a month or
20 people to give 50 a month (etc.)
I would love for you to pray about joining my team!

I'm praying that God will be able to complete my team this week.
I would love for you to consider being a part of it, to be a part of what the Lord is doing.

I am so grateful for the team that God has already assembled.
To my supporters, you are wonderful
 and I'm so excited you have decided to trust the Lord and take this step of faith.
I am so thankful for you.
Know that what you are doing is helping to further the Lord's Kingdom!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions
or if you would like to hear more about this ministry.
If you you would like to join my support team all you have to do is...
This is the link to my personal online giving page.
It is really easy to donate online.
In fact, I have had a few people who have commented saying; 
"they wished all things in life were that easy".

To all of you prayer warriors out there--
please pray that the Lord will provide all the support that I need and I can finish strong this week.
That I can be able to be a part of the leadership retreat this coming Monday.
And that ultimately, pray we will see changed lives this coming year at UCI.

I'm anxiously awaiting the end of the season of support raising
so I can be a part of the awesome staff team that the Lord has placed at UCI.

The UCI team.

If you would like to, feel free to contact me through my email.
I would love to hear from you!

Thank you!

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus".

--Philipians 4:19

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Support--Where I am At

My oh my, where to begin.
The past week has been and absolute roller coaster.
I feel that I have never had to trust the Lord more than right now.

It is now September and my original deadline for support has come and gone.
I just received a week extension to try and get the rest of my support in.
The Lord has brought me so far, but there is still a ways to go.

I hate using this word,
It has such negative connotations.
But who cares, I'm whipping this bad boy out.
I am desperate for the Lord,
relying on him to provide what I need.
He always has and He always will.
Something that I have seen and firmly believe in.

There has been a lot of time during this summer
when things have been at a stand still.
Times when I literally have no idea what to do.
I will see a chunk of support come in, but a week will go by
and then there will be nothing.
It is a constant battle in my mind remembering that this is all in God's timing.

Last week, I was having a very rough day.
I was so overwhlemed.
While my mom was out of town, she sent me a text message to see how things were going.
I told her I was on the verge of a breakdown.
Her response is one that spoke so much truth....

"Rachel, this is just one of those times where you just gut it out and follow the plan.
Thank God for the ups and downs.
He is not stagnant even when circumstances appear to be!"

Preach it mamma!
Needless to say, I have kept her message.
I look back at it every day...multiple times a day.

So here is exactly where I am at:

I'm 60% supported.
In the past couple days I have seen 6 more monthly supporter's join my team!
I have 40% left to go.
I am still in need of $1400 monthly.
All I need is 14 people to commit to give $100 a month and I'm good to go!
I now officially have a place to live in Irvine.
I signed my lease and borrowed all the money to cover my first months needs. 
I have no way to pay for anything beyond that.
And I will not receive a paycheck until I've reached 100% of my support goal.
 I have a place to live, but no way to pay for it.
Definitely an ideal situation.
But at least I have great roommates, right?
My official start date is next Tuesday, September 6th.
Once again, I can't be a part of anything until I've reached 100%.
My heart aches at the thought of missing our staff meetings next week 
and our student leadership retreat the week after, but God has a plan.

I long so badly to have support raising behind me (I'm not a huge fan).
To finally move into my apartment, get settled in and spend time getting to know my roommates better.
To be a part of the awesome staff team at UCI and be at our staff planning meetings.
To be with the students, the one's I have met and the one's I will be meeting.
To begin this adventure and see what in the world God has in store.  

The Lord has blessed me with with an awesome team of supporters so far!
I am so thankful for each and everyone of them.
If you have ANY interest in this ministry,
I would love for you to join this team!
Like I said, I only need 14 people to give $100 a month,
 then I can begin working.
Sure, to our human minds that can seem like a lot.
But just remember that we have a God who sent His only son to die for us
on a cross and then rose Him from the dead.
Yeah, this is pretty much no big deal for Him.