I'm already almost finished with week 5! They call this one our slump week (and almost everyone is feeling it...I like to think I'm not though...since I'm a Buechler and we just don't ever get tired :P)
I'm just going to dive right into it!
Week 3: we learned about the Nature and Character of God as well as Missions. For the 3 days we had lecture for the Nature and Character of God...my brain was steaming! There was such depth and complexity in what our speaker was saying, but I knew it was all very true. One of the main points was "What we believe about God determines what we believe about everything else." Our speaker, Paul Hawkins, also asked us, "Does what we believe about God bring us closer to Him or draw us further from Him?", because a lot of the time subconsciously we question the goodness of God. If we doubt the goodness of God, we enter into a relationship with Him where we are always striking deals or "begging" for things. Instead we need to realize we are created and called into a relationship with God and have a rich inheritance. (some of these points may seem a bit scattered, but I hope you find the truth in them).
Mhmmm...perhaps I will just write down some sticking statements or points:
~Your feelings are real, but they're not always the truth.
~The greater the test of faith, the greater the possibility for lasting fruit.
~Why does it matter that God has an imagination? because He can make a way when there seems to be no way. ( I thought that was pretty neat to think about..I mean look at snowflakes. There aren't any two alike...that's some major imagination right there!).
~Christians only have financial opportunities to receive financial blessing from God. He provides all of our needs - some of that blessing can be taken away when irresponsibility occurs.
~In the missions world their are different kinds of missionaries like a marathon runner and a sprinter ( I just thought that was a cool way of putting it into perspective).
~ I can't change what I don't know. I can't change what I don't love and I can't change anything if I don't get involved.
Week 4: REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS!!! By far the best week I've had So far!
Where there once was so much shame and guilt with sins in my life - is now filled with Freedom & Redemption. After 4 days of lecture on Sin, Repentance, Forgiveness, and Restitution, we had THE Friday (which now I refer to as Freedom Day). On this day, we sat in a chair in the front of the room with our leader and speaker on both sides. From there, we began to read our lists (we were to have 2 lists. One was for repentance and the other was for things we were forgiving others or ourselves for.) varying from the smallest of things to the biggest of things that the Holy Spirit had brought to our attention or that we just knew we had to ask forgiveness for.
I went 2nd...I was so ready to get it all over with and ready for the end and the freedom that was guaranteed to me once I had confessed. OH BOY did the waterworks go!...and GO! I cried and wept and balled my eyes out. After I had finished our speaker Daniel Appa prayed over me and broke ties and bondages, he proclaimed things over my life, and spoke truth into me. Then my leader prayed over me and just claimed Jesus blood over me that washes me and makes me clean again. Powerful prayers. They rang so true to my heart. And then my friends (classmates) surrounded me and spoke over me and prayed for me...even in that circle at moments my anguish was so much that my stomach would do a crunch almost, concaving I guess in a sense is what was happening.
Before I went to the cross that was in the classroom to nail my lists, Daniel asked if he could hug me. I said yes the second I heard "hug". I needed to be held. I turned and wrapped my arms around him. And I began to weep again. He began to speak and as he did he said to said this to me, "I have never been ashamed of you. I have never been ashamed of you. I have never abandoned you and I'm not angry with you. But don't ever bre-ak my heart like that again." As he said the word "break" his voice broke and he was crying with me. Oh how my heart shattered and how His words rang in my ears and struck my very core. My hands grasped him tightly and I cried more because in that moment to me he was not Daniel; He was my Heavenly Father who's heart I had broken. As my head was buried in his chest, as my arms clung around him, and as he continued to hold me, I said "I won't. I won't ever". After that all the girls in my class began to hug me one by one and whisper things in my ear, endearing things and words of comfort and love.
Then to the cross I went. And nailed those sins. At the foot of that cross I thanked my God for giving me the freedom and redemption I don't deserve. I told him I will obey Him and go where He tells me to go, to stay when He tells me to stay, to speak what He wants me to say, and to submit my will completely to His. There was going to be no more resisting, no more misguiding, and no more ignoring.
As a class we all went through some type of this in our own way. But as a class we all came together. We stood together and prayed together. The raw honesty we all displayed left no room for disunity amongst us. It truly has been a wonderful, freeing time.
The next day we went to Zermatt where the Matterhorn is located. Some hiked, others ventured around the little town and went to the shops. (If you're familiar with Toblerone chocolate that's where it's from and why it's in a triangular shape)
The beauty there was astonishing and truly AWESOME!!
|The peak in the back is the Matterhorn!|
|I was on the Daniel fast right before the trip, so I got to celebrate the break of the fast with an apple strudel and a coffee|
|We found where the Hobbits stay in Switzerland|
|Becky, me, Sabastion, and Eun Song|
|It was so beautiful! If only the photo could give credit to how amazing the scenery was.|
And now for week 6: Identity.