Monday, February 8, 2010

Not Haiti, Other Open Doors

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
I hope you all enjoyed the game. The house I’m at has cable, so we got to watch on Spanish ESPN. The commercials were cool, but probably not as good as yours. I cheered for my hometown Indy. Painful interception at the end, but I felt better b/c former Purdue Drew Brees was QB for the Saints, and I’m sure New Orleans can use a boost after the hurricane.

Quick update.
We heard this week we will NOT go to Haiti. I’m sad . . .

Right now, YWAM is only accepting professionals to help with relief work (construction, nursing/doctors, counselors, etc.) They will take ministry teams in a few months (after we’re finished w/ our program). I’m not sure why the guys asked us to go, maybe reacting from the huge need. But the organizers are swamped with applicants/volunteers and they need to limit it to professionals for now.

We were really bummed. I didn’t want to write in case they changed their minds. But it’s been a few days and we haven’t heard anything different. I’ll let you know if anything changes.

This morning, I was praying about the whole Haiti situation. I felt maybe my heart wasn’t right in my motive for going. Did I want to get glory? A cool experience? When we heard we weren’t accepted, I was frustrated and stopped praying for the country. This morning, I told God, “Sorry,” and started praying for them again. Whether or not we get to physically be there to help, we can all help in many ways.
Near Future Update
I am applying for the Children at Risk secondary school with YWAM (Youth with a Mission, my mission organization) here in Bogota, Colombia.
Dates: March 14-July 3, 2010
Subject matter: Child development, helping counsel abused/traumatized kids, working with local governments, setting up financial structures, networking, view of God on children, personal preparation/training for working w/ at risk kids.
Teachers: Steve Bartell, 20+ years of ministry w/ street kids, houses for kids; plus other psychologists, doctors, ministers, etc from Bogota.
Bi-lingual school, taught in English and Spanish.
10 students accepted.
Recommendations from others:
* "That’s a great school!”
* "I would totally recommend it. I’m glad I took the course before beginning work at a house for kids.”
* "If I had a chance to take this school before I started my ministry, I would definitely do it. I learned trial by fire. But if you have the opportunity, take the school.”
* "It’s excellent training to prepare workers who intend to stay long-term ministering to at children at risk.”
Before coming to YWAM, my thoughts for steps to pursue dream to have a house for kids:
  1. Go to YWAM ministry school to prepare my own heart & work w/ various ministries that help child trafficking.
  2. Get training for working with at risk kids.
  3. Network with others who have similar dreams.
  4. Intern at a house for kids to learn how / how not to run a home.
  5. Start our own.
So, as I near the end or my YWAM ministry school, the C@R secondary school seems to be an excellent next step. It begins two days after our outreach is completed, is the cheapest of the various C@R schools offered by YWAM, is led by one of the most experienced YWAM workers with at risk kids, and is right here in Bogota. Two more great selling points: my teammate, Sean, is also applying. It will be fun to have someone from my team here, if we're both accepted. And there’s a couple on staff for the C@R school that have a similar dream. They want to start houses for kids in Lima, Peru, from ground up. So maybe I can help them in the future and learn how to pioneer this kind of ministry.
I’m excited for the coming days. It’s neat to see connections made and doors open.
Prayer points:
  1. Wisdom, direction for each forward step
  2. A great team to be brought together
  3. To learn MUCH as I prepare to be a mom to hurting kids
  4. To grow in greater love of God, and to continue to know his love for others and me.
Thank you!
Let me know how I can pray for you, too.
Have a great week. I know God touches the world with his love through your lives.
You are a blessing.

Much love and big hugs,
Ericka Smiley

1 comment:

  1. Yeah! I'm so glad you are doing the CAR school with me Ericka. You are such an encouragement!