Monday, June 28, 2010


I have been incredibly humbled the past few days. Let me just tell you a few examples...

1) I keep meeting people that know Marilyn and Larry (the head people of LifeBuilders) and they tell me about how Marilyn and Larry just talk so highly of me. They continue to tell me all the great things that are said about me. It brings me tears just to think about the blessing it is to be used the way I am.

2) I have gone 2 weeks in a row to a young adults service at a big suburban church. I have been going with a guy named Matt and he is the only person I know there. Now if you know me, you know how social I am and how I rely a lot on my friends and family for my contentment and happiness. Being in a crowd of 300+ people knowing only 1 person, it becomes lonely very quickly. I'm used to being the one who runs all over greeting people and saying hi to everyone, instead I've been standing quietly waiting to be introduced to his friends. Its a weird feeling, being completely dependent on someone else to meet people.

3) When I am introduced to people at this church, Matt several times would say "she's a pretty big deal" or something like that. Everyone seems to be so impressed that i'm living where I am and that I am doing urban ministry. For me its just life, no second thoughts about it. But it is a good feeling to know that people are impressed with my "way of life." That is what brings the humbleness to my spirit. As soon as I thought, wow "I'm a pretty big deal!"God was like, "Elizabeth, i'm the big deal...never forget that!"

4) I stumbled upon a friend's blog today (Alton's). He is using his blog as a prayer list. Whenever he updates he updates with prayer requests for himself and others. At the bottom of his page he has a list of MISSIONARIES to pray for. My name is listed in that list. When I saw that it brought tears to my eyes. Since I was about 16, I felt God calling me into MISSIONS. Since then God has narrowed my path, ALOT and now i'm pursuing MISSIONS, state-side. It's an honor to be listed as a missionary on Alton's prayer list.

These are just some of the examples from the past week or so. I'm sure there will be many more ways God will humble me. I know I sure need it.

Hope and Faith combined!

Hope Community and Faith Church joined together for the first time on Sunday. They held their services outside in the middle of the street. The service had a lot of worship and "charge" given by both pastors to their congregations. Many people came forward to accept Christ, and God's name was definitely lifted high. I picked up 9 kids in the van, the service got a little long for them. It was close to 2 hours, but I was proud of them, they hung in there. I bought them pizza afterwards to "reward" them. The guy, Matt, that I have been going to the young adults service with came along too. I'm sure this was a great experience for him, the kids started to get rowdy and were fighting with each other on the way home. It was nice to have someone close to my own age come with. I love being with the kids and teens, but its always good to have a peer around too.


The past three years God has been teaching me the importance of consistency in people's lives. I started to learn this lesson when God kept taking me back to Camp Kearney. Each summer my flesh wanted to move on to a different camp, to get out a little further away from home. But God kept taking me back, He helped me realize the returning campers needed to see a familiar face. I have also tried to keep consistency in other lives, this is why I try to stay in close contact with the teens from Canton; like Amy Bash and Bridgid O'Neill. This is a lesson that hasn't been easy for me. I was faced with a reality check this past school year. I was blessed to go to the Philippines with Moody in 2009 and planned on returning in 2010. But God closed that door. I kept hearing God say I wasnt meant to go back, because I couldn't provide the consistency needed in the peoples lives. Now that i'm in Detroit, I'm beginning to wonder about the future. I'm been struggling with the fact that God might keep me in Detroit long term. When I graduate in January He might bring me back. It all goes back to the consistency i've been learning. In urban culture and urban ministry trust doesn't come easy. I have been blessed beyond belief here, because so many people have opened their lives to me. That is not normally how it happens, it takes much more time than 3 weeks. I want to honor that trust. So I have begun praying about whether or not God really wants to bring me back here. It is very scary for me to think about. I would hate to be so far from my family, friends and church family. But if it is God's will, I can't step back and ask questions. So pray with me, will you? Pray that I would seek God's plan and purpose for my future, and not my own fleshly wants and desires. I know that where ever God takes me I will be blessed, I just need to keep this option open.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Being here at LifeBuilder's I have experienced so much variety when it comes to ministry, specifically urban ministry. I have literally been apart of anything and everything you could imagine. I have attended meetings about getting donations, I have attended planning meeting for events. I have helped with a day camp, (that was very unorganized, by the way), helped with VBS, led bible studies with teen girls, and driven the big van all over Detroit. I have been in contact with parents, and gotten to go into homes where the children are living. It's been an adventure, but I am exhausted. I have been stretched so much already. I'm definitely not living in the "comfort zone" of life anymore. I'm glad though, because in order to see growth I need to step outside of my "comfort zone." I praise God for all of these opportunities. He knew exactly what he was doing when he brought me to Detroit. If I was at a camp which I originally wanted to be my internship, I would not be experiencing all of these different aspects of ministry. Every day and every new experience I believe is preparing me for my future. Who knows, maybe God will bring me back to Detroit in January after I graduate. I know now that I can't put God in a box, and that I need to open to the idea of returning to Detroit. All in God's timing and HIS will.


There is a church from the suburbs that has been doing a VBS at LifeBuildersfor 3 years. This church went above and beyond anything I could have dreamed of. They created an entire ship deck in the big meeting room, and totally followed the theme "High Seas Adventure" to aT. It was amazing. (Their ship deck definitely put ours to shame, ladies of 6W, lol) It was great having them come serve along side us, and put on this amazing program. It was so interesting having a group of suburbanites come here though. They would arrive and park their cars across the street at the school and have someone sit there "guarding" them the entire time. Theykept asking me if I felt unsafe living here, and so on. I enjoyed interacting with other believers, but was starting to feel a little annoyed. Sometimes, it was almost like they were here out of pity for the kids. But they showed them love and compassion and that is what these kids need. Over all it was a great time, and the gospelmessage was proclaimed!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Let us not forget about what God has provided for us...

Yesterday in church God reminded me that I need to stop focusing so much on the needs of the family down the street that we're trying hard to minister to. Instead, He pointed out to me how this family has a home, shelter over their heads. I need to rejoice over that, because so many are homeless and don't have a place to call home. Praise God for this reminder, it has changed my whole outlook on ministry right now.

Culture Shock!

Last night I went to a huge mega church in a suburb called Troy. I was going to a young adults service, with a guy who has volunteered here at LifeBuilders a few times. We get to the church and it is seriously massive in size. We walk in and the music is blaring, and its pitch black. There were probably 300 people there. Not what I was expecting at all. I guess I must have missed the part of the conversation when he told me there were a few hundred people that attended this service. It was a great service though. We sang for about an hour, which I loved. The message was good, and I hate to sound like a Bible student snob, but it was just kinda surface level. Its hard being a Bible college student to go into a group that is mixed on spiritual maturity like that. But over all I had a good time. I literally felt like I was experiencing culture shock though. You see, where I'm living in Detroit is very poverty stricken, and this area was very very rich. I almost felt uncomfortable being there, because I am so comfortable in the poor neighborhoods. I was able to meet several people, and a few were really friendly and said they would look for me next week. I'm still praying about finding a few people to 'connect' with. I'm not sure if God will bless me with that, and i'm still trying to figure that out. For now I will hopefully continue going to this Sunday night service and see where God leads me.

Camp Kearney.. such a legacy!

2006 2007

Camp Kearney.. such a rich history. Lately, the past few days God has been reminding me of how I have gotten to where I am today. He has brought names to my mind from all these past years at Camp Kearney, and I believe it is because I am to lift them in prayer. Many of the staff from these previous summers I have no seen or talked to in years, but they are all part of my history. I know some have fallen away, while others are still running the race with great perseverance; Praise God. Many relationships from each summer are still going strong, and I love it when we can come together and share what God is doing in our lives NOW. As most of you know it has been hard for me not being there this summer. But God has blessed me with a friend from Moody who is working there and gives me all the inside scoop information each weekend. Thanks, Scott. I hope that maybe some day, in Heaven we can all have a huge Camp Kearney reunion. How precious would that be :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tigers Game

Today we took 25 teens to the Detroit Tigers game. Now it wasn't a CUBS game, but it still was fun. I was amazing by the stadium, it had a ferris wheel, a mayrygoround many other great attractions. I found it so interesting how many of teens mentioned how they had never been to that part of the Detroit before (the downtown), or if they had it hadnt been for years. Traveling outside of their zipcode or even their neighborhood is so foreign to them. I loved being able to help expose them to what else the world has to offer. I got to drive the BIG van in heavy traffic today with 10 kids yelling and screaming in the back. God certainly is watching out for us, haha. Here are some pictures of the kids :)


LifeBuilders had a BBQ Wednesday night. We had close to fifty people come. We had fellowship during the meal and then spent time worshipping God together. We ended the night by hearing from God's word. Sister Sheila brought a night of revival to all hearts.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Before leaving Moody for the summer we were asked to come up with GOALS for our internship. We had to have 3 spiritual goals and 3 personal goals. One of my personal goals was to read 3-4 books on Urban Ministry. Now if you know me very well, you know that reading is not my favorite past time, however; when thinking/praying about what my goals should be I felt the Lord laying this goal on my heart. So with all that being said, I have chosen my first book for the summer. I started reading " A heart for the City" by John Fuder. The author is a professor at Moody in the Grad department. The book focuses mainly on ministry in Chicago, but also gives a broad scope of Urban Ministry. I was given the day "off" today, which in reality is never truly a day off when you live in the neighborhood where you're ministering. I was awakened early this morning, (early being 8:30) to a phone call that someone needed in the building next door to start doing lawn work. Well this youth who was doing lawn work was 15 minutes late and then needed someone from the building just about every half hour. I was in my apartment and would get a text from him saying he needed something else, so I would rush over to him and let him back in. Needless to say this morning I wasnt really off-duty. This young man lives down the street in a small home that occupies close to 15 people. There is hardly ever enough food for the kids and they wear the same clothes for a week. I could tell today that Kevin was hungry, but that didnt stop him from working hard. I felt the Lord nudge me to make him a sandwich and give him a piece of fruit. I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and gave him a banana. He looked at me like he had just won the lottery. I then proceeded to go to a coffee shop and read for the afternoon.. yes Mom, you read that right- TO READ! I wrote down quotes from the pages I read, which I might share later. Right now, as I sit and write this I look out my front window and see two of my neighbors sitting outside smoking. Both of these women are ex-crack addicts turned Christians. They both LOVE the Lord but still struggle with addiction. I dont have to go far to find people who need encouragement or Christ's love- they are right outside my window. I praise God for that.

Who are the people in your neighborhood who don't know the Lord or who have turned away from him. Seek them out and offer then Christ's love and share the GOSPEL with them. We live in a hungry world. You may not see it from the outside, but people are craving God on the inside. Be that light in your neighborhood, be the salt and light that Matthew talks about in his 5th chapter. We're all called to this command, not just missionaries or people in "full-time minsitry"- EVERYONE, including YOU!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Answered prayer... maybe.

One of the volunteers that came to the homeless shelter tonight was a young man who said he was 24. After talking for a few minutes about how i'm new to the city, he told me about the YOUNG ADULTS GROUP that he attends at his church. He gave me a flyer for it and invited me to go with him. One of my prayers for my time in Detroit is that I would be able to meet and connect with people my age. I know that I need to be involved in the lives of the teens and people in the neighborhood, but I also know for myself that I need friends to connect with to. Hopefully this will work out and i'll be able to attend and meet people. I'm excited for this opportunity, we'll see where the Lord takes it.

God is everywhere!

Tonight was a neat experience. LifeBuilders takes a group of volunteers each Wednesday night to a homeless shelter where they pass our bagged meals (sandwich, popcorn, 'candy' and a juice box). Tonight I got off the bus and was talking to a man on the street who told me he had just gotten out of prison TODAY! Talk about a little nerve-racking. I asked him if he KNEW Jesus and what he thought that meant. He told me that he wanted to find a church. I told him about the church we attend here and couldnt remember the cross street of its location. He started 'making fun of me' because I didnt know where my own church was at. I explained to him how I just moved here and such, and he gave me a WEIRD LOOK and said, "Girl why you be comin to Detroit, its like a war zone up in here." He told me about how when he went to prison 10 years ago the city was beautiful and he was proud to call DETROIT his HOME. But today when he walked out of prison he said to himself, " Dang, who came and bombed us?!" This just goes to show what change has happened in Detroit in just a few short years. I'm praying that this man will be able to come to Hope Community Church and will begin to grow in his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tonight I'm missing people. There is such a fine line that is truly bitter sweet. I know that I am exactly where God wants me for this exact moment in time. He has guided my steps to this city and shown me direction. But yet I still struggle leaving PEOPLE behind. This stage of my life is so unique. I have a presence in so many places. Canton, Chicago @ Moody, and now Detroit. I have connections with people all over the world. People in Romania, the Philippines, Central Illinois, all my friends from Moody who are now spread throughout the world this summer, all those who I have worked with at Camp Kearney and still continue relationships with. All these people I love so deeply, yet for God's purpose I am not able to be in community with them at this point in time. I have to continue to TRUST God in all circumstances, because I wish all the time that I could be in 10 places at once, but unfortunately that is not possible. So for now I sit in Detroit, after a long day of connecting with neighbors and attending meetings and bible studies, and I miss those people far away that I love so much. "Lord Jesus touch my heart tonight, make my joy complete in you!"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A new way of doing "church"

Today I attended HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH. This is the church that I will be attending all summer with the people who run LifeBuilders. They had told me ahead of time that this church was different than your typical church, but I had heard that before so I didnt think much of it. I was taken back by this church. From the very first step in the door people surrounded me welcoming me and telling me they had been anticipating my arrival. We walked into the sanctuary and sat down. They explained to me that rarely does the service start on time, that was true today. At about 10:10 they began worship. It made me think about how other churches are so focused on time that often times I sense we are putting God in a box and saying he only has this amount of time and then thats it we're cutting him off. How crazy does that sound, but yet its what we do all the time. Once singing was finished the pastor came forward and held a stack of small pieces of paper that had prayer requests written on them. He took the time to read each one and acknowledged the people if they were present and then asked who would be willing to pray for this request. This took probably close to 20 minutes. THEN they actually took the time to pray in small groups for these requests. People came forward and announced ministry opportunities for the summer. I was introduced and everyone gave a wonderful warm welcome. Finally when the pastor got up to preach it was already 11:20, and he was not short winded. People would raise their hand and interrupt him to help make his point more clear and I just see how the whole body was being represented in that church. After the pastor was done with his message he then had questions for his people and we were asked to break into small groups and discuss how we can apply his message into the life of the church and in our own lives. I have never had that happen in our church, that I can remember. I was very impressed. I felt God moving. THEN the service still wasnt over. We took communion. I was so amazing to see all the people flooding toward the front of the church to take of the body and drink of the blood. The church is so diverse. Not only by race, but by age, income, gender everything. It was so cool. I felt overwhelmed and felt even more how God has brought me here to DETROIT to make an impact. The church has asked me to help with their day camp and I have been given permission by LifeBuilders to do so. I will take a bunch of our kids from our neighborhood to the church and help run the program. I am so excited for this opportunity. God is blowing me away by HIS body of believers in Detroit. Praise God!

Friday, June 4, 2010

I have used Xanga for many years, and have poured my heart out in many of the posts on there. I figured since I'm starting this new internship I should have a place to share my adventures with all of you. Xanga has become more of a personal place for me, so this will be more public. I Have copy and pasted these first 2 posts from my xanga, so ignore the date. The first one was written last week after I had dropped my friend Scott off at Camp Kearney, and the other was written tonight after my first full day in Detroit.
I'm excited for you to join me as I begin working and serving God's people in Detroit. This internship has only been possible because of all of you. You all have prayed so much for me over the years and supported me emotionally, spiritually and financially. This blog is to help you all feel apart of what is happening in Detroit at LifeBuilders. Follow me, won't you?!
I've arrived in Detroit. I guess now it should start to feel real, but still feels like a dream. I havent started much of my internship duties yet. They said to take the weekend and let it all soak in and become familiar with everything. Come Monday thats when it all starts. I'm excited because I know that i'm going to be expected to work hard and I know that I can do it. I'm going to be included in meetings and such which will be interesting, I like stuff like that; planning and organizing. I like to be the behind the scenes person, but i'm also good at being the up front person. I still have a lot of questions and i'm still going to be learning the ropes for a few weeks i'm sure. But it feels good to actually be here; in the neighborhood and in my apartment. God has blessed me so much with LifeBuilders already and I just got here. The directors, Marilyn and Larry have treated me just like one of their very own. They renovated this apartment for me and it is beautiful. They are going to help me pay for gas and groceries, which is an unexpected blessing. Praise God for the small things. I'm still missing being at Camp Kearney, but I know once things begin to pick up around here that feeling will begin to fade. I'm so excited to take this adventure, and even more excited to know that God is with me every step of the way!

a little scared...

Its time to move on. The past 4 summers have been completely planned out for me. I knew exactly what to expect and exactly what my job title and position were. That is no longer the case. This week has been a hard week, its been a dose of reality... my days at Camp Kearney are over. I want nothing more than to be at camp right now helping run orientation. Thats what I love to do and i'm good at it. I'm COMFORTABLE there! But God has decided that i'm not going to be comfortable this summer. He is taking me to the big, scary, and dangerous city of Detroit. Of all the cities in the country, DETROIT... really?! I have seen doors open and experienced blessings beyond belief, but i'm still scared. I'm stepping into the unknown. I know no one in Detroit. The only other time in my life where I took a step like this was when I left the comfortable FAITH BIBLE CAMP and walked into CAMP KEARNEY. I think i'm scared of taking this new step because i've seen how when I have taken new steps in the past God closes doors on places that I love. I'm not ready for more doors to be closed. What if I fall in love with the city of Detroit and I realize God wants to keep me there long term. What then?! Will I have to say goodbye to Camp Kearney like I did Faith Bible Camp and say hello to LifeBuilders? I am confident that I am following God's will, and that is the only thing that is bringing me peace. Next week I will drive out of central Illinois and enter into a city that is foreign to me. Yes I am scared, but even more I am excited. Who knew that a simple girl who grew up in a small town in Illinois would move to Detroit hoping to make a eternal impact. I am that girl, and I am moving to a new mission field. I will be extremely UN-comfortable for the first few weeks i'm sure, but by August first there will be tears in my eyes as I leave and head back to Moody. Only GOD knows my future, and for now I just have to walk forward... no looking back!