I'm leaving! Forever! Okay, that's an exaggeration... but I am leaving. In less than one month. To New York. For two months.
Surprised? Not much more surprised than I am... :P
And why am I going to New York for two months? Well... you see... *starts story mode*
Once upon a time at a homeschool convention not too far away, a girl (named Courtney) came up to me (in spite of the fact that I was reading and being rather unsociable at the moment) at the Generations of Virtue booth. She was nice, and she said something about a "new program" and "J127" and "traveling" and "intensive discipleship" and "are you interested?"
Well, to be honest, I wasn't particularly interested. But since I'm nice and stuff, I gave her my email address so she could email me with details. And, to add to the fun, I had a vague feeling that God might want me to do it. So.
I waited... and waited... wondering if she'd actually email. Rather pessimistic of me, but I've just had too many experiences where people don't actually do what they say they will do.
But! She did! So I was pleasantly surprised and rather interested to see where this would go. I thought and prayed about it some, and I had a sense that God might be calling me to do it. However, I thought it rather impractical. (Which... God is impractical. Just for the record. And that's a good thing, because in Narnia it was the White Witch who was Terribly Practical, not Aslan. Um... sorry. I'm reading The Magician's Nephew to my little brothers.)
And then I went to Pennsylvania (oh! I didn't even say anything about that ever on here... sorreee...) and I was busy with that trip (and yes it was FUN!! I guess I will write about it, um, later.) and while I was still thinking and praying about the J127 program, I just... didn't get the application sent in. The deadline to apply, July 25th, passed. And I thought... um, well, I guess... I guess I'm not going? But it didn't seem properly final. And so I wondered what was going on, because if the deadline was passed then didn't that mean I couldn't go?
No, of course not! Another email from Courtney! The deadline was extended! To August 8th!
Oh! "I guess that means I should do something about this, then, God?" Yep.
So I talked to my parents about it and they were supportive and they said to talk to Pastor Mark. I emailed him, along with my "mentors" Arlene and Pristine and my longest running friend, Beka Wimer. (They have you include three references... one from a Pastor, one from a Mentor/teacher, and one from an over 18 friend.)
Pristine emailed and said "I've scanned through the website and it sounds very exciting! If you feel the Lord leading you that way and have the opportunity to apply, I would. Continue to pray about it and ask the Lord to confirm to you His desire. I will be excited to see how it turns out!"
Sunday (the 5th) Arlene talked to me about it and asked me all the sorts of questions one would expect from a Mentor, and she, too, thought it was exciting and would be a good experience for me.
Beka emailed me on the sixth and said that she would do my friend application...
But I still hadn't heard from Pastor Mark. And it was the seventh now. I didn't know what to do, because I didn't want to apply without the go ahead from him (not to mention that I needed him to fill out the reference form)... so I was praying about it and practicing my prodigious waiting skills. ;)
And he called! Finally! And he thought it sounded exciting too and said that if I felt this was something God wanted me to try for, I should. He also said that it was a short time to raise that much money... but we both agreed that if God wanted me to go, He could certainly make that happen.
I hurriedly filled out my application form (except it took a few hours) and emailed it off and rushed to meet with Arlene at Panera.
When I got home, I had an email that said the application form was blank. :P So I had to resend it. Thankfully the data was saved, so it wasn't too bad.
On the eighth I got an email confirming that my application had been received.
On the ninth I had a missed call from them and a voicemail telling me to call back, please. Oh dear, what did I do now... so I called back, and a nice happy girl named Katherine told me that--- My application had been accepted!!... ?!!? "Wow! That was fast!" (I'm very original like that. But really, I thought I had to wait till the 15th.)
So then I blinked for a while and was like.... um, I guess... I'm going! Cool! This is interesting...
Sunday I told about it some--of course forgetting to say obvious things like "in NEW YORK" and stuff like that. I also didn't say anything about *whispers* money. *sigh* Anyway. I think I managed to confuse mostly everyone, but that's good for them. I think.
*end story mode*
By now you are probably wondering what on earth I'm going to be doing for TWO MONTHS. Well, to be perfectly honest, I'm wondering that myself.
But I do have some idea... it includes things like helping at "purity events", helping to renovate "The Mission" (a really cool sounding, HUGE (110,000 square feet) old building), listening to authors and speakers, praying, traveling (I think to Colorado and I'm not sure where else), and probably a great many other things. You can read more about it here and here.
So what am I hoping to come away with from this? To borrow from what I said on the application...
I am hoping to come away with more skill in teaching and leading in Bright Lights, my family, and church--and future ministry opportunities God brings along. I am hoping to form Christ-centered relationships with young people who are dedicated to seeking and loving God, people who can challenge me in my walk with God and inspire me to higher heights and deeper depths. I am hoping to use what God has already given me to bless others on the team and the people we minister to. I am hoping to become more disciplined and self-sacrificing. I am hoping, above all, to use this to the glory of God, and to know Him more intimately, to love Him more dearly, and to be more in awe of Him than ever.
It starts on September 12th and ends on November 17th.
The biggest thing I need in this is prayer. I know you've read many "prayer letters" that aren't really quite... prayer letters. But really, honestly, I need your prayers more than I need money. I could get all the money but not have God's blessing and help and it--really wouldn't work. I'd be better off at home with no money. So... I would greatly appreciate prayer. For wisdom, for grace, for love... that I would be a blessing and that I would let God work in me through this, and through me in other's lives.
Also, if you did happen to wonder about the money part of it... I need $2500--$3000.
"As J127 (through Generations of Virtue) is a registered 501C3 non profit, your church, friends and family may send checks directly to us and receive a tax deductible letter at the end of the year! Have checks payable to:
Generations of VirtueAnd mailed directly to:Generations of VirtueAttn: Carissa Mann J127 Support5604 Mission RoadConesus, NY 14435"
So there! Now you know. :)
I'm not sure how busy my schedule will be... I may or may not be able to blog while I'm gone. Ve shall see. :)