Thursday, January 27, 2011

God Answers

 There is no doubt in my mind that God is answering the prayers that are posted in the prayer room. I can feel the spirit of God moving on this campus. I know He is working in the lives of those that are seeking more from life and those that have committed their lives to Him. God is MOVING here! 

After blogging about faith last Friday, God showed up to increase my faith on Sunday. I went to church and knew that the Sunday before a girl had came from Trine to church, but I didn't know who she was. I had an elderly man approach me after church and asked me if I knew who she was and I was like I don't know who it could be. I talked to the pastor's wife, and she told me the girls name was Kate. My friend, Trent and I looked her up on facebook and I was pretty sure I had an idea of who she was, but I had never talked to her before. So, I added her to my friends and later that day she accepted my request. I talked to her about how she went to church the week before and told her that I normally go there, but didn't have a ride. I invited her to come to Tuesday Night Worship with Christian Campus House, and she said she would see if she could make it. I found out that two of her suite mates are a part of CCH and two of my friends. Tuesday night, Kate was there with one of her suite mates! Praise God! It was really awesome how my invitation of her to come to CCH opened up her heart to go. I talked to her on facebook last night and she said she was really glad that she went! God is already at work on her heart and I know He has big things in store for Kate. We will be having a "dinner date" next Tuesday and go to worship together! I love how God is using the people that love Him to further His Kingdom.

Again this past Sunday, God showed up! I had a girl who I know very well text me and ask me if she could talk. We ended up chatting on facebook and she told me that she really wanted to get right with God, and that she thought I could help get her plugged in with CCH. WHAT?!?! I talked to her about different opportunities she has within CCH to get involved and dig deeper with her relationship with Christ. She is not able to go to our Tuesday Night Worships, but she will be joining me in the next Bible Study that we have. Do you know why she contacted me? She contacted me because she knows that I live my life for Christ. I never really thought about how people look at me or what they think of me, but to realize that this girl approached me because she saw Jesus living in me. This just gives me so much encouragement. 

It's crazy to think about all the ways I alone have helped to impact this campus for Jesus (and that's not even my words, a friend pointed that out to me!). Could you imagine what this campus would be like if we all had the mindset of sharing the Gospel daily? Could you imagine what our friendships would be like if we intentionally sat by someone at a meal that we have never talked to before? Could you imagine if each of us put on "Jesus goggles" and saw the world as He does? Could you imagine an entire campus of over 2,000 students, staff, and faculty coming to know Jesus? 

At our Saturday prayer meetings we have had as many as 8 people praying and as few as 2 people. God has been answering our prayers for expansion of the body of Christ through the prayers of these 8 people. What if we had all 90 or so people in CCH coming to the prayer meetings? The above stories are merely two instances of how God has showed up through our prayers. A week after our very first "Prayers for Revival" meeting, we had our weekly "Friday Night Activity" which happened to be ice skating about 45 minutes away from campus. Normally, there will be 20 or so people that show up to CCH events, but God really blew us away with this event because 53 people showed up! That's more than double the normal! This past Friday there was a toboggan run event and there were over 30 people that showed up to that event too! This just goes to show that God is truly answering our Prayers for Revival here at Trine. God is so good, isn't He? :)

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Give Me Faith

Give Me Faith-Elevation Worship
I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need you to open my eyes
To see that You're shaping my life

All I am,
I surrender

Give me faith to trust what you say
That you're good and your love is great
I'm broken inside, I give you my life

I need you to soften my heart
To break me apart

I need you pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me

I may be weak
Your spirit strong in me
My flesh may fail
My God you never will

First off, I just wanted to inform you that the word “faith” is in the NIV version of the Bible 458 times. WOW!

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

I just realized that I could probably quote all of Hebrews 11 for this post. It’s rather crazy how God is truly working in my life right now. I have started this Bible Study with several friends of mine, and we are reading through 365 key chapters of the Bible in a year. Hebrews 11 references almost every single one of the chapters I have read so far in Genesis, which I have read 20 so far. Stories about Noah, Abraham, Joseph, etc. I have been digging deeper into each of these stories and about how each of these people had a tremendous amount of faith in God. It is crazy how I have been studying these verses, but just now made the connection that God placed these chapters in my path to prepare me for this faith journey I am about to go on.

“For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.”Psalm 33:4

God would not have led me to go to Kenya if He did not have a plan in all of this. God is faithful in ALL He does. The God of this universe is going to provide for me in ways that I cannot even fathom at this moment. God has already been providing me with a network of over 150 people to give support letters to in ONE WEEK!

“Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

Lord Jesus, I need to trust in your plan for me this summer. I need to yeild to your voice and take time to listen to what You have to tell me. God, I need to rely on your faithfulness because I know that you are going to provide for me in huge ways this summer. God I need my heart to be all Yours and for it to not be distracted by men or idols. I need to be sure that there is nothing I put before you. Every moment of every day I need to be seeking You and what Your Will is for me that day. Lead me to fear You and who You are, for You are the only One I should fear.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:40

Why am I so afraid to have faith and trust that God will provide for my trip this summer? Jesus, I know I have faith, it is one of the fruits of the spirit I see in myself, but why is it that you have provided this amazing opportunity for me and I am stuck wondering where my faith is? God give me the faith that Abraham had to just leave everything up to You and know that You will faithfully provide.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Faith AND prayer all in three words? God has blessed me with faith (despite that I am doubting Him right now) and given me this passion for prayer. Now, I just need to combine the two and faithfully pray for my trip to Kenya. Honestly, I didn’t even read what it said in this verse before “faithful.” Patience, another thing God has been working on in my life. This past summer my patience was tested while working at Wawa and I could really see God working in me to give me more patience. Right now, my patience is being tested because I have to wait until at least the beginning of February to send out my first support letter. I just want to get started with sending letters out, but I know there is a reason for this time span. I need to be praying for each person I am sending a letter to, that they would prayerfully consider supporting me. I need to be thinking of more people to send letters to. God is going to do big things through this time span of me waiting. The first part of the verse “be joyful in hope” just puts a smile on my face because God has given me so much joy in this life. Joy that I can't even explain sometimes because even when I'm at my lowest of lows, God gives me the joy I need to get through.

“So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” Galatians 3:9

Abraham, the man of faith, the man who will be my inspiration this summer. While studying Genesis 22, I said this “Abraham---this man is intense! Every single chapter I read I am just more in awe of his faith in Christ!This is my “Thanks God!" moment where I am so thankful that I have been studying the life of these people that have such strong faith. Faith that led them to unknown territory, faith that led Abraham to almost slaying his very own son because God was testing the faith that he had. 

With God laying "Faith" on my heart so much in the past couple of weeks I have decided to purchase the above ring.  

Matthew 17:20 says "He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'”

I especially like the part where it says "Nothing will be impossible for you."  With God by my side, I am going to be able to move mountains. God, You are awesome!

In Christ,
Brandi :)

On the Boardwalk...

While in Wildwood, NJ last summer with a group of 43 other college students I went out on the boardwalk frequently to share the Good News of Christ. Our purpose in going out on the boardwalk was to get into deep spiritual conversations with others, share our testimonies with them, and hopefully lead them to Jesus. We started our conversations by asking if the person would be interested in taking a spiritual survey. Some days I would have no one that wanted to start a conversation with me, other days I would get into really deep conversations with people. Some of the questions we asked ranged from “What do you believe happens after death” to “What three words would you use to describe your life?” My faith was tested a lot on the boardwalk. I am a new Christian, and I have studied a lot in the past three years, but there are still many more years of studying I need to do. Throughout the summer I did not personally lead anyone to Christ through our conversation, but I did plant seeds in people. There’s one conversation I can remember vividly.

I went out sharing with a guy in my group named Spencer. Before approaching anyone we prayed that God would guide our steps and our conversations with people. We had approached a couple people who were not interested in what we had to say at all. I came to these two girls that were sitting on a bench and I felt the need to ask if I could talk to them. One of the girls’ names was Miranda, and I don’t remember the other girl’s name. Spencer and I started talking to them and asking them about where they were from. Miranda was really open to talking, whereas her friend did not really want to talk.  Spencer ended up talking to the other girl and I had a chance to interact with Miranda one-on-one. I asked her a couple of questions from the quest survey and then I just really felt God telling me to share my testimony with her. While I shared my testimony with her, I went through a “Would You Like to Know God Personally" booklet. This booklet gives essential information on the Gospel, the four spiritual laws, and how to make Jesus the center of your life. I could tell that Miranda was being “sold for Jesus.” There is a prayer in the end of the booklet that one prays if they wish to accept Jesus into their heart and life. I let Miranda read through the prayer and asked her if it expressed what she wanted in her life. Miranda looked at me and said, “Yes!” I asked her if she would like to pray the prayer out loud and she said she did. (PRAISE GOD!) Miranda said the first three words of the prayer and she started balling her eyes out. I didn't know what to do so I just gave her a hug and told her that God loved her. The fact that she wanted to pray the prayer was encouraging to me. I knew something was holding her back, but prayers for her would be the best thing to do. We exchanged names and numbers so that we could keep in contact through texting and facebook.

I have had this amazing opportunity to be in contact with Miranda. She has shared with me her testimony and explained why she broke down on the boardwalk. God is really moving in her life. Almost every time I talk to her she thanks me for approaching her on the boardwalk. I was able to plant a seed in her, and not only plant the seed, but to watch it flourish. After we met she wanted to start a program with her youth group where they went out and shared their faith. I’m not sure if this program was ever started, but for her to have the heart to want to start a program like that really encouraged me. One day I was talking to her on facebook and she told me that she had done an outreach the day before to the homeless people at a park. This put me to tears to hear that she reached out to homeless people. It put me to tears because I do not have a place to call “home.” You can read my previous blog, “My Life Journey To Jesus” to read more about that. Around the beginning of December Miranda was selected as one of a few people from her church youth group to go to North Carolina to help with the Samaritans Purse ministry. Miranda had me praying for her trip as soon as she found out about it. Miranda and I have both had the ability to pray for each other with different things going on in each other’s lives. We have been praying for each other since the day we met. I’m really excited for the things that God is doing in Miranda’s life. Please pray for Miranda. Pray that she would come to a deeper understanding of who Christ is. Pray that God would protect her in all that she does. Pray that God’s Will would be done in her life.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pray for Daisy

This little 6 year old girl has the BIGGEST heart ever! Pray for her in her journey through chemotherapy. Pray that her parents would continue trusting God through this tough time. Pray that God would HEAL Daisy in His mighty power and strength. Check out the blog her parents are keeping about Daisy's journey-- Please keep this little girl in your prayers.

In Christ, 
Brandi :)

Kenya, KeNyA, KENYA!!!!

Not only Kenya, but Nairobi, Kenya. Christian Missionary Fellowship International (CMFI) has a summer internship program called REACH where I will have the opportunity to go to Kenya and share the Gospel with the people that live in the slums. Ways that this organization is reaching out to those in the slums are: child sponsorship, community health evangelism, microfinance, HIV/AIDS outreach, spiritual development, etc. I will be working alongside Kenyan nationals making home visits, reaching out to families, helping to educate them, bringing light into their homes, helping with the AIDS support groups, etc. One of the wonderful ladies that helped me through the application process and such told me that the people in Nairobi are really open to hearing the Gospel. God has blessed me with the ability to share the Gospel. I am really excited to share it with people who may have never heard it before. I can't fathom how much God is going to stretch me this summer!

Here's the schedule for when I will have training, be in Kenya, and debriefing.

PreDeparture Orientation (in Indianapolis), June 2-7
On the fieldJune 8-August 2
Debrief (in Indianapolis), August 3-6

For 8 weeks I will be living in the slums of Nairobi. For 8 weeks God is going to stretch me. For 8 weeks I will be sharing the Gospel to those who don't even know the name Jesus. For 8 weeks I will be in a different country, learning a different culture. For 8 weeks I will be blessed with the opportunity to reach out to children, teenagers, adults, and even the elderly. For 8 weeks I will learn what it is like to serve others wholeheartedly. For 8 weeks I will be living without running water. For 8 weeks I will be serving God. For 8 weeks I will be becoming the missionary God has called me to be. For 8 weeks my heart is going to be broken for this city and nation.

A girl that went to Nairobi last summer wrote what a normal day is like while living in the slums. Here is a link It really touched me when I read… I’m amazed at the poverty. The smell is sour … like puke, poop, and rotting flesh/food/clothes all mixed together. Burning mounds of trash fill the air with smoke. I find myself fighting tears as I pass young boys with glue bottles stuck to their faces and passed out in alleys.” I’m going to be broken and torn down by what these people face every single day. I’m going to be even more thankful for all that God has blessed me with. I can’t wait for this experience.

Prayer Requests
©  For God to provide funds for me to go on the trip (I’m not sure of the number yet, but I will find out next week)
©  For God to break my heart daily for the people I am going to meet.
©  For God to give me patience as I wait for the trip.
©  For God to raise up believers to join me in prayer for this trip daily.
©  For God to provide me with the time I need to raise support.
©  For my teammates to trust God in providing and for our group to be united together through Christ’s love.
©  For God to start transforming me today. (REACH’s slogan is—Transform youth, the poor, communities, you)
©  For me to look at my schoolwork as doing work for the Lord—Colossians 3:23.
©  For me to seek God daily and trust that this is His good & perfect Will for me to go to Nairobi.

Thank you for your prayers!

In Christ,

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Study of Genesis 12

Alright, so I read the first verse of Chapter 12, and I will admit I started balling my eyes out. Hearing God speak to me and say...‎"Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." truly broke me. On top of that, I was listening to Tear Down These Walls by Hillsong, great song btw. The mixture of the two really has me questioning why I am here at Trine this semester. Why am I wasting $10,000 more by being here the next two semesters when I am not even going to use my major? Why am I spending time learning something I hate, when I know what I should be doing? Why don't I do what the God of this universe has called me to do--be a missionary? Why do I have to follow the earthly thought of you NEED a degree to get anywhere?? I know the whole, God has a purpose in you being here right now, to minister to the girls on your floor, the internationals, and others inside and outside of CCH. I know that God is using me in my time here. I know I can be a light to this campus. BUT, which one outweighs the other? GAH! Sorry, I am kind of going on a tangent right now, but I feel like God is really laying this on my heart right now. Please pray for me. Pray for my decision of whether to be at school and finish my degree or go to the missions field now.

So, Verses 3-4 also just hit me really hard. God will make me into a nation, bless me, make my name great, allow me to be a blessing, bless those who bless me, curse those who curse me, and EVERYONE on earth will be blessed through ME?!?!?! WHAT?? How do I, Brandi Wilcox, deserve ANY of these blessings? I don't deserve a single thing God gives me everyday. & to think God will bless those who bless me and curse those who curse me. My God has my back, no matter what. That's crazy to think about what God is doing for us when we don't even recognize it or see it. Verse 4--Abram left, not questioning His God, not worrying or pondering the decision. Abram got up..and left his people. I want to be Abram. I want to get up right now and let God guide me where He wants me. Do I have that kind of courage, boldness, faith, or trust in God. Honestly, I want to, but I know that I don't. There are too many things holding me back, too many things that are keeping me from doing what I know God has willed me to do. 

In verse 7 the Lord appeared to Abram and the others that were with him and told Abram that God was going to give him the land that he was standing on. What was Abram's response? He built an alter there. I'm so excited to see Abram's faith in this moment that He just trusts in the Lord and submits to His will. Abram continued on the path the Lord had laid before him and stopped in Bethel and built another alter! 

Verses 10-20 Abram goes to Egypt. He knew how the Egyptians would look at his beautiful wife, so he decided to call her his sister for his sake. This man named Pharaoh took Abram's wife away and treated him well for her sake. God had Abram's back and afflicted Pharaoh with serious diseases. Pharaoh approached Abram and asked him why Abram had lied to him about his wife and allowed Pharaoh to take her as his wife. Pharaoh ordered the two of them to leave and take their possessions with them.

In Christ,
Brandi :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Accountability Group

Sarah Clark and I were accountability partners my freshman year, and we have sort of been since then. Last fall, Sarah and I started texting each other daily to make sure we would spend time with Jesus reading the Bible. I'll be honest, four out of seven days a week I most likely did NOT read my Bible. I needed something more than a text asking me if I read the Bible. The past week God has been doing some sweet stuff in both of our lives. Conviction, revelation, praises, you name it, God has done it in our lives. The church that Sarah is a part of back home is doing a year long Bible study of key chapters in the Bible, one chapter a day. Sarah asked me if I would like to join with her and read the Bible to help us keep each other accountable. We decided that we wanted to email each other what God spoke to us through the chapters and what we learned. While talking to one of our friends, Dianna, we invited her to join with us on this journey of reading the Bible and holding each other accountable. Dianna decided it would be just what she needed to be motivated to actually read the Bible. Today, while skyping with Sarah and 3 other people, God laid it on my heart to share with the people what we were doing and two of them, Kirstie and Tabitha decided they wanted to join in our group. After more conversations and sharing of what this group would look like, our group has grown to 9 people.

I personally know 5 of the girls, but I really don't know what all of their relationships with Christ look like. The other 3 girls, well I don't know them at all...YET! All 9 of us come from different walks of life, we are all at different parts of our spiritual journey, we all are seeking something bigger than ourselves, we are all college students, we all have busy lives, & we all need someone to hold us accountable to do something as simple as reading the Bible everyday! I'm still not certain of all the things God is going to do through this group of girls, but I know that He has big things in store. I know that if we all put God before ourselves and truly open up to what He can do through this group, then God's going to change every single one of us. I know that we have to submit to Him. I know that we have to be willing to open up to others that we don't know. I know that we will have to share our life with others. I know that we will need to share our struggles. I know that we will need to let God work through this group. I know that we will have to lean on God to keep this group close and drama-free. I know that we will have to keep each other accountable so that we can learn more about our Savior & glorify our King in the process.

Readers, please pray for this group of 9 girls. Pray that if God has laid it on someone's heart to join our group, that they would let someone know. Pray for the girls that are a part of this group; there names are Brandi, Sarah, Dianna, Megan, Guirlene, Stephanie, Kirstie, Tabitha, and Jackie. God knows where each of us are on our spiritual journey-pray for our journeys. Pray that as a group we can seek Christ together and seek what His will is for us. Pray that God would convict each of us to share our struggles & pray that God would work through these struggles. Pray that we would submit to God's Will in our lives. Pray that we would become a people of prayer for others in the group and every part of our lives. Pray that we will daily hold each other accountable for reading the Bible. Pray that God would use us in our place of work, wherever that may be now or upon graduation. Pray for guidance for those who don't know what they are doing after graduation. Thanks for your prayers, God hears every single one of them :)

In Him, 
Brandi :)