Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Last Month of AIM

The Final Month!
The month of June marked my final month of my AIM field time. It was a packed month ending with some hard goodbyes with the amazing people i have been blessed to know in my months spent in Grass Valley. Thank you all who gave your support and encouragement to me through my duration of the AIM program. It was a well worth experiance that I am so thankful to have had.

Also the new AIMer Chelsea Day arrived and is doing just great!

Horses For Healing
The horses for healing program had their annual benefit show this month. It was a lot of work but turned out great! We had acts from all the the state come and perform to raise money for the program. I volunteered as the directors assistant. So ran around directing the performers, telling them when they went out in the arena, and helping things run smoothly. We had a packed house and raised quite a bit of money for this program.

I also had to say my goodbyes at the ranch. I became really close with a lot of the workers and plan on keeping in touch with them. It was a sad goodbye but such a rewarding opportunity for me. It got the workers familiar with the church and i pray future AIMers can keep this ministry up.

Nursing Home
My last few times with Dona were just great. We crocheted our hearts out this month! This little lady became so very dear to me we were both in tears saying goodbye. Chealsea, the new Grass Valley AIMer, is continuing to go and visit Dona and has made friends with the workers there as well.

Thursday Studies
The final Thursday morning study that i have attend reguraly was really encouraging. The first time i ever went we had about 6 people. There were 12 on this past time. Doubled in size! This has been a great outreach. Pat and Harry who are a couple that attend started coming the church because of this study.

College Devo
The College Devo on Thursday evening continues to bring in a large group each week. This started about a month after my arrival and i pray continues long after i depart.

Going Away Party
The Church threw a going away party for me. It was really great to have everyone i grew to love gathered in the same place one last time. We spent the day talking, playing volleyball, and enjoying the last bit of time i had with everyone.

Thank you to everyone!
Thank you all who have been beside me on this journey. You are all dear to my heart and i could not have done this without you. My plans are to return to the University of Texas and continue my studies. This has been a great adventure and I am so thankful you all could be a part of it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Horses for Healing
I have been working with this program for a few months now. It has been such a great opportunity. This again, is a theraputic riding program. I assist special needs children in their therapy through horse back riding. I am at the ranch two days a week. This has also opened doors for me with the other workers. Marcy, who is the therapist at the ranch, and i have become good friends. Shes taken me trail riding and has been really interested in what i am doing and curious about the church. Another lady, Gail, has recently asked me if the church will pray for a situation in her family. My relationship with these wonderful ladies will hopefully plant a seed in their hearts. This is by far my favorite time of the week.

Nursing Home
Dona, as i have mentioned, is a darling little lady that resides at the local nursing home. I go and visit her about twice a week to crochet and talk about life. We both have been really encouraged by one another. Recently we got her a cd player and her and I have been crocheting our hearts out to classic western music. She is a Texan native to, so hearing her accent makes me feel right at home.

Ladies Tuesday Morning Study
Tuesday morning i have continued to attend the ladies study at the church. I am quite literally the only young adult there, so being asked to teach has been an honor for me. We just closed up the study for the summer this past week and they asked me to teach the final class. We went through the book Power Points for New Life.

Oregon Youth Rally
This past month Eli, Kira, Brittany, Erika, and myself headed up to Oregon for the annual Rally on the Rock youth rally. This is a three day youth rally that Eli goes to every year to speak at.
He asked us to come along to help be supervisors and leaders during the weekend. This was a great weekend with lots of good lessons, fun activities, and bonding between the youth of Oregon.

Thursday Bible Study
I am still continuing to attend the Thursday morning Bible study at the Hughes house. This study brings in folks that are not a part of the church but looking for answers and a time of fellowship for us all. It is a good start to the morning.

San Francisco Trip
This was probably the biggest event for me in May. I planned and organized a trip for the young girls of the church. It took place in San Francisco. This was a big task to take on but it turned out great. The theme was The Amazing Race. I set up a photo scavenger hunt for the girls around the Pier 39 area of the city. Everyone had an amazing time and wanted to make it an annual event. We even had shirts made to feel more official! All the girls really bonded and got to know others that they had never really talked to before. Also the people of the city definintely noticed the hoard of girls sprinting through the streets and thought it was a really neat thing we were doing. I planned a lot to where the items needed to be found would have to have human interaction so we could maybe have an impact on the city and be more meaningful of a trip. It turned out just great!

College Devo
Last month we started a weekly college devotional. This takes place Thursday nights. We have on average about 12 people each week. There is a dinner before and then a study following.

Girls Study
Its important for girls and guys to get together on their own and talk about our victories as well as struggles. We had our first girls study this past month and will continue to have one atleast twice a month.

Love you all so much and thak you again for your support. I have just a short time left here and will be returning home soon. Pray for me as i finish my time here!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello All!
I am feeling very encouraged and overwhelmed at the opportunities God has given to me in the past weeks. If you have had the opportunity to read through my newsletters you will have known of my decision to finish my AIM time on a state side field. This decision came after months of prayer. I do not regret my time in Italy, but I feel this was the right choice for me. I have grown and learned from this experiance greatly.

My last week in Italy was spent saying goodbye to the people I loved and had formed relationships with during my time there. The Bible School in Florence had a tearful goodbye party for me on my last night in Italy. I am thankful that the Lord allowed me this opportunity as well as opened new doors for me in Grass Valley. I love and miss everyone dearly but i know the Lord has great things in store for me as well as those back in Italy. I will spend my last months in Grass Valley California finishing up my AIM requirements.

Grass Valley
Grass Valley California was one of the field choices my AIM class had. Eli Hooper and his wife Kelsey are the designated coordinators for the field and have had past AIMers work with them. His family has been involved with AIM for many years now. I have loved working with them and spending time with their family.

As I write this, I have officially been in California for two weeks. Beginning in April, I will move in with two sisters, Jo and Felicia, who also went through the program. I am so excited to have roommates after living alone for so long! Along with these girls, there are a handful of others from the church whom I have met throughout the years, so upon arrival, I had a great group of loving friends surrounding me. They showed me the town and have taken care of me quite well.

So what type of things will I be doing here?

Garden Ministry
On the church property they have a large garden of vegetables which are harvested and given to the needy. April will start the garden season. I will spend a lot of time working the soil and tending to the plants until harvest. When harvested, whoever is in need throughout the community will be given food. This is a great outreach and also provides people with basic needs.

Hospitality House
The Hospitality House is a house open for the homeless. Meals are provided throughout the week as well as sleeping accommodations if needed. I am able to volunteer here at any time during the week. I have always had a huge love for this type of ministry and I am so excited to begin working with it.

Horses for Healing
I want to take advantage of the little time I have in California, so I researched places where I could be a help. Horses for Healing is a ranch that offers therapy for children with terminal illness. I will be volunteering here on either Fridays or Tuesdays depending on their need for workers.

Apples of Gold
Apples of Gold is held once a month on Sunday afternoons. It is a group of elderly, middle age, and young adult women. This is a chance to build bridges between generations within the church.
The older women want to teach and share with us their life and experiences to help us grow, while they in turn learn about our generation of women now in the church.

Tuesday Visitation Group
On Tuesday afternoons a group meets at the church to creat cards for either visitors or other people within the church who need encouragement. After the cards are made and signed, the group visits and gives the cards to the people they are intended for. My time here last Tuesday was nice not only getting to meet with the members present, but also for a chance to encourage others through something as simple as a card.

On top of these opportunities, I hope to be a part of the community and show at least a glimpse of the love Christ has for them.

Coming up..
Eli Hooper is one of the speakers for the Camp Adventure held in Lubbock. It is a week for kids interested in AIM to come and see what it is all about. He also has been asked to speak at the annual Tulsa Workshop. The Tulsa Workshop is a convention for different Churches of Christ around the nation to come together and share their ministries while being giving the oppportunity to listen to some amazing speakers. Since my coordinators will be attending these, they asked me to attend both events.