Summer LINK Raleigh: Preparation for the Philippines

Summer LINK Raleigh: Preparation for the Philippines

Oh my how these few weeks have flown by. I feel like the first day of Summer LINK was just yesterday. So my story is a little bit different. I’m not a ten-week Summer LINK staff who attends staff meetings. I do not get to participate in all the big events that we have been planning. I will not be there for the retreat or a celebration at the end. However, I do get the privilege of extending the Summer LINK family to the other side of the world. 

I leave in two weeks for the Philippines. Then for six months I will be doing evangelism and discipleship among an unreached people group. How exciting, right? Summer LINK has been such an encouragement to me in these weeks of preparation. The equipping nights, bible studies, and intentional time with my mentors and leaders have been extremely beneficial to me. There are two main things that I will be able to look back and say: “I remember when this clicked for me during Summer LINK.”
1) Pruning is the placing of God’s word in my heart. It affects the way I live in community with others and make disciples. John 15:1-3 talks about God the Father pruning us as branches. During our first Equipping Night with Zach Nelson we discussed what it means to actually be pruned. Most answers were things like, “trials, tribulations, sin, suffering.” While these things are correct, the main answer was the placing of God’s word in our hearts. This is when we are pruned; when the bad is stripped away from us. When the Living Word of God speaks into our hearts and conforms us more into the image of our Creator. What does this mean? Spend time in the Word. I will not just read with the intention of learning about God or about the Bible. I will not just read Psalms or Proverbs to feel all squishy and warm inside. I will read the Living Word with the intention of God speaking truth into my life to sometimes painfully conform me more unto Himself. What will it do? It will change my relationships. I will live humbly with those around me. I will love them like Christ does. If I must confront I will do it lovingly and with God’s Word not with my own. It will transform those around me. 

2)  Calvinism. What? Really, Laura? You want to write a blog about Calvinism? Yes. I do. But not exactly. I’ve been fighting through these different views to see where I come out. I’ve been back and forth, angry, confused, and distracted. I had conflicting ideas within my head and I needed to do something about it. What a better place than around a campfire? (welcome to Summer LINK Raleigh where we have theological conversations day in and day out.) I do not have the space to spill out all my thoughts or all the words that came out of everyone’s mouth that night, but I do have my conclusion. Now I really don’t care which side you stand on in this battle, but I want you to hear me out. Here is my vague and non-Tulip conclusion about where I stand on this issue. I do not say this to convince anyone or educate you. I simply want to share how I am growing, and this was a big step!
First, there is a Great Commission. This implies urgency to go and tell all people. Second, you cannot deny Ephesians 2 that all people are dead before Christ gives grace.  Third, there is Romans 10. “… and how are they to hear without someone preaching? … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing the word of Christ.” My conclusion: Salvation is in the hands of the Lord (Jonah 2:9). Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, thus people teaching the Word of God. Jesus commands us to go and tell. Therefore, it is not in our hands who is able to respond to God’s grace. We also do not know who God has chosen, therefore, GO TELL EVERYONE. Is it sad that people go to Hell? Absolutely, we should never lose that grief. Is it amazing that God even chooses to save some (billions and billions) from eternal damnation? Absolutely, we should never lose our thankfulness for his mercy. Is there tension? Yes, but rest comfortably knowing that you are not in control, but that our Sovereign God is. And go and tell this glorious Gospel so that more may hear of saving grace!
I am so thankful for everything the Lord is doing in my life and how we are able to serve our local church. While the other interns are doing dirty work, I have had the privilege of attending the events and reaping the wisdom from those who sit around me. I praise God for this group and the mighty things that will happen this summer and beyond!  

Camping with the Summer LINK team this past week

By Laura Hahn