Digging Trenches

God is at work in West Michigan! It has been a crazy spring... and not just the weather. God is beginning to open doors of opportunity through FSI here in Grand Rapids in a big way. We have taken two student groups to Detroit two different weekends, with a third coming up on April 28th. We will take a group of Cornerstone students, along with some men and women soccer players, to help MACC Development kick off the outreach soccer league through MACC Sports.  It is an exciting opportunity to serve a community striving to share the love of Jesus to those in margins, and seek unity under the banner of Jesus. To me what is amazing about this weekend trip is that finals are the following week, yet these students are committed to working on the opportunity to serve! We are also working with NorthPointe Christian School Athletics to develop a short term trip this summer at MACC Development. A small group of Freshman basketball players, as well as the Athletic Director, went to Detroit on the March trip.

 

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Maybe the biggest news of the month that is extremely exciting is that we will partner with the Cornerstone Women’s Soccer team for a trip to Damou Christian Mission in Jacmel, Haiti in early August. The soccer team will arrive on campus and a day later will kick off their season by leaving Grand Rapids for Haiti. I have enjoyed getting to know and work with Coach Strawser, the Women's Soccer coach, as well as the entire Cornerstone University Athletic Department and Student Development. The desire to help students develop a strong Christ centered worldview and provide global opportunities is amazing! Cornerstone began working with FSI this year with open arms to both seek to provide global outreach opportunities for the students and discipleship. We are excited to introduce Haiti for the first time to the vast majority of the team.

 

While in Haiti, the team will serve in a variety of ways. During our time in Haiti we’ll be immersed in the Haitian culture, gaining valuable exposure to and experience with the significant challenges and unique opportunities that Haiti has to offer. We will spend much of our time in the local village of Cyvadier serving the Damou Christian Mission.  A good bit of our time will be spent at the school providing soccer camps, and leading the 100+ kids who participate in devotions and prayer. On Tuesday we will assist with a rapidly growing feeding program for mothers and their children. Through the week we will be helping the school prepare for the start of the school year which begins right after we leave. We will be visiting homes of some students, organizing supplies and participating in the local church of Cyvadier. Opportunities will arise to go to the market, hike to Bassin Bleu together, along with some very important team bonding. As many of you know, Haiti (while already in poverty) was devastated even more in 2010 by a massive earthquake. We will strive to carry the loving message of Jesus with us as we arrive to serve in whatever capacity we can and hopefully encourage all the workers of Damou while we are there. We desire to share with the team the story of what God has been doing there and help them discover personally and corporately how they can respond and serve as advocates for the specific needs of the people of Haiti when we return to the States.

This week I challenged the team with a devotion found in 2 Kings 3:16-19. Sometimes it simply rains when we need it. Sometimes, such as in this passage and story, God promised water but only when trenches were dug. He would then fill the trenches with the needed water for the armies and their animals. Often we want God to not just fill the trenches for us but dig them as well.  Sports teams such as soccer work countless hours at drills, strength and conditioning, skills and strategy all so that they are ready for the game. Those times of work our like digging the trenches. God doesn’t need us to do His digging, but He often wants us to show trust. There are countless examples of this all throughout the Bible. It was awesome to read and hear from the team as they began to commit. They are coming with open hearts and minds wanting to see God work in an through them however that fleshes out. As this team begins to prepare for the trip learning what it means to prepare and dig, we invite you to dig with us. How you ask?

Pray:

  • For the April 28th Detroit trip

  • For hearts and minds of the CU Women’s Soccer team as they prepare. For the opportunity to open doors of discipleship in their lives.

  • For the fundraising of each student/athlete as they raise approximately $1400 per person

  • For Damou Mission, its leaders Jessica and Lubens, as they prepare for the team and for all the needs of the mission there

  • For all the planning and preparation that goes into this trip

  • For discipleship of the team before, during and after the trip

 

Give:

  • If you are interested in giving to FSI see our donation page for online giving options, or  you can mail donations.

Thank you to all those who have already partnered with us as we have began this journey in Grand Rapids!

Blessings,

Matt