My life has been marked and forever changed, by my time in the mission field. I was a new student and Christian when I first attended APU and during my time there my professors and mentors challenged me to face questions and ideas about my life and faith that have served in strengthening my walk with Christ. I have learned and been nourished in ways that are only possible through living a God First approach in life.
As my faith began to develop, I felt a call from Christ to serve others on my small Lutheran’s church campus and also at university, and then I spent three summers in Camden interning for a non-profit doing inner-city missions work. I began to live out this calling by leading a women’s bible study group through my new church, Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in San Dimas. I also began serving as a prayer counselor and began volunteering in college and young adult ministries.
This past summer I traveled to Cusco, Peru, with fellow CCV young adults to serve with local missionaries that the church supports. We taught a Bible lesson via a puppet show that we translated to Spanish, prepared and delivered food baskets, as well as spent time doing community service and visited a special needs hospital. After sharing the gospel and testimonies, six church members came forward to accept Christ.
My time in Peru was unforgettable. I think of Deautoronmy 10:18, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” Christ’s words of caring for the orphans and the widows among us constantly ring in my ears and I can’t help but feel that we were accomplishing Kingdom work and living out a God First mission in a palpable way.
This winter, I transitioned out of my job at a newspaper and began pursuing my own business while looking for a corporate career. I’m blessed and humbled to be interning in the church local and global outreach department. This position has allowed me to continue serving the local community through Thanksgiving meals, food baskets, help with special events, and a Christmas toy store in which at least 700 families received toys for their children. My time serving has no doubt stretched and challenged me, from my childhood at a lovely Lutheran church to know being actively involved at CCV.
I have been asked to co-lead a trip of 13 high school and college students on the church’s summer mission trip to Haiti. We will be working with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. For more than 30 years, the mission has been touching lives in the name of Jesus Christ. We will spend about 10 days working at a maternity ward and orphanage, praying over the city, and running a VBS carnival on Tortuga Island.
My previous experiences from Camden to Peru and even locally would not have happen without the love and support of my family and friends. Thank you for your continued support and impact upon my life. I ask that you would please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I prepare myself for this trip, but also help to prepare my team. I hope that my fellow teammates and I can raise all the money through benefit concerts, flamingo flocking, dinners, and carwashes. I ask that you would prayerfully consider financially sponsoring my trip. My goal is to raise $2500. Your prayers and donations help to change lives around the world and we work together to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Jennifer Nichole Elrod