When I let go
About a year & a half ago God broke the chains off of my low expectancy of life. I look back and see how stuck and frozen I was in a life I didn’t understand and wasn’t happy in. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do, what I was always shown and told I was supposed to do to be “happy” & succeed in this life. But something wasn’t right and it hadn’t been for awhile. God had been stirring in me for a long time and I finally got up the courage to say no. To say no to a life I didn’t want and say yes to God.
When I let go, it was like freedom from the life I was trying so hard to fulfill for everybody else. The Lord started molding & shaping my heart for a life I never even knew could exist for me. He showed me that there was more to this life than what I’d always seen. I could be happy and free every day, in Jesus. I didn’t have to settle for a life just because it was what everyone else was doing. I could chase after the One who chased after me and see where He led me. It could be exactly where I always thought or somewhere I never expected, but it would be the most incredible life because it was a life lived in Him and for Him.
My heart started changing in many ways. The most notable was for missions. I had always been nervous about people and certainly about going places outside of my comfort zone to be with people I didn’t know. God started changing my heart. As I pursued The Lord more and more, my heart started pursuing people more and more. He also stirred in me a longing and a heart for a people I’d never even met before. In very small ways, The Lord started to bring Africa to my heart. I had no idea what this meant. I was open and just prayed for the Lord’s leading. In His unique fashion a few months later friends from church started to tell me of a place in Africa called Swaziland that they were beginning a 5 year investment in. They were planning a trip for August and were getting a team together. I prayed over this for God’s leading, as I didn’t want this to be a “Marlena want” and not a God want. But the Lord was leading me to Swazi. So I found myself in Swaziland, Africa in August of 2013 an exact year to the date of God freeing me. It was an incredible trip that went by super fast. I fell in love with these people and more in love with my Jesus. Upon our return to the US I had no clue where the Lord was going to lead. I kept an open heart and kept praying for His guidance.
In January of this year, the Lord led me to an internship in Swaziland through AIM (Adventures In Missions). I will be there for the months of June and July and also staying for the first half of August to join the Grace Klein Community trip led by James and Jennifer Vines through HopeChest! I am so excited and so thankful that the Lord has led me here and provided this opportunity. As an intern I have been given a list of duties I have to be expected to handle. Some of these tasks include:: *helping with visiting teams from logistics in transportation to daily ministry, *helping with ongoing carepoint ministry from helping in weekly discipleship to assisting in maintaining attendance lists, *helping with facilities/operations from helping to build new structures, cleaning and maintaining land to assisting with administration, materials, and logistics for various projects. These are just a handful of examples of work I will be doing while I am there. I will be there to be used whenever and wherever I am needed in that moment.
I wanted to join Grace Klein Community because they are an organization I know I can trust both financially and spiritually. God gave me peace and led me in this decision. Grace Klein Community is sending me out and I will be held accountable to them.
I will be hosted by and under a staff member from AIM living in Swazi and will be living with two other interns. For my summer in Swazi I will need to raise a total of $4,400. Thank you for your consideration my of support. I would ask for your prayers for every aspect of this journey. Please pray for the preparation, the going, and the returning, for the Lord’s grace and hand to be upon every piece of it and for His Name to be glorified above all. Jesus is the Lord of my life and my Rock and I am so thankful to be able to walk along this journey with Him. I am very excited for this season the Lord has brought me to and I can’t wait to be back with the people of Swaziland!
Financial donations to support Marlena can be made to Grace Klein Community. Checks should be mailed to Grace Klein Community, 1678 Montgomery Hwy #104, Birmingham, AL 35216. The memo line should indicate “missions”. Donations can also be made through PayPal here.