Catch-Up Post!

I love my internship! But I have been so busy that I have not had any time to blog. Here is what you’ve missed…

Image

On Friday, I attended the youth lock-in, which was so much fun! I got to know some of the youth, play basketball and hide-n-seek, and re-live my own youth group days!

Image

I was exhausted on Saturday, so naturally, I went hiking at Charleston Falls Preserve!

Image

On Sunday, I did the Children’s Moment at 8:30 AM and 11:00 AM, and though only three children came up, I got to share my lesson with some of the “big kids,” too! I also was able to visit with my godparents in the afternoon!

On Sunday night, I sat down with some very incredible people who told me personal stories about homelessness, drugs, gang violence, broken relationships, abuse, and disease. They told me about their pain and heartbreak and the ways that others had wronged them. They shared with me examples of the ways that they had personally sinned. Most importantly, they told me of their trust and hope in the Lord. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but we have been made new. What incredible faith these men and women have, despite all the trials they have faced. As one woman said, “Take the house, take the car, take the people; give me Jesus!” I can only hope that one day I will have a faith as strong and as complete as theirs, and I look forward to being in fellowship with them again soon. What a wonderful way to end my day before driving home to visit my family!

Image

On Tuesday, I worked on this little guy, who ended up being the example for the T.N.T. craft tonight, which went along with Isaiah 40:31, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Today was so busy–8:30 AM prayer meeting, T.N.T. preparation, 10:30 AM T.N.T. planning meeting, 12:30 PM hospital visit, more T.N.T. preparation, 4:00 PM staff meeting, 6:15 T.N.T., and a lot of catch-up reading, blogging, journaling, etc.

Image

T.N.T. was hectic, but fun! I’m so glad that 6 tweens came tonight, listened to the devotion, followed directions, made some pretty cool eagles, and decorated cards to send to soldiers abroad! (Personally, tonight was a great accomplishment because I only burned three of my fingers on the hot glue gun!)

I am so blessed to be at Belmont UMC, and I look forward to tomorrow and the rest of the week!

May God bless you!

Prayer

Image

 

I spent today thinking a lot about prayer. I went to an 8:30 AM prayer meeting, where we lifted up to God the joys and concerns of the church. God already knows everything, yet we take the time to tell Him what is going on in our lives, thanking Him, praising Him, asking for help. I think it’s kind of beautiful. He is so very patient with us, and He hears our prayers. 

The above picture goes with this Sunday’s Children’s Moment. (If you are a child and you go to Belmont UMC, please ignore that and disregard the rest of this message! Haha!) It is how I chose to represent Proverbs 3: 5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Just like in this maze, sometimes we don’t know which way to go in life or what to do. I often find myself making individual decisions, ignoring the Holy Spirit’s pull on my heart and God’s plan for my life. I need to start accepting “No” as an answer to my prayers; when God says, “No,” it is only because there is a much greater “Yes” waiting in the future.

The rest of the day went well! I got to work on some of my readings in the prayer garden again, and I established a calendar for potential service projects to do with older elementary school kids at T.N.T. on Wednesday nights. I am very excited to share the importance of serving others with them!

Tonight I was able to volunteer at the food pantry. (I was Dennis this time.) Unfortunately, it was the last night the pantry will be open for awhile. But I met many great people and invited some to church events! (I don’t really believe in pushing my faith on others, but I figured since I was already at a church…) The hug I got from one woman and the look of pure gratitude from another man made my night! We are all people.

Afterwards I attended the most adorable preschool graduation ever! It is my hope that these children become and stay involved in the church for years to come.

If you are reading this, I ask for continued prayers for direction and purpose in my life as I continue this journey. I also ask for prayers for all of those people who I met and prayed for today. God will understand.

May God bless you!

Food Pantry Outreach Ministry

Image

Well, I was not going to blog every day, but tonight I just have to!

Today was a little overwhelming–lots of information to go through and lots of figuring out to do. Even so, I am so excited for this week and the other weeks ahead!

Tonight I was able to help with the food pantry ministry at Belmont UMC! I met a lot of wonderful people, including one very special five-year-old boy. This little boy picked up a book off the shelf and started looking at the pictures. It was the Christmas story. When I told him the book was about Jesus, he looked puzzled. “Do you know who Jesus is?” I asked him, and he shook his head. 

This surprised me a little bit, because I had grown up hearing about Jesus. I asked the boy if he wanted me to read him the story, and he did. For a five-year-old, he paid very close attention to me while I was reading, and he asked many questions about the wise men, angels, and Mary. Another volunteer at the food pantry told me afterwards that the boy was mesmerized by the story.

That moment was so very powerful. I don’t really like to push my faith on others, but to see the reaction of that little boy who was in awe of the hero, Jesus, who had come to save him, was just incredible! And right then I knew that I was doing exactly what I was called to do. I don’t even know what else to say but glory be to God!

On a lighter note–Jeff, if you’re out there reading this, I don’t think we’ve met, but thanks for letting me borrow your name tag tonight!

May God bless you!

Day 1

Image

I have been trying to write this for the past hour or so, but my new best friends have kept my hands (and lap) a little bit occupied!

Move-in went great last night! I love my room and host family–my host mom is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met!

Last night I was a little nervous for today, but also very excited! I spent much of last night praying that everything would work out okay today, the first day of my internship.

I set my iPOD alarm for 6:00 AM, but it did not go off! Fortunately, I always set multiple alarms, and at 7:30 AM, I finally heard the vibration from an alarm that I had set on my iPhone! Frantically, I woke up and got ready for church. (I’m very slow in the morning!)

At 8:30 AM, I walked through the church doors, right when Pastor Randy began speaking–not exactly the good first impression that I wanted to make! 

Fortunately, the rest of the morning went very smoothly. I met a lot of wonderful people in the congregation, and everyone was very helpful and welcoming! I can’t wait to get to know everyone more and to become more involved during the next 12 weeks!

God really has a sense of humor and a way of keeping me on my toes! Everything did, in fact, work out okay (not like I planned, but okay), just like it always does. And like always, I spent a little too much time worrying and not enough time just allowing myself to feel blessed and in God’s hands.

This comes to mind: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Mathew 6:34. Sometimes I just need to have a little more faith! 

I leave soon for the next worship service at Belmont High School. Today we are honoring our troops! Thank you to my father, to any other veterans, to all of those who currently serve, and to their families who may be reading this! I can’t thank you enough for everything that you have done to keep us safe!

Have a wonderful day! And may God bless you!

Introductions

Image

Well, I’ve never really blogged before, so here goes nothing…

My name is Emily Kvalheim, and I just finished my sophomore year at American University in Washington, DC, where I am studying Political Science and International Studies. Originally, I am from Westerville, OH, where I am a member of Church of the Messiah United Methodist.

This summer I have been accepted into the Next Generations Leadership Ministry Internship Program through the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. I am so excited for this opportunity!

I will be interning with Belmont UMC in Dayton, OH, working with the children’s ministry, Hispanic ministry, and other outreach programs. Personally, my goal this summer is to explore the ways in which I can use my faith to promote social justice, and I cannot think of a more meaningful way to do this!

Everything is very new right now, and I am not really sure what to expect in the coming weeks. I am moving to Dayton later today, and I look forward to meeting my host family (and their 2 dogs!), as well as the congregation tomorrow! (I guess I better dress up more than normal for church on Sunday! Haha, we’ll see, but no sweatpants!)

This opportunity is such a blessing, and I hope to share this journey with you! I ask for your continued prayers this summer, for myself and for the other three interns, as we discern our calls to ministry.

May God bless you!