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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ali Preparing for Her Adventures Ahead

    This year I have had the incredible joy of planning my next adventures and watching as God has shaped me into the unique person he intends me to be. After so many prayers from my friends and family and wisdom from my church communities, I know that the Lord has spoken excitement, peace and boldness over the next season of my life.

    Excitement literally means feelings of great enthusiasm and eagerness;  and this is exactly what I've experienced this year. I have made the  huge decision to attend William Jessup University this upcoming fall. After two short visits to the campus in Sacramento I'm already in love with the Christ centered community of this small private school and can’t imagine pursuing my education in any other place! As I met with the head of the English department to discuss my intended major she asked me what I thought God’s unique purpose for my life was. She wanted to know all the typical college interview questions; what make me unique, who am I, what is important to me? Sitting in her office and for weeks after I pieced together this mission for my life.  I believe my personal purpose and mission is to intentionally encourage others to be who God created them to be. I believe that I’m specifically designed to offer affirmation to the people around me through loving words, specific appreciation for what they do, quality time that usually comes in the form of listening to what’s important to them and finally through being comfortable and confident in my own skin in order to invite them to be genuine. Theologian, Jean Vanier says that “love is to reveal the beauty of another person to themselves” and that is what I’m learning how to do.

    After answering the big college question of “where are you going?” I realized there was an even BIGGER and more practical question that follows, “how are you going to get there?”; or in other words, “how are you going to pay for this?”. As soon as I started to think that attending WJU was impossible God spoke peace over my life; Colossians 3:15 says, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace”. For me peace manifested itself in trusting God to financially provide for college. I spent countless hours putting my English-major-mind to work writing dozens of pages of scholarship essays. I thought that college applications were hard, but this gave whole new meaning to the words “writer’s block”. Even still, God blessed my efforts way beyond what I could have expected! Peace has encompassed this whole process, I’ve learned to trust the Lord so much more with my finances and it’s a miracle that I'm able to say, because of generous provision, I'm going to college without taking out a single loan! If someone had told me that at the beginning of this year that would have been hard to imagine.

    Finally, the Lord has used my friends and family to speak boldness into my life.  The excitement of knowing where I am going to school and how God intends to use me to encourage the people around me has led to a peace about making my college dream a reality, but now as I’m getting ready to pack up my quirky orange car and move 8 hours away from my family God is challenging me to be bold. It’s time for this Sales sister to go on a missions trip with her Daddy (and I’ve even convinced Mom to come along too)! The timing couldn’t be more perfect, I am thrilled to be going to the island of Vanuatu in early August!!! We will be building a church, ministering to people in the community through outreach and encouraging a missionary couple. Internally, I know that this trip is not only an incredible opportunity to spend time with my parents right before I go to college, but I also know that it is going to expand my worldview, shape my character and learn how to use my spiritual gifts to bless others. I am boldly asking God to provide again, I need to raise $2,500. I’ve been praying that 25 people will give gifts of $100 each. Would you please be part of my sending team by supporting me financially?

    Tax deductible gifts can be sent to "Reaching the Hungry" at 755 Vista Canyon Cir, Vista  92084, or by using the DONATE button on right margin.

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Thank you for your words of encouragement. The Sales Family