Thursday, February 18, 2010

Seasons...the only constant thing is change!

Hi there!

I just wanted to share with you the newest and most wonderful things that God has been teaching me over the past few weeks! He continues to reveal His character to me more and more everyday! He has placed great mentors in my life through the's amazing!

I began a new study this week with my old lady club! There is really nothing more to call it but that...and I love it! How many 23 yr old girls do you know that go to a group called "Ladybugs" once a week to hang out with women twice, even three times her age! Oh, that's me! Vanessa Vann! And I wonder why I'm single! ha! But these women are just filled to the brim with knowledge, faith, wisdom, and (I'll be honest) REAL good cookin' :) We are starting a study focused on the story of Esther and digging into the seasons of life. 1)Planting Seeds 2) Growth 3) Harvest. I realized this is the first time that I have ever really admitted to myself to being in the Seeds category. It's this struggle that I have being on the bottom level, the inexperienced one, the one that doesn't have it all together...yet! :) But honestly, that's exactly where I sit!

Now more than ever before I am seeking; and not in the world but in His grace. Realizing that life happens at such different paces for everyone. God's seeds look differently inside each of us. It's the goosebumps that form out of a story of His children, the joy that erupts from seeing His finger prints, or the song that plays over and over again for "no apparent reason"... those are God's seeds being planted for growth later on. The phrase, "For no greater reason than this!" continues to be the phrase on my lips. God desires for me to be present in the moment; enjoying my season; discovering my "this."

As we, as a church, are digging into the Sermon on the Mount I have never been challenged the way I have been the past 3 weeks! Learning to empty myself before God, to truly embrace authentic brokenness for my sins and the sins of the World, and to embody humility - embodying the most powerful strength of Christ and yet still loving so gently.

God is up to a great work inside of me. Molding, stretching, breaking, and loving me! I'm not the person I'm supposed to be, but thank God I'm not the person I used to be! :) God is so Good...He's so good to me! I pray you are living for no other reason than this!

Growing in Him,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love is in the air...

Ha! I knew a title like that would get everyone interested in the "never-grow-old" question of, "So...are you dating anyone out there in Vegas?" No,'s just the season of love with Valentine's day just a few days away. Yesterday I got "Heart Attacked" at my desk in the office. I walked in to find hearts taped to everything square inch of my belonging and it was definitely a great surprise! Today I received a "V"-day surprise from back home when my Mom and Dad sent me the coolest frame filled with pictures of the whole fam that we had taken back over Thanksgiving! Perfect timing to put up in my new office space. :)

Just the other day I told my Mom on the phone that I think I figured out why I'm just absolutely spent by the end of each day...there is A LOT going on! A few updates for you:

This past week we had a Power Packs 4 Success Board of Directors Meeting that was very exciting! We are looking forward to hosting our 2nd annual Golf Tournament in Las Vegas. This year, one of THE most elaborate golf courses in Vegas that is normally $200 to play the course is offering for us to not only play, but also our entire banquet lunch for only $100 a golfer! The goal is 72 golfers and a TON of money coming in to fund our backpack/school supply drop this year! We have committed to two elementary schools which has set our goal at 1400 backpacks/supplies for the start of the 2010 school year! We are also hosting a staff breakfast, family movie night, and end of the year celebration at each inner city school. Whew!

Just around the corner is the Spring Break missions trip to Vegas that I am hosting for 12 Spring Arbor University college students (March). The students will be here for 8 days and it's my responsibility to make sure they have things to do. Needless to say...finding a place to stay, meals, ministry opportunities, etc has kept me on my toes. Yet, God's timing is perfect and because of this project I have come in contact with many amazing ministries in LV. One in particular I will be working with on Saturday, "Destiny's House: Hookers for Jesus". I went through training last weekend and my whole world was shaken. Some stats to help you understand: In LV on any given weekend there are over 8,000 prostitutes/pimps on the Strip. 85% of all of these women were kidnapped between the ages of 12-18 and therefore have been pushed into the industry. If a woman does not fulfill her quota (usually $1,000 a night) she is beaten or chained up. The women receive $0.00 for what they do. If a woman attempts to leave or run away from her "stable," she will be beaten and many times will not survive. As you can imagine, my heart broke sitting in that room. I went to church last Sunday where we have been studying through the Sermon on the Mount. And last week could not have hit my heart harder; "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." We were challenged to answer the question, when was the last time you were authentically broken with compassion because of the need you see in the world? It is indeed when we realize how much we need a Savior that we allow our hearts to be comforted in the palm of His hand.

I have committed to spend 2 weeks in Zambia, Africa this summer! I'm so excited about going back to a country I absolutely LOVE! It has been 3 years since my journey to Zambia while a student at SAU. This time, I will be traveling with a group of about 8-10 from Hope Baptist Church working with and pouring into Pastors from all over the country of Zambia. This time in particular they have asked me to go to work with the students (teens) that come along with their parents to the 5 day conference. I'm really excited to work cross culturally with Teens and find in what ways US teens and African teens are struggling and thriving in similar areas. Please join me in prayer in the preparation of this trip financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically. I'm excited!

My job continues to challenge me and surprise me all of the time :) I am now serving as the Sr. Program Coordinator for Educational programs in the US and Canada as well as the Secretary of our non-profit organization. It has been a BIG transition and I'm quickly learning how organized I'm not...and how much I get to be :) There are always exciting things happening and opportunities to tap into skills I've not exercised before. This Sunday I will be heading out to Alamo for a Teen of my favorite things about what I get to do!

And last, but certainly not least... I have found an amazing group of young ladies like myself, who I spend every Monday night with. We all get together around 6:30 and rotate who makes dinner ...followed by a much needed episode of "The Bachelor!" This may be one of my favorite things going on in my life right now :) We have an absolute blast and have really gotten invested in the show because of our "Bachelor Draft", in which we have all selected our "players" and may the best gal win! :) We have a lot of fun!'s absolutely true that I am exhausted by the end of the day! Yet, its a great feeling of joy and accomplishment at the end of the day to be worn out knowing that I lived in many moments and used them for His Glory!

I hope that love is in the air for you right now too! And that you are filled with exhaustion, over tiredness, and maybe even a little fatigue... knowing that you have played hard and lived in every moment that God invites you to take part in!