". . .and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
When I was a little girl, maybe not even so little in age . . . 15 or so . . .I would sit on the floor of my bathroom . . .because it was mine. And when the door was locked, from the inside out, I was alone . . .and unreachable. My Bible sat in my lap many nights as I searched . . . I was looking for the Truth amongst so many lies. My tears only fell because of confusion, hurt, anger, frustration, and despair . . . Not because I was left to surrender to the lies.
Jesus never left me. He was faithful. His Truth endured and eventually, His Truth . . .
Set. Me. Free.
Those days seem so long ago and in essence they were. But I can still feel the pang of my heart as I searched, and mostly begged for the hope of a better life that had been promised to me within the pages of my worn out Bible. God breathed words that were supposed to hold liberating power. Night after night, sometimes until 3 in the morning, knowing I had to be up early for another day of labor, I still wept over each phrase, thought, cry, and shout that came from those who had endured this earth before and had been deemed worthy of display among the other stories of life, captured within God's written Word. I believed that it was true and waited for victory to come.
Freedom came. God is not dead. I now live to tell my story as those who went before did for me. I owe those who will come after that service. The service of bringing Truth for the sake of their bondage, sinful or victimized. Either way, there is freedom offered by a loving God. I know Him and He has redeemed me. He now cries out from my heart to theirs . . .oh, those who I will meet in the next 11 months of my life . . .He cries out to you through my lips, my love, my travel, my hard work, my passionate service for you, my contrite spirit. He calls out and says . . .
Awake, awake all you dreamers
Awake, awake and be free
To dream the dreams of him
who was slain who was beaten
The warring of a lamb
who can never be defeated
Arise, arise all you sleeping
Arise, arise begin to sing
the song of our redemption
Victory is ours
we can never be defeated
So come alive
Out of the ruins we will rise
We sing Oh, oh,
Wake up all you dreamers
Sing your songs of freedom
Oh, oh, wake up all you dreamers
Sing your songs
The God peace
will soon crush Satan's head
under my feet,
He's under my feet
Wake up all you dreamers
Sing your songs of freedom
I will conquer every curse
I will bring heaven to earth
I'll come out of my grave
We sing, sun, you've been defeated
Death, where is your victory?
You've lost your sting
I'll come out of my grave
My team is one that could not be more unified in heart for the mission at hand over the next 11 months. I proudly present my team:
Ashley Mueller (Team Leader and dear friend): This girl knows who she is BECAUSE of God. He has saved her from death (Literally) and has given her purpose that is exposed from the moment you meet her. I had the privilege of sharing stories and nerves about the coming week/year as we carpooled in Moses (My car!) to Training Camp. Yes, she was the very first person I met from my Squad H. Hm. God is divine. I have such confidence in her leadership and humility that I look forward with full regard to God's faithfulness in summoning her as my leader while traversing the World Race.
Daniel Whited: This guy, man is God good to have connected our spirits in service so quickly! Daniel is the only Squad H member that I repeatedly asked to be on my Team to the AIM staff. His ability to humbly direct is really amazing and therefore is a huge asset to our team. He has a mind for reason and logic and Lord knows I need someone like that working alongside me daily :) Daniel knows the deep pangs of loss in his life and therefore the comfort that only our GREAT God can bring. I am honored to serve with this man of God and I look forward to many laughs and endearing moments as brother and sister in distant lands.
Lauren Weidley: Well, she had me at "My name is Lauren TOO!" hahah! I love this girl! One of the females in Squad H that I connected to most quickly and spent the most time with over the Training Camp week. So glad to have that camaraderie on my team! She has a gift for reasoning as well and as she displayed as a Team Leader for one of our many "stranded" scenarios, has a great mind for logistics and survival. Yep, you can see why I'd like to keep her around! Plus, she and I both LOVE to be goofy . . .yes! Laurens unite!
Ali Kendrick: Man, she is just one of my favorite people. Hah! I actually did not spend any time with her during Training Camp, or get to know her at all until AFTER we were placed on a team together! The Lord knows best because in the end, she needed a ride home and it was on my way! We drove like 6"ish" hours together and chatted the whole way (Almost! I slept some and she drove for me!!!!). I realized quickly that we are kindred spirits in almost an unlikely way! I love it. I can't wait to see what her vision for videography and her perceptive spirit will produce in combination with the gifts of the rest of the team.Yay! Let's go!
Leah Johansen: Oh mercy! This girl is such a blessing! Since camp, there has literally been no one more encouraging (And that's saying a lot because my whole squad ROCKS at encouragement!). She is the person that selfishly, I need on a team with me the most. When I start to wonder why the world is the way it is, in all its' filth, Leah will be there to remind me that the sky is blue because God wanted to bring peace to an otherwise angry place and so all I have to do when I am disheartened is look up . . . And be reminded of God's peace. Yeah, I know . .. Don't you want her on your team too?!! Blessed. She will also be the one who finally has the patience to teach me to play the guitar, amen to that!
Christian Norris: I saved Christian for last on purpose. Lots of our squad have deemed him a ninja, I consider him a night undercover. Phew . . . I just don't know if I have the words for Christian. Hm. When I look into his eyes, I see the strength of the Lord. His joy does not come from circumstance but from the light within, God's light in life. He does not put on heirs and he is not afraid. He makes my time with him feel special and every day on this mission will feel like the first day because he is my partner in crime . . . Whoops, I mean ministry ;) As cohorts, we will work together and know that no matter what comes, we have each other's back. God ordained our friendship and that's that. We've made a promise and however silly or sarcastic we are to each other, those words will ring true and that will be that. Accountability for who God has made us. Real talk. Excited to serve with someone who has also overcome. Stories together, I can't wait to be the church with this guy.
So . . .that's my team and we call ourselves:
You've been waiting and there it is!!! TEAM NAME . . . WHAT! WHAT!
Now, those of you who are from Pcola might laugh because that's the name of a Christian school here locally that my sisters and I have attended. The amazing thing is that God gave us that without that being a part of the decision at all. Here is why we are named this very thing:
Aletheia means "Truth," "what is true in any matter ," & " truth as a personal excellence"
We believe as a team that God has called this specific group of SEVEN people to be God's Truth in the flesh to those in need of freedom . . . He has called us to set people FREE! It's amazing how are goals, dreams, and stories all lead to the same purpose this year! God must be intimately involved.
Our claimed verse came to us the week we were together in GA and is perfect:
John 8:32 ". . . And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
As a team, we do not claim to be much but we do accept the call to be the bearers of hope and liberation to those held captive all over the world . . .11 countries in fact.
Current Team Aletheia prayer requests:
1. We are not all fully funded yet. So close.
2. Pray for this specific word to ring true, "Stand Firm." (We are unsure of its' meaning as of yet)
3. We have a special call for month SEVEN of our trip: India (We are unsure of why in this as well but we know it to be true).
As we go . . . my team, pray that like myself as a child, we would cling to God's Word . . .His Truth and in turn be the truth that others are searching for.
Dreamers are all around the world and God is saying this word through us . . . Awake . . .arise . . .come alive!