Throughout my experience on St. John, God taught me a lot about studying His Word and I pray I will carry on what He has taught me here for the entirety of my life.
In previous ACMNP seasons, I had always been on large teams so I had only preached three-four sermons per summer.
With being on a smaller team at St John, I was preaching every other week for six months. I was completely intimidated by the preaching commitment as well as being disconnected from my church family for over a year with multiple ACMNP placements.
I kept giving God excuses-my favorite being, I have a biology degree, not a ministry degree. You think God cares? No way. He sent His son as a carpenter, so you better believe He is going to use the most unexpected individuals to bring His Word to the world. This, however, does not mean one does not have to know the Word. I felt a heavy weight of responsibility, as I don’t take preaching in front of others lightly.
Because I wanted to bring truth to the congregation exegetically, I began spending a lot of time in the Word of God.
I preached a lot more from the Old Testament as well, specifically regarding the ministry of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. I think huge transformation of my heart and relationship to the Lord happened after spending nearly every major holiday here on the island directing services. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter all became purely what they are after coming to understand their true meanings away from the comfort of home.
Lauren M., US Virgin Islands National Park, 2013
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”