Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gearing up the Blog again

Okay! So we are going to try to use our blog to our advantage and post some needed links for our ministry.  We'll see how this works, let me know if you have any comments!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Start of the New Year

The holidays were wonderful around the Erickson house. We had the opportunity to see a lot of family and treated ourselves to a Christmas date at P.F. Changs, the restaurant where we celebrated our wedding rehearsal. Good memories :)

A month ago we thought we would be spending the whole month of January in South Korea teaching English to elementary and middle school children. But due to the outbreak of H1N1 in the schools over there, our trip has been put on hold. Our hope and prayer is that the opportunity will be there during July - the summer break for South Korean children. We're praying and trusting God for his will.

However, since we have not been overseas so much has happened! Andy was able to enroll in a graduated level class at the University of Dayton. The class is specifically geared toward the technical aspect of his job at the base. He enjoys being stretched and challenged - but I'm not going to lie, he is not a fan of all the reading! It has been several years since either one of us were in school and it just so happens that this month he has reading for class, reading for a course at work, reading for our book club, reading for Sunday School, and reading for our Life Group at church!! Oh my :) But we've been helping each other out and I think he's going to make it!

We've also taken advantage of our time at home and have started renovating our upstairs office. It is the only room of our house that we weren't excited about when we moved in. But through blessings we received at Christmas from several loving family members, we have the funds to help kick start this project. Andy is seriously DESTROYING his closet. He's taking out all of the wood paneling and plaster, stripping it down to the studs and hanging drywall. It's his first real project in our first house - so needless to say, he's excited :) I'm getting over the shock of the mess that you have to make for a project like this and liking the idea of buying paint & new curtains. I'll love it when it's all done.

Ministry has been amazing. We attended our regional SALT conference over New Year's and were very much impacted personally. Often times we walk into those conferences thinking we are going to support the students, but God always blesses us. Andy and I are in a fresh season of walking with the Lord and are feeling Him strengthen and grow us as followers of Him. This has overflowed into the start of the quarter on campus. We've had several large obstacles come up even in the first two weeks of class - but our hearts have been so enthralled with the Lord that it really feels like we are standing on unshakable ground. Christ is a firm foundation for his followers & I am learning that on a daily basis.

The students of Chi Alpha are blowing me away as well. They are constant fuel for my fire. The girls I meet with have been running hard after the Lord and are stopping at nothing to see their campus changed. And now, with the devastation in Haiti, they are opening their hearts and eyes up wider to see how they can respond with the compassion of the Lord. I've never been so in awe of these young people. It makes me want to be 20 forever...maybe that's why we love campus ministry :)

The trials in ministry this past month or two have not been easy - but we are taking the high road & choosing to see the Lord's hand and not grow weary. I listened to a student pray this morning that "we wouldn't be afraid of the gospel and we would preach it without fear". If they are praying that, then I better be living it!! I had the opportunity this Wednesday to pray with someone as they gave their life to the Lord. That is one thing in my life that is so exciting that it always feels like I'm doing it for the first time. Sometimes I get so excited that I forget how to pray the prayer of repentance!! But God has grace and is working more in the heart of the other person than He is through my words. That young lady is such a beautiful person and I pray that you also get to share in the my joy by praying with someone in your sphere of influence to receive Christ as their savior :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Day in the Life

It's hard to believe that this is Friday of week 10 at Wright State. Two weeks till Thanksgiving! So much happening all the time :)

Today was a quiet, enjoyable day on campus. I had such a beautiful time, that I wanted to share.

We started the day off with morning prayer at 7:14am like we do every morning. Together with the a handful of students we prayed for the upcoming winter break. WSU has a 6 week break - which is more than half a quarter long. It can definitely be a time of make or break in regards to faith and good choices in student's lives. So we interceded and enjoyed being together.

I spent the rest of the afternoon updating some files in the office. I keep track of the "follow up" database we have and email all of the students that ever come through our ministry. So far this quarter 250 new students have either come to one of our events or signed up for more information at a festival. That's a lot of students! Out of those 250, twenty five have purposefully connected in more. Not the biggest number in the world - but that's not what we're going for :) What it means is that 25 individual people are getting one-on-one love, mentoring, encouragement, and authentic community. All 25 of them are worth every outreach, service, and event we've done this quarter.

And that's the heartbeat of what we do - we invest into individual people's lives. Helping and encouraging them to know God more, cultivate a meaningful relationship with Jesus...etc. Like this afternoon...

A young man came by the office while Pastor Steve and I were clicking away. He asked if he could talk for a moment about some things. Almost as soon as we closed the door you could see the anxiety and worry that was all through his heart. He expressed that he wasn't going to be able to serve on the sound crew team next quarter - a position he had held faithfully through the fall. When we started to ask why, he broke down and cried. He talked about the pressure and worry he had been feeling in regards to his family. His mom might lose her job and he felt a sense of responsibility to her. As a result of the stress, his relationship with the Lord had been weakening and his grades were dropping. And on top of everything else, he is required to take a class next quarter that completely conflicts with coming to Ignite, our main ministry meeting.

These are the moments that our ministry thrives on. We just stopped and prayed. The issue isn't whether or not this student is going to be able to help set up the sound system and balance the levels for the worship team. We can find someone else to do that. The real issue is, can this student find peace? Can he reach a level of intimacy with God where he really is living Pslam 55:22 "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall."

Our goal is to set people up for success - successfully know God; successfully pursue Jesus; successfully live, serve, give, and grow; successfully change the world around them for the sake of the Gospel. Knowing how to handle worry is something that may seem very small to many people. But how much more freedom would each of us have if we didn't worry, stress, or loose control when our lives were unpredictable?

Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God"

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

The student that we prayed with today will be fine. As a matter of fact, he will be better than fine. He will go on to live a very successful life for Jesus. I say that with such confidence because of what we do. Through this fellowship, God heals past wounds and wrong thought patterns. He has surround each of our students with a great bunch of friends that will stick with them and push them into success.

It was a simple but great day today :) God bless.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lot's of New Things!

Well, it's mid August. Our summer this year has been jam packed. Andy is enjoying his job at the base and has actually made some really great friends. I (Heather), just recently resigned from my marketing position with the restaurant. I am in the process of becoming a full time Missionary Associate with Chi Alpha, the international Christian college ministry that Andy and I have been with for the past 6 years.

It's definitely a change, but a welcome one. Serving the Lord on the college campus has become our life's passion. We love every aspect of it, from the rush of new freshmen to the hard decisions young adults face. It's all for the glory of God :)

I want to share some highlights from our busy summer! I hope you enjoy all of it!

These are pictures from my recent mission trip to Peru. I traveled with our Chi Alpha chapter to Lima, Peru for 9 days. We spent the time doing outreaches to young children in schools and local villages. We partnered with the Latin American Childcare program. It really touched my heart and opened my eyes to new aspects of God's love. These pictures are only a taste!

In July, Andy's cousins - David and Lina - celebrated the birth of their new baby girl, Emma. She was baptized in Michigan and Andy and I have the privilege of being sponsors for her. She's such a joy and we love her very much!

Our friends Kyle and Brittany McAllister got married August 1st. It was a perfect day! I got to try my hand at jewelry making for this. I made the jewelry for the bridesmaids. Here are some pictures of how it turned out!

And last, but not least, here's a peak at how our first shot at gardening went. It is really rewarding - and for newbies - I think we did a great job :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Summer has arrived!

Good news! Andy received a call for another interview regarding his security clearance for the new job on the airforce base! We keep reminding ourselves that we are doing this one step at a time. Although it's already been several months since the original paperwork was turned in, we're closer to the end result! We suspect that Andy will be working on base by the end of the summer.

More good news, Andy and I are now officially graduates of Wright State University! We walked yesterday in the Spring Commencement ceremony. Although I graduated last year, I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of a good friend. So it worked out that Andy and I could walk together. I think I liked that better any way.

My job is getting more and more defined as the months go on. My main focus is event and promotion planning right now. The promotions I am working on are very time consuming - but that's never a bad thing. It is just stretching my organization skills! I am also learning how to deal with ad agencies. It sounds silly, but taking calls about ads is now a weekly (sometimes daily) task. The advice that was given to me was "Always be polite. Call people back. And remember, treat everyone like a customer." It's good advice and keeps the whole thing in perspective.

Andy and I have been trying out new ways of enjoying the great Ohio weather while exercising. We tried running. I didn't care for that much. Then we tried biking. We biked all the way from our apartment to the Walmart in Beavercreek and back. It's a 5 mile loop and I must say - I was a much happier camper at the end! Running must just not be my thing :) Andy recently bought me a pink water bottle as encouragement during the active lifestyle experiment. I love it!

Tonight Andy volunteered to make dinner. He's so great! On the menu tonight is peppery chicken with pears and rice pilaf made with almonds and sunflower seeds. Being married is so much fun! We're enjoying this new life stage very much - and to celebrate, we recently bought a Wii! This is the ideal life for two recent college grad/newly weds :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Easter Pictures from Texas

As promised...

Here are some awesome shots of family Wii time!

Andy LOVES Swedish meatballs...and Ikea!

Here he is working on a University of Michigan egg!

Andy's mom bought us a Star Wars egg dying kit. We made a whole cast of Star Wars characters for Easter dinner!

The finished product!

Spring Update

As of noon on Tuesday Andy was officially done with all military paperwork and is now waiting for his new job to process and approve him!! What a relief. This has been a tedious time, but the end is in sight. We are definitely looking forward to the perks of the new position - big work out facility, new health care :) It's such a blessing.

Andy spent his Wednesday afternoon building miniature house frames. Our good friend Eric is preaching at church on May 4th and needed the houses for visual aids. Andy is always looking for an opportunity to use his new tools, so he rallied the guys and went to work! They look great and will make great center pieces for the stage. Sidenote, I will also be leading worship on that Sunday. Isn't that crazy?! Our pastor and his wife will be out of town, so they asked if I could help out. This is definitely a one time things - but a fun opportunity. We're sure the Lord will use it for his glory!

I had the pleasure of helping with our Chi Alpha's first full out girls retreat. It went amazing. Liz, Sarah and I spent time praying and brainstorming. The vision we received from the Lord was totally amazing and it ministered to the women perfectly. We had awesome times of worship and prayer. I was even able to lead one of the talks. It turned out to be my favorite talk I've every given. Praise the Lord for the way he's growing and stretching all of the girls. It's such a beautiful time.

Time is a scarcity around our apartment right now. Andy and I are learning how to prioritize and make room for us among all of the other things we could do. This is the first time Andy has been working 40 hrs a week since graduation too. So that took some adjusting as well. All in all though, we are enjoying everything we're involved with - including the softball league - and are excited for the summer!!

We have wonderful pictures from our Easter in Texas with the family. I'll post them soon. We were able to spend several days with Andy's brother Kevin before he was deployed to Kuwait. He is over there now and doing well. We are keeping in close contact with him via email, and that has made the transition easier.

We love all of you!