So I forgot to take a picture before Ryan and I left the house for our first class (read: we were running really late and flying out the door in a frenzy). So I did what anyone would do these days and pulled out my phone in the parking lot right before we walked in. The mistake picture:
The real picture:
Class was so great. Here's the recap I sent to my mom his morning about what all we will be doing in the next year and how class was last night:
We got home around 10:30, then went straight to bed since we were starting the new routine of waking up at the crack of dawn for our TWJ! They call it Time With Jesus. We have to spend one hour a day with Jesus, seven days a week. (The biggest obstacle to this is the boys early wake-up time!) Then at a separate time, read through the Bible. We have two weeks to read Genesis. And we are starting a book called Victory Over Darkness. We also will memorize three verses each week and are asked to sow seeds of the Gospel with three people a week. Every Monday night we check in with our D-Group leader and check off on a chart which of these requirements we've completed and write out our three verses. Then at the end of the year we have to write out every single verse! I'm nervous about that because I'm good at memorizing, but not at retaining info for a long time! But I guess you're not really storing the Word in your heart if you just forget it in a month. So it is going to be a LOT, but i totally knew that coming into it.
Last night was great--the first half was expectations, requirements, overview, etc. Each of the staff members (which is probably 10 people) spoke about a different part. Also, we learned that our mentor will be the staff person who is our Discipleship group leader. D-groups meet during Thursday classes (at the beginning) and are for accountability and discipleship. Our group is led by a staff member named Davin, and has myself and two other girls. And get this--one of the other girls is actually a makeup artist and esthetician! We were both so surprised to find out we had the same profession! She works at a skin spa here in Waco.
Anyways, even with all the "rules," they were great to address legalism (that it is the last thing they want) and also give us the heart and reason behind everything. We are going to be doing a LOT of fasting, which will be totally new for me! The last and only time I've fasted was the 40-hour famine in middle school! Every time someone speaks, I feel more at ease and at peace about being in Elevate and the people behind it.
Then the last hour or so was a time of worship and "ministry time," which is when people pray over you and give you a word from the Lord, if God gives them anything to give. Two girls prayed over me, and the second said that she felt like the Lord was calling me to use the creativity God's given me to impact the nations. Everything she prayed was spot on, speaking to me where i am right now. So that was just encouraging to know that the Lord loves us as individuals with details, and uses his children to encourage each other. Ryan had FOUR people pray over him (he said he was trying to look extra despondent so he'd get more prayer-ha!) and this one girl said that god just kept giving her an image of--get this--a tree! Which is what was prophesied over him at World Mandate--and where the tree tattoo came from. So cool! She talked about his roots going deep, etc.
So we left the night feeling encouraged and refreshed and loved by god.
I am so expectant and excited to see the journey we're on unfold over the next year!