'Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails' - Proverbs 19:12

Dealing with a change in plans requires us to have God’s thoughts in our focus! I am learning that following Jesus often requires a change in our plans, none more so than this past week. Last year was one of learning to relinquish my desire to plan and insist on my own way through daily surrendering of my life to Jesus and trusting in Him. I find myself needing to daily fill and focus my mind with God’s thoughts, including his plans for my life. I’m sure we’ve all noticed that things don’t always turn out the way we anticipated? Maybe God has a better idea? 

My week of orientation in Colorado Springs was shared by fellow interns and new staff. It was a challenging week filled with intense cultural training sessions, thoughtful and encouraging devotions, worship and prayer. Lasting friendships were formed as we shared stories late into the night, bonded over some hiking and rock climbing and feasted together at mealtimes. My mischievous side even emerged on occasion as some girls and I attempted to swap the boys' bedrooms around by swapping all of their belongings. I continue to be amazed by God's creation, and eagerly await new cultural experiences. I am excited to see how God works through us and pray that our work and attitudes would be pleasing to Him.  

Proverbs 27:1 says, 'Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.' The start of my first week in the Engineering Ministries International (eMi) office in Calgary did not begin as I had originally anticipated. Unfortunately I was advised that my project trip to Nigeria had to be cancelled due to heightened security risks, particularly to foreigners. Needless to say, I was entirely devastated upon receiving this information and struggled to understand why God had brought me so far, only to learn three days before our departure date that we were no longer to go. It's okay to make my own plans, but I have to remind myself that my life is God's. It's unpredictable and God is teaching me that I should not presume on it, but that He is in control.

At times it has been hard to remain positive during this past week, however, I praise God for the beautiful people he has placed in my life. I am so blessed to be able to share this interning experience with Taylor and Becca. Although it's only been a week or two since I've known them, I feel as though we are best of friends already. It seems as though I have developed somewhat of a reputation for leading us into the oddest and silliest of situations as we traipse across Calgary, but it makes for memorable times. If we have learned anything by navigating around on public transport, it's that you can never trust the bus system! One day we may accidentally find ourselves in another province. I look forward to so many more adventures and fun times with them in the coming weeks and months.

On Wednesday I learned that I will be joining another team traveling to Rosarito, Mexico. We will be building a multi-purpose building for YUGO Ministries which will be used to host chapels, events and meetings. I will depart on February 11 and return on February 22. Much like Nigeria, the trip will be used to master plan the site and design the building before returning to Calgary to complete the report.

Please pray for the interns, staff and volunteers around the world as they prepare for their project trips and as some are already on their trips. Pray for team dynamics, that we would work well together and honor God in all we do. Please pray also as I form new friendships  and relationships with people at work, church and on my team. I am fortunate to live in a safe environment, but let us pray for those who do not have that ability; in particular the people of Nigeria. And lastly, I would appreciate prayer for myself as I plan for this new project trip and make all the necessary arrangements.

My prayer is that God would be with all of you wherever you are, and that God would bless you as He has blessed me.