Back to Minnesota!?

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Luke 12:27-28

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

 

One of my favorite things about Australia is the wonderful gardens that people have right in their yards! I hope you enjoy these photos of flowers, just a little glimpse into my daily walk to the bus stop and God’s creation. The flowers seem very odd to me because they still grow in winter because it rarely gets below freezing!

Despite the lovely flowers, I am looking forward to coming home! I plan to be home and settled by early September! Hooray! My tickets have been purchased and I am eagerly waiting to see everyone in MN again!

Below are some praises and prayer requests. Thank you SO MUCH to my supporters who have been praying or giving. It means a lot.

 

Praises:

  • My presentation to a local school went well and that God filled me with calmness before I talked to the students
  • I will be able to reconnect with family and friends and my boyfriend very soon
  • The work that God has enabled me to get done while I’m here

Prayer Requests:

  • A focus on God and my ministry here
  • A RIDE event that brings glory to God and for the safety of all participating
  • That I will cherish my time here up until departure
  • Safe travels back home
  • A smooth transition back to Minnesota

The focus of this last month is the RIDE event. I’ve been writing media releases, contacting groups and people who might be interested in riding in the event, promoting the event via social media and updating our task lists so future planners know what needs to be done and when/how we accomplished those tasks. I also gave a presentation to school students and to my church about RIDE. The RIDE event is about raising funds and awareness of the refugee crisis around the world and to help people show love to others. It is great to use skills I learned in college and prior internships for God’s glory.

As RIDE approaches and my time here comes to a close, I want to shout-out to the Cheng family. Geoff, Deb, Liam and Selina have become my Aussie family while I’m here and they are so dear to my heart. They’ve invited me to family outings, celebrated with me and comforted me when I was down. I’m so thankful for this family.

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My Aussie Family – the Chengs!

I also want to shout out to the staff at ITeams and the families who have so graciously hosted me, both the Vellas and the Mallisons! They have all helped me grow as a Christian and taken care of me while I’m here in Australia and I am very grateful. Thank you all! 

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 ITeams Staff 2017

 Look for one last post when I return home!

The Countdown Begins!

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My federal background check came in the mail! Hooray! Praise God!

My VISA was submitted last week – the federal background check was the last component needed 🙂 Hooray again!

The countdown for leaving for my field work with refugees in Australia is 1 – 3 months, according to my application. Once I get the VISA back, I will leave as soon as possible!

Still want to support me? I still need supporters at $10, $25, $50, $75 and $100 a month to meet my goal along with prayer support! YOUR SUPPORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE! Thank you.

Click here to donate or paste give.iteams.org into your search engine.

Let me know if you will be praying for me!

Thank you for being so patient with me on this journey 🙂

 

Blessings,

Oksana

 

 

God’s Timing

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Proverbs 19:21

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Thank you to all of my supporters! Each and every one of you is making a difference in sending me to do God’s work in Australia.

While there, I will be working with refugees, mainly from the Middle East, which includes building friendships, bringing them food and supplies, connecting them with local churches and helping them with the transition to a new country. Another aspect of my field work is helping at the International Teams Australia National Office with tasks such as developing a pastoral care and development program for volunteers and helping plan the ReachOut missions conference. This is only possible with the partnership that I have with generous supporters like you!

You might ask…How are the refugees in Australia doing? What is the Sydney Refugee Team up to? Below is an excerpt from a recent team member’s newsletter:

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Sam & Gloria were the first family that we met when we started with Sydney Refugee Team just under 2 years ago. At that time they were the only family living in our local area. When we first met them they had a new-born daughter Nadia. Just yesterday we celebrated Nadia’s 2nd birthday.

Early in our relationship they did not have work-rights and Nadia was not even covered by Medicare so they had a difficult time making ends meet. This was a source of depression for Sam who just wanted to be able to provide for his family but was not allowed.

We were able to provide some friendship and social support at this difficult time. We were also able to assist with weekly food parcels and some good quality second hand furniture. In the middle of last year the government policy changed and they were given work rights. Although this meant that Sam could now work legally it was still very difficult to find work.Recently Gloria and Sam hosted us for atraditional barbeque to celebrate that Sam isnow able to work and earn sufficient tosupport their family. They asked for us tostop providing food parcels for them in orderthat we can help another family.

Now, for the big question. When do I leave?

Praise God that the nomination from International Teams Australia was accepted! The next step is to finish my support raising while I wait for my federal background check so I can submit my VISA. Given these factors, I do not have a set date for leaving as of yet.

Thanks to my supporters, I am between one-third and one-half of the way to my fundraising goal. I am hoping to get more supporters in the next few weeks as I connect with friends, family and local businesses.

The graphic below shows support that I am praying for!

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One of the best and worst parts about following in Jesus’ footsteps is that God may have a different plan than I do for when I leave. It is both infinitely exciting and endlessly frustrating.

Know anyone else interested in supporting me? I am still in need of more supporters, both in prayer and financially, and would appreciate any recommendations for others to contact. I would love to share with more people the passion God put on my heart.

Thank you to all of you who have been on this journey with me and continue to pray and support me financially. It means a lot! I am amazed and so thankful with how God has provided me with donors and prayer partners.

In prayer,
Oksana

Australia Calling

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God planted the seed in my heart for missions a few years ago.

It was missions night at church and group was coming in to tell their stories about how God had worked in the lives of those around them. They also shared what organizations helped facilitate the stories.

I sat in my seat and listened to them talk and thought it would be cool if someone was called to go overseas. However, I was sure that someone was not me. There were so many people who needed help around me, why would I need to seek someone out in a different country?

By the end of the service, I was ready to go back to my dorm and finish my homework or just go straight to bed. Midterms week was always like this. But God had other plans for me.

While singing the last song, I felt a strong calling to Australia. I didn’t know at the time, but that evening would mean something for my future.

The calling to Australia didn’t go away, and God changed my heart, beginning that night.

God reminded me that there are people who need Him everywhere and He calls us where we will best fit in His plan for us.

God reminded me that some things are far bigger than me and that people like YOU want to make a difference.

God reminded me that, ultimately, fundraising is a way for me to connect with YOU and fulfill his vision for OUR lives.

I will be going with International Teams, which is a global nonprofit with offices in both the US and Australia. Our shared vision statement is to see lives and communities transformed by the power of God. The organization really speaks to my heart because they do not separate ministry and compassion because Jesus did not. The organization is filled with people who are willingly following God in his call for them. I am thrilled to be a part of God’s plan through ITeams.

During my stay in Australia, part of my time will be helping refugees with both their physical and spiritual needs. With a team, I will be doing home visits with refugees from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma and Pakistan, just to name a few. These home visits will allow me to connect refugees with local resources and supply them with daily needs.

The other part of my volunteer work in Australia will be to support the Australia ITeams office through administrative work such as updating their website and event planning.

Australia is the destination.

One year is the timeframe.

Summer 2016 is takeoff date.

But…the story has just begun and YOU can make a difference. Will you be a part of my story and God’s plan?

This blog is one way for YOU to connect with God’s plan for the world and everyone who benefits from your generosity. Updates will be posted regularly once I am in Australia.

Blessings,
Oksana

Want to learn more?

Donate **

About ITeams

International Teams Australia Website

 

**Note that the above “Donate” link is the right link to donate. Donations go through ITeams United States as I am being sent by ITeams US. Write in the donation box “to the ministry of Oksana Carlier.” If you click on the “give” link on the International Teams Australia Website, the donation will not go to me. Thank you and let me know if you have questions!