Chicago… new, mysterious, and waiting to be read like an undiscovered should-be bestseller. Today marks two weeks that I’ve been in the city and I want so much to shed the tourist skin that stuck so comfortably when I arrived.
It's hard to know where to start, but from experience I know that starting is better than procrastinating. I've only been an "official" intern for two days, but I can see the Lord's heart reaching into what this organization is doing. I will try to explain how it works...and I'm still learning:)
Basically, Opportunity International is a non-profit organization that's purpose is to respond to Jesus Christ's call to serve the poor. The way they go about this is different - they aim to create sustainable economy in developing nations by connecting organizations working on the ground to provide small-business loans. This gives the poorest working people the chance to start and grow a business so that they aren't left dependent on hand-outs.
There are two Opportunity International fronts: the US side, which works to fundraise for the expanding efforts in developing nations; and the Network side, which was formed in the last 5 years to accomodate all of the organizations working in micro-business around the world. I am working for the Network, which operates out of Oak Brook, but the headquarters are really on the airwaves between countries. The goal is to share resources, training, and encouragement and to advance the cause by being stewards with what we have.
I am mainly doing public relations and event planning... creating press releases, media kits, and helping to plan their annual global conference in the Dominican Rebublic. I've already learned so much in those two days - the greatest of which is remembering and re-learning the importanced of dependence and God's glory.
Let me re-hash my first day (partly to clarify that I didn't end up there dirty, crying, and upset).
My doubt began when I left my apartment for the day and got lost trying to find the train station. .. But not really lost - I asked directions a lot. Well, when I made it there, I found out that it was the wrong station. On my way to the right station, I realized that I did NOT have cash to pay for a Metra ticket (they don't take anything else). I admit at this point I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to that monumental "first day on the job." I called my mom, who instructed me to call my job and tell them what was up... But, I knew they were too far away to do anything about it... so I built up some courage and asked an unsuspecting, random stranger if hewould let me pay for his breakfast and give me cash. He agreed - thank the Lord and I was on the train to Oak Brook. I finally called my boss when I got to the station, and she picked me up because I couldn’t find the bus.
All that said, my doubting completely lacked reason – God was sovereign over my situation and I was abundantly blessed that day and the next. Every time I doubt or become anxious, the Word reminds me that God is so much bigger than these things that occupy my mind. God deserves more than my worries - because He is Lord over the situations causing me to fret. Today is a completely different set of blessings altogether. The church I went to, people I met, my friend Jenna, the bible study we are already plugged into, and the community forming around me... God orchestrated this, here in the city of Chicago, while He was orchestrating so many other beautiful and intricate things - and all for His glory.
Last notes: I have decided to have bookstore books (books I don't buy, but read while at bookstores). My first choice has been Bob Dylan Chronicles, Vol. One, which I started recently and I know I will enjoy. ..Other books I'm reading currenlty are: Monster by Frank Peretti and The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. The written word has such power!
I am so blessed by the friendships I have - both here and in New York, Iowa, Krakow, and Nebraska. How wonderfully I have been blessed - and I know this is for one purpose - that I might be a blessing for God's glory.
I have to end with that because I have more to read and an early morning to see tomorrow. My love to Allison, because we didn't get to talk today... and Patrick, because I haven't talked to him in too long - I send them some Chicago lovin.