The Scandal of Grace

“The Scandal of grace, He died in my place…”

Scandal (n): an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong. Today, after a failed attempt of fasting, I decided to take some time to reflect on the year. This year has been an absolute blessing! The scandalous part? Well, I’ve done nothing to deserve it!

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Evangelizing to the elders πŸ™‚

Let me try to put things into perspective here for a second. Last December, I made this out-of-the-ordinary decision to drop school, quit my job, and put my social life on hold to complete a semester of Bible School (Bethany Bible School). Since that went pretty well and I had no money to do anything totally adventurous over summer break, I decided it’d only be appropriate to spend my summer volunteering at the first everΒ  bethany teen bible school program (TBS)Β w/ my church. Then someway, somehow (and totally last minute), I was sponsored to go on a one week missionary trip to Mexico! And JUST after that, I made this radical decision to commit the rest of the year to a missionary project here in Ukraine. No job. No source of income. Two Bible Schools. Two major missionary projects. All paid for by sponsors that I did NOT bring in. And all the while, all my dreams are coming true, I’m meeting new people that are changing my life, I’ve been given opportunities that hardly ever cross people on a daily basis, I’ve hit over 25 states and 4 countries (and counting), and the year isn’t even over yet! I don’t feel like I have done anything to deserve the happiness and fulfillment that I feel today! The whole thing is SCANDALOUS!

Kids ministry every Saturday, this week we spoke about Noah and we facepainted the animals from the arc on the kids :)

Kids ministry every Saturday, this week we spoke about Noah and we facepainted the animals from the arc on the kids πŸ™‚

I’ve been listening to a whole lot of Carl LentzΒ lately (the youth pastor atΒ Hillsong NYC). The most recent sermon I listened to really spoke out to me. (Can you guess what it was called?) It was called, “The Scandal of Grace“. I could never talk about the matter at hand as well as Carl did, so whenever you get the chance give it a listen. All I can say, is that the gospel, the life you are living (or for some, the life you could be living) when you give your life COMPLETELY to God is just scandalous!

Our college students enrolled in our English course every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday! (A total of now 40 committed students).

Our college students enrolled in our English course every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday! (A total of now 40 committed students).

I look back at where I was 5 years ago today, and had you told me that in 5 years, I’d be on a missionary trip across the globe teaching English as a second language in UKRAINE, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. Especially because at 15 I often questioned the existence of God. As much as I wanted to believe in Him, as far as I was concerned, God has never made himself known to me, therefore there was no way of being certain that He did in fact exist.

Boy was I wrong!

The fourth graders we see every Tuesday and Friday!

The fourth graders we see every Tuesday and Friday!

All along, God had been holding me by my right hand! Protecting me! Loving me! And He has opened up to me in more ways than I could ever tell anyone.

The second grade classroom battling out their English skills, guys vs girls!

The second grade classroom battling out their English skills, guys vs girls!

I just can’t believe that I had to go through some tough times before I realized it. I see people going through those very problems every day. Even here in Ukraine! I’ve seen children (not only teenagers, CHILDREN) part-take in drugs and alcohol, I’ve seen young ladies sell themselves for a little extra money, I’ve seen people with drug addictions, young minds poisoned by these worldly pleasures, broken families, adulterers, I’ve heard women crying and begging her drunk husband to come home to the children, murders, masterbation, pornography, anything, you name it- it’s here!

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Front row seats at Hillsong Kiev! Made it to their first ever Sunday Night Live just after their 23rd year anniversary!

It’s everywhere. You can ignore it, you can try to hide it, but the reality is, that it’s out there, and it could be the person standing next to you… Maybe it’s you.

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I haven’t got a story that involves me overcoming a heroin addiction or witnessing a murder- no nothing like that. But in my time of darkness, weakness, hopelessness, Jesus was my light. When He held me and I turned on Him and spit in His face, He never let me go. And although I did absolutely nothing to deserve it, He died so that I can be made new again! Scandalous.

A well celebrated 22nd birthday for our very special leader, Aliona! We love you home slice ;)

A well celebrated 22nd birthday for our very special leader, Aliona! We love you home slice πŸ˜‰

If you have the time, or maybe you feel like you want to hear just a little bit more about how crazy awesome God is, then you can follow some of these links πŸ™‚ These are just a few of my favorites by the one and only Carl Lentz!

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Got to visit my favorite grandma! Babushka Galya!

And here are some I haven’t personally heard yet, but I’m sure they’re just as amazing (I mean, we both know these are here mostly so I don’t have to hunt down the links next time I want to listen to a sermon).

There are tons more, feel free to share the links in the comments section if I missed one that I absolutely can’t miss!

See you soon my fellow Sacramentonians! Can’t wait to share my stories! This one’s for you!

A special Congratulations to Dina and Alex, yet another wedding I wasn't able to attend. Can't wait to hear all about the big day, and see all the photos! Blessings to you both!

A special Congratulations to Dina and Alex, yet another wedding I wasn’t able to attend. Can’t wait to hear all about the big day, and see all the photos! Blessings to you both!

She made one hek of a bride! S/O to Anna for sending me videos and snaps of the wedding :)

She made one hek of a bride! S/O to Anna for sending me videos and snaps of the wedding πŸ™‚

-XoXo-

-OxieOnTheGo-

16Β For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
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