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The Epik Decision (The Last Blog)
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”-Matthew 13:44
First off, thank you to everyone who has followed this blog throughout my journey on the world race. Thank you for all of the prayers, encouraging comments, and financial support from those of you who donated. It was the best year of my life so far. As I embark on this next chapter of life, I wanted to fill everyone in on what has happened since the race, and why I’m embarking on this next journey.
I finished the race around thanksgiving and started working with Nola Tree Project after spending a few days in prayer. I quickly reunited with my race friends for New Years Eve and went to a reunion in Georgia called Project Search Light (PSL). This reunion is supposed to help us with our re-entry process. After PSL I went to Portland and Vancouver for a week to conduct job interviews and build a professional network…I’ll get to that in a bit. Since then I’ve been, living at home trying to serve the Lord where I’m at and save money for the next step.
My summery of re-entry: It’s a whole lot of hard, but God is faithful
Coming back to the western world after the incredibly eye opening year we experienced feels like you’re a round peg coming back to square hole of society, like you just don’t quite fit. Along with the cultural struggle there were ambitions I had for after the race that didn’t end up happening, which added to the hardship of it all. Living life on the race is inconvenient but simple – you don’t have the comforts of home or the ability to drive but your life is God, his work, and the community around you. On the other hand, living life in the western world is convenient but complicated- you have all the comforts and pleasures of the world at your fingertips but you also have intense business, living expenses, auto expenses, finding a job, finding a church, finding a place to live, finding a relationship, insurance for everything, constant cell phone use, investing, abundance, excess… just all the things. Its can be overwhelming and difficult to keep ones priorities on what life is all about- Loving God and Loving People.
Although this adulting is new to me I had a recent epiphany in 1 John chapter 2, which says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” I think being in the western world can be difficult for a believer because “the world” is pulling at you intensely and it’s so easy to be swept up in the lies of it. The lie being that anything temporal can give continual soul satisfaction, and security.
I found myself backsliding into these lies over Mardi Gras and by the end of it my soul was screaming, “none of this satisfies- I want God and I need God.” God is the treasure in the field worth giving everything for. He is worth leaving comfort and diving into uncertain circumstances. He is worth staying where you are in the hard times if he has called you there. He is worth giving your time, giving your money, and giving your energy. I fall short of giving it all every day, but in the end I know that if I’m not walking in his will, that’s not where I want to be.
This brings me to my next calling. When I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand I heard from two men that did ministry in the field of human trafficking about an organization that they had a lot of respect for based out of Portland, Oregon. They referred me to the Epik Project, which is an organization devoted to the eradication of sex trafficking. Their plan for doing this is to decrease demand for prostitution among men around the nation. I’m not allowed to explain how they do this. But I will say that, based on what they have shown me, the demand for prostitution is crazy high and truly an epidemic in this nation. As long as the demand remains how it is – more and more women and children will be trafficked and forced into sexual slavery. I had a night of revelation with the Lord over the summer in Macedonia and he called me to work in this ministry. The internship position I have with them is unpaid so now I’m in the process getting a job and moving to the Pacific Northwest. It’s intimidating to leave my family again, which is the hardest part, and starting a new life out there. But like I said, He is worth it and he has always provided for what he has called me to. I’m blessed that he given me some awesome cousins out in the Northwest who have been so helpful in getting me job interviews for this next season of life and ministry.
So that’s the update. I’m planning on spending a week in Colorado before moving up to the Pacific Northwest in early march.
Please Pray for
- More intimate relationship with God
- A spirit filled church and new community
- Safe Travels
- Provision of an enjoyable job
- A fruitful ministry working with Epik
- That God would use me to impact the lives of others around me
- A cheap place to live that is near where I’m working
- Awesome Pacific Northwest adventures
- Financial provision and wisdom to steward it faithfully
- The ending of the global sex slave trade
I know it looks like my prayer list involves everything I’ll need to have a life – but it’s living by faith and I’m expecting for God to show up.
Nic, this comes to no surprise to me. The day you spoke to me about this, I knew you had a passion to help with the trafficking. I admire your heart to please God and to go to any length to sacrifice your life for the lives of others. Truly my friend that is who you are. It is an honor to pray and support you any way I can. Please stay in touch and let all the ones who pray for you help. I pray for all God has called you to. If He called you, He will make a way. God bless you and keep you always Nic.
Nick, I think this is fabulous news! I can empathize with your struggle regarding how complicated our lives can get with distracting outside influences and day-to-day demands. It is a discipline and practice implementing peace in my life every day and something I become deeply unhappy without. I love your drive to serve and support others and of course, will keep you in my prayers. Until the next time….xoxo, Christine
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