Friday, June 17, 2011

Escape Blog

Here's a little post I wrote for Escape22 blog last week.  Enjoy!

My Purpose - By Wendy Pierce

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.  - 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

In 2004, my husband Travis and I started helping with Escape22.  We had just come back to Ames and started attending Cornerstone Church.  We did know very many people, but we knew one thing - I wanted to help young woman live like Jesus, and he wanted to help young men live like Jesus.  We had settled on this as a vision for our lives together a few months before getting married, and here we were, ready to make it happen.  

Since then, God has been faithful to our vision.  We have had the opportunity to be involved in the lives of so many teenagers.  We have had the privilege of watching them grow up and watching some of them catch the vision.  Here are the stories of just a few who's lives God allowed me to participate in. Jessica Anderson was a Sophomore at Ames High when I met her.  She and her sister had been coming to Escape on and off for a few months, probably with some boy Jessica was dating at the time.  Their lives were definitely driven by opportunities to flirt with boys.  One afternoon Travis and I were out running errands when we ran into the girls.  Travis invited them to come over and be a part of our Bible study that week.  They came!  I found out that Jessica had decided a month prior to that to give her life to Christ, but since then had no idea how to follow him. She had never been involved in a community of believers, never had close female relationships, and surely had never thought about reaching out to people who were different from her.  Jessica stayed in my group for the next couple years, and moved on to being a part of the Salt company.  Jessica went to China during her sophomore year of college, and has been since spending a lot of time with international students around campus.  Jessica is now 22 and is loving on people from all over the world as a part of the IFC leadership team.  
The summer before their Senior year of High school I decided to commit to meeting weekly with Nattie Larson and Charissa Ehrhardt.  I chose to go through a book with them called Just Walk Across the Room, by Bill Hybels.  The book emphasized our call to reach others that are right around us and it encouraged us to go a little further than we're comfortable with going to bring people closer to Jesus.  By the end of the summer Nattie had decided to start a conversational English club at her high school and Charissa had committed to weekly mentoring a younger girl from our Bible study. Both girls followed through with those commitments, and can be found today following through with new commitments they've made to just go a little further to bring more into the Kingdom of God.  Today,  Nattie is on the Salt Company leadership team, leading her own group of college girls and Charissa is helping me to lead my current group of Escape girls. Both are leading out and mentoring those who are already right around them. 
See the full gallery on Posterous

In the last year I have had a renewed vision for what I would like God to use me to do.  In January, I started spurring on a few girls in our ministry to start being intentional about reaching out to, and mentoring younger girls. I would love to see our ministry full of students leading other students in the pursuit of Christ!  Right now I have 10 high school girls who are using what God has given them to bless the lives of 10 younger girls!   Titus 2 tells older woman to "Urge younger woman to live God centered lives".  I have (foolishly) always read that passage and considered myself to be the "older woman", but was recently confronted with the idea that I too ought to have an older woman urging me to follow Christ.  In the last year I began meeting weekly with Marie Nesbitt, an older woman in our church.  I feel confident that God will continue to use me to teach other woman to live like Jesus, and I am thankful that he has blessed me with the opportunity to continue to be taught and spurred on in my own walk.  These are just a few stories that are continuing to be written about my crown, my glory, and my joy!


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