Becoming a Disciple

Hi friends!

Last night I had dinner with a few members of my Kenya team, and they inspired me to sit down and write this post today. It's about time I tell you guys more about the trip, why I'm going, and how I got here in the first place.

As you know, if you've been following me here for any length of time, I love Jesus. It sounds plain and simple but, in reality, my relationship with Him is anything but...it's complicated and messy and beautiful and raw. My entire life has been centered on this idea of religion and God and what His Son did for the world, and I was blessed to grow up in a home that cherished these things. At an early age, I claimed Jesus for myself, and asked Him to be my Savior. But, as most teenagers will do, I stepped away from God as a Person and moved more towards God as a judge. My "good" actions in high school and early college were filtered through a mindset of rules and regulations, not love and grace. As a junior in college, I began to realize just how incredibly I was loved by God, and the reality of what Jesus had given up for me became tangible...I saw His work in my family of friends, the people I spent most of my time with, and the opportunities that surrounded me at Georgia Southern. I grew exponentially in my four years there, and when I look back on those times I am overwhelmed by God's faithfulness to me. He kept me close and taught me how to see the world through His eyes.

After I got married in 2008, my life became a constant series of transitions, as you well know. My husband was finishing up his internship with the Falcons, and moving every eight or nine months to other temporary positions with teams like the Hawks and Thashers until, finally, he settled back into sales and marketing with the Falcons. I worked at Strayer University, started grad school, and completed a publishing internship where I published my first book. Pierce and I moved in with his parents, then on to Marietta, followed by a small place in downtown Atlanta, until we finally settled (last weekend) in an apartment near Buckhead. As you can see, our lives have been constantly changing. God is moving, and we've been doing our best to let our choices be guided by Him...but, if I'm being honest, it has been the biggest challenge of my faith. For me, the struggle was, and still is, how to be obedient and honor God with all that He has given me in my marriage and my life. It's so easy to become a product of my culture, and fall into a busy routine where everything comes second to Christ. In short, that challenge is exactly where I am on this journey.

Last year, Pierce and I began attending Buckhead Church, and from there we joined a small group with other married couples. In January, Andy Stanley did a series called Big Church, where he discussed the Book of Acts and the movement of faith that grew from the work of the first century Christians and what they had witnessed upon Jesus' death. At the same time, I was studying a book titled Radical, and I was reading about how comfortable Americans often become in their middle-class faith. I certainly saw the truth of that statement in my own life. One afternoon, I was reading in Acts 5:40-41 where Paul writes in detail about the suffering that Peter and John endured because of their unrelenting desire to tell the world about Christ:

"And when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then [Peter and John] left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be dishonored for the Name."

This verse completely rocked my world! As clearly as if Jesus were sitting beside me, I heard the Spirit say how much He adored me, and how He desired that I would know the joy of what had been given to me through Christ. I realized that, in all my efforts to be good, I was missing out on the risk and adventure of a relationship with the Living God! My shallow faith was in direct contrast to Peter and John, who celebrated their suffering because it revealed their unworthiness without Jesus. I began to cry because I felt so relieved...I didn't want to go forward in the way I had been living and God had shown me how to change it. I wanted to take risks, and rely on God's provision when I had no idea what would happen next. I wanted to be obedient to His Spirit and grow with Him.

In short, I realized I was no longer comfortable with just being comfortable.

As a result, I applied for the Kenya trip with Buckhead Church and the 410 Bridge. I had thought about applying in 2010, but Pierce patiently questioned my motivation. I knew it was purely selfish. I believed going to Kenya would be fun, and not much more than that. Another stamp on my passport...and so I waited. In January of 2011, I applied online and was accepted in May! I believe that God is working through our team, and through me, to accomplish some extraordinary things in Kenya, and I can't wait to see what He does with our service there.

I hope that you will help support me in my efforts to serve in the community of Ngaamba. We’ll be serving them through community projects, such as digging ditches to lay pipe for water, building fences, or teaching in classrooms. Our purpose there is to simply love as Christ loved: without condition and without rules. I have no doubt that the people of Kenya will teach us more than we can imagine in return. In whatever way you can give, whether it be with prayer, through a donation, or both, I am choosing to write this because your audience here on ABC has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share that joy with you.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can go online to my fundraising page and donate there. The instructions are listed below:

1)      Log on to http://my410bridge.org/wknunner. This is a direct link to my page.
2)      Scroll down and you’ll see a thermometer that measures by fundraising progress. Click on the “Donate” button below.
3)      You will be taken to a page where you will choose your donation amount and type in your name and contact information (there is also an option to donate anonymously, if you wish to do that).
4)      Click “Continue to Payment”
5)      You will see a confirmation page for your records, which you can print out and file if you need it.


      If, for some reason, I do not raise enough money to go to Kenya, your contribution will either be used to help support my team, or to be used for another trip at a later date. If you have any questions, please let me know!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter (I know it’s long!). And thank you for supporting me as I prepare to serve in Kenya! It means more than I can say.

      Until next time,

      Wendi

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