Good News from Greece

Britt sipping teaHello Saints ūüôā

A plethora of excitingness has been happening the past four months- and it’s high time for a written report. I was introduced to the Greek Bible College opportunity kind of in the same way an assassin’s target finds out about a planted time bomb minutes from detonation. The amount of time given to consider the situation is so small and pressurized, the tendency toward self preservation has less time to kick in, and a braver course of action is usually taken…God knew if I had too much time to think, I would have stayed home and implemented my home-school-college-for-a-year-via-online-courses-plan. It would have been the worst decision of my life.

Since being here, so many blessings have followed. The opportunities here are so many, together they weigh more than a couple universes. The staff are primarily responsible for that. All of my professors (colloquially) are ‚Äúbeasts‚ÄĚ for God. They’re a group of delightful, intentional, and wise people who’ve earnestly been studying the Lord and His word for most their lives (many of them with the bible’s original languages under their belts- how cool is that?!). Accordingly, I’ve been hoarding up vast amounts of…information doesn’t seem to be quite the right word, since the majority of what I’ve been learning doesn’t feel academic. To say it better, I’ve relished and cherished the lessons of Evangelism, Old Testament Survey, Inductive Bible Studies, Corinthian Correspondence, and Theology courses (I admit I may have been a less than excited student of Ancient Greek, but we get on tolerably. ūüėČ ) . I’ve never loved school more or rather, school has never felt less like school before.

And those are just the academic blessings! I’ve shared the joys of experiencing a new country/culture with classmates who were hand-picked for this year by God. Within the first week, we were treating each other as sincere life-long friends. Together we’ve seen the ruins of Corinth and some of the Athenian wonders- for example the Acropolis and Mars Hill. I confess, we’ve even tested and approved a few picturesque Aegean Sea beaches. Through hands-on projects for the Evangelism course, and projects of our own, I’ve been witness the Holy Spirit stirring people’s hearts for Christ. Every Monday night, I take part in a ministry that serves dinner to over 200 refugees for free. It’s easily the best night of my week- seeing so many hungry, broken people filled up with good food and a message about humanity’s Savior…

Yes, the opportunity for the Greek Bible College was a time bomb- it’s exploded into a radical, life changing, mind blowing, heart shaping, fun oozing time. If this doesn’t teach me that God knows best and that being a Christ follower is the most incredible thing I could ever do in life, I don’t know what would…

…The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you,

~2 Timothy 4:22

Brittany

Macedonian Mission Trip Overview: Before and After

Before:

To all my Dear Friends and Family,

Just wanted to share this with you :~)

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
~The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  by C.S. Lewis

My brother and I have just returned from our annual Winter Conference (or Ski Camp) that GEM hosts specifically for the teens… a.k.a. A week of snow boarding/skiing and just general ‚Äúhanging out‚ÄĚ in the French Alps with other dear and loved GEM-K’s (Greater Europe Mission Kids).¬† I love the actual conference part of the camp.¬† Our speakers always have messages that wrangle and draw our minds into traveling through ideas and concepts most people would consider ‚Äúbest left alone.‚Ä̬† This year we discussed the imagination and how it might become captive to culture, media and the worldly messages that are preached through them.¬† And how, if our minds become ensnared with these messages, we lose the capability to tell an alternate story- a story of truth, of unfathomable love,¬† that rocks the imagination of the world’s close-minded foundation.
We also discussed how the church might have become captive too, and fall into the trap of the idea that Jesus is someone to worship not follow, someone tame enough to be held by sanctuary walls, stain-glass windows and a steeple.¬† When in reality, we were not saved by a normal, tame man who passively gave up his life.¬† Rather a wild one.¬† A saviour who purposely set up his ministry on the shores of a possessed man’s haunt,¬† the home of a wild and positively insane scoundrel who was both a joke and a real danger to the community he had been cast out of.¬† A man possessed by not one, but a legion of demons.¬† And it was Jesus, who was not only brave and enough of a wild man himself to cast out the Legion, but crazy enough to have mercy on the demons themselves, and cast them into the pigs near-by as they asked.¬† It was Jesus who was wild enough to ravage a market,¬† set up in the temple no less, screaming for the people to ‚ÄúGet out!‚ÄĚ at the top of his royal lungs, as he over turned tables and stands, all because that market was making a profit in a place and time that was not honoring God.¬† A mad-man who surrendered his life to his enemies, to save them.¬† WHO does that?!
These stories leads us to ask, well, if Jesus is wild, is he safe? And if I choose to follow him, can I do it without being wild myself? ‚Äú’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.‚Ä̬† Not safe.¬† But good.¬† And when I choose to accept his gift of mercy, at all cost to him, (that mad-man…) I’m no longer safe.¬† Not safe to stay at home, or mind my own business when I go out, but tossed out to experience life and living in a better more astounding, more good way than ever would have been possible had I been
kept safe.
This year, I awaited in anticipation when the mission trips would be announced.¬† I applied for the three, whose ambitions and goals tugged at my heart the most.¬† I trusted God to place me in the group where I would serve best, and this spring break my Wild Saviour is leading me on a mission to fill a need in to Skopje, Macedonia, where His team of 12 students and 2 adults will be involved with the ‚ÄúRoma‚ÄĚ or Gypsy children and youth through sports activities, perhaps in a carnival type setting with games, face painting, etc. Or just planning other engaging activities for children.¬† There will be an ESL (English as a Second Language) time ‚Äď where we will have teen to teen contact, a time to wrangle and draw their minds around this possibility of a Wild Saviour with a story of truth, a story of unfathomable love, penned out in His personal handwriting specifically for them.¬† This trip will cost 800
Euros, or 1,200 dollars.
Challenge: I would like to ask you to sincerely and prayerfully consider if our Wild Saviour might be asking you to commit to praying for this team up until and during the week of March 25- April 2, 2010 and/or offer to be one of the financial supporters that we need.  Will you be one of six $100, or eight $75 givers?

~Love,
Brittany

After:

Hey Friends and Family,

Just wanted to let you know, I’m home.¬† The week I spent in Macedonia
was incredible, amazing, crazy, unexpected, an emotional roller coaster, exhausting and… a blessing.¬† Our group visited two Roma/ Gypsy neighborhoods.¬† The neighborhoods looked more like slums.¬† It was gut-wrenching.¬† The Gypsy people, who call themselves the Roma are a totally different race and hold to a culture and language than the natives of the country they live in.¬† Thus there is a severe
amount of¬† discrimination.¬† The first day in our first neighborhood we spent just playing with the gypsy kids and teens that came to the playground… it was insane.¬† This culture was SO physical!¬† it was completely natural for the kids to attack each other, for example just because one wanted to jump rope and the other was in the way.¬† Like, full out attack, punching kicking screaming.¬† But on the
flip-side they were very snugly.¬† They were just normal kids, with a larger “lovin’s” capacity.¬† They would latch on and give hugs and kisses galore.¬† Also, they were very, very, very, very dirty.¬† Most of them didn’t have proper clothes or shoes.¬† The kids we were playing with were from families with an average of six to eight children.¬† In Roma culture, it’s unusual if a person over 21 is unmarried and not a parent of four or more.¬† The second neighborhood was rougher, scarier, dirtier and the kids were meaner, more hopeless.¬† The “playground” looked more like a cage.¬† It made me just want to sit down on the filthy, glass strewn pavement and cry.¬† We cleaned up their “playground” and loved on them with all the energy we had left.¬† In between our playground dates,¬† we hosted ESL/coffee/ share the gospel times for older teens in the neighborhoods.¬† During this time we exchanged cultural experiences, thoughts, ideas and beliefs.¬† When our group encountered the vast need of this people, physical and spiritual, it was very hard not to wonder “What difference are we going to make?¬† Their need is so big, there are so many of them.¬† And we are so small, so foreign, so few, and only here for a short time.¬† How could we possibly reach them?” Which is funny because at the very beginning of our trip God gave us a verse: Zecariah 4: 10, “Who despises the day of the small things?¬† Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.”¬† Now I don’t know what’s going on with the second part of that verse, but I do know the verse was in reference to a temple being built.¬† And I also know, you can’t build a temple without leveling the ground before you could even lay a foundation.¬† I figure that’s what God called us to do in Macedonia, level the ground, or part of it anyway.¬† Because the salvation of these people is gonna take more than a group of thirteen teenagers and a few leaders on a week long visit.¬† I want to thank you for your support, both financial and prayerful, this trip meant a lot to me and to those we served.

Much. much. much. love,

~Brittany

Mission Accomplished

britt-romainia-2

I got off the plane sick and¬†exhausted, but extremely pleased with myself. A mental image comes to mind: A brilliant sun-set fades into the hills outlining the figures of two people in reds and oranges too rich to be replicated. The secret agent on the left turns to the one on the right and with a satisfied smile reports, ‚Äúmission accomplished.‚ÄĚ

britt-romania-1

Mission accomplished. Those words send a shiver through me. I’m home again and I feel like I shouldn’t be, it all went too fast. I feel like we still had work to do, by the day we had to leave we had just begun to be able understand English through the heavy Romanian accents without asking for a repetition more than once. We had just begun to feel that these people were really our friends and not just momentary acquaintances. We had just gotten used to the insane and unpredictable schedules. But I guess this feeling of incompleteness is further proof that God, not man, is at work. Here, let me explain:

We arrived in Suceva with no idea of how or what we were expected to do for the week, only that God had got us here and He had the master plan. Throughout the whole week we were living for the minute, plans changed in the blink of an eye. Most of the time we were in the classrooms, practicing English with the kids, other times we were working on a project studying the types of good and evil that exist in the heart of man with one of the 12th grade classes. But at any moment classes we thought we were supposed to visit changed and we were instead sent off to different classes, or to practice English with a different group of randomly selected kids.

britt-romania-3

In the evenings, we were found loving on the dorm students, playing games with them, telling them stories, making music, or dancing with them. This doesn’t sound like your typical missions trip, even to those of us who went. But our God isn’t the kind you can put in a box. He will use whoever, whenever and however in just the most perfectly crafted way to get His work done.¬†¬† The entire time we never knew exactly¬†what was going on, schedule-wise¬†or heart-wise, but we knew¬†God did.¬† God was at work, and it was while we were still wondering what “thank you” in Romanian was, that God was working¬†through¬†us to share his love with the needy¬†students.britt-romania-4

Even though we feel like we didn’t have enough time, we do know we accomplished what God sent us to do. We gave our time and our love to a group of people who God knew needed it very much. And just like planting a seed, you don’t always get to see it grow, or the results of that planting. But God knew just how everything was going to play out. He knew which kids were most lonely, who needed to be loved on. God, through us, got everything done the way it needed to happen. I am rejoicing in this truth, even though I wish we could have had more time with the kids. Thank you so much for your support,¬†without you there would¬†have been no¬†‚Äúmission accomplished.‚ÄĚ

Everything and Agent Cox is on a mission…

Our March newsletter is out.¬† It contains a special assignment briefing from Agent Brittany Cox sure to be fun for the entire family, and also a story about one of the ways God is working in our lives, and hopefully the lives of others here in Germany.¬† Here’s a quick preview…

EVERYTHING

What if God gave us freewill solely so that we can freely decide to give it back?

One of the harder moments in our long run up to the field involved a change in ministry. For a long time, I believed I was going to train European believers in video production. This was a really exciting idea to me, because I believe media is such a crucial battlefield. That’s no longer a part of the our ministry vision and that loss was very difficult for me. I fought against the change, because in my heart I firmly believed that was a critical part of God’s plan for me. It’s been several years, and God has done a lot to teach me about trusting Him, serving where He places me, and accepting the authorities He places over me. All hard, but important lessons for the work ahead.

Recently, I had an incredible opportunity. Many of you may be familiar with Erwin McManus and the Mosiac Church in Los Angeles. In a nutshell, Mosiac has decided to throw off their traditional structures and ideas, while holding fast to scripture, and truly focus on the salvation of the lost. At the invitation of our German church, a team from Mosaic came out to share what they’re learning from this process. The result was a conference called Origins.

I found the conference to be tremendously challenging. They challenged my assumptions about all sorts of issues from discipleship to what church should look like. I was particularly struck by one story: One of the speakers, Eric Bryant, was talking about his conversation with a lesbian woman who attends their church. She asked him, “[if I accept Jesus,] do I need to give up my lifestyle?” At this point I was riveted. There are few questions more bitterly defining the struggle of the church in the 21st Century.

Read the rest.

AGENT COX HAS A MISSION

During Spring break March 28- April 4, 2009, small groups of scheming and calculating BFA (Black Forest Academy) students will be dispersed to various and strategic places all over the world- each group has a top priority mission to carry to completion. Each mission is tailored to that particular group’s highly unique and most valuable capabilities. Brittany Cox is an agent assigned to one of these posses, the one destined for Suceava, Romania. The Mission: to spread word that her Employer, the Boss, the one with the power, power big enough to knock people dead with his pinky finger, is now at large. Yeah, that guy, his name is rumored to be “Jesus,” but he’s got other ones. It’ll be this group’s mission to warn the kids at Filadelphia Christian School (FCS), this guy is presently on the lose and… loving people? Wait, what?

Read the rest.

UPDATE: I have to apologize.¬† Someone just let me know the “Read the rest” links on both articles was broken.¬† It should be fixed now.

Setting the World on Fire…

I wanna set the world on fire
Until it’s burning bright for You
I’ve been singing this song ‘Set the World on Fire,”¬†by Britt Nicole for months now, letting the words settle over my mind and heart, hoping to one day look back and realize I’ve accomplished a small part of that huge task.
It`s everything that I desire
Can I be the one You use?
I think I have found the perfect opportunity to start on my way¬†towards that goal. During every spring break Black Forest Academy sends out missions teams to aid different needs in different places, Russia, Africa, Jordan…
I wanna feed the hungry children
And reach across the farthest land
And tell the broken there is healing
And mercy in the Father`s hands
There is a need in Suceava, Romania which harbors Filadelphia Christian School. A small boarding school, a tiny bit like Black Forest Academy (BFA), their ministry is to educate¬†the financially challenged children in the surrounding villages. As the school is rather small and in a very rural area of Romania, it’s very difficult for people to come and go, so when mission teams do come in it’s a pretty big deal. A mission team from BFA will be working directly with that school, this Spring, and continuing a relationship the BFA Student Council built up last year. The Filadelphia school isn’t sure what they want that¬†team to help out with that week. They could be helping out in English classes or maintenance or hanging out in the dorms and doing things for the dorm students, perhaps all of the above!
My hands my feet
My everything
My life, my love
Lord, use me
I have been invited to be one of thirteen students heading out to help out there in Romania. When I first heard about all the different missions trip I knew I wanted to go on one.
I wanna set the world on fire
I applied for three different trips praying for God to put me in the right one. I honestly feel this is where God wants me during this week. Just like any other Mission trip, this one has needs of it’s own: prayerful support and financial aid. This trip is going to cost 650 Euros, about $1100. ¬†Any money raised beyond my expenses will be used to help¬†diminish the over all costs of the¬†Black Forest Academy missions¬†trips as a whole.¬† I would like to ask you to prayerfully¬†consider committing to pray for this team up until and during the week of March 28- April 4, 2009 and offering to be one of the financial supporters I need.¬† I need to be fully funded by March 5.¬† Will you be one of fifteen $75 givers?
I’m gonna set the world on fire.
Christ’s enduring love and light to you all!

Brittany

Note!:¬† When giving please fill out the attached ‚ÄúDonor Response Form,‚ÄĚ and¬†make checks payable to Janz Team Ministries.