Thursday, February 6, 2014

The End is in Sight

This is the last semester of my time here at HBBC and I already feel like it has been going by too fast! At the beginning of January, Heartland hosted its annual national Church Planter's Conference. Hundreds of preachers from all over the U.S. traveled to the Heartland campus eager to present their church/personal needs, and equally as eager (if not more) to give of their abundance to others needs. In the matter of three days, over $300,000 was raised in one-time giving and monthly support for pastors/missionaries/church planters's needs. The preaching, as always, was amazing and several preachers commented on how they went back home encouraged, strengthened, and ready to put their hand back to the plow. I always enjoy working during any meetings that we hold because I have the opportunity to meet and talk with several pastors and their wives as they pass through the bookstore :).

Immediately following the conference I came down with an upper respiratory infection and was quarantined for 5 days, 2 1/2 of those being the first days of half of my classes! I want to thank those who sent me notes and prayed for me; I truly believe that your prayers are what helped me to recover in less than a week!
For my last semester I am only taking 13 credit hrs, and I am really enjoying my classes so far. I am taking Minor Prophets, Eschatology, Addictions Counseling, Pre-Field Missionary Service, Choir, and 1 & 2 Corinthians. The school work/homework is more hands on and practical this semester- after all, it's time to put into practice what we've been cramming into our heads for the past 31/2 yrs! I am especially excited for Pre-Field missionary service. Amanda and I are  working together to construct a missionary display board and presentation video on a specific field, and we are also required to write our own separate prayer letters. Practicing as if we were really presenting missionaries to a field brings to home the reality of what could be my future someday....! I am also actively serving weekly in the 2yr old Sunday School nursery, Bring Them In SWBC visitation, and the monthly Friends From Heartland visitation (which helps other churches in the area with passing out tracks or doorknocking.) I don't do as much as I used to, but I also wasn't Head RA those other three yrs!

I am VERY excited to graduate this May 15th, however I cannot deny the fact that there is sorrow accompanying that joy. I absolutely LOVE Heartland and can truly say that these 4yrs have been some of the best yrs of my life (I know, I know...I haven't been alive for all that long :)). I will greatly miss the staff, all the friends I've made, and Southwest Baptist Church, but all good things must come to an end. I am very excited for what God has in-store for me for the next chapter of my life. I believe that God has me to come back home and serve Him at church through various ways, save up for a mission's trip, and to continue work at Runza in Crete (unless the Lord has other plans for me). I would also like to attend some community college computer classes.... although right now, I'm not ready for anymore schooling! God's plans are like driiving a car at night: you can only see as far as the headlights reveal, and will show no more until you've gone that far.

I look forward to next month and hope to see some of you (ahem...older teens!) come and visit during College Days. I miss and pray for you all and hope that those of you who can, will make it to my graduation, and most importantly the Graduation Preaching Conference that begins in the evening on May 11th and ends with graduation night on May 15th. Please continue to pray for God's protection and guidance in my life, and also for His hand of protection on the school and the staff.
Love in Christ,
Amber Beck

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Amazing Year

This semester has been absolutely amazing! I have a wonderful group of girls the Lord has placed in my care.  We have little to no problems and the girls get along really well. I thank God for the unity and peace we have :D. I am SO very thankful for my assistants too. I couldn't ask for more loving, humble, helpful, and sweet girls to help me run the dorm :D :D :D!

For my birthday my assistants and 7 other of my friends took me out to Braums for supper and dessert Sunday night. I worked most of yesterday (my birthday), but it was a blessing as dozens of people wished and sang me happy birthday, brought me lots of chocolate, and I even got flowers (from a girl in my dorm) and a coffee mug full of mints and a balloon attached! It was a wonderful birthday.

Last Saturday I attended the Medieval Hayride which was awesome!!! Everyone had lots of fun shooting arrows, throwing hatchets, eating roasted pig, and trying to kill each other with out plastic swords and battle axes. I also battled the enemy in the Holy War, but got tangled up in burr plants and spent at least 20 mins picking each tiny burr out of my velvet dress, and to top it all off I got nailed three times with water balloons!
For supper they served us roasted pig, beans, corn, and hot dogs. The pork was soooo tender that I had a hard time knowing what was fat and what was meat :D. Most people dressed up either as nights, medieval ladies, hunchmen, 2 dressed up as friars, one in a banana suit, one in a batman suit (the Dark Knight :D), and one as Robing Hoodette (a female Robin Hood). I just want to praise the Lord for the dress I got to wear. I was out thrift store shopping when I prayed and asked God specifically for what kind of dress I wanted right down to the neckline shape and even the price....and I got it! It fit perfectly and I didn't have to alter it in anyway. The Lord is SO GOOD :D! There are more pictures at the bottom.

Classes this year are good and I'm enjoying them. I have a lot of reading to do and it's hard to keep up with it, mainly because I'm tired all the time and end up napping instead of doing homework :D. But I am looking forward to being able to use what I've learned after I graduate. So far my favorite classes this year are Personal Finance and Teaching Bible.

I am truly enjoying my senior year. I feel like the Lord's teaching me a lot this year in my own personal life. Through various circumstances I am learning to be myself, but in moderation; not to over analyze situations and people's actions; how to be tactful in speaking to people about things that need to be corrected and changed; and also how to budget and manage my money, especially now that I have such a small school bill. Please pray for me to make God my focus and not others. 

I'm not planning on coming home for Thanksgiving so I can spend it with some dear friends of mine here the Buffingtons'. They invited me over my sophmore year when I had to stay and work, and this is my last chance to spend it again with them. So I will see you all in December! Love you all :D
Love, Amber

Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Senior" Moments

Frontier City with some old and new friends
I can't believe I made it to my senior year at HBBC! When I arrived as a freshmen in 2010, I really didn't know how I was going to make it for so long and so far away from home. But God.... i love these words...only God got me through my freshman year and He has been faithful to keep me going the rest of the way.

I arrived on campus 2 weeks before school started, 1 week before the dorms opened for the other students to arrive... so strange to see the campus empty and quiet! I had the priviledge to spend some personal time with the Deans and other Head RA's before the assistants arrived and I really enjoyed it. They took us to a Red Hawks game, which I actually enjoyed for the first time :D, and also to see what was left of the tornado damage in Moore, OK. It was so sad and humbling to see driveway after driveway and nothing but land, trees that had their limbs ripped off, and only sections of houses that were left stading where a beautiful house was. We also saw the elementary school where seven 3rd graders were killed when the tornado completely wiped away the school. I hope to never ever experience that in person.
Approx 30 minute wait for water ride at Frontier City

We were preached to by Bro. Switzer (missionary to Ethiopia) and also Bro. Lande (college and career director at SWBC) to be leaders and not drivers of the "sheep" that are under us and also to focus on the present ministry before us (RA's) and not focus on a possible future ministry (boy was it good :D)! After Bro. Lande's short challenge, the girl RA's went shopping while the boys went hiking, and that evening the Dean of Students had us over at his house for dinner and movies.
Me and my assistants (left-right) : Juanita Hale, Kara Wright

Activities this week included an amusement park called Frontier City, acarade place called Gattitown, and lots of preaching, singing, and orientation...I'm SO glad school starts Tuesday :D.

So far I have really enjoyed being the Head RA in Mercy Dorm. This position allows me to get to know the girls in my dorm on a more personal level and I am so thankful and priviledged to have each of them. Please pray for me that I will have wisdom on decisions and responsibilities that I need to make and have as I lead this dorm.

Love, Amber

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Holiday Happenings

Head RA Amy and boyfriend Eric

President's Day Weekend was a great time to just relax and have some fun. I was asked to chaperon my head RA and her boyfriend to Stillwater, Oklahoma to an OSU vs. OU basketball game, a visit to the OSU campus, and out to eat at Eskimo Joe's Saturday. I had a BLAST! The basketball game was amazing and lasted for 3 hrs due to it going into overtime. The OSU campus was beautiful with old (whatever styled) buildings that date back to the early 1900's and a little pond with duckies and water fountains.

Eskimo Joe's was delicious with its cheesy, bacon fries and big burgers. It was great to just be off campus and out of the city for a change!
Sunday I was invited to one of my friend's adoptive parents house to eat some good old HOME cooked food, a nap, and a movie before going to church that evening.

After Sunday evening services, a couple hundred students packed out the ice skating rink. The ice skating was a blast and almost everyone was out skating till midnight. There were several guys were out in the middle of the rink playing  red-rover (not with skates, just on there shoes); that was fun to watch.

President's Day me and some friends went to the OKC Zoo; admission was FREE! It was fun walking around and looking at the animals, but nothing will compare to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha! One of the funniest things I saw was a "Caution! No Swimming" sign in the alligator crocodile exhibit. I mean, come on really?! I would hope that someone would have enough sense to not swim where this beasts are!

Southwest just finished their annual Missions Conference. 10 missionarys and their families attended, all focusing on the theme "By Faith." The message that spoke to my heart the most was on faith promise giving. Every year the challenge to increase my promise to God comes up...but each year that decision on how much to increase always causes me to pause. As a college student on limited funds, thoughts about increasing are always kind of scary. Thoughts like it would be more convenient if I gave this amount, or I can't afford to increase or increase very much! It was no coincidence that the first message was about giving to missions by faith, and it hit me square on the nose! We live in an abundant country, giving out of our abundance to missions. What about giving above and beyond? Giving that requires faith? Giving only what is convenient is not faith promise missions, but convenience promise missions. Giving only what I can afford in my budget, is budget promise missions. Bottom line? If I can give to missions, then it's not God, and if it's not God, then it's not faith...pretty good stuff, huh?

This week is dorm week, and everyone is busy cleaning and organizing the dorm for the dreaded annual Dorm Day, which is this saturday. And if that wasn't enough to keep us busy, this week is also midterms for most of the students. AND...sigh....we are all preparing for the campus to double in size as hundreds of prospecitve students flood in for College Days next week. Though it will be busy, it is such an exciting time. I am really looking forward to seeing some of Amanda's family, Pastor and Mrs. Goodrick, Mrs. Beem, and Kate; it is always a highlight for me :D.

This semester has been good, hard, tireing, challenging, and fruitful. I am loving being here, but looking forward towards summer break and coming home. I love you all and are thankful for all the prayer and financial support; they are priceless!
Love, Amber

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Semester Underway

All the ham and pumpkin pie has been eaten, Christmas presents opened and played with, and the snow on the ground too dirty to play in anymore...all sad signs of rest and relaxation fading away and a new school semester looming on the horizon of this college students' life. But, when Heartland Baptist Bible College is a school that I have come to love, a new semester seems more like a 'dawning upon a horizon' rather than a 'looming'. I am so thankful to be back at HBBC and to have a new semester underway. Don't get me wrong; I ABSOLUTELY love enjoying the comforts of home (parents, GREAT food, sleep, space, yada yada yada), but I miss the go go go of homework, activities, and outings with friends as crazy as that may sound.

 To start off the semester, HBBC hosted its annual Church Planters Conference where approximately 117 church planters from all over the US, including Alaska!, presented or supplied each others financial and material needs. Over $330,000 was raised for needs and the spirit of giving spilled over from various church planters to several college students who, without much hesitation, also stood giving what they could afford. Spirit-filled preaching, singing, and specials were scattered througout the 3hr service...which didn't seem very long except for when I was caring for rambunctious 2yr olds in the nursery :D.Overall, the conference was a success and a blast.

Every new semester the school gives students an opportunity to have fun before the madness of school sets in. A trip to the Science Museum, Frontier City (rollercoasters, carnival games, etc.) or bowling. Well, this year they took us to the Omniplex Theater, a section of the science museum that plays movies and documentary films... you would never guess what they were showing the day we went! Drum roll please........Tornado Alley! When I first heard this I thought, "you're kidding right? I am scared of tornados!" and as an assistant RA I am strongly encouraged to go in order to encourage others to go too. So, with a box of popcorn in my hand and friends sitting nearby to watch for entertaining signs of an "Amber-freakout episode" I settled into my seat infront of a 70ft screen and prepared it sad that I jumped as soon as the sound came on? :D Because the screen was sooo big, you actually felt at times that you really were in the tornado that they were filming. Although I had to tell myself a few times that it was just a movie and not real, it was very educational...but not something I would go out of my way to watch again.

The annual photo scavenger hunt is also a highlight amongst the students, and since I didn't have to work that day I grabbed my camera and took off to find a group to go with. Each group was given a list of places, and take pictures of things, and a few we had to being doing something in the picture, and we only had 2 hours to get it all done! Me and my group had a blast as we drove all over OKC trying to find the things on the list. Below are some of the pictures:

Hunter Shearin, Nathan Rogers, Madison Klauke, Katie Trowbridge, and Me. Burger King (top, right), Duck Duck Goose in Walmart with stuffed animals (top, middle), this architectural thing in the Myriad Gardens (top), a trucker at a gas station (top, right), rocking chairs infront of Cracker Barrel (bottom, left), exactly 3cents of gas at a gas station (bottom, middle), and snow angels (bottom, right).

This semester's classes are excellent, and I'm doing more practical application with everything that I've been learning the past 2 years. This semester I am priviledged to be taking Children's Ministries (how to evangelize children and build a successful children's ministry), Audio/Visual Methods (using various aids whether visual or audio to teach), Missionary Methods (about church planting in foreign cultures), Ladies Biblical Counseling, Women's Mission Practicum (first aid and practical living in a foreign culture), Profiles of Faith (learning how to live by faith through studying Heb. 11), and Choir. It's going to be a great semester!

Praying for you all and trust that ya'll are praying for me too. Hopefully see ya'll in march!
In Christ's Love,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November Update

This past Sunday, November 11th, was Friend Day here at Southwest Baptist Church. We had over 50 cards filled out from those who promised to come, and looking around the auditorium, we had a lot of visitors! Pastor Jason Gaddis preached a moving and convicting message on Salvation and during the inivitation, approximately 20 people raised their hands for salvation. However, only two people received Jesus Christ as Savior out of those 20. Please pray that the rest would continued to be reminded of their lost, sinful state and accept Jesus as Savior before its too late.

Friend Day wasn't just limited to the adult service, and all 24 buses increased their visitation efforts encouraging the kids to invite their friends and family members through competitions and prizes such as a 5ft pixie stick, 1lb gummy bear, a 2lb Reses Peanut Butter Cup, and coupons for McDonald's happy meals. As a result, my bus had 33 kids and two of them received Jesus Christ as Savior that day! I am so thankful for the privilege of working the bus ministry, and I cannot think of a better weekly 'missions' minded ministry than working with these children...I truly love it.

God has definitely been growing me lately, teaching me to deny myself and invest in those around me. How? By using my afternoons to take girls to doctor's visits, dentist appointments, job places to fill out paperwork, the grocery store, picking up one girl from the hospital, picking up some of my roommates' RA responsibilities, taking girls out to eat, and on the list goes. The reason? I am single and selfish. Have you ever thought about how a married woman gives up on her wedding day what a single woman still has?-- time for Jesus, time to spend outside her home and with those around her. God has not allowed me to meet who He has for me yet, and instead of focusing on myself and current single state, I am to be a good steward of these single years God has blessed me with and invest in those around me. Believe me! It is NOT easy! But, I would do it all over again for the peace in knowing that I am doing exactly what God wants me to do, and for the relationships I have gained with the girls. 

I love my roommates Katie and Amy and I am so thankful God has placed me to work along-side them. God has definitely given me more responsibility this year as an assistant, and I wonder what in the world He has in store for my future because of all the things I've had to do and handle....kinda scary! However, despite the unpleasantries of RA life, I LOVE it and enjoy knowing the girls on a more personal level.

Look forward to seeing everyone back home next wednesday! Amanda and I are so ready for a break. Please pray for our safety, as well as Whitney's as she will be following us home!
Love, Amber

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

I knew when I came to school this year that there would be a lot happening. Brand new Dean of Women and Dean of Students (which means adjustments :D), new job- HBBC bookstore, new dorm, new roommates, new class of Freshmen (which was close to 200 people!), and a new outlook as an assistant RA since I have a year of experience under my belt. But I didn't expect it to be so busy or challenging! I absolutely LOVE being an assistant RA, and through this position God is pushing me out of my comfort zone and molding me into what I'm going to need to be as a future Missionary's wife. Although I'm taking about 20 class hours, my work load is fairly easy which means I have more free time to do homework and extra curricular stuffs. I'm on yearbook again and am enjoying taking lots of pictures, which I will try and get posted up here in the next week.

"Dorm Day" week was this past week which means that the entire campus turns their dorms upside down to clean out every last dust bunny, hair ball, papers crammed under dresser drawers, and crickets and scorpions (Yes SCORPIONS!) It is a very stressful week of making sure the dorm is spotless for the once-a-semester white glove inspection; its great for the RA's who get to judge how each dorm did (they make it a competition to try and keep it fun) and bring in all the bribes (goodies that get dorms extra points). This week and next week are also midterms, so a lot of studying was being done between cleaning. AND...sigh....the Family Fall Festival was also today! For about three-four hours, approximately 300-400 bus kids and church kids enjoy a carnival style activity that involves bounce-houses, various games, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, and tractor/train ride. It is so much fun, but very tiring because your with the kids trying to control and guide them for that entire time. Judging for dorm day and then going straight to the Fall Festival was work!

Amanda and I were able to kick back and relax for a while yesterday at a friends house across the street from the school (the Buffingtons, who remind me of Bro. and Mrs. Beem). They were gone for a few days, but let us come over to bake, do laundry (for FREE!), and watch part of Finding Nemo before I had to go to work in the evening. It was so funny :D....we were very excited just to get a chance to get off campus and do something fun.

God has been so good to me :D! I'm sure you all remember when I spoke infront of the church about how I struggle with assurance of my salvation...well, I got that taken care of a couple weeks ago after talking to my dad and Amanda. I sat down and talked to the Lord for probably about 30 minutes just telling Him everything on my heart, and then he told me about Himself through Romans 1:1-5 for about 15-20 minutes. I had such a wonderful time fellowshipping with Him. I confessed my sin of doubting my salvation and I have had such peace since then!!! I know FOR SURE now and boy do I feel free :D!

Thank you for all of your prayers and I look forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving.