I Will Follow You

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Mark 1:17 (NIV)
"Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I'll love
How you serve I'll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you"
I will follow-Chris Tomlin

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I just blinked...

I swear, I blinked and it's summertime! Wow!

Well, our week after boundary waters was a time of debriefing a lot of things. We debriefed our trip, our year. We had a day of rest and spent time in our small groups for the last time before summer.
We also went to Valley Fair, an amusement park. It was so much fun! I'm not one for heights so I stay away from roller coasters. But that day, I rode all but like 3 of the rides. I didn't do the insane rides, just the normal ones that were still scary. haha but like I said, I had a lot of fun. It was great to just relax and hang out with my friends. This was one of our last times together.
 Then began our week of rest. I was so blessed to have been able to fly home for a few days and spend time with my parents and brothers. I've really missed them a lot. 
I came back to MN and spent the last of my time of break just relaxing. 

Tomorrow morning I leave for WI for 2 1/2 weeks. This is training camp. It's a special time of preparation before the teams head overseas, so before I head to Scotland. The first week will be training for being a staff discipler. The second week is when the students finally come and we all start getting to know each other. 
I said it is a special time for a couple reasons.
1. I am meeting new people and making new friends but more than that, we are becoming a family.
2. As great as it is to make new friends and grow close, I miss my own family and friends. 
I also will have limited communication during this time. I can only send snail mail (as long as I have stamps). 
To make this time easier on everyone, there are two ways family and friends can communicate with someone at training camp.

These options are available June 10th through the 27th. (Not later because we start leaving on the 28th. So it must come before then!)

1. Hilltop Express. 
This is an email that you can fill out and send to me! I will get it that day or the next day in printed form, something I can keep for the whole summer and re read when I need encouragement. I can tell you from past experience that these emails were a big deal. I loved getting them and I still have all that I got 4 years ago on my first trip.  If you send it by 3pm I will get it that day.
Just fill out the form. Remember, it's - Beka Kopenski - Scotland 

2. Care packages!

Care packages are the bomb. It's so awesome to get a package and open it up to see treats that I love. It's like Christmas in the summer. If that is something you'd like do to (and include a letter in it) It not only encourages me but it will encourage those around me that I will no doubt most likely share with. 
So here is a few things that I like : mint gum, goldfish (cheddar), Golden graham cereal bars, ***berry propel packets(99% of what I'll be drinking this summer is water. So berry propel is a nice and yummy way to shake things up a bit), airborne citris chewable tablets, extra stamps so I can mail home or a thank you to you!, extra cash for airport spending (I'll be doing a lot of traveling in airports this summer and extra cash to get a cheeseburger or a desperately needed coffee is a gift from above, and a black cardigan sweater size XL (target should still sell them and I like that style). I mention this because it is something I wanted for this trip but have not been able to get on my own. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT. PLEASE. If you send anything in a care package would you please pack it up in ziploc bags before it's in the box. And maybe throw in several more ziploc bags (Especially 2 gallon sized bags. I'm running low on those and they are the best size for packing my clothes in). 

***The items after the asterisks are more needed/important that the others. 
You can send packages to:

Royal Servants 
Beka Kopenski - Scotland 
W4797 State Rd. 33
Pardeeville, WI 53954

I look forward to hearing from you over the next couple weeks!! :D

Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 32! Boundary Waters!

This last week Kairos spent up in Northern MN in the Boundary Waters wilderness! It was an amazing week to be disconnected from social media and just enjoy being out in God's creation! 
It was definitely a big week for me. It was my first camping trip ever and boy was I thrust into it!
We woke up Tuesday morning with snow on the ground and ended the week wearing shorts and t-shirts. We had no rain (something that everyone was warning us about). I also got a nice tan. We were blessed with such incredible weather, which really helped make this such an amazing trip for me. 
As I said in the last blog post, I was the leader for Friday, something which I was pretty nervous about. 

Friday went so much better than I expected. I led my team from Fish Stake Narrows all the way down to Nina Moos lake, around 12 miles! We started at 7 am and got there by 3pm. It was a long day but so worth it because it let us have a much shorter day on Saturday which was our day to leave. The pic to the side is where I led my team on Friday. 
It seriously was a fantastic time filled with many memories and sooo much laughter. Pretty sure I laughed the entire time. I had a great team and bonded well. 
It was a week of many firsts, memories which I will treasure forever. 

Here are some pics from the week!

It was foggy when we got up at 5am, this was more towards 6am so almost gone.

Indian pictographs! They were in Canada. Or on Canada. lol. We also saw a moose pictograph.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Week 31!

This week has been a pretty laid back week which I was very thankful for.
Sunday was Mothers Day. I made my mom a fun jib jab video which she loved.
It was a great day spent with my host family. I'm so blessed to have two amazing women as my mom and host mom :)

Monday we packed up our hiking packs and went out to a lake/park with a trail around the lake. Our staff timed us and we competed against the other two teams (I'll explain in a bit). We set up a tent and a tarp shelter and hiked with our packs (25-30lbs) around the lake. My team was the first team that made it around the lake!
(Next week we are heading out to Boundary Waters. We have to split into 3 teams due to our size. Boundary Waters won't allow teams larger than 9 people at once.)

Tuesday, was the second day of the Kairos Games. We completed our second 5K of the year. I shaved off 6 minutes from my first 5K. It was such a great accomplishment!
This is my boundary waters team!

Wednesday was a shorter day due to my church not needing us interns. We got to leave early and spend the rest of the day resting. When I got home, I went on my first bike ride in over 10 years. It felt soo good. I had forgotten how great it felt to ride a bike.

Thursday was a Sabbatical day for everyone. I got 12 hours of sleep, went on a 15 minute bike ride, did my devotions outside as I listened to the rain, watched a couple movies and cross stitched. It was a great day.

Friday, we did alot of Boundary Waters prep. We looked, as a team, over all our food and equipment. Set up our tents and made sure they were set. Then we cleaned our way out of the office in preparation for being away for a week.
I went on another bike ride, probably 2-3 miles. So nice :)

Saturday I went on yet another bike ride, this time going over 4 miles. Such a great work out and beautiful scenery. Other than that, I'm resting because on Monday we leave for Boundary Waters. It's Monday through Saturday. Also did laundry today and packing my bag. Though I'm still working on it, I'm having a hard time fitting everything in. haha. It doesn't feel like I'm bringing much but it adds up.

Please keep the 3 teams in your prayers next week. Pray for good weather, safety of us all and a good time being surrounded by God's creation and exploring new places.

It's hard to believe that after Boundary Waters, we have 2 weeks left until we leave for Royal Servants summer. I'm getting so excited to go to Scotland!

Group photo after our 5K

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Week 30!

Last week we had our Twin Cities Outreach week. This was our week to put into use all that we have learned over the year about ministry and leadership. Kairos students were the ones who planned this, proposed our ministry ideas, contacted ministries and led our group. Our staff were just there as back ups in case of emergencies and also for driving us around. It was a fantastic week and we praise God for keeping us safe and out of any disasters. The worst of the week was on Monday and we almost couldn't find our ministry location. Kairos has seen worse in the past. I'm thankful that ours ran smoothly.
So here is a recap of our week, and unfortunately, there aren't that many pictures to show for our week. We realized this blunder and corrected it on Friday. I made sure to grab my camera that day and snag some photos.

Monday morning we began our week by meeting at a park and going on a prayer walk and time of worship. It was a great way to begin our week of ministry. Plus, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Nothing beats singing praise songs to our God, surrounded by His creation.
That afternoon we drove out to the home of Meredith and Keith. This amazing couple host up to 4 women at once. These women come mostly from broken homes and are in difficult circumstances where they may be pushed into the decision of aborting their babies. These women all came to a pregnancy center, looking at their options and were given the opportunity to come to this home to live while they were pregnant. These women were brave and chose life for their child. We came alongside Meredith and Keith and helped them with a list of odd jobs around the house. This was a huge blessing for them, as Keith had just recently had surgery on his arm. We very much enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know them and their story as we cleaned. They are a wonderful Christian couple. Please be praying for them and their ministry to these women.

In the morning we went to Source in Minneapolis. They do urban outreach and opportunities/anti trafficking since 1987. We went to their Fallout Urban Arts Center and two other locations and helped with different odd jobs. Mostly cleaning the three locations. Some of us painted as well.
That afternoon, for a couple hours we visited Mt.Olivet senior care housing. I was a little wary of this. I haven't spent much time in nursing homes during my life. I think I can count on one hand how often I have gone to one. But it was definitely one of the highlights of my week. Some Kairos took seniors on walks to walgreens. Five of us went up to the memory care floor. We each partnered up with a senior and took them on a walk around the block. It was a beautiful day, for which I am grateful. It has been too long since these people have gone outside. Which, breaks my heart. My partner was Lois. She is such a sweet old lady. She kept "claiming" me and said how I was her partner. She wouldn't share me. We met Paul, Donna, Dorothy, Lois, and a few others. This was such a fun group! We were all a little confused when staff kept disappearing on us, leaving us alone with our seniors. We just stood around a lot and talked. And shared in a lot of laughter. Paul and Donna are the hilarious trouble makers. Donna always teasing. Paul was in his own world and Dorothy, well she didn't get Donna's teasing. I think we loved being there even more than they loved having us. I definitely want to go back someday, if not there, then another place. That two hour visit really opened my eyes to the need right here in our own city. We can't forget about our seniors. They deserve more. I wish we could have stayed longer than two hours.

For a few hours in the morning we went back to Source and continued doing odd jobs. We helped stuff nearly a thousand envelopes for their support letters. And I got to do a little bit of data entry, typing up email addresses into their database. It was fun!
We spent the rest of the day as usual at our internships. It was a pretty chill day at internships. We made dinner for the high school, breakfast for dinner. Other than that, there were no jobs for us to do. I ended up cross stitching a lot and went out to coffee with a couple other Kairos students. Then we served dinner and had small group time. I always love being in the junior girl small group. I believe next week is my last Wednesday with those girls.
Instead of a sermon, the youth pastor had an open mic time for students to come up and say whatever they wanted (things they were thankful for, best moments of the year). The junior girls all went up and one, Devon, she is a junior. I also join in as she co-leads the 7th grade girls small group. I have loved getting to know Devon. But anyway, on Wednesday night she went up and said how thankful she was that I have been here and that she has loved getting to know me. It was so encouraging and its because of this, will make leaving in August that much harder.

We visited Matter More back in January and came again Thursday afternoon. It was cool to see some of the work we started in Jan. finished now. This time though, we worked in their medical supplies sorting room. They get so much medical supplies donated to them and the volunteers that come sort it. Kate, who was in charge of us, suspected we could probably get through 3 pallets worth of boxes (There were a lot of boxes...so many). We spent three hours there sorting and sorting. And learning a lot about medical supplies and uses for things...We got a lot done thanks to one of the Kairos students. Ashleigh went through a semester or so of nursing school before she felt God calling her out and here. We were so thankful for her nursing expertise as she played a huge factor in our sorting skills. We bombarded her with question after question and she handled it all with grace and patience. With her help, we sorted not just three pallets but 6!
Matter More was very thankful. We loved helping. It was a lot of fun.
We started our day later so that we could serve at a community meal with Loaves and Fishes. They cooked the meal at a local church and we served it. It was a lot of fun serving and meeting new people. There were two babies there that had the best smiles. Warmed my heart to play with them throughout the night.


The morning started out a little hectic but ended great. We walked several miles down a road and picked up trash as we went.

Then after lunch we went to Feed My Starving Children, we visited them once already this year. It was great to return!

We ended our week with worship and a time of debriefing.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week 29!

This week was our last week of class (where we have a teacher come and speak). So crazy to wrap up this aspect of Kairos though I am glad that there is still so much to be learning through experiences and debriefing that is ahead. 
We had a Royal Servants trip leader come in for a few days and speak on the importance of youth ministry and ministry in general. It was a great week and I learned a lot. 
On Saturday Chelsea, Carsten and I went kayaking on Lake Minnetonka that is just down the street from my house. It was an absolutely gorgeous day out to spend hours on the lake. It was my first kayaking experience ever and proved to be a quite entertaining first couple hours. But it was great practice for our Boundary Water's trip in just two weeks. I'm probably one of the most inexperienced camping and any sort of boating ever...So I need some practice before the real deal. 

This week we learned what teams we were assigned to! I will be going as a Staff Discipler to SCOTLAND this summer! I'm so excited! It's going to be a great summer! (And Chelsea is coming with me! Also, Amanda!)

And I got a free Keurig and a bunch of free k-cups. Such a nice blessing :) It makes me super happy. So FYI, I am currently taking k-cup donations!

Prayer requests:
-I need an additional $224 for Royal Servants.
- For good weather during Boundary Waters, also safety for my class during this time.
-For my leadership abilities this summer as I will lead a small group of 4 girls this summer. I've a little nervous but oh so excited to meet them and pour into them. 
-As I begin getting details for plans after Kairos and then as I start planning things for that. Needing a lot of prayer for this :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Something I have learned

So I realized today that I don't mention much about what God is doing in my life. A serious error on my part. My testimony is not to be kept for only me, but shared with all of you as well. 
Today we had a fun creative time of worship. Some of us used playdoh, others used colored pencils.
I grabbed the playdoh and began sculpting, as best you can with playdoh. 
Through this exercise I just wanted to share what God's been doing in my life.

The blue figures represent people, I am the one in front. We all have blue hearts. But I wanted God to break my heart for the things that break His. So He did. But then I realized it wasn't enough for me. So I asked God to break it further, but more so to just replace my heart with His heart for this world. And He did (is doing).
So my blue heart has fallen to the side and God replaced it with His heart. 

This year is coming to a close and if I think too hard on it, I may just cry. God has been doing so many great and wonderful things in my life and He is only getting started. But when August comes, as wonderful as it will be to see my family again and return home. I am leaving so much behind. I am leaving my two new families - my host family and my Kairos family. I am just so blessed to have been apart of this Kairos class. And even more so blessed to be with my loving host home. 

But, as bittersweet as August will be, I know there are great things in store for me in the years to come. 
So continue to pray for me as these next few months will be very busy with an outreach week, camping/canoeing trip (it will be intense and I have never camped before). Then mid June we leave for our summer mission trip (which I have yet to find out where I am going. Soon though!) 
And also be praying for my future. That God will direct my steps and open the doors that need to be opened and shut the doors that need to be shut. 

Week 28!

I am staying caught up this week!

It's been a super awesome week. Tuesday, my small group went out to Nadia's Cakes and I got a cannoli which was super delicious. 

Wednesday at internship, for me it was a not so busy day. I did get to play with this cutie, Leora, for maybe an hour. Did some office work too. Then went on to small group and service. Hard to believe that we only have four days of internship left. 

On Thursday I was able to go to a thrift store and found some great deals of clothings items that will be very useful on our Boundary Water's trip next month. I was very blessed to find items that I needed for a very decent price. Gotta love thrift store shopping! Though I still have several items to get to be ready. Hopefully can get those next week. We will see :) Have to get them soon though. BW is only a few weeks away! Also, on Thursday, we had some time in the morning to learn how to set up a tent (as shown in the picture, I'm on the left in the blue) and tie some knots and make a tarp shelter. This was to be our only instruction on these things. In a couple weeks we will be having what is known as the Kairos Games.
For two days we will be having a competition to have some fun and to start preparing for BW. We will take our loaded packs and hike around a lake, set up camp, take down camp. The next day is ending with our second 5K. The team that does everything the fastest (accumulated times) gets $10 giftcards (each) to use for anything you might need or for snacks for BW. I'm pretty excited for the next few weeks...actually, the next several months. Though it also means that Kairos is drawing to a close. 

Today, Friday, we got to go to the other internship church (half of us intern at Woodridge, where I go, and the other half go to the Mills). So we went to the Mills and did a lot of outdoor work. Most
of us split wood using a fancy wood splitter that made it look like you were peeling a cheese stick. Such a good arm work out. Lifting lots of heavy logs for two hours. I had alot of fun though. And I learned a very handy fact about a Columbia jacket I bought at the thrift store. It is not water proof. Good to know! I'll have to water proof it before BW! Haha! But yeah, I really enjoyed the work today.

This week in class we had the founder of Reign Ministries come down and teach on World Religions. We just brushed the surface of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Mormonism. Learned alot. Especially today. We watched two videos on Mormonism that made it very clear what they are about. Craziest fact I learned? That Islam is closer to Christianity than Mormonism is. But it's true. And if you want to know more, well, ask me. but also watch this video. It's pretty funny too. Just a general overview of what a Mormon believes in, but it's what they don't tell you when they come to the door.

But yeah, I have really enjoyed this week. Thank you all for being such great supporters! Love you all!