In honor of Valentine’s Day and the 2011 mascot, we wanted to send a special message from our staff to you:
If you were to look at my bookshelf, you would see several of my old favorites, new favorites, and honestly, several books that I’ve never even touched. I used to do it often- buy books, begin reading them, and quickly put them away because I couldn’t quite get into them. It is sometimes a few months or a few years later before I ever give those books another look.
One morning after spending time in Proverbs and being really convicted of idleness, laziness, and lack of discipline, I wandered over to my bookshelf. After looking through several books I had read before, I found one of those that I had never really gotten into-“Discipline: The Glad Surrender” by Elisabeth Elliot. The title seemed pretty fitting for what the Lord had been convicting me of, so I have spent the last few weeks reading it.
Elisabeth Elliot, widow of famous missionary martyr Jim Elliot, has written several books. Though they vary from topic to topic, all are written in a very easy to read, conversational style. “Discipline” is no different. In this particular book, Elliot covers several aspects of discipline- starting with why we are to be disciplined as obedient followers of Christ, and then spending a chapter each on the individual disciplines of Body, Mind, Place, Time, Possessions, Work, and Feelings. Though each discipline rebuked and corrected me in a different way, the chapter that was most influential was on the discipline of feelings. I’ve been learning recently that in several ways I am the double-minded and unstable person James refers to in chapter 1 of his book. My emotions and feelings, fueled by my flesh, try to overpower the truth I know in my spirit- the truth of Scripture. But, like Elliot says, “It is Christ who is to be exalted, not our feelings. We will know Him by obedience, not by emotions. Our love will be shown by obedience, not by how good we feel about God at a given moment.” The Lord has definitely used this book to point me to Scriptures that have both convicted me of sin, and shown the importance of being disciplined in these various areas. I give it an A++!
Prior to the summer of 2004, Chassidy Rogers and Jami Lee Gainey were typical high school junior girls, both from smaller towns, each with their own dreams and aspirations. Chassidy wanted to be a teacher, and Jami Lee was interested in being either a veterinarian or a nurse. The two girls’ paths crossed in June of 2004 at Super Summer, where the theme for the summer was “Around the World.” They had no way of knowing then that that week would be the catalyst for changing the trajectory of each of their lives.
A year later they found themselves immersed in iGosian culture together: kissing raw fish, bartering for powdered donuts, and sharing bowls of ramen noodles.
It was then that God began to open their eyes to truths in scripture that they’d never before seen. It was the first of many times they’d hear teaching on the core values and begin their individual journeys of plumbing the depths of scripture in relation to God’s desire for his glory.
The training and teaching that was impressed upon the girls at base camp came to life during their first trip to Tokyo, Japan. This was their first exposure tangibly seeing people who were worshipping idols “made of silver and gold…that have ears, but do not hear, eyes but do not see” (Psalm 115:4-5). They learned and put into practice how to share the gospel through building relationships in a way that encouraged and prepared them to continue living missionally after returning home to the States.
The next summer involved each girl attempting to incorporate what they’d learned through different ministry avenues that did not involve iGo. Despite this momentary straying from the Lord in 2006, they quickly repented in sackcloth and ashes and served again with iGo in 2007.
The summers of 2007 and 2008 looked differently for both Chassidy and Jami Lee, but God continued to challenge and refine them through spending their summers sharing with least-reached people groups around the world.
Neither Chassidy nor Jami Lee would’ve predicted how God would change their lives from their own plans to aligning more with his desire for his name and renown. By the end of the summer in 2008, both Chassidy and Jami Lee felt called to be a part of God’s kingdom work by joining the iGo staff. Both girls joined the iGo team in 2009 after graduating from college. Both became trip coordinators, sending Super Summer students to unreached people groups.
Both girls feel blessed to be a part of the family at iGo. Not only was it life-changing to become part of the larger iGo family for the first time in 2005, but also it’s been incredible joining the tighter-knit group of staff members the girls get to work alongside day in and day out. Both Chassidy and Jami Lee consider the iGo team as instrumental in encouraging and modeling what it looks like to live a gospel-centered life. Despite flying footballs and endless Youtube quoting, the staff at iGo challenge each other to live a bottom line lifestyle through being committed to the local church, pursuing Biblical community, and trusting the sufficiency of scripture. Whether praying for each other, serving cucumbers and tomatoes together, or teaching the core values alongside one another, the iGo staff strives to remain focused on God’s glory as the ultimate purpose for all they do. These are just two of the staff members who have been changed by what God is doing through iGo.
During this season of thankfulness, we wanted to highlight staff members and their families and let them share a few of the things they’re most thankful for. Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments section!
- God’s unfailing provision
- Thoughtful family, friends, & supporters
- The opportunity to have some pretty amazing life-adventures
- The Lord’s provision in all things
- The people He has placed in my life, that I get to walk alongside each day
- Juice Boxes
- For the opportunity to get to serve the Lord and work doing things I love, through the church and through iGo
- For two really amazing kids who teach me so much
- My gracious and faithful, smoking hot wife
- The grace I’m shown daily that gives me a clearer picture of the Gospel
- A staff to work with that is encouraging, sharpening and like-minded
- Shoes. Cute shoes can make anybody look good.
Jami Lee Gainey
- The first ever iGo conference, and how it reminded me of how blessed I am to work with people who love and encourage others to love the church
- The undeserved opportunity to be a part of a church plant alongside my husband and other great friends
- The blessing of experiencing the TSSG trip this past summer in Japan with my husband, mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law
- For a little girl in Ethiopia who will soon become my daughter
- Thankful I was blessed to have 12 great years with my lab, Mo (he passed away in August).
- For Napoli’s Lunch Special. 2 slices of round Italian food for only 4 bucks.
- A son that’s potty trained
- Friends who faithfully petition the Lord on my family’s behalf
- Grace and hope that come through Jesus
- Getting to spend time with family
- Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin candles - basically anything pumpkin flavored
- My wife
- The people around me who have pointed us to adoption
- Getting to work with good friends and leaders
- Parents that live out the Gospel
- iGo Partners that give financially and walk alongside me
- Cute Aprons
- The Word of God
- My husband
Chassidy has served on staff with us over the past year and has a great story about her encounter with a moose. If you followed our mascot clues a few weeks ago, you probably heard us make mention of this incident (the pic was taken the day before this incident took place):
Three years ago, I had my first experience with what would later become the iGo Mascot. It wasn’t one of the friendly mascots, like a goat, penguin, or giraffe. It was one of those animals that you want to see from far away, but not close up, because you are scared it will kick you or step on you or poke you with its horns. That’s right, I met a moose. Not just any old moose, I met an Alaskan moose, which happen to be the largest species of moose…mooses…meese…moosen? Whatever. I met one of them, and every time I see a moose shirt on an iGo student, I will remember my first encounter.
In the summer of 2007, I went to Alaska for two weeks to serve with the Alaska Baptist Convention. Driving around Alaska you can’t help but notice two things. First, how absolutely beautiful it is; it really is breathtaking. Second, the terrifying signs reminding you of the “Moose on Road.” Apparently, moose like to walk across busy roads and put their lives (and the lives of those in the cars) in danger. Because of these signs, I was always aware of moosen while driving. I was not, however, as aware when I was running.
About a week after I had been in Alaska, I went for a run in the morning. I had run a couple of blocks in the neighborhood we were staying in, but had run almost a whole block looking down at my foot. I had on some windpants and the zipper was stuck so my pant leg kept flopping around, and I was staring at the zipper wondering how I could fix it. After accepting the fact that there was no hope for my zipper, I looked up. That’s when I saw it.
…or more accurately, them.
In the middle of a busy neighborhood full of houses, people, dogs, and cars, there was a little field with trees. Out of these trees came two moose. Actually, out of the trees came a cow moose and her calf. Apparently this is one of the most dangerous ways to encounter a moose, because the “momma moose” as I called her, is very protective of her baby. So as I look up, I see them walking out of the trees, and hope that they don’t see me. Momma moose, however, looked straight at me, back at the baby moose, and back at me. Her ears laid back (a lot like a dog or cats do) and she started trotting towards me. So I kept running…in the opposite direction, of course. I sprinted as fast as I could, looking over my shoulder every 1/8 of a second to see if the moose was still after me. I was checking out all the houses I was passing and trying to figure out how I could get to the roof, or climb up in a tree, or jump on top of a car. I quickly realized that I was no Jason Bourne and had no chance against a 7-foot tall animal; but she only trotted after me for about 30 seconds, and then veered off into the woods. That was the last time I went running in Alaska.
So…there’s my moose story. Contrary to what you may think, I am in favor of the 2010 mascot, and am sure that I will have a better experience with meese in iGosia than I did with mooses in Alaska.
We decided to record one of our staff meetings for the three people that read our blog and who might wonder what a day in the iGo office is like. None of this is planned, staged, scripted or any other synonym you can think of. We tried to filter through the boring stuff. Hope you enjoy the ridiculousness that is our staff:
The day Allison edited this video was the SAME day we found our new office! Praise the Lord! Be praying for us as we transition to the new location in Wylie.
Chassidy Smith, who many of you know, joined our staff May 13, 2009 and is coordinating the TX Super Summer Global Xtreme trip. This Saturday she will become Mrs. John Rogers! (Check back for highlights from the wedding.) Below is an article she has written on engagement:
I have always tried to imagine what being engaged would feel like: the ring, the butterflies, the expectation, the excitement of it all. Since August 1, 2009, I have not been disappointed. Engagement has been all of those things. Sometimes it all feels so surreal I have to sit down, look at my left hand, and think “Wow. This is actually happening.” It is beautiful. It is everything that I hoped and prayed for as a young girl. And it is more, much, much more. I see traces of Ephesians 4:20-21 when I think about the beauty of engagement and marriage; God is “able to do far more abundantly than we can imagine, according to his power at work within us.” It has been far more than I could ever imagine or pray for. I am constantly grateful at the provision of Father.
Throughout the last five months, however, there has consistently been something that I have not expected. The more I prepare for marriage individually, the more John and I prepare together, and the more God gives me his eyes for the purpose of marriage, the less and less I can run away from this thing. It’s not excitement, or anxiety, or stress. It’s refining. The closer I get to January 9, the hotter the heat gets, “for he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap.” (Mal 3:3).
In his newest book, This Momentary Marriage, John Piper says “the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display….it is about showing in real life the glory of the Gospel.” Through scripture, Father is revealing to me the gravity and weight of marriage….and it is huge. In a short time when John and I come together in the covenant of marriage, we are given the incredible responsibility and blessing of showing the world a tangible picture of the Gospel. We are to show to one another, and those around us, grace, mercy, love, sacrifice, selflessness….we are to portray Jesus and his bride, the church.
Needless to say, the last 5 months of preparation, and the rest of my life, have been and will be a deep time of refining. God is bringing to light things about myself that don’t bring glory to Him (and probably make me really hard to be joined together with J). The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb 4:12), and God is using His word to challenge, convict, refine, and restore me. I continue to learn Bottom Line as I realize how much marriage is not about myself, or John, or our family. Marriage is solely about the glory of God. It is to glorify him by being an accurate depiction of the Gospel. “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:32)
Though I will continue to learn and be challenged and floored by this truth for the rest of my life, it has already greatly impacted me. Thinking of engagement in Bottom Line terms means I’m not so controlling or nit-picky, it means I don’t hold something over my future spouse’s head, it means that we actively seek the guidance and will of the Father, because He is what it is about. Bottom Line, His glory and the truth and freedom of the Gospel. It is not about my comfort, preference, or feelings; it is about something and someone much greater than myself. Something much greater than us. Though engagement and marriage is beautiful and wonderful, I am learning the depth of its beauty. Not because of a ring, or a ceremony, or even getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend.
“Marriage is a magnificent thing because it is modeled on something magnificent and points to something magnificent. And the love that binds this man and woman in marriage is a magnificent love because it portrays something magnificent- “as Christ loved the church” and “as the church submits to Christ.” The greatness of marriage is not in itself. The greatness of marriage is that it displays something unspeakably great, namely, Christ and the church.” John Piper, This Momentary Marriage.
At iGosia we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Check out this sweet video!
In case you can’t understand us due to all the laughter, here’s the list:
1. Suitcase full of T-shirts and Jeans
2. Fake Bus Passes
3. iGo Dollars
4. Flying Footballs
6. Payment Deadlines
7. Different Accents
8. Busy Jimmys
9. iGosian apples
10. Awesome T-shirts
11. Mustard Bottles
From iGosia to you - “We hope you have top of sweet celebration with families this season of holiday!”
At iGo there are a lot of things we’re thankful for….here are just a few highlights:
friends and family that support our ministry
Zoom Bait Company (Bass love ‘em)
Madeley Ranch (where I hunt deers)
The Republic of Texas
An office that laughs together
Masking tape—it holds the thermostat on the wall
A son who just learned about butterfly and eskimo kisses
Friends who sit on the floor of my office to do their work
garden salsa sunchips.
the minute maid freezer pops AC has in the freezer here. i owe him about 3.
Chassidy owing me like 18 frozen pops plus interest.
frisbees because they curve…into offices.
iGosians who are cool with kissing the fish.
SO many t-shirts.
a brand new son..
I’m thankful for…working in a community of people who are passionately pursuing sanctification and are not perfect, but are willing to share with each other their struggles, weaknesses, and shortcomings.
I’m thankful for…the random phrases that are yelled out down the hall, which are ultimately meaningless to the point that no one even recalls where they originated.
Kitchen Aid Mixer
Getting to see JSIs grow
Working with a staff who are great friends
The chance to help students get the bottom line
Dr Pepper…Dr Pepper
A desk to work from at iGo
Being a part of something way bigger than me
Leftover snacks from base camp
What are you thankful for?