Uganda Bound!

Being actively engaged in furthering the kingdom of God is the greatest privilege ever! These past few years, the Lord has given me a ‘front row seat’ of how He is moving throughout this country and across the nations. Whether it’s assisting our SGWM missionaries or going on a short-term missions trip, there are endless opportunities that the Lord has laid before me, and I am so very thankful. During this time, I have also been anticipating the day that I can go from watching what the Lord is doing across the nations to engaging in furthering His kingdom in those places. Well, the wait is over!

I am so excited to announce that the Lord has opened up the door for me to spend an entire month in Uganda this upcoming August! This trip will consist of ministry in two locations with two different teams but one primary purpose: to bring glory to the Lord!

The first part of my journey, I will travel to Midigo, a 95% Muslim district located in Northern Uganda.

I will serve alongside a short-term missions team at Calvary Chapel Midigo and with Promise Child. Promise Child is an international child sponsorship program that brings both hope and the Gospel to children by meeting their most practical needs. I will have an opportunity to share the Gospel and pray over kids as I interview them and update their profile cards for their Promise Child sponsors. I will also engage in various outreaches the team does throughout that time amongst that district. No words can describe how excited I am to do ministry in Midigo, look upon the precious faces of the children, and take part in communicating their stories to their sponsors.

Click the following link to learn more about CC Midigo – www.ccmidigoministries.com

Click the folowing link to learn more about Promise Child – www.promisechild.org

 

During the last part of my trip, I will travel south to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda and visit my fellow SGWM missionaries, the Kanyike family.

As I have worked behind the scenes as an administrative assistant for SGWM, I have watched how the Lord has moved mightily through the Kanyike family and their church plant, Arise Christian Fellowship. My heart longed to see the work in person and to come alongside the Kanyike’s in any aspect of ministry. The Lord knew my heart’s desires! I will be spending two weeks with them, gleaning from their experiences as they have faithfully served the Lord in Kampala.


Click on the following link to learn more about the Kanyike family and how they are being used for God’s glory –  sgwm.com/kanyike

This incredible opportunity is both exciting and surreal, but I know it is the Lord who is directing my steps. I look forward to sharing more about how He led me and how this trip even came about! For now, I greatly covet your prayers!

For His Name’s Sake!

~Nikki


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An Upcoming Adventure!

Dear family in Christ,

Even though I began numerous newsletters since my last, they sadly never made it out of my rough drafts folder. I apologize for failing to write newsletters consistently! Despite this failure to communicate, I have been really excited to share what the Lord has been doing lately in my life!

He is making the long term calling appear clearer than ever as I am learning to be faithful to my current calling. I know it sounds easy to live out the words of Jim Elliot, “Wherever you are, be all there.” But trust me, it’s easier said than done. But with the strength and grace of God, He has shown me just how important of a role He has called me to. Now that my heart is completely in it, He has flooded my mind with vision for my current calling as an SGWM Administrative Assistant and also allowed me to see more of that long term calling I have been so itching to discover! Rather than share the excitement of where He is opening up doors for the future, I feel Him leading me to share more of what He is already doing in my current calling.

 

He Brought Me Brenda…

There truly is opportunity for ministry no matter what country you live in. I have been able to experience that more than ever as I have been involved in children’s ministry, local outreaches(like Watts) and even caring for our missionaries behind the scenes in the office.

Of course my favorite type of ministry is cross cultural/international ministry and one of the greatest perks of living in the US is being so close to my beloved Mexico. During the end of February the Lord opened up the door for me to head south of the border to do ministry alongside my mom, little sister, one of my best friends and her family. During the day we would drive into a very broken and hurting community that is so in need of the transforming work of the Gospel, do ministry with children, and at night we would return to our accommodations and have great fun and fellowship. My heart was completely bursting with joy, satisfaction and thankfulness to the Lord for the blessing of not only serving Him, but serving Him in Mexico alongside some of my favorite people.

A View of the Community…

Each day the children heard a teaching, the Gospel, did a craft and we were able to play with them.

Playing Canadian card games after a fun and long day of ministry…

The last day of the trip was definitely the hardest as we had to say goodbye to children that we had grown to love so much in just a few days. And not only that but we were leaving them in the brokenness and results of generations not following the Lord. The church there is so extremely faithful in laboring to reach the community with the Gospel but there is such great need yet to be filled.

Since we had to face the reality of the children’s realities, an urgency began to rise in my heart. Not to ‘do’ anything(because honestly I couldn’t do anything) but to make the Gospel known to anybody I could. I knew that the only way for the community to be transformed was through the power of the Gospel! I began to pray hard for opportunity to share the Gospel with any one of the precious children. And in His perfect timing, the Lord brought me Brenda.

Brenda was a fragile looking girl most likely around the age of 10. Mostly going unnoticed throughout the week, she was quiet and as people on our team took photos with her, there was absolutely no expressions on her face other than a look of deep sadness. I have no idea what has gone on in her life, but whatever it is, it has not been easy. I don’t remember how the Lord gave me the blessing of talking to her or how we even began a conversation. But what I do know is that He wanted to tell her how precious she is to Him, how much He loves her and that He desires to save her through Jesus Christ! The Lord flooded my mind with scriptures He wanted to share with her and He gave me a ridiculous ability to do all of this in Spanish!

There are no words to describe what it is like to look into the eyes of someone who is obviously hurting, be able to speak the amazing truth of the Gospel and watch their countenance change before your eyes. Brenda held onto every word as if it was the first time she was hearing it. I will never forget how her face slowly softened and how she looked so close to tearing up. I am grateful that His Word never goes void.

On the left, my little sister holding those cuties and on the right, my mom holding Brenda in her arms…

Please pray that the Lord would continue to remind Brenda how much He loves her and how truly precious she is to Him!

An Upcoming Adventure!

Over time, the Lord has greatly burdened my heart for many nations. And one of the most amazing things about doing ministry in America is that you don’t even have to leave the country to be engaged in reaching the nations!(although I love doing that). America is so diverse as so many nations are represented in this land. Last summer I was able to go on a short term missions trip to Dearborn, Michigan and be in a community that gave me all of the experiences of being in a foreign country.

Even though I didn’t leave my own country, I was immersed into a Middle Eastern subculture for a week!(click here to read more about that trip) Jesus showed me how much He loves the Middle East & how greatly He desires to save them. Since then, my heart has yearned for more to come to know Jesus! The Lord has allowed me to do ministry here and there that involves reaching that specific people group but He is giving me another opportunity to once again immerse myself in their culture!

At the end of this upcoming April, a small team of us from CCSG will venture out to Arizona for outreach, evangelism and apologetics training amongst the Middle Eastern community located there.

I’m not sure what the difference between Dearborn and Arizona will be but what I do know is that there are captives to sin that the Lord wants to set free with the power of the Gospel! I can’t wait!

 

Prayer Requests

1)Pray that the Lord would continue to give me His vision as I serve our SGWM missionaries and with Light of the World Ministries in local outreach.

2)Pray for the community we ministered to in Mexico. That the Lord would provide more laborers, that He would guide the church and that the Gospel would transform the lives of the children and adults.

3)Pray for the upcoming Arizona missions trip. That the Lord would provide financially, that He would prepare the hearts of those He will bring in our path and that He would raise up laborers for the trip!

 

Thank you for praying, encouraging and supporting me. If you have questions about anything or ways in which I can pray for you, please email me at nikki@sgwm.com.

 

For His Name’s Sake,

Nikki Arriaga


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Neither Do I Condemn You…

I just love seeing my Savior, filled with Grace & Truth, interact with the woman caught in adultery…..

…And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more…

~John 8:9b-11

I can’t imagine the feeling of shame & brokenness she felt as she was thrown before Jesus by the Pharisees to be judged and condemned. Little did they know that Jesus would do the very opposite. He didn’t look upon her in disgust or in anger. He offered His forgiveness, grace & desired to transform her life through Himself.
 
How overwhelmingly beautiful Jesus is! The very One who has every right to judge anyone because of His perfection in holiness CHOOSES to look beyond that, love unconditionally, & offer redemption and restoration!
 
Now when I myself am caught in sin, why would I NOT run to such a Savior & Redeemer?!?! The only secure place is in the arms of Jesus! Yes there is conviction but only so I can be drawn to His grace, forgiveness & restoration.
 
His grace in it’s right context truly overwhelms me.
 
Grace produces holiness. It doesn’t produce apathy. It doesn’t take a sinner and make him more of a sinner. It doesn’t take a sinner and say it’s okay to be a sinner and keep sinning. Grace transforms lives!“~Pastor Trent Douglass

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My Anniversary….

Today(February 3rd) is my anniversary and I am MORE IN LOVE with Him than ever! Ok not in the way you think…BUT 8 years ago today, my life was radically changed when I entered into a relationship that changed not only my life, but my eternal destiny! I gave my heart, soul and life to One who knows every single thing about me and still loves me constantly and unconditionally despite all of my flaws. He has EVERYTHING I look for in a perfect relationship! He is the most faithful, caring, constant, forgiving, compassionate, gracious and merciful. Being in His very presence fills my heart with joy and amazement that someone like Him would have me. When my heart is not set upon Him, I am the most miserable because He moves my heart in ways that NOBODY ever could. He is literally always there for me. He never fails me and He never leaves me. Not even death will tear us apart. And even though there are many times I have failed Him, He still is willing to draw me back to Himself. Yes I am in love and I am in love with my Beautiful Savior Jesus Christ! He is my Lord, my Redeemer, my Abba Father, The Great I AM!

I can’t describe how thankful I am to Him that He shed His perfect and precious blood on the cross so that through trusting in Him and turning from my sins, He could cover me in His righteousness. He has saved me and I now have a guarantee that I will spend all of eternity with Him. And together, We will take that message to others who have yet to hear about His amazing love that He has for them as well! This is just the beginning of Our adventure!

For His Name’s Sake!


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Embracing Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria

As I look back on what the Lord did during this past Summer, I am completely amazed and honored to be apart of how He is fulfilling the Great Commission! The Lord blessed me with opportunity to get a great taste of what long term missions would be like when I went to Dearborn, He expanded my vision for the nations and showed me the great need for the Gospel that surrounds me in my very own Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

Embracing my Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria…

If you have been with me on this journey with the Lord, you know that He has stirred a great passion in my heart for reaching those who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the unreached. The Lord has given me glimpses of where this might take place in the future in an “ends of the earth” aspect and has really burdened my heart for a specific nation and people group. However, He really spoke to me about how He had me ‘home’ for a specific reason. It took me a very long time(1 year) to fully embrace reaching those around me as I had been so focused on the great needs I had seen in the 10/40 window. Yes, the needs remain, I still desire to be there and I pray for God to send laborers to that plentiful harvest hoping that one day I will be one of those laborers. However the Lord reminded me that this season of preparation that I am in doesn’t just mean mental training, but putting that training into action. I definitely don’t need to be on a foreign mission field to be engaged in missions. As I began embracing this extremely necessary aspect, the Lord wasted no time in opening up amazing opportunities for me to take action!

Learning to Lead in Watts…

After realizing how I wasn’t embracing God’s current ministries for me and repenting, the door flew open for me to co-lead an evangelism ministry in my church called Light of the World Evangelism Ministry. We lead up local outreaches and short term missions trips in Orange County and across the United States that involve various forms of evangelism. There are many visions and plans that are a work in progress and we believe the Lord will fulfill them, if He so desires, in the future. So far, my involvement has been to lead teams in children’s outreaches in Watts, California as we partner with Calvary Chapel Hope Central Watts.

Leading the Watts outreaches has definitely been a great learning experience as I had never before led teams or had even been to Watts. The Lord really taught me the importance to lay everything before His feet, to seek His vision and heart for this community, and that ultimately I am simply the instrument used in His hands to accomplish His will.

The Lord was extremely faithful to answer my prayers, provide amazing teams and ALL materials that were needed to love on and reach the children in the community of Watts. We were able to do salvation bracelets, other Gospel centered crafts, play carnival games, give prizes, do face painting, balloon animals, and develop some precious relationships with children.

Most importantly, the Lord gave us endless opportunities to share the Gospel with the unreached people of that community….YES the unreached are located in Watts as well!

During these outreaches, majority of the people we shared the Gospel with had either never heard the Gospel or had an extremely incorrect view of the Gospel, God, Jesus, and the Bible. It was so shocking to discover that there are unreached people only 45 minutes from where I live but I look forward to seeing how the Lord will continue to use us to change that fact.

The Training Continues….

The training for my calling of full time missions has been ongoing these last few months and I have enjoyed every single minute. Interning with SGWM continues to shape my thinking in the reality of missions(finances, updates, administrative needs of a missionary) and my Missions III class that has just started will prepare me in the practical side of missions(living on the field, developing a care team, handling crisis, surviving and thriving cross-culturally, etc.). My pastor has also started a bi-weekly missions Bible study through the book of Acts, teaching me the Biblical side of missions as well.

I was able to practice public speaking during a Dearborn debriefing meeting in mid-August

I love my training and I am so thankful to God that He has surrounded me with great opportunities to not only get prepared for my future, but to also put that training to use in reaching the lost and the unreached in my own community and country.

Prayer Requests:

1)Please pray for those who have heard the Gospel in Watts: that the Lord would water planted seeds, that many would come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and that revival would break out in the community of Watts

2)Please pray for Light of the World Ministries: that the Lord would give us His vision, heart and ideas for spreading the Gospel locally

3)Please pray that my mind would be able to soak in all of the training and information I am getting through my internship, Missions III class, and Bible studies.

4)Please pray that the Lord would provide for me financially: I have a great need for people to partner with me financially who are willing to make a monthly commitment, of any amount. The Lord has been faithful to care for me and I trust that He will continue to do so. If you feel the Lord leading you to financially partner with me, you can do so by clicking on the “Become a Financial Partner” button at the top of this page.

5)Please pray the Lord would give me wisdom in support raising and that He would guide me to people who are called to be my ‘senders’ both now and in the future.

 

For His Name’s Sake,

Nikki Arriaga


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The Lord is My Shepard, I Shall Not Want

“The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want.”-Psalm 23:1

Psalm 23 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I know it is one of those extremely common passages of scripture but it is too beautiful to be placed in the “too familiar & overlooked” category of our minds. Each time I read it, I can’t help but just fall in love with it all over again. So as I read it recently, I felt compelled to just take note of how the Lord speaks to me as I read this great treasure of the Bible. I simply want to document it in a public place in which I can look back on it later & be reminded of how the Lord spoke to my heart. I pray that you would be blessed as well & fall more in love with our Chief Shepard, Jesus Christ.

 

“The Lord is my Shepard…”

Allowing God to be my Shepard takes a submissive & trusting response. That means that I must place every part of my life into His hands. I give Him the freedom to guide me, correct me, protect me. There have been several times when I strayed away from His guidance. Whether it was from my own stubbornness to make a way to get what I want, the sin that I allow to ensnare me, or just slowly wandering away. But each time I strayed, the Lord was there drawing me back to Him with His grace & open arms. He did & will always faithfully pursue me & bring me back to the safety of the plans He has for me. As the Lord gently guides me through every adventure of life, I can always trust that allowing Him to be my shepherd will bring guaranteed satisfaction. There will be nothing lacking with Him as my everything.

 

“..I shall not want..”

I shall not want simply means, “I will have no need.” I love how the NLT translation states the second part of this verse…”I have all that I need.” Just as Jesus told the woman at the well, He is living water & if I choose to look for complete sustainment & satisfaction in Him, I will never thirst. In other words I will never have to look for another source of fulfillment & sustenance because He will be all I need. In the past I have attempted to use broken cisterns & tried to draw satisfaction from wells of the world, friendships, relationships, entertainment, myself, etc. I always found myself disappointed, dissatisfied, & wanting more. But when I run to the fountain of living water, it is there that I find the purest fulfillment. Each “parched” area of my life is found refreshed, revived, & satisfied as I enter the presence of the Lord. If there is a need for comfort, He reminds me that He is my compassionate High Priest & that He has a plan. If there is a need for strength, He reminds me that He can do it through me. If there is a need to be loved, He points me to the cross.

What a privilege it is to enter God’s presence & draw from such a precious & eternal spring of water. Because in reality, I am so undeserving to even draw near to such a wonderful place. But through His unconditional love, He desired to do whatever it took to make a way for a personal relationship & guaranteed eternity with Him. When I meditate on that I cannot contain my thankfulness for the cross.

The love that God has demonstrated on the cross is the purest, most unconditional, undeserved, & truest love of all time.
As I remind myself of this love, I can’t help but fall in love all over again with a God who loves & cares for me more than I can even imagine. Through the cross I have such a great privilege to enter the most joyous & satisfying presence of God.

May I never forget the greatness of His sacrifice that allows me to be guided & satisfied in Him!


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A Life Changing Week

These past few months have been both extremely busy and productive. Between ministry in my home church, serving at a missions and pastors conference, and family vacation, there has always been something going on. However, the greatest life changing week happened while I was given the opportunity to travel to Dearborn, Michigan for a short term missions trip. A group of 6 of us from Calvary Chapel Saving Grace teamed up with believers from all over the U.S. in order to get trained by some of the best apologists, host various outreaches, and to ultimately share the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ with an unreached people group. Our trip to Dearborn, Michigan was filled with so many life changing experiences that time would fail me to explain every story or detail but I pray that through the next few paragraphs that you would get a glimpse of how the Lord is moving in the community of Dearborn, Michigan.

 

On the Ground in Dearborn

After traveling all night by plane to Michigan, we had one day of rest getting used to a three hour time difference and had a delicious Lebanese meal. The rest of the week, our schedule was filled from 9:00am-10:00pm with cultural and apologetics training in the morning, followed by numerous types of ministry. One of the outreaches was a Henna Party including dancing, lunch, several Gospel messages and building relationships with the women of Dearborn.

Showing off our Henna!

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The Gospel message went forth several times during our Henna Party and was also translated into Arabic.

 

Our team was also able to assist a Vacation Bible School with crafts and games. The VBS had a theme of “God is Love.” The children were memorizing Bible verses such as John 3:16, which they had never heard before and were able to hear how much God loved them!

 

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Her craft reads, “God made me special”

 

 

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Playing games during the VBS

 

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We were also a part of door to door outreach. We had really interesting conversations about religion, prayed with people, gave out the Gospel of John in Arabic and material speaking of God’s love and justice.

 

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Through God’s divine providence, we were able to meet this man who was very open to hearing the Gospel!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

His Overwhelming Love

Throughout the week in Dearborn, the Lord was greatly breaking my heart for the many souls that had never heard how much Christ loved them and how He had demonstrated that love for them on the cross. While entering the Dearborn community each day, God was constantly speaking to my heart about His love for the souls that did not know Him. As I would look upon the face of each individual, the Lord would speak directly to my heart saying, “I love that woman” or “I sent Jesus to die for that man” or “I love that child even though he is rejecting me.” Honestly, I had never had such a broken heart for those who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. It was completely overwhelming to feel how much God’s heart breaks for those who are choosing the darkness rather than the light of Jesus Christ. And to understand the fact that He DID send Christ to die for them in the current state that they are in, gave me a greater perspective of what grace truly is.

The Lord allowed us to plant or water many seeds and ultimately, it is the job of the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of the individual. I trust that God will be faithful to continue the work we were part of for such a short week and draw hearts to Him. The Lord is clearly moving in the community of Dearborn because He passionately loves them and strongly desires to save them in order that they may know Him, the Only True God! It truly was a privilege to be the hands and feet of Christ and see the work that He is doing not only across the world, but in our very own country.

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”                                       –Isaiah 55:10-11

 

May the Lord be made known amongst all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues!

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For His Name’s Sake,

Nikki Arriaga


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This Season of Preparation

All For Good…

As you know, life is full of various seasons. Some seasons are extremely exciting, some are harder than others, and some are a little easier. Either way, God is the Sovereign author and uses every season of life for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose(Romans 8:28). Right now I find myself in one of those extremely exciting seasons. The Lord has shown me the blueprints of what He wants to do with my life. I know that my main purpose in life is to bring Him glory and cause others to worship Him alongside me.

 

Walking Down Memory Lane With My Lord…

As I contemplate the various seasons that the Lord has brought me through, I can’t help but think of how faithful He is. One of my favorite seasons, began in August 2013 and came to an end on May 22, 2015. It was an amazing season of two incredible years soaking in the Word of God, falling in love with my Savior Jesus Christ, making some unforgettable memories, and gaining life long relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ. Almost a year ago, the Lord allowed me to graduate from Calvary Chapel Bible College in Ensenada, Mexico.

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I really do remember my graduation day like it was yesterday. I remember that out of many things that were running through my mind, I kept going back to one specific thing: Amazement at how God did it all. He called me there, He provided, He captured my heart, He sustained me even when I felt like giving up, He refined me, and most of all He prepared me. Even though my name will always be on that certificate, I know that it was only through the Lord’s faithfulness that I had it.

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Another thought of “what now” was also running through my mind on that day. I had absolutely no idea where God would lead me(though I had very strong assumptions) or what He was going to do. Had I known that He would lead me to where I am at now, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Not because I wouldn’t have liked it, but because it would have been so shocking to see how the Lord would bless me by giving me such great desires of my heart in so little time. In less than a year, God clearly showed me exactly ‘what’ He wants me to do and is revealing a little more of the ‘where’  He will want me to be. I truly am thankful for that beautiful season of Bible college, but I am also extremely excited to be in this season for such a time as this!

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My Current Season…

The second semester of the Missions course I have been attending at CCBC Costa Mesa has come to an end. The third and final class of this Missions program will resume fall of this year, and Lord willing, I will be taking that class also. This past semester, God took me deeper in my understandings of missions and challenged me to pursue His heart more and more.

Serving with Saving Grace World Missions is continually used by the Lord to ignite my heart with a passion to see the Lord reach the nations that have yet to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. I have been able to see great glimpses of the work He does all across the world and He never ceases to amaze me. I have seen the Lord answer my prayers as I have prayed for our SGWM missionaries and their financial needs. Seeing their lives constantly builds my faith.

I find myself in a great season of preparation in my life. Preparation for something only my Heavenly Father knows so far. Yet I see that as I am taking different steps of faith, I am seeing His plans unravel right before me! I am really looking forward to the day when the Lord confirms where He will call me to partake of His world wide work. But until then I will walk by faith, trust in His perfect plan, be faithful in where I am at, and daily delight in Him!

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” -Psalm 37:4

For His Name’s Sake,

Nikki Arriaga


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Joy Outside of My Comfort Zone

Practical Perspectives…

When somebody asks me how interning has been, I often say, “I feel like a kid in Disneyland!”. I am completely amazed at where God has placed me in this new chapter of life. I am not only getting trained up to be sent out, but I am also learning more about ministry and missions from completely different perspectives. While I attended Bible College, I learned a lot of the spiritual side of things and now I feel like I am learning how to put those things into practice. I have been able to work alongside both my church and SGWM. It has been so fun to do behind the scenes work and watch the Lord work out every minor detail.

SGWM Office2I have been learning first hand at what a life of missions consists of on a practical level, as I look through the lives of the missionaries that are already out on the international fields. God is constantly using their lives, stories, and ministries to reveal to me how He is working all across the world and I am constantly encouraged. Not only am I encouraged by the missionaries, but by the staff that I serve alongside in the office. I am always able to have amazing times of fellowship, laughter, and gain wisdom from each person. It has been such a joy serving the Lord this past month and I can’t wait to see how God will continue to work in their lives and in mine.

 

From Jonah to Jeremiah…

As I have been soaking in all the excitement of serving with SGWM, God has been leading me to take various steps of faith into ministries I never would have chosen. Yet when I choose to obey, I find the greatest joy in what I’m doing. God certainly knows what’s best for me. From where I am at to what I am doing…after all, He is the One who created me! It is often so difficult to take those steps of faith to follow God’s leading(even in the small things) but the only time I have regrets is when I choose to disobey.

God’s Word gives the greatest examples of both obedience and disobedience. I see people like Jonah and Jeremiah who had the choice to run away or to follow. Both of these men’s lives have been used greatly by God to both warn me and to encourage me. As I have been reading through Jeremiah(perfect timing), I am being encouraged to obey no matter what the cost. I thank God for His Word which is living and powerful, being able to speak into the life of anyone!

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Leading worship at our Life Group

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I was so excited when I was asked by my family to share my testimony on Easter…..

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…which led to sharing the Gospel!

 

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I was also able share what the Lord has been doing in my life with family friends!

I’ve been able to lead worship weekly, teach small Bible studies, and share what God has been doing in my life with different groups of people. As I have shared my testimony, I have also been given the great honor of sharing the Gospel to an audience that normally wouldn’t allow me to. I am completely humbled when I realize what an honor it is to be a servant of the Creator of the Universe! It has been so exciting to see the Lord unravel His will for my life as I have taken steps of faith into the doors He has been opening! This truly is just the beginning of the adventures the Lord will take me on!

My encouragement to you, dear reader: Allow the Lord to direct your steps and don’t miss out on the joyful opportunities to obey the Lord no matter how uncomfortable it is!

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”-Proverbs 16:9

For His Name’s Sake,

Nikki Arriaga


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A New Chapter

Answering God’s Call….

 

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

I was at the CC Missions conference when the Lord faithfully gave me a crystal clear confirmation of my calling to missions. The desire to be a missionary was placed in my heart, by the Lord, when I had first truly understood what missions was about. I knew it was a calling that wasn’t to be taken lightly and I had been praying for God to clearly confirm that this was His will for my life. As I sat during one of the main sessions, the pastor announced that anyone who felt a calling to serve the Lord on the mission field, should stand to receive prayer. When I arose, it was as if I was accepting and dedicating myself to the calling that He had placed on my life. Watching my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ rise with me was a great encouragement, knowing that God was raising up more laborers for the plentiful harvest. After the session had ended, I headed to the cozy and quiet prayer chapel to read my evening devotions. Through God’s divine providence, I was in Isaiah chapter six. Isaiah 6:8 is definitely one of the most common missions verses, however, when I read it that night there was something different about this verse. It was as if God was asking me personally,

“Nikki, will you be sent and will you go for Me?”

I was completely amazed and blown away at how God was speaking to me. I treasure those life changing and confirming moments and Isaiah 6:8. My answer became the same as Isaiah’s…”Here am I, Send me.”

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My Current Mission Field…

When the missions conference came to an end, my pastor offered me an internship with Saving Grace World Missions(SGWM). This organization stems from my home church (Calvary Chapel Saving Grace) and works out of our church office. This is a missionary sending agency serving fellow missionaries worldwide. SGWM provides support, administrative work, and assists missionary partners for missionaries from CC Saving Grace as well as from other churches. I am currently undergoing training with SGWM as well as training for the long term goal of being sent out to a foreign country through SGWM. I am getting discipled by other missionaries, seeing what goes on behind the scenes of missions, and I am also taking a Missions class with Calvary Chapel Bible College in Costa Mesa.

Missions class

Group activities in the Missions class.

This is a three semester course and has been used by God to open my eyes to see the plentiful harvest that awaits in the unreached areas of the world. This semester we are focusing on the topic of cultures and it is already radically changing my outlook on cultural perspectives and on the greatest missionary of all time: Jesus Christ.

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“I Make it My Aim…”

Above every door in my church sanctuary, there are the words “Now entering the mission field.” It is a constant reminder to me that no matter where I am, whether it be in a foreign country, my life mission remains the same. There are people in my own community who have yet to learn that God loves them so much that He was willing to send His son, Jesus Christ, to die in their place, that He can offer forgiveness for their sins, and that they can receive the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. No matter where God has placed me geographically, my greatest desire is to be unashamed of the Gospel of Christ because I know that it is the power of God for salvation, for anyone who believes.(Romans 1:16) Whether it is decorating the children’s ministry classroom, reaching out to neighbors, passing out Gospel tracts as I am running errands, or discipling my family members, it is all for His name’s sake!

I am privileged with the fact that God has allowed me to be a part of Saving Grace World Missions. If you feel God leading you to support me, you can do so financially by clicking here. Or you can mail cash or checks to 17451 Bastanchury Rd. Suite 203 Yorba Linda CA, 92886. If you send a check please make it payable to Saving Grace World Missions and in the Memo Line write – “Nikki Arriaga”. As always, I also ask for your prayers as I enter into this new chapter of life! Specifically that I may be a faithful steward of the things God has placed in my hands and that I would continue to draw close to Him.

“…My ambition is to preach the Gospel where the name of Christ has never been heard…”
-Romans 15:20a

Thank you and God bless,

Nikki Arriaga


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