Today, Summer speaks to us about her fascinating and serving childhood, and God’s protection and healing in her life.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I was raised by my parents in Thailand as a missionary kid with my two older sisters and younger brother. During those first 9 years of my life, I was homeschooled and developed a very eastern way of viewing the world. I wasn’t the sweetest sibling and was actually very angry at the world at the time for a reason I don’t even know, but the Lord met me at four years old.
It sounds odd that I was so young when I received salvation, but it was the most genuine thing I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. My family consistently worked with the Burmese refugees that would flee from Myanmar and in into Thailand. We taught the kids English and spoke words of hope to the parents. My family also worked mainly with the tsunami victims from 2004 and tried to rebuild homes and clear the streets through relief work. This shaped me.
I knew that God was good and He was the only thing that gave these people hope. They were crying out for help but their gods never came, but that’s when JESUS sent us. He loved them too much to leave them. After 2009, my family moved to Mexico where we lived for a short time before moving back to East Texas. Texas was where I finished out my junior high through high school years at a public school with my siblings.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “It is God’s kindness that is meant to lead us to repentance.” Romans 2:4
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Mainly, learning how to continually pursue God and His goodness despite the trials around me. I’ve also been learning a lot more of how to listen and immediately obey the voice of God. Even though that seems so elementary, He’s continued to bring more depth into everything I’ve been taught.
Profession: I am currently a full-time student at Bethany Global University, which is a missionary training school.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? It would probably have to be “The Messiness of Me and the Goodness of God.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I first encountered God when I was four years old. I was laying down for the night and trying to fall asleep when I became extremely convicted. I immediately recognized my sinfulness and how much God loves me through all of that. I suddenly wanted to honor God and serve Him for forever. I didn’t want to do what I wanted to but rather what would make God happy. That was the night that I told Jesus that “I wanted to put my heart inside of Jesus’ heart.” Everything changed from that moment on.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? Before I knew the character of God, I was extremely sad and angry. Life didn’t make sense because working towards everything all the time seemed too tiring and unrewarding. Then, I realized that God didn’t only created me, but He also wanted to come into my mess with me and heal me. God’s heart is so much more for His children than I even knew possible! Ever since becoming a Christian, I’ve experienced more and more of the beautiful character of God and how much He loves me and wants to be in relationship with me now. Receiving salvation was never just about going to Heaven but about getting to know my love who knows me better than I know me.
“Receiving salvation was never just about going to Heaven but about getting to know my love who knows me better than I know me.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? In this season, I’ve been preparing to move overseas on an internship with my school for 16 months starting in September. Because of this, I feel as though God has been spiritually and emotionally growing me in so many ways that I didn’t even know I needed.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun. This has shown me more and more that God is such a good Father. He will never call us to go into an area that He won’t protect us through. It has shown me more and more that the only protection I desperately want is for my soul to never leave the palm of God’s hand.
“It has shown me more and more that the only protection I desperately want is for my soul to never leave the palm of God’s hand.”
Top three essentials: My water bottle, my CocoKind Skincare products and my Chacos sandals.
How did God speak to you recently? I recently received a vision of Jesus, and He said something regarding humanity’s value in it that has stuck with me since then. Jesus said: “Me becoming human and staying that way was never the sacrifice, that was my greatest honor. It was the fact that I had to allow other people to desecrate another human (the temple of God) by nailing me to a cross.” That’s how freaking much God cares about us!
Hobby: I enjoy working out and being with friends. My favorite hobbies include being active through going on adventures with friends like camping, road trips, cliff jumping, biking, and going on runs. I also love art!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. A professor of mine told me once that “Spiritual authority only comes through spending time in the Word” and that was one of the biggest things that shook me.
2. I make sure that have at least one hour of persistent and specific intercession a week. This will pull you closer to knowing God’s heart and what is on it in the moment.
3. Another great way to stay spiritually strong is by being in fellowship with other Christians. This may be difficult to do at times, but it’s very important to be in healthy fellowship with likeminded people every now and again.
Favorite person in scripture? Hosea
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to see how much God cares about the intricacies of their life and how much He cares about healing and growth. God isn’t an absent God but actually desires to be there in the healing and be the reason for it.
“God isn’t an absent God but actually desires to be there in the healing and be the reason for it.”
How do you engage with your community? I engage in my community through going to my church and being with my friends. There are many youth that know me in my town, and I make sure to let them know that I’m always open to talk and help in any way that I can. My biggest engagement in my community, from what I can tell, is being an influencer.
Favorite holiday? The 4th of July !!
A goal you have? One of my goals at the moment is to receive a Master’s in counseling after I graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in 2022.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My family always celebrates New Years together no matter what. We usually get together with the family that we lived with when we were in Thailand.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I want to know why people have to wait until heaven to ask God questions! I feel like I don’t have anything to ask because every time I want to know something, I just ask God and He tells me. The relationship is now!
“The relationship is now!”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I want to raise awareness about sex slavery and ways to an end to it. I want people to realize the ties between pornography, prostitution, and sex slavery. I want everyone to know the signs of someone being transported or being kidnapped. Slavery is actually at a high more now than it ever has been before because people continually unknowingly pour into this market through watching pornography and engaging in sexually immoral activities.
What does your morning routine consist of? I typically wake up and wash my face. I then chug my Nalgene of water and eat an egg. Then, I take my vitamins and read the Word. After that, I ask God what He wants me to focus on for the day and will draw a small picture of whatever it is to help me focus on that.
What is on your nightstand? A framed picture of me the day I was baptized. Two essential oils: Thieves and Eucalyptus. A jar of coins.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Redeemed people following their Redeemer, Jesus Christ, in everything He calls them into.
For more Summer:
Until next time, keep witnessing!