CTI 14:21 2015-2016, CTI 14:22 2016-2017
Birthday: May 16
Hometown: Markham, Ontario
Favorite Bible Passage: Philippians 3:7-8, Romans 12:1-2
Musical Influences: Kari Jobe, Audrey Assad
Favorite Movie: The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Hobbies: Journaling, arts and crafts, being outdoors, going to the beach, hiking and enjoying nature, and coloring!
Elisa grew up speaking three languages: English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese. She studied music at Western University in London, Ontario. She loves traveling and would love to travel throughout Asia. This might be due to the fact that she loves (LOVES) bubble tea. Elisa is excited to continue serving with CTI this year. She learned so much during her first year of Fulltime and can’t wait to see what else God has in store for her.
Elisa’s Blog Posts
We’re at the end of our Spring Tour and what a journey it’s been! This tour, we spent over 100 hours in the van and traveled up to Manitoba, Canada, all the way to California and back to Minnesota in the span of 3 weeks.
We just played our last official concert in town at Community Christian School. What a great way to end our time of touring with this team. As we played our last set, we talked how thankful we were for this year and for what God has done. Honestly, there are countless things to be thankful for. Yes, this year was full of challenges and hardships, but also lots of growth and learning. I am constantly in awe of how God gave me the opportunity to travel all across the United States, Canada and overseas doing what I love.
- I got to see new places, admiring beautiful landscape and scenery driving across the country.
- I got to meet so many fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who love the Lord and are SO passionate about the ministries they are involved in at their churches and in their communities.
- I got to travel with 6 people that I never would have met if it weren’t for CTI and now we’re practically family. (I also have friends ALL over the States now!)
- Most of all, I got to experience God’s faithfulness and how He has provided for our team this entire year. In times of worry, doubt, discouragement, God never failed us and still accomplished His work in and through us. Like it says in 1 Timothy 2 “if we are faithless; He remains faithful.”
These are just a few reasons for me to be thankful today! All of these things point me back to God’s ultimate demonstration of His love for us: through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The truest form of love was how God chose to redeem us, to save us and to continue making us and shaping us more into His likeness everyday…and for that I am TRULY thankful.
Here are a few highlights from our tour:
Mountain driving in Colorado
Beautiful sunrise pictures at the Grand Canyon in Arizona!
Our stop in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park.
What a year of learning and growth it’s been! We will be playing a few more shows here in town on the weekends and will be preparing to train the summer teams that are coming soon. Thank you all so much for your support!
Much love from CTI 14:22!
After spending some time at the beach and Dutch Village in Zeeland, Michigan, our team made our way to Portage to play at Berean Baptist Church. About a year ago, my previous team had the privilege of playing quite a few shows here. This church was very memorable for me, and I’m so glad I got to come back here with 14:22 this year! The youth group, hosts and church members are just as kind, welcoming and supportive as I remember!
At this time last year, I wrestled with whether or not I should come back to serve with CTI for another year. It was at this church that God spoke to me and convicted me that I loved my own comfort more than God. I knew I needed to obey God, surrender to Him and give up my own desires: so I told God, “Yes.” That was a BIG decision, because I was committing to another year of ministry on the road that I knew would be full of hardships, challenges and sacrifices. But one year later, I can say that I’m glad I made that decision.
As I look back on this year, I see glimpses of why He brought me back, even though I initially had no idea why. The people I’ve met, ministered to, the people who have blessed me, the places that I’ve been…He knew that all in advance. Now, He led me back to the same church where it all started. God calls us to obey Him and follow Him, no matter what the cost! As I shared with the youth group that night, I challenged them to do the same.
I may not always understand why God wants me to do certain things, but He always knows what He’s doing and it is ALWAYS worth it. I will never regret saying “Yes” to God and “No” to myself. If Jesus gave His life to save me when I could not save myself, how can I not offer everything to Him! My obedience is a response to the love and grace He has poured out on me. What a JOY it should be for us as believers to obey, serve and worship Him with our lives!
“So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”… For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”
1 Peter 1:14-16; 18-19 (NLT)
So I challenge you, what is God calling you to do today? Will you listen to His voice and obey? It could be as simple as choosing to get up a bit earlier to spend more time with Him. It could be responding to God’s call to begin a new ministry opportunity He has placed in front of you. Whatever it may be, no matter how big or small, every YES you say to God is always worth it. SAY YES to Him in faith today!
We love the beach! Hello, Lake Michigan!
We’ve had a very busy week in Pennsylvania and Delaware. We played at a few churches, a college fellowship, a Christian school, youth detention center, a Christian youth center, rescue mission all in one week. There was definitely a lot to journal about!
Those of you who know me well would know that I’m a pretty consistent journaler. I write down prayer requests, my devotional thoughts, my frustrations, my joys, or simply just things that happened that day that made me happy. As I flipped through this journal that I’ve been writing in since this past July, I realized how much has happened since then. I’ve learned lots about my teammates and have grown to care for them. We’ve met amazing people, been to so many venues and have seen God at work in all these places. As I re-read some of the pages, I saw how faithful God has been. More than that, I am beyond grateful that God allowed me to come back to serve with CTI for another year.
Something a lady told us when we were in Taiwan has stuck with me. She said that thankfulness is a 2 way street. We look back, reflect and thank Him for all the great things God has done in our lives. Then, seeing how God has been faithful should help us as we look forward. It should motivate us and spur us on to continue in our faith as we wait in expectation for God to work!
I’ll be honest and say this time of year is probably one of the hardest for the team, since we’ve been on the road for almost 9 weeks now. There are times I’m tempted to coast and just go through the motions, but then I think of God’s faithfulness and what He has done in my life so far…I never would have imagined I’d be where I am today. More than that, I know there is still so much more for me and my team to learn and so much more for God to teach and show me in the future.
So, today I pray:
“God, give me strength to keep running this race that can be so tiring, frustrating and discouraging at times. I confess I cannot do this on my own. But Your death on the cross makes living for You a privilege and a joy. More than that, Your sacrifice makes it possible. Help me to trust that You are a faithful God and always have been in my life! I wait in expectancy for You to work in miraculous ways!”
So are you ever tempted to give up? Is ministry seemingly too hard for you at times? My dear brothers and sisters, think about the ways that God has shown His faithfulness to you. The truth is, God is ALWAYS faithful. He has been – in the past. He is now – in the present. And He will be – in the future. Let this be an encouragement to you to fight for and pursue godliness more and more each day.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:11b-12
I don’t think I’ve ever been in such warm weather in January! Last week, we drove from Mississipi to Alabama. Now we’re in Florida for a few days! Road life and ministry are a lot of fun, but they are also a lot of work. Some weeks are easier than others, but by the 3rd week of Winter Tour, I already felt like I had reached my breaking point. Having done CTI for almost a year and a half now, it finally hit me last week that I’ve travelled with CTI for a total of almost 16 months so far (since August 2015). Boy, I was totally exhausted. I asked myself, why do I not have the same joy in serving as I did before? What am I doing wrong?
These are questions I find myself asking once in a while, but I just couldn’t seem to shake them. I often pride myself in being a person who loves serving and doing ministry. I also pride myself in having a positive, joyful attitude as I serve. I’ve loved building relationships and engaging in deep conversations with people at venues. I’ve also loved playing music at all these places with my 6 teammates. But why was it so tiring?
I read a devotional titled “The Anchor of Joy” from the devotional Solid Joys. It referenced a chapter in Luke where the disciples rejoiced because in their ministry, they were able to heal people and cast out demons. Yet Jesus warned them in Luke 10:20,
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
My joy doesn’t come from seeing the results of our ministry efforts. More than that, my joy doesn’t come from my circumstances. I shouldn’t just praise God when I see the good things that He’s doing through me. Instead, like Jesus tells His followers, “Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
So the reason I can have joy today is because I’ve been redeemed by the blood of Jesus! My identity is secure in knowing God is my Father and I am His daughter. Because I know this, I can in turn serve others with all the joy that I have, because I know nothing will change God’s love for me. In fact, His love makes me want to share the joy with others and gives me the strength to do so. If I truly believe that He died for me, how can I not tell others about the joy I have in Christ?!
So for those of us who are in ministry feeling tired, worn out or discouraged: REJOICE!
Our joy is not rooted in how many people we see come to Christ or how many lives we’ve seen changed – but in knowing that our names are written in heaven! Our joy is anchored in our identity in Christ. We are saved and forgiven through the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross. This should give us joy, strength and perseverance to serve today!
By the way, we’re also enjoying our time in Florida. We’re here at Navarre Beach and it is just gorgeous!
This week we were in Fulton, Missouri and played multiple concerts at the Fulton State Hospital.
It was a fun filled couple of days since we slept over at Ebenezer Baptist Church for 2 nights, which meant we had the whole church kitchen to ourselves and cooked our own meals as a team! Also, what better way to end off our last day in town with a Veggietales watching spree?!?…starting with Dave and the Giant Pickle!
I had the privilege of playing at the State Hospital last year on the road. It is a correctional facility for many different patients and clients. Some are there due to mental illnesses, anger management issues, and others have been in prison etc. As I looked out to the audience from the stage, I saw some familiar faces and some new…and in that moment I thought, Wow, God loves each and every one of these people. I was overcome with compassion for them and I was almost in tears as I watched them listen and respond to our message so attentively, excitedly and passionately. No matter what they’ve done, what their history looks like, what disabilities they have, I am once again reminded that they are no different than I am. The fact is, God loves them and He DIED for them.
Our contact at the venue and one of the security guards told us how much the patients appreciate CTI. “They always ask when ‘the band’ is coming back. They don’t forget.” Many of the patients remembered me from last year when my team played there. The patients even made us a nice card to express their thanks. What a privilege it was to be able to show God’s love to these people who maybe haven’t been given love or received love as much as we have. They are people who are often looked down upon and judged, and it meant the world to them that we were there taking the time to talk to them, play for them and, ultimately, love them.
It’s crazy how we can easily settle into a routine on the road. In fact, any kind of ministry that you do can become mundane very quickly. So my prayer today for us all is this: God, as we reflect on Your unconditional love for us, give us also a renewed love for Your people and all those around us as we do ministry. Remind us that these are all people You died for and You love infinitely more than we ever could. I pray that this would lead us to be intentional with every opportunity we have to share Your love with others.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:10-11; 19