Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Miss USA

I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been on a kick lately to find teammates from old misisons trips. In 1997, I had the priviledge of leading a missions trip (my first and only time doing so). I, along with five other more mature adults, lead a team of 23 ten to thirteen-year-olds to Australia to do a work project for a Christian retreat center. In our spare time, we visited churches, schools, and nursing homes and presented an evangelical message to them.

One of the girls on this team was Miss Gabrielle Carlson from Maryland. Twelve years later, I can't say I remember a whole lot about her other than she was a quiet, sweet girl who was mature beyond her years. (I think she was 11 or 12 at the time.) She was not a trouble maker. She did not whine or question why someone else got easier work or a larger portion of dessert. What I remember about her all these years later is that she was easy to work with and had a sweet spirit about her that made you want to work alongside her.

One of my co-leaders, Jason, and I were chatting a couple of days ago and he reminded me that Gabrielle Carlson was from Maryland. I did a quick Google search for "'Gabrielle Carlson', MD" and up popped headlines about Miss Maryland USA! I read everything on the website about Miss Maryland USA and sure enough it was our Gabrielle that we'd found. Jason and I, like proud parents, immediately marked our calendars for April 19, the date of the Miss USA pagent on NBC. Those of you who know me outside of this blog know, I'm not the pageant type, but this is clearly an event to make an exception for!

We found Gabrielle on Facebook and she has exchanged a few e-mails with me. I am doing a Bible study on Esther right now. I reminded Gabrielle that she has been placed in a unique position of influence like Esther was and that I was looking forward to how God would use her during this time. I also e-mailed Teen Missions International, the organization we went to Australia under. I go a reply from Bob Bland, their founder saying, "Thank you for letting us know about Gabrielle. We have shared this with the staff in our morning chapel time and will be praying for her as she is part of the Miss USA pageant and know she will represent Maryland and the Lord well."

Will you join in praying with me for Gabrielle? I'm not praying that she will win, although I'd love that outcome. I'm praying that God would be glorified through her testimony whether that is to a country-wide (or even global) audience, or whether that is just to the 49 other girls she will be competing with. Pray that Gabrielle would continue to stand strong for the Lord and grow in Him through this process.


Caryn said...

I'll be praying for her, too. It will be fun to follow her at the pageant, and perhaps later on in life as she uses this experience for God's glory.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

That's awesome! I will be praying that she is able to maintain her integrity and show the goodness of God's love in spite of the wordliness around her.