Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Conditional Faith

After people hear that we are going to be missionaries in a remote area of Africa I usually get one of two statements. "I could never do that," or "I hope God never calls me to Africa." I have a tendency to laugh at these statements because ironically I used to think them or say them to myself. Going to Africa always seemed like an adventurous thing to do, but it wasn't for me or my family.

Two years ago I would not have dreamed we would leave the States. First of all I was rather comfortable, and second I could never imagine leaving my family (and my dogs :)), third, I was comfortable, fourth, I like flushing toilets, fifth, we were already serving God, sixth, did I mention I was comfortable? I can remember during college thinking Cody and I would be missionaries one day or rather that we would be serving God in some capacity. I will be honest and tell you that after we had Carter I put that little "idea" aside because now it seemed it was time for us to raise a family. It was this perfect picture of compartmentalized faith. You don't do one or the other, they go hand in hand. When God started to shake things up sometime after he (Carter) was born, I would resist every way possible not embracing what God had called us to nor was I trusting Him. I had this idea of how to serve God but it seemed to be my way, on my terms, with me still having control. It was safe. I didn't want the pain of being let down, or having "my plan" (The American Dream) destroyed. (Maybe I am more strong willed than I

Luckily we serve a very patient, gracious God. He has moved mountains in my life and in my heart. As I said before I always romanticized the idea of being a missionary in Africa but never dreamed it would actually happen and would happen when my quiver was full. But God is continually teaching me to let go. To let go of my desires, to let go of my worries, to let go of my plan and agenda. Trust. Be still. The way I see it is that I have two choices. I can worry and make myself crazy or I can trust in who God says He is and He has always proven Himself. Maybe not the way I wanted or thought He would but He has. I have to deny myself and my emotions and stick to the truth of the Bible.

With all of that said it has been exciting to see God changing my heart. My desires are changing, and the things I always felt were important don't seem to be anymore. In order for God to change us we have to be willing. And even if you are not willing you have to admit that to God (He knows anyway) and ask Him to change your heart. Read His word, find out who He is and what He asks of us. Do realize though that with that prayer there might be pain. Because God is continually trying to put more of Him in our lives and less of ourselves (James 1:2-4. 1 Peter 1:6-7...look these up they are good). This is a good thing, which might not always seem that way.

I leave you with this video it is about 10 minutes but well worth it.
God’s Chisel « Videos « The Skit Guys


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here and Now

As we pray and seek God as to when we should leave it seems we continue to get a wait. Really God? Wait. Alright...after all you know best. I'll be honest and say a lot of my impatience at this point is driven by my pride and what people will say and what they think about us not going on our original date. Shallow and sinful I know! God also continues to remind me that He has me right where I am for a purpose. I should live each day to glorify His name and not look to the "when we...." I will be transparent and say that this becomes more difficult while staying home with the kids, but then reality sinks in and I am reminded that I disciple 5 beautiful children and I am humbled and petrified. And that this amazing ministry travels with me.
I do have to continue to focus on the amazing positive things that have happened while we wait on God. One we discovered a couple days ago was that my husband was an answer to some one's prayer. Humbled again.... The other being the wisdom that our team on the field in Kotido is sharing with us. With this wisdom and insight we can better prepare for the extreme change. And as Kenneth Williams says until we get there we will enjoy our electricity, showers, flushing toilets, etc. :)
With having our team there we have learned that is more necessary for our family to have a vehicle and not just share a vehicle between the whole team. That does mean more money to raise but we are not concerned. He has provided miraculously thus far and will continue to. Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mother Teresa

We had the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Mother Teresa when we were in SE Europe.

I apologize for not blogging last week. Wednesday we were on our way to Nebraska and then Iowa for a family reunion. I didn't have Internet access while I was there. While on the road I had the opportunity to do some reading. One book that I read was called "Mother Teresa No Greater Love. The Most Accessible and Inspirational Collection of Her Teachings Ever Published." It is basically as the title states. I have always admired Mother Teresa, her zeal for the poor, her humble lifestyle and her devotion to following the teachings of Jesus. I would like to share with you some of my favorite parts of the book that were inspiring, convicting, and ideas I could relate to. It is honestly hard for me not to quote the whole book, but I will try to share with you only parts. :)

The poor do not need our compassion or our pity they need our help. What they give to us is more than what we give to them.

We know what poverty means, first of all to be hungry for bread, to need clothing, and to not have a home. But there is a far greater kind of poverty. It means being unwanted, unloved, and neglected. It means having not one to call your own.

Riches, both material and spiritual, can choke you if you do not use them fairly. For not even God can put anything in a heart that is already full. One day there springs up the desire for money and for all that money can provide-the superfluous, luxury in eating, luxury in dressing, trifles. Needs increase because one thing calls for another. The result is uncontrollable dissatisfaction. Let us remain as empty as possible so that God can fill us up.

There are many medicines and cures for all kinds of sicknesses. But unless kind hands are given in service and generous hearts are given in love, I do not think there can ever be a cure for the terrible sickness of feeling unloved.

I think the world today is upside-down. It is suffering so much because there is so little love in the home and in the family. We have no time for our children. We have no time for each other. There is not time to enjoy each other, and the lack of love cause so much suffering and unhappiness in the world. Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches.

Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. Of course there is a whole book of these types of teachings. I would encourage you to go to your local library and check it out. It is a really quick read and you can get through the book in about 2 hours.

Our team arrived to Kotido safely after a rather eventful trip.(remember they stayed in Kampala the capital for a while first). They had to take it easy on the roads because of the rainy season and Kristi being pregnant. It took them 3 days rather than 2 but they were thankful for all of God's provision on their trip (too long of a story to go into detail but their many stories are amazing). Thanks for your prayers for them. They are adjusting to life as a team and without luxuries. They spend a lot of their time just learning new things such as how to do laundry by hand, keeping mosquitoes out of the house, cooking on a propane stove, etc. Please continue to pray for them as they adjust, and also for their health. Lots of bugs your body has to adjust to when you move to a foreign country and many of the team members have been quite sick (nothing major).
It has been somewhat (I still wish I could be with them...but looking at the blessings God has given to us) nice having our team go before us because they have already been giving us all kinds of great tips. After praying for quite some time about plane tickets we don't feel a sense of urgency to buy plane tickets. We are getting the sense that their is some unfinished business that needs to be done before we leave. Not sure what this is, but we will continue to live each day for His glory. Oh and hooray....Joshua's SS card application was denied, meaning we could apply again, and with a passport this time. It went through and we should have a card in two weeks and a SS# hopefully today meaning we can complete our taxes!
Thanks for your prayers and faithfulness!