Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
but it does.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
It was so encouraging to see more than 100 people show up on a cold rainy evening to hear what God is doing in Jos, Nigeria. We had our first capital campaign on December 8th in Cincinnati and it felt a bit as if I was attending a family reunion. I think that is my favorite character trait about serving in this ministry. Thousands of people have gone to serve at different sites, different times, and for different purposes but many came together that evening and there was an underlying reality that even if I haven’t met you, I know you and a sliver of your heart. I was just reminded that ten years ago, Todd and Beth had their first fundraiser for Mexico in the same location we did for Nigeria, the Snyder Farm. Back 2 Back has been on quite a journey following the Lord and He has done so much that it can be overwhelming to think that He is still at work, moving and stirring and leading us now in Africa as well.
The vision was shared with everyone about where we feel the Lord is asking us to go and it was daunting seeing it unveiled to others. As we unfold the desire to build relationships in the Kisayhip Village and build a host village for us as staff to live next door, I am too aware that it is too big a project for mere man, so I get excited to see God work out the details in His time and in His way. Our desire is to just be obedient to it. We are so grateful for everyone who came a couple of nights ago and encouraged and supported us and are cheering us on. That is truly what family should feel like.
It reminds me that as John and I are traveling and seeing different family and friends, I want to encourage, support and cheer them on because after all, it is family.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Well, we have made it home, and have taken a couple of days to transition (it used to be enough, but John and I are getting older, ughhhh.... I think a few more days are needed) and have traveled up north to Cincinnati.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
SO, this morning, it finally happened. I wake up and I see Sarah (my oldest) wearing my shirt to go to school. Since when was she able to fit into my clothes??? So, she then proceeded to ask, "I wonder what other clothes would fit me mom?" Ughhh.... She wouldn't have even known except my mom who is here visiting with us was folding our laundry (which I am grateful) and she thought the shirt was Sarah's so she put it into her pile. I cannot believe I have a child old enough to wear my clothes. Sami (my youngest) started taking my hair things about a year ago, but that was different, not clothing.... is anything sacred anymore to a mother? As I write this though I think about how cute my two girls are and how much I love them and I just want to smile.
Monday, November 23, 2009
I wish there was an easy way to describe the village church we go to here in Jos. It is neighboring to our future compound site and I just love it. If there was no other reason to come to Africa (however, we really know there are several reasons to visit.....), worshiping with the village people on a Sunday morning, is reason enough. It is amazing!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9
The other day, I woke up weary, went running weary, started bible study discouraged and weary and went to bed just as weary. The Lord has shown me that lately, I have become weary in doing good. I am learning that sometimes, and for me especially, the weariness of doing good comes in the hard decisions of what that “good” looks like. Does that make sense at all? I realize that the context of this verse comes in the idea of encouraging all believers, but even Jesus didn’t heal everybody. If he didn’t though, it is because he had all humanities “good” in mind. Maybe there was a lesson for us to glean from or maybe it is for a greater testimony later, but either way, He clearly was committed to this verse as much as we should be now.
When a parting of ways must come between people for the “greater good” (amicably, but still a parting), that makes me weary. When difficult conversations must happen, that makes me weary. When hosting a bible study and people show up an hour late, that makes me weary. When knowing obedience is calling me to a life that is not as easy as I probably wanted (even though I don’t REALLY want ease), I become weary.
Now, I want to pause here because when the Lord showed me this verse, my weariness turned to a promise that is “in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” That promise is real and I do believe that it can sustain me through the seasons of weariness. So, today I don’t want to become weary in doing good, I want to know that sometimes doing good isn’t what I imagined, but either way, it is the Lord’s harvest that I will be reaping and with that comes another day of “doing good” and today the weariness is gone. Yahoo!!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Today was Multi Cultural Day at the Kids school. I think it is their version of a fall festival. No hayride or candy or dunking for apples or pumpkin patches or hot cocoa, but it was fun anyway. It started off with all of the children wearing their home country's clothing (whether it be a president, sports figure, colors, etc...) and then their was a presentation of different songs and dramas representing all of the countries present. Then afterwards we saw some Tiv dancers. They are dancers that represent a specific tribe here in Nigeria. There are a lot of tribes and villages within the Jos area. At lunch, each child in each grade brought a food that represented their home country. It was kind of fun because when I asked my kids what foods they wanted to bring, Samantha and Sarah immediately asked for Mexican foods. By the way, both girls also chose to dress up in Mexican clothing too. Gus, I guess is my only american boy.... Anyway, Sarah made Quesadillas, Samantha made Pica de Gallo with tostadas and Gus asked for Banana Bread. They then had to explain how each one was made and why they chose it.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
pain is used for several reasons:
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Last night, the kids were playing in the living room (which by the way, we finally have a living room couch, yeah) and I was playing chess with one of them when John came in and started turning on the lights and saying that we have electricity (however they call it "light" when the power is on) so we should use it. We kind of chuckled with the idea how much we have become used to not having lights or electricity or even necessarily warm water to shower in that when it is on, we aren't aware so we don't take advantage of the moment. Instead, we just sit there in the dark, straining our eyes and dealing with the frustration of darkness.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I have been reading a book called Hope Lives and it is a devotional type of book that goes into the issue of poverty and God’s views on it, the causes, the possible solutions and how we as Americans choose to or not to partake in it. It is not by any means an all-inclusive book, but I am enjoying it because it goes into different stories of individuals whose lives have been impacted by one person.
One of the main things I am personally learning about is that God does not care as much about our circumstances and symptoms as much as He cares about our person. It can be a stumbling block to be too rich or too poor. That isn’t the concern as much as how do we relate to each other within those outside forces. When I really think about it, that is one of my favorite things about the ministry of Back2Back, they bring two different people groups together and something amazing happens when relationships are formed that cannot be predicted or put in a box. I love to be a part of it each and every time.
Anyway, I was running this morning and I realized if I stared straight down at my next step of running, I felt sluggish and slow and wasn’t aware of what was going on around me and I kept thinking about how I could stop and rest, but if I looked out onto the trail/road ahead of me, my pace felt stronger and more reliable and I didn’t get messed up by the little potholes. I immediately thought about the eternal vs. the “here and now”. If I make choices to look toward the eternal with people, my pace is stronger and a bit more consistent in my everyday life. BUT, if I look to the “here and now” with people, I tend to get caught up in the potholes of irritations and frustrations of silly things, and I can feel at times like giving up.
“Treasures in heaven” I think I have mostly thought of this verse with the mindset of eternal rewards, kind of…. Don’t judge me on my theology, come on, just honesty coming out. But, if “storing up for yourselves treasures in heaven” was people, wow, this is kind of more valuable and more important to me now. Can I be apart of the eternal with someone else? Someone that God views as His treasures, such as the poor, the orphan? How do I go about running my race, here on earth, in the “here and now” but look out ahead at the eternal.
I don’t know. But, I do want to run the race and try. I want to live that life, the life that looks toward the eternal with every person in front of me, whether I am at the village or at the children’s home we work with or if I am staring at my children or cooking with my friends. Not to get irritated because of decisions people have made or whatever, but look past that and look at eternity with the Lord and them and move forward because God, I think, likes it.
This morning a man asked me, point blank, “What does someone have to do to become a Christian?” Hmmmm….. treasures in heaven, rich vs. poor, eternal vs. “here and now” --- I guess they can all come together in one moment, can’t they?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." Colossians 1:28-29These verses were the theme of this morning's sermon at church. I found them perfect in timing. You see, I am getting ready to start up again the bible study with the same women that I was in one before. As I have purchased the studies and have been praying about the time, people, that the Spirit would go before us, I found myself getting so nervous. Asking lots of questions, like, "Why do I do this?", "There is so much discipling that really needs to be done, more than I can offer and more than I even know how to offer." or "Who am I to offer my thoughts on their such different culture and their such different life experiences...?"