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...?"
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This picture represents fun. The character of Jos's landscape are these big, beautiful boulders. One thing that has always been important for John and I to pass on to our children is the beauty of nature and the amazing creativity of God to have so many views. This picture reminds me of the fun in living and seeing kids hike through these boulders with flip flops and have no problems and they reach their hands to us. It also reminds me of times our interns/staff/teams took moments to worship our Lord and Kind on top of these rock mountains as we "lift our eyes up".
Anyway, I have been accused of sending no pictures. SO, I am trying. I hope you can see what we see everyday and I hope you can feel what fills our hearts daily. God Bless you all for your ministry to us.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
First, I want to make a comment about Chelsie who played a new game with me the last week of summer, called ERS, and she was really good so I had to bend her fingers back to put me at an advantage. I say this because I didn't comment on it earlier and I don't want her to feel hurt by it..... hehehe Love ya, mean it Chelsie
okay, secondly and really what this is all about.....
We currently do not have internet and I have checked three different spaces in town that host internet cafe types of things and no one at this moment seems to be having working internet.... It is weird how out of it and disconnected I can so quickly feel. But in this brief season of no internet, it is surprising how much I am not distracted by it. I feel present when I am with my kids, I feel more peaceful when I am doing other chores because I don't have the opportunity to check my blog or see if anyone has emailed me....
interesting isn't it????
You might be wondering how I am posting this aren't you, well, I happen to have a friend who has this special little thing IN his computer that allows him to do this and he is graciously allowing me a moment to connect with the North American world.... So hello world!! You are missed terribly.
I miss the Ramos family that served with us, I miss every single intern from both terms, I miss the groups who came with fresh energy and insight and maybe a few yummy goodies as well.
But, I am glad I am where I am and look forward to our visit home later on this year. There is still lots going on and as I am reconnecting with frienships that started prior to the summer and it is strange to realize that I missed those as well this summer and it is good to reconnect.
So, to end, if you don't here from us for a moment in email or something, it is just because we are experiencing some technical difficulties here in Africa and we will as soon as we can.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
John and I were asked to write an article in the B2B magazine and here is what we submitted:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!”’ Psalm 91:1-2
These verses are trying to come alive to John and I and our family. Moving to Nigeria has not been one of convenience or ease or even comfort of any form and we are still recognizing this six months later. One of our first blog entries about Shelter was this:
So, I want to learn of His shelter. I want to learn of the fruit of rest that comes with it. Can I pray my way into His shelter? Is it a frame of mind? I cannot imagine it being a tangible place, is it really just about relationship?
Well, these are the questions I start this summer with and look to His Scriptures for answers and lean on the Holy Spirit for leading and ultimately look to God for it is Him that I am really seeking, ultimately, isn't it?
Two and a half months later, I find that Shelter is meaning more than what I originally thought. Who I know God to be, THAT is my shelter! So, the real question that comes to my mind is who is this God in whom I trust. Who is He? Do I know? Does John know? Is He a small and weak God therefore my shelter is puny and not providing much rest? Or is God so large that I cannot get out from under his refuge?
The last six months have been pretty interesting for us. It has been humbling for John and I to be here and recognize how different the culture is. We so desperately want to know how to communicate in a way that does not offend and want to build bridges that will lead into what Christ has already started here. The Lord is moving here in Jos and at times it seems that everyone is on the same banner besides us and then at other times, I think how could we be anywhere else.
One thing we both have learned is it is not easy being on the beginning side of a ministry. There is a lot of effort and energy put forth with very little return. Like when you are raising a baby. You are constantly working towards the growth of this little life in front of you, every decision is made for the betterment of the baby, but then you go to this seminar and you realize by decisions you just made “for their best interest” mind you, is now going to deter them from ever being able to make something of themselves. Or at least that is how you feel. Every thing seems to be instrumental and every perceived failure seems as if you have just stunted the growth of your child and you weep and feel sorrow because you love this baby, but now it will never go to college (I hope you are perceiving the sarcasm).
That is how we feel. Every decision seems to be pivotal and we can feel as if we are making them blindly, and half of the time we are moving forward and the other half we are weeping because we just caused years of backsliding.
So, to see God in the midst of these “successes” and “failures” and recognize He is our shelter for the good and the bad, is really the only thing I know to cling to. My view of God needs to increase and enlarge, and I believe by living here He is growing me in a deeper understanding of who He is in both the good and the bad parenting moments. I do believe as John and I are making decisions we will mature and watch this ministry in Nigeria mature and realize that nothing can permanently stunt the growth of anything that God has already stamped his approval on.
We would ask that as many of you as possible would consider visiting Jos, Nigeria and see first hand how God is moving here and growing up a field that is ready for harvest. The need is great, but the workers are few.
At the beginning of this article we mentioned that there was nothing easy about living here, that is of course, not true, but as in raising a child, in the moment, you see the constant work but hindsight is beautiful. We both know for a fact, this is where we need to be to be obedient. We cannot lose sight of His shelter and He is the one growing this ministry. John and I and our children might find that there is something deeper within us that he has created but we have never leaned on before. Who knows, but I do know that our eyes will not look to the hardships or the adventurous moments, but our eyes will remain fixed on Him, the Author and Perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2). And as we grow and mature, so will our family and so will this ministry and so will all of you who choose to come alongside something bigger than your perceived failures and successes and be a part of growing a life to a place where Christ is glorified and therefore you are changed.