Monday, December 28, 2009
Nothing new really, still fundraising. Christmas was a great time with family. I enjoyed all of our traditions more while thinking it may be the last time I do some of them for a few years. (Like going as a group of 10 to hike in the woods and snow to cut the perfect tree) It looks like Beckie and I may be sliding our leaving date back a few more weeks- possibly the second week in March. Still not going to purchase the tickets to fly out until the fundraising is done. I'm working out at UC more than I thought I would be. It's good, I discovered how much I miss nursing and am glad to be spending a few more hours there.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I once was fatherless, a stranger with no hope;
Your kindness wakened me,
Awakened me, from my sleep.
Into marvelous light I'm running
out of darkness, out of shame
by the cross you are the truth,
you are the life, you are the way!
Your love it beckons deeply,
a call to come and die.
By grace now I will come.
And take this life, take your life.
Sin has lost it's power,
death has lost it's sting.
From the grave you've risen victoriously!!!
My dead heart now is beating,
my deepest stain now are clean.
Your breath fills up my lungs, now I'm free.
Now I'm free!
If you have never heard it before this is a good version of it.
sorry about the formatting- blogger is being retarded.
Friday, December 11, 2009
This weekend I'm headed to a training for discipleship counseling. This is that I may be better equipped while working with kids and others in Uganda. The training is about helping hurting people with emotional and spiritual brokenness and oppression. We know we need the the love and truth of God and prayer because our sin causes separation from God. I'm not really sure what to expect but I want to be open to God's leading and I really hope this is a growing experience. I would appreciate your prayers and promise to update you how God answers! Thanks guys!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Looking unto Jesus- there we have the inner life of the spirit, a heart always fixed on Jesus in faith and worship, drawing inspiration and strength from His example and His love.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I'm still fundraising full time. (Have not given up yet!) Beckie is out on the west coast right now so I don't have to work quite so hard. (Just kidding!). Each week I talk to a kid's sunday school class about Africa. It is always interesting the questions and comments they make. This week one of the kindergartners asked why I'm going to Africa. Obviously I paused too long formulating my answer and one of the other kids chimed in with "Because God said so!" Yeah, I just left it at that.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
This is the start of the advent season. Radio stations play Christmas music non-stop and everyone puts up decorations. I was just saying to myself that I didn't want that to be my attitude about advent though. I want an attitude of anticipation for my Lord! In my heart I want to be saying "I await you my King!"
Then Jesus whispered to me "but I await you my child." This season is a reminder of the promise that God dwells with His people! Emmanuel, God with us! I'm going to approach the season in a fresh way. He is waiting for us!
Friday, November 27, 2009
As we go around the table today we list the things we are thankful for. But here is what I'm thinking....
- I'm thankful for a house and a warm place to sleep (even if it is a 100 year old piece of work), but if my house was gone I would still thank my God.
- I'm thankful for all this good food, but I know that many who are hungry today are still thankful.
- I'm thankful for wonderful family and friends, but even if I were lonely I would be thankful that my Lord is a close friend.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- 30% of my monthly expenses are raised
- 10% of my start up expenses are raised.
- We want to leave in 87 days.
- WE CAN DO THIS!!!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Both Mary and Martha loved Jesus and were serving him. But Martha was overly focused on the tasks to do. This has been me too much. I'm loving and serving my Lord. But I think he has been saying to me- "Stop. Just come sit with me. Sit here. I know there is lots to do. But this is more important. Don't be distracted by the task list. Just sit at my feet."
So, now I'm working at just sitting at his feet.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
- Life expectancy in Uganda is 43 years old (in the United States it is 78 years old)
- 2.4 million in Ugandans are HIV positive. The majority of those affected are between 15 and 40 years old. (This is the workforce! Teachers, farmers, government officials....) Disproportionately more of those infected are women. (Mothers!)
- Roughly $18 are spent per person on health care. (It is currently $6,714 per person in the US)
- Nearly 14% of children don't live to see their 5th birthday in Uganda. (0.8% in the US)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I've been thinking about intimacy with God so much this last week. I have been trying to spend more time with Him at the start of the day, getting into the bible more. But the only change I was noticing was more guilt!
Then I spent the weekend hiking. Solitude, quite, few distractions- God had my attention. I felt God encouraging me to come to Him as a child. 1 John 3:1&2 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. Go to the God of the universe as a child?! I crawled up onto my Father's lap. He held me and reminded me that He paid the sacrifice that I don't have to live with the guilt! He reminded me to enjoy life like a child. Stop worrying. Know His joy. Trust that He has only the best in store for me. And most of all stop trying to figure it all out, to understand all of this and to earn anything! What a great reminder. I want to encourage you to climb up into your Heavenly Father's lap and hear Him say to you how much He loves you too!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I like looking at my to do list and see so many things checked off but I also seem to be adding to it daily. A newsletter to write, prayer cards to format then print, presentations to put together... Please keep praying for Beckie and I as we leave from here and start preparing on a whole new level! The next 100 days are going to fly by.
Monday, October 5, 2009
3rd largest world religion (after Christianity and Islam). No systematic theology. Nothing/no one has any individual self worth or value. The cast system- very bleak! Rigid laws keeing one from changing anything in their life. Some Hindus conceive of ultimate salvation as absorption into the one divine reality, with all loss of individual existence. Others conceive of it as heavenly existence in adoration of a personal god. Any one of a possible 330 million! gods. This all feels so depressing. If this life doesn't work out for you, don't worry, you will be coming back to try again. It is hopeless and dependant on some nebulous number of good works.
Reincarnation, karma, nirvana, millions of gods and goddesses, many ways of salvation- one of these ways is called the way of devotion, or bhakti yoga. There is in all of us a longing for a more emotional and personal approach to God and many Hindus try to fill this desire though this attempt at salvation. It involves a self-surrender to one of the many personal gods and goddesses. They express devotion through acts of worship, temple rituals, and pilgrimages. And I have now seen this in action. It is bowing down to a plastic idol. An idol wrapped in the finest silk and adorned with the most precious gold. But, still clearly a plastic idol. Food is set at their feet. They are put to bed and gotten up again. They get angry and offended and one can try to make ammends. But they are not loving. They care nothing for the worshiper. They do not speak. One simply has to guess how they are feeling or what they want to be apeased.
Pantheistic and henotheistic. Reality is pain- disengage.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Jesus gave us authority over so many things! Did you know that? I mean really KNOW what you as a child of the King have been given authority over? Know to the depths of your soul that you have been given authority over the things that Jesus had authority over because of his sacrifice?! This is hard stuff, I know. I've been pondering and processing for a little while now. So I give you permission to process too. But, think about it. Really think. It's worth the brain cells.
Jesus has ultimate authority over satan. 1 John 3:8-10
Jesus has authority over death. John 11:25-26
He has authority over wisdom and knowledge. Col. 2:2-4
He has authority over salvation and condemnation. Heb 9:28
This list could go on and on. Authority over rulers of this world, over the church, nature, demonic powers, angels, sin, space and time, disease...
Are you thinking about spiritual things now? Good.
We are quick to explain all sorts of things with answers that we understand. But sometimes there is a real spiritual part of the issue that we don't even look at. Don't even want to look at. Are you dealing with something in your life now? Does it have a spiritual component? Something that Jesus already has authority over? Do you need to bring it to Him?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Please be praying as we process all of this stuff and spend some intense hours together!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
So I made it through our VERY intense fundraising seminar. Nearly 18 hours of lecture crammed into 2 days. But it was all good material. I feel like I finally know how to tackle this huge undertaking of $40,000 and $3,000 per month that has to be raised before we can get to Soroti.
I know God will provide. Beckie and I are trusting for 100% of our funds raised in 100 days. Watch out. I will be calling you up! I'm looking for "vicarious rope holders". Could that be you?
I'm trusting God to do really big things in the next 4 months. I have to admit I'm asking big thinks of Him but I'm also learning that He is honored by the magnitude of our requests. They acknowledge how amazing He really is. He told us (James 4:2) "You do not have because you do not ask."
We can't do what only God can do but He won't do what He's asked us to do!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Been a whirlwind last few days. I've been feeling so anxious and blaming in on a lack of running. But really it is so much more. Talked with someone I really looked up to and she reminded me that God gives us grace enough for one day at a time.
Sufficient grace to cover it.
More than just enough.
So often I want more.
But now I'm just enjoying the grace for today. Still struggling with a little anxiety but the perspective check was good. I'll just keep calling out. I know He hears.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Worse yet, it is not isolated to one small place on this planet. Or even confined to one large place. It is all over. Everywhere. There is abuse in my backyard. Hunger , pain and suffering on your street.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Far too often we assume that the facts of our situation are the truth.
Just think about it a second.
We assume that the facts of our situation are the truth.
Maybe the facts of your situation are that you are in financial trouble with few options. But is that the truth? No, the truth is that God promises to provide for our needs.
Maybe the facts are that no one understands and you feel so alone. But is that the truth? No, the truth is that Jesus walked this earth and He does understand and He does not leave us alone.
Maybe the facts are God is distant from you and you can't see Him. What is the Truth? He wants to know us intimately! He says He is standing at the door knocking!
THE FACTS DON'T HAVE TO BE THE TRUTH! The TRUTH is God's. The facts are never greater than God, God is the Truth. God is Truth.
The facts are I'm a screw up. The truth is I'm a child of God, a worthy creation, covered in grace!
The facts are we all deserve the consequences of our mistakes. The truth is God's mercy covers us!
The facts are this life seems purposeless, hopeless and mean. The truth is God gives joy, peace, hope and purpose! He is offering these gifts for the taking!
Do you believe the facts or the TRUTH? Do we live like we believe the truth?
Your facts will not set you free! The Truth sets you free!
Thats it. The rest is yours to ponder.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
So my friend Beckie is in Soroti, Uganda right now scoping things out for us. Will you be praying for her?
- That God gives her wide open eyes and a wide open heart.
- That she is able to listen to His leading.
- For the relationships she builds and interactions she has with people.
I'm so jealous!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
International Teams- Sending 1200 workers in 210 teams to 66 countries in order to implement the transforming mission of Jesus
"Mobilization" is the process of stirring individuals in the body of Christ to move out of their current situation into innovative, cross-cultural ministry and to place them strategically in the ministry context.
We speak prophetically to the church today regarding its responsibility for global evangelization.
We are catalytic and innovative in our approach, with a concern for quality in the process.
We communicate with integrity, seeking to match expectations with reality and our mobilization is church-based, because we believe that God's desire is to work through His church to redeem the world.
The "international" aspect of this ministry permeates our organization. It speaks of who we are, what we do, and how we do it.
"International" means that we are cross-cultural and cross-geographic as we facilitate the sending and receiving of strategic workers throughout the body of Christ worldwide.
Our teams reflect the diversity of Christ's body in many ways, including cultural background, ethnicity, giftedness, and social status.
"International" also speaks to an incarnational approach that gives respect and dignity to those whom we serve.
Scripture offers us "teams" as a primary model of ministry. Working together in teams is important because God has not given all giftedness to any single individual.
We help to create partnerships and unity not only among individuals, but also with other churches and various ministry organizations.
We seek to mobilize teams which are well trained and which have an environment that is open and honest enough to accept and challenge one another.
How we do what we do is critically important.
We desire to be spirit-led, following His guidance and trusting His power to be an agent of change in the world.
We seek to be intentional and strategic by articulating a clear and compelling vision and well-designed plans.
We "build" by a holistic proclamation of the good news through words and deeds.
Our approach is long-term and in-depth because we value persistent efforts and enduring results.
Our mission is true disciple making. It is not enough to see people merely accept Christian beliefs.
One of the greatest evidences of real transformation is the reconciliation of opposing segments of society.
We believe that it is through prayer that we stay in tune with the Master's will and access His transforming power.
Our efforts are aimed at results that multiply and reproduce on their own - lives being transformed by God and transforming others.
When speaking of "communities" we mean at least three levels where the transforming power of Christ brings change:
THE TEAM - Teams are a microcosm of the unity and diversity that make up loving Christian community.
THE LOCAL CHURCH - Transforming "communities" also includes the local church.
THE LOCAL COMMUNITY - The development of vital, indigenous, effective communities of faith will also transform the local community. Therefore, our aims include the resulting transformation of the surrounding society.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
But can I take it a step further? Am I so bold as to say I even want to suffer for my Savior? Do I really want an opportunity to show my love to him? His disciples rejoiced in their chance to sacrifice. (Acts 5:41...rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.) I'm not sure I can honestly say that yet, maybe someday. For now I will just enjoy the privilege of being able to serve the Lord Jesus Christ how He asks as I prepare to go.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
This is why I want to go so badly-
Rukiya is a new adition to the baby home in Soroti. She is three months old and 2.5kg (5.4lbs). Her mother died and was HIV positive and at birth she weighed 1.5 kg. A basket lady, Mary, her great grandmother was taking care of her but she is very sickly and malnourished. Rukiya is nothing but skin and bones really. She is drinking well and will be loved and cared for at Amecet but she just reminds me of the huge need. I can't help but wonder how I will even be able to help... then I remember I am just an empty vessel being used by the God of this universe who hates this suffering far more than I do.