Saturday, January 31, 2009

I guess I was the Super Target


So, I was leaving Target today, minding my own business. I reached for my keys as I walked through the doors that opened to the frozen tundra known as the parking lot. Suddenly, a HUGE chunk of ice fell inches from me and shattered into hundreds of pieces. Instantly, as though expecting a response, I looked up at the large T above me and said, "Are you SERIOUS??" Needless to say, the T did not respond...nor did the "ARGET," or that huge bullseye. And unfortunately, no one was near me to appreciate the fact that I almost lost my life. And now, I have to agree with Ralphie's mom in The Christmas Story when she told her beloved son, "Ralphie, you're lucky it didn't cut your eye! Those icicles have been known to kill people." Correction: Those ICE CHUNKS have been known to kill people. I guess I was the Super Target today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's all coming back to me...


Last week, I had the privilege of spending time with fellow missionaries at WGM Headquarters in Marion, Indiana for training. There are a few things I realized I had forgotten after spending the last three winters in Florida.

1. After Christmas quickly comes the torturous and pointless cold. Many days, we woke up to negative temperatures, with a windchill well below zero. I had forgotten how -13 feels, but it didn't take long for me to remember. It hurts your bones!!!

2. I had forgotten how much fun making snow angels can be. It was wet and FREEZING, but oh so worth it.




video


3. I forgot that sometimes, ice is buried beneath snow, no matter how deep the snow may be. As I was scraping off my car to leave Marion, it was so cold I decided to run around the car to make the process faster. Needless to say, I hit the deck.


As I drove home, processing through all that I had learned and experienced, I couldn't help but think back through the process that has brought me to this point. It's interesting how quickly we forget the steps we have taken, isn't it? As I drove, I remembered how in July, God brought me to the point where I had NO doubt that I was called to serve with World Gospel Mission. I remembered how I had prayed long and hard that God would bring a team together and would begin to prepare us to serve Him as a unified front in Uganda. I remembered the COUNTLESS e-mails and conversations with dear friends who have encouraged me to continue to say "yes" to Jesus, one step at a time. When I would freak out about the big picture, they reminded me to just say "yes" to the next step...and then the next one after that. And doing so has led me to this point. As I continued to drive, I realized my prayers had been answered and were being worked out right before my eyes this weekend. In the WGM staff, I have found insant encouragement and support. They have truly become like family in such a short period of time. Team Uganda (pictured above) have become a tangible answer to so many prayers...my own, and the prayers of those on the field. What an amazing time we had, laughing with each other, learning together, and getting to know each other's heart for the people of Uganda. I look forward to how God will use each of us to bring the light and love of Jesus to those who sit in darkness. I drove in silence as I let the reality of all of this sink in...That was Thursday. It's Monday night and I'm still speechless. Will you continue to pray with us as we follow Jesus into this year of "Homeland Ministry?" Pray that we would continue to seek His face daily, and that we would say "yes," one step at a time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

365

"But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end." -Deuteronomy 11:11-12

It is a new year. And if you are anything like me, you find yourself at a crossroads--looking back at all that took place over the last 365 days, and looking forward with great anticipation to what the next 365 will hold. For me, the next 365 days mark the beginning of new journey. I have been appointed as a "Missionary Disciple" with World Gospel Mission. Destination: Uganda, East Africa. Over the course of the next 365 days (perhaps more), I will travel to various parts of the country speaking at churches, talking with Sunday School classes, teaching Children's Church, and meeting with friends in coffee shops to share God's heart for the people of Uganda. Though the specifics of the ministry I will be a part of while there are unknown, my heart beats for the orphans and for those affected by AIDS.

As I look to the journey I begin this year, I recognize the "land" I will travel on is unfamiliar territory to me. There are sure to be difficult days ahead, days where there are far more questions than answers. But there is great peace in knowing the "land" I possess is a land God Himself cares for. How thankful I am that the God we serve is not a God who, like our New Year's resolutions, fizzle out around January 9th!! God's eyes are on the land we enter "from the beginning of the year to its end." He doesn't promise it will be smooth and downhill the whole way. There are mountains AND valleys. There may be difficult times to come. But I know this, God Himself is caring for the land I am entering. And He is caring for yours too. What is your "land?" New job, new ministry opportunities, new priorities in relationships? Perhaps nothing is necessarily "new." I assure you, though, there is still territory for you. It is my prayer that as I venture out into the unfamiliar territory before me that I would be able to truly believe that my land is watched and cared for by the LORD. In good times and in difficult times. In triumph and in pain. Regardless of the situation I am in, may I know that His eyes are set on the land I am possessing...from the beginning of the year to its end.