Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Breathless Awe

The sun rises and the sky fills with brilliant blue and puffy white. As we spin it stretches its warm rays to kiss the cheeks of little boys and girls in amazon forests.. and tall dark men following cattle across the plains. It reveals the scars and tear stains on cheeks where war wages on.. and its rays reach through the tint of windows as men and women head off to another day at work. As curtains are stretched wide it splashes in on little ones hair all a fright.. reaching up to receive love from a mother. It reveals both beauty and pain.. life and death. And when we take time to slow and look it causes us to marvel... surely He is a great God!! The same sun that today darkens our skin was the same that shone on the face of our Savior as he walked the dusty paths declaring the heart of the Father. Imagine if somehow it had a memory and was able to comprehend all that it illuminated.. the stories it could tell!
And yet there is One.. who see's ALL, and knows ALL. Psalms 139 tells us that
"HE knows our sitting up and our lying down, He knows our thoughts afar off, He comprehends our paths.. there is not a word on our tongue, But behold, He knows it all together!

And we ask.. Where can we go from Your Spirit? Where can we flee from Your presence?

And we are told... If we ascend into heaven... He is there! And if we make our bed in hell... He is there! If we dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea... EVEN there His hand shall guide us.

And we say.. Surely the darkness shall fall on me." And think that just as the sun when it disappears leaves us hidden, so shall we be in His eyes.

BUT we discover.... Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from Him, but the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both ALIKE to Him.

So unlike those beams that find our skin everyday and then are gone at dusk.. this God we serve.. this One who Created us.. is always beholding and ever seeing! Nothing is hidden all is laid bare and naked before Him. He knows even our thoughts before we think them. And for some of us that can seem a bit troubling... those things we think are hidden behind our eyes and between our ears.. He knows them. He doesn't just hear our words.. He reads the motives behind them.. He doesn't just admire our actions, He knows why! ..nothing is hidden. And that is why the that structure made of wood.. and those three nails.. and that agony manifested in drops of blood is so Incredible and Humbling and Breathtaking. Because He is ALL knowing, and yet ALL loving. And He asks us to come and follow Him and learn of Him. He sends His Spirit and our insides are illuminated and revealed and when allowed He begins to refine and we find amazingly that we are being changed and made more into the image of the One who created.

Breathless awe!

It seems days have been flying by like the clouds suspended in the sky. Babies to fill our arms... teenagers to keep us laughing and praying.. school fees to pay.. beans to clean.. and hungry bellies and souls to feed. It seems our days fill up quite easily. But we don't mind so much :) Imagine two young girls with this crazy dream of one day living in Africa.... and God answered and led and that crazy dream became reality! We thank Him! When we get really busy and our legs and arms and mind beg for a rest we have to remember... we are living our wildest dream!! We most unlikely of all candidates.. God sure works in mysterious and delightful ways!
Nearly every week day we have two little boys to keep us busy. We are convinced that they are the cutest around! One with chubby cheeks and huge personality.. loves to eat and make noise. The other small and quiet.. but with a smile that can light up the room. They have brought us lots of laughs and laundry! It has proven to be a great source of amusement as we walk the streets... people wondering about white ladies with black babies. One of the little guys doesn't have parents in his life and the other has a very young mom still in high school. Caring for babies here looks a bit different than what we are used to. Instead of cracking open a jar of baby food.. it is cooking rice, potatoes, noodles, eggs and mashing them to toothless consistency. Instead of a rocking chair... we have our arms and legs. Instead of baby rattles and stuffed animals.. we have cords and keys and jars full of safety pins. But we found that the results are the same! With lots of love and by the grace of Jesus we are trusting that they will grow up to be Men for God!
BTS the mentoring program for young teens fills up most of our evenings and weekends. Monday night is prayer, Wednesday night Bible Study, Thursday night is movie night, Friday evening is group discussion, and then Saturday the usual feeding program and meeting with them. Every other Saturday the young ladies all come to our house for a bible study on True Femininity. It has been so fun to discover a-fresh with them the amazing picture of what a lady can be when fully surrendered to Jesus! As we spend time with them we learn more than just a name... we get to know them, their personalities, their story. They were recently all blessed with their very OWN bible. The delight as they turned the new crisp pages.. uncovering the treasures within was awesome to behold. Imagine if the Holy Spirit awakened 40 young hearts to the realities of life in Christ... oh what expectancy we have!
We still have visitors at our door nearly daily. They don't come like they used to, as school is in session and we are a bit more busy... but we still enjoy seeing them. Just yesterday some faces appeared that we hadn't seen for some months.. so chores were dropped and we instead opted to sit on the doorstep and allow our laps to be filled with little bodies. Those moments are pretty sweet... when time seems to slow and no words are even needed.. there is just silence and smiles and arms folded 'round. And of course... there is bread and jam eagerly inhaled!
The past month has been full of smiles, laughter, and prayer as we continue on in this grand adventure! Each day holds some new gem just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes it is found in the laughter of a baby, sometimes in the humble thank you of a mother as she accepts money so her daughter can go to school... sometimes in the evening walks with a boyfriend. :) Life never ceases to amaze and delight!!
BTS kiddos learning during our BTS week

new bibles!!!

circle games

Getting lessons from friends across the Atlantic!

makes every day brighter!

sweet baby boy