Monday, September 1, 2014

One Year

Last Wednesday marked one year. One year has passed since the plane touched down in the dark and we stepped out onto the ground of our new home. We came not knowing much except that this is where we were supposed to be. We had no organization backing us up.. no ministry established.. no work permit. But we were here!
Slowly we settled in and got used to this new life. We were carried by strength not our own further into the endless frontier of knowing and experiencing our God. Each day widening our vision.. opening our minds.. beckoning us to come take another step along the path. Some days we grew weary of the unknown.. weary of the waiting. But we would pick up the Word and find encouragement to keep on. We learned thankfulness... to wake up with expectation.. to grab each moment and cherish it. To thank Him for days that stretched quiet.. time allowed for growth and digging deep into Him... for preparation. It made days that could have been ordinary.. sparkle and shine with life. We learned how to live with someone else... we were brought face to face with our selfishness and need for our Savior. We have got to experience the sufficiency of His grace and strength.. to love and hold and play with the stream of little ones that came through our various doors. We found His wisdom available for the hard conversations and tough personalities. We learned a little bit of holding loosely to possessions and homes. We saw His perfectly timed provision when it looked like we had reached the end of funds.
It has been a year of growth and roots reaching deeper and hearts and minds being blown open to the endless possibilities of Him!
He has been COMPLETELY faithful.
He will ALWAYS will be completely faithful.
..and this is the only the beginning. we still have endless hills to climb.. valleys to cross.. and plains to traverse. The frontier stretches out... ever before us!! Oh, isn't life rich?! :)
The BTS program last week went great! Thanks to the tireless efforts of brothers and sisters willing to serve. Truly we have been so blessed to be able to share in ministry with so many here. The kids got to learn how to make banana shakes and marble art work.. they learned about communication.. choices and consequences... growing in character.. and they had teaching on foundational Christianity. They got to praise and pray and learn and play together for three days. They would come early and stay late.. taking advantage of every moment they could. Friday God provided and we were able to take them for a day of swimming. Laughter and splashing echoed all around. We are thankful for all who made it possible! We know that Gods word is spoken and accomplishes what it set out to do.. it doesn't return void.. so we look forward to seeing how lives are changed! We pray that as they head back to school they would infect and affect their environments and shine the light of Jesus like thirty little cities blazing from the top of a hill! All praise and thanksgiving to our Great God!!
As we look ahead to another year... excited to think what it is going to hold.. anticipating a closer and sweeter communion with Jesus we find a challenge in Exodus. In chapter 36 it says:
"Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do work. And they received from Moses all the offerings which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the craftsmen who were doing the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and then spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do." ch.36:2-5
... the children of Israel brought much more than was needed for the work. And I look a my own life... and i want that. Too often my fingers are tightly grasping, sweat dampening what God has given me. I forget what I have has been given, and instead cling to it as if it is my possession. I hoard it.. keeping my hands tucked by my sides my eyes darting to see if any observe. I forget His hands outstretched... relinquishing all.. as He, the spotless Lamb of God, was raised to the sky between two thieves. And i draw my arms in tight... and curl fingers 'round...
It is our prayer that this year we would learn to FREELY give and FREELY love... holding nothing back so that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly.. and be Glorified!!!
That we may run into the sunset called eternity with arms open wide... wind blowing through fingers outstretched! Giving our all... our BEST.. to the One who truly gave ALL!

One year ago... ready to head out

reading their bibles!

Nicko teaching

young men in the making!

art class

the results

Saturday feeding program

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