Perspective

I attended a Perspectives class tonight as a visitor with a family friend who is part of a team that presents it at a local church. I saw some familiar faces, and a lot of new ones…there were probably 100 people in attendance. This week’s class was focused on building bridges of love, and just how to do that culturally in the mission field.

The speaker, Frank Schattner, has a huge heart for missions – specifically for the Hmong people in Thailand. He and his family have been sharing the Good News there for about 25 years! He is the International Coordinator for the Jonathan Project which is an organization whose objective is to plant multiplying churches among the least-reached people groups on the planet.

Three major things stuck out at me tonight:

a) When trying to build relationships in a new place, do not ask “What can I do?” Rather, ask “What needs to be done?” and then pray, asking God to help you help them fill their needs. This was a different attitude of servanthood than I’ve ever considered, and I appreciated the perspective. Heh!

b) Always be a student. Even if you think you know something, play ignorant. This nugget is huge when you’re trying to relate the gospel to their world – which is most likely extremely different than the one you’ve been living in. A story he recounted was about visiting in a villager’s home and learning about the different spirits that they believe in – specifically asking about the one that is over the door on the red fabric. They told him that it is a spirit of prosperity, and that at every Hmong new year they sacrifice a pig to it. Now, they always complain about how poor they are, and he brought that to their attention by asking some questions. He asked about how many pigs have been sacrificed to this spirit?
They said that there were too many to count, they’d been practicing this tradition for more than one hundred years. He then asked why it is that they’ve sacrificed countless pigs to the spirit of prosperity, and yet you are poor? Their eyes were opened – the mother of the house looked at him and said, you’re right! Why do I sacrifice perfectly good food to a spirit who doesn’t provide for my family? What are you saying? Is there another way to live?

Dun dun dun . . . Good News time! Why, yes. Yes there is. Let me tell you about a man named Jesus!

c) Revival is SIMPLE. We try to make some complicated thing of it, but really all it requires is people nailing their sins to the cross and believing Jesus washed them clean, and then to be a very enthusiastic Christian! And with a God like ours, who isn’t enthusiastic?!

At the end of the three hour long class I felt extremely overwhelmed. Jon, my friend who had invited me, encouraged me by sharing a nugget from the first class that had stuck with him. We can’t always see in front of us, it may be really foggy. But we walk forward until we can no longer see, and that’s faith. Now, God has shown me Ukraine, and the mission field where He’s sending me, and even though I don’t have any idea about what will happen after Ukraine, that’s not important right now. I just need to walk in faith in the direction God is leading, even if the future is densely foggy. I trust that my adventurous journey with God isn’t over, He’s got lots more in store for me. I’m willing.

HERE I AM, SEND ME!

I met this really sweet gal who was sitting at our table tonight, her name was Heidi. She stopped me as I was gathering my things and wanted to know why I visited the Perspectives class. I shared my story and she asked if she could pray for me. Prayer is so extremely important! And I know people are praying for me, but to have a new friend lay her hand on my shoulder and pray was such a blessing. As I drove home I found a new passion for life and what God is calling me to. I had to hear a specific worship song, I opened up YouTube and played “I Will Run” by Misty Edwards.

All I want is You
All I crave is You

I will run the race set before me
I will seek Your face as the prize of my life

Amen.

My humble abode

I moved around some in the years following high school; lived in three different places, all with roommates. My heart ached this whole time for a space of my own with a kitchen, and a yard. God’s timing certainly doesn’t always match up with my time line, but He is good and knows best! I am now living in a one bedroom house with a yard and patio, and a huge kitchen! What a blessing it has been to be able to cook and host friends, and to decorate and make it my space. It’s just a six month lease here, but I plan to stay as long as I can, or at least as long as God has planned for me. Here are some pictures; some friends who live out of town have been bugging me to post some.

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This is my house from the street. I love my large driveway!

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This is my patio, I’m really enjoying the spring time. I’ve planted some flowers and I love being able to eat outside while enjoying the gorgeous weather!

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This is my kitchen. Granted, my house is small, but my kitchen is spacious! It’s such a blessing! From here you can also kinda see into my bathroom and also see the door to my bedroom.

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This is my living room. Small, but perfect for just me and my dog.

God is so good! I’m extremely blessed to be here.

Girls night in

It’s been nearly 11 years since I graduated high school and said goodbye to that season of my life.  There are a handful of people that I have stayed in contact with over the years, the gems!  Some of us left our hometown in pursuit of education or adventure, some stayed, and some have returned!  Last week four of us got together for some grub and laughter, and it was oh so good to catch up and swap stories.  

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Jessica was visiting from Texas and is now in her second trimester of pregnancy – we’re so excited for her and her husband, Dave, and their growing family!  I see Mariel and Laurinda frequently, but it was great to include Jessica this time. Love those girls!
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Beyond Me

My missions group leader, Natalie, shared a nugget from a book she’s been reading called “RELATIONSHIPS: A Mess Worth Making.” Since Christ modeled that real, fruitful mission is about the relationships we build she thought she’d share this passage to encourage us!

“…His mission will take you beyond the boundaries of your normal strength. [It] will take you beyond the range of your natural abilities and beyond the borders of your natural and acquired wisdom.

His mission will push you beyond the limits of your ability to love, serve, and forgive. [It] will push you beyond you.

At times [it] will beat at the borders of your faith. At times [it] will exhaust you. In certain situations, His ministry will leave you disappointed and discouraged. [It] will require what you do not seem to have, but that is exactly as God intended it.

That is precisely why He placed His mission in the middle of the process of sanctification, where God progressively molds us into the likeness of Jesus.”

I am in awe that God wants to use little ol’ me like this. ME. It’s overwhelming and exciting and frightening. I realized though that while walking through this experience may be difficult for me at times, I know that God will pour out his abundance of grace, love and blessings.

Wowza.

Go and make desciples of all nations

Kiev

I was sitting in church a few weeks ago, two ladies were on the stage up front presenting some announcements and sharing about some mission trips that were coming up this summer. They said something that really tugged on my soul: “If you’ve got a beating heart, you’ve been called to missions!”

They played a video about an organization who serves in the Dominican Republic. My heart started pounding and my stomach felt queasy…God was calling little ‘ol me to GO! The rest of the service I was definitely not listening to what the sermon was about; I was debating on whether or not I should sign up. After the last worship song, I got up and went out the side door, instead of the back door by the parking lot like I usually do. I went straight to the tent and put my name down on a list and was handed information on how to submit my application online. I went home and immediately did the application, I knew if I didn’t I would procrastinate and let fear get the best of me.

I’ve been accepted for a missions trip to Ukraine in July 2013!

What in the world is God doing? He’s asking me to step outside of myself and trust Him. This is the craziest thing thing that I will have ever done. I’m not a traveler. I like being home. I like my space and I like my independence.

But, alas, my God is calling my name and I need to be obiedient. So to Kiev, Ukraine I must go! Cheers to a new roller coaster ride!

Dreamland

drone

I had a strange dream the other morning, which really isn’t that rare for me.

Mariel and I were hanging out at my house and we heard a loud noise from outside, like an airplane flying really low. We looked out the window and saw a military drone with one of the arms broken and bent upward; it was nose diving into my neighborhood! As I was panicking and watching, it seemed to correct itself and started to straighten out in its flight. Relief washed over me and I walked away from the window. I glanced back and saw it nose diving again and it landed in my backyard!

I ran outside to see the commotion and since everything seemed ok, no major damage or fires, I went to my dog’s kennel to see if she was ok. Instead of Jade I found this really old German Shepherd, she had large patches of hair missing and really red skin showing through. I turned around and looked at the drone and three people were standing there with Jade on a leash, they were kidnapping my dog!

The rage of a momma bear grew in me and I ran to them. There were two guys and a lady; I recognized one of the guys. I’m sure I had a crazy look in my eyes and I started to scream at them saying, “If you take my dog then there will be hell to pay, this won’t be the last of it! There will be consequences! Now you go get that old dog out of here and give Jade back to me!” They realized I was totally serious and if they wanted to keep their eardrums they better do as I say. They complied and gave Jade’s leash to me. The lady then led us back to the kennel and tried to convince me that I wanted to keep the German Shepherd too, but I told her that all I see when I look at her is vet bills and large piles of poop.

After all of that crazy commotion I went over to my friend Laurinda’s house because I needed to talk about the morning. In the moment I had been strong, but now I was freaking out. When I got there I realized she was having some sort of a party or something, lots of people were there and she was in her living room crocheting. She wasn’t available to talk and I was overwhelmed. I sat on the floor and was kind of in a daze.

Commence wake up.

Weird, eh? Not sure where my brain comes up with these things, but at least it keeps things interesting.

Welcome back!

Well, once again I’ve taken my sweet time between writing posts and it’s a new year, twice over!  

Happy new year!  

2012 definitely had it’s ups and downs.  I had surgery to remove my gallbladder.  I actually took some vacation time and went to Nebraska and Iowa to visit with some extended family and to see the sights of my heritage with Dad and Aunt Debbie – what an adventure that was!  I turned 28.  Patrick and I broke up.  I moved out of the Huffy’s studio into a one bedroom house with a yard.  And my dog, Jade, tore her ACL and had knee surgery.  

To ring in the new year I spent new years eve with my good pal Laurinda.  We went to a game party at the Bond’s and then another game night/ pajama party at the Gleason’s!  We had a blast and made some resolutions.  Mine: get better at housekeeping; meet my weight goal by June; take a class of some sort; and host at my house more.  

 I know that 2013 will be a great year!