It has been a while since I have written. I could blame it on busyness or nothing to write about, but honestly its been a hard adjustment back to being home. There is the reverse culture shock but also the personal struggle inside me as I wrestle with what I am doing now, what my relationship with God looks like with-out any ministry demands, what my focus/purpose is, what my role in my family is.There have been a lot of drastic changes since coming back home and it has taken a while to really put God back at the center of it all. I have slowly been getting back into to ministry and really seeking what God wants as I feel like I am slowly gaining equilibrium in my relationship with God and others.
I am currently working and going to school part-time taking several biblical study classes with a Christian College in California.. Once again I feel like God has led me into a time of waiting and preparing for whatever is next. I am currently 4 weeks into class and I am being challenged and overwhelmed with all God is teaching me. While reading today there was a quote in an article that stood out to me and I really wanted to share it with you all as I am learning in my classes the need to live the gospel daily.
“We as Christians have lost sight of God’s big picture. We have focused our attention on
the mechanics of obedience but have forsaken our first love. We have spent hours learning sound theology but we have not become more intimately connected with our Heavenly Father. We have volunteered countless days serving others but our love for people has not increased. God wants our hearts before our hands and feet. He wants us to know Him so that we can passionately join Him.”
I love this quote and am reminded once again that God wants our our hearts more than he wants our service. I have found myself gaining a renewed passion for the main thing: The Gospel as I remember the need to walk in grace daily, “not just repenting from sins, but the reasons for my goodness.” It comes down to God’s love for me, his role of Father in my life, and my desperate need for Jesus and his saving grace daily.
Now a quick update on some exciting things going on. Last week I got to hang out with one of my good friends Linda. Many of you will remember I went on a short-term missions trip to Thailand in 2004 and then again in 2006. We spent time at a children’s home called Eden House that does an amazing job of rescuing girls who are at risk of being sold into sex-slavery and giving them new life. My dear friend Linda is one of those girls. She has just graduated college and has since then made a bold decision to follow God’s calling and attend a YWAM DTS in Montana where she will be part of a missions training school for 3 months and then 3 months of outreach somewhere in the world. Last week she was in town while traveling from Thailand to Montana and she invited me over and made me a delicious Thai meal. After that, we went out on a paddle boat and just got to talk about life and how God is working in our lives. I was so encouraged to hear her story and catch up on 10 years of life. It is amazing all that God has done in her life and the passion and calling he has placed in her. I am so excited and encouraged by her faith in God and desire to walk in obedience to him and make disciples. God is faithful! For those of you who supported me then,I just want to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to invest in the girls at Eden House so many years ago. God is continuing to work through the friendships I made then and is raising up a generation of Thai girls who love and serve our God. We are the body of Christ and he is fulfilling his Mission. Pleas join me in praying for Linda as she pursues God calling and that he would amaze her in providing for the financial costs associated with overseas missions.
Linda and I in 2004 Linda and I in 2014
I also received word from our church leaders in Peru that last week, they had 15 new leaders graduate from leadership classes, only three of which I recognized, and I have only been stateside for 9 months! I am so excited and encouraged to see God raising up a new generation of leaders through the national leaders at the Puerta Abierta Church in Arequipa, Peru. The young lady, 3rd from the left in the front row is Yessica, one of Brenda and I’s disciples while we were still working in Peru. It is so exciting to see the joy of the Lord in her. You can see it in her face, on her facebook posts…she is passionately following Jesus and leading others to him as well! I am still in awe of all that God continues to do in Peru! He is the head of the church and is doing his work among the people of Arequipa and I am so blessed to have seen a piece of that while serving there. There are many new faces, people who are actively involved and living for him and I don’t even know who they are. Pray with me, for God to continue his work in Peru and that the leaders there would continue to fix their eyes of Jesus the author and perfector of their faith, living for the joy set before them as the writer of Hebrews puts it.
Newly graduated church leaders at the Puerta Abierta Church (our church plant) in Peru.
So what’s next…I don’t know. I am here, working, studying, and waiting, and I am finally at a place where that’s ok… at least for a little while. I am continuing to serve on an outreach team in Everett and we are seeing God at work in our relationship with girls who are at-risk and in need of a relationship with Jesus. It’s a tough life, but I am thankful for the team of people God is raising up to serve the girls in Everett. Continue to pray with us for opportunities, wisdom, and breakthrough in these dark places. Finally, I am also still hoping to be able to travel to Ecuador and Peru for some translating opportunities serving church planting missionaries (and friends) who are currently still overseas later this year, as well as hoping to attend my ministry partner’s wedding in Peru. If I am able to do that I would love to take a week to visit our church in Peru as well, but those are just my plans. God has a lot of pieces to put together in order to make that happen, so I am trusting him and waiting to see what happens. Once again I just want to thank all of you friends, family, supporters, church family, prayer partners for continuing to be there for me no matter where I am at. You guys are such a blessing in my life and I praise God for you!