Here’s how it all happened….
Thursday, September 29, 2011
The other day, I came across part of an old sermon that John Piper preached in 1983 (before I was even born…. Whoa, how old is he? ) and he was talking about the meaning behind the word “Hosanna.” He shared that in the Psalms, “Hosanna” is used as a cry for help, like if someone pushes you into a pool and you can’t swim so you yell, “Help, save me!” yet in those verses, it is still immediately followed by “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” pointing to the One who brings salvation (Psalm 118:25-26). Over the years the meaning of the word changed from a cry for help, to a declaration of the help that has come. Rather than yelling “Help, Save me!” after being pushed into a pool, we see the lifeguard coming and yell, “Hosanna- my Salvation has come!”
This week I’ve been dwelling on what that means… like what it really means for me personally, and I’ve been overwhelmed by that. My cry for help has been replaced by the declaration that my salvation has come. I’m so thankful that I worship the God who doesn’t leave His people to rescue themselves but has made a way for each of us to be with Him.
Sometimes the most profound things are best put in simple terms, so in the words of my favorite children's book, The Jesus Storybook Bible….
God loved his children too much to let the story end there. Even though he knew he would suffer, God had a plan- a magnificent dream. One day, he would get his children back. And one day, he would wipe away every tear from their eyes.
You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children- with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. And though they would forget him, and run from him, deep in their hearts, God’s children would miss him always, and long for him- lost children yearning for their home.
Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve: “It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I’m going to do battle against the snake. I’ll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here. I’m coming back for you!
Praise the Lord He chose to save us in spite of who we are! Hosanna- Salvation has come!
On another note... this is my most recent favorite song. Check it out- Sooo good!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
The new school year has begun and I think I’m busier than I ever have been. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I have class at Northwestern followed by nannying for 2 of my favorite kiddos (and their new puppy “Ted”). And Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m doing pre-student teaching in a first grade classroom all day. My evenings are spent back in Plymouth at AFLBS where I’m on dorm staff again this year. These past couple weeks have been extremely insane with so many things going on but it’s good to be back in somewhat of a routine.
I’m so excited about everything that God has in store for the girls here at Bible School. The girls on my wing are awesome and I just know it’s going to be a great year. Please be praying for the 13 beautiful girls that the Lord has entrusted to me this year as they study God’s Word and are a target for attacks from the enemy. And please pray for me that I would be obedient to the Spirit as I minister to them.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Today I can’t stop thinking about a sweet little face that has been engraved in my mind from my time in Johannesburg. While visiting one of the orphanages, I spent most of my time with a precious little boy that I will never forget. I’ll never forget his big smile as he repeated after me, “Jesus… loves… me…. Jesus loves me!” I keep thinking about him… about his future… where he’ll end up someday… if he’ll ever be able to fully trust that Someone loves him more than he knows. I don’t know his story of how he ended up there but God knows. God knows his past, He knows what that sweet boy is doing right now, He knows where he’ll be ten years from now. If I could’ve taken him back with me, I would’ve done it in a heartbeat. For now I want to be a prayer warrior for that little one that instantly captured my heart and that God would be working in the hearts of whoever will choose to be his forever family. God has a plan for that boy that he created to be His child. God places the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6) and I know that he is preparing something for that sweet little boy. I can take comfort in knowing that our God’s heart is to show his precious children love and I’m confident that He already has a perfect plan.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I’ll write a more specifics about my trip another time but for now, here’s a small list of some things I learned/ was reminded of over the course of the month.
· God doesn’t always call me to do what I WANT to do- ministry doesn’t always look like what I expect it to
· The importance of community and honoring each other and how that impacts so many things
· The number of seatbelts in a vehicle is only a suggestion for how many people can actually fit
· The importance of being real
· God is so much bigger than I’ve made Him out to be
· McDonalds always tastes the same- no matter where you go
· What a genuine relationship and intimacy with the Lord looks like
· The power and reality of the Holy Spirit
· The importance of treating people with JUSTICE rather than CHARITY
· The Lord delights in me
· How to make a LASTING impact by helping people help themselves
· The importance of surrendering expectations and being open to be used in ways I don’t understand
· Laughter is the best medicine J
· God still speaks and wants me to live each day in tune with the Holy Spirit
· Being aware of simple things that can be a distraction from purposeful living
· There are endless opportunities to serve the Lord WHEREVER I go
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Greetings from South Africa!
It's been 3 1/2 weeks since our team left for South Africa and I feel like I've learned more these past 3 weeks than I have in the past 3 years. I'll do my best to sum up a little of what's happened... Here's a small glimpse:
Most of our first week was spent getting to know the teams that we're working with and I've learned so much from them about living in community, and truly living radically. In the past 6 months they've been doing ministry in:
Team Fuego- my team for the monthIndiaNepalRomaniaMoldovaSwaziland &Mozambique
To be completely honest, when I first got to Johannesburg, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't going to be spending my month in the bush working with kids but I've really grown to love our ministry here and have been learning that God has us here for a purpose. I've been seeing that our view of "ministry" isn't always the same as His.Johannesburg is a unique place. It is one of the biggest cities in Africa and has interesting dynamics since here, the 1st world meets the 3rd world. We've seen this reality as we've been spending a lot of time out in the city. We were initially told we would be working with campus outreach but since schedules were switched around, we've been partnering with the website www.forgood.co.za and helping them with networking. The first few days we were all having a hard time seeing how working with a website could be a ministry but it's opened up doors for us to meet so many passionate people, encourage them in what they are doing to impact their community and volunteer along side them. We've been going all around Johannesburg visiting churches and non-profit organizations in hopes that they will get connected with other churches and organizations to help bring Jesus to South Africa.
So far, we've been able to go to a township and have a barbecue (or brie) with some of the families there, color with the children, and learn about life in the township.
We've met with a man who helps provide after-school activities and counseling for the youth in the city in hopes to encourage them to work hard and take ownership of the successes that come from hard work. We visited with 2 American women who work for Oasis Haven, a children's home that partners with adoption agencies, and we were able to hear their heart for the orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa. I was at this "meeting" with 2 other girls on my team and I think it was a conversation that we'll all remember forever. After Oasis Haven, we met with Vincent, a man who works for JAM (Joint Aid Management). JAM was started by a man who visited Mozambique during the civil war and decided to dedicate his life to helping people meet their basic needs. JAM partners with Jesus Alive Gospel Outreach and we met with them this morning. They go into rural areas of Africa and basically hold evangelistic meetings and provide discipleship materials in the dialect of the people group.Monday was Mandela Day and a few of us went with JAM to hand out blankets while others partnered with a church to help clean and do other projects in the community.
On the weekends, we've been able to find some fun activities in JoBurg. We went to go to a Lion Park where we were able to pet lion cubs and feed a giraffe. Last weekend was filled with shopping at the African Market and going to a Rugby game. During the evenings, we've filled our time with worship, "family" dinners, and conversations of what the Lord is doing in our hearts.
I've loved my first 3 weeks here and have been challenged in ways I never expected. It has been so great seeing how God has prepared divine appointments and listening as He speaks to my heart in ways I've never experienced before. I'm sad to be going home next week but I am so excited to take what I've learned back to my life in MN.
KK and I at a Rugby Game