Tuesday, October 16, 2012
When I first heard those words come out of Simeon's mouth I considered pretending I didn't hear anything. But, in an effort to encourage open and honest dialogue with our kids, I half whispered, "Well, that isn't exactly how it works..." All at once three young male voices bombard my ears. "What?!" Logan's voice separates from all the other racket. "Then how do babies get in the mom's belly?" I don't really know what I said in response, but whatever it was the kids were appeased. Then, Logan asks, "How come our friends adopted?" Again, I stumbled through an explanation that I thought would answer his question without raising more. I told him that sometimes God has other plans that are more beautiful than the ones we come up with. And that as a result of one adoption, another short-term missions team will be serving with G.O. Ministries next summer.
Of course it didn't end there.
Logan: "Mom, what would happen if teams stopped coming to the DR? What if we don't need to work there?"
Mom: "Well, buddy, I guess we would go next door to Haiti and help out there."
Logan: "What if Haiti no longer needs us?"
Mom: "Oh baby, I think even if you worked for your whole life in Haiti there would still be work that needs to be done there."
Logan, now with a husky, teary voice: "You mean Haiti won't be fixed? Not even for as long as I live?"
Mom: "No, probably not. Unfortunately, there will always be sin and suffering, no matter where we go. But, we are working to tell people that God is with them even in the midst of all the sin and suffering."
Isaiah interjects his thoughts: "So, Mom, at G.O. Ministries we just want people to know God loves them right?"
Now mom is the one with a catch in her throat.
Mom: "That's right, love. That's right."
This is what happens when I turn the radio off:)
Friday, August 17, 2012
I had no idea what to say to the seven men who work in a country where the poverty is beyond my ability to describe with words. A place that is surrounded with such hopelessness. My first time in Haiti I felt like I was going to drown. How does a guy like me even begin to try and encourage them? For the days leading up to the trip it was all I thought about. When I got up at 5:30 am to begin my journey to meet them I still really had no idea what to say to them. Part of me wanted to give them their offering, pray and high tail it back to Santiago. But I didn’t. As I prayed on my way to the meeting my thoughts started to take shape. Below is some what I wrote in my journal to share with them.
Phillipians 1: 3-14
I’m always struck by this first paragraph of thanksgiving and prayer Paul writes to the church in Philippi. The guy is in jail and he starts of his correspondence by telling them “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” My letter to supporting churches would be more along the lines of a desperate plea for help in my release. Paul is just the opposite. He tells his friends in Philippi that his imprisonment has served to advance the gospel. Paul is in a valley. He is in a place that most people would see as the low point in their lives. Yet he is flourishing. As I look back on my life it seems like there has been a lot of valleys. The main difference between my valley’s and Paul’s imprisonment is that my valley’s result from me bumbling through life. I usually wind up in a valley because of a series of poor choices or chasing sin. Paul wound up in a valley because he was fulfilling God’s plan in his life. Paul was in a valley, a beautiful valley.
In our first year of ministry Lydia and I have hit some valleys. But those guys doing ministry in Haiti live in a valley. As Christians I think we expect our faith in and commitment to the teachings of Christ to come with a halo of protection. The truth couldn’t be more than the opposite. When Jesus sent out his 12 disciples in Matthew 10 He tells them they are headed into many deep valleys. They will be like sheep among wolves, flogged in synagogues and that brother will betray brother to death. The idea of seeking safety and comfort don’t really have anything to do with what Jesus is asking us to do. Besides safety is incredibly boring and unfulfilling. Faith should be an adventure. Being crammed in stinky hot bus and not really knowing where you’re headed or where your going is a much better story!
Thanks for all you do,
Friday, July 13, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I recently came across this quote by Lysa Terkeurst,
“If telling the world about Jesus is our real goal, then we must be eager to cooperate with the unique ways God leads people to make this happen.”
The words really struck a chord within me. This is what G.O. Ministries does! At the very core, G.O. Ministries wants to see lives redeemed for Christ. How do we do that? Through individuals gifted by God in unique ways. One of many things we love about G.O. is how G.O. embraces the unique calling God has placed on each of our lives and then works to empower each person to serve in the capacity to which God has called them.
How has God equipped you? How is he called you? How are you responding to that call?
However God has called you, and those you come in contact with, I encourage you to be eager to cooperate with the unique ways God is leading all of us to tell the world about Jesus.
1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
I am leaving you with a video my super fabulous husband put together with pictures from our time of unique service in the Dominican Republic last summer:)