This one has been long overdue! I am terribly sorry for my lack of updates! A lot has been happening:
+ our worship director has bell’s palsey
+ site assistant has an infected thumb
+ construction assistant had an infected eye
+ I sliced my finger open cutting a watermelon and had to get 5 stitches and contracted a nasty cold
We had 5 ER visits in two weeks, with this week being the first in three without one. In the midst of all of this, by the strength of God, we still ran 3 weeks worth of mission groups rather smoothly. He is so good. Even though the slicing of my own finger cannot be attributed to the Enemy, the many other happenings on this trip continue to convince me that spiritual warfare is a very real thing, and that the mission field has the best seats in the house to experience it all, both the high’s of seeing the presence of God firsthand and the dangerous lows of also seeing, feeling and enduring visual opposition.
I’ve been reading through the book of John in Eugene Peterson’s The Message and I found this verse just before having an incredible worship experience last night. It’s amazing how the Spirit can reveal such insightful truth at just the right times. After explaining the eventual coming of the Holy Spirit, making clear the Gospel, Christ states:
I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world. John 16: 32-33 (MSG)
And that’s where I am right now, deeply at peace. Besides not being able to feel the top of my pointer finger (haha), life is still incredibly awesome and God has remained an unshakeable strength in my weakness. I feel recklessly loved.
…anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
John 12: 25 (MSG)
Over these past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to be humbled, almost daily. Which, on the surface, is really no fun. Programming gets totally changed, people fall asleep mid-sermons, my human body finally gives and sickness occurs, fatigue takes it harshest tolls and conviction is rife. But the most glorious part of being humbled, being shown how weak we truly are without God, is that it has been an answer to my prayers. My pride (often mistaken for confidence) has always been something I’ve wrestled with, and so everyday, and every night before worship, I pray that He might humble me so that when I speak, I will not be disqualified from the prize of eternal life (1 Cor. 9: 24-27). I’m in the process of letting go of my life daily, that I might recklessly love, that I would love without inhibitions of second thoughts, that I wouldn’t limit my love or choose to love certain people, but that my love would be unlimited and unrestricted. This love is the same love we receive daily through the grace of Christ. It’s what is keeping us alive here and what helps us further the Kingdom. That’s the kind of love I want to show.
So just in case any of you are worried… our team is doing awesome! We just sent off an awesome week five this morning with lots of new friendships and are now sitting down enjoying some delicious pizza at a local place in Pass Christian.
We are lifting up:
– my amazing brother, who’s had a rough week, but experiences such an incredible love from an incredible church
– all of our past weeks, and future weeks, that commitments to faith would be steadfast
– that our amazing Creator would continue to work completely through us
I love all of you and cannot thank you enough for your support! I’m so sorry this blog post has taken so long to be published. Until next time…. Recklessly Love!
What we’re listening to:
Cornerstone (album) – Hillsong Live
Nothing is Impossible (song) – The Planetshakers
Washed by the Water (song) – Needtobreathe