Friday, April 20, 2012

Mighty Warriors: Friendliness

Teresa excelled in many areas, but one thing she did very well helped me to think differently about my ministry. She was a master at making friends, especially national friends. She came to be with the team for 2 years, but after her supervisor left she stayed on for another year to lead the womens team. My biggest concern was that the girls that had come with Teresa would be returning, her closest friends for the last 2 years would be leaving her there to continue. Loneliness can become a major issue for single missionaries, so i was concerned. Well, Teresa surprised us after her teammates left. She knew she needed friends so she got a dog...and then made a close relationship with her Vet. Everything she did seemed to bring her friends in the neighborhood. She knew the people who sold odds and ends, she knew just about everyone. She didn’t struggle with lonliness to the same degree because of her friendliness. Watching her make friends really challenged my to be more friendly in my day to day life. Lord, send us others like Teresa who make friends easily and can show the Love of Christ in the simplest day to day tasks.

Update: Teresa is now married living in Tennessee. She has a little girl and a boy on the way. She is still involved in our ministry! She is the travel agent who helps all of our Volunteer groups make it to us without incedent and get the best prices. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mighty Warriors: Love

Melissa was not your typical xtreme missionary. Even she said there was nothing xtreme about her, She only came to our team out of obedience. However, I would disagree with her, because what I saw in here was an overwhelming love for the people. It truly reminded me of the very emotional and personal Love that Jesus had for the people he came to save. She was a great example to me of how to Love them like Jesus. One example was when she was very ill in the village. She had had Typhoid for several days. Physically she was in a lot of pain and discomfort. Mentally she was struggling to keep it together (There were rumors of her having conversations with the local chickens) But when we called her on the HAM Radio, she begged us to let her stay just a few more days. She was almost finished with the stories that she had prepared. She did not want to leave until they had the opportunity to hear more about the Lord she loved. Time after time, showed that she loved others more than herself. Lord, please send us more like Melissa, people who are willing to sacrifice and suffer in order to demonstrate the same love that you have shown to us.

Update: Melissa is married and has recently had her first child, a little girl. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mighty Warriors: Brokenness

One of the most important qualities of a servant of the Lord in my opinion is brokenness. It is imperative that one have an encounter with the Lord in which you are overwhelmed with such Holiness and greatness that you find your true place in this universe. You see yourself as a servant of the Almighty, with little to offer but a desire to give all. This has bee a quality of all of our most successful missionaries, but it is one of the things I remember most about Graham. He had an experience during his training that shaped the rest of his time with us and probably his life. He was open to the Lords prompting an leaned to listen to the Lord, no matter how hard it was to hear what the Lord had to say. Brokenness is the first step to refining. Lord please send us more men like Graham, men who are broken and humble before their God. Help us never to forget your greatness and our inadequacies and let us trust in you to use our simple offerings and cause them to bear fruit.

Update: Graham is studying at the seminary, he is a husband and father of twins!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The man who couldn't jump

In most, if not all Nilotic cultures the people tend to be tall and slim. They have a very unique look to them. It can be very stoic and noble. But an interesting thing happens when Nilotes get excited. They begin to jump. As the excitement/happiness/joy builds they jump higher and higher. It is almost an involuntary action for them. A similar thing for westerners is clapping, for some reason we westerners clap a lot. someone tells a funny joke or does something silly we clap. We are often not even aware of it but this is what we do. Well, the Nilotes they jump. And believe me it can be a very impressive sight. When you have a man well over 7' tall jumping with all of his might into the air, it makes quite an impression.

While we were in Kenya, we met with  group of believers who were from the Samburu tribe (who are Nilotes). As they began to get into the worship their bodies began to bob up and down and before long they were leaping into the air. The women with their colorful necklaces and jewelry were all expressing their joy in Gods love and in knowing him. They had been adopted as his children, they were co-heirs with Christ...they jumped.

I was moved by their exuberance and I was filled with a desire to join them in this expression of joy. Unfortunately, since my injury in 2003 my body doesn't work like it used to. I can no longer run or jump. Those muscles simply do not work. In that moment my joy was turned to mourning. I will be working with Nilotes for many years into the future, and I have every reason to jump. I am a son of the King of Kings, I have been redeemed and made new by the blood of Jesus and I was given a task to fulfill a purpose for my life. I am truly full of His joy, but I am not able to express that joy in a way which it would be understood by any Nilote. I began to ask the Lord..."Why?"

I was deeply moved when immediately the Lord answered me in a very clear way. There was no pondering or silence, his answer was immediate. He said, "I don't want you to jump. Until that day that all have heard of my Son and have the opportunity to experience real Joy your feet will be firmly planted on the ground." I am sad for my inability to jump, but the Lord has turned that into a sense of urgency for the Lost. AND I am assured that someday, i will leap joyfully for the Lord.

Revelation 7:9-12 After this I looked and behold a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation from all tribes and peoples and and language, standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying "Amen! Blessing and Glory and Wisdom and Thanksgiving and Honor and Power and Might be to our God forever and ever amen!!!"    ...and there was this one strange white man in the back jumping up and down.     

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kaabong Volunteer Fire Dept.

Well we have all been initiated into the Southern division of the Kaabong Volunteer Fire department. There is really no such thing of course but after today we know what we could do if this whole missionary thing doesnt pan out. Bobby had taken some trash out to the burn pile and was burning it. He watched it for a while and the was satisfied everything was okay and he went on to other tasks. As he peeked out later he saw the the wind had caught the smal fire and it was now a grass fire. I was in the house and i heard bobby say something to Maridith about fire. I went out to see and saw Bobby and maridith running franticlly getting water and beating on the flames. Susan brought out an antique blanket that came with the house (left by previous missionaries). I dunked that blanket in a bucket of water and began throwing it onto the edges of the fire. I continued this as Bobby beat the other side of the fire and threw water on it. It took us less than 5 minutes to get the fire out. Several members of the fire department had smokers cough and enjoyed the new sound of their wheezy laugh (Bobby) but it was shortlived and everyone is now back to normal. Everyday is an adventure here. (just in case you were worried, the above fire was not ours. Ours was MUCH smaller)