I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6:18

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: His Presence

 Wow. I really failed at updating my Ethiopia journey daily. Oops. Sorry. I have a valid excuse though, because WinShape Camps. But hey, I'm picking up where I left off so whatever.
Tuesday, June 24th
Simple peace. Sweet, overwhelming presence. Today was yet another powerful day. We witnessed and participated in little glimpses of the Kingdom come. From a powerful worship and prayer time this morning on Mount Tabor, to an equally powerful and overwhelming service at the church tonight, God was there.

 God was there.

 And isn't that just as He promised? Didn't He say He would never leave us, and that He would pour out His Spirit on all people?

 He is with us as we join together, Ethiopian and American in His creation, praising His name.

 I feel the peace of God that is so sweet and pure, yet so profound and overwhelming as I learn to lean completely on Him.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: In Which Life Change is Real

 Monday, June 23rd
Today we saw life change. Today, we experienced life change in the depths of our own hearts. We saw God's sovereignty and perfect plan at work. As we built up a wall, we participated in building His Kingdom in the hearts of our Ethiopian brothers and sisters.
 We echoed cries of "Hallelujah, Jesus," as we got to be the hope in this woman's life. Participating in her joy, we also shared in her hurts, in her prayers for her spiritually lost son to find rest in the Father. We got to be the hands and feet and heart of Jesus.

 We saw His spirit strengthen hearts as we strengthened walls. And as the faith of this precious mother of five encouraged and humbled us, God's spirit moved among us and brought her son to faith in our Lord. We witnessed this boy walk from a path of destruction to a new, full life of lasting hope.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Choosing Hope

Sunday, June 22nd

 There is a story playing throughout all creation. It is one of joy and pain, of heartbreak and hope. But on days like today, the hope greatly outweighs the heartbreak as we get glimpses of the Kingdom come and I remember why I so enjoy this Compassion thing. Because although witnessing Compassion families walking away from the material aspect of poverty excites, is that the part that really fires me up and causes my eyes to fill with tears? No.

 That happens in seeing the fact that though these beautiful people may still live in poverty, they worship their Lord with such abandon. It is in praising with the center staff over the salvation on 200+ students since the start of their program. And not only 200+ plus students, but also 200+ caregivers letting Christ be Lord in their life.

 Seeing hope in action as you hear from the mouth of a child that 'God loves us big'- it is in those moments that I realize Compassion works.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Worth It.

Saturday, June 21st
 VBS, Ethiopia style. Perhaps the most fun, precious thing ever. But then again, I could say that about our flower ceremony. I would say it about the selfies these sweet, sweet children love to take, and the way they love to dance. I could say it about our visit with little Yikram and her mother and looking up to see her VBS craft hanging so proudly on the wall of her one-room house.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Living Sent, Ethiopia: Day One

 Friday, June 20th

 Well, now I have officially joined my heart on this beautiful African soil. Most of the day was spent viewing it from the window of a bus, but I am so so so glad to just be here. But there is an element of shock and heartbreak, as the contrast of poverty and beauty is overwhelming.  As is the contrast of the poverty from what I consider 'normal'. I wake up from sleeping in a king-sized bed in an air-conditioned room, load up my suitcase full of clean clothes, and get on a bus to ride in comfort. On the other hand people are trying to find a way into our bus, standing at the windows in tattered clothing, begging for money or food. Then there are business men walking out of their big, tall office buildings while just a couple blocks away a child sleeps soundly in an alley, using a plastic bag as a blanket.