Sunday, July 1, 2012

Akuem and Relaxation

Recently I have been super swamped and have been unable to write, which has been super frustrating. I have had all of these thoughts flowing around like the Nile durring rainy season, a current that has left these ideas in a jumbled up mess. So spending the last two days in Akuem (one of the field bases) has been a super blessing. I have had some time to take these thoughts and process them a bit further. Africa is starting to feel like home. It hit me hard after my first R&R that this place that I had been keeping in my mind as only a temporary place of stay, is and will be HOME for the next 8 months, and surprisingly it wasn't that hard of a thought to swallow. It felt right, and that is how I know that this call to Africa was God's plan not mine because it is only him who can grant the kind of peace I experienced in facing that thought. It is also a beautiful thought that while the cliche is "home is where the heart is" it is good to think that mine is where God called me to be, and that where he is my heart longs to be. I am in Akuem because I am playing praise and worship for the orientation they are hosting here. It is funny because they didn't know until I got here that I had never been to orientation so I am getting to attend the sessions as well. It has been really cool to be in orientation with the staff of South Sudan, and while you may think its weird that I am now making it to SP orientation after working with them for almost 3 years, some of the people here have been working with SP for 7 or 8 years and this is their first orientation. But all things aside this orientation has been and continues to be a blessing. I have been thoroughly enjoying being able to lead praise and worship, and the people here in Akuem have enjoyed it as well, it has also been a reminder to me that Praise and Worship is meant to be participatory, you can only have successful praise and worship if the whole group is involved and not just that but their hearts have to be involved, just the same way that God has to be involved. It is a quite simple realization but a good one all the same.

Just a few updates, we have pushed to get a weight set in Juba so I have been getting some lifting in, the physical training has been a good time to relax and spend some time with God as it always has been for me.
I created a housing proposal so that we might be able to move after it is presented and approved at headquarters, we have outgrown our current housing and need new accommodations so keep this in your prayers.

All in all though I am still hanging in there and working hard every day, but each day I am realizing that God didn't bring me to Africa because he wants my work, he honors my sacrifice and I am sure he is proud but above all he wants ME, and my whole HEART and I am constantly reminding myself of this, because it is easy to make it about the work and not maintain the focus that with out GOD the work is pointless.

1To man belong the plans of the heart,
but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue.
2All a man’s ways seem innocent to him,
but motives are weighed by the Lord.
3Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.
4The Lord works out everything for his own ends—
even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Proverbs 16:1-4

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quotes I really liked

"We have only one story. All novels, all poetry are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is." -John Steinbeck

‎"Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the universe loves nothing so much as to change things which are and to make new things like them. For everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be"-Marcus Aurelius

I have been reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which these quotes comes from

 a good friend of mine TiLissa Roseman suggested it and it is great!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

From Refugee to R&R

I have been in Kenya for a week now, it is awesome I have been enjoying much needed R&R. Samaritan's Purse has a policy that every 10 weeks I.F.S. (International Field Staff) get R.R. and are flown to Nairobi Kenya. They have a guest house that they can stay at, and from there can decide if they want to travel elsewhere. I have been enjoying my time of rest in Kenya it reminds me why God set aside a day of rest, because he knew that we need it if we are to be effective doing work on his behalf the other 6 days.

I chose to extend my term in South Sudan two weeks so that I could travel to our Field Base in Maban, to play my guitar for praise and worship as part of a "Spiritual Renewal" initiative. With working in a tough environment it is very easy to run ourselves down physically, emotionally, and especially spiritually. So I opted to go and help by sharing the gift God blessed me with I traveled with a great guy named Spencer who led devotions and counseling. I was blessed by the trip with spiritual renewal of my own, it was good time spent with God and his word. I posted these pictures to Facebook they can be found by clicking on the previous post. On a different note while I was there I got to visit the Jamam refugee camp, it was heart-breaking. More than 40,000 people are living there.....that's right 40,000 people. They are struggling because they don't have enough water or food, and rainy season will just make things worse. I sincerely urge you to pray for them and get the word out because if the world stands idly by as it has done many times before than this will be a major disaster. I understand that there is always a disaster happening somewhere in the world and that there will always be poor mouths to feed in Africa, but if people put half the effort that they did into arguing about Amendment 1, think of what could be accomplished. I am not trying to belittle the scope of that argument, I am simply trying to underline the fact that if people could unite and love thy neighbor instead of arguing and condemning than so much could be accomplished.

Matthew 25: 31-46

The Judgment

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36  naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40  The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, eventhe least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘ Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [a]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Matthew 4:1-11

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

What can one take from this story?

At first glance it is about Jesus being tempted right?

Well if you look at how he was tempted Jesus proved three great things that hold true to who we all are in Christ:

You are not what you do: Verse 3- (If you are the son of God)
You are not what others think you are: Verse 6: (For it is Written)

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’

And finally You are Not your Possessions: Verse 9- (All of this I will Give you.) 

So in conclusion before Jesus was able to lead as many people as he did and heal them and officially start his ministry. He had to prove who he was in Christ and who we are in Christ (Sons and Daughters who are who God says we are, and who are deeply loved remember this.)