April 24, 2014

Miles, Legos and Uganda

I'm so proud of the creative little giver that my son is becoming!  While talking about going to Uganda as a family this summer, he was a little anxious.  He was nervous about the living conditions and lack of familiarity.  We talked thru it and he came up with a plan!  Bring legos and set up a lego building center for the kids.  Please help Miles fill his suitcase with legos and help by spreading the word!

video

April 15, 2014

Surrender


Surrender: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed

Surrendering your own plans has to be one of the toughest things to do.  We all have an idea of how we want things to go in our lives.  Whether it's family planning, careers, financial goals or whatever.

As a Christian, we are called to surrender to God.  We are weak, but His Spirit is strong.  We will always fail, but God never does!  So what does surrendering look like?  It is different for everyone.  I think it begins when we deny ourselves and give our lives as Christians.  Simply proclaiming that Jesus is the son of God and that he died for our sins and rose again to prove that He indeed was the Messiah is surrendering.  As we mature as Christ followers, we have opportunity after opportunity to surrender again and again.  But do we?

Do we  'agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed?'  I know I'd like to think that I am in complete surrender, but I'm not.  Sure, I surrender the comforts of materialism so that our family can afford to participate in missions.  But for me, that's easy.  I. LOVE. MISSIONS!  But what if God called me to give it up?!  Would I fight it. Would I hide from it?  Uh......yeah I would!  And He may one day.  As for now, at this stage in my journey, He is calling me to lead teams to experience Him in a whole new way, to serve and love more than they ever have.  

So what is God asking you to surrender?  Is it pride?  Is it authority?  Is it money, retirement, vacation time?  Whatever it is, I beg you to listen to it!  I believe that when we surrender...completely surrender, He takes that and fills us with peace for being obedient.  I can only speak from personal experience.  I have seen Him in action time and time again in my own life provide and give me peace when I have been obedient!  He is our Father!  Just think about it.  If your own kids surrender to your authority and are completely obedient, aren't you more likely to want to meet their needs and desires?
Surrender!


April 9, 2014

Our Family is on a Mission!

It is finally official!  The tickets are booked!  All four of us will be serving in Ethiopia and Uganda this summer!



I have spent the last three years of my life serving with short term mission teams in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.  Every time I come home, I share stories and photos of my experiences, dreaming of the time that my own family can see it all first hand.  Many obstacles have prevented this from happening until now.

In just about 6 weeks, Brandon leaves to serve on a team in Ethiopia.  I will leave about a week after that with the kids and meet him there.  We have several friends and our former Missouri babysitter on his team so we look forward to getting to see some familiar faces.  THEN…we all fly to Uganda!  The place that has become my home and the place where I am called Mama and Auntie by many! The place that I hope will become our home!  After my family leaves, my Visiting Orphans team will join me.

Our family will have the opportunity to serve together!  I am beyond elated!  I look forward to the giggles as the kids stare at the Mzungu (white person) and her black husband!  I am over the moon to finally share the sweet girls that have called me Mum for the past three years!  Seeing my kids run and play with the Ugandan children that have a piece of my heart may just make me burst with joy!  Oh Jesus, thank you so much for this opportunity!

You can help support the work we will be doing by buying one of our shirts!  We are on a mission to LOVE and SERVE!  






April 6, 2014

Methods of Evangelism

Recently, I have been learning about the methods of evangelism.  It's crazy how one faith can be so divided about this. This became most evident when I was speaking with a local pastor about the opportunity to support a ministry.  This church asked many questions, all about the methods of salvation that were being used in this ministry.  They wanted to know how this ministry was going to "save" souls.  The answers given were awesome, and real.  But, however, they were not how this particular church does things.  After our presentation and answering questions, we were told that their church only supports missionaries that plant churches.  Initially, I got a little offended.  How narrow minded that was!  Then it got me thinking.

As Christians, we are all called to share the gospel of Jesus and the way we do it doesn't have to all look the same.  Thankfully, I am just accountable to Christ and not my fellow believers.  Man they can be brutal and judgmental if I let that in.  Jesus called us to be disciples, and He also called us to love.  Actually, love is the greatest command that Jesus gave.  It is the one thing that Jesus said is the most important and the key to everything!



36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

What is love?  What does loving look like?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)


So if Jesus tells us that loving God and that loving your neighbor as yourself are the two most important commandments of the Law, I feel like we, as Christians, need to check ourselves.  Are we doing that?  Is the method that we are using for reaching others doing so in love?


I do not pretend to have all of the answers.  I'm a work in progress.  Just because my method of reaching others and sharing the gospel doesn't look like yours, doesn't mean that I'm wrong or that you are.  That is the beauty of the way God made us.  He made us with different gifts.  He positioned us all in different environments and circles of friends and family.  We all have different experiences and backgrounds.  We all have different callings on our lives.  I'm learning that, still!


Without a doubt in my soul, I know that God has called me to lead short term mission trips.  He has called me to build relationships within my own community and to love my neighbors.  I don't know what He will lead me to next year or in the next ten years.  But for right now, I have a deep peace.  I am in His will and it feels good!  He has not called me to plant churches, to hold revivals, to scream from megaphones about the pits of hell! So if my method of reaching people, sharing the gospel and love of Christ doesn't look like yours, it's okay!  Because God gave it to me!  And I'm learning to be okay with that!