Sunday, August 31, 2008
Prayers for the week:
*Wisdom to know what to do with our car: sell or store or lend?
*Visas to come in
* Haley and Darcy to learn Icelandic and not be too angered or too frustrated by it (Last time we were there, Haley stood up in a children's church service while a duck puppet was telling a Bible story in Icelandic and screamed, "STOP!! DO NOT SAY THAT WORD! STOP SAYING THAT!!" Needless to say, we had to leave.)
We celebrate 7 years of marriage tomorrow (Thank you Kristen, Michele, Jenna, and Linz for a wonderful date night!)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The sessions I did attend, however, instructed us about Church Planting Movements (CPMs) and were incredibly inspirational. In case you are not familiar with this word, a CPM is "the rapid and exponential increase of indigenous churches planting churches within a given people group or population segment.” We had four missionaries from various countries come in and share how God had worked through them to create a CPM. It is crazy to think about going from 6 believers to 10,020 believers in just three years, but that is exactly what happened to one of these missionaries. I guess it is what happens when God decides to bless and when you are serious about prayer, intentionally sharing your faith, discipling people, starting small house churches, and those churches planting churches. I got excited, started praying for a CPM in Iceland, then started reading more about them. The last chapter of the CPM book we are required to read was a wake up call:
"A list of missionaries who have been engaged in Church Planting Movements reads like a catalog of calamity. Many have suffered illness, derision, and shame. In some instances the suffering was due to their own self-destructive behavior; in other cases it came at the hands of opponents. Students of Church Planting Movements suggest that the affliction may be related to a higher spiritual price required for rolling
back the darkness (Rev. 12:12). Whatever the cause, the disproportionate degree of suffering by missionaries engaged in CPMs is noteworthy. Missionaries intent on this course of action are well-advised to be on their guard, to watch, fight, and pray."Woah. Back up the train. Adversity? Affliction? Diseases?
Persecution? Does it really have to be so difficult and hurt so much?
As if the rapid expansion of the most powerful message on earth would
just multiply without any opposition. Okay...just kidding, God...You can
give some other, well-intentioned, fervent missionary a CPM...I'm sure they would appreciate it. In other words: I guess I don't want You to work in such a powerful way if it means that I am going to have to go through so much adversity in the process. What a sad thought. I care more about my own comfort than the gospel being spread. I began to ask God to change my heart and make me care more about the things He cares about and less about my own convenience.
I guess that is a good seg-way for prayer requests this week. I guess I've been anxious thinking about the trials that will, inevitably, come our way in Iceland.
*Pray that I can live in the moment and trust God to take care of
us when trials do come.
*Pray for our language learning. We are expected to be full-time language learners when we first get to Iceland for the first four months. While we're here we have to begin that process.
*Pray that God will provide a good child-care set-up when we are both in language school in Iceland (This is a big one).
Yes, there are many other things to pray for regarding the Icelandic people and our mission there. Colby is recruiting people to pray for the lostness in Iceland, and I am recruiting people to pray specifically for our family's needs.
Thank you to those who are praying for us!
Monday, August 18, 2008
A couple hours later I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor when Darcy comes in and out of nowhere asks, "Iz God ezeywhe-ah?"
Feeling proud that my daughter was contemplating the doctrine of omnipresence, I responded, "Yes! Good job, Darcy...He is everywhere..."
The next thing out of her mouth was, "He in my pants?"
"Hmmm...well..." I was befuddled by my toddler's ability to engage in deductive reasoning.
"He in my undew-wey-ah?"
What do you say?
"I don't want God see my undew-wey-ah!!"
Before I could respond, Darcy threw up again all over the floor that I had just sanitized. As I cleaned up regurgitated bananas, I was stunned that I had just had a theological conversation with my two-year-old. Now if she could just learn her colors...
Two hours later, I was throwing up...it's a good thing this thing is only 24 hours...
Saturday, August 16, 2008
For lunch, we had a special,cultural meal that we were required to partake in. A lot of people were nervous about it, but it was the best food we have had so far. It was a Middle Eastern dish that we had to eat only with our right hand (Apparently, in this culture the left hand is used to wipe one's buttocks and is considered unclean). I had to sit on my left hand because I kept forgetting.
Some specific requests for the week:
*That we will be disciplined to make time for focused, uninterrupted prayer in our schedule.
*Our marriage: open communication, understanding, and selflessness.
* That we will get the sleep we need with this full schedule
*Health for all family members :)
*We are required to make 4-5 goals for our time here at FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) and strategies of how we will meet our goals (specific, measurable, attainable goals, that is). It has been a great exercise for us. We both are taking steps to strengthen our prayer life, learn to be responsive to each other's needs, and become aware of how culture shock will affect our kids. Another personal goal of mine is to recruit 20 people to pray for our family for 10 minutes each week. I know that sounds piddly, but I think people will be more likely to pray purposefully and specifically if we ask for that instead of casually and generally. If you would be willing to be a prayer warrior for us, please email me and let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will blog every week to let you know what things we need specific prayer about.
*The main topic that was covered this week was spiritual warfare. Neither Colby or I felt like we had ever been thoroughly taught on this subject, so it was a very enlightening week. We both became aware of ways that satan has really deceived us and the lies that we have consumed about each other. Satan really does seek to hinder God's work through us and our eyes are starting to open to this reality.
Okay, this is getting long. The End.