Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out to Africa

Well, the time is finally here. I'm off to South Africa tomorrow for a ten-day mission trip. Our plans have changed slightly, we'll be doing more community education than originally planned but it means we will be interacting with more people. God knows exactly what will happen and is already preparing the way for us. We just have to go and trust that He will equip us.

I would appreciate prayers while this white-knuckle flyer spends 15+ hours on a plane tomorrow night/Saturday morning. I'm nervous about the plane, trying not to think about it and trusting God (is that multi-tasking?) to be my strong tower. I would also appreciate prayers for my team as we regroup and alter our plans as we travel. We could also use prayers for the unrest that is apparently going on in South Africa. Pray God's hedge of protection around our team.

Thanks so much for all the prayers already offered up and those that you will continue to offer up on my behalf while I'm gone. I will update when I return...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Points to Ponder

I've been pondering a post for a few days now and just haven't had time to post. I do have a small trip to Africa coming up on Friday and I'm just a little busy. :-)

My quiet time has been in Jeremiah lately and I found a passage a few days ago (13:11) that blew me away. I've read this passage before but never seen it from this perspective. The chapter is labeled "the ruined waistband." It starts by the Lord telling Jeremiah to buy a linen waistband and not put it in water. Then the Lord told him to put it in water, in a crevice. After the waistband was removed, it was ruined. The Lord equates the ruined waistband with the pride of Jerusalem and how He will destroy it. Then it gets really is the text of verse 11:

"For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me, declares the Lord. 'that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise, and for glory;'... He makes it so we would cling to Him like a waistband clings to the waist. Think about that for a minute. Let that soak in. We are supposed to cling to him as tightly as a waistband fits around our waists. He wants us to cling to Him. By clinging to Him, He will be glorified. It actually fits along nicely with a verse my mom pointed out to me last time I was home: II Cor. 12:9 "...I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." My weaknesses force me to cling to Christ and by clinging to Him, His glory is seen in me. That's just cool beyond words to me.

Prayer and praise report before I sign off:

1. All the necessary supplies for my trip have come in and are packed. We even have extra room in most of our suitcases. Thank you Lord.
2. I am finding daily other people who are praying for my trip, people I don't even know. It is so cool seeing how God works in huge ways.

1. Diligence as I work on Monday to get a preliminary results section written on my dissertation - I need to get it to my committee before I leave.
2. Flight on Friday 7/24 - I don't like to fly (one of my weaknesses) but this is a stretching trip and flying is part of it.
3. My team as we continue the last-minute preparations - most of us are leaving jobs for 7 working days and that takes some prep. Others are leaving children behind for 10 days and that will be a stretch, for the team member and their families.
4. The people we will encounter - pray that they will see God through us and God will be glorified in all we do. Pray for boldness for the team as we share the Gospel.

Thanks so much for the prayers, words of encouragement, and love you have shown as I have prepared. I will try and post one more time before I leave. I won't have internet access but I'll be keeping a blog journal. I will post day-by-day accounts and pictures when I get back.