Wednesday, January 31, 2007

good news from the land of missouri

funny that i was in missouri over new year's and had no idea that the family i might live with in png were (and currently still are) there, too! i personally think that God gets a kick out of so called "coincidences."

i had emailed the family with the inquiry about living with them in png this summer shortly after returning home from missouri this winter. the email was sent almost a month ago and i had not heard a single response. so i contacted ntm's headquarters and asked if there was a different email or better way to contact the them, and the only reply i got was that they may not have internet acces where they currently are. i know, right? then...after chapel today...i ritually checked my email...and lo and behold...there was an email from them! apparently, they thought i was spamming them and had not opened up the original email. i guess i should come up with more informative subject lines.

here is a short reply from shannon:
They are basically excited to begin praying and considering what the Lord might have in store. There are some unknowns with them as well, but at this point we are all trusting in the Lord.

based upon the Lord's provision and guidance, i get to stay in png with one of two amazing families after ntm training! that's the update for now. i meet with my advisor next week and will have more information then. thank you for your continual prayers.

psalm 100
shout joyfully ot the Lord, all the earth
serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful singing
knwo that the Lord Himself is God;
it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves
we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

incommunicable love?

my dad has told me that a smile is the only universal gesture. how can such a simple flexing of the facial muscles speak volumes, yet without making a single noise? why does something that comes so naturally in most circumstances have to be forced in others? can receiving a single smile really turn someone's day completely around? does a single smile contain a certain amount of love--a love for the brethren?

in light of this, is love easier to communicate than what we make it out to be? i came home about a week ago from visiting a dear friend who had been admitted to a mental hospital for attempting suicide...twice. just between you and me (and anyone else reading this blog, i suppose), i really think she is crying out for love more than she is desiring to let go of life. i am certain that she just wants to live a life full of love. the kind of love that is unspoken, the kind of love that is naturally communicated, the kind of love that only those possessing Christ's love can display. but what does this look like when i am sitting in a white sterile room across an empty table from a young soul that probably does not know Jesus? is it helpful to tell her that God is sovereign and understands what she is going through? is it loving to say this? does she understand what it means to surrender to Christ and let Him love her? am i loving her by telling her? or do i just listen to what she has to say and offer a gentle crease at the corners of my mouth?

i know what is true about holy God and sinful me. i know that absolutely none of my circumstances changes God's goodness. and i pray that my heart's response would be praise and reflection upon God's promises if i were to be in a situation such as hers. but how do i communicate to her this same love that i know to be true? i have, in and of myself, only God's love to offer her. how do i get her to understand, accept and embrace this love?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Confessions of an Amateur

I have always admired--both up close (Adam Powell: and from afar (Gunner's: --all the bloggers in my life. They have such profound postings and their very lives reveal that which they post. In light of this, I have always been a little bit hesitant to become a blogger. My RD, Summer, and I have joked about this, each thinking that we would read each other's blogs if they existed. She said she would title her blog: Things I've Learned from my RA. I told her that I would title mine: Things I've Learned from my RD. Alas, here I am writing all by myself. The main reason for the start of this blog is that I hope to use it to post updates once I am in Papua New Guinea. That's right...Papua New Guinea. Dr. Tatlock (my missions advisor at The Master's College) said that blogging is the growing trend in missionary communication. They can post what needs to be posted and the people who need the information or are interested in what is going on can just log on and read it! Pretty ideal, I suppose. It costs much less than quarterly prayer letters, both in money and time. So maybe this is the lazy missionary's prayer letter? But back to Papua New Guinea--Many of you have walked alongside me in this journey, but for those of you who are now just joining the cause, read on for the history of my relationship with Papua New Guinea.

I transferred to Master's as a junior in Biblical Studies. I chose to have a double-emphasis in both Biblical Counseling and Missions. Every Missions major is required to embark on a field-based semester missions trip, lasting 3-4 months. The concept is much like that of an internship in any other practical field of study. I essentially get to answer the question, "If you could go anywhere in the world with the purpose of growing in your sanctification, where would you choose?" Whoa. Big question, huh? At first I chose Quito, Ecuador to join missionaires Phil & Elizabeth Payne and looking into visiting my World Vision girl, Gabriela. Then I took a class in cross-cultural church planting and came out of it thinking that reaching unreached people groups was the only option for my life. Because of God's grace working in and through me, I realize that this may not be the most accurate application of the class. Nonetheless due to the influence of the class, I decided to dabble a bit in this area of missions by way of my field-based semseter. To make this long story shorter, I chose to study under New Tribes Mission for their Interface program. This is a 6-week training school based in the highlands of PNG. There I will be learning from the formal instruction of NTM missionaries and then going out into the jungle to apply the new knowledge. Right now the goal is to be hosted by a NTM full-time missionary family for another 3-6 weeks after Interface, but we have yet to establish those details. Be looking for updates as they come!