Sunday, May 20, 2007

Last Day at Home

Well, friends. This is it! I leave for LA again tomorrow afternoon, then head out of the country at 1:05am on Wednesday morning with the rest of the PNG team! I really have no final thoughts. Things at home this week have been pretty neat. I got to catch up with important people in my life: the Pray's, Jenessa Stieglitz (girl I discipled for a while), Pastor Duane, Mamma Orme & Patty Anne, Samantha Berman, Tamsen, and the like. I really have nothing to say on this post. Kinda weird. Hope you all have a great next couple of months, and feel free to keep in contact while I'm in PNG! My temporary email address over there is:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Other Blog

For those of you who are not aware, I have a separate blog now for PNG purposes. There is a link for it on the left of this page titled, "The PNG Blog." Or to view it, you can click here. I have been rather inactive on this blog due to being active on the other one. I'll try and post before I leave on Monday, though!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

PNG and then...Uganda...with the parents?!

Yet again this post is missions-related. Recently I've been thinking about where else I would like to visit with the purpose of exploring career mission work possibilities. Uganda is the pick of the year. Sometimes I feel guilty for thinking about where to go next since I haven't even gone to the first place yet. (Only 8 more days!) The discussion came up at the dinner table tonight. Dad was saying how he was bummed to not have met Tatlock at graduation on Friday night, and then he asked if Tat has kids. "Why yes," I said, "he has two of his own, a daughter from China, and is going to Uganda in a few days to, Lord willing, be in court over the adoption of a brother and sister pair from Uganda." Dad's eyes got big and he got that excited look on his face. It was pretty cool. Then Dad asked more about adopting kids from Uganda so I told him about the Gunderson's recent experiences and how pretty much anyone at Master's is hooked up with the Hurleys there. Then I was telling them about my own curiosity about Uganda and the recent thinking through of visiting the Hurleys next summer. Dad was full of "um-humh's" and "okay...s." Then I asked, "If I do go, would you want to come with?" I think that question really threw him off, because he was pretty much speechless (anyone who knows my dad knows that this is not like him at all). Here is a summary of the rest of the convo:
D "With you?"
K "Yes."
D "Me and your mom?"
K "Oh, sure. Why not?"
D "Hmmh. We'll have to think about that one. When are you thinking of going?
K "Oh I don't know. I'll have to be in contact with the Hurleys for starters, and then see when TMC is sending their team out."
D "Well, Uwe [his German brother] is coming in July, and Megan will have Cal Poly orientation sometime in August or September, so we would have to squeeze it in in June?'
K "I'll do some research and we'll talk about it further."
D (to mom) "Could you do it all over again?" [in reference to adopting children]
M "It would be more like ...blah blah ... because we already know the majority of how to do it."
K "Well, when Adam, Eric and Jeff went last year, I'm pretty sure they went primairly for the pupose of exploring ministry opportunities in the country."
Whaddya know? God might be planting seeds of opportunities for my parents and/or I to go to Uganda next summer. !! Seven years ago, I would laugh at this idea. Our God is crazy wonderful! Small disclaimer: for those of you who read this blog and I don't even realize it (Uncle Roger & Aunt Khym, Sharon, etc.), there are no plans thus far, and we're just thinking and praying through it at this point. Heck, maybe I'll be cannibalized in PNG and everything will change. Not that I'm hoping for it or anything, but we have to keep in mind the work of our sovereign Lord. The disclaimer is so that rumors aren't started: "Jayma, did you hear that Mary is going to Uganda?" or "Dad, what do you know about Steve and Mary going to Uganda?" Just FYI: these are only thoughts at this point. Thanks for helping me out. :)
As PNG nears, pray for health. I contracted Laryngitis last week during finals (though I had no exams myself) and have been ill for 9 days now. I have a week to get better. It should all be good as I learn to depend on the Lord in new ways.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm Coming Home!!

Watch out Sacramento--I'm coming home!
Many would expect me to write somewhat about graduation that takes place in less than 10 hours, or perhaps some reflections on this past semester and/or year. Quite frankly, I am surprised that I am not writing of such things. The reality is that I'm just ready. Ready for:
- no more dorm life
- living with my family again
- the beauty of NorCal
- rest
- grad school to start
- visiting my home church
- being with old friends
- sitting on the front deck in the morning with my Bible
- spending time with Tamsen
- reflecting and thoughtfulness about this past year
- journaling
As I spend last hours here at Master's, this is what I'm going to miss:
- Summer and the capacity in which we have grown close
- all the girls I've had on my wing: Erica, Angela, Melissa, April, Katie, Jessica, Anna, Paula H., Paula K., Whitney, Brittany, Ellie, Gwen, Jenn M., Jenn W., Natalie, Stacey, Joy, Lexi, Jenny, Lindy, Caitlin, Brooke, Kelley, Shelsy
- being roommates with Stacey Cherry
- living next door to Dave & Tricia
- being under the leadership of our Dean Staff
- chapel three times a week
- spending weeknights with Kara
- lounge duty (just kidding!)
- the brother RA's: Christian, Robby & T-Bone
- running to the gate
- excellent classes, especially with Dr. Baker
- random dorm life like mattress surfing with 3rd floor boys & dorm war with Hotchkiss
I have nothing else to say. If you are in Sac next week, give me a holler and we'll have to hang out. Otherwise, I'll catch you on the flip-side.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

the least of these

As usual, missions is on my mind. Why? Why go? Why not stay? Why go one place and not another? Why go to a country where the gospel has been presented and not to unreached people? Why even leave the country God has sovereignly placed you in when there is so much need/hurt/opportunity for the gospel? How does one equip themselves for missions? What training is required, suggested, or just practical? How do you know if you are "called" to mission work above anything else? If all Christians "go" to the field, who is going to stay back and send them? Do you have to go if missions is just something you're curious about, but not sold on? Are short-term trips profitable? How? What is the biblical demand for missions, and how does that apply to my individual life?

There are probably about 1,000 questions of this sort that can be asked. And mind you, have they ever been asked. The most recent one on my mind is: How much longer until I can go? I have thought a ton about being adequately equipped for mission work, whether it be in Bible translation, orphanage work, or inner city ministries. My conclusion is that there is a certain amount of training this is wise to participate in (hopefully the agency you choose will train you) and it is good to have some sort of formal biblical training (such as Bible school or an equivalent). And then there's training in certain fields to be had--for the medical missionary, the ESL teacher, the Bible translator, etc. But how do you know when enough is enough? Granted, we will never be adequately equipped in the sense that there is always something to be learned and we are not perfect. But is 2 years as an undergrad Biblical Studies major with an emphasis in missions enough? Some days I think so, and other days I know that it's not. That's why I want to go to grad school. Being in a program to study strictly the books of the Bible and theology would be ah-maze-ing.

But then there are men like William Carey who had little to no training as we know it today and are the fathers of modern missions. Or someone like Mary Slessor probably did not need a ton of training. Brad has told me as well as others that the more training/schooling we have, the more opportunity there is to become distracted from the goal of going. Sadly, I have already observed this in my own life. Rachel told me that her passion throughout college was Bible translation, and she was almost just waiting for an opportunity to pursue that. But 8-10 years later she's still here, and still has a passion for it, but does not see that type of work in her future anymore. A few years ago someone asked me what would happen if all the Christians in the world asked themselves "why stay?" instead of "why go?" in regards to cross-cultural missions. I bet that if we evaluated why we would stay, the answers would be primarily superficial and meaningless compared to the gospel.

I do not know how many of these questions can be answered, and with only one answer. I am coming to realize more and more that mission work is a step of faith. Actually, it's many steps of faith, just one at a time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Final Days

I want to start with the small yet significant disclaimer that I have had about a trillion things to post about this past week. Alas, God had other things planned for my time (His time, really). There have been some rather enjoyable, sobering and thought-provoking things in my life this past week. This is including but not all-inclusive to:
  • youth group - learning to pursue my girls with the love of Christ and thinking through discipleship with them more seriously; learning from the areas that I have failed with them and looking forward to the potential direction(s) God may be leading our relationships
  • chapel - one of my favorites here at TMC is almost over in my life; thankful for the opportunities to learn from wise men about life and God's Word and wondering what life will be like without it
  • leadership - taking a step back and observing those in leadership in my life and being so thankful, humbled & blessed to be able to be led by them: Tatlock, Joe Keller, Summer, Dave & Tricia, Pastor Bob, Roger, Tim, Andrew, Eric & Jeneane, etc.
  • Bonnie - Joy's mentor from church; spending time with her on Sunday afternoon and really being encouraged by her heart for ministry and obedience to the Lord to just "go"
  • Dallas Seminary - praying about the decision to go there or not, and then what program to be involved in
  • friends - as with any major change in life, one's friends usually take a change; thankful for the people the Lord has let into my life, and thankful to discover the new relationships He has for me; looking forward to being involved in some of the same lives past graduation as well as keeping up with friends I have known for years (going to SLO next week!)
  • SLS - servant leadership staff, thankful for the opportunity to serve on campus in a unique capacity this year and thankful for Joe's questions at our last meeting on Sunday night; still thinking through the difficulties of serving both on SLS and in the local church (at the same time, not that one or the other is difficult in and of itself)
  • Revelation - I summarized the book for Monday night class, the first time I have really read through the entire book; very sobering and thought-provoking, sometimes confusing but makes me just stand in awe of our Lord even more
  • Papua New Guinea and Uganda - in other words: missions; on Sunday I had the impulse to go to Uganda, maybe because of the ways that so many people around me are involved in the country; preparing spiritually and tangibly for Papua New Guinea (19 more days!)
  • graduation - finally. what are my thoughts? they're all mixed. it's rather bittersweet. I should write more about that, but later. May 11, 2007 at 5pm.

"I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil ... I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first ... He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."
- Revelation 2:2-7

May we not forget our first love, especially in the midst of God working in and through our lives.