It’s amazing how God’s love and grace shines through in every culture. All of creation truly shouts and displays God’s glory! Despite our sin, despite how far we have fallen, God is still reaching down and revealing himself!
This first month has been quite the experience… it’s been hard, but nevertheless, the struggle has been worth it. Just continuing to adjust, soak in the culture, learn the language, and see the beauty of these people has been very humbling. Yes, I have frustrations daily, but thankfully, despite my sinfulness, God is still working in ways we cannot see.
The second week here was medical week. During this time, we spent four days going to different communities all throughout the area delivering all different kinds of medical help. This was truly an amazing experience. It was busy, but with the efforts of the team and volunteers, we were able to reach over a thousand people. Each person had their vitals checked, received a health lecture (so they can make their own efforts and adjustments to take care of themselves), counseling/doctor/dental care, pharmaceutical care, and we were able to pray over them in Jesus name. I was on the dental team, and yes, I did get to pull two teeth. I was also able to help in the pharmacy area, help the doctors write prescriptions, and help in the glasses area (and it was amazing to see people have sight again!). There are so many things we take for granted on a day to day basis that these people can only dream of having, yet they are so hospitable and so caring to everyone they meet. The Holy Spirit was with us that week providing everything we needed as the occasion arouse, and we can only pray he was opening people’s eyes to the love of Christ just a little bit more.
The next week, was the grand opening of the new student center! This new center is right on campus and it offers computer, internet, and printing services as well as tutoring and other educational benefits. The old student center was almost a mile off campus, and though some students made the trek to come use the services, we will be able to reach more students by coming to them and having a convenient location. The grand opening was also a success as many students showed up and even the chancellor of the college came to speak! We were able to put on a program and the student volunteers preformed a tribal dance for us! Now the college is asking us to get involved in more ways with the students and that is truly a blessing.
After these busy weeks and doing some recuperating, I now have a more set schedule. My main focus is the students. Getting to know them, spending time with them, learning about them, and just loving on them. I have also been able to join in on studies where we take students who are willing and tell them stories about the way of God starting with creation. It is a blessing to not only have a hand in what God is doing here, but to be able to see what he is already doing and continuing to do. As humans, we play such a minimal part, we can do as much as we can, but the Spirit of God is what opens the eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to his love. There are many who are seeking and there are many who refuse to even look. I am also working on a business plan for the organization that can be implemented and shared to other communities (God-willing). I am also writing about how to write a business plan and using bible stories to illustrate the values needed for a successful business. Not only will the men and women in the communities be able to start/improve their business practices, but they will be hearing a story from God’s word and a seed can be planted with the moving of the Holy Spirit.
I am continually seeing God in new ways and learning more about him, his people, and about myself. As I was reading through the book of Exodus, I was going through the chapters where Moses has led the people out of Egypt. God has finally answered the Israelite’s cry for help and is leading them to the Promised Land! However, despite what God is clearly doing right in front of them, the Israelites still disobey, have doubts, fear, and even begin worshiping something other than God himself. As I continued reading, I began getting frustrated with the Israelites. God is literally revealing himself, meeting their every need, and proving himself faithful over and over again. Instead of obedience, faith, and love, he gets disobedience, complaining, unfaithfulness, and a golden calf. The Israelites even wish that God would have left them in Egypt! God is raining down bread from heaven so they don’t starve, and they are missing it! God is meeting Moses on the mount in a way the Israelites know and see and they are missing it! My frustration continues to build, but then God convicts me. How is God revealing himself in my life and I am missing it? All of creation reveals God’s glory and I am missing it! Every breath I take is a sign of his grace and goodness and I am missing it! I doubt, disobey, and repeat the same sins. I am unfaithful, ungrateful, and there are times when I wish God would have just left me where I was at, even though God is displaying himself right in front of me. I am missing it! I guess the Israelites and I have more in common than I would like to think. I am humbled. I am so glad God does not give up on me and he continually reaches down with grace, love, and mercy molding my heart and pulling me to him. Wow… just wow…
I will conclude with a quote from Francis Chan:
“Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the creator of Nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and e-minor—Loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong.”
Don’t miss it!