Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time to Love

As many of you know, I spend a considerable amount of time in Guatemala working with Iglesia Galilea. Soon I will be returning there for three more months to pick up the construction projects that we worked on while I was there earlier this year. While some of the work is getting close to completion, there are other projects coming up to replace them as soon as they are finished. When you work with people that have a vision for making disciples of their nation, the work does not end until everyone has had the chance to respond to the call of Jesus to come and follow Him.

While I am excited to get back to work, I will also be missing some great people in Morris. While I am passionate about the work in Guatemala, I am also passionate about the work we do at CYC and the kids that we serve. Leaving them is difficult because they have become such a big part of my life.  God has used to teach me so many things that I believe are crucial for the success of any ministry. and the truths that I have learned from these kids are important for the work God calls me to everywhere. I would like to share a little with you about these things.

For many years I have worked with kids in the Morris community. I have shared in their victories and cried through their defeats. I have had them open up to me about very personal things. Often, we are the only adults that they share any deep things about their lives with. I have heard about family lives and situations that I never thought any kid should have to live through. My heart has experienced huge highs and crushing lows as I have shared with these kids. Many times, their circumstances have been far beyond my ability to reason or figure out and so I prayed about the best way to help and God began to show me a truth about ministry.

We can love people and work to help them out of their circumstances but there will always be another crisis. If we become firefighters helping people extinguish the fires of their lives, we are going to run out of water. Love for them and empathy for their situation is not enough to carry us. Life is to much and we are not up to the challenge.

The truth is ministry must come from a place of being seated with Jesus in heavenly places. He sits above their circumstances and sees the big picture in their lives. He can navigate through places that we cannot see. Jesus has a plan for healing and deliverance that my lead through difficult places. He loves us and the people that we love better than we, on our own, ever could. He has wisdom to lead people through the place that He desires and bring them out on the other side, leaving them healed and whole.

Our role in missions or any ministry is to harvest intimacy with Jesus. We need to spend so much time with Him that He fills our vision. The bigger our vision of God the more empowered we are when we step into the enemies attack. We will have more faith as He leads us into places of staring down the enemy are he charges in to attack. When we understand the strength of Jesus, we can stand with others in scary places and not fear for them or for the outcome.

The other thing we need to do is get familiar with the love of God for us. When we know and understand the love of God for us, we have something to give away. We can believe that God wants to change the circumstances of others. His love will transform lives, communities and nations. When we are secure in it, we can join Him in that work. When we are not, we try to manipulate circumstances or God to separate people from the things that are causing them pain. We often interrupt the thing that God is using them to make them free and more the person that He created them to be. We need to receive love first from God before we can really have it to give to others. Without God's love flowing through us, all of our help will be misguided and may even deepen the problems that we are trying to fix. We love because He first loved us.

I am excited about where God is leading but I am most excited that he is teaching me to live and walk in His presence so that I can bring His life into every circumstance. I have learned to be content in Morris or San Lucas as long as I am with Jesus. I know that I will be fruitful regardless of where I am because Jesus is there. Thanks for all of your support and prayers in this journey.

If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

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