Friday, March 15, 2019

"I Knew You Were In The Background!"

He stood in line to talk with me, and when he had my attention he animatedly asked, “Can I tell a story that happened to me and then connect it to the Bible story.”  Inwardly I slapped my forehead thinking, Why didn’t I tell them that was ideal!, but outwardly said, “That is a GREAT idea!” Connecting it to Jesus sleeping in the storm, and his disciples shouting out in fear, the inspired seminary student continued to tell me this story:

(Click on the above to hear the story) Story summary: He and his father were at a river.  His father told him not to jump, but he did anyway.  He was "flooded" (carried away by the river), but his father jumped in to rescue him.  His father reprimanded him and he said, I did it because I knew you were there.

Thank you for praying for the storying course at a local Theological school last week.  The students were very enthusiastic, and I believe that the doors of storying impacting hundreds of lives has been flung wide open.
Pray that the students, like the man in this story, will continue to see connections with their lives and those of the Bible and reach out to tell others in culturally relevant ways.


Cheese, Chocloate, and Chatter

Cheese, Chocolate, and Chatter
There is nothing like three sisters arriving with lots of cheese, chocolate, and chatter! Not to mention family calendars, goldfish, clothes, sports equipment, and gifts for our colleagues and their wives!  They brought with them energy and a sweet reminder of home. 

Kirsti, Susannah, and Carol are also doing various projects while they’re here. 
We hosted a ladies tea for women.  Complete with door prizes, beading, and cheesecake!

We are directing a play for children in the neighborhood.  Our first performance is on Wednesday where we will present two plays, “The Sneeches” by Dr. Seuss, and “All You Need” by Max Lucado.  Please pray that the children will understand the messages of grace, love, and acceptance in the stories we’re presenting, that we will have great practices, that the children’s parents will come and support their kids, that as a team of directors, we will work well together, and that those watching will sense God lovingly drawing them. 

Carol will be staying an extra week and doing a sports camp with girls as well!  They will be focusing on frisbee and volleyball, teaching lessons about the Word and how it trains us for righteousness.  Please pray for me, Christy, as I select the girls to be involved, and that they embrace the spiritual and physical training being offered them. 

I Will Pour

My lips are smothered with shea butter and green salve from my nose to my chin.  I woke up in the night with cramping in my feet.  My voice resembles what escapes from speakers when they've been abused by bad technicians.  Our water filter can't keep up, and my body feels it! And I read:

"For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;" -Isaiah 44:3a

After five months of dry season that seems to carry a dryness of the soul on it's dusty, Harmattan winds, the impact of this verse settled into my core, flowing over the cracked places. I parsed the verse, adding one word at a time.
For I (The Father, Mighty One, Deliverer, Peace)
For I will (A promise, and I know I can trust Him)
For I will pour (A picture formed in my mind of a stream of water cascading from heaven)
For I will pour water (Clear, cool, refreshing, satisfying)
For I will pour water on (where will this out pouring land.  It has a direction.)
For I will pour water on the thirsty (that's me! I'm the thirsty! My heart is the landing zone.)
For I will pour water on the thirsty land (and I picture if flowing into every crevice of my being)
For I will pour water on the thirsty land and (There's more!)
For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams(flowing, fresh, rippling stretching into the future)
For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground. (Hallelujah!)

Tears flowed down my face as God's Spirit flowed over my heart with hope and promise of tomorrow's brightness and today's rightness.  My sister-in-laws have been here for over two weeks.  They have been working with a group of children from our neighborhood. Today, at 4:30 pm, we will perform two short dramas with 25 children.  One of the dramas is called "All You Need" based on a children's book by Max Lucado.  It is about...WATER! How God's love is free for everyone, and it never runs dry!
One beautiful thing dry season brings in Nigeria...flowering trees! This is my purple carpet.

I continued reading in Isaiah 44:3b.  

"I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants."

Again, that promise of His Spirit, but this time from me to my children.  My children...all of them.  My three girls that I love and hold in my arms daily, the forty girls I'll meet with at 1pm to talk about how God sings over them, the twenty-five children who will be acting in the dramas at 4:30, the ninety children who come to Bible study on Thursdays, the children who will come to watch the play today...every one of them.  I plead with God to transfer this promise to all of my children! His Spirit, his blessing, his water, to flow over their hearts and fill them with life eternal today and forever!

Please join me in praying these words for me and my family that we might step forward with hope into ministry today and into the future.   Pray these words for the children of Nigeria that this land might be filled with knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!  (Habakkuk 2:14)

Collaboration, vulnerabity and trust

From Tuesday through Thursday, leaders of 24 Bible Translation organizations have gathered to discuss how we can work together more intenti...