have to make the decision about which direction
your life will take
with the life God has given you.
You can choose to be in the world but not of the world
and not let the ways of the world influence your decisions instead of God.
As we head into the new year, we think about where we've been and what is to come ahead. Every person has a purpose and a place and I think our purpose here in Colombia has been to use the quiet time to draw closer to God and be a witness to those we work with and teach. Even though the kids think I'm always irritated -- I tell them that it's just my "I'm thinking face"--we have had good opportunities to share our faith and talk with the kids about what they believe.
When we returned home, our ceiling had leaked froma hole in the roof and
and we had water, mold, and fungus growing in our bedroom.
Our biggest change this year will be a move to Guatemala. Steve and I both have jobs in Guatemala City at the American School of Guatemala for next school year and will be moving in July. We are excited about the change and looking forward to experiencing new things, though we have nothing bad to say about Colombia. It has been a good experience and a great country.
Some food for thought: What can you do right where you are?
- volunteer at a local school to read to kids or help as a tutor or mentor
- set up a clothes or food closet program at your church, school, or neighborhood
- invite someone for lunch and just be a listener
- intentionally meet people and say hello; get out of your comfort zone and live a little
- offer a ride to an elderly person or help them with a need
- be a club leader to a group of kids
- start a small group study in your home - Bible or special interest
- teach someone something you know how to do; share your talents
- be friendly and open and ready to hear a need so you can help a need
- say that extra thank you or compliment to someone
- be aware that others around you may be hurting and need a friendly voice or someone to just ask how they are, can I help
- sponsor a child in another country through WorldVision or Compassion
- spend time with your kids and their friends modeling Christ
- say hello to people you pass on the street when you're out walking
- give people the benefit of the doubt that they are having a bad day and be the bigger person
- pray for your kids, your neighbors, your family, your country...
The horses didn't seem to mind the snow and
cold as much as we did!
What can you do for people in other places?
- pray for open hearts and people to bring the message of Jesus Christ
- go on a mission trip - the benefits and blessing will always outweigh the expense
-support someone else to go on a mission trip
- send resources to help continue the building of God's kingdom here on earth
- email and stay in contact with people out in the field to see what the needs are and what you can do
- be a supporter - talk about what you church is doing and get others interested
- collect children's clothes and medical supplies and have them available for groups to take to other places
- partner with missionaries to help them with their support and projects
One message I heard that I thought was worth sharing was the idea of simplifying. Steve and I do pretty well with the living with less and paring down the stuff: who else has 90% of their possessions in a 12x10 shed? Where we need to work is the more of God and less of us with the time in our lives. I like knowing that it is never too late for God to do something life changing in our lives. What we need to do is to have the right conditions in our heart and identify what is keeping us from going in God's direction.
"lucky" to be home at Christmas time for not one, but two occasions
of snow. It is always pretty until you live somewhere where you have to
around for the sun to melt it in order for life to go on. We always
think as we
go day after day in the tropics that a little cold would be nice; no,
wouldn't, is our response after a few days of temperatures around
freezing. It was great to go back to Fairplay Middle School and see
the staff there; it was as if no time had passed. It is
relationships like those that God gives us that lets me know that there
are people that will always care and be there for you no matter how
much time passes.
Steve and I went through our storage
building and gave away, sold, and recycled what hadn't been
needed or thought of in the last four years and I recommend that to
everyone. Don't save stuff for years because you think you might
use it someday; give it to someone who can use it today. The Bible
never mentions Jesus even packing a bag and I get the
feeling that He just left everything behind wherever He went, and
gave away anything He had that he saw someone had a need
It is hard to drop everything and truly
follow Jesus with everything you've got, but our goal this year is to
try harder to go in that direction. All we have is His and He will
provide for us so what do we really need to store up?