Chasing Goats

Well I’m back! 8 months, 13 countries, and 4 continents later I am still alive. Countless days of trials, loneliness, wild encounters and beautiful people have led me back here…right here to southwest Missouri. While I find myself in the same town, surrounded by similar people I realize it is not the same…I am not the same! The Lord has changed me and guided me to a place in full time ministry. This blog will now be a place where to share all the adventure, struggle and lessons ministry and life brings.

Lesson/Adventure 1

Day 1 I showed up to my phenomenal job at School to the Nations  expecting an exciting day where I began my job and dug into some good cross cultural ministry. As I rounded the corner I saw three goats from our training village staked up. My “exuberant driving” frightened the goats and sent them tearing across the field. Day 1 in ministry…first task…catch the goats. My lovely coworker Tessa and I chased the silly animals all around the camp and finally tied them back up. I learned my first essential lesson in ministry…do what needs to be done. My first day and every day since then has had the joy of expected assignments. Whether chasing goats or designing a challenging lesson on tribal living my job never ceases to surprise and exceed my plans. I LOVE MY JOB and I cannot wait to share more with you.But tonight it is late and for now I will leave you with the joyous image of two young women on a new adventure, in a new career chasing scrawny balking goats through a 29 acre camp!

 

Surviving the Bush Commando

Remember the days of summer as a child. The time when you only needed one outfit because you were just going to keep getting it dirty. The time when all you had time for was playing outside with your friends. Do we even remember the time when a box could entertain us for hours and we thought a new toothbrush was a great gift? Simplicity; a concept the Lord brought me back to half way around the world.

With packing complete and goodbyes waved, I boarded the plane for the simple life. After 36 hours of traveling, I breathed in the beautifully pungent smell of Africa, a smell I have come to love. Our team sat and watched the luggage belt go round and round for nearly an hour until we concluded that 11 of our bags were still sitting in Paris. We listed all the things in the bags that we really needed (like  solar panels and underwear!) and we prayed for the Lord to provide.

However, tangled up in the American life, we had no understanding of what Jehovah Jireh, my provider, really meant. A day later I headed to a small village with only the things I had carried on. The Lord had provided. Down to the last packet of oatmeal, the Lord had divinely orchestrated our every need.

Surviving the bush commando comes down to one basic word: simplicity. The Lord is crying out live simply, simply speak, rest in the simplicity of your call amidst the complexity of your world. I thought that in my 50 pairs of shoes and cabinets full of kitchen supplies, I had acquired my basic needs, but away from the media floods and the consumerism there is a place of peace, of satisfaction; a place where I finally understood the Lord’s provision. For when I had little I could call mine, Jehovah Jireh shown clear! As I sit in the Finland airport on my way to India with only the things on my back I have no fear and no desire for the things I a do not have; I go with an eternal promise what more could I need?

Backroads

Have you ever been beckoned by a backroad? You know the ones, the ones lined with trees on both side, trees that are arched at just the right angle as to make a clear path yet still leave mystery to what lies beyond. The calling to go down the winding road always happens at the oddest time. Like today for example, I was on my way back home and at a pit stop for gas. (a gas station that has frog leg fridays!) My car had been moving for 8 hours already and my back ached and the sky threatened rain. While making my right turn out of the station, I looked away from the interstate and I saw it. That road, the one I know all to well. The path that looks so familiar yet new. The pavement that longingly waits to be used even though the cracks and tarnished paint let you know it has been used far too much. The road that you know holds so many treasures yet is blocked by uncertainty and risk. Yeah I saw that road today and it begged me to come and see what was on the other side of the trees.

Alas I thought of my back and the large amount of money I had already spent on gas. I thought of the risk of wrecking on an uncharted path and possibility of getting lost. I thought of my comfortable bed and my sleepy roomate in the passenger seat. I pondered every reason not to drive that rustic, enchanted and enticing backroad as I looked both ways before pulling out of the gas station.

And then I heard the words of my sweet and wise friend Katie… “Here is the great thing… When the Lord calls me to go circumstance does not define whether or not I can” The excuses fade to the challenge and the fear subsides to the mighty power of the Provider, the lamp to the path. So I looked once more down that pleading winding road from my rear view mirror as I merged on the interstate.

(I wish I had taken the road…always take the alluring road)

Love ’em Fiercely but Hold ’em Loosely…

What do people mean when they say they want to live to 120? From my observations old age doesn’t look that appealing. Maybe what we are really trying to say is we want to LIVE life. We want to have the time to travel a bit, love a lot, be loved even more, pass on some genes, climb a tall mountain, ride a raging river,  calm a troubled child and most of all leave a legacy. But then if we are counting on 43,800 days of life we may never get started before it is too late.

Africans live life. In the middle of disease, dirt and death I see real living. Yes they strive and still have little, but they love and they embrace community with all that is in their being. To my Malian family all things find significance in human interaction. They have taught me what living looks like… it’s giving from your nothingness, it’s bringing out the drums and dancing when your friend arrives,  it’s holding hands on a hot day, and it is investing when you know you have to say goodbye. Oh how they love… they love so feircely but they hold you so loosely because they experience the reality of this world. So now I say love people so fiercely it hurts and hold them gentle enough so not to restrict their wings.

So here is to living life…even if just for another day. Here is to waking up passionate for the Lord and oozing His love out of all our broken places.

Long Time Coming

Bewildered is to be amused, baffled, surprised, captivated, perplexed, befuddled or enchanted
This is me, a little confused but always captivated by glimpses of beauty. Enchanted by fireflies, vintage lamps, and African dirt, amused by getting caught in the rain and the tickle of grass between my toes in a life perfected by a creative Author. I get all wrong and occasionally right but I find it’s in the bewilderment that I learn the difference…

So I have wanted to start this blog for forever. I want this to be a place to share little snippits of what our awesome God speaks to my heart. I am not overly wise or wonderfully articulate but I love to share the little sparks of knowledge that the sweet Lord whispers. I hope that through my ponderings and wonderment of this complex life you may find snapshots of yourself and glimpses of our loving God. So welcome to my blog I hope you find it a cool splash of water in this steamy summer.