Sunday, February 21, 2010

one year ago today, my life was altered. the man who has impacted my life the most, other than my dad, went home to be with the Lord. and it's still interesting to me that he had that much of an impact on my life when i only spent six weeks with him.

Johnson truly taught me so much about sacrifice and what leaving a legacy can look like. this man was in line to become a Bishop in India. a Bishop in India is a rather large deal...but he gave this up to start the orphanage where i have spent the last two summers. he started off the orphanage on a dirt floor under a thatched roof with just a few kids who were in need. he shared multiple times that snakes fell from ceiling and all kinds of heart wrenching stories that involved kids that came to live with him and his wife as this newly founded children's home.

but Johnson shared more than his stories with me. Johnson shared his heart. Johnson shared his heart with me by the stories he shared, the jokes he cracked, the way he protected me from the lizards and other various insects, through his example of studying the Word every morning, through him singing different hymns, the way he loved the children at the orphanage, through his willingness to laugh with me, and by the way he loved me.

it still absolutely breaks my heart to know that Johnson, my beloved Thattha, is no longer here on the earth. it breaks my heart to know that he won't be at my wedding, and it breaks my heart that he isn't there with the children every day.

but i continue to be thankful for the impact Johnson had on my life and so many others throughout the course of his lifetime. Johnson allowed the Lord to take him as an ordinary man and mold him into an extraordinary man who lived a life of sacrifice, obedience, faithfulness, patience, gentleness, and love.

what an example.

what a privilege to have known him.

what a blessing it will be to be able to tell my children stories about him someday.

what an honor to have been impacted by him.

and what a joyful reunification it will be when we are walking on the streets of gold together, laughing at his jokes as his belly jiggles, sipping on indian coffee while eating biscuits, and worshipping our Lord and Savior.

and i say that, because i, too, have faith that he and i will meet again.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

as i sit in my living room this afternoon, i am thankful for the reality that my laundry is in the washing machine, my room is semi clean, and i have a moment to breathe. it's the simple things that i'm continuing to learn to appreciate.

life over the past month and a half has flown by. i can hardly believe that february is half over. and i feel like some big things have happened.

on january 8th, daniel asked for my hand in marriage. and it really couldn't have been more perfect. although he made me tromp through the snow and my feet got really wet and cold, being by the lake with snow starting to fall and him asking me to marry him couldn't have been more perfect. and he even arranged for my best friend to be waiting for me at my house when we returned.
and now the wedding date has been set, july 31, and plans have begun to fall in place. amidst the wedding planning though, i've also started taking a class called perspectives on the world christian movement on tuesday nights, carrying a full caseload with my job, continuing to learn how to balance friends, family, and my now fiance, and feel like i'm in the process of learning so much.
this class that i am taking on tuesday nights i've been hearing about since i was in high school since it's the class that completely transformed my dad's thinking and what opened the door for him to become involved in mission work. the past four classes have continued to develop my passion for mission work and have really challenged my thinking about why missions exist.

beyond missions existing because it's a mandate that has come from Christ, we've talked in class about how missions exists because worship doesn't. and if you think about it, it's so true. mission work exists because the ultimate goal is for every tribe, tongue, and nation to hear the gospel so that they can worship the one true God.

in our culture i think it's so easy to get away from the fact of worshipping Christ and remembering that everything we do should bring God glory. because that's what life is all about; glorifying Christ.

and as i've had to face these truths i've really struggled with how i am doing that in my work place and with my clients. i go to people's houses, i listen to their stories, i teach them skills they can use to equip them to live better lives (or so i hope), and i play a rather active role in their lives for a period of time. and that so much resembles Jesus's ministry when he was living. He went to people, he mentored people, he taught people, and he played a rather active role in people's lives physically when he was living.
but i've struggled with how i can show Christ better to my clients. i've struggled with how my life looks different than other non-christians around me. i've struggled with trying to figure out if people can see a difference in me and if they can't, what i need to do different. i've struggled with knowing that i haven't verbally shared the Gospel with someone in quite some time even though i guarantee i see people on a daily basis who aren't Christians. and i'm still trying to process through how to handle all of that.
my best friend and i are reading through a book right now by Francis Chan. it's called Forgotten God. and it's been a book that has completely transformed my thinking, and if i'm allowed to speak for her, i would say hers too. but this book is all about the Holy Spirit and about how as Christians we tend to forget of how active of a part He plays in our lives.
so as we've been reading through this book we've engaged in many conversations about how we want our lives to exemplify we have the Holy Spirit living within us and how we're on a journey to understand more of what that looks like. and how this intentionality of discovering Him doesn't happen over night, but that the journey will be well worth it.

and that's the journey i'm on right now. because, i think that if i can come to an understanding of what it looks like to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, i will bring God more glory with hopes of playing just a little part of expanding His Kingdom if He chooses to use me in that manner.