It's Monday morning and I sit at my breakfast table with a hot cup of coffee and some yuca bread. The Loja sky is dreary and grey but in the distance I can see the fog rolling down the mountains. It's one of my favorite sights and it makes me grateful for the opportunity to be here.
I would like to share some current prayer concerns.
First, there have been some major changes at Sendero. Sandri has to take a partial leave of absence to do some student teaching and that means a rearranging of hours. Even Dustan who is still on hiatus to study language will be pitching in. He will be getting daily assignments of things he must work on while working. Please pray that his language is not hindered.
Part of the schedule has us opening up on Saturday mornings. This is not the much prayed for opening of Saturday nights but we are hoping it is a step in the right direction. Saturday will only be a partial menu and we will be focusing on some of the other ministries of Sendero. Please pray that as we think things through and get organized that we will have patience for the trial and error time ahead of us. Also pray that God provides Sendero with some fantastic opportunities to share the gospel on Saturday mornings.
Pray for our English ministry as it just keeps growing. Jolynn is doing a fantastic job and she is quickly gaining more students than can be handled. Please pray for volunteers for our Spotlight program and that word will get out about our English Experts program. English Experts will provide JoLynn some one to one teaching time which will allow for stronger friendship development, which in Sendero means opportunities to share the gospel.
Pray for the Ludeña family. Most of you know that our friendship is far more than that of co-workers. They are our family here in Loja and when they suffer, we suffer. Right now they are facing some very difficult times. While Sandra is student teaching, their income will be cut by 1/4 and on top of that she just received news that she needs to have a surgery to repair an abdominal prolapse. This surgery can not really be put off as it is causing infections and she only has one kidney. Please pray that God will move in a mighty way during this time.
Pray for Miriam and Joanna. They are our two employees and they need to know Christ. Please pray for wisdom as we deal with issues pertaining to their employment. Pray for their families as well as each of them are dealing with seriously ill family members.
Pray for our finances. As our newsletter said, we are about 200.00 short each month. Expenses have risen dramatically and we are praying God moves quickly in this area.
Pray for our children. Pray for their spiritual walk. Pray that they are able to be invested in the ministry of El Sendero. Esther has started to help us out once a week and it is delightful to have her be an active part of what we are doing. Please pray that Marcus and Weston also find their place. Please pray for their Spanish. They are doing very well, but being in English school all day makes it difficult for improvement.
Pray for Becka. She will be attending a conference in Peru on working with a multi-cultural team and she will be giving a talk on communication styles of Americans. Pray that God will give her the right words, and especially that she will be able to speak those words in Spanish.
Pray for each other. We are a team. Five of us are in Ecuador and the rest of you are back in the States, but what we do here, we do as part of a team. Most of you don't know each other, but pray for one another anyhow. Many of our team are facing difficult times. A brain tumor, cancer, job losses, a new homeschooling mom, moving across country are just some of what our team members are facing.
We love you dearly,
Becka and Dustan
Life sometimes gets chaotic. It gets chaotic for everyone, no matter what their jobs are, no matter where they live.
However, when life goes nuts on the mission field it can get scary. 1) We are in a foreign country without the resources that we are used to having. 2)The title missionary means we are "supposed to have it together". Falling apart is not part of the job description.
It is however, a job hazard.
Last night a load of numerous and heavy problems began to weigh on my mind. It was enough that despite exhaustion I was completely unable to sleep.
Those of you who heard our presentation in the states know the story of when our lives fell apart on our last term and you know the passage that got us through it.
A quick re-cap goes like this.
Life got bad. Really bad.
I wanted to pack my bags and go home.
I yelled at God that I was drowning.
I read in Mark the story that we all know.
Jesus says, "get in this boat, we are going somewhere."
Halfway there a storm appears and the disciples start yelling that they are all gonna die.
I kept reading, even after Jesus calmed the storm and learned that the point of a storm is to get through it.
Because on the other side is the whole purpose in the trip.
A beaten, broken man see Jesus and runs to Him and worships Him.
Last night, in the midst of my mini storm, my mind went back to that story. To the middle of the story. To the part where the disciples were in a panic. They were falling apart.
Jesus was sleeping. I read, or heard somewhere (I wish I could remember where) the question: "What should the disciples have been doing instead? If you took away the possibility of freaking out, what should they have done instead?"
I answered that question last night. Disciples, by definition, are mimickers. They should have been mimicking Jesus.
They should have curled up next to him and fallen asleep.
So. In the end. At 3 am. I decided to be a true disciple. I crawled in bed and imagined I was in a boat and the winds of worry were tossing me to and fro. My body ached and my mind swirled with all the unknowns of the week.
I imagined Jesus sleeping.
And I followed Him.
In the story of the storm, the storm was not the point. But, there is a lesson in that storm. When we follow Jesus, there can be calm. Even in the middle of chaos.
Today I will answer a frequently asked question, or rather, I will let you answer the frequently asked question:
Why are you still taking Spanish after having lived in the country, immersed in the language for 3 years?
a. Because I am an idiot
b. Because, in spite of what the language experts say, Spanish is a ridiculously hard language to master.
c. Both a and b
(Hint: I would choose c if I were you. It's the correct one)
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