I’m been listening to the hymn “Come Thou Fount” a lot this past week. The lyrics are just so beautiful to me, and speak so much truth to my heart about both my condition and the Lord’s faithfulness. I love the line that says, “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.” When I am worried; when I am anxious; when I am doubting; when I am afraid; when I feel small; when I feel inadequate; when I feel hopeless – Lord, tune my heart to sing Thy grace. Focus my heart on you. Keep me in tune with the work You are doing – and remind me of the privilege You have given me to be a part of the work You are doing. In Bible Study last night, we talked about Esther, and when I was reading the book this week in preparation, in the margins of my Bible beside Chapter 4:14, “‘For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?'” (my emphasis), this is what I wrote: “If we don’t do the work God has called us to, He will use someone else to do it, to accomplish His purpose. But we can chose to trust that He has brought us where we are for such a time as this.” God didn’t have to choose to use humans to further His kingdom on earth; He has the ability to make Himself known in other ways. And yet, in His great love, He allows us to be part of the work He is doing to change hearts and make the Gospel known. If I feel He is leading me to a specific task, or to minister to a specific person, or even to a general mission or passion, and I choose to ignore it…He WILL see His purposes accomplished, and I will have missed out on the opportunity to be part of the adventure of helping to see them through.
This week I’ve been blessed with some opportunities for fun and relaxing, both at Lily House and with other missionaries. Last Monday (the 23rd) was the birthday of one of the boys who lives at LH. He turned 9, and since the weather has been super hot here recently, I suggested that we play with water outside to celebrate. What started out as one Coke bottle filled with water with a hole poked in the top to spray each other with, turned into throwing bowls of water on each other, to using the mop bucket to dump water on each other, and I think there was even a 5 gallon bucket of water dumped on me at one point. But along with 2 of the other girls who live in the house, we had such a fun time and it was so refreshing. This past Friday (the 27th) was Jaime’s birthday, and a few of us were able to take her out to lunch and ice cream to celebrate. I’m really thanking God for the presence of all the missionary women in my life. For once, I get to be the youngest person in a group of friends! And God has already used them to share wisdom with me, and they’re all pretty hilarious as well. We broke Jaime out of her comfort zone a bit by doing a self-timer photo shoot at the restaurant 🙂
On Monday, two of the women, three of the kids, and I walked down to the church to play volleyball. Yes, I voluntarily played volleyball! (Are you proud of me, Tori?) We never got too many great volleys going, but we did play to 21, and unfortunately despite catching up mid-game, my team lost. At youth group last Friday, they were playing a fun game where you had to put a peso between your knees, walk without dropping it, and then try and drop it into a cup. After a few rounds, Robersy (Sarah’s husband) made me play! It was one of those moments were I should have felt totally embarrassed by what I was doing, but I didn’t, because all the girls were cheering me on and I just knew I was loved no matter what I looked like!
We have been dealing with some tough issues at LH this past week. Women are facing tough decisions and we’ve been praying hard for the Spirit to move and lead them to make choices that are in line with the Word. As I prayed for one specific situation on Friday night, I read Matthew 13:1-23, the parable of the sower. Verse 21 struck me in particular – Jesus is talking about the seed that falls on rocky soil, how that person receives the message of the Gospel with joy, “But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” My heart just broke as I thought about this woman and I just cried out to the Lord that she would NOT be this seed – that after a short time of believing, she would not turn from the path the Lord is taking her down because of trouble and persecution. I cannot share details, but please pray for “V” as she continues to wrestle with making difficult decisions.
Other ways you can be praying for me and the ministry:
- Women’s Mission Week is fast approaching! From October 14-18th, about 80 or so women from the US will be in the Dominican Republic to be part of ministry and to be renewed in their faith through a speaker. My main task for the week will be staying at LH to be sure things run smoothly and be there when groups come to visit, especially because our staff woman who normally stays at the house during the week will be staying at the hotel and leading one of the groups in ministry elsewhere. I have already felt some anxiety about this, but I know not only that we have an awesome group of women working on the mission week who will be supporting me (and each other!), but also that I can lean on, rely on, and be comforted by my Heavenly Father. 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” I was able to talk to Lauren on her birthday on Sunday, and I was honored by the way she shared with me the comfort that she and some of my other friends feel like they receive from me. The next day, I read these verses and I was struck by the fact that I am only able to give comfort to others because I have received comfort from the Lord. This was a specific example of a lesson I have been learning, that if I am not filling myself up with Christ and spending time with the Lord, I have nothing to offer anyone.
- Prayers that I will continue to be healed physically, as I’ve now had “gripe” (aka, a cold) for the past 11ish days. But last night it was much easier to sleep and so I feel like it’s finally leaving my system!
- Continued prayers for all the women in the house, for tensions between women, for decisions they are being faced with, and for good attitudes as they make jewelry and other things in preparation for the mission week.
Songs to listen to if you have the chance:
- Come Thou Fount
- Empty My Hands – Tenth Avenue North
- Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) – Chris Tomlin
- In Tenderness – Citizens
- Find You On My Knees – Kari Jobe
My mom gave me a card to read every week on my day off (she’s the best, isn’t she?), and the one today had this quote by Max Lucado on the front: “You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you.” May you be encouraged by these words as much as I was. I love you all.