Wednesday, November 30, 2005
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN!!!
A couple from training goes to the same church as a guitarist with the Christian Band--Mercy Me. This Sunday night the couple got 14 of us from training free tickets and back-stage passes to meet the band and Steven Curtis Chapman after the concert in Fairfax, VA. We loaded -up into three cars and drove the two hours to George Mason University and had an awesome time worshiping and singing Christmas Carols. This is us with Mercy Me and Stephen Curtis Chapmen. The guy kinda in the back (you can only see a little of his head) is not part of the band, the rest on the back row are and Steven is on the right next to the girl in blue.
This is Steven on stage.
This is Mercy Me and Steven.
This is a close-up of the lead singer for Mercy Me, Bart. (this one I couldn't get to save right.)
If you were at the concert and want more pictures ask and leave me your e-mail address.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Every Sunday night the whole group gets together and worships in different cultures. So far, we have done Spanish and African worship. Tonight will be Arabic. Both have been amazing times with the Lord and I truly look forward to tonight.
Last night, we got a group together to do some American culture worship. Afterwards, I really understood how we, as Americans, can not force our cultural worship onto other cultures. It means so much more to worship God in your heart language than to have something interpreted from another language.
We talked about Counting the Cost...found in Luke 14: 25-35. Verse 33 says: "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions."
We were given an index card to write out all the things we would be giving up while serving overseas. There were very few dry eyes last night. All of us have experienced times during the last four weeks were we realize more and more things we will miss out on while we are gone.
Weddings, births, deaths, family, holidays, nephews growing up, friends moving away. Personally for me, I will miss seeing my brother come home from Iraq.
Yet, what are these things compared to my God. Each of us have counted or cost as Paul did in Philippians 3:7-11
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have couted as loss for the sake of Christ.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
in order that I may attain to the resurrection form the dead."
This is one of my favorite passages. Paul was truly a man of God. Over the next two years my goal is to count all of my things a loss for the sake of Christ.
I challenge you to look at your own life. What do you see holding you back from God?
Blessings in his name...
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Well, where do I start.
The whole group (all 200ish of us) went to Washington D.C. today. At 8 a.m. we loaded onto charter busses, got to the Union Station a little after 10 a.m. My group, the West Africa team, met up with the conference leader and his daughter and got to visit a mosque during their Friday prayers. We were their for more than two hours. All the females were down-stairs in the cold lower floor with our heads covered, and all the men were up-stairs with the warm sun shining in the windows. To watch the women pray...There are no words to describe the ache in my heart. This other girl and I sat at prayed for them. We also got to hear a sermon (mainly in Arabic) and a lot of chanting. After the sermon we met two women from Cote d'Iviore who work in the Embassy.
We went to an Ethiopian restaurant for lunch and then rode the metro back to Union Station. It was a long but educational day.
Yesterday, I was able to visit my great-uncle and great-aunt who live in Richmond, Va. My parents and two of my friends from training also came. GREAT food.
The picture at the top is of me and my mom. We are sitting on my late great-grandmothers swing. This swing used to hang from her porch. I remember swinging on it as a little girl. It is now at my great-uncles house. (love you mom! you too dad!)
Tomorrow we learn how to kill a chicken, drive stick-shift and some light cooking. I am going to watch the chicken killing and learn how to drive stick. (pray for me!)
We have two and a half more weeks. Pray I will retain all the information and be prepared for the work God has for me.
In his name...
Friday, November 18, 2005
This last weekend all missionaries going to West Africa (all six of us) had to cook our every meal from scratch for the whole weekend. Now those of you who know me, know I do not cook from a box. So, this weekend was a huge learning experience. Come to find out, I do know how to cook some things. I heated the potatoes in the microwave and helped make tortillas from scratch using flour, butter and water. It was fun.
We had eggs for breakfast, spaghetti, tacos, steaks, and sandwiches.
The hip-chick with me in the picture holding the tortillas is Emily P. We are going as a regional journalism team. We get along awesomely! Already we are fast friends and feel free to make fun of each other. Two years with her is going to be great.
The week is coming to a close. Pray I will have a restful weekend to catch-up on some homework and get some rest to energize for next weeks classes.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Training is going well. I am enjoying the time with other like-minded people. Yesterday, I went on an hour hike with Emily and another journeyman, following a creek which boarders IMB property. It was beautiful! I then went fishing for about 2 hours. It was a relaxing time with new friends and we watched as rain sprinkled across the water. We had shots earlier in the day, so none of us felt like doing much.
Today was the last day learning about spiritual warfare with IMB president Dr. Jerry Rankin. He spoke for three hours a day, three days this week.
For the last three days I have focused on Philippians 2: 1-7. These verses focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus and the joy we should find in our life with Him. He loved us so much to die for our sins; the least we can do is love one another unconditionally. We are called to be bond-servants of Jesus Christ.
Looking forward to living in a different culture, I hope to remember these verses and how I am a bond-servant of Jesus. In being His servant I am to love others - always.
Thank you for your prayers. God is teaching me so much about my future and about Himself. Please continue to pray for the Peoples of West Africa. May God allow me to be a small part in His plan to bring more than 240 million people to hear His name and believe in His son.
I have also caught the cold spreading around the campus. Pray for me to have energy to learn and attend all the sessions.
Pray for my family as we get ready to say our good-byes in December.
May God be with each of you.