Growing up next to the ocean, I have always been drawn to water sources: oceans, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, etc. I find the rhythmic flow of water calming and soothing. Watching the constant eb and flow of the ocean evokes the feeling of all worries and troubles being carried away. At times of great trouble I have hurled stones into the waves, watching it disappear under the foam, as a prophetic act that I give the situation over to God. I associate water with God's grace and enjoy watching my troubles be engulfed by it. Once released from my captivating trance, I can walk away with all burdens lifted.
The first time I saw this movie I thought it was ridiculous. Who would merely dream of adventure instead of living it? And why is the possibility of unemployment the motivation to get out of one's comfort zone? The second time I watched the movie, I re-examined my own life. I always considered myself adventurous: in eating habits, hobbies and always saying yes to silly scenarios. I have traveled the world and done some pretty cool things. But it is only now, while on a shaky bus through the mountains of Nepal on the way to a remote village that I see my life clearly. Even my adventures were set in comfort. I always covered all the possibilities of danger and ensured that I knew what would happen next. I also ensured that there would be a nice warm bed and tasty food to return to. Looking back on this year and all the times I cringed at not knowing what was going to happen next or even where my next meal or mattress would be, I can say with confidence that comfort steels. It steels from life, experiences and relationships. Jesus called us to a life in abundance, a life of overflowing joy and adventure, a life worth writing about. Within creation He has left little clues of His love for us (blossoming flowers) or His peace (rivers) or His grandeur (towering mountain tops). We are all invited to find these hidden treasures and by that get to know the Creator in a new way. There were multiple times this year where I found myself praying 'God, has my time come? Am I going to die today?' And every time He laughed and simply said 'no, not quite yet'. At these words I relaxed and would enjoy the moment. Suddenly my worries of safety dissipate and I find myself enjoying the dodge lift in Turkey, or the crowds in Bangkok, or the very narrow gravel mountain pass our bus is currently shaking through. Jesus lead an adventurous life and He is calling us to do the same. So put off the TV and the wifi, and put down the phone. Instead say yes to that hike or that play or that tennis game even if you hadn't played in years. Start saying yes to life and make memories instead of merely dreaming about them. Instead of remembering the adventure I would like to live it!
What is important? For some people that read this blog, you might not have the answer to his tricky truth. Some of you might have an immediate answer, some will hesitate but will get to the answer and some people more often than you think, will not have an answer at that very time. Why does this question raise so many different answers in life, and why does everyone’s answer differ? I have asked myself this question many times before. What does it mean? What is the truth? What is the correct answer? Everything that I can think of that will affect the question. The more I think about it, the more I realise that I don’t really know. That bothered me a lot. I know we all have a Sunday school answer but I desired a deeper answer to such an important question. Most people will say family, that makes sense, family is important no doubt about that. Christians will say God is most important and that’s true. God is, and should be the most important “Thing” in life. Both these statements are correct from different points of view, but this is where I start to test the answer. If a person has something that is most important to him or her, how would they react to it? Let’s play this scenario out, and try to put yourself in this person’s shoes changing the answer into yours; A young boy has a dream to be the best football player in the world, and this means the world to him. He grows up watching every football match he possibly can. Now he is ready to play football and he starts to train endlessly, every day that he can. He played in all the first teams he could and he got a scholarship to play pro. Now there is more stuff on his plate that he feels he needs to achieve. What does he do? He pushes through to succeed. Why? Because it is the most important thing for him. Nothing will take it away for him, not if he can do something about that, and in the end he plays pro and never stops going bigger. Why is this the perfect example of how people react of their desires? If you read it again and see that the boy had a passion for football from the beginning, you will see that most have lost this passion. He never gave up, even if a thousand things stood in his way. If we have a passion for something we put it first. We give it our undivided attention and we push through, to gain what we want or keep it. We proclaimed this is what we want and we do not let anyone tell us different. So look back at the question and ask yourself it again. See what your answer is now. Most people will realize that their dreams were something totally different and they had something else in that special place in there heart. So too meet people’s expectations (yes, this is going in a spiritual direction in case you wondered) we Christians say God is most important to us. But to most He is not. We like that our greed, lust, dreams and life is more important. Most don’t go to church but rather stay in bed. We don’t read the Bible but rather watch TV. We don’t pray because we ‘have no time’, we have no passion, and we have no need for God when it comes to self. Don’t see this as a preaching. I am just as guilty. We all are, or were or will be. Yes, it is the most difficult thing on earth to be a Christian. It’s a 24/7 struggle to keep up with what is needed to do. We all crave God, we need Him and He is all we have when we look at things. If we are going to say that God is our passion, we should go to church and read the word of God. This is what is needed to learn His ways and His love and become true people of God. We all struggle and we all fall. Things are not getting better but Jesus had no walk in the park either; to free the people that deserved to be enslaved. We get the easy part. Now play it out. You have the stage, and you have your role. Read your script and do it…
Macedonia was one of those countries that I had high expectations of. Mostly due to the fact that I heard so much about the place, the large amount of people that needed help in the camps and the Rama people that also needed help. After Africa left Macedonia, I read their blogs and that helped me to paint a picture of how it is there, and what I can expect. So after reading and hearing about the refugee camp, I was expecting a BIG challenge. Not that it would have demotivated me in some sort of manner but rather start a big change in my life. I’m not saying that it didn’t change me at all, it’s just that the change did not come as dramatic as I expected it to be.
Thailand has been fantastic! Our team has developed so much in terms of unity as well as individually in the Spirit. How can one not have increasing faith after being sustained by God for more than a week. All of our Luke 10 experiences were majestic and to the purest form, a Father spoiling His children. Going into a stage where we started asking questions about our futures, this new faith He has given us tends to the fears and uncertainties about our lives after Global. God is good and sovereign. He has proven Himself faithful beyond measure and through knowing this part of Him we have peace.
I am currently lying on my back on a bamboo bench, Just after my fellow rookie constructionist and I finished building a sturdy wooden grass covered structure.This process involved a dangerous amount of inexperience ,riggedy scaffoldings, and the use of a nail gun while suspended up in the air.I suspect God poured out some serious last minute wisdom into our arrogantly confident hearts.None the less we are finished and admiring our golden creation.There is a sence of pride and contentment flowing through our veins.Wiping a drop of sweat from my brow, I can not help to realize the privilege of even doing something small like this for Jesus.Here we are in the lusciously green Phuket able to be part of a 16 year process where God has built a refuge and a school for His children.What a privilege.
Every Luke 10 faith journey looks different. The single similarity however is the golden thread of God’s greatness that is weaved into each adventure. This greatness is often displayed in the provision, protection and extraordinary miracles God does through ordinary people.
There are few things more enjoyable than getting to a bus stop in a new city, after many hours of travelling, and being greeted by a familiar friendly face... And so our stay in Yogyakarta started with our global friend, Annami, and her posy of scooters fetching us one by one from the bus station.
Since Kosovo, our team has stepped into a musical. The absence of wifi and the presence of lovely hosts made the difference. We had a lot of freedom to spend time with Christ and grow in unity. It was a healing and strengthening time there and not at all a disappointment. The fact that we could not go to China is long forgotten, because we truly believe God wanted us in Kosovo. Our hosts admitted to wishing for help and knowing God used us to show them He hears their prayers even before they pray them, means the world. We are committed to be His hands and feet and this detour means He is using us as such. What an absolute honor!
Kosovo has been good! My mother said she was going to step into interceding for me and it is amazing how powerful prayer is! I feel like this is the most God has ever revealed of Himself to me.
Macedonia was beautiful. We were received with open South African arms and felt so at home, but the atmosphere changed when we entered the colorless Tavanoche camp. By the time we reached Macedonia most of the refugees had traveled on and it was only those without money or with children that were left. It was hard to lift spirits without even being able to communicate. So we fully relied on God.
It rained today, the type of weather that screams 'stay in bed'. I didn't feel like going to the camp but I promised you I would, so I went. I had lots of plans for new games we could play and I also promised to still braid your hair. But you weren't there...
As a child I often looked at the rain and imagined it was God’s tears falling from heaven because of all the terrible things in the world. As an adult with knowledge of science, I now sit and mostly just enjoy the trickle of water down the window or the pitter-patter on the roof. This morning, however, I found those thoughts of old returning together with a feeling of longing that was not from me. In my past ignorance I have prayed that God would break my heart for what breaks His (a truly irresponsible prayer if you are not prepared to really have your heart broken) and so I assumed this longing must be a glimpse into God’s heart. But what could He be longing for? What would God cry about?
Our first few days in Turkey was resting and exploring with our hostel being right behind the Hagia Sophia museum. We had no ministry point here so we were trusting God to open new doors for us. So between just trying to process Israel and trying to soak up Istanbul, we took it pretty slow, praying on where we should go and what we should do. Our only other mission was to apply for our Macedonia visas, which we prayed about a lot. But God is good and the application process went super smooth, something that is impossible according to the locals. So now we wait…
Going to Turkey was different for many of us. Some enjoyed not knowing where to go, what to do or what God has planned for us there. We only knew that He wants us to serve but the question was who first. The first guess was the refugees. Makes sense…they need help… we are here to serve… so we aimed for them, but it was like shooting a moving target in the dark. We heard so many rumours about where they are or should be but arriving only to see a lack of people to serve…
Many of times we hear how much God loves us and wish nothing but the best for all his children; the ones that know his love and the ones that don’t know it as much. Looking back at my life, knowing all the wrong that I have done to others and myself, I’ve said and done things that I will always be ashamed of, the worst was not knowing if I am really forgiven. I’ve read the scripters and have said the words out loud, but still every detail of my past was not forgiven; well at least not all, according to me, looking for any sign that God loves me and that he will take care of me, regardless of my past. Seeing so many miracles happen to so many people around me but never to me, then having the devil having some fun in my head telling me lies to make me believe that he does not love me as much as the others. So having this scenario play out for years going round and round in my life…………………..
When gardening, one always starts with the end in mind. There is always a sort of rigorous planning and planting, but soon it is all about maintenance and persevering in the commitment to keep the garden contained. This is also true of our spiritual gardens. At first our spirit dwells in a desert, with no living water and no plants. But as soon as Christ comes and changes our truth and understanding of the good news, He starts planting the first tree…The tree of freedom and salvation.