Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patience...its a hard fruit to grow.

We are back on the road! It is so exciting to be back.  There is a strange joy that overwhelms us when we know that we are doing what God wants us to do.  It makes no sense...we were once again leaving the comforts of home and stability yet somehow God made us/makes us happy because of it.  Crazy.

Although we are happy to be back on the road, we cannot pretend like the difficulties are not already beginning to seep in.  We have been in Colorado Springs for 3 days now.  We have spent much of it before God, asking him to lead us in the direction that he would have us go.  We asked guidance from the people who live in the area.  When we went to all of the places that they sent us, we did not feel pulled towards any of them.  We have driven throughout the city begging God to show us where the people are that He would have us talk to.  Today we walked along a creek that runs beneath a few small overpasses.  The creek is filled with trash and footprints.  We were told that some people once gathered under there who were followers of witchcraft.  After about an hour of walking and looking, we found 2 sites that single homeless people probably live at...but nobody was home.

Doors have been shut over and over again.  We are still trying to hear his voice.  We are aware of the fact that there are people all around Colorado Springs.  We could walk up and share the love of Christ with any of them.  However, we believe that God has us here for certain people.  We are of no influence to the people that are not ready to hear.  There are people here who God has prepared for us....whose soil is good for the seed that he wants to plant through our lives.  We are trying to be "led by the holy spirit" as Paul was throughout his journey. We are not trying to force any moves....and that is so hard.  Our hearts are ready to serve but our God wants us to be patient.

"Preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with complete patience and teaching." 2 Tim. 4:2

So, join us in prayer as we seek to serve. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

From "I" to "us"

Yesterday, my dog alerted me to a stranger passing by our house. He was an older man in a cut off t-shirt, a black skull cap, and a scruffy white beard covered his face. His appearance wasn’t what caught my eye. It was the huge bag of cans he was carrying on his back. I’ve lived here for years but I have never seen him before. I watched him walk to the end of my road searching the ditches and trashcans as he went. When he reached the end, he made his way back on the other side. He reminded me of the many friends that we have met along our journey...and here he was...my neighbor. I grabbed a cup of ice water and met him on the street. As I approached him, he was defensive...as if he had done something wrong. I interrupted his explanation with a smile and introduction. His demeanor changed and he immediately began conversation with me while he drank his water. We talked about weather, work, life, family, and God. He did most of the talking and was delighted that someone wanted to listen. 

His name his William, he’s 58 years old, and he’s been picking up cans for 20 years...he has the warped back to prove it. Throughout the course of this journey, God has made it apparent that before I lived in a van, I only showed true compassion and love to the neighbors in my inner circle. In marshall, I would quickly pass through the ghettos, avoid the passing man or woman on the street, and overlook the hurt that was so apparent around me. At home, things weren't any different. Many people go on mission trips out of town, out of state, and across boarders all the time but for some reason there is a hesitation when it comes to being the hands and feet in our own communities. Maybe it is because the local outreaches are not as fulfilling to the participants. Maybe it is because we are too busy with our own lives at home. Most of the time I think it is because there is a discomfort in stepping out amongst people we know. What if someone sees me here talking to them? What if I know the person I’m talking to? Who am I to help anyone? What do I do or what do I say? Even Jesus said, “...Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” Today God showed me that opportunities to love as Christ did are right in our front yard. The problem is that we are often too concerned with our own lives to notice or invest in the needs of others. 

My encounter with William was only about 15 or 20 minutes but my conviction has lasted all day. We, as believers, often focus on loving the Lord God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind but we fail to love our neighbor as ourself. To love our neighbor as ourselves is to think about others as much as we think about ourselves, to care for others as much as we care for ourselves, to pray for others as much as we pray for ourselves...it is shifting our thoughts from “I” to “us.” 
I am writing this for myself just as much (if not more) for those of you reading. Please join us in fighting to remove the blinders and tunnel vision of our flesh and see the world through spiritual eyes. Through the process, God’s glory will shine.