This short-term transition from living in a van and traveling to finding housing and staying is exciting but slightly overwhelming. We want to be good stewards of the time and money that God gives us. Just like Paul did in the last chapter of Acts, we want to pay for our living expenses in order for our time here in Tacoma to be an encouragement to the body and not a burden. We've been exhausting online applications and searching for the right living situation for two weeks.
It is a strangely refreshing feeling to be in similar shoes as the the rest of the world. We're having to find jobs that are scarce and cheap enough housing to be able to make ends meet. In a way it makes me feel "normal"...if that exists.
One of the best parts of living in a van is that we have been given into the hands of our God, completely. We are reliant upon Him, and him alone. We don't have the stress of "everyday life" because we know that we literally have no control over it anyways.
Before we moved into the van, we worked jobs and paid our way through life. Therefore, it was our tendency to think we were taking care of ourselves because we were "making" a living. Once we hit the road, we couldn't do anything ourselves or even get the impression that we could. Everything, from what we would be doing to how we would be eating, was/is completely from our Father. We've become like spoiled little kids. I was fortunate enough to spend my youngest years in a home where food just appeared on my plate, a roof was always over my head, and my main concern was to "eat, drink, and be merry." God has brought me back to this stage of life. Sure, this time around the burden of the world's salvation often overrides our happy-go-lucky child mentality but nonetheless, I have lived like a child being completely taken care of by my Father during this last year.
Despite the temptation to question what this new phase is going to look like and how we are going to "make" it work, I am overwhelmed with peace and contentment. The childlike expectation remains...I know my Father is going to provide like He always has. Yes, we are still taking all the steps we can- seeking employment and comparing apartment prices...but my heart is sitting at the table waiting for the food to appear. I am breathing in psalm 131,
"My heart is not proud O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore."
God has brought us to a place of stability compared to our last year of inconsistency and put before us the opportunity to be independent and "live like the rest of the world." Still, I remain dependent on His provision and guidance. Like a child at ease against its mothers leg, so am I in my Fathers presence.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Whether you are a follower of Christ or not, there is no denying that Jesus is a famous man. He is known across this world for his radical living, his convincing knowledge, his insane beating, his incredible death, and most importantly his incomprehensible rising from the dead. He is famous, whether we believe the stories to be true or not. He changed the world and he started it all from a manger. He didn't start at the top and work his way to the lowly. He hung out with the poor, the broken, the homeless, the crippled, and the forgotten...and this affected the rich, the elite, and even entire governments. He shook the foundations of the world and he started from the bottom.
The Pathway is fighting the same battle with incredible passion and drive. They are working on The Hilltop of Tacoma (which as we said in our last blog is a pretty rough area). This is a church who is starting from the bottom of Tacoma, trusting that from there they can reach the entire city. They are trying to disciple, train, and love at all costs....and they are doing it all with hardly any leadership. The pastor is shepherding a church full of people who are ready to grow...and he only has minimum hands and feet to help him. The harvest truly is plentiful and the workers really are few. The church envisions the love of Christ spreading across this entire city...starting from the Hilltop. They have incredible God-sized dreams and they trust that God will provide the workers.
God has given Bobby a desire to see The Pathway grow in numerous ways within the next few months. We have spent some serious time in prayer and feel like we need to stay for the next 6ish months. Though this is still considered short term for most people, this will be our longest stay so far on the trip. We are trying to figure out all of the unknowns and are still in a lot of prayer about it all. Please join us.
1) We are in the northwest...where it is stupid cold and rains lots and lots. We are not prepared. So, we are praying for cheap Apartments (Because we might die in the winters of Washington in our van...literally..Plus, it would be a great chance to minister to people who would live around us).
2) Jobs. We are praying that for the next 6 months we can find part-time jobs to provide the dollars to get an apartment and etc.
3) Our roles within this church while we are here. Where can we be best used? How can we we be most effective? All of that stuff...
As we flip through scripture, it is like both the disciples and Jesus were always going...but always staying at the same time. They stayed as long as needed...and they left whenever it was time to go even if it hurt people's feelings (like Jesus being "late" for Lazarus). Paul traveled everywhere...all the time...but he was also willing to spend chunks of time in cities if it was necessary for the Kingdom.
Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian." Paul replied, "Short time or long time - I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."
Whether short time or long time...we will follow the spirit, going when needed..and staying when needed...until this country becomes as we are, Christ followers.
(These are our super excited/super nervous faces)