Well folks, it's almost time to say goodbye again for a little while. Don't worry... I'll still be blogging, but it shall be from a far away land! Early Sunday morning I'll be taking off on another mission adventure heading back to Narnia. I know I've shared a little bit with some of you... but this mission has one purpose with many tasks. To 'know God and make Him known' by following where He leads, loving and serving those in my path, and seeking His beautiful face every waking moment. This is my purpose there because it's my purpose in life (or anywhere).
The reason why I'm going back to New Zealand? Well... I've been serving with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) on and off since 2007. For the past couple of years God has given me even more vision, passion and excitement for the lost and broken world. Some of the areas I believe He's desiring me to focus on are: health and wellness, wholeness, self-sustainability, natural medicine, gardening, stewardship, etc. All of these things, I believe, are important for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual strength and health. I also see how all of these support each other and how God does desires freedom and healing in all areas of our life.
I'm excited to return to New Zealand for several months to A)foster the vision for possibly starting a new discipleship training school with some of this focus B)learn more about each of these things as i walk alongside wise folks who are willing to teach me C)implement some things I've been learning here D)continue to serve the base and local community in any way (lots of earthquake relief in Christchurch still do be done as well) E) do some evangelism throughout the south island F) and I'm goin cuz God called me!!! haha.
I feel as though God has revealed to me many cool things this year while I've been at home in the U.S. A lot of times in missions we are called to 'give fish away', asking or looking for nothing in return... but simply because He called us to. Then other times we are called to 'teach a man to fish'. But recently God has been showing me how we can not only 'teach a man to fish' but also 'teach that man how to give his fish away'. This has really got me thinking a lot about the way we view mission work.
Most of us who live the gospel understand and see how God blesses the heart of generosity. I mean, it's cool if we give out of obedience... but even cooler and more trusting if we go above and beyond what we believe we are "supposed" to give. Or if we step out on faith to give... knowing that He will provide for our own needs. Something happens when we begin to have an open handed policy with everything we've been given; the more we give, the more we really do receive... and it's not always money. But if our hands are tightly closed we miss out on the special love exchange that happens by being apart of that giving/receiving process.
This got me thinking about the ones in the world we would consider poor and needy. Sometimes we are called to feed them and/or teach them how to grow their own food. But what if we show them that they too can be generous and giving with what they have. A friend of mine in Nashville runs a homeless ministry downtown. The whole group that goes with him serve once a week down there by making many meals and feeding their bellies. One of the greatest things that has come out of this (other then their need to eat) is the community that has been formed. Through this the group has been able to step into each of their lives and climb into their story. Now, these people who may not have a home DO have a family who believes in them. Recently we've been brainstorming about a way in which they can get the homeless to help them raise money for Africa. We are both feeling like this could be the next step in homeless ministry. Perhaps, they will begin to catch the blessing of being able to give to others even in their desperate need and watch as God continues to provide. What a testimony that would be to people who (compared to them) seem to have everything.
If you could please be praying for me over the next few months, especially the next few days. There's always attack that comes right before I leave for missions... and yesterday wouldn't you know after over a whole year of being healthy, I got sick :( It was such a weird thing that came over me very quickly. I slept all day yesterday and think I fought off most of it! Praise God!!! Unfortunately, I'm a little behind on everything. Shooting a wedding all day tomorrow, still need to clean, pack, and work out some details. Then I leave bright and early Sunday morning! I know God's in complete control... just pray for rest and peace in Him. Because of all this and the traveling I probably won't pick up the blog again until next week sometime. I appreciate your prayers, encouragement and LOVE! I pray that God continues to speak to your heart about how much He absolutely loves you as His child! ~lins
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