During my recent trip to the other side of the world, I visited the Taj Mahal! This was my first glimpse.
Just one part of our super awesome trip.
Last night, I was laying in bed, trying to go to sleep. My lips were dry, so finally I put on Chapstick. As I lay back down again, now comfortable and ready for a good night’s rest, I thought how the moment was tweet-able: “can’t fall asleep before I put on my Burt’s Bees #firstworldproblems”
And then I thought — how LAME is that. How arrogant, how self- and comfort- centered.
I can’t fall asleep because my lips are dry. And I know there are people who can’t fall asleep tonight because of the gnawing hunger in their stomachs, because they have starved all day. And there are children — abused, beaten, taken advantage of — maybe they live in fear of their own father, or an adult they were betrayed by. Those kids can’t sleep because they live in fear of when the next beating will come. The mother who cries because she can’t feed her own children. The man who goes to sleep, with no hope to wake up to, because he has no purpose in life.
And here I am, inconvenienced by my lack of comfort.
What is my life? For what do I live?
“For in Him all things were created… All things have been created through Him and for Him.” -Colossians 1:16
God created me for Himself. The purpose of my life is to glorify Him.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -Ephesians 2:10
God knew me before He created me (see Jeremiah 1) and He has a plan and a purpose for my life.
And that purpose is much bigger than simply living to fulfill my selfish desires.
Mina lives in a leprosy colony in South Asia. She begs from 4am to 11am every day at a local temple. She is outcast by almost everyone.
But look at her joy.
Meeting Mina, talking with her, hugging her, praying for her — these things I will never forget.
In September/October 2013, I had the privilege and opportunity to travel in South Asia for two weeks as part of my year-long discipleship program (School of Discipleship.) My eyes were opened, my heart was broken, my life was changed.
This is the first, I hope, of many stories that I share from South Asia and how the Lord impacted me there.
•learning and growing so much with my SD classmates and the GFA family
•learning self-discipline and time management
•studying books that draw me closer to Jesus
•encouragement from other people
•to continue to grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus Christ
•to trust God’s promises
•to be an others-centered servant
•to find my confidence and strength
in the Lord
•enough sleep at night and energy during the day
Before I even came to Canada, God used two things to totally confirm that I was supposed to come. While I was raising my support, I was
praying that I would have 100% pledged before I came. Looking at my support report a few days before I left for Canada, I realized that God had answered that prayer! Many people had been generous with one-time gifts and monthly pledges, and God showed me His provision by bringing in my support.
Six days before I was set to fly to Toronto, I got out my passport and had an awful realization. My passport had expired last August! Oh no. Mom and Dad and I began praying, and looking into getting my passport renewed. It was easy to blame ourselves for this mistake, but we had to choose to believe that God is sovereign and is in control. Romans 8:28 and Matthew 19:26 were promises that encouraged me.
The normal route to renew a passport is to go to the post office, make an appointment, apply for renewal, and wait a few weeks for the new passport to come in the mail. But I didn’t have the time to do that – I needed to leave in 6 days!
It was a situation that seemed impossible for humans, and that was just the place for God to do a miraculous work! The leaders of GFA Canada and an auntie who helps with travel things for GFA gave us good advice about renewing my passport quickly, and directed me to go to the Federal Building in downtown Dallas. And I got my passport just three days before I left for Canada!
Every time I tell this story, God’s provision completely blows my mind. He completely confirmed that it was His plan for me to come to Canada, and it is so exciting to be here, right in the centre of His will.
What if time is relative? Wrapping my mind around that concept is difficult. Like trying to comprehend infinity or the size of the universe.
Nevertheless. Time goes faster for me these days – maybe it’s because there is so much to do, and almost every moment of my day is mapped out.
But I’m enjoying this time. Building relationships with wonderful people, learning so much, growing so much.
And enjoying a few donuts while I’m at it.
February 12 was Pancake Tuesday. We made bacon pancakes for supper.
Susan and Sharlena and I went to a social justice event and shared about how Gospel for Asia is bringing hope to children in Asia. And about School of Discipleship.
Eight people make up our School of Discipleship class: Crissy, me, Daniel, Sharlena, Ashley, Abbey, Michelle, and Chris. We don’t always make it to lunch at the same time, but that day we did :)
We eat some delicious food around here.
Three times a week, we have class. Reading, listening, learning, and discussing.
And taking random selfies. Just for fun.
I’m a few days into my second week at Gospel for Asia’s School of Discipleship here in Stoney Creek, Ontario. So far everything has been fantastic. There have been hard parts, and challenges, and struggles – but God has been so faithful to me so far. He’s not going to stop now.
Last Wednesday my classmates and I finally found out what we were itching to know — where we would be working in the office! My ministry placement is in the Web Department. Trevor is our coordinator, and besides myself, two other students are in Web: Ashley and Crissy. Working together is already such a blessing. Part of my job is writing some posts for the Gospel for Asia Canada blog (blog.gfa.ca). So far I’ve put together posts about our first week at School of Discipleship (read that here,) and what we’re learning in class (read about knowing Jesus more over here,) and then my most recent post was about myGFA (this one has a video too! click here to see it.)
I’ll probably be posting over on that blog more than here. They have us pretty busy as School of Discipleship students. Three times a week we have class; throughout the week we have assignments; we work in the office Monday through Friday; we have morning prayer, evening prayer, and house prayer; we have activities on the weekends.
Last Sunday (January 20) we visited Niagara Falls! This is our class. Left to right: Crissy, Abigail, Michelle, Daniel, Rueben, Ashley, Sharlena, Elicia, Chris, and Barb (Rueben and Barb are our house mentors.)