Sunday, June 28, 2009


A fellow missionary-in-training at MTI (preparing to go to France) had a video series on "transformational giving," and last week a few of us watched some or all of it over several evenings. I was frankly skeptical...I've seen a number of resources aimed at getting more donors and most of them seemed too slick and materialstic for me to make any use of. This guy was less slick than average (how's that for a compliment?) and his message was completely unlike any other I've heard before. Here's the main point: most fundraising focuses on the need to raise money, i.e., "it's getting close to the end of the year, and we really need your gift to keep this wonderful ministry alive..." But that kind of giving doesn't really do anything for the donor, and, besides, that doesn't match anything in the Bible.

So what's the alternative, according to this guy? He pointed out that when the rich young ruler asked Jesus what to do with his nearly-perfect life, Jesus didn't tell him how much the disciples could use his support....instead he pointed out a way for him to grow spiritually, through radical charity. So, supposedly, the point is not meeting your needs but encouraging people to live lives more characterized by giving than receiving.

I may be butchering this concept, but it was pretty impressive on the big screen. The idea of never "selling myself" again is tantalizing...not to mention ministry to donors. Ideas?

On a different note, I flew to Tampa on Friday for Shane and Helen's wedding, only to fly back on Saturday. Ouch. But the wedding was beautiful and I'm glad I went. Would have been better with Mary, but at least it was just one night apart.

Friday, June 26, 2009

we are good at many things...

but i am not sure if blogging is one of them. for those of you who actually read our blog i must apologize. we have been pretty busy- experiencing many new things. i may have to blog about them separately or this one will be very random and long.
i'll start with MTI. we have spent the last two weeks (and will spend 3 more) just outside of colorado springs. since dan already went through both training programs- he spent his days outside working on the landscaping. i sat in PILAT- Program In Language Acquisition Techniques. we filled our days with thinking about how to go about learning a new language when we arrive in the countries we are going to, practicing the thousands of sounds that are not in the english language (did you know we only have 44 sounds?!), practicing some of the techniques we should use when we arrive by learning various languages (for me it was russian), and various other things that will help us as we learn to communicate in a new way. i really enjoyed this training. i was pretty intimidated by the whole idea before i started and very intimidated by the idea of learning shona in a few months. now i feel very equipped to learn shona. and i am excited about it! :)
i also found a new game that i love to play! mexican train domino's. i have stayed up far too late a few nights playing - but it was always worth the loss of sleep for the fellowship!
dan, of course, won the hearts of many little people, which helped us build relationships with their parents. missions is bittersweet for the missionary and those close to them. it is a constant stream of building relationships and then saying goodbye. it was hard not to cry today just watching people say goodbye and when it came time for me to say goodbye it just got harder. and at the same time it is absolutely beautiful! we are all going out- all over the world- to share Christ. wow!
ok that's all for now. more to come


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


i've been missing home lately. which is strange because i like to travel and i don't really know where i call home. and even if i could pick a place, all of the people i would want to be there are not there. so i guess i am missing the idea of home. or maybe it is the simple act of being known. i think most people feel at home when they are known by those around them. as of tomorrow we have officially been traveling for 8 weeks. i can't even tell you how many beds we have slept in. but i can tell you that along the way i have felt at home- and that is a blessing.
on monday we got to mti in colorado. it is the place we will be the longest (five whole weeks) until we get to zim. so the first thing we did was unpack our suitcase and put our plants in the sun. this morning was the first full day of pilat, the language learning part of our training. we sang the hymn, How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord for devos and the second and third verse caught me:
"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go, the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."
the Lord is my home. He is the only one who truly knows me and i am trusting in His righteous and omnipotent hand to guide me to a "home" at the right time.


Friday, June 5, 2009

i've been pondering...

passions. i have spent time with many friends while traveling the last six weeks. we have talked about the gospel in various ways, especially how to live it out in various settings around the world. obviously, dan and i have spent time sharing about some of the ways we hope to live out our passions and the gospel in zimbabwe. i have noticed that many of these conversations center on some specific way to reach out and share God's love with a specific group of people. for some it is about strengthening the church and the family, for others it is about the homeless, and for another it is about those who are caught in sex trafficking. everyone we talk with is passionate about a group of people and wanting to be Christ to them. all of this leads me to think about if this is what is supposed to happen. are we made to find something God has made us passionate about and do that? is it inevitable that we focus ourselves on a specific group or cause? if we do focus in are we missing out on some other part of the gospel or the church? i'm not sure what to think of all of this. your comments are welcome.

on another note, i told you i would get back to you on how i feel about buying our tickets to zimbabwe. i feel good about it. we have spent months preparing for this. God has constantly provided along the way. i say: let's do this!