Monday, April 30, 2012
where to start...
It has been hard for me to get back to life "as usual" after my trip to Asia. I guess I say that after every mission trip I take. It is so hard to come back to all of our stuff and try to go on with life after seeing those that have so little. They capture my heart...and then I come home. It's hard.
This trip was different in that, for the the first time, I was able to meet with believers who don't have the freedoms we have and live in a place where Christians are persecuted.
While I was so happy to be home, because the trip was very hard in many ways, I also struggled with walking freely into our nice, big, air-conditioned church building with hundreds of people on Sunday. I don't know...I wanted to scream, "don't you know how good you have it?" Sometimes I think we take these freedoms for granted...I know I have in the past.
As I raised my hands in worship this morning, with tears in my eyes, I begged God to someday let my new friends in Asia experience the freedom of worship. But, I don't know if that is His plan here on earth. And if it's not, how much greater will heaven be for these precious saints!!
So, I'm home...I'm thankful...I'm blessed. But I can't get the sights, sounds, people, fear, courage, faith and love out of my heart.
For today I will count my blessings and fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy set before Him ENDURED the cross.
Bibles in our home and in our churches
a faithful friend to carry our backpacks as we trekked - not sure I could have made it without him!
sharing secret church services together - I will never forget.
hearing Amazing Grace sung in their language
living beyond my own capabilities
seeing a faith that most of us in the U.S. don't have to have - and wondering if somehow we might be better off if we did.
a new sister in Christ
mustard seeds - thrown out in faith, believing God will answer our prayers
patient team members :)
a husband always willing to let me go and do double duty at home with the kids, he sacrifices as much as I do or more.
the prayers of our church family
continuing to remember
sharing stories and pictures with friends back home
the conviction to pray without ceasing for the persecuted believers around the world - we must not stop praying!!
seeing God ALIVE and AT WORK in very dark places on the other side of the world!! The government can try to keep Him out, but He will not be stopped...with God all things are possible!!
God growing my faith, time and time again, on this trip. I now know why God prompted me to choose this word for 2012. It's no accident that months before I took this trip, God prompted me to ask Him to grow my faith. He has answered my prayers in ways I could never have imagined.
#3124 - 3144