So, I think I've decided to not only post stories and updates and play-by-plays of my trip for the next two weeks.
I know my family and friends back home, who are praying for our team and waiting to hear all the news, will want the information, and so I will still do some of that.
But this morning, I've decided to come at things a little different.
Because if you've ever been on a missions trip before, you know that something shifts inside of you, almost the moment, it seems, that you set foot on the soil the Lord has beckoned you to walk.
If you've never been on a foreign trip before...I want you to be able to hear a little bit of what it's like, from a spiritual perspective, rather than just physical.
First, here is the brief update on the physical details.
Our checked luggage, all 22+ pieces of it, did not arrive from Moscow with us yesterday. We have been assured it will come today. But we aren't holding our breaths. Instead, we are making due with the few essentials we packed in our carry-ons, and it feels quite a bit like camping.
We begin ESL (English as a Second Language) camp today. Its our first chance to connect with the kids, forming relationships and soaking up their loving spirits even as we pray that the love of Jesus will pour out of us and soak into their hearts.
Jet lag is a REALITY this morning. Many of us have been up since 2 a.m., despite being exhausted to the point of falling asleep during dinner last night. The sun began to brighten the apartment before 5 a.m., so no one slept much past then. People are freshening up, and drinking coffee, and having devotions.
Chanting from the Muslim temple sounded in the night, a call to prayer, a worship of false gods.
But this morning, the birds chirp loudly, worshiping the One True God, because man may worship other things, but the WHOLE EARTH praises the Creator.
Breakfast preparations are beginning soon, but before I put on my shoes and tie back my hair and set my face to accomplish the task of the day, I wanted to share my prayer with you. This is what I wrote in my journal. This is what is really going on in all of our hearts.
How can my heart bear it all? Just a glimpse into the faces around me, and I weep. I feel a little piece of what You feel, and I cannot even breathe. You love for them is so great. I see it now. How could I not have seen it sooner?
Here I am, weak and tired and selfish and helpless, but here all the same. I want You to use me, Lord. But I don't know, still, why I have come, why You have brought me here. Is it for me? Is it for my teammates? Is it for this country?
If obedience follows blessing, I will continue to wait, here on the other side of the world, on the other side of responding to Your call.
I'm here, Lord. So do whatever You want to."
Pray for us today, all of you at home who are missionaries too.
Pray that we will be willing and able to say YES to whatever He has for us next.
Pray for His heart to be our hearts.
Pray that we will be able to bear the weight of all He reveals of Himself to us.