Friday, June 16, 2017

Days 5 and 6

It hardly seems possible that our time is half way done here in Kazakhstan. According to our family back home, we've been gone FOREVER, but so far it has gone by quickly for us here.

ESL ended yesterday, and as expecting, we were all sad. What if we never see those sweet faces again? Can 10 total hours with a child actually impact them? Did we smile enough? Laugh enough? Hug enough? Pray for them in our hearts enough?

I felt a sense of loss, telling them goodbye. So many faces, and so little time with them, and still they knew me, and I knew them, and it was hard to let go.

Today we are traveling two hours to another town, to a Salem church plant, to have lunch with the believers there. They, of course, will be serving it to us. The excitement and hospitality and love we receive everywhere we go continues to be a breathtaking blessing.
 
The discomfort of the unfamiliar is a topic of conversation among the team, and while it is often comical, and WAY TMI (the food difference, for example, is having one digestive affect on some, and the opposite digestive affect on others, and we are ALL talking freely about it) the Lord reminds me daily that I am blessed beyond measure. Either through the scripture in my devotion, or a whisper from His spirit, or the conversations with the people here, I am challenged to seek more of His presence, and less of the comforts I am so familiar with.

Christianity in America is often lazy, and tepid, and habitual. Probably because we have never had to strive for it in secret, and refrain from saying words like "pastor" and "church" and "Bible" and "Jesus" the way the believers here do. We probably won't be disowned by our families for accepting Christ, and so we don't feel the urgency to press into Him the way they do here.

As we visited home churches last night, I found myself begging for some of that urgency to rub off on me. I want to take home the deep seated ache for MORE of the Lord's presence and direction and fellowship that they carry with them every day.

It humbles and convicts and inspires us all.

"Lord,

We worry so much that we won't be able to do Your work well, when really all we need to do is walk in Your presence, and we will leave footprints that resemble You.

We smile, and You move forward. We laugh, and You breathe out mercy. We serve, and You pour blessings. We receive acts of kindness, and You minister rewards. You are in everything we do here. Everything. How we long for it to be true in our comfortable places too. Make us more uncomfortable than ever before, so that we can long for, and run toward, more of You.

Amen."

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