Tuesday, April 5, 2011


"On this side of the grave we are exiles, on that, citizens; on this side, orphans; on that, children; on this side, captives; on that, free men." ~ Henry Beecher

        It's been almost 2 weeks since I've written! There has been no lack of things to write about! Katie's parents came and visited for a week, two of my first aid classes graduated, the Heritage International School boys soccer team that I coach made it to the championship and Katie is now the full-time teacher in her 3rd grade classroom.

        We had a wonderful time with Katie's parents! We spent most of our time at New Hope Orphanage and Aggies Baby Home. Dad I I worked on building an incinerator for the diapers while Katie and mom showed some love to the babies. We fed the children banana's and bread and are continuing to treat around 100 children for fungal infections on their head. Each time we serve among those children it increases in me a longing for God's permanent newness - His ultimate redemption. Walter Brueggemann writes in his book Peace

"Newness is about to burst into our lives and, indeed, into the world. But the newness comes not without a price, and the price is death to all present arrangements, death to fear and to small hopes, death to old visions and memories. And those who are ready for death to all that the world calls ‘life’ are the ones to whom life can come." 

And this is what we pray for each morning. His Easter newness.

        Katie and I were talking about the orphans yesterday and she mentioned the verse from Hosea 14 - "In You the orphan finds mercy." She said, "I hope each one of those children has been chosen so that they can receive the love and comfort of God since they have no other family." This stuck with me. The president of World Vision said, "I believe that this could very well be looked back on as the sin of our generation...I believe that our children and their children, 40 or 50 years from now, are going to ask me, what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?" May we be found faithful with what God has given us.

        There is a divisive force in humanity and it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. To some the truth of Christ is the aroma of life - to others they sense it as the stench of death. Paul asks in 2 Corinthians, "Who is sufficient for these things?" I understand his question in an entirely deeper way now. We all have felt the urging of the Spirit to tell someone about Jesus. I felt this as I was finishing my last English class of the term - and only because of His grace, I told them. While speaking, I sensed how much love hurts for the lost. I sensed how in the proclaiming of the gospel there is an unavoidable grief and sadness for those who don't accept. John Piper illustrates it it this way - 

"Imagine walking through a crowded shopping mall. As you walk through some few people - maybe 7 or 8 out of a hundred begin to follow you out of the mall and everyone one else just drops dead. Wouldn't that be overwhelming? Wouldn't that be too much to bear? That is why Paul asks 'Who is sufficient for these things?'"

        I have often wondered if there is some image, some picture or story I could blog about to make you understand how broken and lost our world is. What picture could i drive into your head so that it would haunt your dreams at night so that you literally could not sit still until you found a way to share Jesus with someone who is going to hell. Only the Spirit can move us in such a way.

Are we open to His leading? Are we faithful?

"You are the God who makes all things new.
We gladly raise our voices and move our lips
to acknowledge, celebrate, and proclaim
Your staggering newness.
As we do so, we hold in our hearts
deep awareness of all the places where your newness
is not visible, and
has not come.
Draw us from the wretchedness we know
to his scarred, bloody wretchedness
that is your odd entry of newness into our life. Amen."
~ Walter Brueggemann

 The Kabaka Dance, the dance for the king

 The kids are happy to have bread!

Some of the babies at the home