Paradigm is shifting…
Before I unpack that, let me start me first answer, “What in the world have we been doing?”
The pace of life is drastically increasing… much happening here.
Seizing opportunities to serve and minister.
All of life is an opportunity to be missional. In our current context we are not trying to build a program, an event or even a church. We are simply trying to advance the Kingdom. Along the way, I definitely point people to churches. In fact, I’ve invited quite a few to churches here in the last week!
It is a radical change in my thinking to see every relationship as an opportunity to advance the Kingdom. Beauty has been living this truth for quite awhile! Even when that means helping a little fella with his Environmental Studies Project.
Opportunities are presenting themselves everywhere… and it has been an honor to seize them.
This is my friend, Isaac. He’s Nicaraguan. In the last 7 years he has moved to Costa Rica and remarried, but his two sons live in Nicaragua. It is obvious that he carries a heavy heart as he longs to see his boys, but he is not able to do so for many reasons. This breaks my father- heart.
I am helping him learn some English to better his employment options.
This happy dude (Tom Tom) is trying his first Mammon Chino. (It’s my favorite tropical fruit.) I can’t possibly communicate how much of a blessing it has been for my entire family to have him with us. My cup started overflowing as soon as I saw him at the airport! He has been a faithful friend and tag team partner in several ministry / serving opportunities this week.
We spent some time in an area called San Fernando helping a friend named, Pastor Luis. I may have been bitten by at least a 100 ants, but somehow it was quite fun to serve (not to mention that I got to use a machete for 4 or 5 hours straight!). We mostly cleaned up the property and prepped some sandy dirt for stucco-type work.
We were also given the high honor of helping a new friend in San Marten. She is a true inspiration. She has immersed herself with the mission the Lord has laid on her heart. Eugene Peterson (in the Message) uses the language, “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” Well, she literally moved into the neighborhood!
My friends and I were able to repair her roof, her gutters, work on some electrical plans and begin installing a wall-mount A/C. Initially, I was excited that she would have one small A/C unit in her house because of the oppressive heat, but she wanted it installed in a room with some older computers in it. This way she can provide opportunities for the children to learn computer skills. It feels like we only offered her crumbs, and we were the ones receiving all of the reward.
This community (San Marten) is unfortunately plagued with domestic violence, crime, drugs, addiction, etc. Actually, the part that breaks my heart the most is that it is overflowing with children. These children will repeat the same cycles unless something is done! Praying for divine revelation. Believing in the power of a few small seeds.
I am learning to function out of a truth I saw my church value in Ohio. Rather than raising up members, let’s raise up missionaries! Meaning, let’s all be missional! Let’s all advance the Kingdom.
It’s really quite interesting how people are catching the vision of caring for the marginalized. I’ve had multiple people with extremely different belief systems offer (and join) me in offering help and hope.
This greatly encourages me!
Even when we can’t see how deep the water is or how fast the current is, we are trying to make forward progress, but so much of it feels so new to us.
We are clinging to His promises. We believe He has our best interest at heart. We are grateful that He reminds us of His unchanging faithfulness.