"This world is not my home..."

So last night I was thinking -

It would take several lifetimes to experience all of the beauty this world has to offer: all of the food, all of the music, all of the places to see, all of the things to do...

and all of the people,

not just to meet, but to really get to know. How many people are there in your life that you wish you could get to know better? I have hundreds, and yet I still go on meeting more. I have good friends on every continent, and though some are there only temporarily, who knows where we'll end up next? On top of that, there are people in my life that I could spend just about every day with and it would never be too much; they're just that special to me.

And not even just spending time with people, but learning and sharing things: history, culture, language,

God's Word.

And then I think of heaven - life, forever.

Not just with the beautiful things God made and the amazing people he created but in the literal Presence of God Himself, completely and absolutely free from all the worries and fears and anxieties and pain and evil desires that plague us on this earth fallen from grace.

And I think, I love life so much that I almost want to die.


"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure."

"...waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ..."


As I wait, I want to be one of those people that I look up to, those people that are absolutely teeming with life that people can't help but notice, not vainly but beautifully, and showing others how to be the same. God is here now, here with us, here in us,

but it will be better later.

And that is hope at it's truest, it's best.


Easy vs. Good

These four words have been on my mind lately: trust, patience, self-control, and joy.

There are two specific ways I'm learning these things:

1) I don't want to complain anymore. It's so easy to just sit around and complain, and it seems fun when everyone else is doing it, but afterwards I get the feeling after watching a whole episode of fill-in-the-blank sitcom or eating way too many cookies - aka, gross. What's easy usually isn't what's right. I just wish I could realize what I'm doing before the conversation is over and I have that gross feeling.

2) I've been starting to think about "after AIM" again - where will I be? How in the world will I be able to work, go to school, and be as involved with ministry as I'd like to be? And so on. It's times like these when I like to remember that one of God's names is Yahweh Yireh, meaning God will provide. God sees what I need, sees what I want, and most importantly, sees what's best for me. I can pray, asking for things that I want, that I think would be best, with complete confidence. I don't have to be afraid of a no, because if the answer is no, then he has something better for me. I don't have to be afraid of a yes, because if he says yes that means this really is what's best. I don't have to be afraid of a wait, because that way I get to keep seeking, keep asking, and keep knocking - aka, patience. Again, this isn't easy, but it's good. I have a God who cares about me, who loves me, and who is powerful enough to take my anxieties (and even my mistakes) and make them into something beautiful. 1 Peter 5:6-7 is really cool.

In the end, easy doesn't mean good, God is good, and I'm thankful.


My new schedule

Just thought I'd let you guys know what my week looks like these days. :)

Sunday: Meet with the church at 10:30 until about 2:00, eat lunch, then sometimes free time sometimes projects with the future Santa Ursula Coapa church plant.

Monday: AIM day - the whole team is together basically all day; we have a class with Sean, eat lunch together, and sometimes do something else fun. This week we're going to a water park south of the city. Then Diego and I study the Bible (the Gospel message) with Momoko at 7:30.

Tuesday: Spanish class from 9:00 to 1:00. Study the Bible (Colossians) with Nancy in San Andres at 3:00, get home about 6:30.

Wednesday: Study the Bible (1 Peter) with Tab from 8:00 - 9:15 ish. Study English for an hour with Lupita at 9:30. Brownbag - the whole team eats lunch together (take turns who makes it or going out) and prays together from 12:00 - 4:00. Study English with Grecia for an hour at 5:00. Small group at Norma and Alfredo's from 7:00 til about 10-ish. (Very busy day haha)

Thursday: Still kind of a question mark. We don't have group this night anymore because they combined on Wednesday, and I'm still looking for a service project for the morning. But I study English at 3:00 with Rosa and 5:00 with Grecia.

Friday: Day off! Get things done, hang out with people, etc.

Saturday: Study the Bible (Colossians) with Diego at around 10:00 and plan our study for Momoko. Sometimes we'll have a service project with Santa Ursula. Youth small group 4:00 til about 6:00; every other week girls and guys are split up.

Every day I try to set aside time to pray for an hour and have my own personal Bible study (right now, 1 John and the will of God). I probably spend too much time on the computer, but I love keeping in touch with all of my loved ones, like you! Of course I have to keep up with dishes, groceries, sweeping floors, etc. as well. There are also nights that you'll find me in Chutney's bed keeping her awake with questions or my own dilemas haha.

And that's my life in a nutshell. :)


Our field presentation video for the current AIM class in Lubbock

My blog wouldn't let me embed this video, but here's the link. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7825758901659392670

Thanks Sean for uploading it. If I'd tried to put it on youtube it would've taken 4 installments.


Just a little bit about church planting

We just had our second meeting tonight with the two families living in Santa Ursula Coapa (a small area of the city with about 300,000 people) about our desire to plant a church there. It's so exciting to see their excitement and ideas for reaching out to the people in their own neighborhood. I've never been involved in something like this before, so I felt pretty overwhelmed at first. As time went on however, I remembered that we're really just following God in the work that he's already doing, so I don't have to worry. A lot of prayer is going into this (I invite you to be praying too) and I'm excited to see what people we'll meet, what lives will change, how this will help me grow myself.

So, these are our plans for the moment. Once a month, on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, all of us (the two families, me and the boys, and Sean's family, plus anyone else in the church who wants to be involved) will do some sort of activity together in the community. Our first plan is to clean up this neglected park. Next we want to have a prayer night where we invite people from the community so that we can pray with them. Sometime we would like to sing together in the park. Before Easter, we want to have a showing of the Jesus film that's directly based from the book of Luke. We're going to have the AIMers of this class in Lubbock hand out flyers during their Mexico trip in February. Sean has done this before in three other places and it has always been successful.

We AIMers are going to do interviews with the people, asking what needs they have, their story, and really anything they want to tell us. This is a good way for us to get to know people and get ideas for how we can serve them better. Service matters most when you first listen to the needs of the people. Also we would like to hand out more invitations to the two small groups in that area and go on prayer walks throughout the colonia.

We have a billion other ideas, but these are our ideas we'll impliment first. I really love the families we're getting to work with, and I'm totally confident that God is already in this place. I'm so amazed to be able to work with him on something so precious. Pray for us!