Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:19-25
Isn’t amazing? We have a great high priest who was also the sacrifice on our behalf. How is it possible? I am nothing. Nothing except a dead sinner. Yet, Jesus, JESUS! Jesus took this body of death, brought it to life, and now is using it for His glory. I cannot understand, yet, I know it is true. This simple yet profound truth is the same that we have been trying to preach everyday with the children. Each day I pray for my own heart to understand the immense love and grace of the Lord, and then when I share with these children, the prayer is the same for them. We are secure in the Gospel. We do not have to be afraid, rather we boldly are allowed before the throne of God. All because of the blood of Christ! Hold fast to this great and wonderful news!
Last weekend, Anja and I were in a city about eight hours away from here by train. We went to a smaller village to do a VBS sort of program with the children. It went so well and I enjoyed the experience so very much. However, it seemed that each thing we planned for when completely different from what we had planned. Originally, Sunday was going to be VBS in the morning, a prayer meeting in early afternoon, VBS in the later afternoon, and a Bible Study at night. Then Monday we were going to go to a different church and do the same VBS program in the morning and afternoon, then that night we had a youth night. Most of this happened however, instead of going to different church Monday, we went back to the same kids and had to come up with a second day of VBS. The other meetings and studies were according to plan however, what we planned for each one fell through. But, as the verse says: He who promised is faithful! He is faithful in our salvation but also is faithful in the little things! We made sure that no matter what the program was, the Gospel was proclaimed. It was amazing to see that while our well-thought-out plans disintegrated, the Lord would lead us in a new way to share this Gospel.
Each day I pray and wonder if it is even worth what we are doing, yet, once I dwell on the Gospel, I cannot help but be reminded that the Lord works in ways I cannot understand. So as long as I strive to do what He has called me, my work is not in vain. Even my computer class is going much better than I originally thought. However, I actually have a computer to use with the children. So that’s a bonus. Also, it is so nice to be able to have one hour a day to love on the kids and “teach computer.” I have no idea how this is furthering the Kingdom, but I am at the very least trying to stir up in the kids an excitement for Christ.
Bible Class has been so great lately. Saturday was a tiny bit hectic, understandably so. When you want to do a craft with 120 kids and only have 6 scissors, it makes sense that chaos would ensue. But, compared to the last craft we did, the students were more patient (mostly). It’s crazy that they don’t understand the idea of lines and taking turns. Apparently, this is more of a cultural thing than just selfish children. I don’t completely understand it all, yet, somehow by the end of the mass chaos everyone has gotten what they need. It’s overwhelming; but again the LORD is faithful and grants me the strength and patience to get to the end.
The last two Bible classes were focused on the heart of the Gospel: the cross and empty tomb. I hope and pray that the students understood the vast importance of that message. I pray that for myself as well. This is the confession that we hold fast too. Again, I am AMAZED at it. As much as I was at the beginning of writing this update. I cannot wrap my head around this amazing Savior God. Yet, I am here trying my best to teach it to the children. It is only by the grace and might of the LORD that this is done. My words, without the Spirit, are confusing and unhelpful. But, I trust that as I try to teach this truth, the Lord speaks rather than me. I am nothing, I have no wisdom, I have no power. I am a terrified sinner who somehow is preaching a message greater than anything in this world. The Lord is faithful and our hope is sure. For that I rejoice.
Ministry here is hard; yet, at times, it is just like living my everyday life back at home. Anja and I have to go to town to get food for the week. We have to do laundry and wash dishes. Yet even in all of this, I am still amazed by the faithful God who always answers prayers. He granted us a nice morning the other day. I got to go to a bookstore! It was wonderful! Granted the power was out and the majority of the books were in a language I can’t read. But it still was so very nice. It was a Christian bookstore too! So I found three English books to buy in order to support the business.
I am so amazed by the constant love and faithfulness of the LORD here. There are only about two weeks left before we are leaving. It is going to be sad and hard to leave these children who have stolen my heart; but I know the LORD is calling me back home. But until then, I pray that these last two weeks will be as dedicated as it was when I first was here. I know that my work isn’t in vain.
On Sunday, a team from America will be here with us. I don’t really know how that week will look and while we have a “schedule” for the week there is no guarantee that is actually going to happen. But what is sure is the faithfulness of the LORD and His Gospel. Therefore, we will strive to continually spread His Word, love, and mercy. Looking forward to the glory of the Day drawing near! Praise this all-powerful, glorious, loving Savior God!
- The Children. Always the children. That they will hear the message we have been sharing and be excited about the Savoir God.
- Pastor Luther and his wife. That they will hold to this Gospel and not be distracted by any worldly thing as they lead this ministry. They have a lot of influence over the people, may they continually hold to the LORD and His Word.
- The teachers and wardens over the children. That they may be patient and loving while doing their job. That the kids will know their love and that the love shown points to Christ.
- For the Children we had at the VBS last week. That they may remember the fun they had but also remember the message of the Cross and empty tomb. May we all never forget the importance of such a message.
- For the team that will be traveling here on Friday. May their travels go well and that the ministry will be enriched by their presence and encouragement. Pray also that they may be ready to serve and be flexible in their serving.
- For the couple that Anja and I have been tutoring. That they will not be discouraged when they don’t remember some of the lessons and grammar. That they will continue to study after we have left also. So that they might be able to go to America like they have been praying about.
- For two of the nationals to keep up the Bible class after we leave. I don’t know if it will happen, but it is so very important for the students.
- For each of our classes in these last two weeks. That we can teach clearly and effectively while also showing the students the love of Christ.
- For Anja as she is preparing to move back home and everything that still needs to be planned. That she can finish here strong and know that the Lord is leading to a new adventure.
- For myself as I finish here and go back home. May I never forget that while it is obvious here I am “actively doing ministry,” that at home too I need the same outlook. Ministry doesn’t end when I get on that plane to go home. I may be tired but no matter where I go, the Lord is faithful and the Gospel never changes. Therefore, I hope to share the love here and at home boldly.
- Also, that we all may keep this in mind: the Gospel of the Lord is true and secure. We have a great high priest! Let us serve one another and constantly remind ourselves of the vast truth within the statement. He chose me and I have no idea why, but I praise Him for this new life in Him. Praise Him and His mighty works!!