Saturday, March 31, 2012

a team, a family

since i speak of it often, you likely already know that we are involved with a ministry called young life whose mission is to love high school & middle school students well, enter their world & help them process truths of the gospel.  regardless of their response to Jesus we are still committed to walking through life with these friends.  ministry has undoubtedly been one of the greatest blessings of my life and marriage.  it is insane that God calls us to do this - 'to give our lives away' and THAT is the way He will use us.  THAT is the way He will show us more of Himself. His power.  His amazing grace.  we've seen God move in the awesome times but equally [or more] in the really hard, difficult parts as well.  God is so good.  i think it really is true - the benefactor of ministry is the minister.  i don't say that selfishly, i know it is by design.  God challenges and invites us into this for that specific purpose - to grow us, for us to see Him more.  for His glory.
Here is what Livingstone said to the Cambridge students about his “leaving” the benefits of England:
For my own part, I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. . . . Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. 
no matter what our ministry looks like in the many years to come i hope we can share livingstone's attitude & heart.  we are so unworthy of such a gift.
 psalm 71:17-18
Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
   and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
   do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
   your mighty acts to all who are to come.

we have partners too.  a 'team.' a family to do life and mission with.  these are our brothers and sisters and we LOVE them.  they are some of our dearest friends and their hearts for people spur us on daily.  they encourage us to love people well and pursue people with the gospel in mind.  they encourage us to be real and above all us know the Lord for ourselves.  i am so thankful that God has specifically placed each of these friends in our lives.

our joy is great.  even in trial - we have every reason to rejoice.
i pray that we never quit.  not just this specific ministry but this race.  that we'd never take our eyes off the prize - eternity with the author of life.  i pray that we'd never grow weary and lose heart.  i pray that we'd know God and his goodness for ourselves.  never quit.

"he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
 -jim elliot

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