Friday, December 16, 2011

Planning and Ceasing

Have you ever had so many ideas, about so many different things, crashing around in your brain that you find it hard to think at all? That’s me right now.

Daisy and I have been talking and sharing and planning all week. It’s been an awesome time of fellowshipping together. There’s that verse about iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17), and that’s how I feel about working with Daisy. What a blessing she is!

Our hopes and dreams for El Callejon are really exciting… and frankly, a little terrifying, too!

At present, we meet with seven different groups each week. Women, Young Marrieds, two groups of Adolescents, two groups of Pre-Teens, and a group of Little Girls. Each week that totals between 130 and 150 lives we are privileged to touch.

To this, we hope to add a Small Discipling Group (of the older Women to start, but perhaps also have one for the Young Marrieds), a Couples Group for recently marrieds and those hoping to be married, and a Literacy Group.

The one I am personally most excited (and yes, terrified!) about is the Discipling group. It’s the first big step in our desire to equip some of the ‘natural’ leaders among the Women to take ownership of parts of the ministry. I’m not terrified at the idea of entrusting them. I’m terrified with the responsibility of equipping them!
Our Director’s amazing wife, Sissy, and I were talking yesterday. She’s helping with ideas for designing a literacy program using the Bible. Seriously, she is incredible! She’s already drafted out the first lesson, using John 1:1.

She made the comment that one of the difficulties in teaching here is that a lot of people have never learned how to have their own ideas about things. They wait until someone in authority tells them what they think.

This was a great insight for me, although a bit discouraging, too. I really want to help the women connect with the Bible on a personal level. But, simply asking them their opinion is probably not going to elicit a bunch of responses. At least not at first.

So, instead of jumping in with Study Questions, I’m going to have to take some steps back. How do you teach women in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s (and older) that they are allowed to have– and express! – their own thoughts? And, in a language I still have not mastered, speaking with people whose words I still cannot completely understand?

Right now, I have way more questions than answers. The slightest bit of panic is settling in. Okay, maybe not so slight!

I am trying to remind myself that the Holy Spirit has been at work in people groups and cultures throughout the world since Pentecost. He will move in His way, in His time.

Like with so much else in my life here, I am finding myself challenged and stretched. I’m finding myself needing to go back to the only Source of my strength.
In a way, I am grateful. I’m being stripped of the lies of our enemy which say following Christ is easy, without pain, and can be done in my own power.

No, it doesn’t feel great to stare at a blank page without the first idea. But... I think this is the right place for me to start. Not with all my grand ideas, but with nothing but a desire to see God glorified in El Callejon and the lives of His children there.

Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
(Psalm, 46:10 NASB)

This is a command, an invitation, and an assurance. Today, I pray that as I cease my striving, I will remember that God is God. That He will be exalted.

If our work is of Him, He will provide the way. Yes, I've got to do my part! But, perhaps for today, my part is to make the deliberate choice to focus, not on all the ideas in my head, but on God alone. To get out of my own way to hear Him, whether in fire or earthquake or storm, or still small voice.

 May You be glorified, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, in my life and in the lives of your beloved children in El Callejon!

1 comment:

  1. Simply Beautiful....touched my heart....also needed to hear that reminder today.