Living a life dependent on the Lord is full of adventure! It is an exciting journey of seeing God's hand at work in every aspect of your daily life. I highly recommend it!
I mean, seriously...could I have ever guessed I'd end up living in Australia? No! However, the Lord led me to come and so here I am. He's led me to be here for a season, with the intention to build my "tool chest" and better prepare me for where we are going down the road.
We've been here 8 1/2 months already...and the Lord is teaching me so much. It just keeps going deeper and deeper. Revelation is an amazing thing. Sometimes it's the simplest truth, but it drops from your head to your heart and suddenly it's "yours"...you own it, it is cemented. God is so good that way. And as we move in obedience to His voice, He continues to pour out His Spirit over us and to bring further and deeper revelation of His character and His will (and the truth of who we are in Him). I love God's truth!
As I know now, my impression is that we will be here in Australia for about another 2 years...until October 2012. This is the sense I get from the Lord, but am continuing to pray into it for clarification, direction and timing.
So what happens after that? Well, one thing I know is that the Lord has put a very specific dream in my heart about reaching the unreached...going to the furthest reaches of the earth to share His love for His most precious creation - people. As I intimated in an earlier post, I think there will be an aspect of working with single moms as well. I trust God will work out the details as I continue to do His will and move the direction He leads.
This is the time to get really transparent with you...one big obstacle I know I face at this time with fulfilling this purpose in my life is my weight. Let's be honest...to get to the furthest reaches of the earth takes strength and endurance, which I am currently lacking in. This is an area where I could so use your prayer, support and encouragement, because I really want to find victory in this. Did you know I was a collegiate athlete? Yes, I was! So, I know it's in me to get back to that athletic, strong person.
So, yes, reaching the unreached. This is a dream I've had since I was a young girl, actually. When I was about 11 I had earned $25 for picking up one of my dad's work sites one weekend (hey - that was a lot of money back then in 1980!!). That night, on TV, there was a show about children starving in Ethiopia - it just broke my heart. I didn't know that kind of world existed outside of my comfortable life. I called the number on the screen and gave them my $25. I believe in that moment the Lord planted a vision in my heart to serve the poor and needy of the world. Even when I wasn't walking with the Lord, His purpose was still strong in my life and I pursued this dream in secular & humanistic ways. Isn't God amazing! He redeems His purposes!
The Perth base is doing a lot to reach the unreached, and there is wonderful training here to prepare people as they go out. I can see God's wisdom in bringing us here!
So, over the next 3-5 years, this is a bit of what I see happening...first of all, Sierra is graduating High School in about a year and a half. The word of the Lord to me at this time is to "finish the job well". My years as primary caregiver of my precious girl are quickly coming to an end and she will soon embark on her own journey, independent of mine. Wow, does that bring a quick tear to my eye or what!??! It's exhilarating and heartbreaking at the same time, as our babies spread their wings and fly! Oh, how I love my girl. I'm so thankful for how the Lord has made a way for us. So, I am staying focused on finishing my job well. Not that it *ever* finishes, I will always be her mom...but it's a new road on our adventure.
Second, I see that the Lord is continuing to prepare me for His good purposes...through the ministry I'm working with, through TESOL and also through a leadership course I will be part of over the next 2 years here in Perth.
That essentially will bring me to October 2012...and I am praying for God's wisdom. There is a ministry through YWAM, in partnership with Wycliffe Bible Translators and Campus Crusade for Christ (and a few other ministries) called One Story that I am really interested in being a part of. In a nutshell, we would go out in a small team to an unreached people group for 2 years and teach them the stories of the Bible in oral story form. Why? Many of the last people groups on earth that have not heard the gospel have no written language. They pass on their histories through oral story-telling. Over the 2 years, we would teach them 25-40 Bible stories as we live amongst them, coming out for further training every 4-6 months. Wycliffe is providing the on-going training and YWAM is providing the people to go. This just gets my blood pumping, because this is exactly the sort of thing I've always dreamed of doing!! Check it out at www.onestory.org.
That is the direction I am looking at right now, always continuing to lay it before the Lord and allowing Him to direct my path, and the timing of my steps. As I said, I am continuing to lay before the Lord the idea of working with single moms in a "village" sort of environment and seeing where that leads in the future and further down the road. I will not indulge these ideas here as I don't want to get too far ahead of myself, but let me know if you're interested in hearing more! As I said, it is quite exciting to live for the Lord - never a dull moment! No, more like a lot of moments at the precipice of the roller coaster, about to go shuttling down at mock-10 speed into the unknown!
So, that is the third part of this little series, covering what I am doing in the next 3-5 years. Up next...perspectives on sharing my needs - outlining the big picture.
On another note, thought I'd share that I've completed 5 weeks of my TESOL course! It's been going really well and I'm enjoying it a lot. There has been a lot of homework, but I've actually liked that (how strange!). Next week is our final week of TESOL, and then I will be going into another 6 weeks of internship. There were 15 of us in the TESOL course, but only 3 of us will continue on to the internship.
Over the past 5 weeks we have learned so much! One of my favorite topics has been bringing the glory of the Lord into the classroom. Also, I feel like my heart for teaching has really been redeemed. I had been convinced that I was not a good teacher, but really just a good encourager. However, I can really see how I am a good teacher, too. God is good!
As we've been teaching in the city at two churches, I've come to love my students. They are mostly backpackers from various Asian countries - China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, etc. They are so sweet and eager to learn. We've seen 5 come to know the Lord, and a few more who are *right on the edge*! As we've taught, we've found ways to weave God's word into our lessons. For example, in teaching on holidays, we focused on Christmas and Easter. It was amazing how many didn't know anything about the true reason we celebrate these holidays, and how thankful they were to learn about Jesus. As we build relationship with them, they have opened up and shared about their lives, their hopes and fears and wounded places...and it has given us great ability to speak truth and love into their lives. I love it!
Okay, well, that's all for now. God bless you abundantly as you go this week. You are in my thoughts and prayers!