Friday, May 30, 2008

Advice to Missionaries (and us all)

I came across this letter sent by Adoniram Judson from Burma on June 25, 1932 with some advice for new missionaries coming to the field. Below is some of what he said.

First, then, let it be a missionary life; that is, come out for life, and not for a limited term. Do not fancy that you have a true missionary spirit, while you are intending all along to leave the heathen soon after acquiring their language. Leave them! for what? To spend the rest of your days in enjoying the ease and plenty of your native land?

Sixthly. Beware of the greater reaction which will take place after you have acquired the language, and become fatigued and worn out with preaching the gospel to a disobedient and gainsaying people. You will sometimes long for a quiet retreat, where you can find a respite from the tug of toiling at native work -- the incessant, intolerable friction of the missionary grindstone.

Seventhly. Beware of pride; not the pride of proud men, but the pride of humble men -- that secret pride which is apt to grow out of the consciousness that we are esteemed by the great and good.

Eighthly. Never lay up money for yourselves or your families. Trust in God from day to day, and verily you shall be fed.

Tenthly. Beware of genteel living. Maintain as little intercourse as possible with fashionable European society. The mode of living adopted by many missionaries in the East is quite inconsistent with that familiar intercourse with the natives which is essential to a missionary.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pictures From Living in Grace

Some pictures of a waterfall near Ridge Haven

This rope-swing was tons of fun during our free time!

Getting to know some other MTW missionaries one evening

Friday, May 16, 2008

Living in Grace

The majestic mountains of North Carolina, a wonderful place to be! Garrett and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our spiritual training with Mission to the World at Ridge Haven. We, along with about 30 other MTW missionaries spent the week in lectures, personal application, small groups, prayer and fellowship. There's just something about being surrounded by others who are of the same mind that is so refreshing and delightful! We arrived at Ridge Haven on Sunday and didn't know anyone, by the time we left on Friday there were hugs all around and almost even tears of goodbye! (OK, so that was only me, not Garrett). I think the most wonderful part of the week was just hearing what God is doing in so many other people's lives and how he is alive, moving, and working!

Aside from the fun social aspect of the week; the lectures were challenging, encouraging, humbling, moving.
  • Challenging in that we were pointed toward the call to live in a posture of grace (forgiveness, surrender, repentance, reliance on God) regardless of any extenuating circumstance of life.
  • Encouraging to hear and be reminded of Christ's absolute, unchangeable love for me, his chosen child! To grow in my knowledge of who Christ is.
  • Humbling to see how often and far I stray from the One who gave everything for me. We read an article by Tim Keller about the idols in our lives. In the article he talks about near and far idols and how the things that we do, even good things are so often out of a motivation to serve an idol. For example: One of the far idols in my life is approval. So even things like helping someone out, teaching Sunday School, or working hard are near idols to serve the far idol of approval. It was devastating to see how pervasive sin is! But thank Jesus I am not left there! I am called to recognize the idols in my life and replace them with the truth of the gospel; praying in repentance and joy knowing that I am forgiven and washed by the blood of the Lamb.
  • Moving me towards my Savior. Living in reliance on him, an ongoing, never ending crying out for the Holy Spirit to enable me to live for the glory of God!

My favorite quote from the week was:
"Why do I need to cry out for the Holy Spirit again and again? Because I leak." D.L. Moody

Some other fun things we did:
Swinging into the pond on the rope swing!
Hiking to the water falls.
Walking up hill both ways to every meal! (no kidding! I didn't gain a pound!)
Getting to know great new people!
Enjoying an evening out with the gang at a local Pub.

We'll have pictures posted soon!

Living in Grace,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dollars and Ukraine

There has been much talk in missionary circles recently about the falling value of the dollar and the impact it is having on missionaries. Kristen and I have been puzzled because it hasn't affected our budget at all yet! But I read an article yesterday that explained it all. Ukraine has pegged their currency, the hryvnia, to the US dollar so the exchange rate doesn't change (or changes only minimally). But apparently that is driving up inflation in Ukraine. Imagine that!