Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lies and a Confession

This has been Spiritual Warfare week. Dr. Rankin, after fasting three days before spending time with us, has presented pages of scriptures that have penetrated to the core of me. This afternoon we had our house church debriefing on these issues. Intense. Some 10 hours so far on enemy strategies and I'm ashamed of my oblivion in one area in particular...

In the jungle, many people believe lies like: white men will kill my children and sell their organs, or my newborn has a cone-shaped head, is therefore demon infested, and must be buried alive. Lies possess minds and drive actions.

The truth is that, although of course, we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. (2 Corinthians 10, Phillips)

Tactics stateside are a bit different, though equally debilitating. There are hours I wrestle in the invisible chains: lies I choose to believe. Lies that drive me inward. Lies. I am constantly tempted to believe some lame lie about myself; relishing again in me-ness.

Here I am a God-follower-- seeking to adore Him with my whole heart, because He first delighted in me!-- yet I am somehow also seeking to be my own Master, my own ruler. Who do I think I am? What a foul stench of entitlement I may carry around on any given day!

But thanks be to God who overwhelmingly gives us the victory though Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8, Phillips)

Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10, Phillips)

His authority secures my freedom! His authority is my freedom! May the King of Kings, the Most High Lord of Hosts be exalted among the nations, among all the peoples. Thank you, Jesus, for securing an overwhelming victory for all who call upon You!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Living On "The Farm"

April 23, 2009

As the sun was sinking low in the sky this evening, after I could not manage another bite of the wonderful once-a-week dessert: a buttery bowl of chocolate and cherry bread pudding, I went for a walk. Our quad is settled on a rich, rolling landscape, tucked between clusters of tall trees and bright hills dotted with happy, brown cows. To meet the required physical fitness requirements during our training will be a sheer pleasure, as I can not remember the last time I loved walking so much as tonight.

The little ones are happily tangled in their sheets-- even Michael is sound asleep. His brain has not stopped administrating, strategizing, delegating, assimilating...since our plane landed...until tonight.

We live in a quad: five family units maintaining their own mini-kitchen, bath and sleeping areas while sharing a great room. There must be close to forty quads. And the cafeteria! Flags from every nation hang from the ceiling. There is a faithful wall of Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks and a dozen other cereal towers, a salad bar (that always has a nice heap of the hard-boiled eggs that Chloe devours), and tonight they served peppered pork chops. Every meal is a feast and I pile the dishes onto a conveyor belt which makes them disappear.

Earlier, we finished a required scavenger hunt-of-sorts. Tripping along the asphalt pathways, we found a clinic where they administer vaccinations (rabies, yellow fever, malaria...)That same path led us through the mail room,the Children's Research/Education buildings and International Center where halls are covered in photography: nameless faces of peoples from many nations.

In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Monday, April 13, 2009


Our Immanuel Baptist Mission House is an interesting smattering of piles tonight:
Degree deodorants and Fusion razors in one clump-- Michael's neglected seminary books begging him to start that 10 page paper in another. Receipt piles, discarded-CDs-from-college-days piles, and the ominous packing list upon which my feet are currently propped...

In the kitchen, I hear Michael fumbling through a crumpled manilla envelope I packed full of things for him to go through. Condensing, condensing, condensing... The goal? Stuff six duffel bags. That's it. All of life must fit into these six duffel bags. 10 sweet years of life. Six people.

Gratefully, one of us is the strategist. One of us is going to subdue the stuff victoriously. The other one will be cheering from the sidelines with her feet propped up on the packing list...Each of us has a job to do, and for a moment in time, mine has been spent in the storying of it all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A calling is a peculiar thing. I suppose Michael's and mine can be most likened to God's pursuit of us. His relentless tugging has become both tangible and very specific.

Michael had a Grandfather who had been a missionary in Peru (the jungle), and I grew up listening to missionary biographies from a cassette player beside my bed at night. During our childhoods, we each pondered life in a cross-cultural context. We thought about living among a people different from us-- learning from them, loving them. However, we rarely entertained these thoughts at the same time.

That changed during a missions celebration at Immanuel Baptist Church in March, 2008, nine years into our marriage. During this week, we chose to fast and pray. Michael went on a long walk listening to Romans 10 on his ipod:
Now how can they call on one in whom they have never believed? How can they believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how can they hear unless someone proclaims him? And who will go to tell them unless he is sent? As the scripture puts it: How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!

He was overwhelmed by the possibility that his feet could be those that brought good news. In his mind,the word legacy did somersaults. He told me the next morning he could not stop thinking about a particular word and was curious to see if I could guess what it was. "Is it legacy?" I quipped. In that very moment, the Holy Spirit put legacy in my mind, "The Lord wants us to go to Peru and finish the work your Grandfather started." This was something we had never even discussed or considered.

Michael, being calculated and cautious, is rarely given to impressions. He is very discerning and logical and hardly sentimental. To be apart of this moment with him--this legacy moment-- was thoroughly unexpected...

Next week we leave for Orientation in Virginia. Language School in Costa Rica follows. Not until later next year will we actually arrive in Peru. Will you join us in this legacy?