Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beautiful Broken

Ah, what we didn't know then that we do know now.  This picture was taken just before we left the States in 2009.  We were heading to Zambia to be church planters/evangelists among the Lozi people who lived in the Western Province.  
How the Lord has changed us since that day, and I'm so grateful that He has.  
Just a few things that we have learned:
  • We have learned how to be at the end of ourselves and reach desperately for the Lord and to find Him faithful every. single. time.  We never really fully experienced this privilege while living in the States.  In the States, we had almost no need to desperately cling to the Lord for our everything.  There was always a hospital nearby, always cell phone service, always family to help us, always electricity, always somebody to come fix whatever would have the audacity to actually break or not work, always a church family to surround us, always a place to buy whatever I could ever dream of needing, always a myriad selection of delicious restaurants to dine in, always great roads to drive on, always fuel at the gas stations and so on.  You get the picture.  
  • We have learned to never take for granted our safety and health.  Living in a third world country makes you so very vigilant of your safety and so very grateful for every day that we are healthy.  We have prayed for healing when we were out in the bush, knowing that the Lord was in control and trusting that he would heal us.  We stop to pray when we take long trips, actually we did this in the States too, but here we have come to the realization that so many things can and have happened on these roads - so we have learned to rely upon the Lord's protection as we drive.
  • I keep almost every bottle or container that I have used.  It is hard to get over the fact that this container, used zip lock bag or glass bottle could be used again for something.  I even brought back to Zambia an empty 64 oz. juice bottle from our Stateside Assignment (furlough).  And, yes, I have used it several times as I make some type of drink to take somewhere. :)
  • We have learned that nothing can be done without prayer.  I stand amazed at the incredible freedom that we have to commune with the King of Kings every minute of every day.  Prayer is the true work of every missionary, and really the true work of every single thing.
  •  I have learned how to smash bugs with my bare hands.  I actually could have done without this skill but, believe me, it has been necessary more than once. 
  • We have seen the power of the gospel transform lives.  Please know that the Lord transforms lives wherever you are, no matter what.  It is always the same saving grace and it is always stunning.  It is just astounding to watch someone turn their back on witchcraft and embrace the Lord whole heartedly.  
So, these are just a few thoughts on how our lives have changed and for the best.  This was kind of an impromptu post as I was looking through some of our old pictures.  
The Lord has so much more in store for each of us than we can even imagine.  It doesn't take moving to Africa to find it.  All you have to do is be obedient to what the Lord has called you to do.  It really is that easy.  The road will be difficult as He refines you but oh, it is so worth it.  
Maybe in a few years, you will also be looking back on who you were and be so grateful for what the Lord has done in your life.  It really is a beautiful brokeness.

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