Saturday, September 10, 2016

Two More Months

I landed in the US 51 days ago. I leave the US in 61 days - two months from now. Two, long months. I'm so tired. I want to go home. I want some normalcy back in my life. Even with scheduling down time, I'm tired. Every time I get in a car, my body says to me, "Not again!" Maybe it is borrowing a car every time I need to visit another city/town or even to go to a doctor's appointment. Maybe it is the hills and mountains that I have been traveling. Maybe it is because nothing is ever easy. Maybe it is the fact that I have people who love me and allow me to stay at their house, yet I'm not at "home". a Maybe it is the harsh reality of Home Assignment - reconnecting with partnering churches and hopefully connecting with new ones. I look at my schedule and I get tired. Oh, I love going to the churches and homes of people to share what God has been doing. And, I'd rather be busy instead of sitting around. But, in my mind, if I had a true "home base" where I didn't have to live out of suitcases and ask for a car every time I wanted or needed to travel someplace, it would be easier. If I have an internet connection all the time, that would simplify things, too. Part of it is that I'm not getting the exercise here that I do in Ghana. And, I stay up later at night. And, I have to keep track of where I am supposed to be going and when. I almost forgot about a church visit that I have at the end of the month! That's not good.

Add to that the stress of trying to raise funding for my next term in Ghana. Sometimes I don't worry about the income enough, sometimes, not enough. Giving has gone down. Life situations have changed for people Will my visits and speaking to others make a difference in my monthly support? B I also want others to know there is a need. But, I also try to leave that part up to God. 

In the midst of all of this, I guess I am asking that you would pray for me, my ministry and that needs would be met. Maybe you are part of the solution!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Last week, as I was driving, I was really enjoying the music on the radio...until I drove out of range. Then, it wasn't so pleasant. It was static. Nothing was being clearly transmitted. So, I tried another staion...and another...and another...I finally shut off the radio. And, I began to pray. "Lord, when did it happen...that I need to have background noise? I seem to always have on music or a video or maybe even a pod cast. Why can't I be satisfied with silence? What am I running from? What am I afraid of? I used to love quiet drives...taking inthe scenery, talking with You. When I go to bed, I have to fall asleep with a movie or music on. Even my "quiet time" with You isn't quiet. I have praise music on, which isn't bad in and of itself. But, I wonder, where is that focused time with You, when I can hear Your voice? Am I fearful of what You would say to me? What is more scary than moving to Ghana all by myself? Yet, I'm not alone. And, it wasn't scary. Why? Because I heard Your voice telling me to "GO!" So, what happened? Is it just a simple matter of a bad habit? Or is it something deeper? Lord, show me what needs to change in me as I turn off the volume and keep my time with You, time with You. I want to see Your face and hear Your voice. Teach me, Lord!"

Saturday, September 3, 2016

44 Days

44 days! Yes, 44 days. I have been back in the US for 44 days. It's been a time of laughter and a time of tears. It's been a time of joy and sorrow. It's been a time of relaxation and work. It's been a time of travel and of staying put. Yes, life here in the US is full of paradoxes. It's nice to be here, but I wonder what is going on at home. I feel torn at times. I'm enjoying being with family, reconnecting with friends and loving the hot and cold running water. Yet, I wonder, "How is Uncle Christopher's funeral going? How is Razak and the family doing in the midst of their grief? How is Boniface and Pius? Are they getting ready to go back to school? How is the church doing? Will Matthias be able to take the Local Preacher's Test?" and a lot more!

Still, while I am here, I am able to share their stories, the stories that are being written by their lives. I can share with others how God is working in the villages of Kalsagri and Kunyukuo. So far, I have told their stories more than 15 times in formal, scheduled settings and numerous times in a relaxed informal setting.

I have also taken time to visit family, enjoy the company of friends and, to see dentists and doctors, too. This morning I will travel to see some dear friends and their family. There will be food, fellowship and sharing what God has been doing in our lives and in the lives of those we love both near and far. Tomorrow, I will be sharing at another church. I love to tell the story. I am amazed at what God has done and continues to do. And, I wonder what He will do in the next 68 days!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Ministry of Presence

More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them.It is a privilege to have the time and the freedom to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire is to be useful, to do something significant or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn't be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.

~ Henri Nouwen from the book, Gracias!