Thursday, February 26, 2009


Today at CIT I had the opportunity to share my testimony. I ended up just telling the story of God's grace and faithfulness in my life, but early in the week, in an attempt to be creative, I had selected song lyrics that expressed the lies I had believed, God's truth, and other aspects of my testimony. Below are some of those lyrics. I hope they can be a reminder to you of God's love and grace.

I wish I had what I needed
To be on my own
'Cause I feel so defeated
And I'm feeling alone
And it all seems so helpless
And I have no plans
I'm a plane in the sunset
With nowhere to land
And all I see
It could never make me happy
And all my sand castles
Spend their time collapsing
Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough
(Let that be Enough, Switchfoot)

Unless Your grace had called me
And taught my opening mind
The world would have enthralled me
To heavenly glories blind
(My Lord I Did Not Choose You)

I hear it all depends on my faith
So I'm feeling precarious
The only problem I have with these mysteries
Is they're so mysterious
And like a consumer
I've been thinking If I could just get a bit more
More than my 15 minutes of faith,
Then I'd be secure
(Shifting Sands, Caedmon's Call)

I am the only one to blame for this
Somehow it all ends up the same
Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
I flew too high and like Icarus I collide
With a world I try so hard to leave behind
To rid myself of all but love
to give and die
(Worlds Apart, Jars of Clay)

O how great Thy loving kindness.
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.
(Jesus, I am Resting)

Put down your paper plate
Come to the table made
Deep blue china
Found on the table by the wine
So fine
It brings out flavor
Like You bring out color in life
Oh, I miss You so
The feel of forever
Oh, that taste I know
It hurts to remember
(I miss You, Shane & Shane)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I wanted to post a quick thought on provision. Through various conversations I have with other missionaries at CIT, I have been astounded by the stories of God's provision! God has provided for each of us in different ways. I have raised support so imperfectly (even that seems like an understatement). God has provided perfectly and will continue to provide for me perfectly. Thank you again for all of your prayer and support!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


At the bottom of this post are two examples of the things we have been discussing and praying about at CIT. I have heard similar examples and thoughts before, but they are still challenging and heartbreaking. (Watch the video if you have a chance, I think it is worth it.)

I pray that God will work in my heart so that I might be the kind of missionary described in Philippians 2 (text below), considering others better than myself in humility. I often I operate out of pride and think that I have the answers and can solve problems. I even got a degree in engineering to learn how to solve problems. I considered the culture, took classes on appropriate technology, and learned about better answers for Africa, but all of this was done with out ever going to Africa to listen and learn. I knew that I had a lot to learn about engineering in Africa, about missions, and about sharing the gospel in another culture before I got to CIT. Now 'a lot to learn' seems like a huge understatement.

One of the books I read last week has this to say about cross-cultural ministry:
"We must consciously release our attachments to home, income, security, convenience, significance in work or ministry, and even comfort of family. We must enter a new community of strangers, often without many if not most of the comforts and symbols of home, and begin as children, learning at the feet of those we have gone to serve. We must be willing to become world Christians. The challenges will shape us; the changes will trouble us. Our bodies will get sick, our minds will suffer fatigue, our emotions will sweep us from ecstasy to depression. Yet the love of Christ will sustain us so that we can identify with Paul who said, "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessing" (1 Cor 9:22-23)" ~ Ministering Cross-Culturally, Lingenfelter


I think the video is worth watching and it is only about 5 minutes long. It is promotional trailer, but has many clips from the series.

"...if there are two qualities that mark North Americans, it is your ability to solve problems, and your assertiveness. You are quick to speak your mind. But your greatest blessing may be your greatest curse. Because when you come to Africa, you want to fix Africa. Well, you can’t fix Africa. You must learn to come as listeners and as learners. I often say to American missionaries on the continent of Africa, “When we go into this meeting, please do not say anything. You see, the reason is that you come from a dominant culture. And when the American speaks, the conversation is over. So do not say anything. Instead, listen and learn.”" - Oscar Muriu, transcript Urbana 2006

Philippians 2:1-16

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Currently I am in North Carolina, at a training center for missionaries. This morning I sat in a room with people from all different parts of the United States who are all on a journey somewhere. The people who I will be learning and living with for the next six weeks have been appointed by different organizations to serve in Estonia, Thailand, Uruguay, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Germany, France and many other countries around the world.

Since I was appointed as missionary, I have grown to appreciate and love the emphasis that World Harvest places on the gospel. The gospel is a central part of the training here at CIT, as it has been with the Sonship course that I am working through with World Harvest. It is a beautiful thing to see that hearing the gospel impacts the hearts of a room full of people who are going around the world to share the gospel with others. I need to continually hear and believe the gospel.

I also got to start reading What is the What when I got here. I haven't read much yet, but already I am learning more about Sudan. Even though I am still at the beginning of the book, I would definitely recommend it to all of you. I am so thankful for the time to sit down and read.

There is also a library at CIT that has that wonderful old book smell. I will have plenty of time to explore all the books and papers written by past students on countries around the world. I will also have the opportunity to do some research about Sudan and write my own paper. I am looking forward to learning new things about Sudanese culture and history over the next few weeks.

I am really glad that I will have six weeks to spend here at CIT. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to talk to people who are going through the same process of raising support and leaving for their mission fields. I pray that it will be a time that I can rest, reflect on the past year, and prepare to leave for Sudan in late April.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Brazil and Back

Yesterday I landed in Miami after a 2 week vacation in Brazil. I am back in Florida unpacking, catching up on mail, and preparing to start training at CIT next week.

The last two weeks were a wonderful time to spend with friends and family. I went to Brazil with Melanie, one of my best friends from high school. She is basically a part of my family. We have moments when we don't get along and we have moments when we can't control our laughter. I am really glad she was able to come with me to visit one of our friends who is living in Natal and my family in Santos and Sao Paulo.

My cousins

We were busy the entire trip, but it was still a very restful vacation. We eat great food, we toured parts of Sao Paulo and Santos that I had never seen, and we enjoyed the company of my family. Melanie was even speaking understandable Portuguese by the time we left!

The best part of the trip for me was being able to talk to my family in person about World Harvest Mission and Sudan. Also my uncle, who lived in Africa for several years with his family, shared stories and advice about a continent I have never seen. I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to go to Brazil before leaving for Africa.

My grandparents

My aunt and uncle