Tuesday, September 4, 2018

USA culture shock

fam together at a friend's wedding
we're back in the states on a sabbatical.  furlough.  to rest, refuel, and get back to the mission field.

sounds great, right?  should be nice and easy!  after all, we've got a place to live, family and friends nearby, and all the conveniences that have eluded us over the last 10 years.  (i.e., "i'm going to get coffee creamer, be back in 5 minutes!"  are you kidding me??!!)

then why is this so hard?

the last 10 years in central america completely transformed our way of life.  total immersion into a poor and virtually unknown rural village - located 7,000 ft up in the guatemalan highlands - does wonders to your perspective and priorities!  your worries and concerns forever altered.  and your overall family rhythm becomes something entirely different.

we miss that.  and we miss our guatemalan family.

but being back has been good in so many ways.  God has shown us a few reasons that He called us here during this exact time that we had not seen before.  special reasons that involve all 4 of our kids.  and being with parents, family, and friends for an extended period of time (as opposed to a 1-week visit) has been wonderful beyond words.

still, the ultimate mission of Jesus (matthew 28:18-20) is what firmly has our hearts.  we press forward and look to Him for our next steps.  God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied Him.  right now, we are pursuing being fully satisfied in Him - and nothing more.  as we seek Him, we ask that He show us how and where, once our sabbatical is over, we can best be used in achieving His great commission.

my prayer: america the beautiful (and dangerous)

"God, THANK YOU for this unique time in our lives that you are allowing us to be with our family, see our friends, and rest in you.  such a blessing!
in some ways i fee like a stranger here.  but i also find myself feeling "safe."  
i'm not texting kerrie while she runs errands, to be sure she hasn't been assaulted or kidnapped.  the last 10 years re-wired me... but i hear you telling me that it's ok to "let my guard down" and relax.  thank you for this mental rest.  
and oh... how i am enjoying worshipping you, together in community, free and loud!   
but Father, i ask that while we're here you keep us protected from certain poisons associated with living in american culture.  
keep us close to you and in your word daily, so that the comforts and conveniences may not dull our spirits or distort reality.  
i pray against the onslaught of entertainment and distraction so that it may not win a fraction of our hearts and minds.  
i pray against the divisive nature of politics and religion in this place.  help us love everyone gracefully, without compromising truth. 
protect kerrie and i personally from these things while we are here.  and please protect my children during these critical years while they call america home.  
keep us all growing deeper in love with you, and more dependent upon you, every day.  
and remind us daily of the world that is longing to hear.  
forgive us for our sins, Father.  help me lay down anything that i unnecessarily think too much about, or care too much about.  you are all i want, and all i need."