This Week in Articles (my list of curated articles)
A Few Favourite Things (travel themed)
This Week in Snapshots (a few favourites from my trip)
1 Waking Up
What noises stir your sleep?
A horse trotting down the lane, the clop of his shoes breaking the silence of dawn. The resounding call to prayer in the darkness. The snores of a dear saint in the next room.
Usually it's the cascade alarm of my ipad, but on this journey there were new things to both see and hear.
Visitng places where the gospel seems small, I'm reminded, "so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ (Rom 10:17). We've seen and heard, yet long for others to see and hear also. The Spirit is at work and goes before us in the actions of our hands and feet and in the message we proclaim.
Will our hearts stir from slumber, from contendedness to see the need of a world who needs peace and redemption? Will we carry light into dark places, bring salt to the blandness of complacency and stand with a character of integrity when the world tries to cut the gospel at its knees?
These questions, these prayers permeate my heart.
2 What blooms in difficult places
A single plant blooms among the outcrops of roman ruins. She tells me how encouraging it is to see what blooms in hard places.
She's not talking about the weed, but of the beauty born in adversity.
The trials we so desperately try to avoid or fear the Spirit uses to bear fruit when rooted in the foundation of our rock.
I remember some of my most difficult trials and how through my pain I could see the Lord working, how the anguish caused me to cling desperately to his feet. The desperation and need cause roots to dig deeply into rocky soil to find nourishment and water.
In the harshest moments we too root down and can bloom.
3 Moments I'd Forgotten
We had the privilege to visit a language center and sit in the classroom for a lesson to learn a few arabic phrases. I'd forgotten the joy of learning language - and the reason it sometimes isn't joy-filled.
At the playground after dinner, there's a local family and I'm really excited to greet her.
Here's the enjoyment: remembering a phrase
As I greet her, she smiles and answers. I follow-up with the next greeting to ask about her family. Now, she chuckles.
Here's the rub: I'm not saying it right. She's kind and responds, but it's clear I'm a little clueless.
I remember the days of walking down a dusty path, practicing local language in east Africa, and how months went by as we added vocabulary, nuances of grammar and phrases. Even as we work on these few phrases, my swahili wants to come out instead.
My mistakes and blunders in the endeavor of learning language have been many. The uncomfortable awkward moments cause my awareness to rise again of much-needed humility to persevere.
4 A Language Smoothie
Speaking of language, we sat at restaurants and ordered in three different language. I'm awestruck at the ability of others to switch seamlessly between them. I'm great with English, minimal with German, next best in Swahili and only piecemeal with the few Arabic phrases I've gathered.
Like a blender mixes the ingredients for a savoury smoothie, the languages mingle around me. This causes a smile as I consider the beauty of cultures and words when every tribe, nation and tongue will worship around the throne. Though today it's only food orders, I can't wait for that day to come!
5 The kindness of God to confirm our callings
How and where we serve the Lord isn't always easy. We face difficulties and uncertainties even as we follow his leading in our lives. In the midst of pressure we sometimesm doubt or second-guess where we are or whether this is really what he wants for us.
But, as we share these struggles with those around us and seek the Lord together, we can be reminded of all the ways God has acted in our past to bring forth our present, to see his faithful hand along the way. Sharing these testimonies of God's grace stirs not only ourselves, but also those who hear, toward living full of faith today.
Quote of the Week
This Week in Articles
Both sets of our parents are believers, and though they didn't discourage us from our calling to Africa, we definitely felt their hesitation and concern as they saw us give up good jobs and a home to bring the gospel to the unreached.
Amy reminds us,"the sacrifice of missions is real, it's deep, it's enduring. Those who leave feel it acutely, but sometimes we forget that those who are left behind feel it just as much." Supporting the parents and families who stay is an important, often overlooked ministry to keep in mind.
"You could put a label on every item in the shop: "This product is made from 100% recycled gifts of God." And it would always be true, every time." I'm just humbled by the good gifts of God after reading this, not only of things I enjoy and find helpful, but also in his faithfulness.
Loved this encouragement from an older saint who loves God's Word! May I be this diligent in commiting scripture to memory. AND if you need some tips and tricks, get Glenna Marshall's book, Memorizing Scripture on a $2.99 kindle sale this week!!
I remember the days after our youngest's bone marrow transplant when celebrating had to look real different. There were events we couldn't attend, family we couldn't see. Marissa shares an encouragement for those in the throes of caregiving during the holiday season: In all your caregiving, Jesus is caring for you. If this is you, check out her bible study for caregivers.
You'll find a healthy challenge from Tim in this article. It's a call to resurrect joy in our marriages, and isn't that one way we carry the light to our world?!
An Invitation to Pray
The Mbororo people of CAR and Chad are a semi-nomadic people, which means they move around a lot to bring their herds to pastures and water. They don't build homes, they travel with the herds, so they're transient and often remote, which presents unique challenges for the church in evangelism and discipleship. Pray for more workers to be sent to this people, for creativity and conviction among the national church to reach them and for the Spirit to continue softening hearts to the gospel.
A Few Favourite Things
I enjoy a regular workout routine in the mornings, but when I go away, I notice stiffness and soreness from the lack of consistency. A couple months ago I bought this workout mat, to take with me, so I can feel a little better by stretching and moving wherever I am. It's really thin which helps it fold nicely in my carry-on (I fold it, you could roll it) and on hard surfaces it's a nice, clean spot to stretch.
This crossbody suburban mom bag was really helpful for keeping my passport, cards and cash easily accessible. During our hikes I wore it as a fanny pack. The main pocket opens pretty wide so I often felt afraid things would fall out and instead utilized the smaller outside pocket for passport and cash. My boarding passes didn't fit, so I had to fold them. Overall it worked well, there is a 2L version, so that one might be longer and have more room.
Oh, and this neck pillow was really great for resting on the plane, the long taxi rides between cities, and the jostling train across the desert. It took a lot of space in my carry on, but I think it was worth it.
This Week in Snapshots
Here's a snippet of my travel photos!
(the ampitheatre of Carthage)
(mint tea on the mediterranean)
(an hour hike up a hill to visit what remains of the old city after the massive earthquake)
(flowering trees add color in these beautiful places)
(Roman theatre of Dougga)
(just me at the roman ruins)
(the goat tajine)
(never had pomegranate juice before, it's tasty!)
(shopping in the medina)
(welcome home bouquet!!)
Previously on My Mosaic
4 Years Ago
3 Years Ago
2 Years Ago
1 Year Ago
Thanks for joining me today! "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Rom 15:13).
Grace & Peace,