Praise God for his steadfast loving kindness. The last two months in the States have been a beautiful experience, even with all the post surgery aches and pains. It's funny how coming back to the town you were raised in and loved can rejuvenate your soul, after two years, I needed it. I always feel in times like these that it is good to do what the prophets of old did, remember the Lords provision. I use the term 'steadfast loving kindness' as that stems from the Hebrew word, hesed. Hesed, was how God's love was described in reference to His people through the prophets and beyond.
Recounting the Lords steadfast love for me and provision will take a moment, a moment well worth taking. At 21 in Guatemala I finally submitted to the Lords relentless love after years of fighting. From there I returned to the states, devoted to the pursuit of God and building/expanding his Kingdom here on earth through Junior High and university ministries. At 23 (nearly 24) I responded to Gods call to be trained in New Zealand at Laidlaw to think Biblically. I was introduced to the school through a friend of a friend and after much prayer and seeking the discernment of wiser folks, I made the move to Auckland. Before arriving in Auckland my plans changed drastically, but God used a Kiwi couple I met on the beach of Fiji to provide me with a home. After moving in with them in Auckland, I discovered the church directly across the street from my new home had been looking a youth leader for a year and half. Again I felt and saw the Lords hand of provision. Shortly thereafter I was adopted so to speak by a kiwi family from the church that took me in and loved me in a way that still makes me shake my head. In this previous semester at school as was asked to move into the dorms on campus to be the men's resident leader, while also serving on student council. In this time, every time I got my student visa it was a miracle as financially it always worked out at the very last minute. While applying for this semester (that I had to sit out for health reasons) I received a $4,000 scholarship for my schooling, 3 days before school started which would have allowed me to study. The Lord provides. Instead of studying though, I caught the parvovirus that nearly killed me in North Shore Hospital. God again protected me, and in the following week I was sent off with tremendous love from Laidlaw/ABC back to Sequim Washington, where I find myself now.
Spending the summer in Sequim with family has been a huge blessing. Hiking in the forest with mom, some late night talks with dad, reconnecting with old junior high students that now dwarf me. My body recovered from the virus and it was business as usual until surgery on September 1st. My gallbladder was removed and since then my body and blood has been deemed, “back to normal.” Two weeks after surgery I spent a amazing week in Montana, visiting my friend and brother Danny Gillam along with his wife Karilyn. We talked Christ, climbed rocks in the mountains and went fishing in the river. In that trip there were some major God moments and a 3am evangelism adventure which left me charged up. The next week I had the opportunity to teach youth group at DCC for both the Junior High and Highschool, which was a thrill. Danny shared his testimony and I taught on 1 Cor:13.13 , the spirit moved and a student accepted Christ into his heart.
I now leave for Fiji on Tuesday the 4th from Bellingham to meet my Auckland church in Fiji for a two week service trip to the Hindu people outside of Rakiraki. After this, I will return back to Auckland on a work visa where I will spend the spring/summer working at Zebra Vineyard with plans to return back to school in February. God is so good, he has taught me so much in these two months renewing both my vision and perspective. I would never imagined that I would be back in the US at this stage but it's Gods timing not mine. I have enjoyed spending time with old friends that are spiritually hungry, always wanting more God in their life. I have discovered that those who are hungry in this way usually find food and lead others to it. It's been a feast. Thank you Jesus. I'm excited for the next chapter in life back in New Zealand, a decent lamb chop and All Blacks rugby. Praise the Lord for His provision and hesed love.
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