Happy Mothers Day.
friends and family. Since I last wrote things have been good. One of the
largest obstacles as of recently was how to divide the JH and HS youth that
have been together since they were young. Leadership at church decided that the
HS aged students should be participating and staying in the main service (This
is common practice in NZ). This was met with frustration by the students, but
the potential situation was handled well. Today the dust has settled and life +
ministry have been ticking along. It’s neat to see the youth group grow as we
become more inclusive of the community we represent and less Caucasian. There
have been some positive developments surrounding the students from the
community that the church is working with, as we seek to provide them with the
hope that is found in Jesus.
Just over two weeks ago I had the opportunity to hang out with folks with all types of disabilities at Baptist camp that took place over a 3 day weekend. For me it was reminiscent of
Guatemala and the situation
provided new joys and challenges. This experience helped to shape my sermon on
Mark 5 last Sunday where I addressed very real pains associated to a world that
groans for the return of Christ. At the camp I had the chance to ‘buddy’ up
with a incredible guy named Mark and assist him with his daily ventures. I use
incredible in the sense beyond his intrinsic value as a image bearer, but as a
man who genuinely loves Jesus and people. He supports 5 more compassion
children than I do by selling chocolate locally on a street near his house. To
be clear, I support none and was humbled by his expression of faith. At various
points in the day I was able to reflect on a loving creator in light of current
suffering, engaging in dialogue with exhausted family members that are taking
care of their disabled love ones. Sobering and brilliant at the same time.
Above: Mark asked me to take this photo, in this particular way, with him. He is disabled from the neck down using the microphone looking thing as a joystick to navigate his chair.
At the end of this semester, I will be in my senior year at Laidlaw with just two semesters left. The time here has been deeply formational to my faith (and painful). Through trials, the roots of my joy have surged deeper still, grounded in Gods revealed love for myself and all his children. This is unparalleled with any other time in my life. Plans that I hold to loosely post Laidlaw are beginning to materialize and I feel a certain measure of unrest that is much different from my deep struggle to persevere through study as an act of worship during my first months at school. My unrest comes from a fire in my heart to apply the things I have learned which has only grown, but the understanding that my time here is not complete and I must wait. I want to tackle issues like false theologies and interpretations of our scriptures that hinder justice and life to the full, but I also need to pass Greek exams. -Insert Piper laugh here- This is the tension of where I find myself. Life has taught me to enjoy where I’m at currently but if I was honest with myself I might need to re-realize that again. These are good days.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you to all the Mothers who poured themselves into the shaping of their children in sacrificial love. It really does make a difference even if you can’t see it now.
One of my top five favorite musicians shares his testimony.