“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you,
saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21

“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ
loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pushing Back the Dark

Gilmar with the Shadow puppets!

We sang Pushing Back The Dark by Josh Wilson in chapel and it was exactly what I needed to hear! Some of the lyrics are: "One million reasons why, you shouldn't even try. After all you're just one heart, a single candle in the dark. And there are shadows here, feeding on your fears,That you don't have what it takes - who are you to make a change? But oh, oh, don't underestimate the God you follow. Whatever you do, just don't look back. Oh somebody needs the light you have. Whatever you do, just don't lose heart. Keep on pushing back the dark. Keep on pushing back the dark. The city on a hill, it should be shining still. Every sinner saved by
Marjouri, Sylvia, and I!
 grace, has a purpose, has a place Inside the bigger plan, we might not understand. But if we just keep walking on, we will see the Kingdom come, yeah. Whatever you do, just don't look back. Oh somebody needs the light you have. Whatever you do, just don't lose heart. Keep on pushing back the dark, Keep on pushing back the dark. (Let your lights all shine) Oh, oh, don't underestimate the God you follow. He is the light that burns inside your soul, So keep on shining 'til the whole world knows. Whatever you do, just don't look back. Oh somebody needs the light you have. Whatever you do, just don't lose heart. Keep on pushing back the dark, Just keep on pushing back the dark, dark." Thank you Lord for starting my day off with Your presence in my life and constantly telling me to shine Your light even when I feel microscopic and like I don't have much to give!
During the final preparations for the Art Show Genesis stopped and wanted a hug. It was such a great reminder to stop and care for the kids, to pause in the business and just be present for them! The teachers went above and beyond with the extra decorations again this year, they are all into the presentation of things, right down to the food. After everything was settled in and running smoothly, I took a breath and relearned how to make tessellations. One of the art stations was being run by a group of our older students, so Jimmy showed me and many others how to master this skill. Chifa China was the special teacher lunch today, it was great to have everybody gathered together for the meal. Throughout the day, when there was time, I kept working on tessellations since it was so relaxing. The other art station was about lines and patterns, so my tessellation was filled in with the patterns, it was a great combination! I also
Nube, Nelly, and I at the food station!
continued eating cookies throughout the day, starting at breakfast time. Let it be known that on this day I probably broke my personal cookie record, I better mark this in the history books! We cleaned up the school and got things back to normal, before I could blink it was 5:30 so Olivia and I walked home. Christy invited us in for a quick supper before youth group in Puyo, then we were off again! On the way to Puyo my window was open and I was taking in the sights and fresh crisp night air. At youth group people were put on the spot to share what God had done in their lives and tell about how He has worked in them. It really got me thinking about my story, not that I have never thought about it, in fact, I think about it all the time, but I was really challenged to think about WHY and HOW. When I was graduating from college I knew God was calling me abroad, I just didn't know where, when, for how long, or why. Although I had a couple of interviews and good opportunities nothing fell in place, I spent the fall substitute teaching and inquiring about service opportunities. I heard about Casa de Fe, an orphanage for all kids including those with special needs, from a friend and prayed about this place and going for a couple of months. At the end of December I contacted the coordinator at Casa de Fe and by God's perfect plan there was a need for a missionary for the second half of the school year. I packed up my life as quickly as possible, took care of all the necessary paperwork, and hopped on the first possible flight to Ecuador. However, the Lord's calling didn't stop there, through faith and trust the visa process (the part that needed to be taken care of in Ecuador) began and I had a ride to the city I would be living in! The Lord's faithfulness and presence was overwhelming. I adjusted right in the culture and way of living and fell in love with the kids. I could have never predicted the great joys
Guayasimin "puzzle" art!
and challenges I would face and I still cannot measure the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me in this place. At the end of every day I knew it was filled with God's purpose and though it was not always glamorous it was divine. God did and continues to teach me how to love unconditionally and care for all people where they are at. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" -Galatians 2:20. I have been given much because I have Christ in me and I am called to give much in return, not out of duty or guilt, but out of God's overflowing love! Life is not about how much I can gain for myself, but how I can serve others!

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