Friday, August 12, 2011

A Bit of Our Summer

video
We have had a whirlwind of a summer. Well, it's really been your summer, our winter/rainy season here! There has been a constant flow of teams, most weekends packed with work on our house, school presentations, and mid year vacation for Ella and Judah. We always think life will slow down just around the corner, but if I could peak around the next few corners, it doesn't seem to be the case : ) Thankfully God's grace has been, is, and will be sufficient for all that life brings our way. This video is just a small glimpse of how life's been around these parts. We apparently didn't take too many photos in the last 2 months but please feel free to find us on Facebook and you'll get a better taste of the happenings around here. Many students take lots of photos while here and tag Jeremy/the wood shop in them so you can see some activities that the teams participated in. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The summer's over...

Well it's been a wild one. Full of teams, construction, rain, and some incredible surfing (one day of it at least.) Things were really moving with the teams and really in transition with the tico students. The summer was full of amazing conversations with the north american students about life and everything under the sun... Bottom line that God was continuing to point out... How can we glorify Him more through our lives? It was really made clear to me this summer as we studied first John, that it's all for His glory. We as Christians get so wrapped up in church or theology or just "what we should do" that we forget why we were created... To glorify God! To worship and fellowship with Him! A lot of times we do really well at playing church, even praying for people and doing what we're supposed to do. However, many times we forget that it's really all for God's glory! I want to Glorify God at all times. Sometimes even in my prayers to him I'm seeking to glorify myself or the church. I want to build myself a platform in the community, all good things... But God says if I lift him up and glorify Him then He'll draw men unto himself... Wow! I'm tired of trying to glorify myself and what I do. I want to glorify Him!
So I mentioned that we're in the middle of some transitions. Obviously our family is Building a house and expecting a baby... Need I say more about that?... In the shop we're transitioning to some older students and focusing more on teaching woodworking as a skill not a hobby. On the 16th of august we'll be starting the new classes but we don't know yet who will be involved. I only know one student, Alexander, who I may have mentioned before. Alex is about 34 years old and has been an addict for the last several years of his life. Since we opened the shop I've had the opportunity to build quite a relationship with him. He's a believer with an incredible knowledge of the bible but lacks the community and the self-control to stay clean. This last week he came running to me as I was leaving and told me a very sad story which almost moved me to tears.
Alex, about a week ago smoked some crack... He knew it was sin but couldn't fight off the cravings. He spent about two days hiding out because he didn't want his landlord to know that he had fallen. (The landlord is also the owner of the shop and has given Alex a room for free and just has Alex clean to repay him) For the last six months or so Alex has gone off and on to a small church down the road so as he came down off the drugs he wanted to go to the morning prayer meeting and repent. After the meeting he went forward to ask the pastor a question and the paster said, "get out of here, you're not a sheep, you're a goat!" Alex being very angry told him that if he was a true pastor he would have left the 99 to come after the one... And then he stormed out.
It's about three blocks from the church to my shop and Alex said he knew he just had to get to me. He had ¢600 colones in his pocket ($1.20) and as he passed his drug dealer he knew he could buy one rock to smoke for ¢500 but he stayed strong. Just as I was leaving he came up to the gate and told me what had happened. I spent about forty minutes with him telling him that God hadn't forgotten him and that the pastors words were not godly at all. He felt better after listening to the scripture that I could ramble off from memory and knew that what was done to him was not of God...
As I drove away I was thinking, "our churches don't always glorify God!" Obvious, I know. But in that moment I realized that a lot of times even in the midst of prayer meetings and Church fellowship... In preaching and teaching even in our giving, we're glorifying the organization of the church more than God... Is God glorified when I give to the church cause i have to? or if it's an obligation? NO!! He's glorified when my heart is to give of whatever I have to love others because He loves them too. Is God glorified when someone is healed? Sometimes it's the place that's glorified... It's a "hot spot of the healing"... Why does God take back seat? Is God glorified in our meetings when the message is to "do" more for him? I He glorified when we bring people in and get them to attend regularly? All of these things are good but it's our hearts that will glorify God through the acts... If we aren't glorifying Him it's just another philanthropist organization. We are set apart from just good deeds by the glory that is given to God. Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. It's not just Charity work. It's giving the glory to God... If we take the credit for the first part we've been polluted by the pride of the world. It's when we seek to glorify God in it that people can see Him through us.
So anyways, I'm committed to walk with Alexander for the next season. I'm committed to seeing God be glorified by how I live and how we walk together. Sorry I went so long on that. It's really something that God is pounding in me right now.
One last thing, and it's kinda funny coming after all that I said before. We are really needing to raise our support level to continue on here. We have never been over 85% funded since we came and have been losing some support over the last few months. I want to be really bold and ask you all to consider helping us to glorify God here by giving financially. It's obviously not an obligation and I know that times are hard but we are looking for God to come through for us financially. We have 350 emails that we send letters out to every so often... If each one would commit to give from an average of $1o a month we would be fully funded. Maybe all you can give is $5 a month. Well if there are 10 people in the same boat that's significant for us! We are needing to see God come through for us in a big way here really soon and I pray that you might be part of his provision for us. Above all else Glorify God!! Whether in giving or prayer let your heart seek his glory over everything else.
Blessings on you all,
Jeremy for Erin, Ella, Judah, and Baby J.

P.S. Id you want to talk about the financials email me or leave a comment on this post. We're an open book and wont be offended by any questions :)