Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dios, Nuestro Padre

      Last week was such a full week. Our lecture was on the Father Heart of God, basically about how God loves us and protects us like a father does. Throughout the week we did many activities designed to reiterate this principal. Our speaker Jack took us bowling and out for ice cream one afternoon. He bought us candy bars. We had a fun movie night. He gave us periodic breaks from the lecture to stretch our legs. Even though some of these things were so minor, his generosity and fatherly love really touched me. This is the kind of love our heavenly Father has for us.     
      One very special activity that comes to mind was when we took a bus downtown to hand out gifts to fathers. We had put together little gift bags and made cards thanking and appreciating fathers for loving their children. So when we arrived in the center of town, we separated into pairs to search out fathers with their children. Melissa and I went down a side street where lots of people were walking. The first father we encountered was walking with a small boy, probably around 3 years old. We gave him the gift, saying we wanted to thank him for being a good father, and then we prayed for him and his son. They were very receptive to our prayers, though the adorable little boy asked his father during the prayer “Why are they closing their eyes?” Hehe. Each time we talked to a father and his child, it was a bit easier. I found it challenging to start the conversation, especially in Spanish, but once we got to talking about their family, it was fun. What a great opportunity to share God’s love by blessing strangers with gifts and prayers.
      During the lecture Jack talked about how God wants to help us climb to the top of the staircase, but we can’t just leap up the steps. We have to take it slowly, one step at a time. On each step there is an important lesson God wants to teach us, so we need to slow down and enjoy the journey. This week I have felt so relaxed and content here in God’s presence. Whenever we worship as a base, God’s power and love is so evident in the hearts of those around me! Because I’m not a very patient person, it’s difficult sometimes, but I’m trying to soak up everything without jumping up onto the next step. The Lord is really teaching me to question the lifestyle I have been living and to boldly follow him.
      I have been thinking lately about the body of Christ. God calls Christians to be the body of Christ, working together to love the people of this world. Some of us have a powerful voice, others have passion, and others have the practical skills for certain ministries. 1 Corinthians 12 says that we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body. Each part of this body is unique and vital to the whole, but cannot function effectively on its own. Only when we come together as one body do our individual gifts make sense. Somos el cuerpo de Cristo!
      God showed me how the body of Christ truly works on Giving Day. This was a day when everyone had to come up with something, no matter how big or small, to give someone else in the group. Some people gave small candies or scripture verses to everyone in the group, while others gave an individual something very dear to them or an object that held significance for that person. I was amazed at the generosity God put in people’s hearts – a camera, guitar, and even computer were all given! However the most amazing illustration of God’s goodness came when Kristen gave a sum of money to Elena to help finance her outreach. Then Elena got up and shared how God had told her to give money to someone else in the group, but she didn’t have any to give. She had trusted God to provide, and he had just done it! So Elena gave this money to another girl in our group who needed it. The money Kristen had given Elena was the EXACT AMOUNT she had wanted to give to Lauren. God works in amazing ways!
      Now that we are a good bit into the lecture phase, we are going to decide on our outreach location. We have been praying individually about this for weeks now, and this Thursday our group leaders will present the location options and we will make a prayerful decision together. More important than the location, though, is the purpose of the outreach. Last week during our outreach preparation time, several students in our group shared how God was speaking to them about justice. I think our focus is going to be related to that, and I’m so pumped! God has definitely put a passion for justice in my heart. So please pray that as God reveals our outreach purpose and location, we may find unity as a group and be open to receiving what the Lord has to tell us.

Spanish word of the day: lo que sea – whatever

Bible verse: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible adventure you are having!