January 05, 2007

January '07 Newsletter


As I sit here and think of the things that usually consume my thoughts, I can’t help but think it all to be problematic. Sometimes I’ll be jealous of a person who is funnier than me; sometimes it kills me to not be the center of attention; sometimes I desire to have more things than I currently own—the list goes on and on. What I now realize is that I have failed miserably at recognizing just how much I have been blessed. Here, in America, we are afforded many luxuries that the rest of world does not have, and yet we still argue and fuss over things like scratches on the car’s paint job or an annoying boss. We get easily wrapped up in the very petty things and consequently rarely see the bigger picture God is painting before us.

I recently saw a movie called Hotel Rwanda—a film about two tribes in the midst of civil war where one tribe set out to completely eradicate the other. In the film, the main character holds out hope for outside assistance from countries like America, but is quickly sobered by a comment a journalist made.

“People will watch this on their TV’s and say, ‘Wow! That is really horrible!’ and then go back to eating dinner.”

This quote really has stuck with me because I know it is true of me. I hear about murders and robberies all the time on the news and I usually utter the exact same response. I know it’s not feasible or practical to act on every single tragedy we hear about, but there are definitely times when God is tugging on us to act on our convictions…it’s just that we don’t listen to that calling very well. Thankfully though, God is persistent and able to get our attention in order to snap us out of our complacent spells. Once God enters the picture He has a way of not only burdening the heart for those who are suffering, but also increases our capacity to show deep, authentic mercy, compassion, and love. God then gives us the opportunity to lead out and act on these convictions.

God invites us into being a part of the restoration of his kingdom. We aren’t here to simply live life comfortably and then die—leaving the problems we created for the next generation to deal with. Instead we are to listen for those cries of help from our brothers and sisters in this broken world, and then respond to it. We are called to live a life of sacrifice—putting others before ourselves—always allowing ourselves to be molded and shaped by our Creator. Once we begin to allow God to speak into our lives, our capacity to love increases and we become better equipped to love people in a very rich and deep way.

I want humility—not pride. I want passion—not complacency. I want dependency—not self-sufficiency. I want to be able to walk through a mall looking at all of the goods prying for my dollar and be able to immediately dismiss it. Instead, I want to walk through the mall and see people…people who are feeling like no one knows who they are, people who don’t know how they could carry on, people who are angry at God for the unexpected loss of a loved one…I want to fully see these people and love them as Christ loved me.

So in a month I go to India to try and gain a better understanding of what kinds of hardships people are having to endure around the world. I am curious to see how these people find joy in the midst of their depravity, and I hope it will grip my heart in a way that I will no longer want to fight the petty battles and constantly wish I had more. Learning to find contentment in relationships and actively seeking to be present to those who are hurting is what I want my life to be about, and my hope and prayer is that this trip will be the beginning of a new season in my life…a season where I stop talking and start doing as Christ compels me. Please pray for me as I go to work with the orphans over in Tuni, India.

The teen staff decorated people for the teen staff Christmas party.


So this newsletter may sound a bit like a broken record considering that last month I wrote about these very same two topics, but I am really really excited about these two things so this newsletter will be more of the same.

So this past Wednesday I ventured to Wal-Mart to grab some organizers so I could stay ahead of the teen staff game. After all, I will begin hiring all the teen staff for South in just under two months. I felt good about my purchase and rested easy that night. The next day at work I went to check my mailbox and low and behold there were the first two applications staring me right in the face. I quickly grabbed the papers and headed back to my desk. After working on some other things for a bit I found myself looking over the applications. I recognized one of the students from the previous two summers and became ecstatic. I don’t think it has really sunk in that I am getting the unbelievable opportunity to disciple these high schoolers for a summer and beyond.

I’m also really thankful that this was the feeling I got rather than the typical sense of overwhelming anxiety. This summer will be my first time filling the role of teen staff supervisor, and there are many things I am still unsure of. There will be times where I may have to send kids home early, and I often wonder how I will handle such situations. There will also be plenty of times when these students will go above and beyond the call of duty and I will get the chance to encourage and speak life into them. Will I be able to see these opportunities as they arise, or will I just let them pass me by?

Despite these questions I still know that if I am continually surrendering to God, He will draw me towards wisdom and right decisions. God has a way of putting his people into situations that are challenging and stretching, and I am just thoroughly excited for this upcoming summer. Please pray that God would guide me as I prepare myself to lead these students for 11 weeks straight this summer.

(to learn more about the organization i'm going to work alongside, visit www.nasaindia.org)


  1. i'll pray for your mission to india if you pray for my mission to africa!! hehe. i will definitely be in prayer for God's preparation of you. take care, crystal


  2. i'll pray for your mission to india if you pray for my mission to africa!! hehe. i will definitely be in prayer for God's preparation of you. take care, crystal


  3. yay! have fun in india.... i love india. it changed my life... i am sure it will change yours as well.

  4. Man sometimes I look up to you so much. I am hype on hanging out this weekend.