I listened to a study last week that has remained in my head ever since. The message was titled 'Germination'. The picture that a seed is a dead thing put deep into the ground which then is cultivated and nurtured into a new life which bears fruit. It can be obvious to see the spiritual connection to this metaphor. As the speaker was finishing however he made the point that many of us believers are alive, yet remaining in bondage to something which is dead. When Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead, it says Lazarus arose and came walking out of the tomb. Jesus' first words to this was 'remove the grave clothes'. These were the ceremonial robes which were wrapped tightly around the body filled with spices to reduce the smell. Before we receive Christ we are in bondage to sin, death and everything which accompanies those things. But then when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, there may be things we continue to live in bondage to. Jesus is calling each of us to remove those things which controlled us while we were dead in our sin and walk a new, full and abundant life. I hope this encourages and challenges you as it has me!
I have arrived back to my home which has been so wonderful to continue settling and developing my house. There are many things missing and I still remain with a couple of things packed but I am getting close! One of the challenges has been trying to build community once again. My old village is a fishing village which means that the people are nomadic with the movements of the fish throughout the lake. So many of my Ugandan friends have since shifted away from there. And in the past few years Uganda has seen over 20 missionaries leave for various honorable reasons. Those goodbyes and transitions are hard for everyone! So I feel now as if I am brand new in a nation to build new community and friendships. This has been hard the past few weeks as I felt as if I was mourning those friendships as well as battling a struggle to be vulnerable again. However Jesus gave me a beautiful gift yesterday. I went to lunch with two missionary families and while there I ended up seeing five other families, some new and some old friends. Eight hours later I finally left the restaurant! It truly was a gift in a day as I was able to pray and uplift some of them and some of them were able to uplift and pray for me. What a powerful and beautiful reminder to me that I am not alone and that we all need each other!
My prayer need currently is for fellow missionaries here. Settling back into life here has had many ups and downs and I'm struggling to reconcile stories and mental pictures with anything I read on American news or see on Facebook. I sit and chat with friends and they share that another child starved to death in their village or they saw a man stoned to death along their road or cancer has struck another missionary and they will be leaving the field. So if it seems like I am lacking in sharing stories or photos on social media or through this avenue, this is why. Reconciling them in my mind and heart is hard enough but when I view social media and common conversations or photos, I struggle to find a place for much of what happens here. Missionary life is hard and wonderful for so many reasons. But as we each take on this beautiful role of disciple-making disciples I am thankful for two of the greatest forces in existence. Love and prayer. :) Those of you who are senders (this means everyone not going) please be in prayer for the goers. Holy Spirit moves through each of us as we walk this journey. And each person's journey is equally valuable in His eyes!
I feel very blessed and fortunate to have you in my life and I am forever grateful for Jesus who leads me every step of the way!