Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Til Death Do Us Part

A few weeks ago I told you about a beautiful old Swedish couple-- Claus and his wife-- and how the wife was growing very feeble with cancer. Today I learned that she has succumbed to the disease. You can imagine how bereft Claus feels.

I haven't seen him. He's probably not getting out much...
The funeral is Friday.

Would you please pray with me for him? He and his wife were self-proclaimed atheists, but they let Mike and Brona pray with them when the wife fell sick. We tend to reach out for God when we're needy for something bigger than what we have, something greater than what we know. Claus is needy now...

Lord God, would you reveal Yourself to him in his grief and heartache. And use any of us at Rescue Mission in any way we can be used... Thank You, Lord, for how Your love reaches into the deepest sorrow and holds us tightly. Be with Claus in his grief and draw him to Yourself. May he know a joy in the suffering, the joy of knowing You...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Ms Seger's 4th Grade Class

My cousin, Ms. Seger (soon-to-be Mrs. Hill-- hurray!) is a 4th grade teacher at a Christian school near Chicago and to teach proper letter-writing she's having her whole class write letters to me as their missionary penpal! How cool is that?!

I've spent the morning responding to their adorable questions like:

- Do you miss Ms Seger?
- What do you eat in Sweden?
- Do you go to school?
- Have you ever visited Chicago?
- Do you like swimming just like Ms. Seger?
- What do you do for fun?
- Do you have any children?
- Can you teach me your language?
- Can your Sunday school children draw us pictures?
- How is it being a missionary—did you want to or did God lead you to it? [pretty cool question coming from a 9 year old!] Do you like your job as a missionary? What kind of things do you do as a missionary? Is it fun?
- Do you speak Swedish? Is it hard learning?
- Do you wear American clothes or Swedish clothes?
-What is your culture like?
- What kind of sports do you have there?
- What high school did you go to?
- How much money do you have?
- How old are you?
- What is the biggest tree where you live?
- Do you like Ms. Seger as your cousin?
- What is your favourite colour?
- What is your favourite book?
- What do you teach your children in Sunday School?
- What is your favourite food?
- What is your favourite song?
- Did you have a house before you went to Sweeten or you just lived in Sweeten?

Some of my favourite quotes from their letters were:

"Ms Seger is the best teacher in the school. When she teaches us its like whatever she is talking about, we’re really there." -- Amira

"My dad’s name is Timothy. You can call him Tim for short. I have lots of cousins, uncles & aunts on my dad’s side! But not my mom’s. Most of them died." -- Hannah

"I wanted to write you a letter because you seem nice. Ms. Seger talks about you all the time… Your cousin Ms. Seger is beautiful and a great teacher. I love her." -- Tajah

"I like spelling because it’s really hard and I like a good challenge." -- Vanessa

"Your cousin is a very nice teacher. She let’s us do art, do puzzles, and read our own chapter books. And also our lunch is delicious. Today we had chili." -- Myla

"Now I am going to tell you about the school. This school is ginormis. It is one of the most biggest schools I’ve ever seen. And my Mom sais that we have very good teachers… Well I guest this is my closing paragraph." -- Arien

"Ms Seger’s class is beautiful. The walls are painted sky blue. Also, there are posters all on the walls. Ms. Seger’s desk is a badge (?) color. The students desks are a wooden color. The school is a good place." -- Sky

"I’m a student in LWCA [the school where my cousin teaches]. Also some of my classmates are students too." --Jonathan (hehe!)

"I’m new at LWCA. It’s a cool school. My favourite subject is LUNCH…. P.s. I’m a boy." -- Jacob

"Leah, your cousin is the best teacher in the world… Leah, if you are nice to people in Sweeden let me just tell you that you are sweat, kind and loveable." -- Hannah Walker

Oh my!! God knew I needed a good ol' smile. I love children so much. Writing to them is so special because I remember so keenly being that age and finding that EVERYTHING was a new discovery. I LOVE being able to turn these kids on to world mission, if only in making them aware of the fact that there are places outside of our normal little lives where people don't grow up with an awareness of what Jesus has done-- "dying to make a way for us to be friends with God"... And also just turning them on to the fact that the world is sooo much bigger than we know in our safe little American neighborhoods, and that ordinary girls can grow up and follow after an extraordinary God and let Him take them further into Himself than they could ever dare to dream!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Words To Build a Life On

I am being blessed abundantly through this song I've just been introduced to so I wanted to pass it along. Have a listen and look at the lyrics. But listen the whole way through as it builds. It is powerful! And it thrills my heart to know such a God who reveals Himself, the God of the universe, to us in His Word, seeking us out so that He might love us and we might love Him! ... He is good.

Words To Build A Life On
Lyrics by Mike Crawford

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Blessed are the poor
Blessed are the weak
Blessed are the ones
Who can barely speak
Blessed in your hurt
Blessed in your pain
Blessed when your teardrops
Are falling down like rain
Blessed when you’re broken
Blessed when you’re blind
Blessed when you’re fragile
When you have lost your mind
Blessed when you’re desperate
Blessed when you’re scared
Blessed when you’re lonely
Blessed when you’ve failed
Blessed when you’re beat up
Blessed when you’re bruised
Blessed when you’re tore down
Blessed when you’re used

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Blessed when you’re heartbroke
Blessed when you’re fired
Blessed when you’re choked up
Blessed when you’re tired
Blessed when the plans
That you so carefully laid
End up in the junkyard
With all the trash you made
Blessed when you feel like
Giving up the ghost
Blessed when your loved ones
Are the ones who hurt you most
Blessed when you lose your
Own identity
Then blessed when you find it
And it has been redeemed
Blessed when you see what
Your friends can never be
Blessed with your eyes closed
Then blessed you see Me

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Blessed when you’re hungry
Blessed when you thirst
Cause that’s when you will eat of
The bread that matters most
Blessed when you’re put down
Because of me you’re dissed
Because of me you’re kicked out
They take you off their list
You know you’re on the mark
You know you’ve got it right
You are to be my salt
You are to be my light
So bring out all the flavor
In the feast of this My world
And light up all the colors
Let the banner be unfurled
Shout it from the rooftops
Let the trumpets ring
Sing your freaking lungs out
Jesus Christ is King!
Jesus is my Savior
Jesus is divine
Jesus is my answer
Jesus is my life

These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
how can they be mine
These are words to build a life on
These are Your words
I want them to be mine

Give us ears that we may hear them
voice that we may sing them
life that we may live them
hope that we may give them
hearts that we can feel them
eyes that we can see them
thoughts that we may think them
tongues that we may speak Your words


Monday, 12 October 2009

Psalm 63:8

Things in the ministry have been very difficult. I can't really go into it here, but He has me in a place where He just keeps reminding me the words of Exodus 14:14-- "I will fight for you; you need only to be still." I am trying to simply live in His love, seek Him with every fiber of my being, and wait on Him.
But it's a very hard time.

This morning my eyes fell across these words in Psalms and it's just Him whispering His assurances all over and through me--

"I cling to You; Your strong right hand holds me securely."
-- Psalm 63:8

So, here I am clinging, and resting in the strength of His strong right hand holding me securely.

Thank You, Lord.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Church Weekend Retreat

A big thank you for everyone who was praying for our Church's weekend retreat at Uddavalla! A good time was had by all. And more importantly, some good talks which He's been prompting for awhile were had by a few... (I don't know exactly what He's doing, and sometimes I feel so lost and in over my head, but I am His, and so here we are...)
Stephen's baptism in the sea was a highlight of the weekend! He was baptised as a baby in Ghana but wanted to do it again when he actually had the choice to follow Jesus. This is a very brave thing to do in Sweden in October-- COLD! As well as a brave thing to do in general, because it is about making a public stand for Christ, a commitment before God and all of us witnesses that his life is not his own. Thank You, Lord.
And all of us witnessing, all nicely bundled up from the cold :)

"So the Word became flesh and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son..."
-- John 1:14

Thursday, 1 October 2009

"We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed...

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."

--2 Corinthians 4:5-9, 16-18
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