It’s December! Man! Where does the time go?? I was so excited to decorate this year, though I still have yet to put up my little tree. I cut out snowflakes (which I haven’t done in YEARS!! You think maybe someone is missing the snow?? 😉 ), hung up Christmas lights, and have been playing lots of Christmas music. What a lovely time of year, though I do have to say it is a bit weird to be sweating and eating watermelon nonstop. Haha.
The month of November seemed like it finished just after it started! I have now finished my Spanish class (THANK YOU for praying for that!), taken another language/culture evaluation, and taken a 2 week trip to visit a couple of tribal locations! It was a bit packed full for me, but as always, God was faithful through it all, giving me the grace that I needed for each moment.
God has been reminding me over and over of just how much He loves me, cares for me, and what a privilege it is that He is choosing to use me for His purposes.
“It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:16
PRAISE THE LORD that God is so merciful! Because, honestly, if it depended on me, I’m not sure much would get done! With the mountain of things I had this month, I was wondering how I would get everything accomplished, and not only accomplished, but accomplished well. When I am like that, I find myself “striving” be be found in God’s favor and “being about the Lord’s business”. But, what RICH TRUTH that He reminded me of, that it doesn’t depend on me! I need to be resting and dependent upon HIM to accomplish anything (ESPECIALLY if I would like it to be done well!). Not that gives us an excuse to put forth NO effort, we are still called to run the race and finish strong, but it means that the outcomes are dependent upon HIS MERCY, not my ability!
I mentioned that I had another Language/Culture evaluation last month. In all the craziness of everything, I had forgotten to write and ask you all to be praying for me! But, I am so excited that the Lord (once again!) was gracious in helping me pass!! Which means, I’ve only got 2 levels to pass before my time here in Asunción studying Spanish/Paraguayan culture is done! So, practically, what does that look like as I’m conversing? Here’s an excerpt from the write-up done after my eval:
“She is able to converse with ease and confidence when dealing with most routine tasks and social situations. Her pronunciation is such that she can be understood easily by native speakers. She is beginning to be able to narrate and describe in the major time frames (past, present, future). She is beginning to be able to use connector words…”
What I didn’t put in there is that they also said I need lots more practice…Haha! But that’s why I’ve got 2 more levels to pass, though, right? But, remember, those last 2 levels are the harder of the 8! The more you pass, the harder it is to pass the next level. And honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to pass another level this time. I knew there was a bit of a jump, and didn’t feel like I had progressed all that much since July. God was gracious with me, though, and He accomplished the work. 🙂
Right after I took my eval, I was off on my Tribal Trip. If you have time, you can read a bit about that (as well as look at pictures) here:
What a great trip it was! The Lord was so good to allow me to go. He used the trip to encourage and refresh me, but He also used it to help remind me why I’m here. It’s easy for me to get caught up in day-to-day living here in Asunción, studying and spending time with people, and forget the real reason why I’m here – God has given me the privilege of being a part of building His church in a tribal context! That trip made the fire in my heart to see lost people come to know Him burn even stronger!
To say I’m on a bit of a high right now might be an understatement. 🙂 Not the kind where you’re wearing rose-colored glasses, thinking that everything is wonderful and easy. But the kind where you’re excited about what God is doing in your life, in the lives of those around you, and that He desires for you to be a part.
We’ve got our annual NTM Paraguay Conference coming up next week, the week after that is Christmas, and the week after that is New Years. I’m excited to be able to have all of our co-workers here in Paraguay together for a week, and for the holidays after that. Paraguayans really know how to celebrate with a bang. Literally. There will be MANY fireworks on both Christmas and New Years Eve.
THANK YOU for continuing to pray for me, encourage me through words/mail/many other things, and financially support me. I know that it would be impossible for me to do this work without all of you!
As your praying, could you remember these things?
1. For my walk with the Lord – that I would continually be depending on HIM to accomplish the task and not myself, that I would be walking closely with Him, and that I would be sensitive to the things HE has for me to do.
2. For continued MOTIVATION to study hard! I’d like to be done by the fall of next year with those last 2 levels (if not before)! Along with that, could you be praying that I might be able to have continued relationship-building opportunities, and that I would be BOLD in using the language that I know?
3. That I would be looking for ways to be an encouragement to those around me – both my Paraguayan friends/family and my NTM co-workers
PLEASE let me know how I can be praying for you! I’d love to encourage you in that way, too!! 🙂