Today Has me in tears …
Today, I woke up to pictures that were sent to me from my Enlhet friend, Cristina.
What sweet, wonderful pictures they are! These are from my first two language helper sessions, one last week and one this week. These mark the beginning of me “officially” starting to learn Enlhet. So, thus the shedding of tears … but happy tears.
Tears being shed, considering the great privilege God has given me to live and work here in Paraguay, specifically with the Enlhet people. I am awed once again by the goodness God has shown to me by placing me here, at this time, surrounded by the very people He has placed around me. The cost is great, but the outcome and reward is and will be so rich and beautiful, He is worthy and it is worth it.
I received a Christmas present yesterday, and in the note these dear ones had included in it, there were reminders of the rough road that it has been these past 5 years since starting this ministry here in Paraguay. There were so many tough times, but there were so, so many good things as well. So, tears are being shed for the hard, yet refining, things that have taken place over these last 5 years, and that the Lord has been patient and faithful with me through them all, letting me know Him in ways I never knew were possible. But, thinking through these last 5 years, it is so awesome to see how God led and guided to get me to where I am today … Again. He is worthy and it is worth it.
I was able to spend Christmas and New Years with my awesome Paraguayan family! Each time I visit them, I am more and more overwhelmed with how much they love me and have accepted me as one of their own.
(Cue the blubbering “people love me! they really love me!”‘ tears…) It was honestly the very best holiday season I could ever hope to have being apart from my own Michigan family, and I am so very blessed and thankful for the Lord giving me them!! But, as you can imagine, it is rough being so far from loved ones, especially my 8 littles, who are growing more and more with each passing week it seems. It pains me to not be able to be there for their big moments, and even more sometimes for the little moments of reading them books or playing outside with them. But again, He is worthy and it is worth it.
And this morning, I was reading in Acts 1. The book of how the church came to be … as the disciples were considering who would replace Judas, who had been numbered among them and given his
share in the ministry, they turn to the Lord and say, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these 2 you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship…” This is the same God who has allowed me to be here, He has chosen this place for me in ministry … and He knows my heart … He knows it all … And the tears are flowing again. He knows when I am scared about heading into the village, not knowing what to expect and the paralyzing fear that comes along with that. He knows the grumpy “I don’t feel like it today”s . He knows the “God, I’m seriously not able to learn this language, I’m not smart enough”. He knows I am scared to death and lonely doing this work as the only Ethnos360 missionary among the Enlhet. He knows the “I would really like it if you would send me to a ‘cooler’ country where there are beaches or where there is snow”… He knows my sin and what needs to be exposed to the light, and brings those out. He knows all my complaints, my fears, my grumpiness, my inability, and my insecurities … yet He has chosen to use me anyway, and has chosen to place me here with this marvelously huge task ahead of the ministry of reconciliation and serving His church. He not only knows me, but He knows the Enlhet. He knows what they need, and has seen fit to place me there.
He is worthy and it is worth it.
So. It is a day of reflecting and remembering. A day with tears, but good ones. Tears of thankfulness for my ever-faithful God. Tears of unworthiness to live this life He has led me to. Tears of gratitude for conforming me into the image of His Son more and more. Tears of pleading for these beloved people with who I am now working, that they will know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and that they too might share in His sufferings. And tears for the privilege He has given me to live here and have this ministry.
Thanks for sticking around on this ride with me. I’m so very thankful for those of you who are praying, encouraging, sending notes and packages, and financially sacrificing so that I can continue on here. THANK YOU for being part of this ministry!! Thank you for INVESTING here among the Enlhet of Paraguay!
And just to end, I’ll include some things you can praise God with me about and things you can lift up before our Father on my behalf. 🙂
1. God’s constant watch-care over me, ever-patient dealings with me, and His never ending love.
2. For the start of my language helper sessions, and for someone willing to help me learn!
3. The Enlhet welcoming me and including me in their community
1. That I would walk with the Lord each moment, knowing Him more with each passing day.
2. Continued opportunities to know the Enlhet people, and for strength and knowledge to learn the language.
3. JUST as I’m starting to learn the language, it’s becoming clear that I am in need of a new computer, as mine is now more than 5 years old, and I’m limping it along. I went to input the language things I’m learning, and the program now is not working on my computer. The battery is also totally shot, so during our (frequent, but short) power outages, it immediately shuts off without saving my work. So, that the Lord would provide the funding for a new one, or do a miracle in the one I currently have and help it keep limping along. 🙂