You know how the story goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. The past couple of weeks I have been blessed with some family time and gone to Envision’s (the C&MA organization I am serving with) training summit. Wow. What an amazing adventure. I thought I would take you along with me, so here are the fruits of my labor:
Minnesota: October’s first week
The nature of Minnesota is breath-taking, and sometimes my phone manages to capture some of its glory. How can you see this grand sunset and not think of a creator? How can you look at this tiny spider’s intricately designed home and not wonder who taught it to do such a thing?
I am a weirdo, I will admit. Eating cereal out of a strange container is my source of entertainment some mornings; this morning’s happened to be a crockery that under normal circumstances holds our cooking utensils.
Three favorite things about my dad’s place in Hillman, MN: My dad (one would hope!), the amazingly warm wood stove that heats our house with its quiet fury, and the strange animals that find their way into our lives and home. Chickens are so weird.
Two more favorite things: food on the grill, American style (Taiwanese slice all their grilling meat super thin, akin to eating everything like bacon); and my not-so-little brother, Samuel. Love spending time with him!
If my has taught his kids anything, he has taught them how to work. Being at his house means feeding the sled dogs we have in the kennel, regrading the dog yard when the dogs have worn down the dirt too much from running on their poles, collecting chicken eggs, chopping firewood, fixing vehicles, fixing the house, fixing the (insert material object)… I treasure the upbringing. And, I smile every time it gets cold. 🙂 Hoping for snow soon!
Colorado: Boot camp of an intern
Envision is a missions org whose heart is to “move people and shape culture” (weareenvision.com), and they do that primarily by providing a way for people of any age to do an internship at one of their domestic and overseas sites. An internship can be anywhere from 1 month to 2 years, like me. We have got people in Russia, Spain, Cleveland, Burkina Faso, Colombia, and many more. Some even in Taiwan, go figure. 🙂
Tough cookies are needed to serve in a cross-cultural setting, and Envision does a fantastic job of preparing their missionaries for the things they will experience. Here are some highlights:
The Rockies are a beautiful, familiar sight in more than one way. My family on both sides are from the great state of Colorado, and I have a piece of my heart here in the mountains. This weekend, God provided fantastic, clear, fall weather, which I took advantage of with my camera as often as I could get a glimpse of it.
Pre-boot-camp, I got to Colorado early and got some special time to spend with my sister, Corry and her little companion, Chuy. We walked around the old part of Monument and happened upon this awesome lake. That lake was cold!
The Main Theme of the Main Theme
(as my dad would say…)
A walk to surrender… Although I do not have any photos of the speakers or the other interns in the actual sessions (we went 8am-7pm Friday), an amazing time of reflection and surrender came on Saturday morning: a 6:30am hike up Temple Peak*.
Over an hour or so, each of about 30 interns-to-be ascended this cliff and took 6 pauses to “Put off” something and “Put on” something:
- Put off control, put on flexibility.
- Put off fear, put on trust. (I found that I had begun to harbor a lot of fears and insecurities about my return. Will I be strong enough? Have I made the right decision?)
- Put off sin, put on the gospel. (I had to face that last year, I looked to people to fulfill me far too often. I made idols of some people, and I want to come back to God being the center.)
- Put off selfishness, put on forgiveness. There is a startling statistic that says most overseas missionaries return home early because of this one reason: Conflict with another missionary. A quote from the handout they gave us says, “It’s also humbling to realize that perhaps others have to ‘bear with you’ just as much as you need to bear with them…” So good to remember!
- Put off weakness, put on dependence. Weaknesses in God’s kingdom are not a hindrance to the gospel! Join me in putting all of your insecurities and weaknesses in God’s hands and see the miracle of strength he provides to do the work!
- Put off pride, put on humility. The original sin was, and probably the final will be pride. This has been my heart’s cry for a few years. Lord, humble me! Lord teach me to be humble!
- Please pray that I would continue surrendering any new things as they come up.
- Please pray for me as I take time to listen to God. Again, I am learning the lesson of “If the Lord wills”. I am not leaving this city without God’s direction that this is the path he has for me right now. Please pray. It’s scary to hold that out to him.
God dealt with me on a lot of issues this weekend. He also made me excited for the mission fields again.
What is God doing in missions? Making things right.
What am I doing in missions? As Ephesians 5:2 says, I want to “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Taiwan, I’m getting ready for you!!
I am currently about 90% finished with my fundraising for the two year Residency with Envision:Taipei. Would you be willing to donate about $11 every two weeks? I only need 7 or 8 monthly supporters to finish up! If you feel you can do this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to “How To Support Skye”.
Keep the Faith!