These past few weeks have flown by.We have entered into the second half of our lecture potion, and we are officially a quarter of the way through our entire DTS. The first six weeks of lectures focused inwardly, on our personal relationships with God, and we discussed topics such as forgiveness and repentance, God's destiny for our lives, and the character and nature of God. Now we are turning to focus outwardly on how God views the world. This week we began talking about missions,and we also began doing outreach preparation.
In beginning outreach preparation we have been continually reminded of the difficulty of what lies ahead. We are told again and again how much people are stretched on outreach, and this will only be more so for Laura and I because we are in a committed relationship. We had several conversations last week about what our relationship is going to look like on outreach, and it has been something that we have been struggling with, as it is going to be the farthest away from what our relationship looked like in the states. Because of the culture, there is no physical touch allowed, and we have also been warned that our one on one communication will be very limited if we are even to have it at all.
Though we know that outreach is going to be the hardest thing that either of us have ever done, we know that it will only drive us closer to God as we depend solely on his strength. We also know that outreach is part of counting the cost of being a following of Christ. It is quite strange when I really think about it that we are paying a large sum of money to travel to another country to suffer in many ways which we could have completely avoided by staying at home.
Today we talked about what true conversion really means and about counting the cost of being a disciple of Christ. The base leader, who is teaching us this week, made the statement that, "we did not join a social club, we joined an army
(2 Timothy 2:3-4)." What a true statement that is! When choosing to follow Christ we did not choose an easy task, however, the benefits of experiencing God to the fullest is worth it, and something that we would not trade for anything. Laura and I are simply beginning to learn why Paul said that he counted all things as a loss compared to knowing Jesus (Philippians 3:7-8).
We also know that what we are doing is not only about this life, it is actually more so about the next. "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pittied more than all men (1 Corinthians 15:19)." We know that what we are doing is about eternity, it is about showing God's love to the world, and it is worth the cost of being uncomfortable.
However, even though it is worth it, that does not mean that it is going to be easy by any means and we have continued to experience the difficulties of outreach weeks before we leave. Please continue to be praying for us as we prepare for outreach and as we continue to grow here.
Please also be praying for Laura as she is experiencing health difficulties with either allergies,as it is spring here, or some kind of sinus infection.