Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Orphan

Photo courtesy of Courtney Steever, on the streets of Kolkata

This weekend (June 2 and 3) has been chosen as the weekend for people all over the world to pray for children at risk...which mean remembering foster kids, street kids, child prostitutes, child soldiers, or children trafficked for the purpose of labor. My friend Rebecca always says that she cannot understand why anyone would hurt a child.

Please remember children this weekend. Think of your own kids, your nieces or nephews, a neighbor kid, any kid you love and let that love drive you to your knees as you consider 'what if?' Pray for the protection of all children, pray that they would know God's love and because of that love, they would be driven to serve Him and others. Pray that they would have food, a place to sleep, a teacher so they can learn. Pray with gratefulness, for but by the grace of God...

To learn more, check out the Viva Network and click on how you can get involved through prayer...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

None of His Words Fell to the Ground

I was reading this article in The Cry (Word Made Flesh advocacy publication) about the prophetic voice and it said that Israel confirmed Samuel's role as a Prophet "because none of his words fell to the ground." And those words caught me...

Lately I've begun (finally) a small private counseling practice. I only have a couple clients, but the act of actually having clients has been a long time coming...and I'm finding that I enjoy it more than I ever thought I would. It is so hard and so rewarding and so humbling. While I would not put myself on the level of Samuel as prophet, there is the prophetic voice that is a part of counseling because ultimately, the voice of the prophet is about revealing and healing and this is much of what happens in counseling.

As I read that none of Samuel's words fell to the ground, none of them were wasted, all of them were worthwhile and true, I prayed that mine would do the same. That as I am filled with His Spirit, the same Spirit that filled Samuel,none of the words I speak would be wasted, but that they would bear fruit and glory to my King.

Picture from United Church of Christ Electronic Library

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cuter than just about anything in this world...

My almost 2 year old niece decided to climb into this tiny box and got stuck. My sister said she cried: I stuck! I stuck! Being the responsible mom she is, Jamie made sure to document the incident for posterity and then 'unstuck' her baby. At which point Gracie was as happy as a clam in her little box.
Don't you agree? It doesn't get much cuter than that...

Bergstrom Pictures of Moldova

A couple weeks ago, when both our schedules finally allowed, I told my good good friend Rebecca about my plans with Word Made Flesh and Moldova/Romania, she told me that at that very moment her brother-in-law Jonathan (married to her sister Emily, father of Noah) was in Moldova with his parents making contacts for a ministry that his parents would like to begin serving the elderly in....MOLDOVA! It's crazy how such a small country would be calling both of us! I know the Bergstroms because of Emily (Jonathan's wife), who I know well because of my friendship with Rebecca, and Emily and I lived together for a brief time before she married (Jonathan). It's just a small world.

From what I can gather from the Bergstroms, the elderly in Moldova have to live on a around 40 dollars a month. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the pensions and retirement savings of these people who had lived under the regime longer than anyone, was lost. And now, they suffer more than anyone. I look forward to learning more about the vision the Bergstroms have for the elderly of Moldova, truly the widow and orphan in this country of extreme poverty. Please enjoy these photos they took of their trip (it isn't all of them, just a few).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Moldova Pictures

David Chronic, the WMF Romania field director, visited Moldova last week and sent me these pictures of Chisinau and the countryside. So beautiful...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Bepo!

This is jonah. i got into bepos' blog to say. happy birthday!
Ava says. happy birthday to!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tomorrow's my Birthday

Today is May 9 and tomorrow I turn 35. I’m not at all certain where Time has gone. I know this is not a new phenomenon; people regularly stand in awe of how quickly hours, days and years pass. I number myself with the common (wo)man when I say, “Time flies.”

And it does, with wings so sleek and silent not a whisper of wind or rush of air was felt when Time flew by me. While one cannot feel her, she leaves her mark. A few lines around my eyes, several strands of gray and extra pounds around my tummy belie the fact that I am no longer 25. As does the settled down feeling I’ve found in life, the laughter that comes easily along with an honesty and vulnerability I did not know 10 years ago. Yes, Time leaves her mark, the most gratifying one etched deep in my soul where I hold tightly and lightly all I love and all that for which I hope.

One of the deepest etchings on my soul has always been my desire to serve on the missionfield. I attended Multnomah with the intention of living in some far away country. Each year we had missions week at Multnomah and each year everything in me would resound to the call to go…I remember being in tears when the missionaries who had spent most of their lives in Africa or India or South America would come down the center aisle, carrying the flag of the country in which they’d served, dressed in the traditional garb of the people and the place which had become their home. I envied their lives, I couldn’t wait to go.

For some reason, for many reasons, I never went. I was afraid, or I was hurting, or I was struggling and I just didn’t go. I made a couple short term trips over the years, but nothing permanent. Two years ago I was in Calcutta where I served for 4 months. It was the time of my life. I’ve never done anything physically harder and I’ve rarely had an experience I loved more. When I returned from India I the idea of returning haunted me, but something about going didn’t seem right.

Until now.

A couple months ago I heard this quote: She is a fool who does not return to the place of her last happiness. And I thought: where was I last happy? It was in India, serving Jesus as I served the poor. Suddenly, and I mean that quite literally because it was this sudden revelation type epiphany thing, I knew what I had to do. I recognized what I’d been meant to do all along. But timing, Time, can be a tricky thing, and while she carves away at us, she also softens us. In that moment, I was so soft…so tender to all I’d ever wanted, all I’d ever desired. And what else, or Who else could that be than the Lover of my Soul Himself who was with me whispering: go be happy.

I’ve applied to go on staff with Word Made Flesh and am hoping to move to Galati, Romania in the first part of next year (2008). Once in Galati I will live in community and learn language and culture in order to be sent by that community to Moldova where we are hoping (and when I say we I’m not yet sure who else will be a part of that team) but we are hoping to start a new field. 80% of Moldova’s population lives below the poverty line, making it the poorest nation in Europe. It also has the highest percentage per capita of human trafficking in the world. Typically women are trafficked for sex work to Turkey or Saudi Arabia and then picked up by immigration and sent back to Moldova, where there are no resources for them; no counseling, no homes, no jobs. I’d love to serve these women. I’m not certain how that will look, but I’m hoping that a community of Believers would develop where many and any would come to find healing and Life.

(If you are wondering why I am not returning to Calcutta it is quite simply because I don’t believe it would be physically wise to go. I was sick so much of the time, and it was so hard on my body, that I believe it wouldn’t be the wisest use of me to return to India).

And so, there it is. Time has done her work, softening and shaping me to this point where I feel as if I’m able to step into and live the life I was meant to live. I don’t remember the last time I was so excited and so hopeful about the future. It is amazing and I don’t know what I did to deserve such happiness, such joy. I am humbled and make this step with deliberate gratitude to Him who is doing more than I would have ever imagined.

I hope if you are reading this that you will pray for Moldova, for the Word Made Flesh community in Galati, Romania, and for me. The next couple of years will hold much change and challenge, deepening the etchings on my soul and lines around my eyes. Hopefully leaving me with the marks of a life well lived.

Moldova, landlocked between Romania and the Ukraine.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Some more hard words...

"Why do we human beings learn so much, so soon, about technology, and so little, so late about loving one another? Henri Nouwen

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