Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the cross.
Jesus is the Word to be spoken.
Jesus is the truth to be told.
Jesus is the light to be lit.
Jesus is the life to be lived.
Jesus is the love to be loved.
Jesus is the joy to be shared.
Jesus is the peace to be given.
Jesus is the hungry to be fed.
Jesus is the thirsty to be satiated.
Jesus is the naked to be clothed.
Jesus is the homeless to be taken in.
Jesus is the sick to be healed.
Jesus is the lonely to be loved.
Jesus is the unwanted to be wanted.
Jesus is the leper to wash His wounds.
Jesus is the beggar to give Him a smile.
Jesus is the drunkard to listen to Him.
Jesus is the mentally ill to protect Him.
Jesus is the little one to embrace Him.
Jesus is the blind to lead Him.
Jesus is the dumb to speak for Him.
Jesus is the crippled to walk with Him.
Jesus is the drug adict to befriend Him.
Jesus is the prostitute to remove from danger befriend Her.
Jesus is the prisoner to be visited.
Jesus is the old to be served.
To me: Jesus is God.
Jesus is my spouse.
Jesus is my life.
Jesus is my only love.
Jesus is my all in all.
Jesus is my everything.
Jesus, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being. I have given Him all, even my sins, and He has espoused me to Himself in all tenderness and love.
No Greater Love
Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit an dlife.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul
I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me,
but only you, O Lord!
Stay with me, then I shall begin to shine as you
do; so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Lord, will be all from you; none of
it will be mine; it will be you shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way you love best,
by shining on those around me;
Let me preach you without preaching, not by
words but by my example, by the catching force, the
sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness
of the love my heart bears to you.
John Henry Newman
(One of Mother Teresa's favorite prayers, said every day by the Missionaries of Charity)Quoted here from No Greater Love.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Posted by April at 2:40 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
One Sunday my sister and I were getting ready for church, in separate rooms, when I had to ask her a question. I walked into her bathroom and started laughing because we were wearing almost the same outfits...she has good taste.
Posted by April at 6:06 PM
I forgot to include this picture of my cousin Brian in the collage...you may have heard of him, Brianna Victoria?
Jayden took this pic and I just didn't want to neglect including it. :)
Posted by April at 6:04 PM
We spent Thanksgiving at Jamie and Adam's new home in Houston with my parents in from California, Adam's parents, and my aunt and uncle, Jen and Brian and their little Hannah. It was the first time we'd spent Thanksgiving with Aunt Mercy and Uncle Tom in around 23 years. It was a beautiful a great time.
Posted by April at 6:02 PM
my nephew Jayden...sorry for the decapitation picture. He loves trains, and this particular picture was of him standing on the track where it said: stay off tracks...
Posted by April at 5:57 PM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Some have asked how they can support me before receiving the official paper letter in the mail...here's a link that will tell you how. Thank you...and much love to you!
Posted by April at 3:46 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Here's my first ever prayer letter...
If you'd like to be put on my official mailing list, let me know.
Dear Friends and Family:
Almost 3 years ago I began one of the most important journeys of my life by traveling to Kolkata, India for 4 months with Word Made Flesh (WMF), an organization that works around the world serving Jesus among the poorest of the poor. Many of you supported me on that journey and know how it changed me. Now, so many months later, I find I am forever altered.
One of the moments that changed me most happened on a train outside of Kolkata when we stopped at one last depot before arriving at Howrah station. It had been a twenty-four hour journey and I’d been sick for the 2 days before we began traveling. I wanted nothing more than to reach home. Sitting in oppressive heat, I put my head against the bars of the window, hoping to catch the smallest gush of air, when a woman stopped outside my window to beg. She was old and wore impossibly thick glasses. The sari she had on was as dirty and thin as she was, and when she asked for money, mimicking the motion of eating, I smiled and said no. I’d already given all my coins to other beggars on the train. But, she kept asking and I kept smiling and saying no.
And then, for a moment, the world stopped. The heat lessened and I had this intense moment of clarity when I heard a voice say: care for the widows.
I took a ten rupee note, the smallest bill I had, and passed it to her through the barred window. It was a large amount to give, but it would buy her at least one meal. She took the bill and pressed it to her forehead, putting her hands together in a gesture of gratitude. I can’t be certain, but I think she began to cry.
Tears filled my own eyes. It was only ten rupees, the equivalent of twenty-five cents. For me it was nothing, to her it was everything. She walked away, the train began to move, and I reached Kolkata, never thinking I would see her again. But now, I see her around every corner; little old women in tattered saris wearing coke bottle glasses. She is haunting me, her tears, her gratitude. She was thankful for so little. And the question that lingers in my soul is this: why wasn’t I willing to give more?
That question has changed my life. In Luke 21:1-4, Jesus told the story of the widow who only had 2 copper coins, all she had to live on, and she gave them both as an offering to God. She gave out of her poverty. I am by no means an impoverished woman. I’ve been blessed with so much, and so, for me to give out of my poverty is a difficult task. I have found that the place where it is most difficult for me to give is the area in which I am the most poor. At 35 I am unmarried and do not have children. In the place of marriage and a family of my own, the relationships I share with my sisters and their children and my dear friends are my most precious treasure. It truly feels as if they are all I have; they are my 2 copper coins. They are the possession I have not wanted to give up. But I no longer want to ask myself why I am not willing to give more…I am willing, and so I give even these, the ones I treasure, knowing that as I give, nothing will ever be the same.
In February 2008 I am moving to Galati, Romania where I will serve with the WMF community in a 3 year commitment that I hope will grow into many more years of service. In Galati, WMF has established a drop-in center called Casa Vale where around 30 impoverished children come each day for tutoring, showers, meals, love, and prayer. Relationships develop that are life-changing. It is my hope to serve in some capacity as a counselor among these kids, many of whom have attachment disorders, suffer from sexual abuse or addictions. Plans are also in the works to begin a job development program that would generate employment opportunities for these kids as they grow, as well as for their parents.
I give my copper coins, and for what? For a Kingdom I believe is more real than anything I can see or hold here. I give in order to serve Jesus by working with children and families in Romania who suffer from poverty and its many effects. I give in the hope that although they are poor materially, they will become rich spiritually. I give all I have because I want to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8).
And I humbly ask you to join me in this giving. I am in need of friends and family who will support me monthly with finances and prayer. I know not everyone is called to go and live among the poor, but I am certain of my calling and have found my deep happiness. I would love if you would join me in this happiness as together we serve Jesus.
Enclosed you will find a card where you can respond as to how you would like to give, whether in prayer or funds. Any checks should be made out to Word Made Flesh, but do not put my name on a check…the response card is for that purpose.
I am grateful for this opportunity to share my life with you, but also to be giving my life away for the gospel. I anticipate great things as we partner together for the Kingdom.
…for continued open hands as I say good-bye to friends and family.
…for the quick learning of the Romanian language.
…for wisdom as WMF Romania prays regarding opening a new field in Moldova, of which I may be a part.
Posted by April at 9:48 AM
Thursday, November 08, 2007
This time last week I was in the middle of the Word Made Flesh board meeting...and freaking out just a bit. On Thursday I could hardly eat because I was so nervous. Ditto for Friday. And Saturday. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was ravenous. However, everything went well. I signed a contract and was commissioned to Galati, Romania for the next 3 years.
These are a few photos of the weekend, which, however much I was freaking out, was also fun. I love being with my Word Made Flesh friends, or 'Fleshies' as they call themselves. Some of those friends I hadn't seen since I was in Kolkata or Sri Lanka, so it was sweet to be reunited. My sister Jamie was able to come to the commissioning service. Her presence there was really meaningful, for many reasons. First, she's my sister, and represented my family. She also brought her baby Norah, who was representing for my other 8 nieces and nephews. And, she's the only one in my immediate circle of friends and family who has had a first hand view of Word Made Flesh, and that was important to me. I wish all my family and friends could have been there...it was sort of my mistake not knowing what a big deal it would be to me to have them there.
So, here are the photos...all taken at the Word Made Flesh office. Some are of Jesse and me, who was commissioned for Nepal (his dad Paul is in the background). Another of Courtney and Angela, who live in St. Louis but I met in Kolkata and are good friends to me. When a Fleshie is commissioned, they receive the San Damiano cross, which hung in the church where St. Francis of Assisi began to hear the call of God to serve the church. So, you'll find a before picture of my sister and I eating dinner, and then one of us where I am wearing the cross. And another when Daphne is giving me the cross. Oh, and Norah had fun with her reflection in the hotel mirror.
Stay tuned for my first ever prayer letter. I'll be posting it soon!
Posted by April at 4:48 PM