Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The end of the beginning

We are officially back at our casita in Alabama. 

Felt good to have open space again.  And do laundry.  And make real pizza (we had either been doing it in the microwave or cutting it up and doing small pieces at a time in the toaster oven).  So, even though our RV has an oven it does not work well and burns the bottom of anything.  So we just don't use it.  So you can imagine the relief to have a real, LARGE oven again.

I think Bill took a 20+ minute shower.  The water pressure is great.  And it's a relief to not worry about if we will run out of water. 

But I have a confession:  I'm having "culture shock".  It's a term used mostly for folks who live in two different types of countries for long periods of time.  Because of the sometimes extreme differences in living (due to how one has to live, what is available, possibly different language, and just overall cultural differences) it takes a while for the person(s) to adjust back. Thus, culture shock is very common to long-term missionaries.  I had not experienced it since coming back from Brazil in 1988. 

After having to limit ourselves to not wasting water, being content with what we had, and living in crowded conditions, I didn't even think about what it would mean to go back to "luxurious" conditions.  In fact, I hadn't really considered what we have (here in our AL home) luxurious.  Until we spent a few hours readusting back in.  I was overwhelmed at the amount of space and water pressure.

It made me think about "The Rich Young Ruler" (Matthew 19).  About what we really are willing not to hold on to.  When a person becomes accustomed to any way of living, anything different is hard to get used to.  But Jesus points out that it is especially hard for those with great wealth.

Again, I don't consider what we have luxury in comparison to the average American home and what you would expect to find in the American culture.  In fact, our RV is pretty bottom-of-the-barrel when you consider we have started living out of it for about 1/2 the year.  (BTW, we really do need a bigger RV since we will continue to live 1/2 the year out of one.  5 people in an RV w/o slide outs has been hard.  IF any of you know of someone who would love to donate one to Believer's Bridge, we would be ecstatic!!  And it would be tax-deductable.)

So, the challenge for us (that's right, you and I), is to learn joy in our lives, not our possesions. 

That's not to say we sell everything and live in a tent.  I am saying, don't put a certain means of living above God's place in your heart. 

I do believe God uses all kinds of people to reach other kinds of people.  Having also been in "high society" situations, I understand the protocols associated with that type of environment.  It would not make sense for someone living in poverty to try and evangelize someone in that position.  Or vice-versa. 

Joy in our lives, not our possesions. 

Well, the RV journey may have ended for a little while, but our ministry is growing.  As with anything, it takes time and determination to establish something.  Please keep praying for the ministry of Believer's Bridge and God's use of our lives as we continue growing. 

"He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time..."  "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."  II Timothy 1:9 and 14

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