Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:11)
Thursday, 6/30/16. Fan it into flame through prayer.
In the morning I felt God putting these thoughts in my heart, and I wrote this down.
Sometimes it’s hard to want to seek God, or have a true desire to love Him, or have Him be the Lord of everything you are — a steward of what He’s blessed you with.
But even if you have a shred of desire, a spark of longing to know Him, love Him and serve Him more. Fan it into flame through prayer, His word, and by putting yourself around others who want the same.
It’s our heart’s natural tendency to stay and point towards the world, but if we can change the directions of our desires towards God — to knowing Him and loving Him — our hearts will yearn and crave to seek Him and honor Him and tell the world about Him all on its own.
God’s desire is to transform our hearts, but we have to at least want to want it. That’s where I started. At one point I didn’t truly want to bring God glory, but I wanted to want it, and I used that to pray Psalms 27 and 42 that I would want more of God and only God.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
As I prayed for my heart and read His word, even when I didn’t want to, He was working to transform my heart towards truly desiring His will and His word. I thank God for not giving up on me, and for allowing me to fan this spark of desire for Him into flame.
The group said goodbye to Ron and Marty after lunch and began a cleanup day at the mission center. We swept, gathered, and dumped trash into the back of the cattle truck. Then we set off to the Chichigalpa dump and witnessed the sad state of the people living there. I saw them getting bottles to be recycled and to earn money. The houses are built out of what they find there. We shoveled all the trash off the truck, and headed back to rest.
Friday, 7/1/16: God has a plan.
The group painted the kitchen, and the World Racers did another building as we interns led our groups.
It was harder this meeting because many guys don’t read. But I believe God still has a plan, and I know he will continue to work in their lives whether or not they read.
After the group session, Kaleb, Josue, Tony, and I drove with a new driver to the airport. It was great fun welcoming the Bent Creek team. We went to the hospital in Managua to see Ixcel. She was happy that we came to visit. We got back late to the project and were glad the group made it safely.
Saturday, 7/2/16: Buying cement for a church in Chichigalpa
Some of the group and I went to the market to buy cement for a church in Chichigalpa. After all that manual labor we came back to the project to sort out all the duffles the team had brought. Later in the afternoon we visited Bethel and enjoyed visiting people and playing with the kids.
Sunday, 7/3/16: Worship in the barrio
During the morning we led a Sunday school-type activity with the kids. We sang songs and read the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. It was great singing and having a good time with the kids!
After this we had a baby shower for Arlen and her baby who will arrive, hopefully, before I leave! The celebration was a great time to enjoy the community and have fun. I am very proud to be an uncle (Arlen and I have been calling each other brother and sister for years).
Following the celebration we went to Casa Bethel Church, which is in a barrio of Chichigalpa called “New Sunrise.” We worshiped and worshiped some more. Then some of my group and I went and played with the kids around the back, while my dad presented a short message to the congregation.
Monday, 7/4/16: Going door to door.
This morning we set off for Bethel to do some door-to-door ministry. We talked to people, most of whom I had never met.
We talked about their lives and about God. It was pretty hard because I was translating, and sometimes it was very hard to do it well.
But the time spent there was also encouraging because we met a husband and wife who had been married for 60 years. They were 91 and 88 years old. It was encouraging because it was such a great example of love and living with God for many years!
After this time in Bethel we had our D-Team (Discipleship Team) meeting about the book we are reading, while some of the others were meeting in the Mission Center with the Bent Creek team and World Racers. The group session went well. We joined the others after we finished. Then Cole, my friend Luis, and I shared our testimonies. It was a great day.
To finish it all off we had fireworks, cake, and a movie to celebrate the 4thof July!
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