These sufferings have seasoned me
* Back from Mexico where God did some incredible work in mine and others hearts. Broken chains! Serving the poor and deported! Watching my students present and BE the gospel in a dark, dank basement.* Still pursuing and learning about restoration in many parts of my life * Got the flu a few days ago. First time in years! * Change is imminent and on the rapidly closing horizon. * Listening to: Ascend the Hill, new Counting Crows album, and Oddisee * Reading: The Hunger Games, Simple Church, Growing Disciples, and Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl * Discouraged by: turn out of our taxes, the weight of change not exactly "resting" on your shoulders * Encouraged by: amazing wife, beautiful daughters, stronger relationships with students, hope for futur * Right NOW I miss: football, Anderson University, my nieces, and SYTYCD * Watching a lot of: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Fresh Beat Band, Whitney, and SNL
My first trip to Mexicali was the year Mrs. Ochoa died. I never met her. I never saw her. I had only heard her story in everyone's fractured pieces.
I had heard she was an incredible woman. I hard she loved people. I heard was a very humble but strong leader. I heard she was a prayer warrior type. I heard heard she had passion to love hungry children. I heard she had diabetes and had died from it.
Mrs. Ochoa had lost legs before eventually passing away and all due to complications with diabetes.
I thought back to when I was diagnosed and my doctor said, "This disease is absolutely manageable. You can live a long life if you take care and manage it well."
The immediate realization was this was something Mrs. Ochoa and everyone else there do not have to the opportunity for. Immediately, I was faced with something I have and continue to take for granted.
WE complain about our medical care. We complain about the pricing of it. We complain about its craziness. We complain about its confusion. We have been given literal life-saving resources and we complain about how much it costs.
A few days ago I was reading in Proverbs 3:27-28, "Do not withold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it. When you have it with you."
When you consider what you have that many do NOT have, we must be mindful and act. It is in our power to do SOMETHING...always. You are in a position to have with you so much more than most of the world has.
That was a lesson I had to learn in Mexicali. I keep going back to gain this perspective and reminder. You learn to live your life differently when you are faced with how much you really do have.
This Friday at 6am, I leave with my home church to Mexicali for a week. It is a full day of driving straight through to set up a week of partnership ministry with the local churches in the city. Then it will be a long drive back home just in time for the Saturday Easter services at First Cov. A few nights ago, Tonya and I were chatting about this week and the things which need to get done. She said, "I'm looking forward to you going to Mexicali so you can come back refreshed."
It struck me weird, and I had to respond inquisitively, "You DO know I'm going to come home exhausted, right?"
My wife spoke wisdom...AGAIN. "Yes, you will come home physically exhausted, but you are going to come home refreshed in ministry just like you did last year."
She was and is very right. (obviously! It's a spiritual gift wives have: always-right-ness)
I am reaching a similar threshold I was reaching last year at this time; one that is overwhelming in all the demands of maintaining ministry. The spinning plates are starting to totter. Tonya added, "You're starting to forget things and drop things that just aren't 'you' to drop."
Though there is a lot of work to be done in Mexicali, I can ONLY do the work of Mexicali. Away from my computer. Away from my iPhone. Away from my leadership team (whom I love). Away from the church I serve (and love). Away from my coffee shop office. Away from my meetings. Away from coffees with disgruntled people. Away from...
Yes, we will run our bodies dry and weary in Mexico, but sometimes we need that sort of removed exhaustion to come home refreshed.
Looking forward to it.
I found something amazing today
what'aya'got? throw it in.
Video of my time in Mexicali