Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweatin' it out

Honduras is hot. My fan broke as soon as I got back after Christmas but it was ok because we were having a week of chilly weather. That did not last. It is now pushing 90’s and I’m sweatin’. But its ok I shouldn’t be complaining; I would rather have this than the cold that most of you are still in. This Monday starts our third quarter at school. I am pretty excited because I have decided to approach bible classes from a different angle. Up until this point I have just been shooting from the hip on class topics to discuss and trying to teach whatever I felt like God wanted them to hear. It has been good but I feel like these next 5 months need a little more structure. We will begin to go through the book of 1 Corinthians with the 9th 10th and 11th graders. I am going to try and treat it more like a bible study for the next few months. I am still working on what I want to do with the 7th and 8th graders but I think we will continue to dig into what it means to be a Christian and eventually start to dig into a book of the bible as well. I am thinking 1 Timothy but we will see. They are hard to keep engaged. Any recommendations are welcome. Ok well in other news, I think every student in the school made and A in PE. I had 4 students not make a 100 on the exam. I hated those PE teachers who tried to make their test’s real hard so that they could feel like their subject was more important. I’m not that guy. I know my subject is important, no need to make someone else suffer for it. We have been playing kickball lately in most of the classes and I think we will begin to do some more team building exercises this 9 weeks. Another exciting thing that has been happening is that I have been challenged to make goals this year. One of those goals is to get more involved in the community around me. Its kind of crazy how we decide to do something but God already has it in the works. This little boy came by our apartments the other day and much like the story of the donut girls, we have begun to build a relationship. He has come by 4 or 5 times now and hung out for a little while last time. I gave him a coke and a soccer ball (thanks Claire, the soccer balls are getting used). His name is Renyairee (I have no idea how to spell it). He is 13 and works all day everyday selling pretty much anything. His normal day consists of selling empanadas in the morning, tortillas in the afternoon, and oranges at night. God is bringing the community to our door step it’s a beautiful thing. Thank you for the prayers. Much love.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Go, Listen, Love

A man came to the house of his friend and asked him for some food but the friend turned him away because him and his family had already gone to bed. The friend would not get up and give the other man food because of their friendship but because of his persistence. The person who is asking will receive what he requests because of his persistence. Jesus says in the same way “ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened”

We must ask; there is a role to play for everyone. Many times we as Christians find it easy to sit back and say I will wait for the Lord to give me direction without every asking or looking for it. We go to a small group on Tuesday, worship on Wednesday, and church on Sunday; then feel like we have accomplished our Christian tasks for the week. Being a follower of Christ does not mean go to other Christians, go to church or go to another improvement meeting. Jesus’ call was to follow him to the broken, to those in need and to the ends of the earth. This does not mean that everyone should quit what they are doing and go to Africa of India but the call is clear that we are to love and care for our “neighbor.” Your neighbor is anyone in need; the man in church who just lost their job is your neighbor, so is the guy asking for food downtown and the woman who is working 3 minimum wage jobs with 2 kids and no outside support. The lonely old man who lives down the street and only gets out of the house to get his mail is your neighbor, as well as that college student whose dad cheated on his mom which ripped their family apart, and the rich couple who seems to have everything but you see through the nice car and big house into the emptiness of their jobs and relationships. These are your neighbors and that is who Jesus calls us to love. Some are called to their neighbors in Africa, Asia, South America and other places around the world and maybe that is you but I think more overwhelmingly we are called to the person right next to us. Love them, Show them the way to Christ. This is a challenge because of the investment that is necessary; Jesus never just walked up to someone and began to tell them that they needed to accomplish a list of chores and then would be selected to enter heaven. He went to where the people were and allowed them to come and listen. Many times he would attract them with the power of God through miracles or he would gain their attention by sparking conversation. He asked the Samaritan woman at the well for a drink of water, then waited on her to take the conversation further. He did not force himself on anyone but he took a step out and allowed that person to take a step forward before he continued. In order to share what Christ has given you, you must take a step toward those who God is calling you and allow them to come and listen. Build a relationship and earn the right to be heard. This will look different for everyone and may look different in every situation but what we can all do is look for where God is at work already and go there. Get involved in what God is doing and look for openings to move into relationship with a neighbor. As you move closer to someone and begin to build a relationship, learn to love them by listening, and always pray. Sometimes your weaknesses are your greatest strengths. That person will be drawn to you as you listen and learn, they will be loved and given worth as you do this as well. Open you eyes, open your heart, allow God to pour in as you continue to pour out.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I got a minute

The 2nd quarter is coming to an end. Exams are next week so I have been making a test that consists of questions like: How many players are on a basketball team? and How do you hold a hockey stick? While the students stress out about my ridiculously hard PE final, I have also been creating their final for bible class. They will be writing me and essay that tells their life story. They can tell me as much or as little as they want. There are some guiding questions that have to be asked but the depth to which they go with it is up to them. In order to give them some clarification on what I expect, I have been sharing my story with each class this week. This story includes a great family, a roller coaster of emotions and drama with friends, some empty fulfillment with weed and alcohol, and the ultimate redemption of Christ and his work in my life. Its been really encouraging to see how attentive they have been as I have shared and to see excitement from many of them as they start to write their own stories. I am excited to read what they have to say. That is a quick update on my first week back to the island. I'm going to go now because the sun is out for the first time since I have been back. Much love!