Saturday, April 27, 2013

Missionary Boot Camp

So if there was such a thing as Missionary Boot Camp, I am pretty sure we are in it. And though it is not a physical camp it is more intense and strengthening than any Boot Camp or PX90 - I like to refer to it as Crossfit (getting us fit for the crosses we are to carry). Jesus calls us to forsake ourselves, pick up our cross and follow him DAILY!!! In order to carry our cross, we have to be prepared to carry it - no matter what!! So preparing to carry our cross requires us to be conditioned to do it.  Just as you have to condition your body to run in races or marathons. But in Crossfit God is the one that conditions us to carry our cross for Him daily!
I have noticed the trend of Boot Camps, PX90, Insanity and all kinds of extreme work outs and people are obsessed with them and eating vegan and paleo and on and on, there is something different each week. And I have listened and often wondered, what if they spent that much time devoted to God and His word and doing His work or serving others? I often wonder how much time these people spend in reading God's word and strengthening their relationship with Him. See we can be so easily tricked into thinking because they are good things that it is okay, but in reality they are taking the place of God and have become an idol. 
So this week has been difficult for many reasons but I just felt as if God were telling me that I was in training this week. And I found myself asking Him what do you mean? I know I need to exercise more Lord, do you want me to be in a race? I went back and forth all week in prayer and asking over and over trying to figure out what the Lord was saying to me. And then it finally hit me, I am in training for the field. I am in training for the cross He has given me to carry. This week when my family members were sick in different states and my parents were in another state and we were trying to figure out who needed to get where to take care of who and my mother is in tears on the phone, all I could do was listen and help her as best as I could a state away. When I hung up to pray for everyone and for peace for my parents, I realized that I will have to do that but from another country. I felt in my spirit, this is your training - preparing you for your service and your cross. 
So over the last few days as I have grieved in my spirit for not being able to be physically present with those that I love to help, comfort and pray with them, I finally had a peace that the Lord was preparing me for my cross. I recalled scripture that had always resonated with me and then I knew why. The scripture is: Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God". Luke 9:61-62
Well I don't know about you but I want to be fit for the kingdom of God!!! I will never be ready to carry my cross if I keep looking back at what held me here for so long in the first place. I can never look back at possessions, friendships, family, church, jobs, or even serving if I want to be fit for His kingdom. We are in training and conditioning for our service in Mexico. There are so many things that we are having to adjust to it is not even funny. But at the end of the day, I can say with assurance that the saddest thing that could take place is if we kept looking back and were found not fit for the kingdom. 
I can not imagine a more miserable and sad life than one that is not fit for the kingdom. So yes we are in Crossfit right now, not so we can have strong, beautiful bodies (which all die anyway just FYI) and be fit and ripped and compete in races. We have only one race that matters and we do have our eyes on the prize and we are not fond of the conditioning in this Crossfit, but we know that we are being fit for the kingdom! Our conditioning consist of long waits, loneliness, distance from friends and family, hardships, disappointments, hurts, more waiting and totally NOT in control. I may not be able to run a 5k or have a perfect figure, but one thing is for sure - I am being trained by God himself for His kingdom and that is worth more than anything else in this world!!! 
Are you willing to be conditioned by God for His kingdom? Or do you keep looking back and running to those things that keep you comfortable and happy? There hasn't been a day this past week that I have been happy - but I have had joy which comes from God and not my circumstances. 

Update on our progress:
We are working on finding places to connect with churches, Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, business and individuals. We are only at 18% of our needed 90% of monthly support to be able to leave. We are so thankful for those who have joined us in God's work in Mexico. We some friends that are working hard at getting us speaking engagements and working hard to get us there and we are forever grateful for them! God has called people to give, we just need to connect with them! Thanks again for keeping up with us, praying for us, and joining us to increase the kingdom of God in Mexico.

Some of the boys at the Ranch 

Kids playing jump rope on the playground 

The kids in a parade 

                                                             Photos courtesy of Jason - missionary at the Ranch! 

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