We are enjoying our time here at missions training. We have been discussing many issues around language training and Friday afternoon began addressing cross-cultural issues which we will continue to interact with over the next two weeks.
After only two weeks we are developing some good relationships. Getting to know people that are going through the same things we are has been very encouraging.
It is amazing that when you have the opportunity to get away from the craziness of life for a bit with time to reflect on issues how healthy it can be.
I have recently been convicted regarding my own prayer life. As we embark on life on the Reservation we know there will be difficulties. We know we will miss our friends and family. We know that we will have failures and discouragements and things might often be confusing. We know the Lord will stretch us in many ways. But for us to be engaged in this work and not be in daily, continual prayer with the Creator of the Universe is folly. I have a long way to go.
We rest in the sovereignty of our great God. He not only is our Creator, but He is active in the lives of those that follow Him in a way that we can rely on and trust for all our needs. What a blessing to know the Holy Spirit not only enables us to pray but gives us the words! And we know that through the mediating work of Christ, our prayers are heard and answered by the Father.
It is often so easy to rely on ourselves. In the business world I would focus on working hard, putting in the time and effort, following the right methodology and usually would get good results. "See, look what I did!" In God's grace he allows success, even though it might often lead us farther away from Him.
Praise God that He has awakened me to my weakness in this area. He has called us to follow Him in a way that I can't rely on myself. If we try to do it in our own power, we will fail. I'm sure I will try. Many times. But with His power and grace, He will work through me and accomplish His purposes even in my weakness.
I have been reading a bunch the last couple weeks and just finished a small little biography of David Brainerd, by Brian H Cosby, titled "A Love for the Lost." Mr. Brainerd was a missionary to Native Americans in the 1740s. He lived a godly life that was cut short by sickness. He died in 1747 at the age of 29 after struggling several years with, I believe, tuberculosis. But he was a man of prayer and continual seeking after Christ. Below is a short excerpt from the book that was a huge encouragement to me that I thought might encourage you to seek after Christ as Mr Brainerd.
"However, through these challenges and hardships [hypocritical witness from other white Christians in the area, fear from Native Americans, English translation issues, Native American's worshiping spirits with powerful witch doctors] God was pleased to shape David and to teach him to trust in his goodwill more. He had to trust that God's grace was sufficient for him. He had to trust that he would never be forsaken because Jesus was forsaken on his behalf. It always came back to the gospel. David showed patience toward the Indians because God had shown patience toward him in his sin. He forgave the Indians when they wronged him because God had forgiven him. David loved the Indians because God had first loved him. Jesus was the centerpiece of David's entire life to the point that, "to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21) (pgs. 124, 125)