Sunday, August 18, 2013
Okay, really, who starts crying while singing, "Le llaman Guerrero. Le llaman Guerro, Señor de los Ejercitos??"(Seriously, listen to the song. It is not a slow and emotional song.) I can't explain it, except to say that Jesus Christ overwhelmed me.
This song that we sang in church this morning is about the Lord fighting for the Israelites in the Old Testament. The lyrics say, "Giving them power, they conquered kingdoms. They took cities in his name."
Those two sentences struck me so hard, because that is what God has called us to do in South America: we are to take the cities of Arequipa, Ambato, Ibarra, Manta in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power He provides for us.
And here I am, being a dork, wondering how everything could possibly work out the way we need it to. And really, God should say to me, "Cailyn, you dork, are you forgetting who I AM?" (I am very thankful that my Heavenly Father doesn't call me a dork.)
Exodus 24:14 is a verse I memorized while I was still living in Cusco, working as a 40/40 church planter. And wow, was it hard work. But this verse says, "The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still." I can take great comfort in that. The Cosmic God of the Universe is ahead of us and fighting for us.
That means...the battle is already won, for crying out loud!! Why in the world would I doubt?
Right now, we have a team of 40/40s for Ibarra, Ecuador beginning Spanish classes and seminary classes this week. The problem is that this team is incomplete. For various reasons, including funding, there are only two North Americans and three South Americans who were able to join the team on time (the goal is five pairs of North and South Americans).
And I am stressing out about getting the Ecuadorians we need not only for this team, but also for the next two Ecuador cities.
And I basically end up running around like a chicken with my head cut off, as if worrying and stressing would somehow help things.
But here's the thing:
The work I do has pretty much nothing to do with me. God calls. God confirms the call. God sends. God provides. God speaks. (I'm actually not sure what I do...)
The Lord is fighting for us. They call Him Guerrero (Warrior). That is something that allows me to be still. That allows me to lay down my worries and stresses and fears. God has already won, and He is still fighting.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
"The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise."It was three and a half years ago that I had to leave everything that was nailed down, obvious, and secure to follow God's call on my life. That call has so far lead me to Peru and Ecuador. In the course of this journey that began in Arequipa in February of 2010, I have been a part of planting three churches, been part of two evangelistic mega-events, helped construct multiple churches, seen countless people repent and become new creations, organized paperwork, cast the XSA vision to numerous churches, interviewed many other young people eager to follow God's call on their lives, worked alongside amazing short-term volunteers, and worked with many incredible long-term Extreme staff.
Some days, I was exhausted.
Some days, I rejoiced with the angels in heaven for new lives in the Kingdom.
Some days, I felt stuck in the routine.
Some days, I could have exploded with joy.
Some days, I felt busy and stressed.
Some days, I felt like I could reach out and touch the Holy Spirit.
Most recently, I was part of the leadership team for the Love Extreme project. My principal job was communication with the 82 short-term volunteers who were part of the project. The project included construction, medical clinics, and tons of promotion, and I had such an incredible time working alongside the short-term volunteers who came from across the US (and Colombia!). Instead of recapping everything myself, I am going to let Mike Wheatley, the project lead for Love Extreme, tell you about it:
"During the 3 weeks that the short-term volunteers were in Peru, we participated in 6 medical clinics that attended 402 patients, we built foam block walls for 2 sets of churches and installed one of those churches in Juliaca, and promoted throughout Arequipa for the Mega Event on July 20 with Jose Ordóñez. Our promotion included 7 TV interviews, 60 radio spots, 1 ad in the Sunday morning newspaper, 1000 posters, and 30,000 flyers. All this promotion helped bring 1,143 people into the Palacio de Bellas Artes for our Mega Event. José Ordóñez, who holds the Guinness Record for telling jokes for 80 straight hours, presented his comedy show about relationships and marriage. At the end of his 2-hour show he invited people to accepted Christ, and about 150 people went forward to do so! Of those, just under a hundred went into the back rooms to meet with our counselors and give us their contact information. The following morning José Ordóñez preached at our church service, which was held in the park. We had over 225 in attendance counting the short-term volunteers, and at the end of the service about 15 people stepped forward to accept Christ!"All I can say is, thank you Lord for allowing me to be a part of something so big and so beautiful!
I will continuously "walk into the unknown" with my life, because it is so much better than all the nailed down, obvious, secure plans I had for my life. I may essentially live as a homeless nomad, but I will continually say, "Here I am. Send me!" It is so much better than anything I could ever have asked for or imagined.