Saturday, June 27, 2009

VBS Kids Move "Mountains"





"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" Matthew 18:1-4
"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 18:20b

A "mountain" was moved this week.

And, it was moved by a group of kids who gathered for Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Westport Community Church. As they came to learn about God's "untamed nature" through songs, stories, skits, crafts and more, they also gave of themselves in a special way.

On Friday evening, during the concluding program, I had the incredible privilege of being the recipient of their "faith in action." Each day during VBS an offering was collected, with the boys and girls facing off daily to see who could raise the most. (The boys won overall, having gathered the most on three of the five days. Way to go, guys!) About 20 kids also memorized Scripture verses during a "verse-a-thon" in which they were encouraged to collect pledges for each verse they memorized.

The money raised during the week was for the designated VBS mission project, which this year was the ministry in Uganda, including helping to send me back. On Friday, I was presented a large "check" representing the total from the week - more than $2200! I began crying as I received the check as I was so blessed by these kids (and the adults who gave too) for giving so sacrificially. (The photo above shows Pastor Tim presenting the "check" to me.)

I am so very blessed by their faith. They gave what they could and God multiplied it. Just like our "mustard seeds" of faith, with which God can do the impossible, like moving mountains in our lives. But, is it not true that it is not the measure of our faith, but Who our faith is in, that really matters?

I hope the kids learned an incredible lesson this week - that we serve an unforgettable, unchangeable, unpredictable and uncontainable God - just like one of their songs said so well.

Thanks kids for being vessels of blessings and for exercising your faith!!



The kids performing for the program.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My First Post

Since this is my very first post on my new blog, I want to make it somewhat meaningful and significant. And, as I just lost a bunch of text, I will try again - this blogging stuff may take some getting used to. :)

First off, I want to welcome each of you to "Journey of Faith." My aim in this blog is to share about my "journey" back to Uganda, as well as the continuation of my "spiritual journey," (that's where the "beyond" comes in from the title), which I believe will not reach a conclusion until Jesus returns or I exit this earth.
I pray you are encouraged and blessed as you visit on occasion (which I hope is often). I am excited about where God is leading me and will be happy to share the highlights of the "adventure."
I am also excited because I know without a doubt that God also has a unique and special plan for you as well. I hope that you will also share with me about your adventures, so feel free to comment frequently. : )

So, strap on your shoes, grab your walking stick and join me on a "Journey of Faith."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Several months ago as I contemplated returning to Uganda and struggled with the lack of a clear, definite "billboard-in-the-sky" sign, I believe God gave me a scripture about acting on faith and not on feelings. It is Hebrews 11:8.

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out
to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.
And he went out, not knowing where he was going."

I felt as if God was asking me to step out, just as Abraham did, not because he knew where he was going, but because Abraham was obeying the one Who had called him out. God also reminded me that I had a bit more "light" on my path than Abe did in that I knew where God was calling me to go - Uganda.

In recent months I have asked God over and over again that if He indeed wants me to return to Uganda that He will clearly open the doors and if not, to clearly close the doors. Up until now, He has only continued to open the doors and some He has thrown wide open. : )

As I close this first post, may I offer a bit of encouragement. I am not sure where you are or what you are facing. Perhaps the path ahead is dark and unclear - trust God to shine the light as you move forward one step at a time, relying on Him. Or perhaps you feel you are confronted with a wall - a wall of fear, doubt or regret. Again, look to Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He can make a way. He can dispel any doubt or fear. Trust Him.