Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
2010, June 30
As many of you know, we live in a small home that is on a larger property where the family Amador Barrera lives – family of mom, dad, 5 kids, and 8 foster children. Behind the “large house” where they live is where we are constructing the school and hopefully, one day, a guest home. The long term plan is for us to live in the guest home and convert the home where we now live into the permanent medical clinic. It’s well situated for a clinic, being on the main street.
We, the Kellys, have 4 kids and both come from fairly large families. However, this is our first real experience of living in community – not communal living, as we have our own home, but definitely living in community. We often share meals, watch soccer together, and the kids feel comfortable with being with us and coming to our home, go places together, and pray together.
I was concerned about entering into this at first, not only because of my being somewhat of a loner, but also because of the cultural differences, one of them being that Americans value their personal space more than most. We are very fortunate that the family we live with is very flexible and relational and at the same time understanding of one’s own space.
I'm not saying that community living is necessary for everyone, but as usual, I am learning a few lessons from our experience and wanted to share them with y'all:
1. Life is meant to be lived with others. Christianity is not an activity we do
with others twice a week but a life that we live daily.
2. When I live in community, God has a chance to form me easier. This is why
some people only go to a church until people get to know them, then “The
Lord moves them on”. This is also why small home groups are definitely
important in a Christian’s development. Chuck Missler claims that people
who participate whole heartedly in home groups always mature
faster in the Lord.
3. The natural human tendency is to run when the Lord, through relations with
others, reveals something ugly in us, but as we learn to run towards God and
not from Him, and let life,situations, and relationships form us, we are
better prepared for our purposes in life. One of my favorite verses is in
Jeremiah where God told the Israelites “And they have turned to Me the
back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching
them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction”.
While I am far from the mature Christian that God wants, I want to whole-heartedly throw myself in the process. I encourage each of you to follow God, enter into relationship with others, and grow. Although one becomes a Christian by himself, asking Jesus into his/her heart, he only grows in relationship to others. May God richly bless you in your process.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Sigue una versión en español:
As most of you know, Barb and I are city people and this is our first time to really live in a rural setting. There’s lots to get used to – we know this because going to
May God richly bless you today.
Como la mayoría de ustedes saben, Bárbara y yo somos productos de la ciudad y aquí en Nueva Guinea es la primera vez para vivir en un lugar rural. Tenemos que acostumbrarnos a muchas cosas nuevas – esto sabemos porque cuando vamos a Managua, es como ir a la tierra prometida. Con todo esto, hay muchas bendiciones en un lugar rural. Uno es que la vida es más segura y es más fácil conocer a la gente. Hoy experimentamos una de las bendiciones especiales. Fuimos al mercado a las 6am para comprar carne para hacer una comida especial y compramos carne de una vaca recién matada – a las 2am. No hay carne más fresca que esta. Vean la foto de Doña Magda – la carnicera del mercado.
Que Dios les bendiga ricamente hoy.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Una versión en español sigue:
On thing that I have learned about God's kingdom is that there is a flow, and if you get into that flow, you not only are more at rest, but you are in a position to really do something.
Matt Chandler talks about the rhythm of life, how God designed it, how man corrupts it, and how to really live in it.
We made a trip to Managua Thursday (we live about 5 hours away) with the following plan: Thursday afternoon, buy things for the school, for the vacation Bible school, the upcoming medical groups, and then drop the truck off Friday morning for repairs while we kept our appointment with the Ministry of Education, pick up the car at noon, but a 5,000 liter water tank, put it in the truck and go home - a real gringo plan.
Well, Thursday afternoon, after arriving in Managua, we were told that the education minister could not meet with us and she'll let us know when it it is convenient for her. We did our heavy duty shopping, but the Friday morning repairs went into Saturday, and we barely made it to the tank store before closing (see pic - glad we got a truck not a van). My Nicaraguan friend just said "Welcome back to Nicaragua". There is a flow here.
Now, I'm not justifying anything, but there is a spiritual lesson - the kingdom of God too has a flow, and it's not always what we think it should be or would like it to be. In John 3, Jesus explains that the ways of the Spirit and those led by the Spirit are very distinct and even unpredictable.
I'm not trying to make a big deal out of an inconvenience in our lives, but seeing the lesson and thinking on Matt Chandler's teachings (check it out on iTunes), I wanted to take this moment to encourage everyone to be more aware of the rhythm of the Spirit than of your own desires. This will help you in your families, your marriages, your jobs, etc. When there is no good option that I can see in one of these areas, I need to look to God to see what His way is. This is called walking in the Spirit.
May God richly bless you in all ways. I ask your prayers for our good friends John and Karen Bull, who have just returned from the mission field to live in Texas. They are quality people who will be entering into the next phase of their lives and ministries.
Una cosa que he aprendido sobre el reino de Dios es que hay un fluir, y si uno logra entrar en el fluir, no solamente puede descansar, sino también, está en mejores condiciones para lograr cosas en el reino. Matt Chandler habla de los "ritmos de la vida", como Dios los diseña, como el hombre los corrompe, y como aprender vivir en ellos.
Hicimos un viaje a Managua el Jueves pasado (Vivimos como 5 horas de la capital) con el siguiente plan: El jueves, por la tarde, comprar cosas para la escuela, para la escuela de vacaciones, para el grupo médico que viene. El viernes, dejar la camionetta con el mecánico en la mañana (me dijo que todo se hace en medio día), ir a una reunión con el ministerio de educación, recoger la camionetta al medio día, comprar un tanque de 5,000 litros, montarlo en la camioneta con todas las cosas que compramos y regresar a Nueva Guinea - un plan netamente gringo.
Bueno, el jueves por la tarde, después de llegar a Managua, nos informaron que la ministra no pudo reunirse con nosotros, pero que nos avisaría cuando le era conveniente. Bueno, por lo menos pudiomos hacer el resto. El trabajo mecánico, de medio día, duró un día y medio y apenas llegamos a tiempo para comprar el tanque, que tuvimos que recoger en otro pueblo (ver la foto - bueno que compramos una camioneta y no un van). Mi amigo nicaragúense sólo me dijo "Bienvenido a Nicaragua". Hay un fluir aquí y no es el mío.
Bueno, no estoy justificando nada ni a nadie, sin embargo, hay una lección espiritual - el reino de Dios también tiene un fluir y casi nunca es lo que pensamos que debe ser ni como nos gustaría que fuera. En Juan 3, Jesús explica que los caminos del Espíritu y los que lo siguen son distintos y a veces no predecibles.
No estoy tratando de hacer una gran cosa de una inconveniencia en nuestras vidas, más bien para aprovechar de la experiencia para ver una lección espiritual. Quiero animarlos a todos estar más conscientes del ritmo del espíritu que de sus propios deseos. Esta actitud les ayuda en sus matrimonios, sus familias, sus trabajos, etc. Cuando no hay una opción buena, me toca entrar en el fluir del espíritu. Esto se llama "Caminar en el espíritu".
Que Dios les bendiga ricamente en todo. Pido sus oraciones por mis amigos John y Karen Bull quienes acaban de regresar del campo misionero para vivir en Texas. Ellos son personas de calidad y van a estar entrando en la próxima etapa de sus vidas.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
The natural tendency of the human with power is to wield it for their own benefit. In the beginning of the USA, elected officials were referred to as public servants, those with a fiduciary responsibility to look after the well being of their constituents instead of their own. But with time, this has definitely been lost and we are where we are.
In the daily Bible reading, I read the story of Naboth and Ahab and how Ahab became upset that Naboth would not sell him his vineyard. As he was pouting on his bed, his queen, Jezabel, came in and basically asked him "Aren't you king?" - in other words, "you are king and can do whatever you want". This is the attitude that many leaders tend to develop, and as I mentioned earlier, it is the natural tendency of the flesh. For this reason, the command of Jesus is of utmost importance - we must DAILY die to selves, take up our cross, and follow Him. If we slip from this routine, we will follow the tendency of all flesh.
On the home front, we have purchased a used (they say here "semi new") Mazda pickup truck - already had to use the 4 wheel drive. It has a few things wrong that we will be correcting, but the motor is solid as is the transmission.
May God richly bless you this day.
Friday, June 4, 2010
The key person turned out to be the regional education delegate of El Rama. Even though there had been some controversy about the new school, she agreed to meet us in her home, and on Sunday, May 23rd, several of us, including Mark Miller from our church in Plano went to see her. The visit went well and the following Wednesday she came to the site to see the school, which was a bit unusual.
Today, Friday, June 4th, she called from Managua giving us the green light. We just have to do the formal paperwork with the Ministry of Education. Needless to say, everyone here is thrilled.
Thanks to all for your support and prayers.