Insufficient

According to Merriam Webster’s Online dictionary the definition of the word insufficient is the following:

not sufficient :  inadequate; especially :  lacking adequate power, capacity, or competence

Over the past few weeks of training we have sat through hours and hours of classes. Some have been riveting and exciting, while others have been, well… slightly tedious (in the most positive not tedious way possible, of course!). We have been learning in depth about people groups around the world lost in utter darkness, about God’s incredible salvation plan for the nations, and about being bold and courageous in sharing our faith. Our training has sparked conversation and excitement among all of us about the task that we have been called to undertake.

On the other hand, we have been sitting in the presence of many who have gone before us that have incredible legacies and deep wisdom and insight. We are daily surrounded by other new missionaries that were doctors, government officials, pastors, and other highly educated professionals. We are being told about church planting movements where hundreds of churches have sprung up, in part, due to the work of a few. We are hearing testimonies of mighty works of salvation across the world.

To be honest it’s intimidating. There, I said it. Being here in this training is VERY intimidating and overwhelming. We feel like we are not as godly, not as intelligent, not as educated, not as prepared, not as skilled as everyone else (and I’m beginning to see many others feel the same). Then we look at the task at hand, the billions that need to hear the Gospel, and we feel utterly insufficient.

But you know what, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing that we feel insufficient, because in reality…we are COMPLETELY insufficient without Christ and his Holy Spirit working in us. Our family cannot and will not save a single person over these next few years. We won’t start any churches. And really, let’s face it, we can’t even go to Mexico in our own ability. CHRIST is the one who saves. It is GOD who starts churches. It is the LORD who determines whether we receive our visas for Mexico or not. In reality all our family can do is be obedient and pray for God to use us however he sees fit. That’s actually a very liberating thought. But I think it’s not just liberating to us, it should be liberating to all believers who are giving their lives to pursue Christ. We are all completely insufficient without God’s mighty work in us. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” What a relief! God works even in our insufficiency!

So as we continue to look ahead to the people we hope to see saved, the churches we hope to see planted, and all the other ministry God will ever call us to we can genuinely embrace our utter insufficiency. We desire to people who say, “so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord’.” (1 Cor. 1:31)

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“Hasta Luego’s” and Christmas

christmas

With our family being smack dab in the middle of a move and Christmas approaching VERY quickly, our lives have been a bit of a whirlwind of packing, organizing, and logistics chaos. With everything else going on it’s been so easy to get distracted from what’s REALLY going on right now.

What is REALLY going on you may ask…well, Christmas for one! We have had to be very intentional in slowing ourselves down long enough to remember that this is truly a time of celebration. This is when we celebrate the birth of Emmanuel, God Most High, Wonderful Counselor, our SAVIOR!! If we can’t stop and recognize and celebrate the miraculous birth of Jesus, then the other part of what is really going on will be harder for us to recognize as well.

What else is REALLY going on right now? In the midst of the packing and the bittersweet “see you later’s,” a.k.a. “hasta luego’s,” our family is preparing to move to Mexico. That’s right Mexico, land of Spanish, tacos, and not so great water (ever heard of giardia??). But we aren’t just moving to Mexico for the sake of moving to Mexico. We’re moving because we truly believe that as Christians that celebrate the birth of the Messiah, we are called to eagerly share the Good News that Jesus brings. We believe that if we do in fact trust that the Savior of the world was born of a virgin and placed in a humble manger only to be later crucified and then raised again all because of my sin, then we must do as the shepherds did when they found the baby Jesus. We must make known what we have heard, telling anyone who will listen. We must spend our lives as Christ’s ambassadors glorifying God for all that we have heard and seen.

So yes, life has been a little hectic and crazy over the last month or two, but life is always crazy. We are always going to busy. There will always be messes to clean, phone calls to make, errands to run, but, especially during this time, let’s remember what’s REALLY going on. We are celebrating the One who brought us from death to life. We are celebrating the One who thought of us by name as He bore the weight of our sin and the wrath of the Father. We are celebrating the baby boy who is worth everything…even moving to Mexico.

New Beginnings

Appointment service to officially announce our service as missionaries with the our sending organization.

Appointment service to officially announce our service as missionaries with the International Mission Board.

After a whirlwind of information being thrown at us and being asked to share our testimonies about a thousand times, it is official. We can finally claim the title of “missionaries” with the International Mission Board! It’s been an exciting and overwhelming few days. For those of you unfamiliar with the process of becoming an IMB missionary, we can assure you that the process is intensive and thorough. After 2 years of applications, praying, and continuing to seek God, we are just now about to embark on this new adventure of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Southern Mexico.

As we’ve spent the last few days meeting new people with whom we have already shared laughter and tears, we have begun to notice an awesome theme in the lives of our new colleagues and friends. This theme may sound simple, but whether it’s the IMB trustees, the missionaries, the trainers, or even the new president, David Platt, the theme has been a deep desire to serve our Heavenly Father in the unique capacity in which He has called each of us. We are all called to serve the Lord and carry out the Great Commission found in Matthew 28, but that call looks different in every believer’s life.

In a few short days the Father has shown us that He uses unique people from unique life situations with unique calls to complete the enormous task of bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the nations. As this newest group of appointees head out to 24 different countries around the world, I ask you to join with our family in praying for not only our work in Mexico, but for all the men and women and children that are leaving their homes and families to serve the Lord in a new capacity. Pray for those that we will all encounter who so desperately need to hear the Gospel. And we ask that you would pray for guidance in how God wants to use you, your family, and your church in fulfilling God’s great mission of bringing lost and dying people to the joy of salvation through Jesus Christ, whether through prayer, giving, or going.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining with our family as we begin this new adventure, and we are thrilled to partner with you through prayer and support of the International Mission Board!