Monday, June 30, 2008

Back in Town

I am back. The trip was awesome! I will explain more in a later post as well as post some pics next week.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Croatia, ESL and the Gospel

Tomorrow afternoon, a team of 11 from my church will leave for a 2 week mission to Croatia. We will be working with the local Southern Baptist missionaries and the local Baptist church. The mission has two main objectives: to teach ESL and to do friendship evangelism in the small local cafe's.

The main reasons for the ESL classes is to help strengthen the English they have learned in school by practicing in a classroom setting at the church and to introduce them to the Baptist church and the pastor, Ladislov. Croatia is 99.9 % Catholic. They will tell you, "I am Croatian so I am Catholic." Catholicism has been the religion for about 1500 years. It is part of their culture. Anything else is considered a cult. Any sort of Protestantism is lumped with Mormons, Muslims and Buddhists. We will share Bible stories during the English lessons using the same Bible they use in their Catholic church. We have had some great discussions and some people have realized that they can have a personal relationship with Jesus.

The other ministry will be a first attempt to reach out to the young adults in their regular evening gathering place, the cafe. We will split up into groups and visit several cafes during the day, visiting with the cafe staff and the locals. In the evenings we will be playing music in the plaza and the park. There are many cafe's that face these two locations and we pray that God will bring people to listen to the music and engage in conversation.

I will also have several chances to preach. Please pray for me that God's words and not mine will be heard.

Please pray for our efforts, that we follow God's will and are faithful to the task. Also pray for travel safety and that we make all the connections. I look forward to posting the results of the trip in a couple of weeks.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Better Day

Today is a better than any over the last week. Something I had hoped and prayed for is not available, yet my hope is still in the Lord. He knows my heart, my wants, my fears, my joys and my disappointments. Where I am lacking, He fulfills. Where I fail, He teaches. When I fall down, He lifts me up. When I fall behind, He encourages. My Redeemer is faithful and true. He has a ministry position for me and is still molding me and shaping me to His will. Father, I am sorry for doubting You. I am ready and willing to be used.

Hope in the Lord

Psalm 31:20-25

How great is Your goodness, Lord, stored up for those who fear You.
You display it for those who trust You, in the sight of all the people.

You hide them in the shelter of Your presence, safe from scheming enemies.
You keep them in Your abode, safe from plotting tongues.

Blessed be the Lord who has shown me wondrous love,
and been for me a city most secure.

Once I said in my anguish, "I am shut out from Your sight."
Yet You heard my plea when I cried out to You.

Love the Lord all you faithful.
The Lord protects the loyal but repays the arrogant in full.

Be strong and take heart all you who hope in the Lord.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Where Do I Place My Trust?

Psalm 31:10-19

Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
with grief my eyes are wasted, my soul and body spent.

My life is worn out by sorrow, my years by sighing.
My strength fails in affliction; my bones are consumed.

To all my foes I am a thing of scorn,
to my neighbors, a dreaded sight, a horror to my friends.
When they see me in the street, they quickly shy away.

I am forgotten, out of mind like the dead;
I am like a shattered dish.

I hear the whispers of the crowd; terrors are all around me.
They conspire against me; they plot to take my life.

But I trust in You, Lord;
I say, "You are my God."

My times are in Your hands;
rescue me from my enemies, from the hands of my pursuers.

Let Your face shine on Your servant;
Save me in Your kindness.

Do not let me be put to shame, for I have called to You, Lord.
Put the wicked to shame; reduce them to silence in Sheol.

Strike dumb their lying lips,
proud lips that attack the just in contempt and scorn.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What Now?

The ministry position I have prayed about for over 8 years is gone. I know that God was preparing me for this situation and I was told I am not one of the 5 finalists. They cut their "short list" in half (10 is a big short list). To be honest, I am stunned. I have been awake since 1:30am. I am disappointed that I didn't even get a chance to interview.

I need a break to think this through. I do not want to continue working where I am. I need a day or two to pray.