Saturday, May 30, 2009

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

A continued glimpse of our week at La Finca...

Teaching-- Dr. Sills continued to teach about the missionary call-- mostly demystifying what it looks like when God calls his people to the mission field. Obviously, as believers we are all commanded to make disciples of all nations but how do you know if you should sell your home (or not buy one), pack up your life, and move yourself or a family to a another part of the world where you probably don't know the language, don't recognize the food, and come from a different world view? Basically, it comes down to Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." When we take our greatest delight in our relationship with Christ and our humble and passionate pursuit of Him-- He (the great giver of all things) places desires in your heart and then when you pursue them you get great joy and He gets great glory as He accomplishes His great plan. It's amazing and freeing to recognize that as I abide in Christ (John 15) I am freed up to pursue what I desire and in this, the God of the Universe is Glorified. So if you have a passion for culture, people, a desire to learn languages, love for travel and being over sees, passion for sharing the gospel-- then you are likely called to missions. 

I am praying this summer that God would draw the 130 of us here to greater and deeper intimacy with Him. That He will grant us great joy to keep us moving and enough trouble and hardship to keep us humble before Him. I pray that as we grow in intimacy with Him that He would grant and give us great desires and that as we part ways at the end of the summer we would pursue those God given desires with all our might and joy.

Family Groups-- to make 130 people seem a little smaller for training and relational purposes we were divided into 10 teams of about 10 people a group. Family Group 9 (my group) is pretty much amazing and a huge blessing to me already. We spent time in our teams practicing storying (reviewing over and over the stories we learned that day), asking questions that we didn't feel comfortable asking in front of 130 people, sharing what we need each other to pray for, laughing, having praise and worship (Hayes Parnell is in my family group and he is an amazingly gifted worship leader), and spent time on our faces for our own souls, the state of our hearts, and the souls of those we will come in contact with over the next 2 months.  Kristen Seay (my volunteer missionary friend) and Jess Sorrell (a journeyman who has been here since January) were our Family Group leaders, both are extremely knowledgeable but more than that they have a passion for seeing the glory of God seen in Peru and are living that out in front of us. 

One part of our Family Groups was to compete against the other teams in earning points through various activities such as soccer volleyball, question time after each teaching session, and then finally through team challenges. I was part of leading the game time with Ryan Northup (Journeyman). We tried to come up with funny, challenging, and at time disgusting team challenges. It's hard to know which was my favorite seeing 10 people eat a banana off a chair with no hands and yes, that does mean peeling it with just your teeth, cramming crackers in your mouth and then trying to whistle, or maybe just maybe the best and worst was seeing them each HUGE and I mean HUGE crickets we collected. It was totally insane to me that not one of them hesitated who volunteered for their team to complete the challenge. They popped that cricket in their mouth and chomped away. I had thought only Lydia, who grew up in the Philippines, would be up for this challenge but they were all willing and bothersomely eager to eat the cricket. It was such a close call on who consumed the cricket the fastest that we had round two... run outside, find your own cricket, run back and onto the stage, and bite the head of the cricket, eat it, and then eat the body.  Why someone would even consider this is beyond me but they were off at go and Andrew Crosson was back and onstage eating the head first and then the body (after it jumped out of him mouth) before you really knew what happened. Like I said it was disturbing. But maybe just maybe this eagerness to try the weird and desire to get the job done will be what will help them as they move out into villages of the highlands of Peru.  

Prayer-- our need and dependance on prayer can never be over emphasized. 
Here are a few quotes from men who sought God in prayer...

Martin Luther (a pretty busy dude) declared he had so much to do, he could not possibly accomplish all of it unless he spent THREE OR FOUR HOURS ON HIS KNEES before God each morning.

"Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still." 
E.M. Bounds

Our Family Group got the chance to spend a fair amount of time for each other, our needs, and struggles, and for the Peruvians we will minister to.

Please be in prayer with me for my heart and the hearts of those in my group to be united, not divided, for God.
O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:11)

I am oh so grateful for each of you and for the power of prayer. I thank my God for each of you as I remember you in prayer.

We got back to Lima yesterday and got the chance to go the mall. It is called Jockey Plaza. Honestly, it was slightly overwhelming but good to see a Starbucks since I had been without coffee for most of the week. I spent the rest of the day at the apartment after getting home from the mall because I have come down with what is probably just a cold. We have kidded about passing around swine flu, mostly because it is more fun to say. I think my weeks of little sleep and busy schedule finally got the best of me. I am trying my best to rest and recover but we are still planning to head out tomorrow to start traveling. So, I would ask for your prayers for health and strength. At this very moment, my fever is down and the chills are gone so we may be moving toward getting better. 

We are going to have those who are still in town over in just a few minutes for some worship and prayer time.  

We are going to end our evening with dinner and a trip to the fountains. Honestly, I don't much about them but will post soon.  I do love water and anything that involves water so I am sure I will be fascinated.

Again, I am grateful for each of you-- for your prayers, emails, comments, and words of encouragement.  

With lots of love-- Celeste


  1. Wow! You shared a lot of positive, exciting news considering you have had little rest and running a fever.

    The Family Group competition sounds like it might have been more fun to observe than participate. I love your emphasis on prayer and the quotes you mention. One of my favorite quotes on prayer comes from Bill Hybels' book, Too Busy Not To Pray where he states that, "the most intimate communion with God comes only through prayer." Sandra and I are continuing to pray for your intimacy with Christ.

    We love you,

  2. I loved hearing the stories about the crickets...I would not have been up for that. I could hear you telling the story through your writing. I am glad you're feeling better today. You are such a trooper. You didn't even mention your arm or ankle or back! (bug bites for everyone reading - she's ok but still it would be annoying) I loved the quotes as well. Praying for you! I love you!