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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Unless You Go With Us

We need prayer this week, serious God-seeking prayer.  Paul (Director of Ministries for WHM who started his missionary life here in Bundi for 9 years) and Ward (the Missionary Care Manager for WHM) landed to meet with us and our team, focusing specifically on the way forward for the next decade of Christ School's growth and development, but also with a heart for each person on the team and their future life and calling in ministry.  We hit the road running, so to speak, meeting again with both of our consultants before we left Kampala.  I was struck once again with their wisdom and godliness, their overall passion for Christian education and the good of the country of Uganda.  One has already begun to recruit for us (he teachers masters-level students in education at two universities) and both seem eager to continue in their advisory role.  Both believe in the value of the school and have been willing to put hard time into a long list of very concrete suggestions for improvement.  An interesting fact that came out at the end:  Church of Uganda is now starting "model schools" that step back from the government-aided path they have pursued for the last two decades, and are more intentionally Christian and academically excellent, with values similar to ours.

Paul preached at Bundimulinga, ostensibly to the congregation but by grace words that were very encouraging for us.  He talked about Moses, in the scene in the cleft of the rock where he begs God to go with the Israelites, and then asks to SEE GOD.  This is a good picture of where we are as a team:  we want to move forward, but only if God goes with us, and in the process our real goal is God Himself, not a successful school or an easy life.  God answered Moses, not because Moses was articulate or persuasive (remember he always made his brother do the talking), and not because Moses always did the right thing or was strong or smart.  He answered because He delighted in Moses' asking, because once again His intention is to make His power known in our weakness.  That gives us boldness to ask this week that God would show up in our meetings and plannings, not because we have the right formulae, but because He delights in our dependance upon Him.

We ended the day with team worship and communion, led by Ward, with a similar theme.  Jesus gave the beatitudes not as a list of things to do or be, but as a demonstration that God's blessing flows to people who lean on His promises.  Again we were encouraged, that our hunger and weakness and poverty of spirit can be the very place where God brings His Kingdom.  As we closed with a rousing chorus of "For All the Saints" with it's view of the final fulfillment, I sensed God's presence to lift our eyes to the future inevitable reality of His continuous presence.

So please pray for us this week, as a team, to keep our eyes on God's power and promise, not our own deficiencies and struggles.  We probably can't handle even the glimpse of the trailing end of glory that made Moses glow weeks later . . . so let us be content with whatever He chooses to give us.


Lars Hansen said...

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Thank you for your help and time
Lars Hansen

Cindy Nore said...

So glad to hear that Luke and Caleb both made the team at school! My prayers are with your family as you continue to adjust to being in two different places physically but of one strong heart.

I will also be praying for your time with Paul and Ward, two men who offered great support during the time of Jess' death. Ward was given the unenviable task of notifying us by phone and has since talked with me further about the details of that day, and Paul graciously attended Jess' memorial service in Atlanta and offered wise counsel via email regarding some issues with which I struggled in the aftermath of losing Jess. I am praying that God will surely lead and guide decisions and discussions as you lean on His strength and ask for wisdom.

I loved hearing that your praise time ended with "For All the Saints," one of Jessica's favorite songs and one that has given hope and courage to my heart in the darkest of times.

"The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!"

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

When I think of Jess, I think of her resting as a faithful warrior now in complete communion with Christ, and I am challenged by her life to look towards the glorious day when we too will rise in bright array to see our King of Glory. When I think of your ministry there, I am challenged to use every second in Kingdom purposes and to seek to honor Christ in all I do.

With thanks for your ever present example of pressing on and with much love,

Cindy Nore

Anonymous said...

Your post inspired me to pray for you and to use your areas of weakness to show His strength. And I added myself and my little girl to the prayer, too. Blessings on you.

Craig Wood said...

You and your entire team are in our prayers. Discerning God's will can be as challenging as following it, and you are in a "listening and acting" place. God be with you.