By Naomi Bosch
May this encourage you to be a blessing wherever you are.
I was born in Germany, grew up in Croatia, then recently moved back to Germany for my studies. I moved 7 times in 21 years, with several shorter stations in between. And I tell you: I know the feeling of homelessness very well. And even when I moved to Rostock it was quite clear from the beginning that I would only stay here for 3 years and I wondered if it’s even worth settling down and investing myself.
One day I read a story in the Bible that completely changed my attitude. There the Jewish people were in a situation that was not entirely different from mine. Far away from their beloved land, they lived in the city of Babylon, which was foreign to them. Then the prophet Jeremiah writes the following letter to the Jewish people living in exile:
“Build houses and settle down; cultivate gardens and eat what they produce. Promote the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because your future depends on its welfare.”
There is no talk of “Pray that you will get out of this terrible place as soon as possible!” No, “settle down and be a blessing to this city,” God directs to his people. So, I gradually let God change my point of view – and experienced some amazing things!
Last summer, I had a crazy thought: “Why not take the Bible literally and actually plant a garden?” And the simple act of gardening became a new spiritual attitude: I am here where God has just planted me and I’m a blessing to others wherever I can.
So I decided, even in this short time I had left, to become a permanent member in a local church. I became part of a local scout’s group, even if it was “only” three years I would invest there. I made my room the most enjoyable and bright place in the world and invited people to it. I read about the history of the city. I got to know the people here. And suddenly, I am happy to be living in Rostock!
Interestingly, Jesus also had almost exactly three years for his world-changing mission in Israel. I’ll leave the part of saving the world to Jesus. But I can imitate him in the way he lived on earth. Jesus was not busy all day preaching and healing people. He spent many hours a day just talking to God, like to a friend. We often see him eating with friends or partying (the very beginning of his mission was a wedding on which he made sure they wouldn’t run out of good wine!). Wherever he went, he left traces of blessing for everyone around him.
Sometimes we act like tourists. We don’t like to make commitments. Why invest in “worldly things” when God will one day bring us to Heaven anyway? Is it worth “wasting” my time on relationships?
Leviticus 25:23 puts things back into perspective. There God says to the Israelites “… the land belongs to God, and you are like foreigners who are allowed to make use of it.”
We are guests in God’s beautiful world. We can enjoy its wealth and goodness. But God also gave us the responsibility to “maintain and protect the garden” (see Genesis 2:15). God “planted” us in a certain place so that we can be a blessing where we are, in every area of life.
Here, too, Jesus is a wonderful example to us. (see Matthew 14:13-21) He had deep compassion for the people around him.
At the same time, he also knew when it was time to withdraw and to spend time with God in solitude. He knew the culture around him and was deeply rooted in it. He read the scriptures and liked to discuss them with the Jewish law teachers, but also clearly distinguished himself on contentious issues.
Jesus had good friends with whom he spent a lot of time (such as Mary, Marta, and Lazarus). He could celebrate and gratefully enjoy God’s good gifts. But he wasted none of it. With his life, Jesus shows what it means to live in a deeply rooted way, and at the same time to see things in eternity’s perspective.
We are citizens of the heaven, but we are also all citizens of the earth. Through deep, local relationships, through care for God’s creation, through a grounded trust in God, and through passing on blessings in the very place we are in, we bring a piece of heaven to earth.
And if God should replant me, I will just grow new, deep roots. Because I know that the groundwater – God’s presence – is the same at every point of the earth. Then, as the Psalmist so beautifully says, we are “like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”
This year 5% of everything raised goes to help SU Botswana develop a farm to enable the ministry there to be sustainable.
Even though COVID-19 shut doors for many ministries around the world, Scripture Union Botswana has been able to offer spiritual and moral support for children and teens in schools at this tough time. SU Botswana continues in prayer that God opens even greater doors for messages of HOPE.
By Steve Meeker
Praying you will know Jesus' rest in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and learn to trust Him more.
In the current worldwide crisis, how do we keep going as wave one gives way to a second wave of a pandemic? What may have looked far off to us at the beginning of the year now has impacted those we personally know. Worldwide, life has been altered and coronavirus has squeezed us like a tube of toothpaste as the months drag on in 2020.
Stuck at home, minds wander to, “Will this ever end? When I wake up, where can I go or should I go as I might catch COVID-19? If I catch it, will I spread it to the ones I love? What do I hold onto as our world is shaken?”
My emotions might cry out to running away or fighting for my rights in the midst of the anxiety, frustration or even fear; however, my heart calls me back to words of comfort in crisis.
Walking down to a river and hearing a chorus of birds these life-giving words calm my soul, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB).
Awakening a renewed perspective, the weight of the crisis begins to fall from my shoulders as I lift my voice up to God in delight that He knows, He sees, and He guides. This crisis is not bigger than Jesus who loves me. What does He want me to learn?
My meditation on these verses leads me to the answer, “TRUST GOD!”
Meandering further down this river trail, I sit down gazing into the water and another passage fills my mind, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart,” (Psalm 37:4 NASB).
Lord, how do I delight in You in a world struggling with fear? Walking in our community, behind the masks I see it in their eyes. Teach me to delight in You. Help me to not forget what it means to draw close to you no matter what life brings.
A twitch of a fin catches my eye as I spy a trout resting behind a stone protected from the current. Then in an instant it happens, nourishment floats into its view and with a snap of its tail it propels forward and is satisfied resting back in place behind the rock.
Again, I raise my voice and praise God for this picture in His creation. God takes care of even the fish and how much more He loves and takes care of His children. In waiting through today’s turmoil, He calls us to meet Him in a safe place and to learn to delight in Him.
Do I trust You Lord?
Lead me into those quiet places where I am satisfied only in You. Teach me to walk in faith day by day and to focus on the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Remind us that these passing circumstances give way to opportunity to grow our trust as we learn to wait on You.
Although we don’t understand the why behind our worldwide crisis, may this encourage you to find time to get away and wait on the One who knows, sees and provides as we take time to delight in Him. Lord Jesus, align our hearts with Your will, comfort those who are hurting and fill us with Your peace.
Teach us to rest and trust You more!
By Tamara Stannard
Tamara has served on our LLI team and is studying to be a teacher.
A few weeks ago, in psychology class, a professor asked us if we knew what the only two fears are that we are all born with. We made a lot of guesses, but we didn't guess right. The only two fears are the fear of falling or losing ground under your feet and the fear of a strong, sudden or surprising sound. All other fears that we have, have been acquired throughout our lives. That's when I first heard this information. I stored it in a drawer and forgot about it.
One Sunday, at 6:24 a.m., that drawer opened. The powerful earthquake that hit Zagreb and its surroundings triggered both of those fears, but also many others! The powerful sound and feeling of losing the ground under my feet shook me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. For the first few minutes I was just sitting on the bed, in shock looking at the wall and shaking with fear, not knowing if this was just another nightmare or reality. "Please, God, say it’s not real!"
But it was. And then, after an hour, that reality happened again. And a few more times during the day too. I'd be lying if I said I fell asleep peacefully the next night. Because I didn't. And when in the midst of the earthquake and corona virus a snowstorm came too, my heart filled with worry and my mind began to doubt and question. God, are you really in control? Oh, how many times have I asked Him that question!
Nobody really prepares us for situations like these, do they? Even if we try to prepare, until a storm like that comes and turns our lives around, we can't quite be ready. Remember what Jesus did when the storm raged? He was asleep. He didn't sleep because He didn't care about His friends in danger. He was asleep because He knew who was in control, and He knew that if His disciples called Him for help now, He was there and He would calm the storm.
A friend posted this picture of the storm and a text alongside it that I read on Monday when my heart was still agitated and I couldn't sleep. At first you don't see Jesus in this dark picture of the storm. I didn't see Him at 6:24 on Sunday. But zoom in on the picture and you'll see the outline of His raised hands calming the storm.
That evening, the day after the earthquake, Jesus calmed down my storm. I don't know what tomorrow brings. I don't even know what the next moment brings me, but I know whose hands hold it! I know whose hands I'm in! When everything around me changes, when I lose the ground beneath my feet and my world is shaken, when the strong sounds deafen me and my worst fears come true—my Jesus, my Lord is with me! Whether I feel Him or not. Whether I hear His voice or not. This truth is unchangeable. His promises are steadfast!
As I write this, I’m listening to a song by JJ Heller, and I want these truths to be as reassuring to you as much as they are to me, and that's why I’m sharing them with you today! Wherever you are now and wherever you will be — Jesus is with you!
“Everything around me seems uncertain, my weary heart can’t take much more surprise.
I wish there was a point on the horizon, something I could see with my own eyes.
I need to tell you that I’m scared, I feel completely unprepared.
And nothing’s what it was two weeks ago.
You already know. You already know everything I’m scared of, everything I hope.
You hold my tomorrow and all tomorrow holds – You already know.
I can’t seem to find the easy answers, someday I hope the suffering makes sense.
I just need to know that you are with me even if you keep me in suspense.
And we talk so much these days because I have so much to say.
You stay and listen to me closely even though You already know.
You already know. You already know everything I’m scared of, everything I hope.
You hold my tomorrow and all tomorrow holds – You already know.
Whatever I’m feeling, whatever is coming, whenever the ending – You’re already there.
You go before me, You go behind me. Wherever I’m going – You’re already there.”
from SU Global News
“I had been leading a bible study group of girls 12-16 years old for about 5-6 years before I came to LLI,” said Carri. “It was one of the main reasons I came to LLI. I wanted to gain more skills and increase my knowledge of how to lead a bible study and better serve Christ in ministry. I also had a lot of my girls graduating and moving on the next year so I wanted to spend time with God and praying about if I needed to build a new group.”
Time at LLI taught Carri about how to teach different types of people within a group it also helped her see the signs of burnout, the danger of leading others without support and without relying on God.
Carri said, “After attending LLI, I was able to bring back the skill of debriefing, which made discussions in bible study much more fruitful and deep. I learned about leaders and teams and, once my original group of girls moved on to college and life, I started a leadership group for 17-20 year-olds that incorporates a lot of what I learned through LLI. I am teaching these young women about biblical leadership qualities, not only in a bible study group, but also in life. Then they are applying it while they teach a young girls’ bible study. It is fun to see them continue to grow.”
“I hope to lead this group for at least two years, and then see where God leads me. Whether the same ministry, a new one or even moving on to women’s ministry.
Carri says, “I am super thankful to LLI. God led me to it at the right time and knew exactly what I needed to learn and let go of that summer. He glorified himself so much by sanding and shaping me into what he wanted me to look like and planted me in the place where he wanted. I was broken, repaired, stretched and filled through my experience with LLI.”
By Steve Meeker
“We are in a discipleship relay race, not a marathon or a sprint.” — Jim Feiker
As we run this race, our strides are interconnected with those who have gone before us and the generations we have the privilege of running alongside. Discipleship is woven together with the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” who already have entered their rest, Christ followers who are making disciples, and those next to run (Hebrews 12:1).
Today, as you hit stride in your race of faith in Christ, remember to run in such a way that prepares you to persevere no matter the situations you face along the way. Cultivate spiritual habits that draw you closer to God so when difficulties come you are enabled to keep on keeping on. Endure and do not lose focus on Christ as He has selected you to be a part of the winning team and empowers you to run the segment of the race marked out for you.
Remember, God’s commands found in the Bible enable us to develop our spiritual stamina and are good for us. In the book of Colossians we read, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving,” (Colossians 4:2).
Put into practice, this command enables you to depend on the One who gives the strength you need to step out in faith. Along with this, praying in thanksgiving provides perspective and reminds me I am not the author of my race, God is and my Heavenly Father is faithful to provide all I need to run throughout this present-day.
Running a relay of endurance, not only reminds me of what my loving Father has already accomplished, but with each stretch forward the vision of those Jesus calls me to disciple in life’s race becomes clearer. Although the baton is in my hand for a season, as one called to “Go and make disciples” I must be prepared to look for the handoff (Matthew 28:18-20).
How do I hand the baton off in discipleship? May I encourage you to ask God to enable you to see the potential in those who you will disciple and then commit to stride alongside them. This can only be done in relationship so it requires intentionality in setting a pace that cultivates building spiritual endurance. If they trip while the pace is being set, be prepared to provide a safe place for them to get back to their feet so they learn to run.
Now comes the hard part, the handoff. You might be tempted to hold on too long to the baton of ministry, but we must remember it’s not our baton and it was meant to be passed on. Encourage those whom you are blessed to disciple to open their hands and get ready to receive the baton. Place it in their hand and continue to step together, but then let them run!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such
opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3
What does "rock climbing" mean to you?
Your partnership with LLI has enabled others to learn how to use rock climbing in Jesus' Great Commission. Here is what Andrii from Ukraine wanted to share with our community.
It wasn’t just a rock. It wasn’t just a next step to ascending the face of a cliff. Participating in the Transform training allowed me to grasp a skill I longed to use in ministry. When I was little my older brother took me rock climbing and there the seed was sown that sparked my interest in the sport.
Then in the summer of 2018, that spark ignited and I was able to be mentored in developing skills to support others while they climbed. As I served in this role, God used the experience and the training to unlock new abilities to take this sport and understand how to use it as a ministry tool in discipling others.
How can you mentor and train others without the experience yourself? Here I was pushed to developing new levels of climbing and experienced what it was like to be on the sharp end of the rope when I ascended and knew one slip could send me falling only to be caught by my belayer who was securing me as I climbed. This is what I longed to do, to be in a position where I could support others as they journeyed in their faith in Jesus as they learned to climb the route God has set for their lives.
God taught me through this time that He wanted to use me as a part of His plan to unlock and open up new ministries in Ukraine. There was so much I brought back after sitting under this training with the LLI mentors.
Now, I am able to take others into God’s creation and to teach them biblical truth and to draw out so many parallels between the sport of rock climbing and God’s word. We help kids gain a solid foundation as they learn to depend on Jesus and develop a Christian culture based on values that we teach them through a 5 finger contract.
What started as a spark has developed into a passion for using this sport to teach others about our Rock, the One in whom we always can trust. My journey continues and I am continuing to learn to serve in Jesus’ Great Commission using these skills in rock climbing and other tools I learned while going through the training last summer. LLI gave me a great base from where to start and I look forward to seeing what God will continue to accomplish here in Ukraine for His glory.
To God be the glory!
In His Grip,
Please know, you have played a special role in the Scripture Union Latvia story and we are very thankful. Since LLI has partnered with us our Outdoor Camp Program has become a reality and we hope this video will be an encouragement to you.
Thank you for making it possible for trainers from LLI to come and serve our team of volunteers and staff. I still remember our first training where Zane joined us in Estonia as we were taught about team building in 2017.
Not only did God use the training for the team, but those 5 days changed the course of her life and she left convinced she was called to serve full-time in ministry through SU Latvia. Well, we took the next step and sent her on to LLI’s summer Transform Training in 2018 and saw her come back better equipped for her new role.
What has been a blessing for us is that the LLI team really steps alongside others. God had given us a vision to start an outdoor ministry for children in His creation, but we lacked tools to do this. Last year, your partnership made it possible for us to host the LLI Outdoor Ministry training at our campsite in Latvia.
Within a month after the training, a new ministry was launched called SAVA DABA. It is such a blessing that in partnership we were better prepared to begin this life-changing ministry and just recently celebrated its one-year anniversary! While you are watching the video below, may you also be encouraged and give thanks to God with us for this new ministry that is engaging children with God’s Big Story while they spend time in His creation.
Through Sava Daba our team helps children and young people from all over Latvia to discover our Heavenly Father, to learn about teamwork and understand Christian values as foundations of their lives.
This past spring, we were also able to send Zane and Richards, our newest team member, to Croatia to participate in a Discover Sports Ministry training. Not only did this training continue to inspire our young leaders, but Ricards felt it was there that God reignited his zeal for serving Jesus and depending on Him.
Please let me encourage you with one more result, this time from the LLI Courageous Peacemaking training which took place in Lithuania this October. Thirteen of our volunteers and staff went not knowing what to expect and they came back nurtured and really inspired to keep on going with the mission work through SU Latvia and Sava Daba.
It is such a blessing to see how God is raising up a whole new generation to develop the campsite and programs using His Creation that will reach others with God’s truth. What started as a seed of vision has become a reality and your partnership in developing young leaders, your prayers and support have all mattered.
Thank you for being a part of God’s story and His work through His kids serving with SU Latvia!
To God be the glory,
Being a Christian leader is one of the most fulfilling and challenging roles as people tend to find creative ways to scrutinize your leadership. Along the way of learning to lead, I have found these four lessons to be the ones that resonate closest to my heart.
TRUSTING GOD: One area that is easier said than done is trusting God regardless of the situation. I have found it easier to trust God when things are going well. However, my faith is tested from all directions when I am facing a challenge. We all want to be in control and, when we are not, our world is turned upside down. I am learning every day to trust in God even when I do not know or control the outcome. Remember Noah when he was building an ark and there was no flood? He kept trusting even though others may have ridiculed his work.
Trusting God means taking a step forward in obedience even when we cannot see the road in front of us.
ACCOUNTABILITY: We live in a secular society where truth is viewed as subjective and people are masters of their own destinies. Being accountable requires me to embrace a humble spirit, believing that I should answer for all my actions either in private or public space. This is not an easy thing as we have to subject ourselves to another fallen human being who might have glaring short-comings! Accountability is being an open book as we give permission to others to make harsh or friendly assessments of our character and behavior. In my African context, accountability is very close to what we call ‘Ubuntu’ which basically means you are a person through others.
It is a realization that we were not created to live in isolation but in community. As a leader, I have intentionally surrounded myself with mentors who have permission to speak into my life. I strongly believe that no one can be a good leader unless he or she is in an intentional accountability relationship.
VULNERABILITY: The world continues to bombard us with images of strong leadership and some of these characteristics are difficult to attain. Most leadership training courses do not spend enough time teaching the growing leaders to embrace vulnerability. It is very sad that vulnerability is viewed as weakness and timidity and is scorned upon. Like the apostle Paul, I have found out that, “when I am weak then I am strong.” Vulnerable leaders allow others to see that God is not yet done with His work in them.
Vulnerability means humbly embracing our brokenness so that others can see we are work in progress!
BE PRESENT: Every single day there are things that are competing for our attention, ranging from our mobile screens to our social media platforms. We are a generation that is more connected than any other generation and yet we are lonelier than ever. We can be present physically but a million kilometers away from others due to social media disruptions. One of the lessons that I am learning is to be present with people. I refuse to have my attention forced into a detour because of an incoming call or message. It is sad that some of us rush to engage with our screens while we neglect to engage face to face with others.
Being present communicates that we value and respect the person we are speaking to and people leave the conversation encouraged.
Meet Tony Nzanzah,
Member of the SU Global Team and Field Development Director for English speaking Africa. He has served in many leadership roles, the most recent one being a board member of a Christian college in Cape Town, South Africa.
I found out about LLI almost a year ago, when my SU Latvia colleague Zane was preparing to go to LLI Transform summer training in Croatia. Zane came back to Latvia refreshed in her vision. She joyfully shared with our team how she had experienced a wonderful summer. And although it all sounded amazing, at the same time, I had this funny feeling that I actually had no idea what she was talking about.
Right after Zane came back, I had an opportunity to take part in hosting LLI Discover Training in Latvia. It seemed that I was finally going to experience what LLI means practically.
Unfortunately, not everything in life happens as planned. Training lasted 4 days and there were 32 participants from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Without a doubt, everything went great and the participants were delighted with the program.
However - as I was part of the SU Latvia organizing team, I kept focusing on all of my responsibilities of maintaining the training location so everything would go smoothly - my heart was closed to the spiritual aspect of the training. After the training, I felt like I had missed something. Everyone around me was happy and inspired but, for me, a smile just did not come as a natural response. At the same time my life was getting much more complicated and I started to feel spiritually empty.
Then came the second opportunity which I call – God’s miracle. I went to Croatia for a week and experienced LLI Discover training dedicated to sports ministry. God’s miracle came at the moment when I was facing problems such as money, time, etc. Basically, things we always need a little bit more of. God provided everything and even my skepticism and complex life situation disappeared at that moment.
This experience changed my mind and my previous picture completely! Finally I could just go and dedicate myself to what was prepared without thinking of practical background tasks. This training gave me the right focus not only for our SU Latvia mission, but also for my personal and spiritual life. One quote that I still hold to my heart from that week is this – “Don't let your thirst for direction shadow your thirst of knowing God better!”
Also, LLI team and their impact throughout the years really motivated us (SU Latvia team) to start our own outdoor education project called “Sava Daba”, which in Latvian means – Your own nature/Self nature. It is an amazing way to discover God’s creation through nature and to understand our unique role in it.
I would say that LLI Discover not only provided me with an impulse to start realizing ideas, but it also gave me the right mindset and basis so I could manage to stand strong even when the storm comes.
I invite you to try to fully understand what I am writing about and experience for yourself what LLI offers!
I came to LLI this year to gain more practical knowledge on how to be a leader. As a Senior Paramedic, Bible study leader and motivated individual I was very interested in improving my skills and growing in my relationship with Christ. I was constantly serving others, taking courses to learn new skills for serving others and wanting to know where God would lead me next in ministry and life. I knew of DPB and the staff from prior years of volunteering and was so excited to get a full summer of learning, ministry, rest and adventure!
The closer I got to the summer, the more God began to show me how I was burnt out and tired from work, ministry and family. I had been doing too much and I was wearing thin. I pushed through until the summer and then was happy to jump on a plane and spend a summer away from life, up close and personal with Jesus.
I knew the summer would be hard but fulfilling. I expected to be filled and well rested so I could go back to serving others. But God had all kinds of plans, and I can see now how he had those plans prepared for many years! I spent the first few weeks WAY out of my comfort zone. Multiple different cultures surrounding me, many strong leaders like me, a completely different schedule than normal and tasks made to challenge us mentally and spiritually. I knew that was coming but I didn’t expect how that would affect me.
God used the people and tasks to break me down and bring down every wall I had up. Plenty of tears happened as God showed me how I had not rested in a long time and struggled to find things that brought me joy. He used debriefs with Steve and Megan to make me think about every part of my life. I said many times “I came to this summer already broken, and God is breaking me more. I thought if I just kept serving others for God’s glory that my heart would be fine.” But I learned that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you aren’t regularly filling up on Jesus every day, you won’t have anything to give others. So after spending most of the summer learning about what God wanted me to see and practicing new healthy habits like supportive leadership, sabbath rest, prayer and working in a team, I was put to the test! I was CREW leader with Zane and was able to practice everything! God knew that I learn more by teaching and I had many opportunities to teach CREW members lessons that I needed to learn myself. Zane and I watched God take our daily plans for CREW and change them into something much better and more glorifying to him every day! We always ended the day saying “Wow! Did you see what He did? God is amazing!”.
Through it we had the blessing of watching a girl give her life to Christ and develop a love for scripture, all because of GOD choosing to use us as tools in his handiwork. This was by far the hardest but most fulfilling summer. I could write PAGES of stories of things God taught me and stories of hearts he changed. I ended the summer still not feeling full spiritually, but with the realization that God knew that is where I needed to be. If I went home full, I would go back to my old habits and go until I was empty again. Instead, I knew I had to go back to the same old things and people but with new habits and mindset that I needed to practice.
I needed to fill daily and rely on God to serve others. That thought scared me. I didn’t want to go back. I didn’t want to leave the loving and encouraging community that I had at LLI. Here, I was being challenged, pushed, loved and listened to. Coming home felt like I would be alone and inexperienced. But the thing with LLI is, you build such amazing relationships with your team members.
We were all going through similar struggles and questions. We learned how to be open, honest and loving with each other. Through that, during the summer, we built a community, a circle of people facing inwards, doing ministry. But now we must face outwards and go into the world to share what God has done and his love. Shoulder to shoulder, encouraging each other.
My first couple weeks home were a difficult transition. A few of us LLI students would say to each other “Everything is the same, except me.” Practicing those new habits was not easy, but I knew I had my LLI community behind me, thousands of miles away, but still willing to encourage and pray for each other.
I am currently practicing a weekly day of sabbath rest, spending devotional time regularly and allowing God to work in me. I have learned to step back from so many activities and focus on spending time to listen to God so that I can better serve others. I am still struggling with a lot of things spiritually and God is still teaching me a lot about things that need to change. But He used this summer to remove all the extra things so I could focus on the most important ones.
I’m not worried about all the tough things I’m walking through, because I saw through this summer that He has a much better plan, with an ending that is more than I could ever expect. If we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. I learned this summer that God knows more about what I want than I do, every truly fulfilling and joyful thing that He gives us in time is much more than what we think we want or need right now. So yes, I’m struggling, and I’m confused sometimes, but God has walked with me this far and blessed me more than I deserve, so I know He is going to continue that good work in me and carry it on to completion. He used LLI to change my life when I didn’t even know it needed to be changed! He is a good, GOOD Father.