ECA and Bogotá Update
We have just finished the first quarter of school and return to school October 13. This has been a quarter of more confidence as a teacher and building deeper relationships with the students. I just finished teaching basketball and will start teaching softball/kickball to the guys and baseball to elementary after the break. Next quarter I am leading and organizing the high school girls’ soccer tournament. One fun thing has been organizing and participating in the double-elimination staff ping pong tournaments for men and women. I am in the guys’ final that will be played after we return from break.
I am enjoying being a homeroom teacher with the Senior class and am helping to disciple a student in 12th grade. I had the opportunity to share the story of my coast adventure during staff devotions a few weeks ago. I got to go with the 6th graders on a service trip to a ministry where they led activities for the kids there. It was cool to see them lead and serve others. I also got to attend a weekend retreat with all ECA staff members in “hot country.” I was also blessed to be a part of secret friends for Amor y Amistad at ECA.
My Strength and Joy
One amazing thing in the past few weeks has been an increased joy and strength in the Lord. I had been in a spiritual funk for a while and knew I needed to do something about it. For the past two weeks I have been getting up a half an hour earlier to go for a walk, think, pray, and read the Bible. This has turned out to be my favorite and much needed part of the day. I have experienced a greater desire for God and a deeper level of God’s peace, joy, strength, confidence, worship, and clarity of thinking throughout the day. Each day I can feel an increase of the Holy Spirit in me and makes me want more.
I have been thinking about what the gospel and the kingdom of God are and what they mean. It was said by someone that the gospel is way more than just forgiveness of sins and going to heaven. It’s about living in the power of Christ and having abundant life. A lot of times we act and think like heaven is some far off place, but really heaven and God’s kingdom is right here in our midst and we already have eternal life. I can rejoice in all situations because of this.
In the past few weeks, I have been understanding more of what it means that God simply wants me – to know me and for me to know Him. I have enjoyed spending time with Him and slowing down to spend more time. Everything flows out of this, and I have been understanding and experiencing this. God wants intimacy with me and for me to just be real with Him in everything and share life together.
Who I Am In Christ
God has been giving me a greater confidence in Him as I am learning more of who I am in Christ. This is something I’ve heard my whole life, but I am just starting to grab ahold of the freedom of this now. I am realizing more and more that I don’t need human affirmation and care less and less of what others think. The more time I spend with the Lord, the more confidence, peace, and joy I have in Him.
I love Psalm 103! Jesus loves me as high as the heavens are above the earth and has removed my sin as far as the east is from the west. He crowns me with steadfast love and faithfulness forgets my iniquity, heals my diseases, redeemed my life from the pit, satisfies me with good, renews me, shows compassion, is merciful and gracious, and many other things. He promises to take care of my every need. He has given me power and authority to preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead, move mountains, shine the light of Christ Himself, and love others. He has freed me from the law of sin and death. Mind blown! If we really believe this and act on it, look out! The freedom God has given through Christ is amazing!
“Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” – Proverbs 3:7-8
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:11-12