Last week, our topic was Global Missions with Jack McNeill. He was definitely a lot different than our first speaker, being a professor and all. Ha. But Jack is a lifelong YWAMer and professor in Anthropology - brillant, brillant man. He definitely gave us a lot to think about in going to Uganda. I'd never even been out of the states before coming here, so I feel naive and ignorant when it comes to different cultures. But I'm realizing that that's ok. So I don't know much about Uganda - well, I've never been there. So honestly, how can I expect myself to know what it's like??
Jack broke down a lot of things that we do in the West when we going abroad. It gave me a lot of good things to think about, and definitely avoid - it's crazy how many missionaries go with the wrong heart. I'm praying that when I'm in Uganda, I would understand that the way they do things is systematic and it's good for them. The Lord is already in Uganda - I have little to offer besides my hands and my friendship and to just be Christ to them. I'm sure it will all be reciprocated as well : ). I'll learn from them and receive from them as much as they do from me.
A lot of the week, Jack was over my head though. It was a mentally taxing week and by the end, I was exhausted. I struggled with some of the things he had said, but thank God for community! I was able to chew on things with everyone else here. It had to be simplified and I'm realizing my lack of wisdom - honestly. I don't know nearly as much as I think I know. I'm definitely becoming more humble in this experience. My knowledge is expanding and challenged!! It hurts sometimes!!
Last weekend, we did the Gulu walk downtown. All over the world, people in different cities pledge and walk for civil war-affected youth in Northern Uganda. Certain organizations finance kids in Uganda to go to school again with the money raised in the Gulu walk. It is AMAZING. We walked all over Winnipeg (which was a plus because I haven't seen it all yet!) with about 100 people. Feel free to check out the website...
This week, our topic was Prayer & Worship with Chad Chomlack. Oh. My. Goodness. This week blew my mind!! He's raising questions that are so... profound. We talked about dualism and our split vision - this is good, that is bad; this is right, that is wrong; I am Christian, you are not. But what Christ sees? Redemption. It's not about what is deemed as Christian or what people do, it's about Christ and how He's working even in the circumstances that don't seem directed to Him. It's about redemption - how people are being renewed and restored instead of condemned and judged.
"We feel like we need to go to church and have these BIG spiritual moments. RHAH!!! And that's where God is, we feel. But why is it so disconnected from what I do everyday?"
Prayer and worship are just life. They're just life.
We also talked about hearing God and being led by God - Chad brought up something I've never even thought of before. Listen to what God is saying and doing through who. you. are. God is slowly revealing who I am to me. I don't know myself as well as He does - an I'm actually realizing that I don't know myself well at all!! And I have the freedom to make decisions - go here, do this or that or something completely random! - based on whether something is going to fulfill me or not. I can know myself well enough to either say - YEAH I need to do that!! Or NO no no that's not me at all. Free will really is free!! God isn't going to direct every single step I take --- He's already made me who I am and life is about discovering that and doing things that I know make me FULLY ALIVE!!
One thing he said that really got me was that he doesn't believe it's about a blueprint of how God has designed our lives. It's not about what we do in life, where we serve --- it's about becoming more like His Son.
After this week, I feel so free. I realized that I kept getting bogged down with figuring out where God is leading me and what my calling in life is. When I can just look inside myself and do what I love to do! God finds joy in that!!
Next step: Know self.
Gawsh it's so amazing the things I'm learning and the ways I'm growing already. It's only been three weeks and I've been challenged to think about things I never have before.
Things you guys can pray for:
Finances for my team. We are close to getting our entire team to Uganda - the tickets are VERY expensive and then we have outreach fees to pay for as well. Deadlines are hitting us hard. God has definitely amazed us with provision, but we still have things to pay for.
Unity. My team has grown so close in the last few weeks. I've never seen anything like it - thank God for that and pray that it would continue and we would keep growing to embody an authentic community!
Me. Clearly, I want to get the most out of my DTS - pray that I would fully receive everything God's trying to do. Getting to know myself, stretching myself, doing uncomfortable things, being challenged. That God shows me who I am!!
(Clockwise from top: Me, Devon, Crystal, Mike, Jasmin, Carolyn)
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