This past year we have changed a lot. We have changed the time we eat, we have changed what we eat, we have changed how we greet people, we have changed how we interact with our neighbors, we have changed how we shop, we have changed how we use water and so much more. Sometime I look at all that we have changed about our life and think “wow we are getting there”. Then something will happen, like today when a live chicken is handed to me with the expectation that I know exactly what to do with it. Then the reality hits me again of how far we have to go.
One of the values I grew up with was finishing the tasks I began and finishing well. It was with this mindset that I entered language and culture learning. It was a mountain to climb and I would keep going until I reached the top. However the more I get into culture and language learning the more I see how much there is to learn. I finally have accepted the fact that there is NO top to this mountain. It is a mountain that I will always be climbing and that I always need to be willing to change. It is not about arriving at a certain destination it is about the process of becoming more and more relevant to the people God has called me to work with. Once I give up one comfort and accept a new way of doing one thing, there is always another that I could be doing. Thankfully God didn’t ask me to change everything at one time, but is graciously pushing me to change exactly what I can handle. However it is a constant process and I need to be willing to continue even when I become weary of changing. So each day I step forward.
As I thought about this I realized that the same truth applies to so many areas of my walk with God. The more I get to know God, the more I see how much I have to learn and change to become like him. It is a process, but I need to always be willing to move forward. One step at a time.
Roger See says
Dear Joel and Andi,
We just love your updates ! The pictures make a huge difference in understanding your world. We love reading your news and want you to know you are often in our thoughts and prayers. You have made a LOT of progress since your arrival in Senegal and we are very proud of you! You may remember we were there in 2005 with your parents, Joel.
Yesterday at the close of a four-day missions conference at our home church, one of the missionaries couples was honored upon their retirement after serving 31 years in the Philippines. A short video was played summarizing their years of ministry. It ended with a quote from David Livingston. “If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” I thought of one of the captions of your pictures when I read this and wanted to send this to you for reflection.
May you be “encouraged to the max” in your spiritual journey realizing all that God has accomplished in and through you since your arrival! Keep up the great work!
“Uncle” Roger and “Aunt” Karen (from Haiti days)
Jane Van Ryn says
Once again you have touched my heart. What a blessing you are to so many through your written words. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.
Love & blessings to you and all three of your “boys”,
Jane & Bud
Such a profound truth. And so irritating. We long for completion and to “arrive”, but that is not an earthly state of being. I long for the day when all things will be completed and set right, as they were meant to be. I love to hear your heart, sister. Thanks for always sharing and teaching me and others. I love you! I am so glad you have eyes of faith to look to Jesus and have hope rather than looking at the wind and the waves and being overcome.
June Green says
Andi, you are becoming so wise and yet you are still so young. I guess the saying that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” applies daily in your situation. Thank you for sharing all this with us and reminding us that God meets our needs daily. He is seldom early but never late.
Hugs to you,
Renee Pinkerton says
Yes! Dear Daughter
Last night we went to the Burning Lights Tour as I listened and meditated on Kari Jobe singing “Hosanna” the line that so struck me was; “Everything I am for your Kingdom‘s cause as I walk from earth to eternity”
Yes, it is important to do a task well but accomplishing and earthly task is not the end, Each task or adventure or lesson or …is just a step that leads to the next step, Hebrews 12:1-2 And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
And then sing..
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna in the highest
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
Barb Griffin says
Thank you Andi for your wisdom and encouragment for me in my journey. Amazing how your in Africa and yet you still have an impact on those of us in the U.S.
Toby Beck says
It’s early Saturday morning here on the west coast of America and your post has just finished my sermon. I love how God does these things. I just finished working through Luke’s Sermon on the Level (6:17-49) and was wondering how to wrap us this point about Jesus’ followers being continuously led to become more like Him. Somewhat stumped, I decided to catch up on some e-mail and clicked on your post. I laughed out loud at God’s sweet provision. You guys may be on the other side of the planet but we are next door neighbors in this journey with Jesus. Keep up the good walk, Toby