July, August, September 2018 in Pictures

It’s such a privilege to be a part of God’s work here in the Dominican! Enjoy these pictures of our last few months at Freedom!

July

August

September

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

This past week was difficult, but good. Lots of struggles – computer issues, physical exhaustion, daily interruptions, limited time with my family, feelings of stress from my messy house, and, well, I needn’t go on. You get the idea.

One morning, I “set up shop” in the upstairs portion of the multi-use. As I sat there waiting for my computer to boot up, I looked out the window. Jimena was standing there, broom in hand, whisking the dust off the sidewalk. Across the way, students were rhythmically repeating some chant after their teacher. Toni was in the breezeway, preparing team members to meet their pre-schoolers. The safari truck pulled up, and Martires began collecting empty water jugs to fill up. Becky’s happy voice echoed through the air as she reminded the 3-year-olds that it was time to put their “Heads down!” Hammers clanged in the distance as the construction crew started their day.

All of the sudden, I felt so very small. I forgot about my troubles for a moment and breathed up a prayer of thankfulness to the Lord for allowing me to be a small part of all that He’s doing here. Maybe those sights and sounds of our wonderful ground team working together were my “echoes of mercy and whispers of love” for the day.

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We’d love for you to pray that our family continues to learn what it means to submit perfectly to Jesus – even when our days don’t go the way we expect. Fanny Crosby wrote about the delight, happiness, and rest that are available when we allow the Lord to fill us with His goodness. And I want that.

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Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Exchanging Lies for the Truth

Those first two weeks back after furlough were difficult for me. I was discouraged in the classroom. I was exhausted at home. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything right. I was yelling at my kids. I wasn’t spending time with my husband. I wasn’t disciplining well at home or at school.

Why was I struggling so much? I realized that I had been listening to some lies – lies that I had allowed to enter my thought life and poison the very way I was looking at the world. So these past few days, I’ve decided to think through those falsehoods and combat them with the only thing I know that can obliterate them from my mind. I’ve decided to exchange those lies for the Truth.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 

Lie. You’re not meant for this teaching business.
TruthFor we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Lie? No one enjoys being in your classroom.
Truth. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…  Colossians 3:23 

Lie. You’ll never be organized. You’re not creative enough. Your Spanish isn’t good enough. You’re just not enough.
Truth. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Lie. There’s too much pressure. This is too hard.
Truth. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

Lie. Your personality isn’t “strong” enough to do this.
Truth.  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

Lie. You shouldn’t have to deal with these problems. Look at all you’ve given up for the Lord!
Truth. 
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 

Lie. You’re the only one who is going through difficult circumstances right now. No one understands what it’s like to be in your shoes.
Truth. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

Lie. These kids are never going to learn. You’re just beating a dead horse.
Truth. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I’m looking forward to a week with different perspectives. Lord, help me to take every thought captive!

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(So Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote this amazing book called Lies Women Believe.  I realized halfway through writing this post that I “stole” her format. No intent to plagiarize here. I recommend that book, by the way. And… the end.)