As the team began the journey back, there were few cheerful smiles and several tear-stained cheeks. Approaching it from a secular perspective, one would not be able to make sense of it in the least, however, we were privileged to share in a ministry of love and sacrifice that connected us to the people on the most basic of levels. While serving and learning the culture, we were also learning about ourselves; our pettiness, our needy-ness, our selfishness, or even our lack of attentiveness. Each took away a different lesson. As we journey back to the states I cannot help but wonder how long our lessons will stay fresh in our mind. Our humanity tends to allow us to forget lessons learned without a reminder. Technology allows the pictures and some memories to last, but how long will we pray fervently for those we reached out to? This week we have been set on fire, but the comforts of our first world country can dull that flame. I encourage each of our team to take a picture or a reminder of this trip and keep it somewhere to remind you daily of where you have been. For those back at home, please remember to support the efforts of these missionaries in whatever way God allows-whether that be going yourself, supporting financially, or prayers.
As we leave the realities of Ethiopia and the "Ethiopian time" and return to our busy, chaotic schedules I am tempted to begin to stress. As always, God knows my heart and provided these words of encouragement:
Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember that you are on a journey with Me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion who sustains you moment by moment. As you gaze anxiously into the distance, you don’t even feel the strong grip of My hand holding yours. How foolish you are, My child! Remembrance of Me is a daily discipline. Never lose sight of My Presence with you. This will keep you resting in Me all day, every day.
Pray continually.-1 Thessalonians 5:17
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.-Psalm 62:5