Monday, February 9, 2015

Today's Joys: Sick…Surroundings…Rest...

Do you see the red spot among the winterized tree branches?
This past weekend, I dove into Liberty's Center for Global Engagement retreat weekend, which is an intense time for students who are seriously interested in mission work on the other side of the world.

There are a variety of talks throughout the weekend focusing on keeping Jesus first, what is the call to missions, what is discipleship here and now, and other issues of debt, purity, etc.

It is refreshing for a representative of a missions organization to see a school like Liberty give such focus on these pertinent issues in an attempt to help prepare students for entering the occupational mission world.

Each student is also paired up with a mission representative.  That's where my role comes in!  I get to meet one-on-one with a student throughout the weekend to process what they are hearing and learning and talk with them about their specific needs, desires, hurts, and longings.

This was my third time at the Global Retreats and I was very much looking forward to this treasured time with the students.

The first day went well, meeting the students and having a few sessions.  I had some stomach pain, but nothing that ibuprofen couldn't handle.  By the afternoon of the second day, I was rolled up in a ball in one of the bunk beds, trying to get relief from the pain in my stomach.

After some release coming out both ends (sorry for the details!), and after asking for help from my colleagues and my parents, I decided I needed to go back to my brother's house (about 20 minutes away) and rest for the night.  Fortunately, my parents were in town visiting my brother and could come get me, and by God's grace, my colleagues jumped in and met with my student.
Chunky little guy, huh?
That night was rough - pain and more pain, unable to eat anything for fear of throwing it up again, but unable to sleep because of the pain.  So frustrating.  I haven't been that sick, in…actually about 10 years - it reminded me of being sick when I lived in Asia.

Anyway, by the afternoon I was finally able to get out of bed, and walk (slowly) to the kitchen to cook some rice.  I sat outside on my brother's porch- as it was a warm 60 degrees and this little red bird brought a smile to my face like nothing else.

Watching him rest on the branch and observe his surroundings reminded me that I need to rest and simply take in life sometimes.  And while I don't feel like I was able to 'take in' a whole lot while I was recovering from being sick, I definitely was able to rest.

In about 30 minutes, I will start into Liberty's: Global Focus Week - a week devoted to God's Work around the world - through specific Convocation messages, and mission booths and mission representatives (me! and others!) speaking in classes encouraging students to consider their role in God's mission.  [*Note, you can watch Liberty's convocation LIVE through the link above -- today's speaker at 10am Eastern Time, is an Iraqi pastor and missionary: Ghassan Thomas]

This week I will also be meeting with several students - several of whom I have been working with on their applications or trip preparation - or others I have mentored at past retreats.

Thank you for praying for God's strength this week, as my body continues to recover from being sick…. and as He draws me into His rest and his strength.

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