Ferry's In The Jungle

Ferry's In The Jungle
1 Peter 1:22b "Love one another deeply, from the heart."

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pulling Away

After 3 years of living abroad we are learning strategies for health in full-time ministry and working hard to be disciplined to practice pulling away to rest and be quiet. Our home serves as our hub of ministry; our couches a place of connection; our table a place of nourishment. We are learning to love the local drop-by culture and long unannounced visits. Each time we welcome an unexpected visitor or host ministry partners and friends our socks are blessed off. 

This type of hospitality and friendship discipleship ministry doesn't know "business hours" and it shouldn't. We have learned, however, that we need to practice pulling away which gives us protected time to rest, process and pray and connect as a family without interruption or unexpected twists. After attempting (and failing) to accomplish this goal in our hometown of Shell we were wisely counseled to get out of town! 

A kind friend reminded us that Jesus and his disciples pulled away. Mark 6:30-31, "The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Notice Jesus didn't say, "When the need dies down and life is slower let's pull away together." Needs remain but in order to live and serve well we must prioritize pulling away to be quiet and rest. We are learning this. The discipline isn't easy and the getting away can be complicated. If you keep reading in Mark you'll see the apostles ran into need on their way to rest. We've experienced this as well but we strive to not allow it to deter us from the discipline.

To celebrate the wrap up of our first year of homeschool we hit the road and traveled the 10 hours to the coast of Ecuador. 

Seeing the coast of Ecuador was awesome and we were reminded of how the ocean was a protagonist in the Costa Rica chapter of our story. The waves remind us of God's great power and the tide the ever-changing landscape of our lives. Beautiful sunsets brought on contemplation and reflection. Drawn out family meals made way for vulnerable conversations about the challenges we have faced and the victories we see on the horizon. We traveled back home with greater resolve to prioritize pulling away and gratitude that we serve a God that offers a model we can follow as we pour out our lives on a daily basis. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Little Buddies and Baptism Class

The pastor of our little church in Sigcha Puma asked Chris to lead a baptism class for two wonderful little men. Chris spent time researching, drafting the details of the class and then translating it into Spanish and into a format that would speak to the young minds and hearts he had been entrusted with. 

Watching these curious minds thumb through the Bible and tell their story of coming to trust Jesus was a joy. Listening to discussions about salvation through grace and watching the wheels of their minds churn as Chris repeatedly pointed our that our good works are the fruit of our faith; not a way of earning approval or salvation was eye opening. 

These wise little guys have been raised by Christian parents but some of the residue of works-based-teachings cling strong. Our prayers are more pointed these days with a clearer understanding of real the battle for grace to win and our works to be worship to the One who paid it all. 

We sent them home after munching on some BBQ Chicken Sandwiches and celebrating their desire to express, through baptism, their decision to follow Jesus. With them they carried a letter of encouragement to their parents highlighting the individual strengths we saw in their child and prompting them to review the materials together and address any additional questions their child may have. 

Our desire is to continue to encourage parent-child discipleship relationships and affirm that the parents are equipped to study the Bible with their children and coach their children through their development spiritually, physically and emotionally. 

At times the title of "Teacher" or "Pastor" or "Missionary" can rob the parents of their confidence to train up their own child. Each interact we have with parents and children we seek to affirm the integral role of a parent and walk along side  parents as they learn and grow in this area. Raising up local leadership is a long-term investment but it is worth the long-term results.