Be still.

dr be still blog

This week we had three different groups here! I wondered if it would be kind of hectic and disorganized with over 80 people, but the Lord definitely worked this week cause everything from construction to doing VBS at 4 different places went smoothly. I led the construction of the roof panels yet again (I’ve done this for the past 6 or 7 weeks). It’s alright though. I’ve done it so much I know how to do help my team get them done quickly and relatively efficiently.

I’ve done it so much that I like to start and work till they’re done. But sometimes that’s not how it works out. We had a lot of workers so work got done quickly. But there’s only 2 chop saws, so oftentimes the wood couldn’t be cut at the pace the panels were being constructed.

There was one day that I was consumed with finishing one side of the roof panels. We needed 18 left panels and 18 right panels. It was time to clean up but we only had one right panel left to do and I was just like – let’s go ahead and finish this! Come on! The team I was working with was willing, so we started getting it done. It was the fastest we had made one. We were like 75% of the way done when the guy that’s the head of the construction came over and informed me that we already had the needed 18 right panels.

Frick. I was so frustrated that I made my team work extra. That I had carelessly had them do extra work that we would then have to fix later. Failure is something I hate. I hate messing up. I like to do things right. I can remember the detailed stuff and how to construct it, but I had still made a mistake. It really wasn’t that big of a deal, but it bothered me a lot.

The next day, we were back at it again. But still, all the wood wasn’t cut, and I started getting a little antsy. I still really wanted to finish them already. I just wanted to get it done. And all of a sudden I just felt like the Lord was telling me – Be still. Be still and know that I am God. Be still and focus on the relationships here. Be still and focus on the people.

This is something the Lord is continually teaching me. Focus on the people. The groups we had this week were incredible. I loved each one. And I think part of that was cause I did try to focus on the people this week.

Seek my face.

blog - seek my face

Coming into this summer I expected it to be hard. I expected it to be lonely and difficult to adapt. I expected to miss home like crazy and be homesick. I expected to be counting the days to when I would come home.

I mean a part of me also feared that when coming here, I would never want to go back.

I expected to learn a lot about Jesus. To be continually poured into by the people I’m working with. But what I found challenging was not what I expected and vice versa. I got here and immediately connected with the other interns. I fell in love with the culture and within the first week knew that I would be heart broken to leave. God has been so faithful to make this place my home.

What I found difficult was focusing on Jesus. Do you know how easy it is for me to get caught up in the physical work of building chapels and doing construction and easily forget to be in the word pursuing my relationship with Christ? I can often be very work focused and that’s where I’ve been at the past couple weeks. So incredibly physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I had less then enough energy to function. I neglected the one relationship that reenergizes me. I neglected the one book that offers more truth and encouragement then I could need in a thousand life times.

On top of that, I’ve been trying to figure out God’s calling for me. I love it here. I love being a missionary in the Dominican. The cultural differences make life a little more difficult sometimes, but I still love it. Spanish is a beautiful language and I desire so deeply to learn it in order to connect better with the people here. I feel called to missions, but the where is hard to discern.

I’ve been letting my exhaustion take over. I’ve been so busy that finding a moment to be still with the Lord is tough. The only consistent time I’ve found to be successful is in the mornings. Free time is sparse; if i want to read my Bible I have to be more proactive here then I am at home. And the past couple weeks, I’ve done that poorly.

But yesterday I got up early. One of the other interns, Hanneh, and I decided to get up yesterday and start studying the book of Proverbs. It’s evident just in the first chapters that He promises wisdom to those who seek it earnestly.

Proverbs 2:4-6 “if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

My prayer that morning was that God would teach me and show me Himself and His will for my life.

You know what’s cool? I probably felt God speak to me more yesterday then I have any other day here. Hanneh and I got the chance to talk to the founder of the ministry we’re working for after church. I asked her if she had any advice for someone considering going into missions full time and she had three tidbits of wisdom:

1) Yes come. We need more young people that are passionate about overseas missions.

2) To determine God’s calling you have to continually be in the word and in prayer.

3) There’s no coincidences.

Then last night another leader of a ministry in the Dominican came and talked to our group about her journey of becoming a missionary. She felt called to do missions overseas but couldn’t figure out where. She kept praying and praying about it and telling God – “I’m willing. Show me your will. I’m willing.” One night when she was praying she felt God telling her “Stop seeking my will and seek my face instead.” And she knew exactly what He meant. She had gotten so caught up in seeking His will for her life that she had neglected pursuing her relationship with Him.

What I learned was that sometimes (or maybe all the time?) God doesn’t show you His whole plan for your life. Just little steps you can take to continue following his will for your life. If you’re pursuing your relationship with God and seeking Him out, then you can’t really be outside of His will. He will show you in His timing.

What a good check to be reminded three times yesterday to seek God and be in the word daily. 

Philippians 4: 6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”