"As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him..."
~Psalm 103:15-17a

It's Been a Month Already!!!

Well, it's been more than a month now that I have been in my internship.  While I don't really have a routine yet, I am enjoying it all so far and am using it as an opportunity to learn flexibility.  I have actually accomplished quite a bit, looking back over the last month, though it didn't seem like much at the time.  Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days for the internship (with the international student ministry at  our church) and Wednesdays and Fridays are the days for my job as church secretary (with the same church).  My secretary job, while very busy and stressful, isn't very exciting or interesting (usually).  But with the internship, I am able to study some books on Christian living and worldview, study the Bible one-on-one with a couple gals from China and plan some big outreach events for the fall.  This is also busy and sometimes stressful, but it is at least somewhat more interesting to talk about, so...

Studies:


I have been reading "Let the Nations Be Glad!" by John Piper, a really good book about, as the subtitle says, "The Supremacy of God in Missions." I have been taking notes from the book as well as writing down some really good quotes, two of which I want to share.  The first one really challenged my thinking: do I do "my utmost" to show people God and His glory and infinite worth?  If I do not, do I really value God as infinitely worthy?  Or am I just saying that I do, with no proof of it showing in my life, behavior and attitudes?:
If I don't do my utmost to show the nations 'the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ,' I will in effect be saying, 'It is not infinitely valuable.  It is not absolutely necessary for eternal life....'  But if I say this, then I do not believe in 'the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.'  And if I do not believe, I lose everything." (page 7)

The second quote was interesting because I guess I had never really thought about the ultimate goal of the church, and if I had, I would probably have said missions.  But it makes sense that:
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church.  Worship is.  Missions exists because worship doesn't.  Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man." (page 11)

I am very thankful for the opportunity I have in this internship to study and think through these kind of issues.

One-On-One Bible Studies:


These one-on-one Bible studies also really help me think through some issues.  Since I have to explain things in simple English (no cliches or complicated "Christianized" language), I have to really think through what I say.  Sometimes I am able to answer the questions in a way that I feel explains the issue well, other times I have to simply say, "I don't know," and other times I finish the study and just have to pray that God will make things clear to them because I feel like I completely messed it up.  Praise God He can use me even in my weaknesses!

Outreach Events:


These events include the Annual Furniture Give Away for new international students and the Welcome Picnic at the end of Orientation Week for new international students.  There is an incredible amount of detail that goes into planning these events, and I am thankful for my coworkers and family members who are able to help me think through things and plan out how to do everything, from coordinating volunteers to purchasing the necessary supplies to making sure the furniture goes to the right student (for the FGA).  And it's all happening in about a month!  Sometimes I feel a bit stressed about all that.  Stress certainly doesn't end after the last final!

Maria Update

Just a quick update: Maria had her transplant and it went very well.  This week she had a minor surgery to remove the tube used for dialysis.  Now we are just trying to figure out what is causing her knee pain.  It probably starts with the hips, but the doctor hasn't been able to pinpoint anything yet.  When the pain is at the greatest, she can hardly walk and has to be carried most of the time.  When she says it doesn't hurt, she still walks like a little old lady or a penguin.  We're praying that we can figure out what is wrong with this poor gal!  She's such a trooper, hardly ever complaining, and pushing herself to do what she can alone.