Bought for a Price

Image

A little over two weeks ago I injured my back, and have been in pain and unable to workout since then. The problem is that I regain my sanity through exercising, and since I haven’t been able to workout, I’ve had to improvise. Therefore, I’ve started walking wherever I possibly can. I take an hour to walk to Starbucks so that I can sit and read for a while. I get off the train a stop early just so I can walk home. I walk to our morning meetings. I walk here. I walk there. I walk. But I’m not just walking mindlessly–I’m walking with a purpose.

I’ve been feeling burdened and uneasy, waking up in the middle of the night restless, tossing and turning in my sleep. And then I wake up early because my mind is racing and I find myself unable to fall back asleep. I’ve been feeling this overwhelming sense that I need to pray, and pray often. My soul has been troubled, and the only times I feel at peace are when I’m praying. And that’s why I’ve been walking. I’ve been prayer walking.

In order to get to my favorite Starbucks, it’s about a 40-60 minute walk from my apartment, and one of the streets I prayer walk across is known as the prostitution sector of the city. Well, tonight myself and three other women volunteered with this ministry who reaches out to prostitutes, and we prayer walked the very streets that the women were standing on, the very ones I had been prayer walking all along. This was probably one of the most powerful, yet disturbing things that I’ve ever experienced. Words cannot explain what it is like to see women standing on street corners, alluring men to buy sex from them, to see women believing they are nothing more than object. They are being bought for a price. They are selling their bodies and selves for money. This simultaneously infuriates and saddens me.

The reality is that we were all bought for a price–the death of Jesus Christ. We were purchased with His blood, we were made clean, and it is because of Him that we are saved and can live with the Father in eternity. You see, when Jesus was on earth He was with the prostitutes. He did not turn a blind eye. He did not choose to ignore, but He hung out with them! How cool is that?! He purchased ALL of us from slavery and it is because of Him that we are free. We are no longer in bondage because Jesus broke the chains. He bought us for a price. He loves us and created us and that is why He sacrificed Himself.

It is because of Him that I am free, and there has been no clearer picture of that then tonight. I think this is why I have been distressed–my soul is anxious for the depravity humanity. It is burdened by our need of a Savior; therefore, I guess I will just keep walking and praying.

 

PS I’m still processing the events of tonight, so I’m sorry if my thoughts are incoherent.

 

¡España!

Image

A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of going to Spain for a week for our mid-year conference. This conference marked our half-way point, and it was a time for all STINTers serving in Europe, NAME and PACT regions to come together for a week of refreshment and rejuvination. I did not realize how desperately my soul needed me to be there.

Sunshine is a beautiful thing :)

There are no words to describe how refreshing it was to walk along the beach, watch the sun rise and set, and to talk with people who are having similar experiences as I am. Mid-year refreshed and encouraged me in each area of my life:

The first morning I woke up to see the sunrise, and this was just as the sun started to peek over the ocean and awaken the world with its light.

The Sunset over Nerja, SpainMid-year refreshed and encouraged me in each area of my life:

Spiritually, the morning and evening talks were life-giving: challenging me to focus on why I came on STINT and encouraging me to continue serving even when things become difficult. Likewise, having my morning devotions on the beach with the sounds of the waves crashing on the shoreline was invigorating. I connect with God through nature, so any time I can be a part of creation when doing my devotions, I feel infinitely closer to Him.

 

 

Emotionally it was a blessing to meet with the counselor and talk through why I’ve been unsuccessful in my personal ministry this year. A lot of my perceived unsuccessfulness has stemmed from my definition of success, and how I have removed God from the equation, and have put too much emphasis on my personal abilities.

See what I mean? How much closer do you feel with the Creator when looking at sights like this??

 

Daniel 3:17-18

“If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

 

 

Relationally, it was life-giving to meet STINTers from all over the world and hear of their experiences with life and ministry. It made me realize that I am not alone, and that I am not the only one experiencing difficulties and hardships; in fact, there are a lot people who have not seen any fruit this year, and it is not for lack of effort, but it is all in God’s plan. On one of the days we were able to go on a day trip somewhere, and I went to The Rock of Gibraltar. That day I was able to talk with people from the Netherlands, Slovenia, Africa, Montenegro, and more. We were able to connect by eating lunch together, walking around, and sitting on the bus together for hours. These are people that I might not have ever been able to meet, yet are going through similar things as I am. It’s just so interesting how God does that–how He pulls people together that He knows are going through similar things, and they are able to connect, even if it is just for a brief moment in time.

"This Time for Africa"

“This Time for Africa”

 

Physically, I LOVE LOVE LOVE being outside and in nature; it’s one of the main reasons I can’t quit my summer job as a lifeguard (who doesn’t love spending 40+ hours a week in the summer outside?! :) ) So I digress. But in all sincerity, morning runs along the beach, watching the sun rise over the Mediterranean, taking walks along the beach in the afternoons, skipping rocks in the ocean and reading on the porch made me feel alive again. I think future me needs to spend a lot more time outside and in nature in order to be a happy, healthy person :)

Overlooking the Mediterranean Se

Monkeys!

    It’s a Baby Monkey!

One afternoon a friend and I went on a walk along the beach, and as we skipped rocks into ocean, talking about life, I felt this overwhelming sense of calm and peacefulness that you can only get when in the presence of such a beautiful creation.

Mid-Year

WE LOVE gelatto and spain.

WE LOVE gelatto and spain.