I sat down yesterday with the intention of writing a post all about the Gospel. As I started writing, I got a few hundred words in, reread what I wrote, and realized some things. It was not worth the time for someone to read and it lacked purpose or punch.
I regrouped and outlined the article, and also looked through my Bible for some solid scriptural thread of the Gospel. After that, I packed up my things and called it a day, I spent my entire afternoon to come up with just a small outline.
Today I sat down to do the same thing, but this time exploring the theme behind the website. The post idea was centered around doulos and being a servant of the Lord. Again, I struggled to write it and so finally threw my hands up. This was the key moment of my experience, because, with more intention than before, I did what I should have. I took it to the Lord in prayer.
The prayer time transformed my thinking and direction. I felt the weight on my heart of several things, none of which were the topics I was laboring over.
What’s the new idea?
I felt so dense looking back on my thought process throughout my preparation for my second post. It was one of those times when there is a massive, neon sign with directions on it but you ignore it and go the other way. And then you wonder why you are so lost!
It’s so simple, why not reflect on the week or so of experience in Bradenton I now have and share how God is working in my life.
I arrived in Bradenton October 1, so you can do the math but that means I have been here for a little over a week. My expectations were that the first week would not be very difficult, so it surprised me yesterday when I was thinking about it. It has been difficult.
There were a few moments and interactions that absolutely made my week. The first thing was a huge God story that I can not share all of the details of, but I will do my best.
God’s Wonderful Grace
One of the first things on my plate when I got here was to get my phone fixed. It was having several problems and it is a newer phone. On my way to the Apple store, I opened a letter that was God at work. It was effectively a scholarship and was a “string-free” gift from God. Still, my plan was to praise God for it and then move it on to someone else the Lord could bless.
Then, inside the Apple Store, they let me know that since the one camera lens on my phone was broken, my warranty was not in effect. The tech told me it would be 426$ for a replacement phone. I immediately called my mom, like a good son. Next, I called one of the people involved in the scholarship. I wanted them to know that a phone was the last way I wanted to utilize any of the money.
After we talked we worked out how to go about it and I hung up the phone. I apologized to the tech for making phone calls and told her I just had to tell her the whole story. Not to make her feel bad, but I wanted to give some explanation. I told her about my family situation and why there was a scholarship for my sisters and me. I told her why I was in Bradenton.
At the end I said “okay, I need to buy the replacement.” She asked if I was positive and I said yes.
“Alright let me go and order it from another store because we do not have any in store.”
*ten minutes go by*
“Okay, well… we never do this. Seriously this is only for you and because of how unique your circumstances are. I do not feel right charging you that 400$. I asked my manager if our store could cover the cost and she said yes.”
This was a massive blessing and was one of the ways God confirmed my rightful obedience to His hand of direction to Bradenton.
How to Pray For Me
My goal for this post was just to share God’s grace and blessing.
Second, I want to be honest and transparent about my feelings and thoughts after a week. God continues to unveil more of His goodness and graciousness through my life. Even in light of those truths, there will be trials and difficulties.
It hit me the other day how much I do miss home. Nobody thought this would be easy but actually facing the hard parts is still an abrupt arrival. When it comes to the ministry work, it is a humbling experience. Talking to new people, in a new place, with foreign languages is not easy. Establishing relationships is even more difficult, and communicating the Gospel is not such an easy task when the rubber hits the road.
I have been resting on the Lord’s Word and have found comfort through prayer and time with the Creator. Rather than letting me see my self in these situations, He has pointed me to His Spirit and His Son.
Jesus’s teaching throughout John chapter 4 has fed my soul. The truth of eternal life as the gift of God and the living water He freely gives is foremost. Later in the chapter, the teaching to the disciples that true food is doing the will of God a huge challenge. And finally, the encouragement that the sower and reaper will rejoice together. Whichever role the Lord has for me in the spread of the Gospel, I rejoice.
Stay in prayer and live in Light of what our Savior has done.