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Saturday, August 28, 2010

1 Corinthians for Missionaries

If I speak with the tongue of a national, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong, or a clanging cymbal.

If I wear the national dress, and understand the culture, and all forms of etiquette, and if I copy all mannerisms so that I could pass for a national but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor, and if I spend my energy without reserve, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love endures long hours of language study, and is kind to those who mock his accent; love does not envy those who stayed home; love does not proudly exalt his home culture.

Love does not keep a record of how many times the praying monks wake him up, how many times the market vendors and motorcycle drivers overcharge him, how many times the weather frustrates him, or how many near-accident experiences he will have on the motodop or tuktuk.

Love does not boast about the way we do it back home, does not seek his own ways, it is not easily provoked into criticizing his new culture; does not think evil of this new culture.

Love bears all criticism about his home culture, believes all good things about this new culture, confidently anticipates being at home in this place, and endures all inconveniences.

Love never fails, but where there is cultural anthropology, it will fail; where there is contextualization, it may lead to syncretism; and where there is differences in culture and language, communication will break down; for we know the culture only in part, and we minister to only in part.

But when Christ is reproduced in this culture, then our inadequacies will be insignificant.

When I was in the States, I spoke as an American, I understood as an American, I thought as an American, but when I left the States, I put American things on the background.

Now we adapt to this culture awkwardly, but Christ Jesus will live in it intimately; now we speak with a strange accent, but He will speak to the heart.

And now these three remain: Cultural adaptation, language study and love.
But the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Malaria Free & Dream Free!

I wrote this a few weeks ago but forgot to post it. Oops!
I have been taking a daily malaria pill since May 6th and on Thursday, with my Frosted Flakes, I took my last pill! It's a little pink pill that I take with breakfast. It doesn't make me nauseous, dizzy, or give me a headache, but there is however one nasty side-effect: CRAZY DREAMS. I have taken doxycycline the previous two summers on my trips to Cambodia, but it wasn't until this summer that I realized the effect it was having on my dreams at night. We are taking crazy, ridiculous, out-of-this-world dreams!

Wednesday night I had a dream that I was going on a trip [imagine that!] and I had only minutes to pack all my things. I was absolutely frantic. I was throwing in my toothbrush and shampoo and contacts between socks and books and medicine. Jessie kept walking and commenting, "You see, THIS is why I tell you that you should always be packed!" Upon grabbing my passport from its safeplace, I realized that the passport wasn't my own, but belonged to House M.D. - yes, Hugh Laurie. I did not know where I was going because the trip was part of the witness protection program. Apparently I had walked in on President Barrack Obama while he was copying and pasting his next speech off of Wikipedia. When my alarm went off at 7:15 I was quite frustrated; now I will never know what adventures were awaiting!

One night in Mozambique I had dream that got me moving. Let me first set the scene: The previous afternoon my group and I painted the missionary's storage room. It was a disattached building about the size of an average one-car garage. There were a few small windows and one door, however the ventilation was not sufficient for the overwhelming paint fumes. After Jason [our missionary host] left and closed the door behind him, I commented that I was convinced the room was actually a gas chamber and Jason had intentions to kill each one of us.
So I woke up around 3am the next day; it was dark, and I was under my mosquito net. I said aloud to my roommate, "Caitlin, we're stuck!" I was certain our entire group was lost in the deepest corner of a dirt cave. [I'm pretty sure most caves are stone, however this particular cave was dirt.] As the leader of our team, I felt very responsible to bring each person to safety. So I grabbed my pillow and I immediately began beating at the walls of the cave. Confused that the caves' walls were solid, I turned on my flashlight [yes, I kept a flashlight in my bed] and found myself to be a dreaming fool.
Too bad Caitlin slept throught it all and missed the adventure....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Claiming God's promises...

"For I know the plans I have for you... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

"But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
John 14:14

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
Psalm 32:8

"Come near to God and he will come near to you."
James 4:8

"...and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
Psalm 50:15

"I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Genesis 28:15

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Exodus 14:14

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He shall thrust out the enemy from before you; and will say, “Destroy them!”
Deuteronomy 33:27

“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be
dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I
will help you, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness."
Isaiah 41:10

Saturday, August 14, 2010

He had a plan.

I'm not supposed to be here, I'm supposed to be in Cambodia. I had my trip planned and paid for, and then was told by the organization that I would no longer be going. I was disappointed, and I was frustrated. I didn't understand and I didn't think GP's reasoning was sufficient for canceling my trip. I know that Cambodia and my future and my ministry there are in God's will because I feel peace in my heart and He has repeatedly confirmed it to me, so I couldn't understand WHY God would allow this decision to be made.

God doesn't always make a lot of sense in our human minds. He asked Noah to build a big boat in the desert where it never rained. It didn't make any sense that the Israelites walked around Jericho for seven days singing "Kum Bah Yah" while everyone laughed at them. It didn't make any sense for Moses to charge toward the Red Sea with Pharaoh's attacking army bearing down on them. It didn't make sense to leave Ur for Canaan when you're already a pretty wealthy guy like Abram was. It didn't make any sense to be willing to sacrifice Isaac before he could grow up and have kids himself so that Abraham could be the father of many nations, with descendants as diverse as the stars.

However, it is only now [this month; five months after dealing with doubts and frustrations] that I realize God's plan. My perspective was limited, but praise God - He saw into the future! He knew that four weeks ago Grandmom would be hospitalized and remain there indefinitely. He knew that Jessie would have Mono and be incapacitated. He knew that Mom would be living with Grandmom in the hospital, and also that she would require surgery during this time.

Jessie, Grandmom, and me - '92 or '93
Yes, I did cut my own bangs! Thank you. :)

He knew that I would be needed at home. He knew there were things that I needed to learn and that I would be taught them under these circumstances. He knew and I praise Him for that.

But soon, I'll be in Cambodia again!

All my favorite people in one photo!

Pastor Greg, Esher, Ate Resie, Aleeyah, Pastor Vandy, Tess, and Titus

Friday, August 13, 2010

'Cause I'm the Momma now

Nothing has made me appreciate my momma more than her not being home for almost a month, and me, without her guidance or assistance, doing all the regular housework that she does without complaining or being acknowledged.

Yesterday I returned home from a long day at work to a hungry family (Dad & Jessie, who has Mono.) I quickly prepared the kitchen then made sloppy joes. I was highly disappointed when I opened what I thought was sweet corn to find that it was creamed cream. Yuck!! After we finished, I put away the clean dishes then loaded the dirty dishes. I took a short breather then went to the grocery store for sweet corn, and sick people food like: Gatorade, yogurt, etc. I met a nice lady in the toiletries aisle; we had a nice conversation about the shampoo selection and we scheduled a play date (Just kidding.. we didn't schedule a play date.) I collected the dirty laundry, and folded the clean laundry. Now here I sit... drafting this blog... trying to muster the energy to pack and arrange my bedroom so that I can start painting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fav. fotos from summer twenty-ten:

Here are SOME of my favorites pictures from my adventures in Summer Twenty-Ten! I know there are many, but was hard to even choose this few!

Kruger National Park, South Africa

"Every face has a story and every story should be heard."

Finally, I've been to Africa! Granddad and Grandmom's heartland

Much prayer led me to this moment!

and forever my life will be changed.

I will never forget them: Abrao, Isak, Mario, Luis, Joao, Casimiro, Domingos, etc.

Jesus, protect the children!

Isla de Caja de Muerto, Puerto Rico & Praia de Xai Xai, Mozambique
The God who crated the sky and the ccean also created me and is living in my heart!

What a priviledge to host Pastor Fredy and Sonya from Tegucigalpa, Honduras!

I love Palm Trees!

Just your normal sea creature roaming the shore
Isla de Caja de Muerto in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico

Another great day at the Splash House!
Another great year at Junior Bible Camp!

Baby Face is two years old!

Baby Face meets Baby Mal!

None of these pictures are from August because this month has been full of hospital visits, working in the office, and doing housework! BLAH! I'm going to have to have some fun AND get it documented!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer 2010's FIRST Random Dozen!

Welcome to Wednesday's Random Dozen, hosted by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

1. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
June; singing and playing with my little cuddle-bug Gabriele in Mozambique.

2. If you found $10 today, what would you do with it?
Save it until I found $15 more then buy a $25/month punchcard for Zumba class! I'm addicted but I cannot convince myself to pay a fee when I have free membership to the rec. center on campus.

3. Do you volunteer anywhere?
Not presently; the events of my life and the lack of routine have not allowed it! However I have always found it rewarding, and I would like to make the time to be involved in something once school starts.

4. What is your favorite summertime veggie or fruit, and how do you eat it?
Strawberries - I cut the top off then pop it in my mouth! HA.

5. Is your social sphere (circle of friends) small, medium or large?
How does one even gauge this? Medium.

6. When was the last time you attended a family or school reunion? How did that go?
Two or three weeks ago. It went well because but many were unable to attend. It was a beautiful day and we spent the afternoon in the pool with Baby Face!

7. When you're feeling blue, what is the best way someone can cheer you up?
If it's the right person, all it would take is a phone call or message. Otherwise, treat me! Treat me like I'm someone special, take me to lunch or for a pedicure...

8. Have you taken a vacation this summer?
Family vacation was canceled this summer due to Grandmom's hospitalization, Mom's surgery, and twin sister having Mono. HOWEVER, I have been to pristine vacation hotspots, though not necessarily on vacation.

Praia de Xai Xai, Mozambique

and Isla de Caja de Muerto in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico

9. What is the most unnecessary item you carry with you all the time?
As I shuffle through my purse, I find everything to be mostly necessary -- wallet, chapstick, pen, palm-sized notebook, gum, mirror, keys, anti-bacterial gel, Advil, and hand lotion -- however I suppose my camera and jumpdrive are conveniences and not necessities

10. What is the best summer flick you have seen so far?
Grown Ups was good but Old Dogs was better! SO FUNNY!

11. Describe a perfect summer day.
Sleeping in late, then having a nice lunch with a friend, walking around Target with a Starbucks frappe in my hand, going for a nice swim in my backyard, then falling asleep to a "feel good" movie on the couch.

12. Please a share a favorite photo from the summer so far!
A double rainbow over the Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College in Xai-Xai - a reminder that God promises and is FAITHFUL to be with us in the storms of life.

[Return tomorrow to see more favorite photos from this summer's adventures! It was too difficult to choose, so tomorrow I'll have more!]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What is Love?

Life has been interesting in the Reed household recently. Grandmom just began her fourth week of hospitalization. After much improvement, she relapsed into kidney failure (again) and her specialists are still trying to figure out all these problems making her sic
Mom has been living at the hospital with Grandmom, about 90 minutes away, since she was moved to critical care almost three weeks ago. Since then, Jessie (twin sis) has developed mono. Our home is desperately in need of a wife and mother (I have never done so much laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, et
Fortunately, Aunt Nancy (mom's sis-in-law) and cousin Laura and sitting with Grandmom for 3.5 days so that Mom can be home. Unfortunately, Mom needed to have surgery today (day #3 of 3.5) so she will be recovering while she sits next to Grandmom's bed because Nancy and Laura must return home.

I've been learning a lot during this time; I've been learning a lot about people and about loving and caring. I am grateful to God for the way He has loved me and loved our family during this very difficult month.

Love is me sleeping with one less pillow so that Mom can have one more pillow to lay her arm on in the night.
Love is Mom, in pain, allowing me to make an emergency restroom stop on the way home from the hospital.
Love is Pamela and Aunt Holly bringing our family full healthy meals for dinner.
Love is Aunt Nancy and Laura sitting with Grandmom so that Mom can spend some time at home.
Love is Mike and Becky for visiting Grandmom regularly.
Love is Pastor Bob making a 3 hour round-trip to visit Grandmom for just a few minutes.
Love is my sister Joni, who held me when I wept in Grandmom's critical care room.
Love is Janna baking Jessie's favorite cake.
Love is Resie asking how she can pray.
Love is Pamela saying, "If you need anything, let me know." and meaning it.
Love is having patience with Grandmom, Jessie, and Mom while they are sick.

Whoever has a heart full of love always has something to give.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Bucket List: Updated!

I wrote this bucket list in July 2009 of things I want to do before I "kick the bucket" [aka die]. After a full year, my list needs to be updated because a few of my goals/dreams have already been accomplished!

Help Pagna go to college. -- DONE!

To whom much is given, much is required. Luke 12:48
Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

Pagna's family is very poor; their only income is making and selling ice cream. His also has two or three younger sisters, so his tuition could in no way be a priority for his struggling family. He was my first friend in Kratie two years ago, and is still my best friend there. Pagna is at the university in Kampong Cham and he is studying to be an English teacher. I am so so so excited for him, and feel so so so blessed that I can be a part of helping him reach his dreams, and brighten his future.

See someone's life changed significantly because of my kindness.

Be used as a Spanish translator for a sermon.

Be fluent in Khmer (language of Cambodia).

Drive a motorcycle through Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Write a book (no dream of being published, only the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Go to Africa -- DONE!

I went on my first trip to "the Dark Continent," my mother's birthland, for seven weeks in May and June. While I was there I ate my first fish, learned Portuguese and Xangan, wore my first capalana, drove a stickshift on the opposite side of the road, was robbed, attended my first and second African funeral, etc.

The road from my house to downtown Xai Xai, Mozambique

Go on a safari -- DONE!

In May I went to Kruger National Park in South Africa. The picture taken above is real and I was in the blue Condor beside the gigantic elephant. I spent about 2.5 days around the park and I saw zebras, a lion, many elephants and giraffes [my two favorites], hyena, wild dog, hippos, a black rhino, impala, etc.

Ride a horse on the beach at sunset.

Sell [a significant portion] of my possessions and give it to the poor.

See my Dad surrender his life to God.

Go snorkeling -- DONE!
Went snorkeling at Isla de Caja de Muerto (Coffin Island) off the southern coast of Puerto Rico on June 27. I spent an hour out with three friends, then returned shortly after with two others. I saw big fish, little fish, colorful fish, huge schools of fish, large mounds of coral, conch shells, and more. I was also stung by a sea urchin! It was an incredible experience to see so much life below the surface of the waters. Literally breathtaking!

Get married.

Have a baby.

Stand behind the pulpit at Brookhaven
[my home church] with my husband and say, "Hello, thank you for your prayers and support. This is what we are doing in Cambodia..."

Read straight through Bible in one year

Memorize 300 Bible verses

Go bungee jumping

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - "WOW - What a Ride!"- Anonymous

Go to a Colts game

Run a marathon

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Three Month Pictures:

Baby Mal is three months old! She really is the sweetest baby and is always full of smiles. It's already hard for Aunt Jewel to choose between sitting on the couch and holding Mallory, or running around and playing with older sister Leah, but either way.. I love it!!

Baby #2 is just as sweet as Baby #1!

Yeah, she's a model!

I'm telling you, she's precious!

Look at that face!

This deserves a cute baby award!

She's happy!