First Week "Home"

Well, I’m starting to get over jet lag. I’m not sure how long that will last (I hope not very long). Today, I stayed up until about 2:00 or 3:30 and got up at 9:30ish. That’s… almost normal. Haha. 🙂 I’m hoping that will be over by sometime mid next week.

While I was in America, you guys donated a bunch of Nerf guns to the youth group here in L’viv. I was SO excited for this – except for the idea of bringing over 20 Nerf guns through customs. Praise the Lord – I had NO troubles whatsoever! God definitely gave me favor with the customs agent that was there. She almost seemed like she was trying to let me through but just had to ask me a question or two to the “just the right answers”. Haha… I gave her a letter from a church here requesting that we could bring them in because they were for charity. We tried them out yesterday at our Friday night youth group. We only played with the CS (“clips system”) versions of them, because those take the most training not to break, and that’s the kind we have the most of. If any of you ever want to send over more guns/darts/etc. in care packages, that would be awesome! I would love to make playing with these a regular thing between our youth group and other youth groups – plus we can use them for evangelism events and all kinds of things!

We’re about to get a sound system!!! I’m SO excited for this! More opportunities for the worship team, outdoor concerts and outreaches, indoor concerts and outreaches, bands coming, worship nights with multiple churches… I can almost see folks coming up for altar calls receiving Jesus for the first time, other people with their hands up high, the lights down low, and the soft picking on the guitar, later on to explode with shouts of praise to God as the next song crescendos. It’s gonna be awesome!

Please be praying still for our location for the church. Right now, the plan that our landlord has us on is that we will move out on May 1st… or the rent doubles. We’re looking for a new place for the church right now. She’s offered to sell it to us, but we don’t have $300k just lying around in our back pockets! Haha. I don’t think it’s actually worth that much, but something close to that. Whatever God wants, please pray for that – I honestly don’t want to move the church, but He could have something much better in store for us.

I wanted to thank you all for your hospitality while I was in America. You have all blessed me so much. From Cleveland and St. Mary’s, to Indianapolis, Chicago and Appleton, to St. Paul’s, and all the way down to San Antonio – you have all been great. I wish I could bring all of these places together… That’s what I love about Heaven. Someday, we’ll all be together – those of us that have trusted in Christ. There will be no more tears, pain, sorrow, fear, worry, or jet lag. There will be no more, “Oh, I’ll see mom next Thanksgiving,” or “I’ll see dad next Christmas.” We’ll all be together – one big, happy, peaceful, wonderful family in Christ Jesus.

One of the interesting things I discovered on my journey back and forth is that, on almost every leg of the trip I could answer the question, “Where are you going?” with “I’m going home.” I love it. My family is everywhere. While I’m in Ukraine, where God has called me, I have my church family. Most of my closest friends are in Indiana, and I definitely count them as family. When I traveled from there to Minnesota to visit my dad there, I was going home. Then I went to San Antonio, where my mom lives – I was going home. Then I went back to Indiana and then to Ukraine… every time – I was just going home.

None of these are my real home, though. My home is Heaven, where my Lord waits for me. I just finished reading the end of The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (check it out – it won the Carnegie Medal, which is one of the highest accolades in children’s literature… but don’t read it without reading the rest of the series first!). That book is basically an allegory for the end times here on Earth. It was an amazing reminder of just how wonderful Heaven is going to be. We’ll get to know brothers and sisters that we have never met from continents and places on the world we’ve never been to and times and epochs we’ve not lived in. We’ll get to know king David, the Apostle Paul, Moses… Moses’ mom! haha… We’ll get to spend the rest of our Eternity getting to know the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Basically – it’ll be the coolest thing… regardless of sliced bread or velcro shoes. It’ll be the coolest thing since the world was created.

I can’t wait.

I love how C. S. Lewis portrays Aslan as a lion. It’s such a great picture of Jesus. At once the most joyful creature and creating joy, and, at the next second, serious as meeting a lion in the woods. “He’s not a tame lion,” I can hear all of the creatures say. It’s the same with our Lord – He’s not tame. He’s not One to do what you tell Him to do, but He’ll often do what you ask. Altogether loving, faithful, just, merciful, and good… It’s really an adventure just know him.

That’s my King. Do you know Him?

 

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