Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update #5 | From my Dad

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings in the Name of Christ.

I have delayed the writing of this final report to you until I could process the trip in my mind and spirit.  I also desired to receive the counsel of our  bishop concerning my future involvement with this ministry.  There many stories I could share with you of my recent experience in Tanzania.  However, I would like to focus on that which is most important.  As you know, my purpose was to teach the "evangelists" who are often the leaders of small churches that have no pastor.  This ministry education enables them to do the work of the Lord more effectively.  My job was not to "change them" or to "fix what they are doing wrong".  But, to come along side them as a brother in the Lord to teach, encourage, edify, and build them up in the Most Holy Faith.  The students wanted to make sure I expressed their gratitude to all those who made this time of instruction possible.

I did not leave Tanzania with a sense of a job well done or completed.  I have much to learn of what it takes to live and communicate in the African culture.  My students were gracious with me and my mistakes.  I felt as if I had taken the first step in a work that would be a long term investment in the lives of my students.  I had eight courses to teach them, but we were able to complete only three of them.  My students were eager to continue learning, but I had to say, "My time is up, I have to go home.  If it is God's will, then I will return next year to continue where we left off."  Their reply was that they would be looking forward to my return, because of their strong desire for more ministry education.  It is humbling to be chosen to teach my brothers and sisters in Christ.  In the words of a song by John Fischer, "I'm not one who's got it all in place, telling you what you should do. No, I'm just one old hungry beggar telling you where I found food."

We need to look beyond the mystique of "Africa, the Dark Continent" and see that it is rapidly becoming a "Light to the Nations".  Christianity is on the decline in the Western cultures, but is alive and growing well in Africa.  We like to think we are helping those "poor natives", but we have much to learn from them.  Are we willing to be taught by them as well?  Are we willing to see that there are perspectives and practices in their culture that would improve our own lives?  Are we willing to admit that we Americans do not have all the answers to the world's problems?  We need to move beyond the romance of "helping those in poverty" and see that we are One Body, one community of Christian believers working together to move forward in the Kingdom of God.

There is no place in God's kingdom for pride and independence.  We must all walk the path of humility and obedience, following in the footsteps of our savior Jesus Christ.  He walked this path all the way to the Cross.  Can we do anything less than to lay down our lives for the sake of others?  Who I am is not important, but only that I am obedient to the call of God for my life.  He has chosen me to continue on in this teaching ministry to our African brothers and sisters.  Why our Lord should take notice of me, His unworthy servant, I do not know; but I shall fulfill the duties He has given me to do.  Sometimes I am confident and sometimes I feel overwhelmed.  I know that I cannot do this alone; it will take the help of many people.  There are many ways to work together to build up the Body of Christ.  

I invite you to continue following this ministry on a new blog that is addressed www.forwardinafrica.com.  At this point, my intention is to write two articles or ministry updates each month.  I am also open to visiting and sharing with various churches and Christian gatherings about this teaching ministry to Africa.  My current goal is to go to East Africa at least once a year.  Not all can go, but all can participate in assisting the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to go FORWARD IN AFRICA.

Thank you for allowing me to share these experiences with you.  I hope these reports have been an encouragement to you.  

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.

Nathan D.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Psalm 78:25

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P.S. Don't leave without voting on the poll at the top, I really want to know what my readers want to see here at NLP.

Flowers on Saturday - Crocus

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I've been going through all of my 2011 pictures that I have and sort and edit them. Big job! Well, I saw this picture and wanted to share it with you, so I decided to enter it into Flowers on Saturday too.




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I liked it enough that I made it be my header picture. :) How do you like it?? Do you think it matches the new springy look? 
~Sveta 
P.S. Don't leave without voting on the new poll that is on my sidebar! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Macro Friday & An Awesome Book

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If you haven't read this book - Chasing the Dragon - you don't know what you are missing. It's probably the best book I've ever read! So many miracles were performed throughout this book, just through the work of one woman and the prayers of thousands. This book is simply amazing! Jackie Pullinger started the St. Stephen Society. I'm going to type the description that is on the back of the book for you. 

A Tough, Honest Account of One Woman's Dedication and Courage.

Inside the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong lies the infamous Walled City. Strangers are not welcome there. Police hesitate to enter. It is a haven of filth, crime, and sin. Prostitution, pornography, and drug addiction flourish. Thirty thousand people -- maybe twice that -- live in a few cramped dismal acres. 

Jackie Pullinger had grown up believing that if she put her trust in God, he would lead her. When she was 20 years old God called her to the Walled City. She obeyed. And she spoke of Jesus Christ, brutal hoods were converted, prostitutes retired from there trade, and heroin junkies found a new power that freed them from the bondage of drug addiction. Hundreds discovered new life in Christ. 

Chasing the Dragon tells the whole story -- exactly as it happened.  

Jackie Pullinger said, "We must have hard feet and soft hearts." 

Before you leave -- don't forget to vote on my poll on the sidebar. I want to know what my readers think and want!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Newest Family Member...

I don't think I ever mentioned that we had to get rid of our adorable, fun, friendly Tanzi. He chased chickens...but didn't eat then because he knew he was not aloud to. Weird, huh? It didn't bother me as much as my little sister, who is an animal person. She missed the dog so bad that my parents decided to get her a dog. We will keep him unless he bothers chickens. So now we welcome another dog, hoping that we get to keep this one! (Oh, and our cat ran away because he hated the dog, so we are hoping to get another one soon. That was the best cat we've had and everyone missed him)

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My sis named him Tanner.
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He doesn't let us touch him yet, but I'm sure that will go away soon with all the kids around. :)
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Isn't he adorable?! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Music

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“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”
author unknown

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“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”

Bach

 

(I am entering the second photo into Allie's Happy Monday Challenge)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

1 Corinthians 13:12

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For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Friday, March 11, 2011

Macro Friday

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A couple days ago it was raining and I was thinking to myself, "When it quits raining, I'm going to got outside and take pictures." It got that far -- thinking about it. Then it rained again yesterday, and I told myself, "This time, I really am going to take some pictures today." It seems like it's been forever since I've actually gone out and taken pictures, just for fun. So I did, I went out after it rained and took some pictures. I had so much fun! It was nice just to get away from school and life, and have some fun being creative and artistic. :) Anyways, here is one of the pictures I took -- and be on the lookout for a post with a few more. Hopefully this weekend or early next week, I'll have some time to edit them and post them on here. It's been way to long since I've had a "Just for Fun" post. It seems like I'm always posting for photo contests and challenges.

I'm sure most of you have heard about the Japan earthquake/tsunami. Please say a prayer for all those in danger or who have been hurt.

Ok, enough rambling on about not taking pictures. :)

~Sveta

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Hear Faces | Favorite Face of February

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I've wanted to participate in I Heart Faces for a while now, but just never got around to it. When I noticed what the challenge for this week was, I knew I wanted to enter this photo. So there you have it; my favorite face of February. :)  


~Sveta

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Matthew 5:43-45

*Edit* Some of you were wondering what this is. It is a jar of colored water. Creative, eh? :) 
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Friday, March 4, 2011

The Enigmatic Stop | Poem

I wrote this poem for a Creative Writing Contest at our local library, and thought I'd share it with you. :) Let me know what you think about it. 
~Sveta 
(Don't forget to vote on the TWO [Yes, the second one too:)] polls.)
The Enigmatic Stop
 We had to stop
When we got
To the Casey County line
Because the road
Simply disappeared.

Why did we stop?
Maybe a drop,
At the end of the road?
This whole thing,
Was simply weird!

A careening car
Abruptly appeared,
And smashed our rear.
We all had
Reasons to fear.

Then we saw it
On the ground,
A gigantic meteorite!
The enigma was solved,
And everyone cheered.

 By: Me (Sveta D.) 
Age 15 
9th grade 

Macro Friday

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Click HERE to enter your macro picture!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Welcoming...

My Momma to the blog world! She started a blog today that she will be posting songs and poetry on...mostly one's written by her or my Dad. They are wonderful poets/songwriters. Why don't you HEAD ON OVER and take a look at it....and maybe even become a follower??!! :)

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[our daffodils came out a couple days ago!]