Thank you for all your prayers! As clichd as it may sound, they were certainly answered (and none too soon). We were able to get the medical supplies we needed and, though some had a rough start to the morning, were ready and happy to get right back into ministry. We had an abundance of translators today – also thanks to your prayers – and were that much more flexible in our ministry. In fact, through our translators, we are building a greater sense of community involvement and participation in our outreach, and a number of our translators have shared with us that their experiences have worked to increase their faith and dedication to the witness of the Gospel.
In some ways, it is surprising to see how the synthesis & synergy of community partnerships has made this trip unique to many of us. But in other ways, it is a confirmation that such life a life together is the ordained norm rather than an exception. The joy of community and unity is a sign of Gods blessing and peace in the midst of a chaotic world (Psalm ?? on dew of Hermon).
In other news, we moved out of our residence into the house next door. We were displaced by the entry of another ministry group (sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a branch of their 5-week Urban Immersion program) into our former domicile. Consequently, we are adjusting to our new surroundings but are happy and grateful to have a comfortable and pleasant place to stay. (Actually, some of us consider it an upgrade!)
Today also involved a somewhat intimidating incident for one of the teams. A translator/long-time resident/pastor familiar with the area sensed some trouble brewing on one street and, though nothing actually happened, helped the team along elsewhere. It was a sobering reminder that (in the words of our wise house sponsor), while there is great good in the neighborhood, there is also great evil. In fact, one of the sermons we heard yesterday highlighted the tension between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world, and how deeply and forcefully opposed they are. It has done us good to remember this so that we can pray.
- Safety & a sixth sense: Christ told his disciples to be as wily as serpents and as innocent as doves. Pray that we will be able to develop a wisdom about street culture, life, and safety while being able to perceive the redemption and work of God at the same time.
- Strength & vigor: Pray for renewed energy as we continue long days of work and expand our team through new translators and accompanying friends and faculty.
- Vision & purpose: Pray that we would remember that our mission is not to assimilate into the culture but to learn how to redeem it: to speak truth and allow it to be spoken back to us. Pray that, through this experience, we would be able to encourage our brothers and sisters here in the community to see God in a different and more glorious way: that God pursues us relentlessly and passionately.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dave Chen and Kelli Ellis. © 2024 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org