Took a hike up to a new tourist destination called “Rainbow Mountain” or Vinicunca. Along the hike the second highest peak in Peru, Ausungate, looms over the trail. We hiked up to 16,400 feet, stopping in a saddle between larger mountains on each side. From there we could look down on the Rainbow Mountain of which there are apparently three in the world. One in China, another in Argentina, and the last just on the other side of Cuzco from where we live. The colors are caused by strands of different mineral deposits. I was thankful to fellow missionary Sean Heath for inviting me on this excursion. It was a long day, but worth the effort.
We need some prayer for our missionary community. Last week one of the young, single missionaries was raped while walking through town. This changes many things. We have always been able to tell people that it was safe here, and it did feel safe. It almost felt like there was a protective missionary bubble over all of us. It was never true, and now we know we have to have care. We can no longer say that it is completely safe. We told our kids about it, giving them more instructions about being out on the streets. During the day I do not think there is much danger, but at night it is never good for a woman to be out alone. Please pray for this young woman and pray for our single women missionaries.
We have always bragged about how our kids are free to roam through town. I still think we will let them have a lot of liberty during the day, but the girls especially have to be home by dusk. I am still thinking about what is best for the boys. Peter does not really go out much. He likes to be home. But David is out and about a lot. And we let him go to parties with his friends at night. I think we will continue to let him go. He is a 13 year old boy on a bike. And the truth is there is less risk for boys than girls. Still, pray that we will have wisdom, and that the mission will have wisdom.
I have been thinking a bit about how God teaches us through our life. We know that he is constantly working on us, creating us to do the good works that he has prepared in advance for us to do. We do not have water for a month and I believe that our current troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory. (It is better now.) When we go on a walk at night the heavens declare the glory of God. When we hike during the day and we lift our eyes to the mountains we recognize that our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. We speak to our neighbor with mixed understanding, and we know that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. And so we can rejoice in our weaknesses. I have frustrations at work and I remember that I am working for the Lord, not for human masters. As we see others doing different things and I am tempted to compare myself to them, I realize that there are different types of working, but in them it is the same God at work accomplishing his purposes. Life can be a parable.
Our son Peter was 12 yesterday! I did not post anything because one of his gifts was having unlimited access to the computer to play Minecraft and Civilization. That boy loves the computer! Especially Minecraft with its modifications. He is burning through our limited internet. We are proud of him, and we have seen some amazing growth in maturity, strength, musicianship, and his relationship with God over the past year! Happy Birthday Peter!
“the only way you are going to know the hidden will of God for you today is to wait until tomorrow, and tomorrow will make it clear to you because you can look back on the past and know that whatever happened in the past is the outworking of the hidden will of God. In other words, we only know God’s hidden will after the fact. We usually want to know the will of God in terms of the future, whereas the emphasis in Scripture is on the will of God for us in the present, and that has to do with His commands.” from “What is the Will of God for My Life”
“One person dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, well nourished in body, bones rich with marrow. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything god. Side by side they lie in the dust, and worms cover them both.” from Job 21:23-26
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” from Titus 3:1-3. A good one for the political season.
I was listening the great John Piper sermon last night “Doing Missions When Dying is Gain” and he came to Colossians 1:24 in which it says “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” It is so challenging to read this! The only thing lacking in Christ’s suffering is the demonstration of it to people who have not seen it. And so John Piper avers that not only is suffering a consequence of evangelism, but that it is also the means to evangelism.
And I am left with some thought that I cannot sort out completely. How do you demonstrate suffering if you are rich? I am not saying that you do not suffer if you are rich, but to those who do not know your life or the gospel, how can they see that you have suffered for the sake of the gospel. I think that we suffer. It is mostly a physical and psychological suffering as well as some spiritual suffering as we battle our own sinfulness and satan’s barbs as he tries to discourage us. And I believe that this suffering is done for the sake of the gospel. But, . . . . I am not sure the people in town know it. It is not easily demonstrable suffering. I have a car, most people do not. When we do not have water in our house I keep buying pumps and hiring plumbers until I can get water to our tank. Most people cannot do that. My house has plaster on the interior walls, most people just have dirt walls and floors. We always make sure we have food. We filter our water to avoid waterborne illness. What do the people see in my life that makes them think, he has paid a price so that we can know this message that he is sharing, the gospel of Jesus Christ. How can we be rich and demonstrate the cross of Christ?