Sunday, March 29, 2009

The More Things Change...

[Here is something I wrote for our next team newsletter. KK asked me to write something about awaiting our first child, being back from furlough, etc...]
The more things change, the more they stay the same. It really is true. Erin and I have now been living and working here in Puebla for nearly five years. We now live in a little house in a little neighborhood with families and kids – instead of upstairs from the OXXO a block from the campus house with neighbors who max out their stereo volume and drunk guys outside. We now drive around in our own car more than we take buses and taxis or even the ministry cars. Favorite restaurants and caf├ęs have closed down, but others have opened to take their place. Teammates have come, and teammates have gone – we are the only two who remain of the original six. Students we knew as freshmen have graduated and gone on to jobs or Master’s degrees in other places. We’ve unplugged, gone on a furlough to the USA, come back, and plugged back in. UDLA (the university we target) has changed administrations, shut down a dorm building, and built another entrance, among many other changes. Our community has grown to include folks from several other universities who are deeply involved, along with several young professionals who have caused us to rethink our “target audience” a little bit. Our number of student leaders and event attendance have gone up a lot, then down a little, then leveled out while the quality of our ministry has continued to improve. Our budget has gone way up while the strength of the peso has gone way down. The dreaded gate has been built at the end of the street, but the students just keep coming. We’ve sent three girls to Africa and are sending one to Thailand. We’ve taken first mission trip as a community. We’ve baptized seven people. We’ve laughed, cried, cursed, sang, preached, and worked ourselves to the point of exhaustion. We’ve also relaxed some, too, and enjoyed the perks of our line of work, such as being able to travel and visit with friends and coworkers around the world. Friends and family have come to visit, then gotten on busses and planes and headed back to their lives and homes. And now, here we are, awaiting the biggest adjustment yet – the little girl who will come into our lives in late August or early September, capture our hearts, add another member to our little family, and change everything. Do we know what we are doing? Nope. Do we know what to expect? Barely. Are we thankful for our great teammates and students and friends and family here and far away who will support us along the way? You bet. Do we trust God to be with us every step of the way as we try to figure it all out? Of course! As we helplessly and prayerfully await this momentous occasion, we are comforted by this thought: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Come September, we’ll have a baby, and that will mean that much of our life will be uncertain and up in the air. But another major part of our lives will be comfortably familiar, because there will still be a bunch of college students who will need love, truth, comfort, purpose, forgiveness, friendship, and refuge. There will still be a staff that needs to be challenged, led, and empowered. There will still be supporters who need to be informed and appreciated. And there will still be one God to be glorified through it all.

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