Spiritual Birthdays

Posted in church, food, ministry, Newsletters at 1:08 am

“Auguri! Buon Compleanno!” I overheard Brian saying on the phone the other day. I had to think twice because I couldn’t remember anyone who was having a birthday. Then it hit me. Simone and Mariana were having their first birthday! Not the hospital kind, but the kind that Jesus explained to Nicodemus late one night. The birth through baptism that comes with the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit. What a journey it’s been for them … and us. What an incredible year that we have been able to experience. What a year of growth for their family and of change in their lives. I overheard Brian asking things like, “What’s been the best thing about this year?” and “What’s been the change you’ve seen most in your lives?” Maybe he didn’t know I was eavesdropping (he will after reading this :) ) but it was such a neat conversation that I couldn’t help myself.

That’s what’s so wonderful about this missionary live that we lead. We get to be a part of such wonderful things. Sometimes people treat us as if we are sacrificing some big thing to be missionaries. Honestly, sure I love my country and my family and my home and even Mexican food. A lot. But as Jim Elliot, famous missionary to Ecuador once said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” I don’t really want to be a fool. There’s nothing here on this earth that really matters that much to me compared to the glory that awaits us in heaven (not even Bath and Body Works or Ranch dressing). My family, of course, but things? Experiences? Trips to Disney like other American families? Meh. Not really all it’s cracked up to be, in my opinion.

The thing is, you’re a part of this journey, too. And we thank you for working with us. A more modern author, John Piper, says, “Go, send, or disobey.” I love it. So true. So, we work together you and I. We go. You send. And the Kingdom (including all of us) reaps the benefits. Benefits way cooler than a big portfolio or 401K.

We also celebrated an anniversary this month. We have now lived in Italy for seven years. We used to approach our arrival anniversary days with excitement and maybe a little party with our teammates. But this year’s anniversary came and went without a big to-do. We actually hardly even remembered. I think that means we’re doing OK! Thanks for sticking with us!