Monday, May 9, 2011

Rising up and Going Higher

The last two months have gone by so fast and its time to update you all on what God is doing in me, where he is leading me, and what he is leading me to do. It is time to rise above the dissapointment or discouragement I have felt and its simply time to step out. I will not let the trials/hurts I have faced, rob me from the vision and passion that God gave me years ago. Its time to step out in faith recognizing that my God not only guides me but it is he who sustains me. Nothing is impossible for my God.

The Community of Los Guizaros
Many of you know I have been going through a bit of transition in ministry here on this side. I have been in search for quite some time now for a ministry that has a heart for the less fortunate communities of San Jose and a heart for a ministry of Discipleship. A heart for Incarnational ministry. I have been praying about this for quite some time and through praying both me and Anita have felt the confirmation that it is time to be leaders and move forward with the dreams and visions that God has placed in both of our hearts. I think that we have both been afraid to step out and were hoping to partner with an existing ministry. It dawned on us that it is time for us to take leadership in this and pray for others to come alongside us. This is where you all come into the picture. We need your prayers as we look into our options and move forward.

What is our vision?  Our vision is to live where we have been working at the soup kitchen in Los Guizaros and continue to work with the soup kitchen but also start a ministry that focuses on the discipleship of women, girls, and children. The discipleship would stem from relational ministry within the community and focus on the teaching of the word and encouragement. It would be a ministry of prayer, a place where the hungry can come and seek God. Our dream is to bring change to this community, to break the chains and strongholds that keep the people of this community lost.

Through working at the soup kitchen the last two years, we have seen the youth starting to stray starting around age ten in the soup kitchen. The pressures to do the wrong things are so strong in this community. We have often thought....What if there was a place that they could go and interact in a healthy way. What if we weren't there only on Saturdays, but there during the week to encourage and reach out to the people? What if this ministry could eventually grow to the point where we could have teams come and maybe even offer classes on childhood developement, or basic classes for gaining work skills like a sewing class, like financial planning, like learning the basic skills for work. What if even local bakeries etc, would train responsable youth work skills etc. We know this is a big dream but if this will happen it will be through God alone. Our desire is to do something sustainable in the community, where what we do could have a chain effect. We believe that the only sustainable ministry really starts with discipleship. God says that his word never comes back empty. (Isaiah 55:11)  If the people of this community come to know Christ in a real way, we believe this could spark a real change in the community. Where leaders of change could be formed to continue the ministry to those around them.

Anita, little Michelle, and I
Please pray for me and Anita as we continue seeking after God. We don't have all the answers, there are still alot of question marks but we feel God pulling us to rise up, and go higher, trusting that God will fill in the blanks and carry us. It is not through our own abilities that this dream comes, it is through faith in an infinite God that compels us. We trust that he could use us to bring people to experience intimacy with Christ which is the only thing that can transform and bring lasting life and change.

Ending on this note, I would like to share with you a vision that God gave me before I came to Costa Rica. It is something I have been brought back to as I have been facing my fears and as my faith has been continually tested. I hope it encourages all of you to dream big for Christ and to rise up and go higher with Him.

Climbing The Wall.

 As you read this, picture Jesus as the Belayer and God at the top of the wall.

I'm climbing this huge wall in the dark, I'm getting higher on step at a time. As I go, the footing seems more complex, I don't know where I'm going and then.....I look down. I'm afraid, do I keep going? I'm already at a place where its a far fall.

I think about retreating when I hear a still small voice call my name. Its okay Rachel, I've got you, keep going, you can make it to the top. I slip and gasp in fear. I'm thinking, I can't do this, its just too much. Too risky. Life's better on the ground where I'm in complete control, or perhaps I'll just stay low on the wall, that way if I fall, it won't be too far of a fall.

That's it God, sure I trust you but I just can't make it to the top. Can't I just stay here? I see a light shining at the top lighting my way, the steps become clearer and honestly I'm drawn but still I struggle to believe that if I slip, Jesus will hold me up and I won't fall all the way down. The voice continues. You can do it. You have no idea what I have planned for you at the top. Each step ahead is a part of my will for your life adventure, a life purpose.

What about hurt God? What about pain? Yes, Rachel, you will encounter the tougher parts of the wall, yet they lead to so much more than you know. It's tough, but do you really want to live life wondering or live your life half way? You see, the world wants you down on the ground with everyone else, but I have called you to live higher than that and indeed its great.

But Lord, its so scary to be set apart, it seems so illogical that I would allow you to carry me when I could stand on my own two feet, or if I at least stay low on the wall so I could survive a small fall..... right here where I am at. How do I know if I'm taking the right steps? Your light guides the way but doesn't show the steps to come. What if I hear you wrong and then fall all the way down?

Rach, I will never leave or forsake you, even when you make a mistake, I will catch you, though you may fall down a ways, I will never let you hit the ground. I am your great pursuer and I will never leave you alone. Seek my face and trust me and just let me do the rest. Trust that I can take you as you are and lead you down the path that I have planned. Always know that I am there, even when I'm silent.

I believe that this is God's heart for all of us. We are all afraid of failing and it keeps us from attempting to do more for our king. God has really been showing me that its my heart and my sacrifice that he desires...that even if I set out to attempt something big for God and it doesn't work, that he will still be pleased with me. Let us remember not to bury the things and talents that God has given us but to put it to work. He will not be pleased with the servant who doesn't do anything. It is better to try and fail, but step out in faith, then to do nothing. (Matthew 25:14-30, James 2:14-24....focused on verse 18-19, James 4:13-17....focused on verse 17.)  If you would like to read Anita's perspective and heart in this pursuit, you can go to I find that both blog entries compliment the other.