I’ve been thinking about deserts a lot. For those of you who are fans of easybaked.net, you know I also have been thinking about desserts a lot too… lol!
I had an opportunity to visit dear friends in San Diego over a long weekend~ and it was a wonderful, encouraging, fun time. On the way, I stopped in Death Valley and drove through literally HOURS of endless hills of sand and scrub. I remember in school, learning about how the mountains stop the rain from reaching the desert, but as I drove over the peaks and looked out over the vast green hills of coastal California, I was amazed at the difference.
Some things I noticed about deserts:
- They are VAST. There really seems to be no end to the hot sand and scrub brush.
- They are beautiful- in a deadly sort of way.
- NOBODY lives there.
As I drove for hours (praying I wouldn’t run out of gas), I thought about the importance of water. I didn’t see any rivers, lakes or streams for hundreds of miles, and yet God says that HE can make streams in the desert.
Jesus tells the woman at the well that he is LIVING WATER. He tells her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
Later in John, Jesus announces to a crowd, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)
Living water, welling up, flowing out of believers and followers of Christ. No wonder He sends us to desert lands…he needs us to spill his living water out in the desert- to refresh the weary and bring life and growth. I can’t help but think that if we allow him to pour living water out of us and all over the people around us that eventually there might be a river in that desert- a permanent source of life and hope.
Maybe I’m stretching the theology of these verses, but those are the thoughts I had driving for hours through the desert.
Rough Rock? It’s a desert (literally and spiritually). There are believers here, but they aren’t yet splashing around in fountains of living water- they are keeping it inside, afraid of what others will think and say, forgetting that they can offer life and hope and refreshing joy to the people around them. Since my journey west to California, I have been keeping that picture of living water in my mind as I interact with the people here. I’ve been praying that God will show me how to let His springs of living water well up and spill out into this community. I’ve been asking Him to show me how to help other believers do the same.
Offering the grace of God to people is SO much like offering a cup of cold water to a traveller in a desert. Some might knock the cup away, but will that stop us from offering it to every other weary traveller we meet?
These past few weeks have been busy ones- it’s graduation time in Rough Rock, and there are parties and open houses all over! I’ve been able to meet a lot of my friend’s extended families at these events- which has been so nice! I am really starting to feel like an accepted part of this community. The church is making small steps in being more unified and working together as a team (rivers in deserts!!). Hurt feelings are mending and some forgiveness has taken place.
I’m learning some Navajo- it’s taken me this long to learn some of the sounds that I thought my mouth could never make! It seems to be getting easier though, and the Navajo LOVE that I am trying. My favorite phrase is Ayo shekis, which means: you are a dear friend. I love to be able to tell people how much they mean to me in their native language. I also learned how to say Nesh Ka’, which means: this is making me fat, so they will stop piling fry bread on my plate!!!
We have three teams lined up to visit this summer, so please be praying for those teams as they prepare to come. The 1st team is coming from Ohio in early July with Quint, the second team is from Indiana, and led by a dear friend of mine, Gabe Schneider, and the third team will be here in late August from Battle Creek Friends, in Michigan.
I am also looking at September racing toward us and praying fervently that God will show me what comes next. When I think about leaving here, it makes me SO sad. I really feel at home. For the 1st time in my life I am open to doing literally anything God wants- I’m totally open to even relocating. I am interested in a position with TEAM ministries called a Mission Coach. The job description is like a description of me, so I am sending an application/resume’ this week and praying. Right now, they don’t have a position in a city I could relocate to, but who knows what might happen by September? So, please pray for direction in that area.
Your prayers for this church are moving mountains. I am seeing changes in big things. One lady that I meet with for discipleship even said she was thinking about starting the children’s ministry back up…!!! So keep praying friends- God is moving!!!
Thank you so much for all you are doing “behind the scenes” for the ministry here– I am so, SO thankful for you!
“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10