All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

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Perfect10I am right smack dab in the middle of Josiah Venture Orientation.

Does anyone still use the term “smack dab” anymore?  I all-of-a-sudden feel super old…

Orientation began with an entire morning discussing the vision and mission statements of JV. We were required to memorize them before orientation began, and I did so with the same enthusiasm I’ve used memorizing all the various missions and visions and goals that Parkview has offered up over the 23 years I have worked there (“Not for Profit, All for You!”).

I could say them. Check that box off my list of things to do before starting with JV.


They actually live by this vision and mission. They have lived by it for 20 years, and they filter everything they do through it.

JV’s vision:

A movement of God: not a movement of JV, a movement of God– which means it is bigger than us and our efforts.

in the youth of Eastern and Central Europe: we are specifically called to this region of post communist Europe and specifically to the young adults, with a desire to build up Christian leadership in this and future generations.

finding its home in the local church: we are not a para-church organization, but one that focuses on including, equipping and walking alongside the local churches in these countries.

and transforming society: the result of equipping young leaders to share the gospel and disciple others within the context of the local church is a society that is completely transformed by God.

I spent my day nodding in agreement and silently thanking God.

Thank you for opening the doors for me to work with these people.  Thank you for inspiring them to start this ministry. Thank you for all the stories of changed lives and hearts. Thank you…

It has been nice to stop and get my feet under me again. After returning from Arizona, I jumped right in to working a temp job at Parkview (I’m faxing 10,000 doctors to verify their numbers), and I also jumped right back into friendships, small groups and a variety of other activities- plus support raising.

I’m used to having time to think and process and pray, and I effectively eliminated most of that time by my second week home. I knew I was tired, and I found myself longing for some “Navajo” quiet, but I didn’t realize how much I NEEDED that time until I found myself staring at my financial report for JV and panicking about how big the task is and how short the time before I need to be at 100%.

In Rough Rock, my internet was SOOOOO slow that I often found myself staring at that crazy download bar just willing it to move. As if staring at it – or doing anything else- would help!

Upload bar

As I felt myself willing my 14% of monthly support to increase, I felt myself sinking into such a sad and helpless place.

And I realized my hopes were misplaced.

I was hoping for an easy, fast time with raising support instead of hoping in Christ and all he has specifically called me to do and be. The old hymn “Solid Rock” kept running through my mind this past weekend.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand- all other ground is sinking sand.

When our hope is in anything else but Christ we are in sinking sand.

I watched a really dumb show while I was staying with the Armstrongs in San Diego.  It was a show about how to survive crazy disasters like snake bites and shark attacks.  The show we watched described how to survive quicksand. It made me wish I’d seen quicksand during my time in the desert. It was actually fascinating to me how the water in the sand makes it impossible to pull yourself out. The only thing to do is to float on your back and distribute your weight out more evenly so you don’t sink.

Sinking sand. I picture placing our feet on firm rock while everything around us struggles to move through thick sand- slowly sinking deeper and deeper into a helpless panic. There is peace when our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus. There is a solid place to stand and no struggle. When we hope in him, and his plans, and his timing we stand firm, because he is faithful!

Today I listened to a lot of people share about how God has faithfully provided exactly what they needed over years and years of life, and I kept smiling, so excited to be dependent on Him. Dependency is when we get to see Him really move, and I was reminded again today that dependency on God is a normal way to live out our lives as Christ followers. Leaving the known and stepping out in faith is totally normal- and there are thousands of Christians living this way all over the world in order to fulfill the commission of Christ.

Its funny, it seems like our entire life process is about becoming more independent. From the time we are small and learning to walk to the time we move out and start a career we are striving to do things without dependency.  I feel like it is the reverse with God. As I grow in him I find myself longing to depend on him more. Longing to make my decisions less “me” and more “him”. So I’m having growing pains right now as I struggle against the way I want things to look and the timeframe in which he is allowing things to happen.

DSC_0807I love this picture.  This was from my last Sunday in Rough Rock and I was standing in line behind my friend Lavina.  She picked up one of her little girls and I snapped this picture just as she had settled in on her mom’s shoulder.  A perfect picture of rest and security. Sometimes when I find myself in a frenzy of activity and concern over what comes next, I picture myself turning around and resting my head on God’s shoulder and letting him do the walking and worrying about where we are going. We all need to do that. It’s called faith, and the peace found in faith is like nothing else found on earth

His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood;

When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand- all other ground is sinking sand.


How are the people of Rough Rock?  So many of you have asked me this.  I love that you love them and are continuing to pray for them!!! They are good!  I text with Sonny and Delbert’s family and I talk with Lavina and Rod on the phone.

Sonny says the church is doing well- still moving forward. They hosted a revival with other churches in Red Ridge a few weeks ago and everyone loved  it!  Sonny hit a horse with his big semi truck a couple of weeks ago, but is fortunately ok. His truck and the horse were both not ok, but Sonny is fine.

Delbert and Lula and the boys are doing well- the boys are in school and Lula is weaving rugs like crazy. Delbert recently had a cancer check-up in Flagstaff, and got a completely clean bill of health (PRAISE GOD!)

Rod has moved to Salt Lake City to work for awhile to help his family.  He lost his phone, so I’ve just recently connected with him, but he is busy working and building new friendships there.

Lavina is doing great- her new job as a teacher (instead of assistant) is presenting some new challenges to her, but she and her kids are doing well.  She and I talk on the phone in the evenings and walk while we talk.  Her, around the track at the football field, and me around my little Fort Wayne neighborhood. I make her describe the sunset for me each night, because I miss it, and her so much.

Please continue to pray for them. I know that you love them so much too, and I am continually in awe of how God puts people in our hearts that we haven’t even met and gives us love and concern for them.

You can pray for me as I begin this process with JV. God is placing such a love for the young people of Eastern and Central Europe in my heart. Here is a video of some of the faces and testimonies from kids that have been impacted by the interns I will be working with. I know some of these kids and their stories, and I can tell you that each testimony is a result of many years of questions and discipleship and prayer.

JV VideoI would love to have you join me in loving and reaching kids like these all over Central and Eastern Europe.

There is such a joy in sharing my love of the Navajo with you all because you journeyed with me through my time there, and I’m so excited to see who my traveling companions will be in this new adventure with JV.

I am currently above 100% support in my one-time needs (yay God!), but I still need 86% of my monthly support. I would love  to have you become a part of my monthly support team in both finances and in prayer. I’m really excited about what God has already provided and I can’t wait to see the ways in which he will continue to do so.  If you’d like to get together and learn more about JV, I would be thrilled to connect! If you’d like to join us, click here.

Please pray also for all the JV people who are reaching out at colleges all over the US with information on how American students can become a part of the ministry in Eastern and Central Europe.

I’m so thankful for all of you and your interest and excitement about what God is doing in His world!

JV picture
My new coworkers and new missionaries headed to Europe!




One thought on “All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

    Noel said:
    October 18, 2014 at 11:17 am

    So excited for you! This job seems like it was tailored just for you :0) I am also glad to hear that you are able to keep in contact with those that you met in Rough Rock. God is doing some awesome things in your life.

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