Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanks on This Friday

As I write this, my husband is in our "home office" glued to the computer. He is working hard to finish this last semester well. I have been so encouraged and proud of him this past week as he has demonstrated such diligence in getting everything completed. I know that I would be tempted to settle for mediocre if I was the one faced with such a massive amount of work in the last semester, but not him. He is finishing well, finishing strong, and I could not be more encouraged by how hard he has been working this week.
I am also compelled to give a word of honor regarding something he was able to do this past Sunday. Our church has been given a very unique opportunity in recent months to minister the Gospel. There is a neighboring apartment complex which has recently experienced new residents coming in. Many of these are refugees from other countries: Nepal, Iraq, etc. This particular apartment community is an inexpensive and rather safe place to live, so there has been a recent influx of these individuals and their families coming to live there. Since the complex is practically a stone's throw away from our church building, the opportunity to minister was readily apparent. We have donated clothes especially for those who do not have sufficient coats for a Louisville winter, offered to teach ESL to those seeking help, and found other means of ministering grace to those in need. One significant outlet for ministry we have started is referred to as "Discovering Grace," an hour of teaching and fellowship every Sunday afternoon. Our small groups take turns leading, and each week an individual from that small group is asked to speak on a specific topic related to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My husband was asked to teach this past Sunday, and the task was rather overwhelming: teach on the nature of the Bible and how it came to be in 20 minutes. He studied and prepared for two weeks, grappling with the task of communicating such an in-depth topic to individuals who are mostly unbelievers and still learning English. I also personally knew that he was somewhat nervous since he has not had an opportunity to teach in over four years, so he was both out of practice and somewhat out of his element teaching to an unfamiliar audience. In the end, however, he did better than I could have anticipated! As our small group leader told him afterwards (our small group leader who is also an elder at our church, and professor of New Testament and Greek at Southern), he was warm, winsome, gracious, discerning, and communicated in an understandable way a topic that could otherwise be confusing or overwhelming. From noting amazing facts such as 40 authors contributing over the course of 1500 years to the canon of Scripture, to providing them the page numbers in their paperback New Testaments of where the text was located that they might follow along, I could not have anticipated those 20 minutes being any better. This was the first time I have been able to witness him teach since we have married, and I was more thankful than ever to be his wife. Proclaiming the message of the cross truly is his calling and passion, and I was blessed to see his gifts utilized in such a unique way.

More to come on the topic of school, but we attended our very last classes at Southern Seminary yesterday. I left my evening class with a deep sense of gratitude, reflecting a bit on the past four years, as I walked to my car. These past four years have been so much more than working towards a degree. My dependence on the Lord is deeper, worship is more rich, and I am so much more mindful of the truth and sufficiency of the Word. As a 23-year-old moving 17 hours away from everything I had considered as home, I was oblivious to all the Lord would do between then and now. I am overwhelmed by His grace, provision, hand of mercy, sovereignty over the blessings and the trials, and my heart is filled with gratitude. More reflection to come as graduation draws ever nearer...

And on another note of thanks and sheer excitement, this beautiful face is going to be at our front door in just FOUR DAYS!!

We can't wait to see you, dear friend!!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!