Sunday, July 22, 2007

D.E.L.T.A.

It would be really easy to sit here and play the fake humility card and tell you all about how getting out of your comfort zone can really stretch you and force you to depend on God and how, “It’s not me, it’s God,” could be uttered with little or no sincerity, and you could get away with it. I think we’re probably all guilty of having been overly proud of ourselves at some point for being extra nice to the big sinner next door, giving 5 bucks to the guy on the street, or name your favorite pharisitical example. The thing about Moldova, though, is that this place thrusts humility upon you and forces you to depend on God from the moment you arrive, or in my case, starting 2 weeks ago as prep time went into overdrive. Today I came to this conclusion, either the apostle Paul was a hoss, or he really meant it when he said in Phillipians that it’s Christ who gives him the strength to do whatever must be done.

In the short time we’ve been here, I’ve felt humbled, excited, exhausted, honored, ill-equipped for the job, and in some moments, flat out scared- can the teacher hack it, I guess are my thoughts on the experience so far. It’s fitting the scriptures my mom as well as my wife wrote to me for today- verses about Christ carrying our burdens and giving strength to the weak. Before today I likely would have thought, “What great truth and encouragement for these kids and for the world-weary souls out there!” Only now I realize that the kids and I are one in the same when it comes to needing strength and comfort that only Jesus can offer.

Today I am a weary soul- and that’s ok. I know now that this trip was not just of my choosing-or if it was when I first decided to get on board, God decided that He had plans for me in this whether I knew it or not. I look forward to being broken this week- to experiencing His hand and His leading and His provision. I’m also excited about getting a glimpse of God’s handiwork on the homefront as well -tomorrow my wife will be sending me a sonogram picture of our new baby- not even a gummy bear yet, but I can’t wait to see Psalm 139 in action.

A quick word about the trip over: a lot of people don’t know this but DELTA is actually an acronym for “Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport.” My first flight was cancelled, and I was rerouted through Cincinatti some time later. Fortunately, my luggage didn’t have that same experience- or perhaps it did, I’ve yet to see it since I checked it in at 5:30 Saturday morning in Dallas. I’ve considered getting a t-shirt with my own take on Kentucky’s famous tourist saying- “Gettin’ Luggage in Kentucky,” but who knows, maybe it’ll show up tomorrow- good thing I packed all my clothes in my carry on. Our NY layover nearly turned into a sleepover as well. D.E.L.T.A- Doesn’t Ever Leave… well you get the idea. Anyway, it was a good trip, but tiring. I was really excited to be back in Budapest again. I spent 6 weeks there the summer of 1993 and loved it. It was a shame that we were only able to fly over and point and then sit in the airport. Still, it felt good to relive that experience in my mind.

Lastly, I finally met Petrica, the boy my brother and his wife sponsor. He was at the airport when we arrived. I'll leave it to Stuart to share details on that, but it was a big thrill for me to get to meet him as well. He seems to be a very sweet boy, and I look forward to getting to know him as well.

I guess that’s it. I’ll have more later.

Mark

7 comments:

  1. Linda4:19 PM

    So glad to hear you are safe and hangin' in there. Still praying for you!! Hope your luggage arrives soon.
    Peace,
    Linda

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  2. Jessica4:53 PM

    We're glad you got there safely...we miss you bunches and are VERY proud of you. We are praying for you, the team and the children there.
    Love you!
    Jessica and Aidan (and the baby gummy bear)

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  3. I am happy for you, Mark, that you are getting to experience this. I didn't realize how much I want to go back to Vietnam until I read your post :)

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  4. Anonymous7:49 PM

    Yes, it is good to hear that you made it safely. You said that you did not sleep on planes....so it looks like God through in some delays to work that in for ya.:-) He is amazing!!!
    The Bailey's are praying for all of you as well and we can't wait to hear all about your experience.

    Vicki

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  5. Anonymous7:36 AM

    Glad you made it there safely. We're praying for you and the kids.

    Kevin

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  6. Hi Mark,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. It is amazing the journey that God takes us on when we submit to His calling. I admire your courage to extend your faith in this way.
    I will keep you all in my prayers and I am so proud to have you for a son-in-law and the father to my grandchildren.
    Love Nanci

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  7. Mark,
    Glad you're doing well. I'm proud of you, bro., for stepping out there on the edge and fulfilling that Great Commission that Christ gave us. I can't wait to hear all the stories about what God is doing in Moldova, but also about what God is doing with you, as well. You're in my prayers.
    Bart

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