Posts Tagged ‘South America’

3
Jun

God’s Growth Chart

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

I think I remember growth charts unfondly because they represented either being sick, or being too short to get on a ride growing up.  I am reflecting on that today for a couple of reasons.

First, my kids wanted to get measured on the door frame.  Something I have been doing for almost 19 years.  As soon as Ryan could stand he was up against the wall with a pencil on top of his head.   Now it is only the two youngest that care.  The Ryan is done growing and Bree is pretty sure she is done.  Andrew and Gabby, on the other hand, are growing like weeds.  Since October both of them have grown almost 2 inches.  The days of pants too short, and clumsiness (due to being off balance from the growth) are upon us.  I am glad that I started this tradition with my kids.  They love looking back through the years ( I transferred the information every time we moved.) and see how much they grew and when one passed the other.  They are only 22 months apart but the Gabby has come close to Andrew a couple of times.  I think those days may be over now, but they still do a good job matching up growing spurts.

Today this seems significant because of the other reason that has been on my mind.  I read today about another missionary family in Peru that sounds like a sister family.  We both are living in barns, turned homes.  We both have bugs, though I have no doubt theirs are bigger and scarier, and we both home school children that would not be classed as your “seen and not heard” children.  Normal in so many ways but, speaking of my own children, some learning difficulties that we have had to hurdle along the way.  I laughed and sympathized with much of what they had to say in their blog. 

My heart is so divided between here and Peru.  But I started thinking about how I would have handled living as they are without the time to grow in contentment.  There are many types of growth.  And as people, from the time we can express it, cannot wait to grow up.  When we are grown up we cannot wait for other things and often run ahead blindly.  We make mistakes, we learn, we grow in wisdom.  I started looking at where we were when the notions of being missionaries first hit us.  Oh we were spoiled.  Not by American terms maybe, but by most of the world’s standards.  Nice home, nice income, got what we wanted, ate what we wanted…. the list could go on.  There was much we claimed as our own.  And most would see no problem with that.  We worked hard.  We got what we worked for.  We had much growing to do before we could see God’s will for us as missionaries.  We needed to see that none of it was ours.  When we gave our lives to Christ and committed ourselves to serving Him it meant coming to terms with the whole truth, not just the parts that sounded nice.  Not just the parts that felt good.  But everything we have is God’s and we have to not just be will to reluctantly surrender it, but be willing to give it all to him if we are to truly serve Him.

This learning process has taken time.  Not time we wanted, but time God used to grow us to this point.  And I know that if there is delay in us going to the field that it is a delay that God is using for more growth.  Either for us or for others.  I am not a patient person by nature.  Once I know what I am suppose to do then I want to “get er done”!  But God did not exercise a lack of patience with his creation and I look at the time that he took so often to teach his people.  Sometimes he required much sacrifice from them and sometimes little.  But always with great wisdom and purpose did he plan out their lives and I cannot help but realize that truth in my own life.

We wanted to be to language training by the beginning of the year; this year!  We went to training last July with a time table that rushed us where we wanted to go.  I just about died when they told us that we would more than likely project going January 2011.  I think I was almost depressed about it.  I wanted to go then…not wait a year and a half.  Now, that we are 2/3 of the way to that date, I can see why, in all wisdom, they would tell us that.  There was, and still is, much to do.  Most of what we can focus on is schooling and fundraising, but I see what God has on his agenda for us to accomplish too.  One funny thing was us living in this barn/apartment.  We are living more simply than we ever have and are forgoing luxuries that we would have considered necessities at one time.  We did not plan this as training, but God did.  We have had so many vehicle breakdowns and needed to depend on God for the answers that we would not have planned out, were it our choice.  Yet God deemed these good experiences for our training. 

The one that is heaviest on my heart right now is the fundraising.  I know that God is able to provide for all our needs according to His will.  And we are confident that His will is for us to be missionaries in Peru.  For what ever reason he has deemed us to wait.  The funds are not coming in by our time table, yet we are doing all that we have learned to do.  What is God waiting for?  I don’t know.  But my faith and my heart tell me that God is teaching someone something and this is a growing time.  Maybe he has spoke to someone, or many someones, that they are to give big and He (and we) are waiting for their obedience.  Maybe there are more life lessons that He sees us needing.  Maybe there is someone or something that needs us here before we go.  We just don’t know. 

But we wait in faith and we keep our eyes on the growth chart.  Marking off the new growth and know that we are on our way to being tall enough for the ride.  Praise God for His divine wisdom.  Help us in thanking God for this and for how Great He really is.  Pray for our paitence and for God speed to always be the speed we grow at!

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4
May

Where is Your Treasure?

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

Matthew 6:21 (New International Version)

21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It is hard for me to just write about things without it becoming some kind of devotional because I get so inspired myself by something I have read in the bible or in a devotional that I end up going there.  I think what some may not get is that often it is to pass on how the Lord is encouraging me in the moment.  This leg of our journey is not an easy one.  No one could have told us that this would be the hardest part thus far, before we got to it.

We operate on so many different levels right now that often it is hard to keep straight what we are, and need, to be doing.  We go through monthly re-evaluations of our goals, progress, and needs.  This better helps us to focus on what our next step is and how we can do better what we are already doing.  We find that we change our route to our treasure, but when we refer to God’s map it was there the whole time the way he intended.  We just don’t know how to read it sometimes. lol. 

One area of revamping for myself has been in job priorities.  I have had a very full year and had to quit doing some things as more mission specific projects have come up.   Between homeschooling our children and missions life has been very full.  One wonderful thing about that is that I find that I am more centered on the purpose of God rather than just the purpose of our local church.  I do think that it is giving our family a broader Christian view and that is only a benefit as missionaries.  Most of my internal church involvement has come to an end because there is a lack of quality and attention that comes with being too divided in your focus.  Ron and I have each chosen a ministry to stay focused on in church and work on that.  But the days of multiple ministry involvement here are changing as we take on those multiple roles for the mission field.  We are working hand in hand with God on so many levels that we feel purposed in most everything we are doing.  From our constant communication with God through prayer, reading books in preparation, praying for our field assignments, communicating with those we will be working with on the field, our theology classes, our language learning, our devotions, going and sharing with others, conversations with the kids… there is so much that it seems tiring trying to list it all, but the funny thing is that it is not.  It is exhilarating and fills us with so much that we don’t even know how to say it all.  It is because it is our hearts desire.  To serve the Lord, and to serve him where he is sending us.  Where he is sending us.  Not where we alone want to go.  Where our treasure is, that is where our heart is.  Serving our Risen Lord to spread the good news and serve his church in Peru!

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14
Jan

Praying how to give out of a tax refund

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

56586779Are you like most Americans that would love to support charities, but you never seem to have the funds available?  This may be the year for you!  Most people are afraid of some new tax laws actually costing them more taxes, but many people will get refunds that will feel like a relief.  Before you start spending on the stuff you always wanted make sure you give to God what he deserves out of it.  I am not going to name a percentage.  I have watched many people debating that lately.  But I will say that God has laid an amount on your heart and, unless you are ignoring him, you are feeling prompted to give.  I am not talking about just to us, though that would be nice :), but I am talking about what ever ministry God lays on your heart also.  It may be just a bonus tithe to your church, over what you can usually give.  But let’s give as graciously back to God as he has given to us.

We are a 5th of the way there on our monthly support and only starting on our outgoing.  But when you give monthly it will go into the outgoing expenses until we are in Peru.  And all of it goes to missionary expenses.  Ron still works and still supports us in our daily needs while we are here.  All that you give is stored up for use for the mission God has us preparing for.  Which a portion of what you give actually goes towards the ministries we will be doing in the  form of supplies, repairs, and other things that are required to fulfill the ministry needs.

We want to thank you all.  Whether you are just starting to give our have been giving for most of the year.  it is a blessing to see your faithfulness and it makes us work even harder on our end to prepare.

Blessings to all,

Stephanie

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