Can you remember that time in your childhood where you really started to ponder the great questions of existence? Was there ever a time when you thought something like, “What if I were never born?” or the unsettling thought, “What if there were nothing instead of something?” It was about the fourth grade when I suddenly came to grips with my finiteness. The questions for me were, “What if I never existed?” and “What if God never existed?” Continue reading God’s Self-Existence and Flying to Uruguay
Breaking down in a strange city and being cared for by a local church. Being invited on Sunday morning to come share a meal with a family we have just met. Being hosted by a couple for a long weekend, complete with meals and beds for our large family. Being allowed to stay at an apartment or unoccupied house for a matter of weeks or months by friends or even strangers. Hospitality. This is something as missionaries that we are honored to both give and receive. And as we are on the brink of leaving for the field and I look back on our 8 months on the road visiting churches in the US, I can say that the one of the biggest (maybe the biggest?) spiritual blessing is the blessing of seeing God’s people practice hospitality towards us. Continue reading Simple Christian Hospitality
Years ago, when Grey Davis first became governor of California, I remember reading a newspaper article which voiced the concern that Governor Davis might become “lost amid the paper clips” – that he would be so focused on managing the details that he could lose sight of the big picture. Since we moved out of California soon after this, I did not follow whether this humorous prediction came true. However, I always remembered what it said. It stuck out to me because of my own tendency to “get lost amid the paper clips”. Ray is the visionary; I am the one thinking in details. If there was a great tornado coming, I would be the one not gathering my children and fleeing, but making sure we had some snacks and extra blankets to take with us.
What does it mean to be settled? Certainly for a missionary, it means something a little different. In 2014 “settled” hasn’t been on the menu in the Call family! Here is a picture of the place we are calling home right now. In the picture we are about to start breakfast here in the apartment that we have been at since mid-June, on the property of some dear friends in Florida. While we are super thankful to the Lord for the blessings of being here near friends as we finish our Home Ministry Assignment and prepare to leave for Uruguay, we are not quite settled, both because of the tight squeeze and because we know it is only temporary.
It was the summer of 2001 and we were in the beautiful resort town of Lake Tahoe, California. My wife Michele and our children and I had come to minister to about 60 or so college students who were there to participate in what in many circles is called a “beach project.” Going into it, I had an idea that God would use me in the lives of others, but I soon found out that aside from that privilege, I would also see the Lord at work dramatically in my own heart.
As we watch God at work we sense that our time in the U.S. is drawing to a close and we are getting closer to departing for Uruguay. We received some good news this last week while we were on our way to Florida. Our support has bumped up significantly. We are now at 91% of our support goal. All praise be to the Lord! What does this mean? Continue reading Getting Closer to the Big Move
The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NAS)
Are you familiar with the expression, “when it rains it pours?” Or what about “Murphy’s Law?” Well, however you want to label it, we had quite an experience last week!
It had been a busy weekend of traveling and seeing a dear supporting church in Kansas. It was Monday morning, May 19 and we were looking ahead to a week that had a bit of margin (finally!) built in to it. We had five days to make it to Gatlinburg, TN, for a week long vacation in a cabin with my parents. Five whole days. I imagined getting settled into Gatlinburg a few days early with our trailer. I could do the laundry and go to the grocery store. We’d start our vacation well rested. Tuesday night we made it all the way to Knoxville. We parked in front of a Wal-mart, slept in a little, visited the Wal-Mart and the Trader Joe’s and were ready to go by noon, local time. Continue reading When it rains it pours
“So you’re fluent in Spanish, right?”
I can’t tell you the number of times we hear this as we visit churches, talking about our ministry. The word “fluent” is a strange thing. And as any adult who has set out to learn a second language can tell you, the road to the evasive “fluency” is slow and full of mistakes, misunderstandings and setbacks. Fluency comes in slow stages. There is no doubt that I consider myself fluent in English. And yet, put me in an unfamiliar context and I might find myself wondering how well I really do know this language. Continue reading “So You’re Fluent, Right?”
Most missionaries spend time back in their home country for a period of time every three or four years. This time period is known by various names, such as furlough, deputation or itineration. In our mission, it is called HMA, or Home Ministry Assignment. I like that description. We are doing ministry in the churches.
We see our support raising as relationship building. That is why we prefer to go as a family, when we are able to. We like to develop these relationships as deeply as we can in the very short time we usually have with any given church, family or individual. We see it as a ministry, to allow churches in the US to be enriched as their vision of what God is doing in the world expands. We long to see the church in America filled with a zeal and passion for the work of the Lord. We long to see religion that goes deep, transforming lives of believers. We long to see ordinary Christians willing to take risks to follow Christ in their day to day lives, as they stay at home. We hope that as we bring our message, it will help to breathe new life into the believers that we talk to. Continue reading Home Ministry Assignment