Friday, October 12, 2012

Pride and Submission

A visiting missionary(the Mom of our YWAM staff missionaries!) spoke to our little community at Trinity yesterday morning. Her topic was spiritual warfare, and she said something I had never considered before: "The Enemy doesn't attack when you're down. He comes to steal your harvest."  Or put a different way, when your life is full of blessing and it seems you are about to see the fruit of a lot of labor, he will come in to discourage you and steal your joy. She encouraged us to stand firm to protect our joy and our blessings, knowing that they are vulnerable if we do not.

Sammy was baptized almost two weeks ago. Unfortunately with Gabe in the hot tub with him and me wrangling a fussy baby, I didn't get very good video. There's a short clip on facebook that our church posted if you missed it! It was an incredibly joyous day for us. He had put his trust in Christ for salvation at the age of 4, and now there was no dissuading him that he was ready to be obedient to give his life fully to Jesus as Lord in baptism.  We couldn't be more pleased to see him give his heart to Christ. And we both found the job we now have of continuing to discipline our son incredibly sobering.

It was also an adventurous day...since we have a new young student named Jessica at Trinity who rides to church with us, we have to trust the Lord for a vehicle other than our own each week since we don't have an extra seat. That week it was the notorious "Big Blue" a full-size handicap accessible van that Trinity owns for common use. Big Blue has been broken down more than running in the year we've been here. The week prior to Sam's baptism the three mechanic students got together and decided to see if they could replace the fuel pump and get her running again.  They succeeded, and we took her on her maiden voyage to Puyallup. For a man who used to drive a Nissan 350Z and then a Subaru WRX(oddly enough, both blue!), watching Gabe wrangle Big Blue was quite entertaining. Her top speed was about 50 and she got there in.....5-10 minutes. On the way to the baptism after church we started to notice white smoke coming from her. Not so great but figured she would make it. Sure enough, she started up after the baptism. So then I suggested a celebratory trip for frozen yogurt. And the parking lot of the frozen yogurt place was where she died. No amount of tinkering from Gabe or Dan (Trinity's director who came to our rescue) could get her going again, so we got shuttled home in two truckloads. All in a typical Sunday these days!

Since that day, we have definitely been under spiritual attack, though we failed to fully recognize it as such and pray accordingly. We have learned so much this year about the power of prayer and want to thank everyone who reads this who faithfully prays for us! I'm feeling nudged to post prayer requests more often just in case you are the person who God appoints to pray for us, so be on the lookout for that.

The past couple weeks the attacks have come in the form of discouragment and depression for me, and then a bit of a wake up call when we had Sammy's parent-teacher conference this week. We prayed that the Lord would give each of our children the teachers He intended for them this year and use them in their lives. We are amazed at how precisely the Lord answered that prayer. Ciara has a teacher who is thrilled to have a kindergartner with such a high reading level and is doing all she can to keep her challenged. Sam has a teacher who is experienced, energetic, and has high standards of behavior and academics in the classroom. And in just a few weeks, she totally gets him.

Unfortunately, that means she sees that while he is very bright, he doesn't want to work. He is getting D's in math and writing right now. Not because he can't do the work, or because there is anything wrong with the teacher, her methods, the school or their policies. I won't even put much blame on myself as last year's teacher, although I could have pushed him a little harder. The responsibility is his. What's even more concerning to us is that he is also talking a lot in class and not following instructions. As she put it, "He's polite....but then does whatever he wants, not what I've said". We've had this feedback about Sam before. He is also kind, sweet, and compassionate which we are thankful for.

So please pray with us that Lord would change Sam's heart to one of submission to this teacher who may not know the Lord and is in authority over him. Pray also that he will seek a better work ethic and that we can both have patience and be able to motivate him. Pray that we will be the witness Christ wants us to be in this situation.

"...there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted..."  Romans 13:1-2
  
Sobering.

But then God reminded us that He has a plan for Sam. That Sam has a lot of leadership qualities and that He is working out what He needs to in his life right now. If he's going to lead, he needs to learn to follow.

We have to trust that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

A few additional prayer requests:
  • Protection for Gabe and the team from our church heading to Mexico the end of October
  • Protection for me from the spiritual attack that always come to me when Gabe is away
  • Vision and clear direction for Trinity's leaders, staff, and students 

Thank you, and may you be richly blessed!

love, Bonnie