I find that I use this blog much more for recording our family life than our ministry endeavors. Perhaps it is because I view this space as one massive family scrapbook! As a former scrapbooking consultant who lugged down boxes of brand-new photo albums, refills, page protectors, idea books, and countless supplies from one continent to another, I often feel a twinge of regret and guilt that I am not currently using those lovely items. My kids love looking through the half a dozen albums I created in my pre-full-time ministry and pre-five-kids life, and someday I hope I will create in that way again - but for now this is it, folks! :)
Another reason I think I write more about family life than ministry is that so much (read: ALL) of ministry involves the lives of other people. Generally speaking, their stories are not ours to publicly share. Also, to be honest some of the situations we have faced since returning in January involve emotionally charged and weighty issues. We've sat and listened to individuals who are still processing the suicide of our colleagues' daughter. We've counseled with a couple on the brink of separation. We've been at the hospital bedside of a church member diagnosed with cancer. We've been on the receiving end of concerns about eating disorders, sexual purity, "hauntings" and homosexuality. These are heavy discussions which don't lend themselves to light blog posts.
However, there is another side of ministry which we can and should share. Just this morning we read with our children this verse: "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart" (Proverbs 17:3.) Our church family in Iquique has certainly been going through the crucible of testing this past year with pastoral transitions and personal tragedy. For some the heart response has been to fall away. But for many others it has been a strengthening of their faith and spiritual maturity. What a blessing to witness, and to God be the glory! For this reason I do plan to write several posts in the new few days or weeks to highlight recent ministry events in the life of our church. Stay tuned for the "Ministry Update" series!