For Freedom

FreedomGraphic

This week we celebrated the incredible freedom we enjoy in this country because of the sacrifice of generations of soldiers. It was a powerful week. Like most aspects of my life, the 4th of July did not go as expected because of the simple fact that I am a mother to a 6 month old. We had plans to spend the evening with friends. I looked forward to enjoying good food, great company, shared stories and laughter, board games, and of course…fireworks! The evening was one of fun for sure, but it didn’t look like the Norman Rockwell painting I had in my imagination. After an amazing dinner, my beautiful daughter decided she needed a little more focused attention on her. I took her into the other room in hopes to calm her, feed her, and help her fall asleep for the evening so that I could return to our friends. For whatever reason, she struggled that evening. She struggled through her food (she has reflex issues…the last lingering health struggles from being 2.5 months premature.) and fought sleep as hard as she could. I realized that the rest of my evening would be spent holding and singing to this precious child who needed me in that moment. I got something to drink, turned the Bethel Worship station on in Pandora, and settled down in a chair with Elizabeth. We listened to the fireworks outside and the music in the room with us. Instead of being frustrated that I couldn’t take part in the evening’s activities at that point, I realized it was a unique opportunity to both treasure my daughter and reflect on the beauty of our freedom.

My thoughts were drawn passed our national freedom…passed the sacrifice of our soldiers who lay down their lives daily on our behalf. I walked deeper and deeper in my mind through the concept of freedom. Finally, I ended up at the place where true freedom was born for us: the cross. Galatians 5:1 kept cycling through my thoughts, “It is for freedom we have been set free!”

We haven’t been given the gift of freedom so that we could sit comfortably in our homes, ignoring the outside world. Christ didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice in order for me to enjoy a life centered around me. It was FOR FREEDOM that I was set free. What does that mean?

It means that our freedom journey doesn’t stop with us.

It means that we are meant for something more.

It means that we were set free in order to be vessels of freedom for others.

Wow.

I was set free with a purpose! My chains were broken so that I could run through the prison, breaking the chains of others!

How do you want to continue the pages of your legacy of freedom? How do you want to give freedom to others? Do you struggle to come up with an answer to that question?

What if you invested in children! What if you chose to give hope and love to those who will grow up to be educators, politicians, moms and dads….the future world shapers. I firmly believe that the youth of this generation have the potential to be incredible world changers and kingdom workers. They have the capacity to change the trends of culture and society, to take the bible into every language and people group, to take on the challenges of world poverty and hunger…

We CAN make a difference! Check out www.remember-the-children.org today, and see how you can make this vision a reality.

Friends, it is for freedom that you have been set free.

Written By: Grace Hansen, Director of Operations

Learning to Trust

image

I look forward to the summer each year, because I’m usually in Romania engaged with lots of summer activities. What makes it even more fun is that each summer we invite college/university students to join us for an adventure serving alongside of me and our ministry partners in our GlobalGen program. For many students it is their first time outside of the United States, and to “drop” them into a foreign culture with differing customs, foods, but mostly language can be quite unsettling.

The prophet Isaiah reminds us in 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Verse four drives it deeper, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Trust is a HUGE issue for many that journey with us, because everything that they know or control on a daily basis is taken away from them. Each day is scheduled, each menu is set, each activity is organized, and in the midst of it a different language is being heard in every direction. Some people embrace this opportunity as a learning experience, but others go into a slight panic, try to gain some sense of control, and then varying emotions begin to surface.

I tend to believe that our true character or maybe our deepest struggles begin to rise out of us when we lose control of our ability to make our own decisions and we have to depend on someone else to help us through. A lot of times, team members who join us for a trip experience try to regain some of that control, and most of the time what rises up is a touch of anger. When we can’t control each detail of our lives we can become unsettled, yet a life that is fully engaged with God is told to let go and to trust God for everything. That is probably the deepest lesson one learns through a mission experience, is that he/she has to release his/her life to another in order to fully engage in the experience.

But isn’t that how our daily life should be? Should we not be letting go of our daily existence to allow God to bring into our lives those moments where we can truly experience Him by allowing Him to guide each of our decisions. Letting go, trusting, releasing control, is not easy. In fact, to me it is a daily choice. Are we truly able to surrender ourselves to allow God to use us in each and every moment to be His loving presence to a world that needs to experience what true love is? Most of the time that involves letting go of what we tend to trust, and allowing God to do as He will.

I like to see people discover this truth. I don’t always like the process that involves them wrestling through it, but I love the result of life transformation that can be reached on the other side.

My prayer this summer for our students is that they will wrestle with their dependency, and find a way to truly release their lives in order that they might be able to trust in God and the plans he has for their lives in dependence with Him

Written by: Andy Baker, Executive Director

www.remember-the-children.org