Written by a Cafe 1040 student.
From the beginning of the trip, we have been told repeatedly:
Life is not about doing things for God--even good things. It's about seeking and knowing Him.
So I've asked God to strip away my agenda, my life, my plans...I've essentially asked to die to self (we always underestimate prayers of this kind!). And He is answering.
The stripping away started (and continues) with my comfort. I had no messaging, no friends or family to talk to, no American anything!...except my teammates. And I had just come halfway across the world by myself. It was a hard first week of adjusting.
The second area of stripping away has been with my security. I'm realizing that much of my security comes from having been taught the same things my whole life and spending most of my time around others who believe the same.
But finding security in a home church, being surrounded by other believing people, or your ability to understand/feel that it's all true...those things can change. Only by abiding in the True Vine can we have faith that will survive any circumstance.
Abiding in the True Vine means pruning--letting the Vinedresser cut away the false vines that we think nourish us.
Pruning is a type of suffering that we are promised to go through if we are abiding (John 15). But once we are tested to have a genuine faith, it will result in praise and glory and honor when CJ returns! (1 Peter 1:6-7).