I was reading in one of my devotional books, “Streams in the Desert”, last week and this jewel jumped off the page. Mainly because, not only was it a powerful devotion, but it was spot on for what we have been feeling and going through –here in language school.
A piece of wood once bitterly complained because it was being cut and filled with rifts and holes, but he who held the wood and whose knife was cutting into it so remorselessly did not listen to the sore complaining. He was making a flute out of the wood he held and was too wise to desist when entreated to do so. He said:
“Oh, thou foolish piece of wood, without these rifts and holes thou wouldst be only a mere stick forever–a bit of hard black ebony with no power to make music or to be of any use. These rifts that I am making, which seem to be destroying thee, will change thee into a flute, and thy sweet music then shall charm the souls of men. My cutting thee is the making of thee, for then thou shalt be precious and valuable, and a blessing in the world”.
I was stunned. My eyes filled and I wept with gratitude and a strong repentant heart for crying out while being that stick of wood, and complaining for all the “shaping” going on. This school is rightly named. Chisel.
Every time I have entered a sentence in my Spanish Dictionary and used the name of the school, Cincel, the word “chisel” comes up, since that is exactly what Cincel means in Spanish. Chisel. We have all felt the blows of the hammer as well as the knife on the stick of wood. But you know, in our hearts we all long to be useful for the Master. The One who called us surely has a plan and purpose for every splinter of whittling, and gouging out the places that have so desperately needed work.
On an encouraging note, we can carry on a conversation with others now with a little more confidence. I walk down to the beauty salon and talk with the young ladies there about once every couple of weeks. It’s where I got my FIRST haircut after chemo! I was so excited, and I have made two new “Tica” friends in the process. One of them even gave me her phone number so that I could practice my Spanish. And another one made me some flashcards this week to help with my “beauty salon lingo”.
We have prayed for you all during all these weather episodes and the various things that have been going on. Last week, as I was sitting here typing, we had a small earth tremor that shook the bed that I was sitting on. Everything in this world is subject to change. In the very next minute–your life or my life could change. We have no promise of tomorrow, we have today–and it’s up to us to use it for the Master, or squander it away.
This weekend, we were privileged to be able to go with dear friends, about an hour out of the city to the mountain area and just relax for the morning. We stood at a fence and just viewed the valley and surrounding mountains and we breathed. It felt good. I cannot quiet describe the feeling–but it was needed and necessary. And best of all….we spent time with friends of like mind and faith, who also left home, family, friends, and jobs they loved, to follow into the unknown, our Jesus.
While talking with the young lady at the little coffee shop–we asked her about the coffee harvest season. The process from the time of planting, to harvest, to roasting, grinding all the way to your favorite cup of coffee.
Something we learned by tasting: a good cup of coffee does not need sugar or cream. That had to be proven to me. It is something I will be excited to share with my family when we get home in December. A hot cup of the best Costa Rican coffee.
She was so passionate about her job–her love of coffee and all things Costa Rica came through with every word she shared. That’s what I want others to feel and hear in us as we share about Jesus in our new language. I want them to feel the passion in our hearts–hear it in our voices and see it on our faces. I want them to desire to know Him and share His love with their own families.
That’s one thing we need you to add to your prayer list for us: Our ability to speak fluently as possible and to be able to share without reservation or hesitation.
Can I share with you a list of daily prayer needs?
Sunday: Pray for our spiritual lives. Our spiritual growth, fellowship with local believers, integrity, reliability, and consistency. Jeff was blessed with a lunch a couple of weeks ago from an invitation from a “Tico” friend he met at church. What a joy! Pray for more connections and development of relationships that will last long after we leave.
Monday: Pray for our personal lives. For our marriage. You have no idea the attacks on marriages and families here. I won’t go into the details–suffice it to say, prayer is necessary to the mission. Pray for our families back home, their health, both physical and spiritual. Pray for their protection. What is it with mama’s and daddy’s that believe we need to be there to help? God is not limited by distance.
Tuesday: Communication. Adapting with generous flexibility to the culture, customs and people. The language study, clarity in speech, ability to hear and comprehend.
Wednesday: Relationships. Both in the churches and the community. As well as not losing our relationships back home. That’s a fear many have as they shift their lives to another field. We have discovered through conversations with others and reading several articles for missionaries, home relationships (back in the states) almost always suffer, insomuch as they are forgotten altogether. Or at the very least, once they return, they are treated differently than when they left. We hunger for our relationships with you to either remain strong–or become even stronger. Not become weaker or disappear altogether.
Thursday: Evangelism. Boldness, sensitivity, Holy Spirit led.
Friday: Discipleship. That we can be mentors. Training, equipping, and encouraging others even now before we get to our field of service. May we serve Him now with fervor.
Saturday: Pray for our country. Our first and home country, the United States of America, and secondly, our country of calling: Bolivia. Pray for more schools to open in Santa Cruz, relationships to develop and grow under the anointing and presence of the Holy Spirit. Help us pray now for a good, safe, and secure place to live.
Often many think that because they aren’t giving monetarily, they aren’t helping. NOTHING could be further from the truth. Your prayers make the difference. We cannot do this without your prayers. I cannot say that loud or long enough. Prayer is the KEY to the KINGDOM.
Thank you for taking the time to add us to your likely already long prayer list. It is undeniably what keeps us going strong. We love each of you. If you feel led to get further involved, an offering of any amount is always welcomed and needed. The cost of living here is “crazy” expensive. But I won’t talk about that any further. It hasn’t brought the prices down one bit! 🙂
We received our 3rd mail here this week! (It takes about 10-14 days to reach us if there are no holidays involved.) OH Mercy I was giddy with joy! My heart overflowed with the love from the words that came from the letter–but soon found myself weeping like a child. God is SO good! Thank you. Every word meant the world. I have all three cards we’ve received taped to the wall in our bedroom. It gives me joy every time I look at them.
We wish you were here. We miss you. BUT, if the LORD is willing [as my Mamo always said], or “Si Dios quiere”, we will see some of you in December! We wish we could visit every single one of you in your churches! You are greatly loved.
All for HIM,
Jeff and Angie
“Streams in the Desert, Morning and Evening Edition, page 649-650, September 20 (L. B. Cowman, Zondervan Publishing Company.)
© Angie Knight 2017. All rights reserved. All photographs © Angie Knight 2017.