I interrupt this blog to bring to you a guest speaker: Miss Sarah Whitley
Hola to all you loyal readers, I hope you are doing better than fantastic. Thank you for your time and patience spent on waiting for this. This morning many Torch members found themselves arriving to breakfast about ten minutes before the buses left in the name of sleep. Our late start was only the beginning of a very strange and uncooperative day.
We arrived at the church mostly on time and listened to a short presentation from Ricky Butts about the mind of Christ. He talked about how in the book of Philippians, it addresses how there are four parts to the mind of Christ: a gospel mind, a lowly mind, a progressive mind, and a happy mind. Then he left us with one final thought, and that was to trust God.
Shortly after Ricky's talk, we broke into our men's and women's groups for our devotionals. In the women's group, we discussed the topic of women's role in the church. Diane was smart and had everyone coloring "stress relieving coloring pages" during this discussion for the sake of keeping peace. We looked over many passages that explained why women should leave leadership roles in the church to men, and it was really nice hearing biblical reasons instead of the worldly ones that are so popular these days. To wrap up our talk Diane revealed that the coloring sheets were actually symbolic: Men are the black lines creating the image, and women are the colors that make it beautiful, and God is the frame that surrounds the image. How sneaky! Well played Diane, well played.
Lunch was absolutely amazing. The ham sandwich and fresh fruit was just what the missionary ordered. Everybody ate quickly and helped clean. Then we went our separate ways to the orphanage for the painters and the VBS crew, and into the city for the door knockers. Something was definitely working against the Torch members today. The painters didn't end up painting the last two buildings because the boys who lived in them were very opposed to the Pepto-Bismal pink. So the few, the proud, the painters trudged back to the office to put all the painting supplies back and make their way into the gym where VBS was being held. Also known as chaos. Most of the kids were on a field trip today and those left behind were the "problem children" apparently. They gave the VBS-ers a run for their money and were very difficult, inattentive, and rude. Eventually the kids settled down and listened for the most part, but it was still a very exhausting extravaganza. The door walkers had to stop early because there was too much rain. No one felt like they had a successful day when it came to our plans for the afternoon, but sometimes things don't always go as planned.
It was Torch against the world today, but we made it through a-okay. After a dinner of chicken, veggies, rice, and avocado we all worked together to get the chairs in place for Chapel led by Tim Hines and translated by Chase Turner. Tonight was about fear. Tim entertained us all by recollecting a story from his childhood. He was left alone in a big cabin in the jungle while his father went fishing, and he heard the growling of a tiger. He sprinted through the jungle terrified for his life, singing Blue Skies and Rainbows, all while desperately trying to find his father who would bring indubitable safety. He found his father, and was brought back to the cabin, where they discovered the tiger was in fact just a man snoring. Fear prevents us from seeing things the way they are. It gets in the way of doors opening for new opportunities because we're too afraid to look. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, it talks about the punishments and beatings Paul endured, and how he faith prevailed and he continued worshipping God all the same. God asks us to put our trust in Him and not to be afraid. In Acts 2:37, when people realize they had killed the Son of God, they were afraid of the wrath of God. But that was not what God had in mind. He wanted them to repent, come to Him, and live their lives for Him. God is a god of love, who can overcome any evil so there is no reason to be afraid. However, there are people in this world who don't fear anything, when they should be fearing God. Although He is still a god of love, He is also a god of justice. He created two places: one for the saved, and one for the lost. God wants us to not be afraid. Another word for afraid is ashamed. We have to be fearless when proclaiming the word of God, and proud of what we believe. God knows everything we do and everything we think, so what should we fear? God or earthly problems? God wants us to struggle so we appreciate His blessings instead of deceiving ourselves into thinking we can save ourselves.
After chapel we drove back to the hotel and we had a brief group devo where Jon Hackett spoke more on fear and focused on how we focus on little fears when something bigger and more terrifying is lurking right behind us. Terry Reeves then made a few announcements about the next few days and some ladies met to discuss plans for a spa day for the women at the church. Then it was off to bed for the tired Torchers.
Thank you for your prayers and dedication to reading this lovely blog, and God bless you all.
PS- I've been forgetting to include this on the blog the past few days, but if anyone needs to contact anyone for any reason, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org