Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I've Moved

I've moved my blog and will not be posting here any further. You'll currently find it at

instead. Remember the dash between jungle and journey, as if you don't you'll be on another similar blog instead. Looking forward to "meeting" you there.:) -Maria

Thursday, December 16, 2010

We see this...

But then we see this too...

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."
-Helen Keller

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Honor

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?” -David Livingstone

Jabez Update

Two months…two hospital stays…an incubator…a feeding tube…painful wound dressings…two blood transfusions…numerous x-rays…countless needles being stuck and re-stuck into his tiny self…untold antibiotics…hospital neglect…caring and concerned staff…pneumonia…discouragement...prayers…praise…love…long nights later………

He’s “home” (i.e. out of the hospital) and healthier!

He’s defied the odds -- being born two months early in his village hut, not having enough milk, being wrapped in dirty rags, weighing 3.2 lbs at one-month-old, suffering from malnutrition and dehydration which left his skin lying in pitiful folds, pretty severe anemia, losing his twin, having an awful open sore on his back which was packed with feces and should have produced a massive infection -- and smashed all grim warnings to smithereens! Will you say praise the Lord? I do not believe I’m stretching it to say he’s a miracle.

At his last check-up he weighed in at a whopping 5.8 lbs, having gained 2.6 lbs since we first got him. I must say that the weight gain suits his little frame quite nicely and it’s such a joy to watch his little cheeks begin to grow chubby.:)
Despite all his improvements though, the doctor insists that he’s still much too fragile to travel with, much less return to the border area. She says that he has only about 1/10 of the immune system a normal baby would have. And he’s still battling. The pneumonia has not completely disappeared from his right lung and he’s right now developing a worrisome cough. He also has developed inguinal hernia (more common with preemies) which he will need surgery for in three more months. (They have to wait ‘til he’s six-months-old as it would be too dangerous to operate right now.) None-the-less, the weight gain is exciting as well as the rest of his development. He can hold his head up pretty good on his own as well as supporting his own weight on his legs, not to mention those smiles!:)
So this leaves me still up here in Chiang Mai. After his discharge from the hospital we stayed with wonderful missionary friends in the area for a couple weeks, but, as we’re looking at a more long-term stay (the doctor would like him to at least get up to 5 kg) of possibly several months, at least on and off, I went ahead and rented a simple little place which is nearby. I will have to return to the border for several days this next week so it’s a big blessing to have friends that I will be able to leave him with.
And as to an update as to what’s happening down at the children’s home and school, that will have to be another blog.

Living By God's Math

I just finished reading the little book The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson which someone gave me recently (after hearing that I named our baby Jabez they thought it vital that I should read the book.) This part of it really stood out to me. It’s speaking about the phrase in his prayer, “…and enlarge my coast…” Seeing the first equation below, I realized how much I tend to think that way. I mean it makes sense. All of that should limit me or at least influence what I do in life, right? Or maybe not.

“Whatever our gifts, education, or vocation might be, our calling is to do God’s work on earth. If you want, you can call it living out your faith for others. You can call it ministry. You can call it every Christian’s day job. But whatever you call it, God is looking for people who want to do more of it, because sadly, most believers seem to shrink from living at this level of blessing and influence.
For most of us, our reluctance comes from getting our numbers right, but our arithmetic completely wrong. For example, when we’re deciding what size territory God has in mind for us, we keep an equation in our heart that adds up to something like this:

My abilities + experience + training + my personality and appearance + my past + the expectations of others = my assigned territory.

No matter how many sermons we’ve heard about God’s power to work through us, we simply gloss over the meaning of that one little work through. Sure, we say we want God to work through us, but what we really mean is by or in association with. Yet God’s reminder to us is the same one He gave the Jews when they returned from captivity to a decimated homeland: “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
Our God specializes in working through normal people who believe in a supernormal God who will do His work through them. What He’s waiting for is the invitation. That means God’s math would look more like this:

My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my expanding territory.”

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10

“As God’s chosen, blessed sons and daughters, we are expected to attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed…unless God steps in. …For the Christian, dependance is just another word for power.” Bruce Wilkinson

Monday, November 29, 2010

"...although that was the shortest..."

"God did not guide them by the road towards the Philistines, although that was the shortest;... God made them go round by way of the wilderness towards the red sea."

Exodus 13:17-18

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Go Back!

If you've had an interest in the LMT project, scroll down a couple posts back to see the two posts entitled Backpacks & Supplies and Graduation. I startled the titles several days ago, but I was just able to upload the pics and finish them.