Many times in the old testament there are references to altar building. Usually there are statements around the act of building an altar that say something along the lines of "they remembered God, and they built an altar" or "they remembered the faithfulness of God, and there they built an altar"
Today, in my attempts to clean out some emails, I found a folder of my emails from a year of my life, that, up until this year, was pretty much the most complex, most amazing single year of my life. It was a year that God showed faithfulness in ways I have never seen before or since. It was a year that had tough times and great times. It was a year that is the full definition of "life abundant." It was harder and more fun than anything else! It was a year that I spent as a volunteer missionary.
Now, before anyone gets crazy on me - I have had some awesome times in my marriage, and with my kids. I have had 6+ years of fun and complex times with Ronnie and loved and hated the appropriate moments.
But this was one 12 month period of intense trust in Christ in a way that I haven't needed to trust like that since then. We could discuss the fact that I should trust like that all of the time. But the truth is that I don't... I wish I did, but I don't.
I spent a year in Germany as a volunteer missionary. It was a time of highs - spending a week in Paris with German students who were studying French, and a weekend on the Mediterranean Sea with my German sister, leading people to Jesus, traveling by bike about 70% of the time. Some wonderful relationships with people that still impact my life today. Some that have sent gifts to Josiah and Lydia, some that have helped us in raising money to bring Lena home. Some that I still send and receive Happy Birthday greetings from every year. It was also a time of tough days. A long process of learning not only a new language, but a whole new culture. A place where life has been hard in recent history, and I had to learn how to process my life outside of my American viewpoint.
As I reread my emails from that time I was pushed back to time where, similar to this, I was trusting God, and trusting people to listen to God when He prompted them. I guess that file of emails is something of altar in my email box.... a place where I can go to look back and see how faithful God was in 2004... I hope that one day, this blog will serve the same purpose.... a virtual altar of sorts, where we have listed the ways that God provided through people. A place where I can come, and where you can come, to remember the faithfulness of God. Even, a place where Lena comes to see the faithfulness of God to bring her home to us.
There are already so many moments where we have stepped back and seen God at work in major ways. There are also some moments of severe frustration. Delays, emotions, lack of communication with Lena, etc. We have had to, even this week, step back, sit down, bow our heads and our hearts and simple say "God, you have got to take care of this.... we can't, but you can." We are working hard.... but we know that without Him, this is all an exercise in futility. So, here we come, to BlogSpot, to build this altar, where we consistently put our trust in Him.... publically... and push on to bring our daughter home.
Thanks for your support - for helping us build this altar in worship of our Father.