President Rafael & Ana Loera
Pastor Guillermo Escobedo
School Director Hernando & Ana Gonzalez
Is There Enough?
Last week we skyped our Mexican colleagues in La Paz. We were connecting with Pastor Rafael Loera, the newly elected President of the Southern Baja Mexican Convention, as well as Pastor Guillermo Escobedo who teaches at the Theological School. They send greetings to you— our friends and supporting churches in the United States—and thank you for your prayers! They are slowly rebuilding after Hurricane Odile, and promise to send us some progress pictures soon. When we left for our year of U.S. assignment in June, we were able to leave enough funds to support the Director of the Theological School through the end of this year. We challenged them to brainstorm how they could increase the amount the convention provides towards this salary, so that the position would continue past December. But honestly, we didn’t know if they would have enough determination or enough resources to make it happen. Imagine our delight when Rafael and Guillermo told us that the convention had found a way to fund the position until March 2015! Yes, we know, it’s only three months more. But when we left in June, they had no plan. Now, they do! Trusting God. Trusting our partners. Enough.
Lord, You Are Enough
From September to December we were auditing a class in Spiritual Formation at Palmer Theological Seminary. Our hope is to translate this coursework into an appropriate cultural context so we can share it with our colleagues in Ibero-America. (Ibero-America includes all Spanish-speaking countries in North, Central, and South America, plus the Portuguese-speaking country of Brazil.) As Regional Missionaries we will be coordinating with Theological Schools with whom International Ministries has existing partnerships to train leaders and to develop curriculum in Spiritual Formation. What is Spiritual Formation? Offering tools to leaders about how to not only go deeper with God, but also how to sustain this level of intimacy with God. This is what nourishes a leader’s soul and hopefully prevents him/her from burning out. “Lord, you are enough for me. And I am enough for you.” (Julian of Norwich)
When Is Enough, Enough?
Last week we were wandering through King of Prussia Mall—apparently one of the largest malls in the United States—and frankly, it was over-whelming. We were constantly being bombarded by consumerism and the message of “you do not have enough.” This fall while we’ve been visiting churches, we were often asked, “After fifteen years of service overseas, do you still experience culture shock when you return to the U.S.?” At this time of year I can honestly say, “Yes.” Being back in our own culture reminds me again of how many choices I have. Choices that many other people will never have, and that I still can take for granted: jobs, education, food, clean water, electricity, etc. And the racial tensions that have erupted here in the last six months only remind me that not every American has the same choices either. It challenges me to ask the question—on many levels: “When is enough, enough?” There is so much need. And I’m only one person. How do I give more, invest in solutions for a better world, when I already feel inadequate? Honestly, am I enough?
My Grace Is Enough
Learning how to be enough is difficult. I have a history of fixing, of comforting, of accommodating, of listening, of trying to be more than or less than to please others. But God says, “Enough!” I don’t have to feel more. I don’t have to know more. I don’t have to do more. I don’t have to be more. I am enough. What I offer today is enough. If I am surrendering to Christ, letting the Spirit flow through me, then my thoughts, words, actions . . . are enough. I can trust. Be at peace. Not one iota more. Not one iota less. Sufficient. “My grace is enough; it’s all you need.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
One Child Was Enough
On the first Sunday of Advent we attended Germantown Mennonite Church. The prelude was a song written and composed by Duane Hershberger, a member of the congregation. It was a haunting melody in a minor key and was entitled One Light. These are the lyrics that embedded in my heart: There was one light for everyone, One light was enough. There was one love for every heart, One love was enough. There was one hope for all the hopeless, One hope was enough. There was one rest for all the weary, One rest was enough. There was one child for all the children, One child was enough. Glo-ri-a.
In this Season of Advent, don’t let yourself be distracted by the message of “not enough.” Not enough stuff. Not enough money. Not enough peace. Not enough justice. Not enough health. Not enough talent. In Christ, we are enough. We have enough love, enough financial resources, enough courage, enough creativity, enough joy, enough hope, enough wisdom . . . one child was enough . . . to change the world. May You Be Filled with the God Who Is Enough!
David and Joyce Reed
7013 McCallum St.
Philadelphia, PA 19119