Monday, October 25, 2010

Doing Ministry Where You Are

While I was "waiting" for Ben to arrive I had lots of time to think. I realized that I was so focused on getting to Africa so that I could start doing my ministry that I was missing all that God has for me here. God's "still, small voice" has been working on my heart. He has showed me that there are things here I can be, and should be doing. If I believe that God has called me to share the joy He has given me, why am I waiting to share?
So, I started calling around. I have found some womens groups that are a part of local churches. The first group was the UMW from Pitman UMC. I was invited to come to their meeting and give the devotional. I shared how God has given each of us something special and He wants us to use these gifts for His glory. Two evenings later I got to share with the Friendship Ring of Evangelical UMC in Clarksboro. The ladies were so welcoming and I was able to share the call God has given me for the women of Africa. It was wonderful to be used to encourage and bless these two groups.
As I am learning to serve where I am, I realized that was exactly what these ladies were doing. They are serving Jesus right now, in their church, community and family. In some ways their ministries look different than what I will be doing in Uganda, but the heart of it is the same. We are encouraging, mentoring, teaching and doing life with other women.

I will be doing this by having ladies to my home and sharing a cup of tea.
Some of these ladies meet at the local coffee shop to chat.
I will have bible studies and small groups. 
These ladies meet regularly to open God's word and pray together.
I hope to have English classes, cooking or sewing classes. 
These ladies have social groups from quilting to baking to scrapbooking.
I hope to develop a program to train the women leaders of the church in women and children's ministries. 
These ladies are doing the women and children ministries in their church.

I was so encouraged to know that what is going on around the corner will teach me and train me for what the future holds. It is important for us to keep looking and striving to get to Uganda, that is where God wants us. As we all look forward to what God has for us, we need to be careful not to miss all God has for us right now, right where we are.

"Wherever you are, be all there." -Jim Elliot

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Babies, Bedtime, and Hope

Sorry the blog has been so quiet recently. If you haven't heard though, Benjamin Daniel Rambo was born at 9:37pm on September 23, 2010. Needless to say, things have shaken up quite a bit in our home. Everyone is healthy and adjusting fairly well to the new realities of life, although I don't think any of us would argue with a little more consistent sleep.

The day after Benjamin was born, in an effort to help Tim not feel completely abandoned, I came home from the hospital to eat dinner with Tim and put him to bed. Per our normal bedtime routine I got him dressed in pajamas and we sat down to read a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible (which, by the way, we highly recommend)As we opened up the Bible to pick up where we had left off it just so happened (quite providentially) that we came to the Christmas story. And as we read that story, retold to point young hearts to Jesus, I found myself struck anew by the glorious reality of what happened on that momentous night.

Just hours before I had held in my arms our tiny, 8lb 7oz baby boy so many emotions swelled in my heart. On one hand I saw how frail, how helpless, how needy he was; and as I read that story of God breaking into our world I realized again that was how He had chosen to come. So humble, so dependent, so powerless. But I also saw in Ben's fresh, new life hopes and dreams and desires for what his life would hold and as we read I couldn't help but wonder what aspirations and hopes filled not only the heart of Joseph, who had been told his son was Immanuel--God with us, but also the heart of God.

As we prayed that night and thanked God for breaking into our lives with His "never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love" I couldn't help but be humbled and astonished and glad and maybe even a bit skeptical that God has chosen to invite us to be a part of sharing that love with the world. But what great news this is to share, what a glorious story it is to invite people to participate in.

I'm so thankful for Benjamin (and Timothy, for that matter), but I'm also so thankful for this reminder that God doesn't choose to work in the ways that we would. I'm thankful for what God accomplished through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son and I'm hopeful for what he will accomplish in and through the life of my sons.