Spiritual Disciplines @ GBC

Well…by the time you’re reading this you’ll know that I’ve by home fighting a cold this week, and it hung on for so long that I finally gave up the hope of going to church yesterday.  My voice was shot–preaching wasn’t going to happen for me.  (Thank you, Ben “Handyman” Sadler, for preaching at Grace!)  I was going to preach a sermon to simply review the seven spiritual disciplines of our church that we’ve introduced over the past couple of months.  Rather than preaching that sermon, this link will take you to its notes.  Review. The Seven Spiritual Disciplines of Grace Bible Church

Please be in touch, comment, FB, email, etc., with any comments, questions, or experiences you’d like to share about how these disciplines worked for you!

Thank you, Pastor Ken

 

Update: Logan Lawrence, Easter in Nepal

Nepal

My blog is in reverse chronological order.

If you have any questions or would like to contact me for any reason you can do so by emailing me at llawrence1017@gmail.com

04/11/2017 – 04/16/2017

The night before Easter I was staying at Silas’ family’s house with Amit, although Silas had left to go home for America last Monday, Amit was gracious enough to offer me a place to stay when I visited their church Saturday. They told me that their church was waking up and meeting at 5:30 Easter morning, and that we would be meeting with some other church branches in the morning at a park in central Kathmandu. I had heard that Silas had a few other churches in the valley, so I was excited to meet them.

In Nepal, you don’t move out of your parents house when you get married, the wife moves in with the family. Amit’s house is four stories, and houses 15 people. Him, his wife, his sister, his mother, his uncle, and many of his cousins. The bottom floor has three rooms full of bunkbeds where the kids stay, and there are maybe 8 of them. There is also a guest room where I am staying. It’s really cool.

DSC04934
Early morning church gathering

Early Easter morning I walked with the kids to church, which is a twenty or thirty minute walk. We arrived to meet the rest of the church members, and then had boiled eggs, bread and tea for an early breakfast snack.

At about 7 we gathered into a line and I saw that we would be carrying a banner with our church’s name, and they began singing and dancing as we marched through the alleys of the neighborhood towards Kathmandu. People stared from their balconies and their yard in amazement to watch the commotion.

DSC04941
Walking and singing

After a while of singing and dancing as we walked, another church joined us from behind, with their own banner. It was really cool. They also sang and danced.

Then another crowd of Nepali Christians joined us from behind making us into quite a large group. I was really excited to see all the Nepali’s singing and dancing because I wasn’t expecting there to be so many of us.

DSC04944
We are joined by two more banners

Then we ran into another crowd that was five times as big as ours, and we all attempted to walk in neat lines as to not disturb traffic. I realized that this wasn’t going to be a small gathering.

As we approached a major roundabout I saw from the right an infinite line of banners and people merging with our group. I couldn’t see the front of our line, and had no idea how far it stretched, either in front or behind. The streets of the city were full of Christians singing, dancing, and proclaiming Jesus. Everyone near the crowds had gospel literature in their hands, and some looked like they were reading it out of curiosity. Others had blank faces.

DSC04956
The line stretched as far as I could see in either direction

Every round about we came to had Christians marching from every direction to merge with our line. All the streets in Kathmandu must have been full of Christians who were marching. We walked for about two hours like this. As we approached the heart of the city from the Southwest, lines from the Southeast and Northwest merged all merged into a massive line in the Northeast quadrant, and we marched into a large space where a stage was set, and thousands had already gathered.

DSC04963
The crowd was this thick in all directions

In all, once everyone arrived, the number of Christians was several thousand. This video was taken right when I arrived, and people were still pouring in throughout the city. The whole space was nearly shoulder to shoulder, with all of the empty spaces being filled.

Nepali Christians are about 1.4% of the population, but are one of the fastest growing Christian communities in the world.

DSC04972
A church of Nepali’s that dressed in their ethnic clothes for the gathering

At around 10:00 some of the crowds dispersed, but it went strong until noon when the program ended. The crowds were full of dancing, singing, and happy Nepali people, glad that Jesus has risen. It was the most emotional, overwhelming, amazing, inspiring moment of my life.

DSC04975
A bit past noon after everyone left. I couldn’t get this shot while the event was going on because the crowds were too intense. This whole field all the way back to the far buildings was packed.

I walked to a book store and picked up a more comprehensive dictionary, and a book of Nepali folk tales. I then walked to rest at a coffee shop because I had been walking or standing for like 9 hours already by 2pm. I then walked to meet the church at the Bible College at 3:30, and their church was packed full, and overflowing. Many of the Nepali’s who came for church had never heard the Gospel.

I fellowshipped for a while afterwards and got to know the guy who started the bible college. I’m really glad to have met these people and am sure I will run into them in the future.

DSC04932
Kathmandu ‘suburbs’ landscape

I caught a packed local bus back to Amit’s house and am trying to find out what to do on my last two days here.

I wanted to start off this post with Easter, but I skipped a few days which I will briefly summarize. I left Pokhara Thursday, which happened to be the Nepali new year’s eve. Kathmandu was quite busy for new years. I stayed at a super cheap hostel for the first two nights, on Friday I visited the bible college for a Good Friday Service, then on Saturday I visited Amit and Silas’ church in Bagdol, which is how I was invited to stay with them. I also visited the bible college again for their Saturday service. It has been a busy time.

Leanna Burrows Update from South Africa

Dear Grace Family:
I have tried many times to write a proper update to you over the past few months, but there have been so many changes and last-second plan alterations on this trip that I constantly find everything I write to be horridly outdated by the time two days have gone by. So my plan for today is write and send this in one sitting – no backing out now!

Me, Waldo (14), Nadia, Francois, Heidi (15), and Franco (16)

A general summary of the past few months:

When I left for Mozambique back in September, I was under the impression that the majority of my time would be spent in, well, Mozambique. Shortly after I arrived, however, the Hattingh family decided to go on a 3-month furlough to visit supporting churches and family in their native country of South Africa – and take their new homeschool tutor along for the ride! As a result, we have been travelling along the southern coastline of Africa since the beginning of January. A week here, a week there, doing school all along they way. It’s been an amazing trip and I am so blessed to get to see such a wide variety of South Africa.

Our original intent was to return to Mozambique at the beginning of April. However, the Lord had a different plan for us and we discovered only a week before we were supposed to leave that Nadia (the mom of the kids I’m teaching) had lost her passport. If you’re wondering if it’s quicker and easier to get a new passport in South Africa than it is in the States, the answer is a definite NO. We were grounded indefinitely, with no idea how long we might have to wait before we could return.

Our delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise. At the very beginning of April, Francois’ elderly father fell and broke his shoulder and Nadia and Francois have been able to fully devote themselves to his care and recovery. We have been staying with them for the past few weeks and, praise the Lord, Grandpa Hattingh is doing much better!

This morning we received the news that Nadia’s passport has arrived! Our working plan at the moment is to leave for Mozambique on Tuesday. We will drive back by way of Zimbabwe, and hopefully be back with the Mwinika people by next weekend. I am incredibly excited to get back to Mozambique. South Africa has been a thrill, but I am more than ready to unpack my suitcase and settle down again – if only for a few more months!

The Road Ahead:

I will stay with the Hattinghs in Mozambique until the end of their second school term in early July. At that point, my plans are a little up in the air. OK… not a little up in the air, a LOT up in the air. I’m floating a few different ideas and exploring some different options, but at this point I’m just really focusing on praying for direction and leading. I have no doubt that the Lord has an exciting plan for me, and I trust that He will reveal that plan to me in His time, not my own. Please be praying for me in this process!


The Hattingh family and me being prayed for at one of our many church stops in South Africa

Though my road ahead is a bit hazy, the Hattingh family’s is a bit more clear and they have some big changes ahead. Over the course of the past few months, they have become aware that they cannot continue to educate and raise their three teenagers in the isolation of Mozambique. As such, they are in the process of planning a 4-year relocation to South Africa. They will still be heavily involved in the Mwinika ministry and make trips back often, but during this season they recognize that their children cannot take the backseat and must be their primary focus. At this point they are tentatively planning on moving back to South Africa later this year. Please keep them and their kids in your prayers as they go through this transition process. They have become so, so dear to me over the past 7 months, and I have a great desire to see all three kids in an environment where  they can truly thrive.

Health:

Since my arrival, I’ve been a bit of a trainwreck as far as my health is concerned. I’ve had a throat ulcer, malaria, giardia, strep throat, and a horrendously painful back episode that turned out to be a locked joint. Quite a laundry list for only 7 months! I’ve had several doctor trips, a short stint in the hospital, an afternoon in the ER, seen a physical therapist, and been pinched, poked, prodded in every way imaginable. During the period when my back was causing me such distress, I was beginning to seriously consider the possibility that I may have to come home – the thought was devastating, but I did not see the way forward in that condition.

Sorry for the up-the-nose-perspective, but I wanted to show you all this nurse’s cool hair. 

But God is good, friends! He did not bring me all the way out to Africa to have the mosquitoes kill me. In every situation where I found myself in need, in pain, or in ailment, He has surrounded me with the best care and resources available. I recovered from the ulcer, from the malaria, from the giardia, from the strep, and from the back pain. As I sit today writing this, I feel perfectly healthy, strong, and fit, as though I’d just stepped off the plane yesterday.

That said, I ask for your prayers for my health entering these last few months of my service back in Mozambique. The Hattinghs have been endlessly gracious and patient with me, and Nadia has been a truly marvelous caretaker over the past months, but I do find in myself the desire to make it through this last leg of my trip sickness free and able to fully commit myself to serving the Hattinghs.

Want Some More Pictures?

Feel free to check out my Instagram for a few pictures of where I’ve been hanging out lately:

https://www.instagram.com/leanalyzer/

(You do not have to have an Instagram account to view this page)

Finances 

I have been abundantly blessed by the generosity of so many of you and thank the Lord that God has used your gifts to keep me well provided for. I am not in a desperate need, but after all my medical expenses and our extended time in South Africa (which is much more expensive than Mozambique), I do find myself edging somewhat close to the end of my funds. If you feel so led and would like to contribute to my ministry fund, you can do so at the following link: https://usa.ntm.org/missionaries/leanna-burrows

(please note that due to my status as a short term volunteer, donations are not tax deductible).

I love and miss you all so much, Grace family! Obviously I can make no promises, but I expect that my return to the States will be somewhere in mid-September. I pray for you all often and look forward to the day I am able to greet you all in person once again.

God Bless, and my best to you all,

Leanna