|Thanks to our friend Russell Darnell for all of the recent cool pictures!|
40 Days. It's kind of a thematic device used throughout the Bible for periods of time used for refinement. Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert (not that Jesus needed refinement...). It rained on Noah and his family for 40 days. The western world widely observes the Lenten season of 40 days of spiritual preparation for Easter. In some cultures, people wait 40 days before they bring a newborn outside of the home. And there are many more...
So in the great tradition of 40 day refinements, we decided to do one of our own. And we've produced a video to introduce it:
So, to elaborate of some of what is in the video, our 40 days is meant to be a time for us to do two primary things.
First, we want to focus with prayer and fasting. Prayer is essential. Is fasting outmoded? How do the two connect? What is fasting anyway, and why does it appear in the Bible? One of the best explanations of it that I've ever heard is from Michael Oh, a missionary with Mission to the World in Japan. I heard him give this presentation a few years ago and it is enlightening. He addresses it in the context of cross-cultural missions, but in the process defines the general purpose of fasting quite well.
Our second point in this 40 days is to make a concerted effort to finish our partnership development. We are at 85% of our monthly commitments and can see the end. We want to make this 40 day period like that point in a race where you pick up the pace with a final sprint, making sure that you gave it your all and left nothing on the table. We want to spend these 40 days working very hard, presenting more, and finishing our time in the States with a flourish.
With all of that said, here's what we've been up to so far. Yesterday, day 1, we had a Skype meeting in the morning, wrote and sent lots of e-mail, and then headed down to Waxhaw, North Carolina to the JAARS Center. If you want to know what JAARS is, check out their site or our blog post about JAARS from last summer.
At JAARS, we're doing an off-road driver training course on Friday. On Saturday, we'll head to Cross Hill, SC and speak at Liberty Springs Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning. After the Sunday morning service, we'll drive over to Hampstead, NC and visit Grace EPC Sunday evening. On Monday, we'll head back toward Virginia. Prayer for all of these events is welcome!