Saturday, April 21, 2007

Maintaining View

While backpacking near the Continental Divide in SW Colorado with my husband and a couple of friends, our group encountered a steep and treacherous trail that was a six mile ascent to our first day's destination - a valley where we were to set up a base camp. Loaded with a little more than half my body weight in my pack, the rocky winding trail required constant attention. I found myself staring intently at the trail, searching for the next secure step upon which to place my muddy boot. At one point, totally out of breath, I paused on the trail for a brief rest. Motionless for a moment, I finally felt secure enough to lift my eyes from the trail to explore my surroundings. Turning my back to the mountain, I gazed across the vast valley below. The lush valley was surrounded by rugged snowcapped peaks that towered like mighty giants over the flowered fields beneath their feet. Tall elegant pines of deep forest green stood erect like exclamation marks declaring praise to their Creator and salute to the powerful giants that loomed above them. I was awestruck. And I was stunned to realize that I had been walking with this potential view for quite some time, unnoticed because the trail demanded my intense focus to my own feet upon the sod.

It is a similar season in the life of GCPN - a time of steep climb up an unfamiliar path that is demanding a lot of intense focus and attention. It seems I spend literal weeks trying to ascend the challenges of establishing two non-profit organizations, develop processes and procedures, set up accounting systems, produce documents, develop contracts, design assessment teams, obtain and produce training materials, and occasionally feed my family and smile.

Today Ashley came by my office to visit. She is preparing for her June departure from our church to serve in one of the most challenging countries in the world. Like a graceful arrow propelled from the bowstring of her church body, she will land among a downcast people with a message of hope tied to her shaft. Her free and genuine smile was captivating. The beauty and joy she emotes in her obedience poured forth from her like a refreshing fountain. In those moments my eyes were lifted from the trail beneath my feet to gaze upon God's majesty that has been surrounding me all along.

With gratitude to the Father I can stop to gaze at my surroundings and assess how far we've come:
  • Two non-profits have been established which can be utilized by any church in our network for sending its people into the world.

  • Generic processes have been developed and will soon be available to all churches in the network to position them for sending.

  • Monies are being set aside to support other national believers in reaching their own people or sending them to a lost world.

  • Monies are being channeled to GCPN to be shared with network churches who want to send their own people but lack sufficient resource.

  • An assessment team is already functioning to provide medical, dental, psychological and educational assessment to families and individuals who are being sent from our churches.

  • Interns are in the process of training and serving in our Global Learning Laboratory.

  • Others who feel the call to serve in cross-cultural scenarios are being aligned for preparation and training.

  • GCPN interns are taking a pre-commission mission trip into an unreached area of the world.

  • God is being glorified through the lives of obedient people.

The climb is by no means over. This life of obedience will be a continuum of climbs, level places and even occasional descents. But to maintain view is crucial. Let us pause. Let us raise our Ebenezer and proclaim with our eye fixed on the Summit, "Thus far has the Lord sustained us."

Walking in faith with you,



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