|Thanksgiving Celebration at Christian American School|
Monday through Friday follows a rhythm: up at 6:30, at Christian American School where I serve as the Principal around 7:10 where I remain until about 4:00. The variants: Monday at 9:00 is a Skype call with my accountability pastor, Tuesdays are a Google Plus call as part of my ongoing ordination, Wednesday I preach in three chapel services and attend Big Student Ministries at night, Thursday I have a Skype call with my mentor, and Friday evenings are reserved for family time. I like to grill on Friday’s, usually hotdogs or local sausages.
Each evening except Friday I can be found in my office, working from about 8 p.m. to midnight, either preparing for Sunday’s preach, Wednesday’s chapels, and the bulk of the time spent on my theology degree, 18 hours per week at minimum.
Saturdays I sleep in until around 10:30. I’m exhausted. I prepare an omelet to calm my mind while catching up on U.S. news. I begin working on my studies by noon and continue until 6:00 when we have a family dinner. At 7:00 I resume my work and then set it aside around 9:00 when I prepare my slides for projection for Sunday morning.
Sleep can be hard to find. My mind has more for me to do than the day has hours. I stop my work at midnight and then read for two hours, typically a fictional novel where I disengage from my endeavors and find a needed diversion. I sleep about 4 hours each night. It is the sleep of the dead. I don’t move. I usually wake up about 10 minutes before my alarm goes off. I find that very annoying. Nonetheless, each morning I lay there listening to the theme of the Shire from Lord of the Rings. I remember that this day is a new adventure. Like Frodo was the ring-bearer, I am an image-bearer. I am to be about the mission of God.
In order to make ourselves more sustainable here, we’ve found ways to supplement income. We rent space to three teachers. The school grants me a weekly donation for my time, and Journey Church gives me a $125 per week stipend. We’re collecting funds to convert unused space to another apartment so that we can generate more local funds. We’re working harder than we’ve ever worked, for far less compensation… and it is the best it has ever been. God is shining favor on us.
This last month has been ridiculous. I have met the mayor of the city, who happens to be the son of the President of Guatemala, I’ve had a meeting with the Director of the Ministry of Education where I presented not only our school, but also Journey Church and Big Student Ministries, we’ve been featured on the Youtube channel of the Mayor, and I filmed a ad for our new school campus opening on the other side of the city… I even spoke Spanish.
Here’s the deal: as soon as we began walking in obedience to God, He began expanding His Kingdom through our efforts. This is all Him. My family and I are simply part of His novel, and our life is greater than any diversion. If you pray for us, you are a part of this. If you send us money, you are a part. If you come and visit us, or tell our story to others, then you are also a vital part of what we do. There are a lot of problems in the world, and even in the U.S., but we find meaning in serving where God has called us. Wherever you are, you are there for a reason. Find it. Serve. Be obedient. Fill your days with meaning and give yourself fully. God will advance His kingdom. We know this pace can’t be maintained forever, but we rejoice that we run this race while we can. I want to cross the finish line completely spent, exhausted, and empty. Leave it all on the field.