Reaching New Heights
Much has taken place since my last post. My sister came to visit, which was extremely refreshing for me personally. It was great to have a piece of home here for a few days, especially at that time of the summer when homesickness begins to settle in. This seems to be the time of summer for a taste of home for many of us on the team. Several members have flown home briefly for weddings and several others have also had visitors from home. The familiar and comforting sense of home can provide a great boost in morale that is necessary for getting through the hard times.This idea of home gets me thinking about what the Bible says about our earthly home and how the Israelites are a great example of God’s concept of “home”. 1 Peter, chapter two, explains how we are a chosen people that are to live here on earth as aliens and strangers. Jesus repeatedly explained that His kingdom was not of this world and living contrary to the world’s standards was a central theme of the gospel. This is evident in the Old Testament accounts of the Israelite nation, a chosen nation set apart from the rest through their lifestyle. Initially, the Israelites were different because they had no earthly king, like the rest of the nations. Practices like Jubilee and Levitical law were in place to keep Israel holy, reminding them that this earth was not their home. We need to maintain this perspective (that this earth is not our home) in our everyday lives.
Our team here in Yosemite is really living out this command to love. In the past few weeks, our team has grown closer and solidified relationships that will last past this summer. Team unity has reached a new high and it is exciting. We have begun to spend more time together as a team and focus on discipleship and relationship building. As a consequence, this love is now overflowing and beginning to permeate the communities we live in. Many of us are experiencing new opportunities to discuss our faith with those around us. Some of the girls on our team have even seen visitors coming back to their tent every evening to discuss the gospel.