Snapshots of recent life

We have started the missions class that God provided for through you all!  It’s a fifteen week course, and we are nearly 1/4 of the way through. We’ve wanted to take the class for years, but were daunted by the prospect of having to do homework (with a textbook of about 800 pages, it promised lots of reading) in addition to keeping on top of normal life in our household.  And we were right – it’s a lot of homework.  So far, God has graciously given us pockets of time, and we have not yet fallen behind.  We are grateful that they offer the book in an electronic edition.  It’s particularly helpful to Chester to have his Kindle read the book to him at lightning speed while he runs the kids to and from various activities.

Chester inspects a cabin for evidence of mold at Glad Tidings Bible Camp.

We’ve made two trips up to Glad Tidings Bible camp recently.  The first was a week was a few days of vehicle repair to a Durango who had the brakes go out and rammed in to a cabin (eventually, there will probably be a project to repair the cabin…), and the second was a quick day trip for a camp board meeting with a side of cabin inspection (above), and getting various vehicles stuck and un-stuck in the mud (not pictured).  We’re grateful for the mission of this camp, and for the opportunity to serve with them.

Micah, Eva and Moriah say ‘MOOOOCHAS GRACIAS’ to God (and you) as they watch Him provide for their missions trip to Mexico in March.

God has begun to provide for the trip that Micah, Eva and Moriah would like to take to Tecate, Mexico with Sabre missions to build houses (more info here).  One generous donor has offered to match donations up to $500 for this trip.  If you’d like your donation to be doubled, make a check out to Sabre missions, and either get it to us (we’ll send in a pile all at once) or send it to them with a note (not a memo on the check!) that it’s for the Davis kids’ matching fund.  We are excited about this generous offer, and always love watching God provide for His work!  Thank you for being used by God!

A visualization of our family’s ministry activity in 2018.

Several hours in the past month were spent writing an annual report to our mission of how things are going for us as new missionaries.  In order to be transparent with you, our support network, we have posted the report here.  Please enjoy this detailed look into our thoughts about our activities of the past year.

Reflections on Habakkuk (pt 2)

I’m continuing to mull over Habakkuk.

Habakkuk 1:5 says:
Look among the nations and watch – 
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe though it were told you.

All of my life (I think – maybe just all of my adult life), I’ve avoided keeping up with the news.  It’s sensational, it’s skewed, it’s depressing.  I’d rather not know.   This verse convicted me of preferring to keep my head buried in the sand rather than opening my eyes to see what God is doing and be astounded.  Interestingly, Habakkuk complains in the first section about what he sees, and God continues with that theme – telling Habakkuk to look and see even more.  

God’s not pretending that what will astound Habakkuk is pleasant or beautiful.  He’s not glossing over the evilness of the Chaldean nation.  But He’s showing that He’s in control, and using even evil nations for His purposes. 

In my conviction to be willing to look and see what God is doing, I installed the BBC world news app on my phone.  I haven’t read it much yet – two or three times.  But I do look at the “breaking news” flashes they send.  I like the idea of being astounded by what God is doing, but not of seeing that types of things that Habakkuk got to see.  The nations today are just as evil as they were back then (nothing new under the sun).  But God is also just as good, and just as in control.  And I can be astounded both at his using evil nations as pawns and at His masterful plan.  I can allow myself to be burdened, then be astounded, and instead of wallowing in dismay at what I see, I can turn and look to God, like Habakkuk does.

Reflections on Habakkuk

A couple of weeks ago, a friend mentioned Habakkuk as one of her favorite books.  It piqued my interest.  Sure I’d read it, but I had no idea what it was actually about. I’d never really paid attention to it.  Then last week I was asked to consider leading a little study (just once – for about an hour), and one of the possible topics was Habakkuk.  So I took the chance to read it more closely. These are my notes.

Habakkuk 1:1-1:4  Habakkuk had a burden for Israel and the trouble they were in: violence, plundering, strife contention, bad judgements, wickedness was winning.  It seems to me this burden was from God.  Has God given me a burden?  Do I diligently pray and eagerly look for God’s response like Habakkuk did?  Why do I ignore the trouble around me and in my own nation, and try not to see?  Am I avoiding being burdened?

Habakuk 1:5-1:11  When we look, we will be astounded at God’s work.  Instead of avoiding looking at the trouble around me, I should look to notice what God is doing around me.  It’ll astound me.

The Chaldeans are described as bitter, hasty, greedily conquering nations, “Their judgement and their dignity proceed from themselves”, They have fast horses and are more fierce than wolves, they love violence and hate authority.  Their greed is what stands out to me – always wanting more and never satisfied.  Do I do this too?  Not content with what I have now, but wanting more even though it’s just for sport?  

Habakkuk 1:12-2:1 God is everlasting, Holy, and a Rock.  He’s appointed Israel for judgement, but by a country that God is too pure to behold (because they’re evil).  I’m inspired by this prayer to know and God’s attributes and pray them back to Him.

Habakkuk’s further comments on the Chaldeans also touches on their insatiable greed and their prosperity through harming others.  They take captives like a fisherman filling his nets with fish.  They praise their  nets as gods because they see them as the source of their prosperity.  What do I see as the source of my prosperity?

Habakkuk determines to watch for God’s answer, and expects to be corrected.  This is Habakkuk’s second prayer, and we already see a different attitude from the first prayer.  He went from “Why aren’t you hearing me?!” to “I’ll watch for an answer and expect to be corrected”.  Every section so far has commented on what Habakkuk is seeing.  In 1:1-4 he sees the violence around him.  In 1:5-11 God tells him to look and be astounded.  In 1:12-2:1 he purposes to watch.

Habakkuk 2:2-5 God answers Habakkuk a second time, this time telling him to write the vision he sees (another reference to what Habakkuk is looking at).  But the emphasis here, I think, is on time.  The vision is not for now, but it will still be true (because truth is timeless), and Habakkuk should wait for it.  God’s timing isn’t our timing.  He’s timeless too.

He contrasts the proud with the just who walks by faith.  I think this section is the whole point of the book.  God knows what he’s doing, and we can live by faith because of that, and wait for Him, because He know.