Archive for April 25th, 2012

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we moved into The Lewis House and began our lives as full-time urban missionaries. This span of 365+ days has been at once nothing like I had imagined it to be and more than I had ever thought it would be.

As I sit here at my computer and type this out I know without a doubt that the man who left the restaurant business three years ago could not have stood through the last year.  God has brought through an amazing process to bring me here to The Lewis House.  It would be redundant to take you on that journey with me again.  You would be better served reading my lovely wife’s article “The Journey to the Mission”.  I re-blogged it last month.

Even one year ago my financial expectations were that God would provide sufficient funds to cover all of our needs and provide for a nice little salary and we would live the “American Dream” as missionaries to Toledo.  I understand the naiveté of that now (someone much wiser than myself made the gentle effort to cushion what could have been grand disappointment), but even though the mechanism of God’s provision has not  been what I expected it to be the efficacy of that provision has been so far above what I could have dreamed of. Though by the world’s standards we live below the poverty line (a fact which

More important than the earthly provision is the spiritual transformation that I have experienced.

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we , who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s gory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:17

This transformation is not dependent on our earthly circumstances but I can see how our earthly circumstances impact our ability to recognize that transformation.  Paul said:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:12-13)

Without the times of want Paul might not have recognized the transformation that he had undergone.  Without the times of plenty he could not have appreciated the Spiritual transformation that engaged his contentment in the times of wanting.

We should not assume that this transformation was completed miraculously on the road to Damascus.  It was a process that passed Paul through the Arabian wilderness, the narrow streets and prickly political paths of Jerusalem, the urbane halls of Asia Minor and the intellectual collections of Greece.  It was a transformation that continued until he was called home on a fateful day in Rome.  It is a process that we all undergo and one that includes times of plenty and times of want.  It includes times of great joy and times of crushing grief.

Each of us has a path to follow and every path is a little different but it is all about one Spirit and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is into his wonderful likeness that we are being changed.  Like Paul I am so thankful to all of you who have come along side of us and answered God’s call to support us in our ministry. (Philippians 4:10) We have been so blessed by the generosity of God’s people.  Even as you develop in your lives “ever increasing glory” you enable us to do the things that God has called us to do and to continue our transformation spreading the light of His Glory to our neighbors.

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