Of Pickles, Failures and a Great God

Is it bad to have doubts, maybe even doubts and open questions about the calling of going a year with AFM to the Philippines? One lesson I took out of these first few days of training is, that doubts are the most normal thing you could expect to have in situations of uncertainty like facing a year in a completely different culture with people who speak another language I first have to learn, in a hot and humid climate with lots of malaria-mosquitos and tasks which will definitely be challenging. But in every situation of uncertainty, God offers also the option of faith by providing certainty in himself which goes beyond the uncertainty. I was blown away, when I saw my donation report with an amount of almost the double of what I’d expected – just one day after I’d done the math and had meant to find out that because of the strong US-Dollar, I wouldn’t have reached my fundraising-goal yet. I still don’t know, where the money comes from, but I know, we have a great God who exceeds all uncertainty!
Beside this experience, we had very intense but also very meaningful, enriching and equipping first few days with a group of people and staff, that is growing together very fast. One of the key-thoughts of the first days was: “failure is always an event, not a person.” Easy said but difficult to really believe when you’re confronted with your own failures. I don’t like to fail at all, but on the same time, I realize more and more, how God can use our failures to change us, to humble us, to strengthen our faith and to experience, that He loves us despite all our present and future failures and that Jesus died for all of them. Last but not least will it be crucial during the coming year in Palawan, to be transparent, to be able to be just who we are with all our bright shining sides, but also our downsides. Only then we can support us as a team and only then we will be able, to be a living gospel.
By the way: what have pickles to do with Matthew 28, 18-20? I won’t give the answer right now, but that’s also a topic in the first week of AFM-training and by the way not during lunch-preparation, but in classes…

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