Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Winds of Change Seem Like Gale Force Winds

In a perfect world for me (Adria), the Winds of Change would be a light breeze, something gentle and pleasant...the kind of breeze that gently pushes back stale air and draws refreshingly cool and fragrant air across your skin as you lay under the sun on the beach. Rarely has this idyllic metaphor proven itself to be the way of life. These days the Winds of Change seem like gale force winds. Under the pressure of these winds old things are completely blown away and the new is suddenly and immediately dropped into your path. It's not my favorite part of life.

Life and ministry (can the two even really be considered separately in ministry?) have been a swirl with these kinds of change. Pieces of the known have been ripped up and thrown off in the distance and new things have been dropped into our path, like transplanted debris in a storm. It makes me feel a little unsettled, tired, frustrated, excited and sad.

I have always had a little difficulty saying goodbye to what is safe and comfortable. We recently had a staff couple leave, who are good friends and who came on at the same time I did, which was a hard loss. Andrew and I moved yet again and it all came about in a surge of activity that left me tired and frustrated - this is my 4th move in 4 years. Our move was to a bigger staff house only a few blocks away (a good move), but each block here is nearly like its own neighborhood and it feels further from our previous "home" than it really is. My ideas, vision, competancy, relationships, and personality have been challenged by new horizons.

The new things God is bringing to us are exciting: new staff, new programs, new contacts, new possibilities. It is so evident that God is providing and moving in special ways right now. I find joy in these things, yet, the very fact that these things are new and sudden things leaves me feeling a little unsettled. It takes extra energy for me to build new relationships and start up programs. It places a nervous excitement in my stomach as I see what can and will be, yet am overwhelmed with the process.

And so, I find myself in an unwarranted state of melancholy, presented with so many waves of great blessings and yet like a new sailor at sea, struggling to still feel grounded. Praise God that He does not rely on my delicate constitution to stir up good things, for He is doing great things here, and I pray that He will have patience with me until I get my sea legs!

October Update

October 1, 2009

Dear Team,

Taking youth and children to camp is one of the highlights during the summer, both for me and for the youth that we take. This summer we had the opportunity to take three youth and five kids to summer camp at Morning Star Ranch in Florence, KS. It is a World Impact camp that we go to every summer.

The last week of the summer program was the children’s week at camp. Three of the five kids who went were siblings. About an hour into the drive to camp, we were driving by a field full of cows and Darren, who is 10 years old, asked what we were driving by. It was at that moment that I realized that Darren had never before seen a cow in real life.

After talking with Darren a little more, he went on to tell me that he has never even been outside St. Louis city limits. So, to see a cow in person and not just on the television was a huge deal to him and his siblings. His reaction to every cow that we saw on our seven hour trip was “OOH, look at the cows”. I wish you could have seen the excitement on his face and in his voice. After we arrived at camp, which is also a ranch, he saw many different animals for the first time. I think the funniest reaction was when he saw a frog for the first time. The frog was jumping around and got real close to him—and I am sure you can imagine it was another priceless moment.

At the end of the week, we always stop on our way home for an evening meal at a McDonald’s. Each kid got a drink and as we were at the soda fountain to get our drinks, I noticed him struggling to figure out how to work the lever. I did not think too much of it and I showed him how to get a drink from the soda fountain. I then asked him if he had been to a McDonald’s before. His response floored me. In Darren’s 10 years of life, his family has not had the means to ever take him to a McDonald’s.

After we arrived back in St. Louis, Adria asked Darren what his favorite part of camp was. Darren’s classic response was “the WHOLE thing was my favorite part”. It was in that moment that God allowed me to see just what this trip had meant to Darren. I cannot put in to words what an honor it was to be a part of that experience for him.

I relay this letter to you because you are a part of this. Because you have sent Adria and I through your prayers and support you make it possible for us to love Darren and his family in a way that they have never experienced. You may not be right here with us, but you have sent us and we are representing you in our ministry together in St. Louis. Keep praying for Darren and his family. They are involved in a great local church and God has great plans for them. All glory to the King of Kings!

Grace and Peace,
Andrew & Adria Medlen