There's so much I've learned, so much information I've gained, and so many connections I've made so far, it would probably be boring to list them all. So let me just share what's heaviest on my heart.
Before we came here, we had started to see true beginnings of the Lord's hand at work: long ago, we gave him a small prayer, that we might be able to be part of a New Monasticism or new form of church in the manifestation of an intentional community. Over the last couple of months, God has really brought us to certain people and surrounded us with certain situations that make it seem like this is his will for us.
Upon coming here, I wanted us to be open to the possibility of going abroad, going elsewhere, going where there is the most need. There is certainly a seed in my heart to help wherever God may call us, and I know it's in my husband's heart too. I half-expected God to speak to us in an "A-HA" moment and say, "Go here, to this remote country, as soon as you return home to Philly." But so often, I think the grandeur of being a missionary overseas overshadows the reality that we are called to be witnesses of God everywhere and anywhere we are placed.
In our neighborhood.
I am so thankful for the wisdom of my husband, and especially for his humility. He pointed out that he would not feel ready to go abroad into a new context until he had learned more how to share the gospel within our own context. Furthermore, he still has a commitment to a church and I have a commitment to finish my teaching degree, so we are here for another year and a half at least, if not longer. Maybe our mission is home in Philadelphia for a year, or maybe for twenty years. We don't know, but we can listen to God's call and respond with, "Yes."
The theme of the conference is, "He Dwelled Among Us."
He is still dwelling among us.
I see Jesus in unlikely places.
Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'