you may or may not know that WMF is getting a new look this coming monday march 30th. in addition to the "new look" the new website will include blogs specific to each fields & other goodies. so get excited and be sure to check out or website on monday.
also, quick note, i posted more pictures of the center (pre-furniture) on my facebook account -- pictures of our workspaces with the furniture all setup are coming soon! being semi-moved in and beginning to work in that space is like something out of a dream. we're all just soaking it up! thanks again to each one of you who has made and is making this all possible for us. we know we wouldn't be where we are without you.
for my prayer letter this month i went back to letter style knowing that they would be printed out on the new letterhead but if you want to go ahead and check out the content here it is. its a long one so get comfy!
love to the peeps!
April Prayer Letter
“So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.”
Psalm 143:4 & 5
March 15, 2009
There are some days in your life where you just can’t stop smiling. Days and moments that suck the power out of the dark ugly times that often threaten to overwhelm. Hours full of joy, hope and redemption that can sustain you for weeks or months, hours and moments where I know I must let the fullness of God’s goodness wash over me and soak into every pore of my soul because its going to be that understanding of God’s faithfulness that I will be called to remember when life and the road marked with suffering and injustice seem too much to take. It will be in the remembering that we will be empowered to move forward.
Since last Monday evening I have been remembering our dinner with B. B is a dear friend of ours who used to live on the streets but has since returned home to live with his mother. He is now working in the mornings, training as a boxer in the afternoons and studying to become a chef in the evenings. It has become something of a tradition that on Mondays after his class he stops by the house where David, Sebastian & Erick [WMF Staff] live for a bite to eat, some conversation and to lift weights. Us girls often crash the party to help with dinner, watch a movie or just to say hi.
This particular Monday, the one I’ve been remembering, B arrived a little late and out of breath. He was smiling ear to ear and the first thing he says to us is that he has some Bible verses he wants to share with us. We were caught by surprise in the best way possible and finished eating dinner so we could give our full attention.
Right there on the simple front porch of the boys’ heat stricken house B began to tell his story. How he felt jealous when other kids on the streets were being offered jobs, how that first job that he got working landscape was what opened the door for him to leave the streets, how boxing taught him a discipline he never dreamed of, how so many times he had heard the story of Jesus from us & from others and then one day in a park outside his house one more brother shared with him one more time and that was the time that he accepted Jesus into his heart, how even still things weren’t all easy but he knows that God is with him and makes all his accomplishments so far possible. He told us of how drugs and alcohol had a hold on his life until he met Jesus and how it’s only by the grace of God that he resists the pull he still often feels towards those vices. He told us how he wants to be a great boxer and a great chef and that one day he wants to open a restaurant/boxing ring where you can get dinner and watch a good match.
And that was just getting started, he then asked us to bow our heads and pray together because he wanted to share with us from the Word of God and if you’re going to share from the Word you should always ask God for guidance. We thought this very wise ☺, so we prayed and the he read to us from Psalm 40:
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
Then our dear friend told us of the struggles he faces now. That there sometimes things are hard at home, that sometimes he can’t get control of his temper and that he hates it when he lashes out at his sister. He shared how last Sunday it was worse than usual and he grabbed his stuff to leave his house, how he got on the bus to go to the park where he knew he could find friends drinking to forget their troubles but how once he was on the bus he realized it was also the bus that went to the church where he had attended before. He told us of how he went back in forth in his mind wondering whether to take the road to the park or the road to the church. He told us of how he was asking for God’s forgiveness the whole time and how by the grace of God he ended up at the church where they read from Psalm 40 and how he couldn’t believe that they chose that Psalm and those verses that seemed to be specifically for him. He then told us about the pastor’s sermon imploring the people that “their yes be yes, and their no be no” and how again he knew that this sermon was specifically for him. He shared with us how that night he decided that night to say a wholehearted “yes” to Jesus and “yes” to life away from the street and all its trappings. Then he smiled, complimented Linsey on the food and asked if there were seconds to be had.
We all laughed and told him how proud we are of him. How it’s an honor for us to share life with him and how he has taught us so much. I couldn’t stop smiling and thanking God for the privilege of sharing in that moment. For the privilege of sharing life with beautiful, resilient, genuine, humble B and so many others like him that are still trying to find their way. In the taxi, the whole way home, I went over and over the redemptive details in my head so that I would be able to remember. So that when the streets felt especially dark, or the suffering of our friends particularly intense I would be able to call on that experience of God’s faithfulness to complete the good work that he started in B. That I would be able to remember, praise the Lord and continue pushing forward.
As we move from the office we’ve been renting for the last 2 ½ years into our very own home we are, of course, thrilled [even with all the manual labor! ☺]. And even though this is all so exciting and a moment we have all been anticipating since the close of the Casa Job in January of 2006, we can’t deny that we made some beautiful memories during our time in the office. We decided to spend our last time of worship as renters singing in each room of the office and sharing memories from our time in each of those rooms. We laughed and we cried and we were overwhelmed with thankfulness. We remembered how much growing we did as a community in that little space and we knew that it was good. We could even see how perfectly it was for preparing us for where we are going now and all that is ahead. It was an amazing way to say goodbye and hello!
Speaking of change, as you have probably already noticed, Word Made Flesh has a new look complete with a new logo! We are all really excited about this and feel that this is a better expression of who we are and where we are now as an international community. Be sure to visit the website [www.wordmadeflesh.org] and keep your eye out for the next issue of The Cry which will introduce the redesign in more detail. It will also include some of our staff reflections about where we’ve been and what this new logo symbolizes for us.
Things are always changing, aren’t they? As a rather sentimental person, that can be tough for me sometimes. Reflecting on and integrating rhythms of remembrance is really helping me to make more sense of all that has come before and allowing me more freedom to open the doors to all that is yet to come. Thanks be to God! And, as always, thanks for sharing in the journey with me.
So much love & peace to you all,
Monica N. Ghali
To see pictures of the progress in our new ministry center go HERE!