Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Miss May & Me

Meet Miss May, my good friend and ministry partner for about 10 years. Originally from South Africa, now living in Australia, May began working with me in Artslink and we clicked over a number of shared passions. Since we met in Georgia, where one addresses one's elders with "Miss" our morning routine began early on in the friendship: "Good morning, Miss May!" "Good morning Miss Pat!" I won't say who's older, but we're the same age inside :)

We’ve shared a lot of ups and downs over the years, drawing us closer as we share discipleship and spiritual formation ministry, especially during Incarnate. This was our 3rd Incarnate experience together, in which May had two main roles: Hospitality Manager and Discipleship Group Leader.

Hospitality Manager includes not simply finding rooms for guests, but also seeing to the many Incarnate community needs—ensuring appropriate foods for those on special diets, finding resources for the staff, and dealing with medical issues. Midnight airport runs, and praying long and deeply with and for participants round out May’s job descriptions. Everyone needs a May in their life.

As Discipleship Group Leader, May had a group of 5 young ladies between the ages of 24 and 34 with whom she met twice a week as a group and one-on-one during the week.  Individual times were often walks spent talking, listening, praying, guiding, encouraging, laughing and crying. May made herself available whenever they needed to talk, cry, or pray.  She continues to disciple these ladies from afar as everyone has returned to their ‘ordinary world’ to explore next steps.

May and I have also killed bugs together, made curries together, shared meals and long conversations, and compare sketchbooks now and then. May is also a gifted card and jewelry maker; you might see me with one of her pieces if you see me in person, and/or receive a card from me made by May. During Incarnate, May also became my nurse as I returned from a minor skin cancer surgery with a big wound to be dressed each day. She faithfully came over daily to minister healing spiritually and physically!

We also share a love of the beach, as does May's husband Dileep (Australian). They were my first visitors to House of Perez, during my first Christmas here, and helped me begin renovations by scraping yards of wallpaper off over their Christmas vacation. True friends!

I asked May if I could share a couple of her Incarnate stories, and she gave me permission. Stay tuned for the next blog to read one! 

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Blessing of the Pens

(Guest post by Grace--see two previous posts!)

"One of the major moments that happened while we were still in Italy was when we went into the town of Isola (where we were staying) for an outreach to students. This particular day thousands of students from across Italy were coming to the local shrine to have their pens blessed so that they would be able to pass their major exams. Our group decided this would be an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel. 

"So we split up into threes and off we went into town—and into a downpour! It was a blessing in disguise. The rain forced everyone under cover and then it was quite easy to talk to students. One conversation I’ll never forget. 

"Jule was a senior in high school and didn’t believe in God because he couldn’t believe there was one higher person above everyone else. During the conversation the question was asked, 'If there was one God over all who created you out of love, what would you do?' Jule responded, 'I would believe.' So we proceeded to tell him there was God above all and that He loved Jule very much. I watched as Jule was moved to tears by this statement. Unfortunately we were unable to finish this conversation but I pray others come along side him to help grow the seed that has been planted."

If you've got a minute, pray for Jule right now, that the seed planted gets a heavenly downpour, takes root and grows, and that Jule find his way to true faith.