Archive for August, 2010

The Land Between

Posted 24 Aug 2010 — by nick
Category Family, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, Scripture, Spirituality

As I type today, I’m reminded that it’s just been 2 short weeks since I started my regular trips to the Chicago suburbs. Yet in just two weeks a rhythm has started, there is a flow of my week and time seems to pass quickly now. I miss being in Champaign, especially this week as classes get started at U of I and I-Life gets moving again. There are stories almost daily of new friendships being formed as our students, leaders and staff step into the dorms and initiate with other students.

Life-long friendships, mutual discipleship, Christ-centered relationships – all forming as the faithful pick up the phone or send a text message.

“Hey, this is Nick M. from Illini Life Christian Fellowship. Hoping to see you at the Fall Preview tonight @ Illini Union 8:00PM”

Faithfulness for me this year looks a little different. I’m not on campus meeting new students this fall – the first time in 9 years. For me faithfulness looks like dialing the phone for the 50th time this week, to see if I can connect with another person in an effort to share about my work as a campus missionary.

I miss campus, I miss my wife, I miss my friends and my own bed; but this is good. It’s The Land Between.

Just as Israel had the desert to cross between Egypt and the Promised land, so a missionary has support raising between the initial calling and released to assignment. It’s The Land Between where God chisels away at the rough edges, softens the hardened heart and strengthens His call. The Land Between is where God speaks softly and quietly, reminding of His goodness and provision.

In The Land Between I have the choice to embrace and trust a God who I know is good or run to quick fixes to numb the pain of rejection, boredom of idleness, and loneliness of isolation. If the story of Israel teaches me anything, I’ll take God over the quick fixes, they just leads to wandering for longer.

Facing Fears

Posted 10 Aug 2010 — by nick
Category Family, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, News, Spirituality

Amy and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary this past weekend. It was a time to look back and be reminded of the sweetness of our marriage and the good gift God has given me in a dear wife. Not to be all gushy and all – well actually yeah that’s what I had intended 😛

That set the stage for me leaving on the first support raising trip without her. Most of the next weeks and months will be this way. I’ll be in the Chicago suburbs raising support while she’s in Champaign working in the schools and seeing each other for a short weekend each week.

I can feel a sense of urgency to finish support raising as quick as possible, it is stronger, almost new. Certainly God provides in His time and I’ll be doing this until He tells me otherwise, but nonetheless my heart speeds and my pace quickens.

“Just drove away from Champaign without my wife, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do so far while raising support. 9:50 AM Aug 9th via Twitter”

The hard thing about leaving has less to do with separating from her – that’s tough for sure – it’s the not knowing for how long. How many weeks will we be following this routine, how many more times will I drive away from our house watching her eyes fight back tears as mine do the same?

As I prayed through all this, it became evident to me the urgency, the questions, the worrying were all rooted in the fear I was feeling. I haven’t had to be alone for the past year, I’ve had a companion. As I pull away for the week, I’m alone again: me, my thoughts and my work. Lucky for me I follow a God who meets us in that place of alone.

August 2010 Update

Posted 04 Aug 2010 — by nick
Category Friends, Fun, GCM, Illini Life, Jesus, Ministry, News, Spirituality

Hello friends below you should find our update letter for August 2010.

Download (PDF, 236KB)