11/01/2010 09:08:00 PM | 0 comments »

Step In has moved...
Come on over!

Update your RSS feeds, Google Reader, bookmarks and subscribe to http://ileang8tr.wordpress.com/

See you over there!!!

"If music means a lot to me, so do stars, and I missed them desperately in the city, where the street lights and neon signs take away from the stars so that only the most brilliant ones are visible. If I'm confused, or upset, or angry, if I can go out and look at the stars I'll almost always get back a sense of proportion. It's not that they make me feel insignificant, it's the very opposite, they make me feel that everything matters, be it ever so small, and that there's meaning to life even when it seems most meaningless."
- Madeleine L'Engle
A Ring of Endless Light
A sigh-inspiring little tidbit that I loved while reading A Ring of Endless Light this weekend.

I just got back from Palawan. There were moments when I was surrounded by the things that help me breathe... the things that make remember. Stars. Flowers. Trees. Rocks. Grass. Flowing water. Blue skies. Passionate people. But for some reason, I didn't feel like I soaked it all in... that I breathed it all in deeply -- not really anyway.

Music. Stars.
Getting back a sense of proportion.
It's what I need.

Thankful for a non-working holiday tomorrow.
Hope to go and do just that.

Everyday a gazillion (yes, a gazillion!!!) cars, motorbikes, tricycles, and trucks pass me as I make my 10-minute walk to the office. I have never really thought about how the tires are made that move our vehicles. Or where the materials come from. I remember singing a song as a kid "Oops there goes another rubber tree plant..." but I didn't realize that rubber really came from plants.

This past week I got to go back to Palawan, Philippines and visited a farm where some of the farm's first rubber tree seedlings are being planted. A farm where hopefully in about 5-6 years, rubber tree plants will be growing tall, strong and producing well on the vast land.

No, I don't care too much about more tires being made or more latex being available ... but I care about the people of Palawan and the dreams they have.

A group of church pastors in Palawan have a passion for God and for their people. They desire to see the people of Palawan loving and following Christ and in that, fulfilling His call to "go and make disciples..."

Together they have committed to seeing 34 missionaries sent out from their own community. All of these pastors recognize that a lack of financial resources will likely be a big challenge for someone pursuing missions. These pastors don't believe that should be the case.

And so, they are doing something about it. Churches of different sizes, styles, denominations and backgrounds have come together and purchased land. On it they will grow rubber trees. The profits from the harvests of this farm are dedicated to financially supporting their missionaries.

It was a beautiful moment standing on the top of the mountain and looking out onto the land that has been reserved for this purpose. Throughout the whole mountainside there are bamboo sticks marking the spots where the seedlings will be planted.

These seedlings will grow year after year. And in time, in place of the bamboo markers, there will be tall rubber trees ready to be tapped for latex and serve its purpose for these people. In the same way, God will continue to grow the hearts of His people in Palawan for missions and they will serve their purpose for Him. They will be a blessing to who knows how many, and where -- but through them He will be glorified!

How awesome it is to see the Church have a vision, be willing to dream big... and commit to seeing it happen.

So, when you see that car tire, as you use your pencil top eraser, as you fling that rubber band across the room... remember the rubber trees be planted on that mountain in the Philippines. Think about the missions heart that is pumping in Palawan... and pray.
  • Pray for the team of young farmers who labor with a deep love for God and with a strong sense of purpose. For their safety, health and encouragement.
  • Pray for the pastors as they lead their churches and desire to cultivate a missions heart in their people.
  • Pray that God would continue to build unity among the churches. It is inspiringly beautiful to see the unity across denominations.
  • Pray for the young people of Palawan... that they would see that they have indeed been blessed to be a blessing and will live that truth out.
  • Pray that God will continue to stir the hearts of His people in Palawan, give them wisdom, inspire their vision and remind them of His provision.