Saturday, April 6, 2013


This year I have a fifth grade student who has joined our middle school youth group. He only has one other student in his grade at our church, and she is not always around, so he has lacked community and friendships within the church. Thus, we invited him to join the older kids and get an early start in youth goup! He is a sweet, sweet boy and a joy to have as a part of Breakaway.

A few weeks ago, his mom approached me and said that he had a special gift to give me, and could we possibly find a few minutes at the Chili Cook off. Of course! I was very curious.

So a few days later at the Chili cook off, I found them. We stepped into a corner, and I was handed a brightly colored gift bag. It was slightly heavier than I expected.

They explained to me that at school the students had been challenged to GO MAD (Make A Difference). He had decided to sell donuts at school on a Friday in February.

He raised $70.

For me.

For our move to Africa.

Talk about completely humbled and blown away. What a generous, sweet, thoughtful kid. Wow.

So, shhhh, don't tell him yet (if you know him), but Marc took that $70 with him to Africa. He spent it on goods at the local market that we are going to sell at our craft show this weekend. I CANNOT wait to sell the items, and then tell this amazing kid that his money was hopefully DOUBLED or perhaps TRIPLED!

If that doesn't make you want to come and shop at my booth at the craft show, I'm not sure what will! :)

Here are a few pictures of what Marc bought for us to sell!

1800 PLYMOUTH AVE SE, 49506

Life Together - Bonhoeffer

There is a little book called "Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I read it for one of my classes and could have highlighted the whole thing. Such powerful words throughout the pages of that book. Thought I'd share a few quotes from it here, and encourage you to find it and read it yourself!

I'd let you borrow my copy, but I already sent it to Africa with Marc! :)

“It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!” 

“A Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner.” 

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community... Let him who is not in community beware of being alone... Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.” 

“Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin. Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.” 

“In confession occurs the breakthrough of the Cross. The root of all sin is pride, superbia. I want to be my own law, I have a right to my self, my hatred and my desires, my life and my death. The mind and flesh of man are set on fire by pride; for it is precisely in his wickedness that man wants to be as God. Confession in the presence of a brother is the profoundest kind of humiliation. It hurts, it cuts a man down, it is a dreadful blow to pride...In the deep mental and physical pain of humiliation before a brother - which means, before God - we experience the Cross of Jesus as our rescue and salvation. The old man dies, but it is God who has conquered him. Now we share in the resurrection of Christ and eternal life.” 

“If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. ... How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”