Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Month: November, 2013

the pilgrims went to the east coast

by ryan

A long time ago in a galaxy–this galaxy–pilgrims traveled across the Big Pond to the East Coast.  They had hard times.  And so have we, even if they are smaller.

Milky_Way_Arch

But we all have reasons to be thankful too.  Yesterday we missed being with most of our family.  We missed our parents, our brothers & sisters and their families, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, and our cousins and their families.  But we had each other and friends–who are family in a way.  And we’re thankful for that.

And we’re thankful for the prospect of being home for Christmas.  If we were trees, family would be our roots and maybe our sun and rain too.  And so thinking about seeing them makes everything brighter.

East Baker Lake June 2013 044

However, before it gets too sunny I need to tell you about the Big L we have to do.  I know what you’re thinking: “Oh no!  The Big L . . .” No, you are probably thinking about losing or leagues, or maybe you are confused so you’re skipping down below to figure out just what the Big L is all about.  Sorry to disappoint you, but it is not a dance.  The Big L is Down & Right, or if you prefer, South & East.

USA-satelliteO

December 13 we head Down to Southern California from Up Here in the Great White North.   Then we take a Left and go Right–I’ve heard it both ways–and go East toward Western Europe.  Directions can be hard sometimes.  Being thankful can be easy sometimes.

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eighteen and a half years

by Jordee

Today was significant. Today we passed Comprehensive Exams and we received emails saying we will have finished the requirements for our masters degrees in two weeks. I don’t feel like a “master” of anything, but I do feel thankful. And tired.

I’m thankful for the number of incredible teachers: the assistant kindergarten teacher who french-braided my hair every day before nap time, the middle school band director who gave me a love for music and in the process gave me an outlet of confidence and creativity in those difficult years, two quirky high school English teachers who solidified my love for literature, the linguistics professor in undergrad who faithfully shared his wisdom and experiences, encouraging me never to waver in my commitment to use what I learned, and the team of professors in this program who teach with such deep humility, wisdom, and knowledge of their fields. And that’s just to name a few.

I’m thankful for my sister with whom I rode the bus, signed up for classes, made pots of coffee late into the night, applied for college, and celebrated graduation. I’m thankful for friends who made growing up actually quite enjoyable and for friends who lived with me and helped me adjust to the big city. And I’m thankful for Ryan who’s seen me through and finished up this program with me.

girls first day of school

I’m tired because it’s been eighteen and a half years of school with little to no pit stops. Most of the time, I had my summers, yes, but I always got back on the track. Now the transition is to something quite different but something which has been a long time comin’. I can’t be totally sure what the next eighteen and a half years will look like.

But if life is as I believe it is, I’ll have reasons to be thankful at the end.

wealth, poverty & wisdom

by ryan

As the ‘economy’ in the United States struggles and as the country plunges deeper and deeper into debt, many are wondering what they can trust in.  We don’t think wealth is the answer.  There is an old Hebrew proverb that reads:

Those who trust in their wealth are headed for great disappointment,

but those who do right will sprout like green leaves.

 בֹּוטֵ֣חַ בְּ֭עָשְׁרֹו ה֣וּא יִפֹּ֑ל וְ֝כֶעָלֶ֗ה צַדִּיקִ֥ים יִפְרָֽחוּ׃

We don’t trust in ourselves anymore either.  And we don’t believe the government can solve our biggest problems.  Ironically, American currency reads,

In God we trust.

Many Americans don’t trust in God, but we do.  Which means we don’t worry when economies collapse or even when empires fall.  Jesus helps us with this.  He says don’t worry about the basic necessities of life because God knows what we need and he is looking out for us.

Instead, he encourages us to look after others’ needs.  Instead of worrying about ourselves, we get to join God in taking care of people.  Imagine a world where we completely forsake pursuing our own financial security and only seek the good of our neighbors in need.   Imagine a world where instead of exploiting the poor, the poor are cherished.

Jesus says when we care for the poor we are caring for him; when we neglect the poor, we neglect him.