Its amazing how quickly time has passed for us! The last few days have been great as we settle into our "tour routine", get to know one another even more, and meet more amazing people along the way at churches and homestays. Every concert has been a success, and it is amazing to see how God orchestrates each one in a different way. Now that our first full week of concerts is completed and we are looking forward to spending our off-day in San Francisco tomorrow. Today we were blessed with some additional downtime and were able to spend a few hours in Yosemite. Although our visit was short, it was wonderful to spend time marveling at the Lord's magnificent creation... and having fun taking many pictures together in the process. ;)
A few nights ago in Orcutt, CA, Kelsey and I stayed with a woman named Esperanza (which, appropriately, means Hope!). She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, and woman of God, and we were blessed to spend several hours talking with her about her life. We heard countless stories about her life and family, including beating her teenage grandsons at arm wrestling/basketball/ping pong, growing up in the Philippines, and her work over the last several decades at the small church we had sung at that evening. The most amazing stories, however, revolved around her annual trip to the Philippines to do missions work. Although she looked around 50, Esperanza is 72-years old and has been widowed for the last 6 years. Yet at least once a year she makes a trip to the Philippines to bring clothes and gifts to the people she's built relationships with and lead Bible studies. In every story she told, her heart for these people and her love for the Lord shone through. We only spent a few hours with her, this was evident as the most central part of her life.
I went to bed that night reflecting on how my life reflects Christ. My Savior should be so obvious that He becomes what people see, rather than myself, yet this is rarely the case. We are called to it. When I started blogging about this summer, I selected John 3:30 as a sort of "theme verse". To be honest, I put rather little thought into my selection, simply thinking it seemed appropriate. God works in mysterious, powerful, and incredible ways, and I can already see how he is working in my heart and through the rest of this group to teach this to us. It is so exciting to see changes like this happening already, with so much time left on our journey! Thank you so much for your prayers for the group; we can tell it is doing something and the Lord is working!
He must increase; I must decrease.