Yesterday, our second day at camp, was even greater than the first day.
We made sure to shows the kids our excitement, and to make them thrilled about being at camp as soon as they got off their buses. As soon as all the buses had arrived, and we welcomed them, we started by singing great songs, led by our amazing band mixed with both Americans and Peruvians.
There was also plenty of watermelon (sandia) to go around! Here is Tuan and Alleen in the picture.
When camp ended, we got back and a few of us went to play soccer with a few of the Peruvians, and a bunch came to watch. We had a great time furthering building relationships between our American and Peruvian staffs.
We had a peaceful New Years celebration. Several of us walked down the town plaza and then watched the fire works from our hotel. New Years is probably the biggest holiday in Peru, and we still saw people celebrating the next morning.
We did not have camp the next day because, as I said, New Years is one of the biggest holidays. Instead, we were able to visit the different ministries connected with Peru Mission. We saw the woodshop were Hermes works, a clinic, a microfinance clinic, two of the churches, and the brand new clinic right next to Cristo del Restorando, the church where we also had lunch today. The work that’s being done here is not merely done for the spiritual need of the Peruvians. The woodshop focuses on teaching men to be Christian businessmen; it teaches them to be honest in their paperwork, to pay taxes (which is not too common), and to work six days and leave the seventh for the Lord. The clinic enables people in the community to get healthcare, dental healthcare, and medicine. The microfinance clinic helps women with businesses. There is, as you can tell, a view on the whole self, and on the whole community.
We had our Farewell Party today (because there is not enough time Friday before our flight leaves) along with the Peruvian staff. We exchanged gifts with eachother, had a few from each staff sharing the things on their heart, and, of course, played games together.
Their gift was a keychain, which had on the one side the camp theme picture and verse, and on the other an image of the beach west of here (there were 5 different key chains that all had different pictures of iconic Peruvian things on the back). A very nice gift, and a great symbol that will always remind us of this week and the ministry of Peru Mission.
As I looked back on the week so far, I was reminded of Genesis 11. God commanded His people to go and fill the earth with people, but they said no, and they decided to stay in one spot and build a tower high enough to reach the heavens. So God punished them by giving them several different languages so that they could not communicate. They were thus separated because they were working against God. This week, we have faced the same obstacle; we have been in a different culture where the Peruvians speak a different language. However, God has united us. Since we are working not against him, but for him, He has blessed us to be able to display our love for the others on the staff and to the kids despite these barriers.
Praise be to God for this grace.
Hey y’all! Yesterday was an eventful and exciting day. We got to worship with the congregation at Cristo del Restaurador (Christ the restorer), which was our first interaction with Peruvians. It was such a sweet, blessed, and partially nervous time since I did not want to break a social rule without knowing it.
Our group went to the Davenport (Scott and Julie) missionary family for lunch where we got to try some delicious Peruvian food and fellowship with a few of the missionaries and their families.
The highlight of the day was definitely when we got to meet the Peruvian staff.
We played games together, sang songs, and prayed for each other. There was also plenty of fellowship as we all had dinner together. Language barriers for sure makes communication harder, but it is only impossible if one doesn’t even try to communicate with them.
Knowing Spanish is by no means a prerequisite for this trip. There are people who know Spanish and English who are available to help.
Monday morning started early and we were all eager to meet the campers. It was a wonderful day full of activities, dancing, singing, food, fellowship, and prayer. I got to spend all day with a group of 23 ten-eleven year olds alongside three others campers: two of them being Peruvians. There were definitely times I wish I knew more Spanish to be able to talk to the kids more one-on-one, but I start to realize how much can be communicated by one’s energy and passion through one’s actions.
Our evening ended with dinner at the Johnson family (Josh and Elisabeth), where we were able to spend time with them and encourage them as well in their hard work.
The theme verse for camp this year comes from Ephesians 4:1: “Andad como es digno” or, “walk worthy”. Please be in prayer as we try to communicate God’s grace through this verse, and the famous story Pilgrim’s Progress as we point them to Christ.
We made a bracelet at the crafts activity today that had 5 beads: green representing creation, black representing sin/death, red representing the blood of Jesus, white representing the righteousness of Christ imputed into us, and finally yellow representing eternal life given to us as a gift.
Please pray that the kids may understand this: that they may understand their need of salvation because of sin so that they may indeed desire to know, love, and worship Christ.
My name is Sebastian, and I am a part of the Twin Lakes team that have been chosen to go to Peru this winter to aid our brothers and sisters in the running of the summer camp here in Trujillo.
Here in the picture you can see:
Dylan Varner, Daniel Sluis, Tuan La, me, Mallory Stokes, Andrew Vincent, Jonathan Kelley, Rachel Fournier, Mollie Coker, Emily Sluis, Anna Kristen Mitchell, Ethan Vincent, Mary Claire Jussely, and Emily Anne Smith.
Tuan is our fearless leader who will lead the group throughout the week.
We set out from Jackson 2:20 PM and finally landed in Lima 1:20AM by way of Dallas. We had a good time and did not suffer from any complications besides a minor delay.
In Lima we met up with our partnering group from Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia as well as Alleen Tomas, the Team Administrator for Peru Mission, and her husband Hermes.
We made it straight for the hotel in Lima where we got our glorified nap of four hours before waking up to yet another beautiful day. We spent a few hours finding souvenirs in Lima and getting to know each other before it was time for our flight to Trujillo.
We have now made it to Trujillo, we are checked in, we are full, and we are ready for a good night of rest to recover from all the traveling. It has been a wonderful day of connecting with the others from Savannah, as well as with Alleen and Hermes. I know we are all thankful for those two without whom we would be completely lost.
Tomorrow will be our first day integrated into Peruvian life. We get to go to the local church at Arevalo. There we get to participate with the local congregation in the worship of our God.
After the service and lunch, we finally get to meet the Peruvian staff that we will be working with at camp. Please pray that the Peruvian and American staffs will connect well, and that we can get alongside each other in serving the same Lord for the same purpose of making Jesus known to as many that we come in contact with.
I will end with a quote from C.J. Mahaney that Tuan referenced in our meeting tonight:
"Sleep is a picture and a parable of what it means to be a Christian. Your sleep tonight will be a small but real act of faith. You'll lay your full weight on a bed, trusting this structure to support you. You can fully relax, because no effort at supporting yourself is required; something else is holding you up. And in the same way, throughout the night as you sleep, Someone else is sustaining you. This is a picture of what it's like to belong to Christ"
“I led them with cords of kindness, with ties of love” – Hosea 11:4
(Photo/Design - Jake Jones and Katy Veldhorst)
The Lakeside Assembly Hall – where our summer staff meet, fellowship, and hear the Word preached – reverberated with this theme in 2013. All summer we were urged towards a unified walk through Ephesians, and we sincerely believe that the Holy Spirit used His Sword to defend His work at Twin Lakes by granting us humility, gentleness, patience, love, and unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1, our theme verse).
Over 2000 campers and LITs attended camp this summer from all over the country. Our primary objective is to plant Gospel seeds and pray that God gives the growth (1st Corinthians 3). Yet, even as we simply presented Christ through Ephesians and Pilgrim’s Progress, we saw around 30 campers come to faith in Jesus Christ. Praise God!
This kind of work is only possible if God provides an excellent staff of young people, which He has been faithful to do for years. This year, we were amazed by the group of students we worked alongside. Listen to how God worked in their hearts:
"I made it through camp by God’s grace and mercy - reaching the end of myself and clinging to the cross of Jesus.”
"God taught me that I can’t do this on my own. He is faithful, and He loves me."
"I joined a staff united around a common goal, and encountered the magnitude of God’s love and the power of the Gospel."
“The summer was the best summer of my life. God unified our staff like never before. I have never felt so close to so many people at one time, and it was such a sweet joy to walk alongside of so many friends for eight weeks. I can't thank God enough for the friendships, encouragement, laughter, and love that He gave me through this staff. They taught me so much and it was such a blessing to serve together, cry together, work together, relax together, eat together, learn together, teach together, worship together, and just do life together."
“God has used this staff tremendously in my life, and knowing you all has changed me. We started with a huge group of unlike people with different personalities, beliefs, and experiences, and over a quick two months we were tied together by embarrassing moments, incredible worship, difficult campers, and constant weariness. If that was all that tied us together, the goodbyes would be too much. However, we are bound together by the love of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-13). That is the tie that can never be broken (Romans 8:37-39). Blessed be Christ, the tie that binds.”
As we look back on this summer, we thank God for the opportunity to make this kind of impact on campers and staff. We are thankful for First Presbyterian Church, who make this possible. We will see people in the Glory because of what God has done through Twin Lakes over the past 40 years. The unity we experience at camp is but a small taste of that which is to come.
This glorious hope revives our courage by the way
While each in expectation lives and longs to see the day
From sorrow, toil, and pain and sin we shall be free
And perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity
“Blest Be the Tie That Binds” – John Faucett, 1782
Summer is in full swing at Twin Lakes! Campers during Overnight Camp 1 experienced WOW week - full of secret, surprise activities for the whole camp. We had fun in the sun and just a little liquid sunshine (rain), but it didn't slow us down at all. For WOW week, we saw a surprise Fireworks show and a Candy Drop from a Hot Air Balloon! Finally, our ON1 campers all went home with an "Eat Mor Chickin Dawgs at Twin Lakes" t-shirt.
One of the newest additions to Twin Lakes this summer is our human foosball court. We took the classic rec-room game to the next level - making it jumbo sized and even more fun with the addition of water sprinklers!
Our camper photographer had this to say about one experience on the new foosball court:
"Today, as I was passing through the tennis courts, a group campers were playing human foosball and having a blast! The tennis courts are out in the open and get very hot without the sprinklers going, yet I noticed one of the counselors was not wearing her shoes. It turned out that she had given her shoes to one of the campers, who had left her own behind at the pavilion.
For some reason this story stuck with me throughout the week. This is what camp and our lives with Christ are all about: sacrificing ourselves and our comfort all for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." (1 John 3:16) "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)
This counselor didn't have to sacrifice her life for this camper, but she did sacrifice her own good for the benefit of the camper. As we share Christ's self sacrificing love with these campers this summer, we have the privilege and challenge to walk with them and before them in the same way that He walked."
I was initially shocked/confused at this request, but she goes on:
"I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves.
They're not here to be at the top of the ladder; they are here to learn to climb. If they can't do it on their own, they will survive the disappointment. What's more, they will have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it.
In the meantime, they can use the stairs. I want them to tire of their own limitations and decide to push past them and put in the effort to make that happen without any help from me.
It is not my job — and it is certainly not yours — to prevent my children from feeling frustration, fear, or discomfort. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that those things are not the end of the world, and can be overcome or used to their advantage...
...I want my girls to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt and achieving a hard-won success.
I want them to believe in their own abilities and be confident and determined in their actions.
I want them to accept their limitations until they can figure out a way past them on their own significant power.
I want them to feel capable of making their own decisions, developing their own skills, taking their own risks, and coping with their own feelings.
I want them to climb that ladder without any help, however well-intentioned, from you.
Because they can. I know it. And if I give them a little space, they will soon know it, too.
So I'll thank you to stand back and let me do my job, here, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are indulging, and biting my tongue when I want to yell, "BE CAREFUL," and choosing, deliberately, painfully, repeatedly, to stand back instead of rush forward.
Because, as they grow up, the ladders will only get taller, and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather help them learn the skills they'll need to navigate them now, while a misstep means a bumped head or scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss, while the most difficult of hills can be conquered by chanting, "I think I can, I think I can", and while those 15 whole feet between us still feels, to them, like I'm much too far away."
Have you ever felt this way as a parent?
Honestly, I have yet to experience this - which is why I am glad to read Baker's perspective. It is a profound joy for me to help my daughter in any way that I can.
But she is 6 months old. Eventually, I will have to take a step back and let my daughter fail or fall. I expect that to be more painful for myself than for my daughter.
The Fundamental Difference
There's no way to be sure from this article, but the impression I receive is that the chief end of this exercise for Baker is her daughter's self-esteem and strength. This is not an inherently evil motive. But it is not enough.
You see, no amount of self-esteem or strength will help my daughter through the trials and temptations of life. Only if she is living for the here and now, survival of the fittest, be the best you can be (etc.), will these character traits pay off in the end.
The fundamental difference is that children must gain healthy independence from mom and dad, but must also be nurtured in necessary, total dependence on Jesus. Without this, we will raise a generation of confident, strong lost girls and boys. Without dependence on Jesus, children are destined to discover and embrace a world of self interest. Without dependence on Jesus, our children will learn to trust no one but themselves.
So let your children fall and fail. But whether in the home, on the play ground, or at summer camp, make sure there are Christian mentors to comfort them when they fall, and point them to the God of All Comfort when it hurts. Point them to the only One who loved them just as they were - failures before God's standard - and teach them to rest in the perfect success of Jesus on their behalf when they fail.
A Personal Challenge
So parents, if you see me on the play ground with my daughter, remind me not to help too much - for her own good. But also remind me that it's for my own good to let her fall, and to rest and trust in Jesus when I fall and fail as a parent.
We're home! Thanks for all of your prayers. Due to the hectic camp schedule, we were not able to live-blog our mission trip. However, we'd still love for you to hear the story of Peru Camp 2013. Keep up with us the next few weeks as we reflect back on God's faithfulness during our trip.
It's not a trip to Trujillo without quality time on Bob the Bus. Here's the Point Pleasant and Twin Lakes crew on our way to camp the first day. We love our partnership with Point Pleasant and Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, GA. Read more about IPC on their website
Herbert sporting his Twin Lakes Peru from a few years ago on the first day of camp. Our first day was held at the church in the Arevalo neighborhood in Trujillo. We sang, and rotated through 4 games and a bible lesson with Pastor Ricardo. It was an excellent day of "opening ceremonies" as we looked forward to camp at a facility just outside of town.
Counselor Dylan Varner from the Amarillo color group - taking care of our youngest campers in Peru by partnering with Peruvian counselors selected from 3 Presbyterian churches in the area.
Hermes did a great job as our MC for camp! He and his wife Alleen McClain de Tomas have been pivotal in the success of camp over the past 5 years. Alleen felt the call to missions when she went as a participant in a Twin Lakes in Peru mission trip. She and Hermes now serve in administration, short-term team facilitation, and in musical and economic development in Peru. Follow their mission on Facebook and on the Peru Mission website
Allen Smith leading music for camp. Allen and Sandi are missionaries in Peru with their 4 girls. While in seminary, Allen served as the camp pastor at Twin Lakes, and felt a call to missions shortly thereafter. The song he is teaching here is an original based on Jonah chapter 2. Allen was a driving force behind the first Twin Lakes Peru camp, and we are very thankful for his service. Visit their website and their Peru Mission page
Teaching the kids of Trujillo the ever popular 4-square! They loved it.
Pastor Ricardo Hernandez teaching the book of Jonah and helping the kids with bible memorization.
After this first day of camp, we finished out our New Years day with a long, leisurely hang-out on the front steps of the church. Transportation can be tricky on New Years, after all. We then had an adventure finding a place to eat!
In it all, God was good. Even in waiting, we bonded as a team, and took a moment to rest. It was refreshing and fun to sit in the cool night air, share stories, kick the soccer ball, and reflect on the trip's adventures thus far. At summer camp in the states, it's often the mundane, simple moments - saturated in God's word - that make such a lasting impact on hearts and lives. Thousands of miles from home, the story was the same.
(John 17:20-21 ESV)
In the moments before Jesus' betrayal, trial, and death, the precious time before He absorbed the full wrath of the Father, He prayed for His disciples. This is remarkable in itself. But in verse 20 we see that Jesus did not simply pray for the 12, but for those who would believe through their word.
Who is that?
As Christians, that's you and I. We are here because Jesus prayed for the 12 and sent them the Holy Spirit, who gave them strength to fulfill their great commission. We are here because Jesus prayed. God the Father's decree from eternity, God the Son's perfect sacrifice, and God the Spirit's seal of our hearts - these things are the good news proclaimed by the disciples to the watching world.
This is the foundation of missions, and why we are in Peru. We hope to see the Church grow as we serve alongside of and equip local Christians with a unique tool for sharing the love of Jesus - Christian summer camp.
We traveled nearly 23 hours to arrive in this beautiful country, and along the way we studied John 17 together as a team. Our counselors spent time reading and praying on their own in the Miami airport, and then we came together to discuss what this chapter teaches us about the Christian's relationship with the world. This is foundational to both our theology and our methodology in missions.
As a brief yet poignant summation of our discussion of John 17, let me point you to the words of Stuart Briscoe:
"Given that we are intentionally placed in the world, we have to understand what it means, first of all, to be given out of it to Jesus. Secondly, we need to understand why intentionally we were left in it. And we need to understand what it means practically to live as if we are not of it. but to do it in such a way that we are effective in being sent to it. That's it. Figure that out and you've nailed it."
Thanks for your prayers! Everyone is feeling good and enjoying our first weekend of preparation. Camp starts officially tomorrow. We hope you enjoy this photo blog of our time so far.
Team arriving in Lima
Peruvian, Point Pleasant, and Twin Lakes staff at Camp Orientation/Training
Planning camp as counselors and activity supervisors
Emblem depicting the god of the Moche people, an ancient civilization (A.D. 100 to A.D. 700) known for brutality. Yet they produced remarkable architecture and brilliant art and pottery. We will be proclaiming the gospel of the One, True God at a facility in the shadow of this temple at the base of a mountain.
Our group approaching the temple
This team is a joy to work with! Keep us in your prayers
Would you take a moment to pray for this group?
(Top row, from left: Andrew Vincent, Zack Owens, Dylan Varner, Brandon Renfroe, Austin Marascalco
Bottom row, from left: Jamie Kitch, Emily Sluis, SaraCaroline Kimball, Anna Kristen Mitchell, Mary Claire Jussely, Emily Wheat)
A group of Twin Lakes Directors and Counselors, Peru Mission and the local Church, and Camp Point Pleasant from Savannah, Georgia.
To help equip local churches in children's ministry by joining and serving them in the work of discipleship and evangelism through a summer day camp program.
December 28th, 2012 - January 5th, 2013
Trujillo, Peru (graphic via Peru Mission: http://www.perumission.org)
- To share the Good News of Jesus Christ
- By proclaiming God's word
- Through the unique gift of Christian Community by means of Summer Camp
- Across Cultures, that God's people may respond to His call from all tribes, tongues, and nations.
Pray for us as we proclaim the Cross, through Camp, across Cultures. More updates to come!
On a warm August morning, sometime in elementary school, I decided to run away from home. Having spent a week of summer vacation at my grandmother’s house, I was awash with discontent upon re-entering life in the real world. I kicked the screen out of my bedroom window, packed a backpack of clothes, and grabbed a washed out Hershey’s chocolate syrup bottle to serve as my water bottle.
My reason for leaving was simple – I didn’t like my mom’s cooking. At my grandmother’s house, I ate a vastly disproportional amount of corn dogs and pizza. At home, I was forced to eat a balanced diet.
Before I could make my escape, dad came home to find the screen kicked out and I was toast.
My desires were misaligned with what was best for me.
I was seeking happiness in getting what I wanted, rather than trusting the hands that fed me. My out-of-tune heart, had I been allowed to follow it, would have led me down one of two paths:
1) obesity and heart disease
or 2) starvation and death from exposure to the elements.
Ok, so perhaps that's a little dramatic, but you get the point. I sincerely wanted to run from the presence of my parents and reject their will for me. I failed to see the big picture, and consequently chose folly over wisdom. My heart was misaligned from the very things that were for my good.
This is the kind of heart we see in the prophet Jonah in the first chapter of his biography. The book of Jonah reveals him as a man sharing a heart with a selfish, misguided 8 year old version of myself.
God tuned Jonah’s Heart by His severe mercy and grace
“And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (v. 17).
It is common to think of being swallowed by a fish as Jonah’s punishment. For sure, it sounds like a most terrible experience. But we need to see more in the story of the great fish:
1) Grace comes to us through a gift
The fish was God’s gracious gift to Jonah, God’s divine intervention to rescue him, not a cruel and unusual punishment. Jonah deserved death, yet by way of a fish he received life. The storm brought Jonah to confess his sin, and the fish arrived as Jonah was experiencing a small part of the pain of disobedience.
2) Grace comes to us through suffering
Jonah’s suffering brought him back to God’s presence. Jonah’s flight gave him exactly what he wanted – escape from the presence of God. But in that he saw his profound need for God’s presence. In chapter 2, verse 1, we see the very first thing Jonah did in the belly of the fish was return to God in prayer.
“What we want in suffering is an explanation from God. What we receive in suffering is a revelation of God.” – David Platt
3) Grace comes to us through justice
God’s grace to Jonah did not occur in the absence of justice. God would have been right in allowing Jonah to sink that day. We cannot insult God’s character as a good judge by implying that he turns a blind eye to wrongdoing (see Prob. 17:15). Death was and is still the penalty for our sins, yet Jonah was saved. But how?
Justice for his sin was not served in Jonah's day, but was accomplished years later in the future reality that the story of Jonah pre-figures..
Like a train track, as two parallel lines, guides the train to the intended destination, the parallel accounts in scripture are meant to drive us to a specific destination.
Listen for the parallel in the story of Jonah: he was sacrificed for the salvation of others, he laid in the fish for 3 days, he was brought back from this grave in order to do God’s will, and he called the lost to repentance.
The sacrifice of Jonah to the storm points forward to the sacrifice of Jesus to the storm of God’s wrath.
Had Jesus not been thrown into the fury of that storm Jonah had no hope for rescue, because there would never have been adequate atonement for his rebellion. And if Jesus had not endured that storm of God’s righteous justice against our sin, we would all have no hope for rescue.
Christian, God’s Grace is what stopped Jonah in his tracks to tune him. But God never leaves as passive recipients of sanctification. Jonah’s suffering in the ocean and in the fish sent him on a trajectory towards repentance.
How did Jonah respond to the grace and rescue he received?
Jonah Confessed his sin
In v. 10, we are told that Jonah confessed to the sailors that he had been running from God. In all of the previous account, Jonah seems to have blocked out his sin, perhaps numb to its reality in the frenzy of travel (even sleeping through the storm).
Sin is not a personal matter between you and God, and confession is a corporate means of healing (see James 5). Jonah confessed his sin of disobeying and rejecting the God of the Universe, and that is a terrifying prospect. By confessing sin, we open ourselves up to the possibility of punishment and disapproval.
But that is not what Jonah found in confessing his sin.
Submitting himself to the perfect justice of God he found the extravagant grace of God.
Jonah returned to the Presence and Word of God
Sinclair Ferguson points out that Jonah rejected two things in running: he rejected God’s Word (the command to act) and he rejected God’s Presence (communion with God).
After the ordeal with the fish, Jonah returned to both God’s word and God’s presence. Hecould not out-run God’s Omnipresence (that He is everywhere, and nothing is done outside of His sight) but Jonah did reject God’s personal presence (the reality that God makes Himself known in grace and power).
Ferguson continues explaining that we do this by fleeing the reality that God can and does act in our lives as we live in service and engage in prayer. Outside of Christ, God’s presence is deadly. But in Christ, we can come to the throne of grace with boldness – even in the midst of our struggle – and find forgiveness.
The same grace that tuned Jonah is the grace that tunes us.
Allegedly, Eric Clapton went backstage after one of Jimi Hendrix’s awe-inspiring performances. Hendrix is known for his masterful, yet effortless command of the electric guitar. He was left handed, and flipped a right-handed Fender Stratocaster upside down to play his ruthless, string bending symphonies. In many ways, his blues/rock revolutionized how the instrument is played.
Clapton saw Hendrix’s unattended guitar backstage . He was too curious at the sight of this glorious instrument to fight the temptation to pick it up and try it out.
What he found when he played a chord on Hendrix’s old guitar was that it was terribly, miserably out of tune.
My hope in Christ is to rest in the hands of the One who can bend my weary heart strings back into harmony. Surely it has been painful. In fact, it comes standard with accepting the call of Christ, who was no stranger to suffering. And each day I find myself dissonant to the will of God.
But in the hands of a master, even the most out of tune instruments can be made to sound glorious.