little one caught dancing in galactic genetics – by Lauren Grams ISM 09.13

the accumulation of labyrinthian fingerprints worn into this frail little one heart by the Lover

ezekiel 16:8-9,

“‘later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your naked body. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lorn, and you became mine. “‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you.’”

i would apologize for my absence, but i rather think that would be irrelevant. perhaps the more useful thing would be to write words that maybe mean something.

i’m writing from thailand and my heart is full of things, none of which i feel completely settled sharing.

so that is what i have determined to write about – my inability to write in the sense that i suppose would be desired or expected by those perhaps-maybe-maybe-not reading this.

i am overwhelmed by the weight of the honor bestowed upon me as i have been allowed to enter into the inner world of people. you see, that is it precisely – they are people. people.  i cannot write of my experiences in the same neat and tidy manner that one collects stamps or snow globes or shells from the sea. i cannot subject the intricate, beautiful, ravaged, healing, pulsing lives of the people who have risked themselves, split open the curtain of their world and beckoned me enter, to the abuse of reducing them to a take-away lesson.

i do not know how to create with words an accurate representation of encounters experienced on the level of spirit. i hope this does not present itself haughtily, as though i were scorning the idea of sharing deep and mystical moments that i have determined to horde to myself. no, rather it is the smallest things, the quietest admission, the most mundane exchange, that i feel weighing heavy upon my heart.

there isn’t an easy answer. there isn’t a pretty bow wrapping up all the ugly details of sin wrecking the lives of Jesus’ beloved little ones. there isn’t an eloquent word to describe the beauty of the resilient spirit that seeps and glows and at times explodes out of the countenance of those facing heaven and hell on earth. i cannot pretend that my limited contact has had an impact worthy of a salvation-scalp-hunting-glory-story.

but Jesus. he is so beautiful.

my Jesus.

your Jesus.

bangkok’s Jesus.

the prisoner’s Jesus.

the prostituted’s Jesus.

the sex tourist’s Jesus.

the beggar’s Jesus.

the buddhist’s Jesus.

the taxi driver’s Jesus.

the pick-pocket’s Jesus.

the banana vendor’s Jesus.

his love is. he always is. he will never stop. he will not lower his voice to save face. he is not afraid of making us uncomfortable by the sheer ridiculousness of his passion. he is not afraid to be a reckless Lover. he is not going to be tamed because we think he ought to be. he is rather going to be wild, because that is the nature of his heart.

hallelujah.

Lauren Grams

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Meet Amanda Campbell – coming to ISM January 2014 – internship The Well

Hello, my name is Amanda Campbell and I am from Thousand Oaks, California.

Amanda Campbell

Amanda Campbell

I grew up in a Christian home and have known Christ ever since I can remember. When I was 5-years-old I told my mom that I was born to help poor people. I didn’t remember telling my mom this and then years later when I was about to go to Louisiana to help with the hurricane Katrina aftermath, my mom remembered me telling her. Her bringing that up sparked something in me, even though I wouldn’t fully realize it until years later after high school.

All I know is I love to help and serve the less fortunate. So I kept serving and helping the poor when I could. I also became more aware of the growing issue of human trafficking and modern day slavery. I just couldn’t ignore it and I felt that I needed to do something.

The last 3 years of my life have been a challenge for me and I have learned so much and grown a lot. I have learned how to rely on God for everything, from taking care of lost friends to getting me through 6 funerals. I’m at a point in my life where I am at a crossroads, my job is unsatisfying and I am no longer in school. I need something to ignite the fire again and to renew my relationship with Christ, a refresher. I also need to do something bigger than me and serve others. So I stumbled upon ISM on the Night Light website and knew it was for me. This is the door God has opened for me, for something bigger than me.

For my internship I will be partnering with The Well in Bangkok. They work with the Thai sex workers in the bars and on the streets, ministering to them and offering them emotional support and healing. They help the women acquire skills to be able to go back to their homes and be self-supportive. I’m so blessed to get to work with The Well and serve the women and I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do.

Meet Mitchel Hughes – Coming to ISM Jan 2014 – internship Noah’s Ark

Hi I’m Mitchel and I am super pumped to say that I will be attending ISM in January 2014 and upon completion spending three months in The Philippine’s at Noah’s Ark working with orphans.

Mitchel Hughes

Mitchel Hughes

 

I have currently completed two years of school at Vanguard Bible College and I am now entering my third year looking to complete the internship phase of my schooling. I am 22 years old and PUMPED for what God has in store for me.

Ever since finishing my first year of Bible College and having the opportunity to visit so many amazing countries all over South East Asia I knew that the missionary call was in my blood and something I have wanted to do with my life. I love the people, culture and adventure that comes with meeting so many new individuals and seeing how God is moving in their life whether they know it or not.

However, like any journey there is always hiccup’s along the way that slow you down or cause you to question God’s purpose for your life and I am no exception to those hiccups. Lucky for us though our God is bigger and always gets us through the storms of life no matter how bad or tough they get.

So with that I look forward to the next chapter in my life with ISM and can’t wait to see what God does next. He has put ISM in my life for a reason and just knowing that gets me excited because He uses these experiences to shape and change who I am.

I look forward to meeting everyone else who is attending in January. May God bless you richly in your fundraising and preparation!