23 October 2007

"I WiLl nOt gO pReFeR a FeAsT oF fRiEnDs, tO tHe GiAnT fAmiLy..."


O.K, here goes my report about this weekend in Seville for the "24-7 Fest"... well, to be really honest, I just went there to see Byron and Lisa :-), my blond parents, eh, eh...even though Lisa always says it would be weird to have a child at 12 :-)...by the way, she just turned 45 on Monday,the 22nd... this picture here is from their 25th wedding aniversary, coz I totally forgot to take a picture with them this time...Tsss...I guess I was too excited to be with them...like Byron so well expressed, it was like "chocolate covered joy" to see them :-)...
but here goes my impressions...I warn you that it's gonna take a while to read, so just press "read more" when you really have time to read some deep thoughts...:-)


First of all I have to say again that it was really great and still a bit surreal to be with Byron and Lisa after I last saw them more than 1 year ago in Portugal when I left to Palestine...When I returned they were already in USA, preparing to go to Tanzania and join a beautiful project and family called
Wild Hope , a group of friends who love Africa and Africans...
Oh, how I miss them...
so that was the main reason why I went all the way to seville and travelled in buses and trains for more then 12 hours :-/ ... but I would do it again if I could have more chances like that...

All the rest was extras, and it was very good as well...
I got to see Tom again, after his visit to the Mount of Oaks some months ago...I got to meet Steve , a wandering "clay pot" who travels around praying wherever God leads him... he's a friend of Emma, and that's how we connected...And of course I got to meet other interesting people throughout the weekend...

As you may noticed, I also took sometime during my looooong trip to figure out how to improve my blog appearance:-)...

But many things I heard also led me to meditate in lots of things, and that's the reason why this post will get sooooo long...


They called the weekend the "24-7 Fest"... a gathering of friends from all over the world who purposely met to celebrate what God has been doing among and through them during the last year...an inspiration from God, who told the people of Israel to celebrate in different feasts throughout the year and remember His faithfulness...
This group of friends are just a small expression of the Body of Christ (the real "Israel"), as they represent just a few of God's children living today...
For me, I would even skip the "24-7" emphasis, and I would called it simply a "Feast of friends"...as a remarcable poet once sang:
"...No more money, no more fancy dress
This other kingdom seems by far the best...
I WILL NOT GO
PREFER A FEAST OF FRIENDS
TO THE GIANT FAMILY." (JM)


These are maybe a little "finger" from the Body of Christ celebrating together, but it gave a bit of a taste of what's gonna be like when the whole of God's family will be eternally together to party :-)...
...one of the things that made me think was that I might have some part on this "finger", because I have relationships with some of them, but I don't really feel I belong to it...I feel more like a little blood cell :-), as I'm most of the times coming and going into different parts of the Body, relating, hanging out or connecting with so many different parts... I've been noticing more and more that I don't really belong to any, in a way...and I don't really feel the need of it as some do...
I know that's part of who I am and the way God created me... a nomad I guess...or as the meaning of my name, "a stranger in the land" , eh, eh, I like that...like Abraham who "made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents"...as I'm actually doing now...eh, eh...but that's not the point I know...just being goofy...
still, I belong to all... The Body...and that's it :-) ...
so when I heard things like "we, as a movement", or "we, as 24-7", I didn't really connected with...
I'm more connected with expressions like "we, as God's children", or "we, as Christ's Body", or even "we, as part of God's Kingdom"...

I was really touched and encouraged by so many stories of simple people who chose to believe that prayer does make a difference and that what Jesus spoke He meant it for real...
Actually, they were not the ones who chose that, and this was the core of most of the messages of this weekend... Jesus was the one who chose all of us, as He said "You did not choose me, but I chose you..." (John15)
This also made me meditate and also cry a lot in one of the morning sessions... a lot of times I feel unworthy of this...Jesus chose ME...and it has nothing to do with being worthy or anything I might have done...Jesus chose ME... And He is the one who chooses everyone really...

but why ME?!! I was not looking for Him when He came on my way...I was not so interested in Him, besides for the fact he was an amazing peaceful person who once lived on this earth... I even hated christianity and all the hypocrisy I used to see around me from the so called "christians"... so why ME?!!! I always wondered... but the thing I realized is that is not about ME at all...it's all about HIM, JESUS...And how come He trusts me so many times?!! I never figure that out... He knows me...Tsss...He knows how fragile, limited and sinful I am... How come He chooses me to share His amazing dreams & desires?!!

well, I have no idea how to answer these questions, besides knowing that nothing is about ME...
But I can be sure of this : He chose me for some reason... and that gives me confidence when I feel worthless... the only thing I can bost of ...
"This is what the LORD says:
"Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,

but let those who boast boast about this:
that they understand and know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD.(Jeremiah 9:23,24)

Maybe I have no idea of what I am DOING in this life here, but I'm more and more sure of WHO I AM...
Sometimes I may think I 'm not really sure of this either, but deep inside I know that this is the only truth that keeps me alive and standing...
I AM WHO I AM, BY THE GRACE OF GOD ONLY... I BELONG TO HIM COZ HE HAS CHOSEN ME AND SEPARATED ME TO HAVE THE IMAGE OF JESUS... (Romans 8:29)
I know I'm so far from that reality now... But that's what I long and hope for...
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD! And THAT IS WHAT WE ARE ! ...we know that when Christ appears, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM..."( I John 3:1-5)
I know I am unique, like everyone else...and that together with the rest of the Body, we are One and complete : Christ !!!
Isn't this amazing !!!

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD... AND A UNIQUE PART OF HIS BODY...
"Christ is all and is in all."(Colossians 3:11)
In reality WE WERE ALL CREATED TO BE CHOSEN, since the beginning...
"For he CHOSE US in him BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will."(Ephesians 1:4,5)
Sorry for so many Bible quotes, but it's just to make sure that I'm not making this up in my mind... This is the TRUTH about all of us :-)

This was another thing we heard different times this weekend...
"we are not called to bring Jesus to people who don't know Him, but we are called to go and meet Jesus in every person" (Aaron from Vancouver)
It reminded me of a time I meditated on Colossians 3:11 in Angola...this was also what I came up with - Jesus is in us, as He is in all... so we are to find Him and make Him alive in those who are still anaware of His presence...
Yes, Jesus is in us...so we are to love others as Jesus would...
And Jesus is in all others...so we are to love all others as if they were Jesus...
We are to find Jesus in the poor, in the hungry, in the prisoners, in the pimps, in the prostitutes, in the homosexuals, in the drug addicts, in the widows, in the orphans, etc... coz that's where Jesus is to be found... We are to seek Him, not only when we are alone with Him, or when we gather with others who already know Him, but we are to seek Him and find Him specially among those who are still lost...


I heard very encouraging stories of simple people who didn't came to bring theory, but people who are really putting the Gospel in practice...with their prayers, their hands, their attitudes of heart and their real compassion for the ones Jesus loves...
I was very impacted by a young woman named Kelly who just decided one day to go to "Boystown" and pray...this is the first stop after crossing the USA border into Mexico... a town surrounded by walls, inhabited mostly by prostitutes, pimps and drug addicts...Kelly simply moved in and prayed for more than a year around this walls...she honestly thought she was getting crazy, but now she can see some fruits already...she said that's where she really met Jesus...in those people...and these people are no longer faceless and nameless for Kelly...they are her friends... she not only knows their names and faces, but she also knows their stories, their pains, theirs sorrows, their struggles...she sets up birthday parties for them...she watches and speaks about Tv shows with them...she arranges their hair and nails...she prays for and with them...she visits some in jail...
and in all this , she definitely brings Jesus in their midst...and she often meets Jesus in them... coz she also learned to see Jesus in each of them... I imagine how hard some days may be, as she's often alone, besides a friend who join the last months...but I also imagine how rewarding it might be some days to see Jesus there, loving her friends...definitely worth it...you can read amazing stories of her days in Boystown if you want to be inspired by this amazing woman... one of those anonymous heroes on earth today...

O.k, there were many more stories to tell, but I guess this is already to long for you guys...sorry for that...but it was also a processing time for me...

be blessed... Hope to meet you all one day in the big Family Fest :-)

"...No more money, no more fancy dress
This other kingdom seems by far the best...
I WILL NOT GO
PREFER A FEAST OF FRIENDS
TO THE GIANT FAMILY." (JM)

"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." (Hebrews 13:14)...


3 comments:

steve said...

love it

being is enough

but we do out of being, cos its part of who we are

not we do to try and be

we be and then do

was not too long

you carry on

Baba said...

that's what I mean :-)
thanks for taking the time to read :-) eh, eh
you carry on too...

steve said...

have figured out how to make the "read more" and the K2 template work, so you can have it all your own way if you still want the change?

burp