Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Since we lost Joe, our CEO/CFO/Personnel manager, TEN3 has decided to recruit for an Administrative Manager to take care of our treasury, personnel, and event coordination functions. Soon after Ken finished writing up a Personnel Request Form with the job description, I got a promotional ad from LinkedIn explaining that nonprofits could apply for free job postings. Why not? I thought. I applied, and was granted the free job postings. Sweet, we can get our name out way beyond the normal circles with this!

Then came the actual writing the job description, and suddenly I was dismayed. Here I'll have people looking for a job, and I'm supposed to tell them, "Come apply to TEN3! If accepted, you can start work anytime, but if you want to get paid, you'll need to go through SIM's candidacy process. It's just an application requiring your whole life story, doctrinal assessment, medical exam, psychological exam, about six references, and then a weekend in Charlotte going over your application, and then if everything checks out, you start months worth of training, and go to a 2-week candidate orientation (all of which you have to come up with the funds for), and then if you're accepted, you can start fundraising to build up your financial support."


Uh ... me.

Was all that candidacy, training, and fundraising exhausting? Of course it was. And I was glad to do it. If I had to go back in time, I'd do it all the same. Why? Why do any of us go through all that?


Love for people with melodious accents and bright patterned clothing who dream of rising above the poverty, disease, and violence that oppresses their land. Love for the vision of God's glorious Kingdom filling the whole earth. Love for bright brown eyes eager to learn. And most of all, love for a Savior who went through so much more than we ever will in service.

Why do I find it so hard to believe that God would give others the same consuming love for Him and His people that He has given me and my team? Maybe because there remains competition in my heart; that love still contends with pride and personal ambition. And maybe that's what this trial of TEN3 shrinking rather than growing is about. Maybe the Lord is saying, "I can bring all the success you dream of. I can enable centers to run the CTO giving thousands of students a solid foundation of computer, Bible, and comprehension education; get educators together to develop a 4TD that develops students' worldviews to serve Me with every aspect of their lives, get those 350 schools started that you've prayed for so long, and transform primary and secondary education in a way that will rock the world and circumvent the Enemy's attacks that would brainwash kids into fragmented thinking. And I will indeed bring My Kingdom to all the ends of the earth, how and when I please. But I'm not going to use you to do it while it will feed your pride monster. I don't want your accomplishments if I don't have your heart."

Which has my mind spinning in circles a bit ... isn't it in itself pride to think that God would hold up all this on account of me? I really don't know that; it meshes with that mystery of sovereignty and responsibility that is veiled to me. But what I do know is that my heart needs to change. It needs to be made pure, free from the lust for success and approval. Love that will do all this work is not enough. I need a love that can invite others without apology to join in the same sacrifices, because I know this joy of sacrifice is so much better than any form of success.

So Lord, do what it takes to refine my heart, and I pray I cooperate so it can be done in time to fulfill the vision You have given us.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Reminded of a favorite quote

While writing a card to supporters today, thinking of the dreams we're clinging to, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes:
My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
I keep coming back to this quote because it fits the all-in determination to to seek Christ that I've always wanted. And it's this love that also keeps us serving, even when the "ship" turns back.