Saturday, April 5, 2014

Be Different

Most of what's on this blog has to do with ZOE's Children's Homes but ZOE also has another very important focus, its Ministry School. 
The 2 year intensive program teaches young adults in business, language, vocation and ministry. 

Today the Class of 2014 graduated! 

After attending the graduation, it got me thinking.
Here are these young men and women who have stepped outside of the 'norm' and spent the last 2 years in a full time, morning till night, live-in, study-work-serve scenario whilst many of their friends must have been out partying, getting paid good money and chillin' with their mates.  
Just "one" of the things these ministry students do during their time at ZOE is read through the entire Bible - twice! 
Not only that but they also become equipped with business skills, study English, go on outreaches to villages, teach children in slum areas {and more} along with developing self confidence, discipline and dedication.
Really, what each of these students represents is being "different".
And that got me thinking that actually… if we want change to come… if we want to make a difference in this world… we all need to do that - be different!
How often do we let the pressures of the world and society dictate to us what we "should" look like, what we "should" be wearing, where we "should' be living or how much money we "should" be earning.
But what if we dared to be different?
I love this quote:
"If you are going to reach your dream in the next decade, if you are going to fulfill your destiny, if you are going to accomplish your goals and see your vision become reality, you are going to have to dare to be different from others.  And until you settle this issue, you will never fulfill your destiny because you cannot make a difference without being different. You cannot be all God wants you to be and fit in with everybody else." {Rick Warren}

How hard it is not to just act in a certain way because we're worried about what others think about us, or just stay in our comfort zone because we fear change and feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes a focus on money or distractions on materialistic attractions around us seem to occupy our minds - how hard it is not to always want the next "thing".

But to make a difference … to really make a difference … if that required you to BE DIFFERENT, would you do it? 

While we all ponder that, I just want to say… we had a GREAT day today!  AND it's a long weekend, and for that, I am grateful.

After hearing hysterical laughter coming from the backyard, I stuck my head out the kitchen door to see what all the noise was about.  Then I saw it… my two little ones armed with water and buckets!  Thankfully Songkran is on its way.

Earlier in the day, a certain budding chef made a batch of scones that rivaled Grandmas!  With hardly any help, he was rather proud of his effort and we all agreed they were some of the best scones we'd ever tasted!!
 My biggest boy also had a turn in the kitchen remembering how to make chocolate spiders without the recipe.  Thankfully Eli had given a talk at school earlier in the week on the procedure of making them, so it was fresh in our minds.
Dave is going well.  Tomorrow he is preaching at the ZOE fellowship.  He has had a few computer troubles this week, so we're hoping that they all get sorted soon.
I had a couple of visits to Immigration this week as well as my first work report due.  I can't believe school finishes at the end of next month!
Well, I know I owe many emails, and this blog is not updated near enough but PLEASE know that we love and miss you our family and friends back home very much and think and pray for you regularly.
This week, let's all go and be a little bit different!