Friday, January 17, 2014


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my thoughts than your thoughts." ~Isaiah 55:8-9

Teacher training with Tim Chen

I love those verses - they very aptly describe the tale of how I came to be here, writing this ... from Taiwan! (I still slightly freak out every time I type that:) Each morning, since arriving here, I have woken up with such a wonderful yet overwhelmed feeling, a feeling that I have been and am so very blessed beyond measure. I can't even describe how thrilled and privileged I am to be a part of this team and a part of this work.

The theme of the CI's this year is centered around the Blessings of God. During our introduction and orientation as teachers, we were each encouraged to spend some time alone with the Lord, and examine what the word 'blessing' means to us, personally. I was again overwhelmed by what the Lord spoke to my heart during that time. I tried to write it all down, but the thoughts were coming too fast and the pages were running too short!

Don't we just love jet lag?

So, what is a 'blessing' to me? As I thought about this, I was reminded of the song Blessings, by Laura Story. This is a song that the Lord has used to powerfully impact my life. In the chorus, it begins "What if your blessings come through raindrops? What if your healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near? And what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?" Well, that broadens the category a bit, doesn't it? Going from thinking of 'blessings' as something that's nice, soft, and fluffy, to something that could be hard, uncomfortable, unpleasant, inconvenient (sounds a little like jet lag ;), I came to realize that our response to a situation or circumstance or person is what determines the 'blessing'.

A 'blessing' is anything that draws me closer to my Savior and that causes His will for my life to be accomplished  - resulting in the praise and furtherance of His matchless name. By that definition, anything has the potential to be a blessing! With that, I can sincerely say that God has used jet lag as a blessing in my life, because it has been a helpful remembrance of the fact that in my flesh, I can't do anything. But rather, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Thank y'all for lifting us up in your prayers - they are strongly felt and deeply appreciated. Please pray that we would have creativity with presenting the lessons and holding the kids attention! A good percentage of us have brains that are half-sleeping (thanks to that wonderful jet lag). Because of that, our creativity is half-sleeping as well ;) Also, pray that we'd have matching energy to keep up with the kids.

Sophia Fredrickson

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