This blog is written for Ashley O’Brian, one cool church planting chick who has been laboring with us in Long Beach. Her heart for the poor and those at risk in this world is always inspiring. Now she is headed to Africa where she will love on the orphan, widow, and those in prison. You can learn more about her apostle heart on her blog “The Little O’Brian Family”. Littleobrienfamily.blogspot.com
Song of the month- Good bye Alice in wonderland -Jewel
Off she goes just set her free. Like one bright balloon across a cloudy sky she’s leaving the land of promise to give promises to another land.
I promise I will try and love you like Christ.
I promise his love never fails even when humans do.
I promise I won’t forget you when I leave again.
I promise I will pass on the change you worked in me.
I promise I will be a part in exporting healing to your country, rather than exploiting you.
I promise to model the love I teach.
I promise to be a student of Christ among you.
I promise to apologise when I break all these promises.
I promise to begin each day new in the Grace of God…and let you do the same.
As I watch Ashley head out to the mission field I envy her. I know the intimacy she’s going to get to experience when it’s just her and God…and nothing else. As a young woman, she’s already shown herself to be a church planter and willing to be planted wherever God leads. I know the work she’s heading into won’t be easy and she is going to be pushed to her limit. But I also know the metamorphic change that it’s going to build within her soul.
When I started praying about Ashley going to Africa I got a picture of a bright balloon floating in the air, heading out of a crowded country filled with bright balloons and I saw it drift lower, lower, across a barren sky and settle its solitary self down to a rush of kids who never dreamt of such a thing. A bright balloon ( auto correct keeps putting in baboon for balloon….ha different metaphor) from a distant land…just for them. This may have been quite a romantic picture…sorry Ashley…but I don’t control what pictures pop into my head…just what I do with them afterward.
If only American Christianity could be known for exporting more bright colored balloons. More beauty, freedom, and love. Less plastic surgery, hypocrisy, double standards and division. Less political persuasion and more passion of Christ. Less denominationalism and more demolishing of strongholds.
Unfortunately, as a “Christian” nation we are known to be the largest exporters of porn, false doctrine, and one of the top five countries financing human trafficking.
I love my country, I love the Christians here and I’m very aware that our trials and temptations are no less real than those in countries we want to minister to. After all, being fat has its trials too. Right? As Americans we feel like crap a lot… tired and run down…feeding too much to feel better. Feeding too little to feel better… modifying our diet…And feeding too much on the wrong things both physically and spiritually.
But Ash has clued in at a young age to the amazing one step program for getting hot!
MISSIONS…Dying to self… cause then there’s no fear to weigh her down. So off she floats. On bright balloon in a barren sky. “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain…” That’s the good kind of gain!
As one bright balloon among many here in America, Ashley is being set free…again….to set others free…
We will be here holding the other end of the rope as you descend into places you never knew you could go Ash. And when you come back, we will help you keep those promises as you share new ones with us. And off we go on mission together.
God bless you my little sis in The Lord.