With a week of separation, Bayup already feels like a world away. Oakland, Cityteam, OBUGS, living in the inner-city, befriending ex-cons and recovering addicts, it all feels like a distant memory too intense to feel completely real. To be completely honest, coming back from Bayup has been an amazingly difficult transition. How do we continue process this experience?
Although our spiritual lives, our values, our paradigms, and our entire worlds were completely rocked, we’ve come back and realized that the rest of the world just continued on without us. Not much has changed…except us. God was clearly at work. In our hearts and in the lives of the people we worked with this summer. What do we do with that? We are now faced with the questions regarding how we respond to all that God showed us this summer. How do we live as completely different people in an area that worships wealth? At a school that is driven by the need to succeed? How do we share what we saw and experienced? How do you communicate to others how significant this experience was? As is true for most quality learning experiences we were provided with more questions than answers.
At the very least, we want to make sure to hold onto this experience for ourselves. We want to continue to pursue God’s heart for justice; continue to learn about the issues and advocate for the exploited and oppressed. We want to grow in our love and compassion; see the unseen and love the “unlovable.” We want our prayer lives to be radically different. We have seen the power of prayer and we want to remain committed to intercessory prayer on behalf of others. We want to be disciples in every aspect of our lives, including our money (His money). We want to live more simply. We want to give generously. We want to think about our careers and vocation in a different light. What might be God calling us to? How might our career path fit into God’s heart for justice? We want to hold onto these things and much, much more.
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and you silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. – Deut. 8:11-14
We are convicted to hold onto the things that God taught us this summer. The temptation is to come back, to a place of wealth and an abundance of resources (home, Palo Alto, Stanford campus, etc.) and forget all that God has done. We do not want to become proud and forget what the Lord has done in us and around us. We do not want to forget the things he taught us and the commands he gave us. We do not want to forget.
To all of you: Thank you for your prayers and support. I hope you enjoyed reading our blog and could tell how significant this experience was for all of us. You guys were all such a great blessing to us.
To all of you who supported us financially: We couldn’t have done it without you. In whatever amount you gave, it was a worthy and eternal investment in our lives. We thank God for your generosity and were praying that God was also blessing you through this partnership. If any of you would like information on how you can continue to support the ministry of Intervarsity at Stanford, please contact Adrian at firstname.lastname@example.org. God is at work throughout the year and we would love for you to continue to partner with us.