The Heart of Communion


Written by Tabi

It moves me almost every Sunday.  I can’t help it.  When I see my brothers and sisters in Christ post their pictures of church, and especially of the Lord’s Supper, I am reminded that God’s Kingdom ignores whatever lines we’ve scribbled on the Earth.  Its citizens hail from every tribe, every nation, every people group.  And every Sunday, I eagerly swipe through my feed, hitting a love react on every picture someone shares of their time.

It reminds me that there’s a bond.  A Bloodline.  A heritage.

Sunday, March 22, 2020
A highly contagious virus has spread rapidly across the world.  It’s a surreal feeling, because most of the time, natural disasters happen other places, but not here.  Or they happen here and not in other places.  I struggle to explain what it’s like, and people either pity me or try to ignore the situation altogether.  But not this time.  This time, we’re all in it together.  My friends in China, my friends in Italy and France, my friends in the United States, my friends in Tanzania . . . we’re all facing quarantines and homeschooling and difficulties getting supplies.

And for at least one Sunday, I see the CHURCH, the real church, the Bride of Christ rise up from her surroundings and shout “I AM HERE.”  For one Sunday, people stop going to church, and start being the church.  They start reaching out to their community, because they have no jobs to keep them too busy to help.  They wake up and start looking around, because now they have little else to do.  They start finding ways to be the church when there is no building to hide in.

And that’s why I was moved to tears this time.  Why every picture I saw of the Body and the Blood was a beautiful, resounding anthem to Communion.  And it didn’t matter if people had wine or grape juice or grapes, or even water (after all, our Savior did turn water into wine).  It didn’t matter if the bread was unleavened or not.  What mattered was that One People gathered to “DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME” and by doing so, “proclaim the Lord’s death” until whatever day He decides to return.  We all came flocking to His table, because what we longed for was Communion with Him and each other.

We made a loud and clear declaration that Sunday.  We declared that our faith transcends hardship, mild or oppressive, that it cannot be shut down or locked away or quarantined.  We declared that we are a Community of believers, and it doesn’t matter which piece of land we live on, we serve the same Lord and were all invited to His Table.

And maybe we didn’t have the elements of Communion perfect, but I think we found the heart of it.

Vacation? No. Blessed time? Yes.

We’ve passed the halfway point of our furlough in the US.  It’s a busy time, full of planning visits, putting material together, redesigning, updating, visting, and presenting.  It is also a time to try to visit with friends and family.

It is worth noting that one of the main reasons we come to the US this time a year, is so that we may attend the ICOM (International Conference on Missions) while we’re here.  This happened last week, and we’d like to take some time to tell you a little bit about this conference.

We arrive on Wednesday, when they have events and workshops tailor-made for missionaries– to encourage and equip.  This year we arrived too late for this, but it has been a blessing in past years.

Thursday kicks off the conference, and as the hall begins to fill with people, the excitement grows.  People of all ages talk to missionaries and their representatives.  Old friends find each other, new friends are made.  Children race down the aisles, stealing candy and freebies from every table.  Clusters of teenagers amble through, joking and taking interest in whatever mission catches their eye.  College students wander the halls, some of them looking for internships.  Friendships begin, projects are broached, and information is traded.

Although it is a big expense for us, we always get a booth.  Tabi sets it up to look and feel as cosy and homey as possible, to welcome people in.

It is a wonderful, busy, tiring time for all of us.  And we love it.

We’d like to encourage you, if you’ve never been to it, to try to attend some year.  There’s LOTS to do, and people to meet, and missions to see.  If you feel like the Kingdom is being crushed under the foot of the World, this is a place to see how strong the Call is, and how hard we are working, and how vast HIS Kingdom is.

What a Trip

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Written by:  Tabi

My daughter is three years old.  She’s at the age where she likes to experiment, to test limits, and to learn about life through experience.  I’m a big advocate of allowing children to learn through experience and consequences.

A while back, I bought a pair of shoes for her.  They’re much too big, so I put them away for later.  Today, she found them.  Instantly enamored, she begged (and begged and begged) me to let her wear them.  Finally, I decided to let her do it.

Just outside our house, she tripped and fell.  She cried.  I picked her up and asked if she wanted me to change her shoes.  She wiped her face and shook her head.  “No.”  So we continued our walk.  The whole time we were out, she spent the time tripping and falling.  She had to move slowly, and not run like she loves to do.  But every time I’d ask if she wanted to change her shoes, the answer remained the same.  “No.”

And here’s my question for you today– do you have anything in your life that’s making you trip and fall?

Do you have anything that’s hindering your relationship with God?  Maybe it’s not a bad thing.  Maybe it is.

Is there any hindrance in your life that you cling to, because you like it, because it makes you feel special, because it makes you feel good?

Is there anything in your life that God has asked you to give up, because you’re not ready for it yet?

Is there any great desire that you have, any blessing that you yearn for so bad it hurts, and hurts, and hurts?

Is there anything in your life that’s slowing you down.  Preventing you from running ahead, from soaring high, keeping you from being truly free?

Maybe you’ll get to have it in the future.  Maybe not.  I’m not God, and I don’t know all the blessings He wants to give you.  But I do know that sometimes, we have things (habits, behaviors, hobbies, loves, addictions) that come between us and unhindered joy.  And if we could begin the process of letting go, we’d find out it’s easier to follow God.

What will you shoes today?  (Gosh, that was bad.  Sorry.)

Choose freedom.  And life.

Choose God.

A Day in the Life: Tabi

A Tour in Black and White
(because I’m artsy and stuff)

Good morning.
My daily dose of caffeine.  You know what’s expensive in Chile?  Milk.  We buy milk anyway, for Lydia, but I found a recipe for oat milk.  Surprisingly similar to creamer!  And it’s cheap.  I’m sold.
These two.  They drive me nuts and fill me with joy.  Most of my day is about them.
Most days, after breakfast, we play or watch TV.   If it’s TV time, Mami has some time to spend on the computer, or to do housework.
If it’s a really nice day, we might take a dip in the pool.
Then it’s lunch time.  “Noonows, peas?”  Noodles, please?
Lydia often helps me cook.  She does very well!
Then it’s nap time.  Mami’s favorite time of day!
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This is the time of day when I can get some serious work done!  It’s during this time that I buckle down and tend to the website, update blogs, translate, do some studying, upload articles, work on newsletters, write articles, or work on photos.
When the kids wake up again, we might stay home and play.  Sometimes, though, we go out.  This may be to the mall or to a nearby park.
The mall has three free playgrounds, two fish tanks, several paid play areas, mechanical games, and, Mami’s favorite . . .
The Starbucks has a kids corner, where Lydia can play and color.  We usually get much cheaper drinks than in the picture, but I had a free drink pending on my account, so we enjoyed something nicer.
If we stay home, we might go to the store to pick up some fresh veggies, or some fresh bread.  Lydia likes to help me carry the bags.
On special days, we go out in the morning and do a day trip!  Lydia likes the bus, because she gets to sit like a grown up and look out the window.  We don’t get work done those days, but it’s a good time to bond.
They go to bed early, so I can have a little more time to work (as long as I don’t end up falling asleep as soon as they’re down!).  I use the night time to either have a little bit of “me time”, or to work some more on urgent projects.

And that’s what an average day looks like for me.  I am, first and foremost, a mother and wife, but I try to make sure to get my missionary work done as well.  Both are priorities to me, and I want to make sure they both get my time and attention.

I am grateful for my life.  It is blessed, and it is beautiful.  It isn’t always easy, but it is full of love, and that makes it all worthwhile.