Monday, March 26, 2012

spring break

After a couple of days of rest and relaxation, I'm beginning to feel recuperated from the last week, which is now a blur of fun, food, craziness, little sleep, worship, fellowship and pure insanity...I LOVED having the FSM team here in Puebla!  What could be better than having some of my favorite people (Katelyn, Alexia, Kyle and Dick Nelson) here, along with a great group of FSM students??  Not much in my book could be better.  It was an incredible week packed with a new activity and event everyday.  We went to the coolest water park, did a rally where we ran all over the city of Puebla (and my team won!!), ministered in a jail, visited a local high school, had a volleyball tournament and even had mini-youth-conferences at night.  I was so encouraged by their love and support, in the form of sweet words and prayers, as well as TONS of games, balls, markers, toys and supplies brought for Club Neon.  It was a sweet time for me to remember my many spring break trips in high school.  Seeing how the Lord was working in their hearts and minds through this one week was really special for me and brought me so much joy.  The students did an excellent job leading in small groups, sharing testimonies and teaching.  People were so impressed to see how equipped these students are in their faith...and it's all the proof of excellent discipleship and training that FSM promotes on all levels.  I could go on and on about how wonderful the week was but I think you get the idea.  I now understand, as a missionary, how much a team visit from your home church blesses you and your ministry.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all!

Also, I think the world needs to see how the students of El Camino and Fellowship get down...

situational leadership

I don't think I've ever really even considered the term 'situational leadership'.  Today I read a great article from Bible and realized that 'situational leadership' is exactly what I'm experiencing in Mexico.  What a great reminder that like Jesus, I am only here for a short time and to be intentional in the leadership and situation in which I have been placed.

Jesus chose twelve men and developed them into the church's first leaders. Within a few short years from the event recorded in Luke 6, he would delegate the continuance of his kingdom work to them (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).

Even a casual study of the manner in which Jesus prepared the twelve apostles shows us how effectively he adapted his leadership activity to the realities of the situation. He instructed them when they were uninformed, directed them when they were confused, prodded them when they were reluctant, encouraged them when they were downhearted. When they were ready, he allotted them limited tasks and responsibilities and then participated with them, guiding them through their assignments. Finally, he empowered and commissioned them as his apostles.
The Master Teacher shows us that effective leadership is situational. The leader's whim or desire (even when that leader is Jesus) is not what drives intelligent action. Effectiveness in leadership is driven by what the followers need. Jesus observed and understood what his followers needed, and he supplied it. He always interacted with them within the situation and responded appropriately to it. And within three years these obscure Galileans began to change the world.
As we observe Jesus' training of the twelve in the Gospels, we notice how consistently his actions were exactly appropriate to the situation. Jesus was very intentional about situational leadership. Leaders who can analyze a situation and adapt their leadership activity to address it can function as servant leaders and as transformational leaders, and they can profoundly affect the lives of their followers.

I pray that I would be a good 'situational leader' and that you would also lead well in whatever situation God has placed you.  There's never too little time to make an impact.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

finally home.

Our sweet Bobba has gone to be with the Lord.  
How sweet are these words.  Wednesday night two weeks ago, Mom and I got to Chattanooga around 8:00 pm.  Bobba said goodbye to this world that night in the wee hours of the morning and finally made it home.  I am so grateful that the Lord allowed us to get there just in time.  The Lord heard the cries of my heart to be with my family when he passed and to see Bobba one last time.  It was a full week...full of things to do and people to see, a full house with visitors and family, it was full of fun times and sad moments too and I think it goes without saying that WE were full.  Constantly full of so. much. food.  You know you live in the south when the fridge is full of casseroles, fried chicken, ham and congealed salad.  Even though I'm not a big congealed salad fan, it warmed my heart to be surrounded by some familiar foods.  And no one would have enjoyed all of this more than the one and only "Shotgun-Shirttail Robert Bryan Kile".  The man loved life, having fun, softball and cracking jokes, he loved his family, his wife and his Jesus.  What an example of a man that took this life by both horns and lived it to the fullest.  I might be biased, but I think my dad, (uncle) Steve and (uncle) Clay did a fabulous job at the service as we celebrated such a joyous life in Christ.  As I was helping Meme to make the programs for the service, we decided on the front to say, 'Celebrating a Life in Christ: Robert Brayn Kile.'  She and Bob had decided long ago that this day was to be about Christ and not about them.  His life surely was and I hope that we honored Christ and Bobba's wishes in our celebration of his life.  I am so thankful for the heritage of faith I follow after.  I am blessed to have such strong believers and leaders with the most incredible faith to call my grandparents and family members.  Family is a gift like no other. 

In other news...
I returned to Puebla exactly one week later (last Wednesday).  The following morning we headed out to Guadalajara.  The family I live with and I went to a discipleship conference in Guadalajara at El Camino's daughter church.  The conference was great and of course I was so excited to see all my girls there!  

Sadly, I only got a picture of Johana and Andrea.  I have got to start taking more pictures.  I wish you could see cute little Alma's happy face that was once so shy and sad when I met her 2 years ago, or Valeria, or Karla, or sweet Armando's face that now has burns from where his mother threw hot beans in his face.  The situations of the kids in this community of Guadalajara are heartbreaking.  It's full of prostitution, drugs and alcohol...and you can imagine the repercussions that come with these things- abuse, infidelity, single parents, poverty, hunger- the list goes on and on.  Sometimes I am so overwhelmed for these children that I love so much and the situation seems helpless.  But I know that the Lord is the only one who can change their lives and their situations.  Although, it sometimes seems impossible, I know that nothing is too hard for the Lord.  He can change their hearts, their lives, their families and their situations.  Please join me in praying for these kids who deal with bigger, darker, harder and scarier things every day of their lives than many of us will ever experience in our lifetime.  I can't wait to see the plans He has in store for their lives.