Hello all family and friends back home in an English speaking nation!!
I hope everyone is well today! The weather here in Ljubljana is going to be an absolutely wonderful, sunny, high of 48 degree day today, so sounds like perfect conditions to go play some sports for p-day.
This last week has been a great week, starting off last Tuesday with returning, yet again..... to Zagreb... I promise I'm in Slovenia more than Croatia, I promise. But we were there for a Zone Conference, with all the Slovene missionaries and all the Croatian missionaries as well. It was a great conference. The meeting was actually supposed to have happened some 3 weeks ago, but a massive snowstorm across the mission cancelled everything as it became nearly impossible for some of the Croatian missionaries to travel to Zagreb. As Slovenes, it's not so hard as the trains don't typically have issues, even in lots of snow typically, but a bus from Zadar off the coast would have been tricky.
None the less, it was a great experience in which we learned the huge importance of WHO you are is just as equal if not more important than WHAT you say. In the end, what we know is less important than how we apply what we know to ourselves. We ourselves, our personalities and emotions to others is a reflection of what we believe, how well we understand ourselves, and frankly our ability to share what we know and understand with others. It is one thing to say all and know a multitude of ideas and philosophies, but if you don't actually try and put these things to the test, try to actually build the building you believe you can build, all the effort we have put into learning and reflecting and reading and pondering, was for naught.
As a missionary, especially and as a representative of Jesus Christ, this is even more significant. As Jesus was giving his last words to his apostles, he said that it is His commandment, that we love one another, as he has loved us. That by these things, by this love we have for even complete strangers we have never met before, we will be showing ourselves for who we truly are - His disciples (John 13:34-35). Without this love, my work here is for naught. It would be more difficult, and even whatever success I may be having, without His love, the success is ultimately also, for naught.
Love is the genesis of missionary work, if we have an unequaled, abiding love for the people around us, His will will be done. We understand and see every person, regardless of what they look like or what experiences we might have had with them in the past, as a beloved, special, unique, and important person, a child of God. And when we live and understand this ourselves, we can be more effective, and happier tools in the Lord's hands as we go about our lives.
I wish a happy and abundant week to everyone this week as we begin to (thankfully!) pull out of winter.