A Return to Dust

Training Part 1
I am finally out of training. I hope in the next week or so I can post all about my time in the jungle learning how to be a missionary, but as I know it is hard to read one incredibly long post, I will break it up into different posts depending on the subject. Hopefully add more pictures later as well.

The first thing I will share is an experience that I shared earlier that my boss posted on the Facebook Group site, Xtremers. It was probably one of the most if not the most important lesson I ever learned:

This is my testimony, but in reality it is more of a confession. I am here in the jungle with nine other brothers from totally different cultures and I am learning a lot. A lot that has been somewhat of a surprise to me. Here in the jungle it is amazing at how I have been able to reflect on my life so easily. God is revealing things in my life, ugly, horrible things that exist in the darkest part of my heart that I believe I have been hiding from all my life and still struggle with. We were challenged to meditate and spend time with God listening to his voice. I began speaking to God, and it felt like my words were going nowhere, and God wanted me to listen. Against my comfortable feelings, I began to listen. God began to tell me all the junk that existed in me. I was absolutely horrified by the sin in my heart. Being here, I have been struggling with so many things, life in the jungle, relationships with my brothers here, and mostly with the language. My thinking, though I probably wouldn’t have admitted it, or even acknowledge it, was trying to do this and that to earn God’s favor, to earn the favor of men, to win souls, and in reality I was doing it all for my glory. In my life I had been trying, trying so hard to “win souls,” to make revival happen because of my actions. After reading 1 Corithians 1:17, “Not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of it’s power,” God was telling me that I had been emptying it’s power for so long because I wanted the glory, because I wanted to “earn the crown.” It was such a humbling time, a horrible time, but a time I was completely broken in the presence of God Almighty and I was scared out of my mind. All the things I had been and still am struggling with, I thought I had to overcome with my strength in order that a people could be reached. God basically laughed at me and asked me, “Who are you? What can you do?” It is God’s work to win souls; my only job is to share God’s word, lest I get the glory when the glory belongs to Him. I am dust and my glory is dust. For so long I have been trying to appear righteous before man, fooling them, fooling myself, but in reality, in the light of my Savior, I am unrighteous, unholy, nothing. And what at first felt like such a sting to my pride, was actually a release of a burden I had carried my whole life. I am free to share God’s word and leave the work of transforming hearts to Him. I am ready to listen to God’s voice, to obey where He leads, but most of all I am ready to let myself be used despite my weakness, in order to see His glory be displayed. A part of me is ashamed to share this, because it reveals such an ugly side, but in truth, I feel much freer to share this because I know that whatever happens God will be glorified, and for that I am grateful and rejoice.

In Psalms 90, Moses writes,

¨Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the Earth and
the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God. You return man to dust.¨

To be dust one can truly see that it is God who is working with His great power for His great Glory. But what a privilige to be a part of this great work, and though we are dust we are still considered Sons of the Living God.

In this Psalm, Moses writes,

¨Let the work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their
children. Let the favor of the LORD our God be upon us and establish the
work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!¨

I will be working with the Chayanta Quechua in the mountains of Bolivia of whom less than 2% have heard the Gospel. Pray that God will prepare their hearts for His message and that He will establish the work of our hands.

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4 Responses to A Return to Dust

  1. Hannah says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Graham! We think of you and pray for you often. Know that on this day, we are thanking the Lord for your obedience to Him and willingness to do whatever it takes to win souls. We love you!Hannah and the Presley boys

  2. Uncle Randy says:

    Graham, How is it that each time I hear from you that someone so much younger teaches me and reaches me so deeply. I praise our Lord that He continues to grow you. It appears from this side that you have been blessed richly by the opportunity to escape the numbness and busyness of US in order to plant your roots deeply without distractions. Continue to grow in your knowledge and love for Him who is the only one worthy! I love you and miss you terribly. We will continue to pray for you and share your journey with young people here so that they might be challenged to beat the system as you have!!

  3. Thanks for the good words Graham, I praise the Lord for the work He’s doing in you and challenging me through you all the way over here where its coooold. I love you man, and will continue lifting you up!!Dan

  4. MichelleKay says:

    Hey graham, thanks for the reminder. Pride something I am constantly having to throw off, cause it creeps up on me like crazy. I am still learning the same lesson of my work here being God’s work and not mine! Look forward to seein how God’s gonna use you! And…I’m sure Sue is relieved you got your hair cut! 🙂

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