The Delp Details

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Between THERE and HERE...AGAIN

Though I have tried to put together some thoughts for writing this blog, for some reason the words just haven’t come very easily.  Maybe it is because there hasn’t been a whole lot of time TO put any thoughts together.  Maybe it’s the ‘pregnancy brain’ that I could blame it on.  But as I sat down to write this post, I realized that I had no words because I really hadn’t taken the time to listen.  No one I’m sure would argue that our lives are crazy right now.  Maybe if we just had one thing to focus on, like moving to another country to focus on, but there is oh so much more than that, that is pulling our minds, thoughts, and especially our hearts in that direction.  When the one direction all of those things NEEDS to be is above.  Focused  on Jesus as He is the whole reason we do what we do.  Why do I so often forget it.  Why is it that it is when I no longer can manage, no longer can focus, no longer can find words that I run to Him?  Maybe it’s arrogance, maybe it’s time, maybe it’s just another excuse.  I haven’t found words because I haven’t sought the person that can give them to me.  The One who can help me organize my thoughts and emotions that surround leaving the States and returning back to Ecuador.  We talk so frequently in churches and with individuals about Ecuador.  We talk about going back, our ministries, our friends and how we long to be there.  We do.  Honest.  But right now there are so many directions the our hearts are pulled.  I don’t know that I will be able to fully articulate where we are emotionally, at least where I am emotionally at this point when I think about returning to Ecuador.  It wasn’t so long ago that we were pulled in multiple directions as well thinking of returning to the States from Ecuador…
So, we find ourselves between there and here, once again, but flip flopped from the last time.  One part so frantically wants to get to Ecuador that I sometimes don’t want to worry about packing and I just want to be on the plane.  Some days I start to think of what we are leaving, our families, our friends, our churches.  We don’t know what the future holds and we don’t know how these decisions we make now will impact things in the future.  But do we ever?  I think a lot of the kids in Cayambe and in Ecuador.  Those that have no place to go right now, those who don’t feel safe, that have nothing to eat, that have no one to love them and I think “THAT is why we are going.”  So, you may wonder what missionaries go through when they go from one country to another, leaving their passport country and going to their country of service.  This is it I guess.  It’s not clean cut, it’s messy, just like life in general.  It’s hard.  It sometimes leaves us speechless (not easy to do).  But is it worth it?  Absolutely.  Because if we were doing anything else, we wouldn’t be doing what God has called us to.
Our hearts are heavy, we are tired, some days I wonder how Joel finds the time and especially the energy to do all he is doing.  We are heavy laden with burdens.  Please pray for us.  But know that we are seeking God, we are reaching for Him and clinging to Him to bear what we can’t.  We need peace and rest, both of which come from Him.
Of course, since I draw near to God through music, I have a song by one of my favorite artists, Kari Jobe.  It’s simple, but so pure and so true.

SO, what ARE you doing???????

Probably the majority of you who know us, know what we are up to in moving to Ecuador as long term missionaries.  However, maybe some of you don't know.  For the latter, we are long term missionaries who are moving to Ecuador to start homes for at-risk children and medical clinics.  Kim is a nurse practitioner and Joel is a pastor/business guy/administrator/jack of all trades!  God has separately called us and brought us together for this pretty major undertaking.  We served as short term missionaries in Ecuador from 2010-2012 and returned in October 2012 for a year of home assignment and to transition to long term missionaries with the Evangelical Covenant Church and Covenant World Mission.  We were commissioned as long term missionaries in June and were recently given permission to return to Ecuador to start our ministry.  During this year as well, we helped create the Santiago Partnership.  This is a non profit organization that will be funding the homes for at-risk children and the medical clinics.  If you haven't already, please check out our website or LIKE us on facebook and you can keep up with what we are doing.
Lastly, if you haven't seen our video that talks about what we are doing, here it is:  check it out and let us know what you think!


Well, based on my posting, we are a little behind in keeping up...

Since the last post in October, many things have happened in the Delp household.  The biggest is that we are expecting our second baby in June of 2014!  PRAISE THE LORD!  As I have written previously, this has been a long time coming through many tears, frustrations, waiting...waiting....but we were so excited to find this out.

We were approved recently to return to Ecuador after being over 100% funded as long term missionaries!

We are basically rounding out our time here in the States, preparing in about a week to go back to Ecuador.  This has come with much anticipation until January when we found out Joel's mother had recurrent metastatic cancer.  In 2011, she had a chordoma removed and has been cancer free since then.  However, in January, her MRI showed that the chordoma had returned and that she had 5 tumors now.  We have been to different physicians and ended up at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.  We have been working with an oncologist and otolaryngologist for treatment.  She is currently on 2 medications to hopefully help shrink the tumors.  She now has a tracheostomy and G-tube to help her eat.  The trach is as a preventative measure in case the tumors continue to grow.  Please join us in praying for her and for complete healing.

Because of this, we put leaving on  hold for a couple of weeks and now have planned to leave on March 18th!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Finding wholeness in the Healer

It's been a couple of months ago that I had the idea to write this particular blog. Don't ask why it has taken so long; I suppose this is the time God wanted me to write it-as God seems to be pretty amazing about that whole timing thing ya know... If you know me or have read my blogs, you know that I absolutely LOVE the worship music of Kari Jobe I was listening to one of her songs, Healer. I have listened to this song 100 times before, but when I listened to it this specific time, it's simple and known words, I realized that I was seriously missing something. We humans pray for healing, we pray that God will heal, that He will heal our bodies, our land, our minds, our hearts. I think of times that I have so desperately prayed for healing for others, not doubting at all that Christ can do it if He so chooses. It was a little different when I started praying for healing for myself. Joel and I have been trying to have another baby for about 2 years or so now and have been unsuccessful. This has been a struggle, a deep one for me and I feel like my body is broken because I can't seem to easily do what so many women can so easily. In my work, I see women all the time who are so disappointed when they get pregnant and it hurts me and my heart breaks a little because we so desperately want another child. Infertility issues are common nowadays. I know so many women struggle with it, and each one deals with it in their own way. Some are angry, and don't think I haven't been there. But I really have felt like I'm just not whole because this part of life has been difficult. This is not meant to be a pitty party, it's not. I do know that God has a plan. I do though, want to tell you my journey in infertility and how wholeness and healing started with the simple words of a song. As I listened to this song Healer and really thought about the words, I realized the way I looked at healing all my life may have been wrong. Of course God can heal at any moment, He does, He has and He will. I have never doubted that at all. However, the process of healing and the way a person is healed may not always be as expected. In the words of the song, I realized that wholeness is in Christ. It is not if your body or your mind is whole, but understanding that wholeness comes through Christ. I asked myself the question, "Am I OK with Jesus being sufficient enough for me, even if we can't ever have another biological baby?" AM I OK WITH THAT?  Because if I can't be fulfilled and have enough with Christ, it's not going to matter if we have another baby. Now, maybe this is elementary for all of you saints and biblical scholars. However, to really understand that and to really be whole and healed and have Jesus as your portion and to actually do it and not just say it is difficult. Initially, I didn't like my answer to the question. It meant being OK with giving that dream and wish and hope up. It meant being OK without more biological children. That was hard for me to swallow. But, if every, and I mean EVERY area isn't given to Christ, is wholeness possible? So, I had to make that choice. Do I pray for healing in my body, or do I pray for wholeness in Christ? Am I OK with NOT being healed? Does this happen overnight???? Of course not. Giving up something you have held onto so tightly is never easy. But as much as I have to give Simeon to Jesus daily, so do I have to give up each aspect of life to Him as well. I encourage you... WHAT ARE YOU HOLDING ON TO? Is it healing for yourself or someone else? Whatever it is, God can take care of it better than you can. He wants what is best for you, but we have to trust that He knows better that we do. It's not easy. It's a journey, but He wants to walk with us, not make us carry it on our own. Her are the words and the song by Kari Jobe.

You hold my very moment You calm my raging seas You walk with me through fire And heal all my disease I trust in You, I trust in You I believe You're my healer I believe You are all I need I believe And I believe You're my portion I believe You're more than enough for me Jesus You're all I need You hold my very moment You calm my raging seas You walk with me through fire And heal all my disease I trust in You, Lord I trust in You I believe You're my healer I believe You are all I need Oh, I believe I believe You're my portion I believe You're more than enough for me Jesus You're all I need Nothing is impossible for You Nothing is impossible Nothing is impossible for You You hold my world in Your hands Nothing is impossible for You Nothing is impossible Nothing is impossible for You You hold my world in Your hands I believe You're my healer I believe You are all I need Oh, yes You are, yes You are And I believe You're my portion Lord I believe You're more than enough for me Jesus You're all I need More than enough for me Jesus You're all I need You're my healer

Monday, August 26, 2013

But, I don't WANT to God!

I'm sure I can't be the ONLY mom out there who worries about their kid. I suppose that is a normal thing. Like I said, I know I'm probably not alone. There are incidences that sometimes make you more aware of the bad things that COULD happen as well. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had a close call with your kiddo where you realize how close you were to something hurting or happening to them. RIGHT? Please tell me I'm not the only one... I'm typically not a control freak. Not someone who has to do it all myself. But I feel when it comes to Simeon, WE as his parents, are the ones who are supposed to protect him and keep him safe. I KNEW in my head that God was with him and protecting him, but when it comes to GIVING them to Jesus, putting them in God's hands, do we do that? I keep thinking I can do it better until I realize... I can't! A few months ago, I had one of those 'close calls' and realized just how close we came to Simeon getting hurt. I worried, I lost sleep, I worried, I cried and I was SO overcome with a feeling of fear and worry, that I couldn't concentrate at work or on anything else I was doing because I was so afraid. It seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn't shake the fear that something would happen. Now, in all honesty, I'm sure this is perpetuated by the fact that I used to work in the pediatric ICU where I saw the kids and families who were in the midst of bad things happening. THEY were experiencing those worst fears coming true. So, it's not like I'm naive enough to think those things can't happen. That makes it worse. Before we had Simeon, I remember hearing multiple times that when you have kids, you make a choice, knowing that at some time that child will hurt, you will see them hurt, in different ways and you don't know what will happen to them. I remember making a conscious choice to have kids. But, I don't think as a parent you understand the risk that is taken with that. You don't KNOW what will happen. You aren't guaranteed to have a perfectly healthy child or that you will outlive your child or that bad things won't happen to them. I think most of the time, for me, I put that out of my mind, probably subconsciously because I don't want to think about that. The same time that I heard that having kids is a choice you make, not knowing what will happen, I also remember hearing that our children are not ours. God literally GIVES them to us to care for and nurture. We aren't guaranteed to always get it right, we aren't guaranteed how long they will be with us or what they will grow up to be or do. You would think that wouldn't give much comfort to a mom or dad who worries and has sleepless nights about their kids and what can happen. But it is such a good reminder to me that JESUS LOVES MY KID MORE THAN ME! HE LOVED HIM FIRST, before I did. Am I really so crazy to think that for a moment God lets him our of His sight? He is always with him, when I can't be. THAT IS COMFORT! …Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.… -Psalm 139: 12-14 Psalm 91 One that I just absolutely love and hold on to when I worry and feel anxious and overwhelmed for protection for Simeon. My Refuge and My Fortress 91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say[a] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge[b]— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. 14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reflections on Race...Guest blog by Joel

Even before the Trayvon Martin shooting trial had made big headlines and caught national attention, Kim and I were recently reflecting on the difficulties of race relations when we were at a park in Chicago.  As we sat on a bench and discussed with a friend some of the struggles of ministry and watched Simeon play on the playground equipment from a safe distance, we noticed something.  Simeon had quickly struck up a friendship with a little boy of Middle-eastern ethnicity and they played together without fear or even a second thought of apprehension.  They were the same size and age and both had a similar mode of tackling the slides and teeter-tooters with a reckless abandon.  They were instant friends!  After playing for a while and saying good-bye to both the boy and his parents, we both wondered why we all make it so hard!  What do we learn after the early childhood years that says that little boys (or big boys for that matter!) and girls shouldn’t just be together and relate like kids do at such an early age.  Where or when do we learn that we are so different???
If you didn’t see the national attention that the Trayvon Martin trial caused and showed the chasm between races that still exists, then maybe you don’t know what I am talking about.  Well, for one, you can just trust us as missionaries serving on an international, inter-racial setting and folks that have lived in an urban, multicultural setting for many years that we know that racial difficulties still exist.  But if you need more proof, you can check out this video:
As missionaries, this kind of issue is at the forefront of our minds and consciences.  We are very aware of our race in Ecuador though it is safe to say that we never have really faced any sort of racism or discrimination in Ecuador.  We are privileged-white folks there so we don’t really have any problems in that regard but at the same time, we always know that we are different.  It is always obvious as people often give us double-looks and ask us where we are from.  It is pretty much always positive so it’s not a big deal but the fact that we are of a different race is something that is always on our minds.  Being conscious of our race is something that we are used to in Ecuador which is a reality for many folks here in the states.
In this day and age where we see that the chasm between races is just as wide as it has ever been, our prayer and our hearts are for reconciliation, Christ’s reconciliation.  It’s only through Christ and his reconciling work that we can have hope.  One day, all things will be reconciled in Christ but in this day, it is our work to be reconcilers in this world (Colossians 1:20).  We are Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation.
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.   We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  2nd Corinthians 5:18-20

Sunday, June 30, 2013

"I'm just not feelin' it"

I'm going to be brutally honest with myself and with you all today.  I went to church today, at a new church, not in the right frame of mind.  My heart wasn't prepared, my mind wasn't, and frankly, I arrived tired and just 'going through the motions'.  I don't say that because I am proud of it, but I'm sure we have all experienced those types of days if we're honest with ourselves.  I first want to start by saying, THANK GOD that He doesn't work based on how WE feel or how prepared (OR NOT PREPARED) we are.  He works in spite of us!

We visited a brand new church today, Hope Community Church.  As I said, I wasn't prepared to be in the house of the Lord, no matter where it was and I certainly didn't feel that I was representing Christ, I wasn't in a good place just coming off a wonderful weekend of being commissioned and consecrated as a long term missionary where leaders, friends and mentors laid hands on us to send us out for this amazing work God wants us to do.  I just wasn't in a good place.  The sermon this morning from Pastor Kevin Butcher shared a story of a lady who was kind of on the outs at his church.  He came to her one day and asked what was going on, why she sometimes came and sometimes didn't and her overall thoughts about church.  She stated simply, pastor, "I'm just not feelin' it".  He inquired more and it seemed she didn't understand how SHE could be used in any way in the church.  He encouraged her to be herself, to share her story, which was quite a story of overcoming, restoration and deliverance from addiction.  The next Sunday, she sat down by a lady who communicated to her that she was trying to decide if she was going to get clean from drugs and was thinking about rehab.  This lady, who 'just wasn't feelin it' was used in an amazing way to change a life!  BOTH were at church today and BOTH are clean from addiction and following Christ! 

The way this woman described her feeling about church, was exactly how I was feeling.  After being BLESSED by this story, the sermon and the sense of community today, I left feeling exuberant, ecstatic and THANKFUL that God meets us where we are and brings us out of whatever junk we are stuck in.  I sure wasn't feelin it this morning, but God touched me in a way that no one else could to meet me and bless me and REMIND me I am His.  I am called.  I am a child of HIS no matter where I am OR how I feel. 

Where are you today?  Allow God to meet you, allow Him to commune with you and remind you whose you are! 

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Process...

Then (2002)
Now (2012)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
                                                             -Jeremiah 29:11 

I feel when I originally thought about being a missionary, like most people, I thought you sign up and then GO!  It's easy!  I'm glad it isn't that way, but I also didn't think it would take almost 10 years to get to where we are.  It has been a journey, difficult sometimes, times of questions and wondering what we are doing or not doing that is taking so long.
We've had people ask us along the way if we ever thought about quitting, about throwing in the towel and saying "we're done", it's taking too long.  I guess I can honestly answer, no.  We never thought about throwing it in, like I said, there were questions along the way.  There was a time when I was in grad school that I failed a class and thought about quitting school, but I didn't.  There were tears and there was even anger, likely more with myself, but some frustration with God for letting that happen and taking even MORE time in school.  When we both started school, right after getting married, again we thought it would be a couple of years and then we would go to the mission field.  We ended up in Chicago for 8 years.  In the midst of it, we probably wouldn't have thought it was something we needed, hence all the questions as to why it took so long.  But, we can now look back on it and say that was a time of preparation that we needed before going to the mission field.  I suppose some people may just be able to sign up and GO!  Maybe they're ready on the spot.  Heart-wise, we probably were too, but we realize had we gone at any other time than when we did, we wouldn't have been there at the right time.  God set up the time of preparation for a reason, a purpose, bigger than us, but watching out for us and weaving together in us what He has for us.  We have seen in many steps along the way how God has woven it all together.  We were told when we first went to Ecuador in 2010 that we came at a great time in the history of the Ecuadorian Covenant Church.  We are thankful for this and we are blessed that God has prepared us to go at this time, in this way and in this place, our new home in Ecuador.
God truly has gone before us and has prepared our way!
Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A humble example...

On Maunday Thursday of this year, the newly elected pope broke out of the tradition of popes before him to wash the feet, not of fellow priests, but of 12 young offenders from a detention center.  This has been fairly controversial in the Catholic Church, but as soon as I heard this, I was so impressed!  Finally, someone in the spotlight who 'gets it'.  Those whose feet were washed were not priests, they weren't considered holy by religious standards, however, the disciples at that time probably weren't either.  A tax collector, a doubter, and even a betrayer.  Yes, Jesus even washed Judas' feet.  The pope washed the feet of 2 girls, 2 Muslims and all those who he washed were from different nationalities.  The pope said during a speech that day, "“We need to go out, then, in order to experience our own anointing (as priests)… to the outskirts where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight".  Sound familiar?  Sounds kind of like what Christ tells us to do huh?!  So, why aren't we? 

In this time, sandals were primarily the only shoes people wore and imagine walking in dirt with sandals how dirty your feet would be.  This act of footwashing was usually set aside only for the servant of the house, not for the guest of honor and certianly NOT for Jesus.  He flew in the face of tradition, taking on the heart and act of a servant to be an example to his disciples and to us that THIS is the heart we should have-one of service and humility. 

In John 13 it reads...
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

I find it interesting also that in the same chapter, Jesus talks about a NEW COMMAND.  This new command? 
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I would much rather be known as a Chrisitian because of my love for others instead of other reasons.  How about you?
As Christians, as sinners, were we not once as dirty as feet in sandals walking in the dirt.  We are no better than the tax collector, betrayer or delinquent.  We should be living as those who have been washed by the blood of Jesus!  AMEN?

So, instead of being frustrated or angry or indifferent to 'traditions' being broken, lets embrace it!  He himself says he has set an example and we SHOULD do as He has done.