This morning I woke up and started through my "normal" routine.

I put on worship music while climbing out of bed to put on running clothes. I got dressed and sat on the couch to worship, pray, read some Proverbs and Psalms, check emails, and head out the door for my morning run. Nothing to abnormal at all except for skipping the morning coffee until after my run today. 

Then I came back in and logged onto my new computer to pull up my music playlists to have playing while I did the rest of my workout and continued on in my routine. However, as I logged into my computer something different happened. At the top right of my screen all of these emails started popping up. They were emails from my best friends, church friends, support group, etc while I was in Congo. Some of these emails were even 2 months old. Along with these emails came my journals that I had typed on my phone and emailed to myself while there so that I could store them on my computer.  

Of course I began to pick through different emails, but focusing on the journals. I shuffled through various stories, various thoughts, various encounters with the Lord, and one predominant thought kept rising up in me. 

Life in Congo has a different normal than what my mind can even grasp. I read about Benzi our darling little girl who was covered in burns when we first found her. I read about the time that I told the group of kids that God had not given them a spirit of fear, the same group of kids that weeks before had been ravaged by war daily, I read back from the first week we were there and heard gunshots in the night, I read about a man we saw hurt in the street, I read about the small coffins we saw on the side of the road, I read about a young child at our school that was murdered while we were there, and of course I read about fun things like seeing miracles, God's supernatural protection, His awesome presence, playing games with kids, teaching English, walking through the streets, hugging kids, our wonderful blessing of a team. I read encouraging emails from loved ones back home who were praying and supporting not just me, but our team and the people of Congo. 

As I realized that just across the world "normal" looks anything but normal, compassion so stirred in my heart for the millions across the globe that are enduring daily far more than my mind can conceive. We have members of the body of Christ who are in dire poverty, war torn situations, child prostitution, etc. and we have hope in God for change. 

When I put my struggles, my hurts, or my complaints into perspective I realize how stinking blessed I am. Today I will continue on with my normal routine. I'll continue on loving Jesus and loving others and doing my best to be the Light of Jesus to those around me. I won't be shot at, raped, abused, or probably even mistreated (except for maybe from a few teenagers at the local high school LOL JK). I will go on with normal, but today I will especially remember the saints across the globe whose normal is so much harder than mine. Will you join me in praying for those across the globe and even here in America who are enduring hardships? 

I am not asking solely for their benefit; this prayer is also for all the believers who will follow them and hear them speak. 
Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me."(John 17:20,21)

Be Blessed, 
J. Tate