Update From the Colvins

One Thing Is Needful

Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

 A full year has passed since we arrived in Davao. This year has brought many joys and some challenges. One issue that we find ourselves revisiting again and again is our time management. There is no lack of opportunity for good works here, and it did not take long for us both to become quite busy. Matt and I have frequently found ourselves feeling stressed, frazzled, and overstretched, looking at each other and asking, “How did we let ourselves get this busy?” This is not a new thing. We experienced it in the U.S. as well, and I don’t think we are unusual in finding it all too easy to commit to more outside responsibilities than we really have time for.

 By cultural convention, January is a time for examining priorities and setting goals. “Doing less” might seem like an odd goal for a missionary. But we have found that when we overextend ourselves with outside commitments, however worthy those works may seem, two vital things are often neglected: our time with our children and our time with the Lord.

 My first year without my oldest children under my roof has made me acutely aware of how brief and our time with our children really is. Ezekiel just turned 12, Hosanna is 6. We have only 10-15 years of full-time parenting left, and we will, Lord willing, have many years to pour more fully into ministry when we do not have young children at home.

 I find myself coming back again and again to the phrase, “one thing is needful.” It is in my nature to be careful and troubled about many things. I need to remember that my hope, my worth, my purpose are not in the many good things I can accomplish but in Christ. If I become too busy with “good works” to have time to sit and listen to Him, I am forgetting the one thing that is needful.

So this year, I cut back a little on the number of birth room shifts that I am working. I want to be more deliberate about my time with my children rather than coming home to them after a long day, already exhausted and spent. I want to put more consistent energy into my language studies, knowing that time invested here will greatly enhance my ability to build relationships with Filipinos and to care for and minister to (usually the poorest) patients who speak little or no English.

 Most importantly, I want to prayerfully test each new opportunity that comes my way this year: is this a good work that Christ has put before me to do, or is it a distraction? One thing is needful, and I do not want to neglect it.

 – Sora

Praise God!
● We are celebrating a full year of living and serving here in Davao City. We have many new friends, and have been blessed to see the work prospering in our hands.
● We enjoyed a visit from Sora’s parents, Mickey and Robin, who delighted in their grandkids and in the wonders of nature here in the Philippines.
● Matt’s class on the Jewish Background of the New Testament (at the Reformed Institute of Ministry) is drawing to a close next week. There have been some excellent discussions with brothers in other churches.
Prayer Requests:
● Matt has been negotiating a learning curve with his Greek class (below), and a few of the students have found it hard to keep up. He will be slowing the pace down in hopes that these busy men, leaders in the church, will still be able to fit it into their schedule.
● Ezekiel is away on the week-long Faith Academy middle school “outdoor education” field trip. (They’ll be camping, snorkeling, and climbing Mt. Taal.) Pray for a time of bonding with his friends and teachers, and of drawing close to God.
● Sora hopes to spend the month of April in Tacloban serving in a field clinic (“birth camp”) run by Robin Lim that ministers to women who were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) late last year. Pray that things will work out for her to do this; that she will be able to show the love of Christ to the women in childbirth there; and that the Lord will keep her safe.
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