The Latin word for Advent is the simple yet powerful word, coming. It is a season and time of expectant waiting and anticipation. We prepare for the day we have been longing for. Every family has their own Advent traditions and each day is counted down you as mark off the calendar. Then you are one day closer. Christmas is my favorite time of year. I know a lot of people say this but I really, really love the season. I am that one who easily skips right past Thanksgiving and onto Sleigh Bells and Christmas trees.
To be quite honest I have had an advent of my own these past few weeks here in Scotland. I have been waiting and longing as I’ve found myself struggling with homesickness and depression. Yes, Missionaries are broken and human and still have struggles. The struggle has been real. There have been many days where I just longed to mark another day off the calendar. I have, in my flesh, desired and anticipated the next thing. That is what we do. We hit reality and long to anticipate the next thing. And….if we are not careful we start believing lies from the accuser and long for what’s next instead of being content in our circumstances. We look for distractions and begin to once again crave the things the world tells us we deserve. We look for comfort and ease over taking the risk. For a risk is dangerous and something is bound to be lost in that risk. I have had to get back to the basics. The simple things I know to be truth. These things God asks us to remember. We continue Advent and Christmas because we are remembering. We are remembering God’s faithfulness. For our King of Kings made Himself poor for my account. He became a servant. I have to remember the simple yet profound truth. I recall the promises and am re-reminded of the original call. For Jesus has asked our family to be broken bread and poured out wine to the people of Scotland. Oswald Chambers says in his book, My Utmost for His Highest, “If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. For He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.”
Philipians 2:6-8 ” Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
So this Advent season as our family looks forward, we also pause. We live fully present. We call Scotland home. We don’t waist the precious time He has given us here. We serve as Christ has so graciously served us. We love well and allow others to love us well as we build genuine community.
Would you pray for us as we live fully here in Scotland? We are coming up on our one year anniversary. Pray we would trust Christ with each day and His perfect plan. For Scotland is home and we want to be fully present in our home.
Also, please consider financially supporting us in the upcoming season and into 2017. Some of our supporters have been unable to make their commitments and as such we are behind our budgeted ministry needs. This can be done at http://worldwitness.org/. The give tab is on the top right and just designate the Olson’s. We will be traveling back to the southeast for a period during the holiday season if you would like to discuss this further or just send an email and we can set up a skype/facetime session.
Ways to pray for Nathan:
– Preparing to lead a Glasgow congregation in a weekend away conference
– Working with the leadership team of a western isles congregation to develop a vision and strategic plan
– Working with families in the Glasgow area to plant a new church
– Finalizing the November assessments of 4 church planter/revitalization candidates
– Establishing a Christians in Sport group at Grace Church Leith
– Budding pre-evangelical stage relationships at Rugby and Crossfit
– Continuing fruit in one to one discipleship
Ways to pray for Ashley:
– Homeschooling of 3 children
– Continuing fruit in one to one discipleship and mentoring of some younger women
– Upcoming community Women’s Craft Night at Grace Church Leith
– Potential ministry this spring using her decorating talents to serve the refugee community in Edinburgh
– Growing relationships with neighbors in our apartment building
Ways to pray for Sarah Elizabeth, Knox and Mary Haddon:
– Being disciplined in their studies
– Sarah Elizabeth serving as a children’s worker at various church functions and programs
– Praise for SE having a good Christian mentor in the church
– Knox making friends at football
– Mary Haddon having joy in her role as a helper