Give Me Your Hand?

I read a lovely poem this week by Ranier Maria Rilke that seems to be perfectly placed in my life right now:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limit of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

As many of you know I have an incredible opportunity to go to Bali for a short-term volunteer pastorate. I will be traveling there this October and coming back late April, 2014.

I will be located in beautiful Sanur, Bali, where I will be preaching, teaching and doing pastoral care with Gateway Community Church (GCC), an English speaking congregation of about 80 people.

I hope that my time there will be a time of renewal. And rest. And reinvigoration. And reinvention. I am looking at this as both an opportunity to pastor in a new context, and one that takes me out of my comfort zone, stretches me, and helps me build some new skills. But I am also looking at it as a Sabbath.

Most of all, I'm looking forward to working on my next book, tentatively titled, "Prisoners of My Heart." This will be a resource for people of faith working with women in the criminal justice system. And because GCC has an active ministry to women imprisoned in Bali, I will be have an incredible opportunity to see and do hands-on ministry, up close. And plenty of time to write.

However, nothing comes without cost, and that is why I'm reaching out to you today.

This pastorate is a volunteer position. GCC pays just enough to cover my living expenses while I'm in country, but I have to pay for airfare, vaccinations, visas, any travel out of and around Bali. In addition, I will still have some expenses to cover at home"”student loans, cell phone, etc.

I need to raise $7500 to defray my expenses.

And with my departure for Bali scheduled for October 23rd, time is of the essence.

Would you consider making a contribution? You may give a gift here (not tax deductible) or you may make a tax deductible gift through my church, Richmond Mennonite Fellowship. If you'd rather write a check, contact me through here or at my email address and I'll send you the address.

Last but certainly not least, I'd like to ask you to pray for me when I'm in Bali. Six months in a foreign context is a challenge for anyone. But I will also be seeking "thin places," where heaven and earth nearly meet - to understand better how God is calling me right now. I will be experiencing new things, which will be exciting. I will undoubtedly also experience some not so comfortable things. I hope you will be with me in spirit and through your prayers, as I will need both.

With much love,

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Lia Scholl 
Richmond, VA
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