Monday, June 03, 2013

In My Pila

Sooooo, this is kind of exciting: "Rejoice with those who rejoice!" I was really rejoicing the other week when the proof copy of En Mi Pila (In My Pila) arrived at my doorstep. A back-burner project of over three years (that is REALLY back-burner), it was a big learning curve to get a handle on the book industry, different publishing venues, etc. There were a lot of set-backs, a lot of months of idleness, life was just busy when working full-time for a ministry, but things finally moved forward this year.

In My Pila is a Spanish/English bilingual children's book birthed from the unexpected discovery that there is actually a severe shortage of relevant children's books for the children of Latin America. In sourcing books for the at-the-time new library in the Global Shore school in Tizate, Guatemala back in 2009, I came across various issues which in the end, inspired me to pen my own book.

Forgetting that I was only a wannabe artist, I bought a drawing book from Chapters and started trying to capture the little girl in my mind who is the central character in the book. After this embarrassing attempt (right), I knew it was hopeless!

Invited for dinner one night at my friend Krista Reimer's place, the idea of the book came up and she jumped all over offering to do the illustrations! It had not even entered my mind to ask her for, although an extremely talented artist, Krista was busy at the time launching her own art career, mothering two children and being a busy farmer's wife. I would never even have dreamed of asking her to be part of the project, especially because from inception it was to be a non-profit project that would bring in funds for literacy. But she was in. All the way.

What a God-send!

Her illustrations took the book to a whole new level.

So, three and a half years later, we give you In My Pila, a story featuring a Spanish girl and her day to day adventures with her "pila" --a common household object in Latin American households but here, the object of the playful habits of an imaginative and somewhat accident prone little girl!

Available for purchase at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca or from me directly.

For more information on this initiative, visit our project website at www.inmypila.org

Friday, January 04, 2013

Pink Slippers

I will write this in such a way that if you find yourself either completely inspired or completely skeptical, you can test it for yourself and go and do it. ;)
Foundational Premise: Words of Knowledge.
Now if you’re anything like me, you may think (or may previously have thought) that someone who has the spiritual gift of “knowledge” is simply someone of above-average intelligence. This is what I thought my whole life until I learned otherwise and now I see that perspective is completely ludicrous.  If a spiritual gift is something of the “Spirit” and man cannot take any credit for it…then of course a “word of knowledge” is something entirely different than natural intelligence.
In scripture, Jesus had a lot of these.  He was a man completely filled up with the Holy Spirit all the time and he modeled the Spirit-filled life for us. There are countless examples of him receiving words of knowledge through the Spirit. My version often translates this as “perceives.” Jesus “perceived” thoughts often, with the Pharisees, etc.  There are other examples of him receiving words of knowledge and maybe the clearest one is his interaction with the woman at the well. (to brush up on this story, read John 4). 
Jesus asks in John 4:16, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.”  Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband;’ for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
This is an example of a word of knowledge. The Holy Spirit gave information to Jesus that he otherwise would not have known. As you can see, it is not at all related to natural intelligence. It is a tid-bit of information that the Spirit imparts in a given moment.
Okay. So “words of knowledge” are the foundational premise of “treasure hunting.” If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit, and if you have the Holy Spirit, you’re a candidate to receive a word of knowledge.
Now, how Kevin Dedmon (author of "The Ultimate Treasure Hunt") has turned this into an evangelism exercise is the following: get a piece of paper. Make these five categories:
Location.
Name.
Prayer Request.
Physical Appearance.
Unusual.
Draw several lines under each category. Set your stop watch for three minutes. Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about who his treasure is that day. We know that God wants to encounter people. We know that he has told us to Go. Ask him for clues to help you to go and encounter that person that he wants to encounter through you that day.
Start your stop watch and start writing! Whatever comes to your mind (remember, you prayed asking the Lord to give you thoughts…) so write your thoughts down. Even if they seem totally out there, write them down. Place them in whatever corresponding category they fit into. This sheet of paper becomes your “Treasure Map.” When you are finished your three minutes, look it over, and follow your map. You might start at one of your location clues and once there, see who you find.
“Location” might be anything from “Walmart” to “park bench” to “bus stop” to anything that would lead to a location. “Physical Appearance” could be height, ethnicity, clothing, hair color, etc. “Prayer Requests” may include a specific body part for physical healing, it may be finances, a strained relationship., etc. Name = name, and “Unusual” is anything else that doesn’t fit into one of the other categories.
Several weeks ago I was sitting in my car. I had just come out of church, I knew I was going to Superstore to buy groceries, so I thought I’d manage two lists at once: a grocery list and a Treasure Hunting list. I prayed, started my timer, and filled out a list. I had some really weird names come to mind and probably the weirdest clue of all was “pink slippers.” I actually shook my head when that came to mind, thought, “You are ridiculous Kat” but, wrote it down anyways as instructed.
I went to Superstore. I had things like “cherries” and “lemons” on my paper too, so I lingered in those sections for a bit but didn’t find anyone who matched my other descriptions. I thought if my ridiculous clue of “pink slippers” were to miraculously show up, it would maybe be some little kid in her mom’s cart, swinging her feet with pink slippers on. Or maybe some out-there teenager, wearing big furry monster slippers or something. Nope.
My cart was filling up. Now, as mentioned before, I was in Superstore. By this point I had wandered into the women’s clothing section and was browsing when I looked over and there! There was a woman, holding TWO SETS OF LITTLE PINK SLIPPERS IN HER HANDS! I honestly could hardly believe my eyes, this was my most ludicrous clue, the one I was sure I had made up myself by accident but there she was. Little baby slippers, pink ones for girls, two sets in her hands. Clearly, I was crazy to go up to her, but clearly God is crazy too and made it way too obvious for me to be disobedient. Woe to the disobedient! I could hardly ask to be used by God and then back out when he had so directly pointed someone out to me. And she was in a “grocery” store and had “glasses” which were two other clues on my paper. 
So, I maneuvered my full cart over to her and said something awkward like, “Hi, I know this is really strange and all, but I believe in the Lord and I asked Him to show me who he would like me to pray for today and I wrote down the clues that he told me. And one of them was pink slippers! And you’re holding pink slippers! Here, look at my paper and see for yourself!” at which point, I showed her my paper and she gave a little surprised start and smiled and said, “oh my, I guess I am holding pink slippers now aren’t I!” Anyways, I had her look over the rest of the paper to see if any of the other clues made sense to her. She browsed through it, the names, prayer items, etc., but none of it related to her. So I just asked if there was someone I could pray for in general and she said her son Trevor was sick, I could pray for him, and so I did. Right there in Superstore, I prayed for Trevor to be healed. 
Now this is not some ka-POW! story where someone’s leg was healed and they came to Christ or anything like that, but it was very encouraging to me and was encouraging to the lady and was just a great start to obedience, to practice listening to the Lord, to making myself available, to being a vessel that the Lord could encounter someone through. And, chances are…that woman will never, ever forget the day that some Christian young adult came up to her, with a piece of paper with clues on it, one of which obviously pointed to her, and prayed for her son’s healing. Maybe her son even got healed, I probably won’t ever know, but it was an opportunity to represent the King and the King’s kingdom.  A-men. 

p.s. here is a link to purchase your copy of "The Ultimate Treasure Hunt." I highly recommend it. Get more familiar with the content of a treasure hunt and read countless testimonies that will literally leave you laughing at the sheer goodness of God. A-men!