Friday, July 16, 2010

[I promised to share some of my journal entries from while I was gone, so this is the first in a series......however long I decide to do this haha.]

Sunday, June 13

Finally feel like I am here, in Africa, for a month. And I am so glad to be here.........
I forgot so much; the smells, the roads, the food, the stars, the people, wow I forgot how much I love these people.
Long day, actually I am not sure that there will be ANY short days in Africa haha.
Sorted, organized and set-up this morning. Then registered pastor's from 1pm-5pm. Worship service, more registering, shaking hands, seeing eyes full of contagious joy. And let me tell you there are two guys who started singing this afternoon whose voices were so beautiful that I almost wanted to cry.
They know what worship is, enough said.
Started getting a little stressed tonight about the youth meetings, starting tomorrow, that we have not prepared for, at all.
I made a plan for the meetings before bed, so I feel better about that.

Monday, June 14

Today was a very good day, ending with my first hot shower since leaving home, amazing how important the small things are.
Had our first youth meeting(s) today, it went very smoothly. God gave us grace and His hand was on us. The first place was a school, and we spoke outside on this raised flagpole hill-place, to about 300 kids, ages 6-18. It was amazing, everyone seemed to have the right words. I had no idea what I was going to say, but felt God with me as I shared how Jesus changed my life (in the areas of love for my siblings, fear, peace, and love for people.) John gave a really good salvation message, Mark, Britton and Amber gave their personal testimonies also.
Came back to the compound for lunch, hung out a little. I really like these people, they're a lot of fun. Second place we went to this afternoon was an hour and 20 min out, waaaaaaaay back in the bush :P
It was fun too, we spoke to about 75 7,8, & 9 yr olds. I liked it because I got to tell the story of creation and they liked it. On a side note; I have officially experienced Africa in the form of my first turkish toilet. Hurray.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

O, to capture the moment.

I have been trying to set aside time to start blogging about Africa for a while now. It never seemed to work out, but I have finally found some time.
There is only one problem though, where in the world to start???
How can I explain a whole month of foreign experiences in a few short sentences, or even many long ones?

I wish I could capture;
the joy on the people's faces,
their openness and willingness to listen
the knowledge that God IS right here
feeling so close to the sky I could touch it
being exhausted but somehow refreshed and uplifted
working together with one mind and purpose to accomplish a common goal
listening to a pastor tell me that he knows 5 languages and is going to learn French this summer, then asks me how many languages I know
seeing great evangelist's and teacher's share their personal testimonies and love for lost people
knowing that everyone is being pushed to their breaking point but somehow coming through stronger
realizing that the child I am holding will probably never have 1/16 of all the blessings I do
walking through a village being stared at by hundreds of huge black eyes because my skin is a different color
sharing my testimony in front of strangers, terrified, but feeling love and compassion for them because they are lost and need a Savior
watching children sing and dance with such joy and passion, all the while having nothing compared to everything I have
teaching about forgiveness to teenagers that most likely have had things done to them that I can not even imagine
laughing is the same in any language, but somehow it is sweeter when the little girl's eyes flash with such joy, and her smile is blinding against her smooth ebony skin
learning new words and songs that help me communicate God's love with others

And that is just the beginning. A few memories. Just a glimspe of what God showed me. I still can not believe that I had the privilage of being His ambassador for a month in 3 different countries. I know that I have this same privilage here at home all the time, but I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to go, and see, and experience.

be bold. be compasionate. be simple. be open. be more Christ-like.