Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Promised Land

I recently listened to Beth Moore’s “Believing God for Your Promised Land” lecture. Your promised land is wherever you are in the center of God’s will for your life, where you are using the gifts he has given you, the place for which he has been preparing you.

Well, here I am. I know that I am exactly where God has called me to be, and there is such incredible assurance in that. I have had several conversations lately about how when you know you are where God wants you, the fear kind of just begins to melt away. Every struggle you face is well worth fighting, and every obstacle becomes more like an exciting adventure. Where is God going with this? Even when you don’t know, at least you know he’s going somewhere big!
And that is exactly what I have been challenged with for this summer. Pray BIG. Because my God is BIG. I have been praying big things for the kids, big things for the staff, big things for this school, for myself, even for my friends and family. And I ask you to do the same. I know God is going to do big things here—he told me starting my freshman year of high school that I would be working with orphans in Africa. If this was important enough to tell me 6 years in advance, he’s certainly got something big up his sleeve.

Praise the Lord for the incredible rest he has been giving me. Praise Him for the increased hunger and love for his word in me. Praise Him for blessing me with countless deep and genuine conversations – about him! Praise Him for what I know is yet to come.

Pray for these kids to have an increased awareness of who God is. Pray for the capacity to understand the gospel. Pray for the staff, myself included, to have words of wisdom to speak in order to help them understand. Pray for increased faith and increased awareness of his presence and his work. Pray for continued ease in learning names-and hearts (he already blessed me with the ability to learn all 19 names –not simple ones, mind you- in the first 4 days!).

And what I have been praying so much is that He would fill me – and all the other believers here – with his spirit and his presence to the uttermost, that we would overflow with Him…that the kids could see without a doubt the presence of the Lord in us, that they would have a better picture of Christ through us, and that their hunger would increase for him-a longing to know the one that we know, love, and serve.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Sun Rises in Franschhoek

Hello all! This is me (obviously...) standing in front of the house where I am living. I live right up those stairs in a loft-temporarily. I'll be moving in just a few short days.

What I've learned
-They have three different kinds of electical plugs-so you have to use an adaptor basically no matter what, but they are few and far between.
-"Pudding"is the general word for dessert...but pudding is still called pudding. ?

-They think it's freezing when it gets below 70...and yet even when it really is cold, they leave all their doors and windows open (while still complaining how cold it is...go figure).

What I've Got Coming up
-Spending time with the Psych team from Taylor this weekend--and SO excited about it. I definitely need a piece of home...even though I've only been here a couple of days. I'm already getting homesick...I guess I realy just need to be broken in slowly.
-We'll pick up about half of the kids on Monday morning and will spend the first week doing fun things with them, running a camp of sorts. I'll be working hard this week, since there are really only three of us working during that time.
-The following Monday is when school starts, but only about 2/3 of them will start that week. Everyone else comes the week after.

Where I have really seen God
-They have bought me a bunch of fresh fruit! And I didn't even ask...:-)
-The past day and a half, my "work"has been cooking...which I do at home for fun...ironic, isn't it?
-I've already had several really great conversations with some of the staff members about Church and God and his work in their lives, my life, and Bridges.
-Jenni and the rest of the Bridges staff has recently realized that they really want to spend more time focusing on the spiritual dimension of the kids' lives but aren't quite sure how to go about it...and at the same time an intern, Brittany, has come for a year with a passion to try to disciple these kids more deeply...and now I've come with my deep heart to see people's knowledge of God deepen, their understanding and love for him along with it. I was actually a little concerned about how I would do at a school when my focus is just not in academics.
-This place is absolutely beautiful! I am literally in the middle of wine farms in the middle of the mountains. It is spectacular.

Specific Areas I would love your prayers
-Wisdom and clear vision--Jenni is putting me in charge of two Bible studies that meet twice a week for an hour each and one devotional group that meets for a half hour three times a week. This is wonderful, seeing as how this is essentially what I love to do most (not to mention what my major essentially IS), but I have no idea where the kids are or what they really need-and neither do the staff since this is new for them right now.
-Comfort and friendship--I am really missing people from home and would just love a place to "fit"here with the other staff members.
-Energy--this upcoming "camp week"sounds to be the epitome of exhausting to me. Games, activities, crafts...well it's camp, that's for sure.
-Continual growth--time to spend with the Lord, ears to hear his voice, a heart that never wants to stop pursuing him, reminders to be in constant prayer, etc.
-And always, the students and the Academy. As Jenni has expressed continually, she knows that all the academics and all the achievement will be worthless if they never follow Christ. Just pray pray pray pray pray.
Thank you all.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Well On My Way

So, I am more than half done with the vacation part of the trip and am preparing more each day to start at Bridges. Only 4 days left!!!

I certainly do need prayer. Thank you abundantly for those of you who are already. I am at a point of feeling completely overwhelmed with confusion. What am I getting myself into? What if I am lonely all summer? What if I make an idiot of myself because I can't teach? And I already hurt just from missing home.

But, God has been so faithful. I have been able to rest, to sit in silence, to soak in the beauty of his creation. And the sun is shining.

I could tell you all about my trip so far, but I don't have the time--and that's not exactly what this blog is about!

Please pray for the reassurance of the Lord's presence with me.
Pray for courage and strength as I embark on this journey.
Pray for deep relationships to form quickly, to nourish my soul, and to make being away from those I love a little more bearable.

Thank you all.