Wednesday, December 29, 2010

so for christmas, we went to visit jd and lori in a small town about 4 hours from joburg. we were in training together, and it was so good to see them. Another couple met up with us too, and so the 6 of us made a day trip to Blyde River Canyon...and it was absolutely incredible!!!

I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but everyone was saying this was like it except in Africa (obviously. ha), and it was a little greener.

Anyway, the landscape was so breathtaking...the kind of landscape that makes you frustrated when you try to capture it with your camera, and every picture dims. pales. greatly. in comparison to what is really outstretched before you...

it's just so crazy to be surrounded by such a majestic landscape. you can't help but be in awe of the One who put it into cheesy as that sounds. it's still so true.

it was a different kind of Christmas, but we were blessed with lots of laughs, and were able to make sweet memories...i'm just glad that because of the work God did through Christ, we are His children, and therefore can call each other family no matter where we are in the world. so, yes, this Christmas I was homesick for my family and friends in the states, but even on the other side of the world, it was still time well spent with family in His name. :)


and now it's a new year!!!

a fresh start. new beginning. what an awesome gift He brings when the new year enters in...

so, happy new year!!!

i got really excited about's a waterfall named after little mac curtis. :) made me think of ya'll, craig and katie! miss you all!

macmac falls. :)

look how little we are!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ok, so this was my first make a christmas card from our personnel in Africa to wish everyone happy holidays. i just did the paintings, and steve did the rest...anyway. enjoy. :).

Friday, December 17, 2010

it amazes me how time can fly. how Christmas can seem so far away...and then before you know it, it's only a week away!

this is my first Christmas away from home, and I do miss everyone...friends, family...the holidays are truly not the same away from the ones you love...i think if i was with everyone now, I would appreciate it so much more now than I ever have before.

but, He is sufficient. Right? for every need. every longing. every want.

i need to learn this...or rather, believe it. :).

it's crazy too, that i am already about 5 months into my 2 year term! to step back and look, once again, it's crazy how time flies!

I am having a hard time being patient. I still am not sure what my job is supposed to look like. Since my job is new, it's undefined...I know that should be freeing...because that means the sky is the limit, but sometimes it is more daunting than anything...

I'm just afraid of missing it. I came all this way. left home. family. friends. comfort. not so I could just sit around in an office all day and do nothing....but so that I could be faithful to do what He's called me to do....whatever that is....

I'm afraid of spending two years here, and coming to the end of it not having anything to show. not having led anyone to Christ...and just failing...not just the people here, and back home....but failing my God...dissapointing Him...I can't think of anything worse.

Maybe searching is just part of life. It doesn't happen overnight...figuring out your place in life...where to plug in, where your gifts God has given you will be able to be used in such a way that brings Him takes time to build relationships, make connections, find places to serve...

So, maybe more than anything, the lesson is just to wait...patiently on the Lord...waiting is certainly not a passive response to whatever is going on...because within waiting involves prayer, active listening to the Lord...and obedience when He says go.

I think Beth Moore talked about i didn't come up with this on my own... :)...but, she pointed out that waiting on people, events, things, etc. is, instead we should set our hearts to wait upon the Lord...for it is Isaiah who said those that wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, run and not be faint, walk, and not grow weary...

to think about the father of the prodigal son...he waited, and waited and waited for his son to come back...but, like any father, his waiting was not know, as any father would do, that he was in constant, fervent prayer...and maybe he even was constantly searching and looking for his son as well....

waiting is far different than being passive...

I know waiting is part of life. and I'm not the only one in the world that is waiting.
so, may those who are waiting set there eyes upon the sounds so simple, but it's so hard in practice. God give us grace and the courage and the quiet obedience and trust to wait upon you.

anyway. enough of that tangent.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010 charlie brown Christmas tree. :)
because of a lack of ornaments...i used scraps of christmas scrapbooking paper and stuck them in as fillers....with scarves as my garland. i'm learning to be resourceful. :)

the lions...we were literally only a car door away from touching them. i wasn't brave enough to open my window though. too many horror stories.

i got to feed the giraffe. it was quite an experience. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm BACK! i heard that West Africa is known as the arm pit of africa...and after living there for the past month, i can definitely see why...

it's hot. dusty. dirty. third world. a place you know exists because you've seen the pictures, watched the videos in church. but then you step foot...

and it's real.

the poverty. the hunger.

but even greater....

the depth of the darkness. it's mind blowing to look into the eyes of a muslim woman and see only hopelessness. darkness. no peace....

to know that you have the hope she needs. the answers she's looking for. the rest and peace that she can't find no matter how hard she tries. no matter how many times a day she prays. or bows down to an idol that cannot save... sit in her home only a few feet away from her and hold this message of His makes me catch a tiny glimpse of understanding at Isaiah's words when he said "your word is in me like a fire, burning away at my bones, and i am weary of holding it in.

indeed i cannot."

His words of life just waiting to be unleashed. waiting to be planted.

40/40 was really hard. We spent most of our time w/ translators going out into either “neighborhoods” within the city…or villages….talking to people, practicing greeting them in an appropriate way culturally, and trying to have as many spiritual conversations as possible…it was really hard not knowing the language, or customs, or I mean…anything…it feels so restricting when you see people, and know that they need the hope that you have, but you can’t talk to their hearts because you don’t speak the same language…

i learned a lot though...about to tell the stories in God's word in normal, every day conversations. the name of Jesus, we witnessed our taxi driver break down and and quietly weep. pray that he will find life in that Name, and not in the name of any other god.
...we got to speak peace over a sick muslim woman. pray she will find not just physical healing, but spiritual healing as His Name.
...we got to share the gospel with a chief, and a large crowd that gathered around him. he claimed he could not follow Jesus, because it was his responsibility to sacrifice to the idols in order to keep the peace for the village. pray the scales fall from his eyes so he can know that peace is found in Christ ALONE.
...after sharing the gospel with a group of muslim men, one came up to us and said, "i would follow Jesus if it were not for the fact that I could only have one wife. i want to have many wives, so i will not follow Christ."...pray that this man would know that Jesus is worth more than life itself...true satisfaction comes from Him, not many wives.

...West Africa is not an easy place...i have a new respect and appreciation for those who have gone before me, settled in that land, and spent years proclaiming the gospel to the people there. But, it's worth it...Jesus is worth losing the comforts of this other people can know. It's easy to say that, but it's true... His grace is sufficient to sustain.

in Ghana, we stayed w/ a family of farmers...they grow corn, millet, beans, soy, etc.

...our homestay mom cooking our's like going back 500 years...but, it works for them...somehow ha

...our homestay family...they were a joyful family, but for some reason, they don't smile for cameras.
...we got to share creation to christ w/ these orphan children...
...fu fu (i'm not sure how it's spelled)...but, you eat it w/ your's like the texture of plado, dipped in slimy sauce. you don't ask what it's made out of. right? just pray. hard. and dig in. literally.:)

...we visited a secondary school...which is like a college for us...and this was there living quarters. I will never complain about the size of my dorm room again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So, we head to west Africa tomorrow, and will be there in training for about a month.

I have never been to the "bush" as so many call it...
there will be new things to experience, new culture to understand...

but more than anything, i want my heart to be broken for the people of this land...
so it will be all the more pressing that i share w/ them the hope that i have been given...that i have been entrusted with...

we won't have internet access, but as soon as we return, i will be sure to share the things the Lord is doing in the lives of the people He is calling to Himself...

thank you for your prayers.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I’m here!!! I’m finally here!

Here is a post I didn’t get to put up, but I wrote it the day I left:


…going to Africa has been talk for so long.

Months of paperwork, training, and hoping, wondering, praying…now have led up to this moment…I can’t believe it’s here!

I’m waiting to board my plane in Atlanta…the chaos of packing, checking in heavy luggage….well…it’s half way over at least….and within hours, I will be at my destination. It’s no longer talk….it’s really happening!

It amazes me how the God of the universe would see fit to let me take on such a journey. As is reality for all of us citizens of His Kingdom, I am constantly reminded of my weaknesses…what feeble attempts I conjure up to try and serve Him….

And knowing that there is nothing really, good in me to bring to the table accept what He has given me…which is my salvation…the one good thing we as His children have to share w/ the world…this hope.

I wish I could go and set records on how many people I could lead to Christ…I wish I could do great things for His kingdom, paint awesome pictures that lead many to His throne, and leave a legacy of faith and obedience that would challenge others to do the same….but, at the same time, this is not about making my name’s about His. And making His name known is the goal….that every knee would bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord …what will last is this eternal hope planted…what an overwhelming task…impossible in our own power…but not w/ His.

In Elisabeth Elliot’s book Shadow of the Almighty, a biography she wrote after her husband Jim was martyred in Ecuador, she writes:

“Obedience leads to knowledge. Obedience is the expression of love to God. Obedience means that we live in God. And if we live in Him, our lives bear the stamp of Christ….Those who want to know Him must walk the same path with Him. These are the ‘martyrs’ in the Scriptural sense of the word, which means simply ‘witnesses’…in life, as well as in death, we are called to be ‘witnesses’…to ‘bear the stamp of Christ.’”

So, if there is one thing we all could accomplish in our journeys ahead…may it be simple, yet very courageous, and sometimes costly obedience…it doesn’t matter what abilities we have or don’t have…what matters is our availability…and obedience…in simply witnessing…bearing the stamp.