Thursday, February 26, 2009

Joy Beyond Circumstance

Where is my joy?
That question, or various forms of that question have been floating around my head these last few weeks. I’ve noticed that when things start to get difficult or stressful, when I feel hurt or homesick my first thoughts are often centered around just giving up and going home where everything is just a little easier. I become depressed and frustrated quickly and it’s not something I’m especially proud of.
From Blogger Pictures

Feelings are neutral, neither right nor wrong, it’s how you process and react to those feelings that matter. I haven’t been reacting well lately and I ask myself ‘where do I find my joy?’ If I’m only feeling happy and content when things are going well, I’m not going to last in Africa for much longer. If I let myself be ruled by my feelings, I can easily miss what God is doing, the bigger picture. If my joy is dependent on my circumstances, I can expect a miserable life.
So I’m on a mission to find my joy. I know it’s not lost, that God is my joy, and I think He’s just waiting for me to fully rest in Him, but the process of coming into a full realization of that is a journey I am learning to take one step at a time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Forever Learning

The last month in a half or so, I’ve been sitting in on the DTS [Discipleship Training School] lectures and have even been given the chance to teach a little myself. I don’t know what I expected, but I guess in my arrogance I put myself on a pedestal and subconsciously thought that since the teachings weren’t for me, that God wouldn’t speak to me through them, as if I have nothing new to learn. It’s been an interesting slap in the face, a wakeup call I didn’t even know I needed. When it comes to the mystery that is God, I will forever remain a student and there is a world or excitement and freedom in that.

In a little over a month, our DTS leaves for Uganda for a two month outreach working with orphaned and vulnerable children. I am co-leading the outreach with my good friend David Song and I am excited and nervous all at the same time. Please keep us in your prayers as we finalize details and prep our team.

Here are some pictures of our students:
Monique and Laura [American]
From Blogger Pictures

Stanley [South African]
From Blogger Pictures

Eunice and her baby Sandy [South African]
From Blogger Pictures

Jocelyn [American]
From Blogger Pictures

And the last two are a married couple, John and Carla, both from the U.S.
From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

God is leading me to strange places, places I never would have thought to go. It reminds me that my plans are not His and even though it is a process I am learning to rest in Him and not worry so much about the future. Besides, God has so much cooler plans than I could ever dream up on my own! Africa had never been on my agenda until He came and messed everything up. I’m so grateful.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Please Pray

Dear Friends and Family,

Living the life of a missionary challenges me on more than one level. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of my comforts and put obedience to God above my idea of where I want to be in life. Saying goodbye to my family with no real idea of when I might see them again is a sacrifice and a struggle. All these things I’ve learned to deal with and have even gotten to the point where they are no longer strictly obedience, but because of my newfound love for Africa I find joy in laying these things down.

One aspect of my life I continue to struggle with sacrificing is my pride in relation to money. I have a hard time asking for funds. I’d like to say that I have faith that could move mountains and that I find it easy to rely on God for my day-to-day living expenses, but I’d be lying, big time. Raising money is one of the hardest things He asks me to do, but I’m doing it and trying not to let fear rule my life.

From South Africa

So I’m asking for you to take a moment and pray about giving. There are two different areas I need prayer for:

1) I am moving toward buying a car and am asking for $3,000. After living here for almost a year, I’ve realized how much more effective I can be in the communities if I am able to provide transport. It’s difficult for me to get around, as the public transport is very dangerous for non-Africans and especially females.

2) I am still in need of regular monthly support. This goes toward my daily living costs such as food and rent.
If either of these requests strikes a cord in you, please send me an email! Thank you so much for all your prayers and support thus far. I couldn’t do this without the love and understanding of my family and friends.

His Love,

Brittany Deniston

For tax deductible donations:
170 S Madison
Spokane, WA 99201
-Make check out to The City Gate and put my name in the ‘Memo’ line.


Brittany Deniston
2309 W Stratton Ave
Spokane, WA 99208

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Swing of Things

I’ve had about a month to settle back in here in White River and it’s taking me longer than I anticipated. Everything is different from before the Holidays. I’m living in a new place, basically started a new job, and I’ve been surrounded by people I don’t know since I arrived. If you know me at all, you know I don’t take change very well or particularly gracefully. I get panic attacks and become overwhelmed easily. I don’t normally have a problem with strangers, but when I live, eat, and breathe with them I struggle until I’ve broken through in relationship and they are no longer strange and unfamiliar to me.

I’m good at hiding it or at least I used to be, but sometimes I surprise even myself with my insecurities. But I think this is all part of the process. God likes to play with my comfort zone constantly stretching me and not allowing me to stagnate in my protective bubble. It’s difficult and I have been known to get angry at God for it. Calling him names and grumbling, but in the end I’m grateful he cares enough to shake me up and piss me off.

So I’m posting a few pictures below of the various changes going on in my life.
I’m on staff with our Discipleship Training School, which started on January 10th. I’m loving it, but yes it’s stretching me in unforeseen ways. The students are all very unique and their personalities are pretty awesome. I’m grateful for the chance to get to know them, watch them grow, and be able to speak into their lives.
From Blogger Pictures

And here are some pics of my new place. It’s a great little studio apartment and at the moment I have it all to myself but that may change at some point.
From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures