Friday, March 27, 2009

Venturing into the Unknown

I’ve never considered myself the adventurous sort. Not at all in fact. I’m the type who likes to have a plan and while I have moments of spontaneity it tends to only happen in the context of a very controlled environment. This may surprise you as I am living off fundraising and in Africa, a place where all my best-laid plans tend to go out the door. But it’s true. I’m hesitant and very unsure of myself in new situations. So you can see how the next few months may be difficult for me!

The week after next, we leave for outreach. These last three months have flown by and I am surprised and shocked that we are here at the end of March already. I’ve lived here in South Africa for a year now and I can’t get over it! No way did I imagine myself staying in Africa let alone leading teams to other African countries. God’s plans for my life are so different from my own! Not only am I traveling to strange, new places but I'm actually in charge of people while doing it. Scary stuff, my friends.

Please be praying for my team and me as we head to Mozambique for two weeks where we will work with street children, then fly on to Uganda for five weeks. Not quite sure how ministry will look in Uganda but I am excited/nervous. Communication is always difficult on these trips, but I will try to send periodic updates when possible.

Hope these next few months are filled with unexpected blessings for you all! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Much love,

PS Here are some random photos!

From Blogger Pictures

Blythe River Canyon
From Blogger Pictures

My friend Keri and I at the top of the canyon
From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trust to Hope

When I first prepared to move here, gathering the finances wasn’t difficult. Money seemed to pour in from all different directions before I even had a chance to ask. After almost a year in Africa, financially things have become more difficult probably due in part to the state of the economy in America.

For an American, money has a special significance that I don’t believe other countries really ‘suffer’ from. Money equals independence and independence equals personal freedom. We say things like ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ and we rely on ourselves and only ourselves and I am no exception. So it can become a matter of pride and shame to ask others for money and God has been testing me on how far I will lean on Him. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve tried raising funds for a car and nothing came in. Monthly support went up, which was a huge blessing, but I never received a response about a car. I became discouraged and frustrated, but kept praying and never stopped asking.

Last weekend, I got a call and out of the blue was given money to purchase a car. I can’t tell you how blessed and thankful I am, but through this it reminds me of how faithful God is and has been and that when I get to the place where I throw up my hands, give up, and finally say ‘Okay, YOU handle it then,’ He meets me. It’s like He just waits for me to give up control and man, my flesh hates that! How many times does this have to happen before I finally get the point that He will take care of me?? Knowing me, this will probably go on for awhile.

Below I’ve posted some pictures of the car I am getting. An Afrikaans friend found the car and I should be getting it next week sometime. Thank you all for all the prayers and notes of encouragement that were sent my way. I’m so blessed to have people in my life who really care for and support me!

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5