Saturday, October 13, 2007

An End and a Begining

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your comments and emails. I am just coming up for air and I need to catch up with my communication. We have been busy with 2 projects in the community and many many assignments, in addition to 8-10 hours of lecture/teaching daily. I did not make it to bed last night--Over the last 8 days I have been able to grab 0-4 hours of sleep a day. But it has been worth it and now everything will be down hill from here. I just turned in a 16 page project charter this morning that was very time intensive. I feel good about it though, and I feel really good about all the very practical knowledge I have received in ALICT.

I helped to coordinate a Compassion Day where approximately 300 children came together to serve in their community. We painted play structures, planted gardens, painted classroom buildings, cleaned up the streets, parks and a pre-school. We really had fun with them, taught them about the Savior who loves them, played SO many games, sang SO many songs and loved them, working next to them to bless the community. I really can't tell you haw amazing this day was. God was there and filled me with strength and love like I will never forget.

Also I have been working with a young woman in Kayamandi who has a dream to start her own business and NGO. Together we have had many meetings at the government offices getting her ready to register with them and partner with many different people in the community to take the next steps toward her dream. She is such an amazing young woman, 27 years old, the mother of 2 small children, a Christian and truly driven to use her skills and energy to change her community.

It has been so easy for me to have these people at ALICT grow into family for me because I have had the mindset to create a new home here and they have been my community. So I am already facing some sadness knowing that we will all leave each other on the 20th. But at the same time I am excited to move forward with Kuyasa here in SA. I am convinced that God has a plan and that his plan he placed in me from the beginning of my life. I have been busying myself with excavating it for many years and I believe that this entire process has been a part of God's plan. I have to hold everything lightly and not rush--that is so easy for me to do. God will do what he will do despite my striving. I think if there is anything I must watch for now it is pushing in my own strength and getting ahead of God.

I have begun speaking with people at Kuyasa and have arranged accommodation for the next 4-6 months. I will be living in an apartment that is being rented by other American missionaries working for Kuyasa, they will be going on sabbatical for a while and asked that I help them with rent while they are gone. I feel good about this because it will give me time to build relationships in Kayamandi and ready myself to move into the township.

We are going away to stay in a church on the most Southern tip of Africa this Saturday night. They say that you can stand in one area, spread out your arms and you are holding the entire continent in your hands. This will really be a necessary time of prayer and absorbing all the spiritual elements of the lessons that have sat as notes in my notebook for the last week because of the busy schedule.

I am praying for all of you. I think of family and friends often especially with this transition coming up and the "Cabin" next month. I will admit I try not to think of the cabin because it is so sad to think I will not be a part of things. But I have peace too and I know I am where I am supposed to be. I feel confident that God will show me what to do and where to focus my time, energy and resources. I will be giving some money to a few of the students here who are closest to me--it is my tithe. They are incredible people doing amazing things and I know them, I have ate, slept, studied and lived life with them for three months. Out of 26 students I feel compelled to give to only 4 a men from Benin--working in sustainable agriculture, training and empowering the poor--particularly pastors who are unable to feed their families, Ivory Coast--working to give spiritual, medical and social aid/healing to a unreached and Muslim populations in the North that are AIDS infested and dealing with civil war presently, Bangladesh--working to increase awareness and irradiate the trafficking of women and children from the poor villages--these are lured and then trapped in prostitution and camel jocking in the cities, Tanzania--this man is a prayer warrior, fasts for days on end to see the youth of his nation empowered to become the next generation of leaders who serve God. These have really inspired and amazed me with Christ ALIVE in them, their passion to serve the poorest of the poor and their drive to work hard in everything God gives them to do. I want to invite you and any others who you think might like to pray about helping them to consider working with me to send them back to their communities with some seed money to begin with the Projects that they have planned while here at ALICT, which I listed after their countries. If you want more information please email me. they have all written 10-15 page project charters that detail their plan once they return to their nations and I can send these out over email.

I am so grateful to have all of you. I sit here at this computer--(hoping that I won't loose my Internet connection) and I am seriously humbled by what God has given me in all of you. So many people who love me, not because of anything I do, just because God has given me to you and you to me and so we love each other. This really baffles me sometimes, especially seeing how isolated others are in the impoverished situations I have encountered. Poverty has so little to do with money and so much to do with community.

Please pray for me--I am a bicycle, and all of you have helped me gather and assemble parts of how and who I am and even helped me to see how to use the things God gave me. Your prayers have oiled my chains and spokes and tightened my screws. I am who I am because God gave me people who love me and have helped to assemble my insides. I need God to hop on, I need the Spirit to do the pedaling, and the steering and keep me moving at the right speed--keep me balanced and not wobbly. Your prayers do this. And I pray for all of you too that God would enjoy, and empower the ride of your life. I love you guys.