Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank you for following my blog! I've started a new blog for my new adventures now that I am back in the states. Join me in searching for God's plan for my life at http://exploringlifewithhim.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dance Me!


“If we are seeking Him through prayer and Bible study, we will not likely miss His appointments.” – Beth Moore.

Last I said I felt God was giving me the “go ahead” to do what’s in my heart for my future but with that I feel comes responsibility to do it right. What if I “miss His appointments”? From the quote above I believe God is assuring me that I won’t, not as long as I continue to pray and study His Word. And as long as I have Him by my side, our dreams will unfold in the right time.

“When we wait on God He gives supernatural strength and accomplishes the inconceivable!” - Beth Moore.

Today I felt God’s presence surround me, no, really surround me! His arms held me tight. I find that not many people understand this feeling or really know or have experienced what I’m talking about. Those of you who have felt this know it was like being lifted into the clouds, or heaven touching earth right where I sat. I know my God is real, His love is real, and He means every word when He says, “I know the thoughts that I have of you, … thoughts of peace and not of trouble, to give you a future and a hope.” I will call Him and ask Him, and He will listen to me. I sought Him and found Him, because I searched with all my heart. Paraphrase from Jeremiah 29:11-13. I didn’t miss our “appointment” today!

I found the perfect song for today while going though some of my music, “King of the World” by Point of Grace. Listen to it! This song is where I get my title for this blog.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A New Journey Sparks

Wow, it’s been too long since I’ve blogged. I apologize to anyone who has been in the dark about what has been going on in the ministry and in my life since I’ve last blogged. October 18th I found out my plans for the next month have completely changed. It wasn’t just in my life that plans changed, but in the girls I lived with and everyone else on staff with Thrive Africa, as well as many others that are impacted through Thrive. Yes, the ministry was shutting down. The girls and I would be moving back home by the end of the month of October, two weeks after we heard the news.

However, this isn’t just the end of what God is doing in the villages of South Africa, but also the beginning of God’s new plans for the people He loves. Four of the staff from Thrive Africa are now working with a new ministry, Ignite Africa. I am excited to see where God is taking these four, June, Jill, Amanda, and Abram, as they launch this new ministry.

To see Ignite Africa’s website go here: http://ignitesouthafrica.org/

For me this has been a challenging, confusing, yet exciting new adventure to see what plans God has next for my life. I arrived back home on November 1st and have since been processing my year in Africa by going through my thousands, no seriously, thousands of pictures, reading my journal, praying, and reading the Bible. I still haven’t found my next adventure in life, but for me, living here with my family is a whole adventure in itself! I’m holding on to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 and continue to ask God what His will is for my life. I have loved my time in Africa and especially the people I left there. I miss them dearly and look forward to the day I will see them again, whether that will be here on earth or in heaven. I wouldn’t mind a bit if I was blessed with the opportunity to go back!

I know God had brought be back here in His right time. I ask what His will is but I feel like the question comes back to me. What is my will? What do I want to do with my life? Joshua 1:3 says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you,…” and verse 5 goes on, “… I will not leave you or forsake you.” I feel like God is telling me to go, and He will follow me. I guess it has been easier to ask what He wants and do it. It’s easy for me to take orders, I’m a follower. Now God is giving me this life back and I’m responsible for what comes out of it. Will I live to the fullest? Will I take every opportunity? Will I love? Most important, when I’m done and God calls me home, will He say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?

All these questions fill my head and God says in verse 9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go.” It’s not like He is telling me to go off on my own, no, He’s coming with me! With Him by my side I can be more confident I will live a life that worships Him.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BTS (Behind the Scenes)

A third of the 24/7 internship here is spent working in BTS, or behind the scenes of ministry. This is usually spent in the office but sometimes I have fun working with items that have been donated and I organize them so that they can be used in ministry. We have spent a lot of time in the book container and pulling out books we can and can’t use. This isn’t sitting in a chair going through books but rather lifting many dusty boxes and even breaking a sweat!
This week I have had a lot of fun going through toys, books, and office supplies to gift out for our LaunchPad graduation coming up in a few weeks. Our final term is coming to an end which is both exciting but also sad as we will miss our students and visiting the schools.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Katleho, Success


As soon as class got out Katleho walked right over to where we were waiting and sat down beside us. He has told us proudly before that his name means success. It was only a couple moments before he jumped back up and announced it was time for our class to start and headed straight to the classroom. When we caught up he was busy cleaning out the room. After it was all clean we walked in and he sat himself at the very first desk right in front of where we teach. We usually use the first desk but he was so excited to learn what we had to teach he wanted the front row where he wouldn’t miss a word. His excitement to learn gave me an excitement to teach! I found myself leaving that day with more energy than I arrived with. Usually an hour long trip to Qwa Qwa, teaching class, and then an hour long trip back leaves me feeling drained and ready for a nap. However, today was different. It gave me a new excitement! I’m so excited about what God is doing in the lives of the students we have the opportunity to teach each week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Planting Seeds


Lillian was excited for our visit this week as usual and shared her tea with us. After we finished our tea she asked if we were still interested in helping her with her garden. We said yes, of course!

We started from the beginning with digging up the soil, then planted the beans and corn, followed with burying them and watering them. We all had fun taking turns with each step. It was very tiring and we were well worn out when we finished!

While we planted and watered the seeds I thought of how we have planted seeds in Lillian and her daughter. We will not be here in the harvest to see the result of our hard work in the garden, but we have been able to see the seeds in Lillian grow. It is a great blessing to have the opportunity to live here for a year and not just plant seeds but water them and care for them. We have even seen some of the seeds we have planted blossom and the beauty they show to everyone around! It has been wonderful to continue to water Lillian’s seeds and feel her also water ours.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Questions, Questions!


Our students are asking those tough questions about Christianity and God after two new boys joined and started releasing all those questions bubbling inside their heads. This last week we came extra prepared with Charlene who has asked many of those questions herself during her young faith. She said these questions should never stop because when we stop asking questions, we stop growing spiritually. At the end of class we all stood up in front of the class so they could ask their questions and one of us could answer. Some questions we still haven’t found an answer to, like where did God come from and why doesn’t He have parents. I enjoyed hearing their questions and seeing them looking for answers to defend their faith!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Peace in this Storm


I left family and friends almost 9 months ago to fly over the ocean and live in Africa for a year. With that there were a few fears, but God has been wiping those fears away. One fear was leaving someone I might never see again on this earth. I use to think that it was harder to let someone go if I wasn’t there to say goodbye. I might have to say goodbye again when I get back and realize the person is really gone, but for now, I can say goodbye.

My Peace, God
My storm, Grandpa’s death

Here is the last half of the first verse and chorus to the song, “Praise You in this Storm.”

as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

This song plays over and over in my mind and the words have been a conversation between God and me. I’ve complained to God and I’ve cried out to Him.

“I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way” (Psalm. 142:2-3)

He did not tell me to hush; He didn’t tell me to learn to go on, He said, “I’m with you.” (Deut. 31:8) He is with me and knows my sorrow. He knows what it is like to lose someone, He lost His Son. The best part is that His Son came back to life and now lives in Heaven with God and my grandpa has joined them! I can’t help but thank God for that. I praise and worship Him because He is my Dad, Comforter, Savior, and Peace. I don’t understand how people choose to live without Him. Doesn’t everyone want life to be good even when it’s not? To have real peace? I love my Father, and with Him I still have peace in any storm.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Covered in Kids


This week Jenna and I arrived at our school hoping this would be the week we actually would get to see our kids and teach. And it was! We decided to arrive early so that if school got out early again we would be there. We waited for the older kids to get out of class and the younger ones waited for their older sisters and brothers too. As we sat on the brick wall, we were well aware of all the eyes looking at us and Jenna dared to pull out her camera and take some pictures of all the cute faces. Before I knew what was happening, we were surrounded with about thirty kids on all sides! All of them wanted their picture taken. I decided to help Jenna out and took some pictures too (and I wanted some). Even though it was chaos I loved being in the middle of it and watching them get so excited over their own photo. When our interpreter, Dave, arrived he almost called to find out where we were when he saw us covered in the crowd of children!

That was just the beginning. After our classroom was clear from the previous kids we moved in to start our class. We waited for several minutes and then to our joy, they all came flooding in! I think we had the biggest class so far this term! A couple of the young ones who waited with us on the brick wall joined too! They quietly listened so well and were an adorable addition. While Jenna taught her part of the lesson she paused to ask if they had any questions after a confusing part. Our class hasn’t asked any questions so far even if they are confused, but this time they didn’t stop asking questions! Jenna never did get back to her lesson and the rest of the time was filled with answering their good questions. They asked insightful questions about Heaven, Hell, and God.

I walked away that day knowing God was moving, prayers were answered, and kids understood. Praise God!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Treasures in Africa


In an earlier blog I wrote how it has been hard to focus on the here and now in life and that my mind has been wondering into the future too much.

“… do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” Matthew 6:34

Today I thought about God’s gifts to me now. In fact, today itself is called the present! After living in Africa now for eight months I still had a, “I’m in Africa!” moment. I am living in Africa right now! During my morning jog today I found myself surrounded by blesbok and wildebeest with springbok and fallow deer in the distance. Right now I am sitting under a roof made of grass. I spent the weekend with my close friends who I have laughed and cried with and who are also missionaries who have been working here for years. I have treasures in my friendships here along with the beauty I get to wake up to each day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Day with Lillian



When we entered Mme (mother) Lillian’s house she had porridge made for us on the stove. She loves to feed and take care of us. We were not her only visitors this time. She also had family over shortly after we arrived. One of the visitors was a baby over a year old. We enjoyed watching Lillian care for a baby and some of us had fun playing with the baby too!

Strike Suspended

Since last week the teacher strike has been suspended, however, we waited until this week to go and teach just to make sure the students and teachers were back in the schools.
As we rolled up to the first school where Jenna and I teach, we noticed many students leaving the school and grew concerned. It turned out that for some reason school got out early and all the kids were already on their way home. Only one of our students was left and she said she would let everyone else know that LaunchPad classes are back so next week they would be there.
It was a relief that this wasn’t the case with all the schools! I joined Alicia and Alaina at their school and Jenna joined Jace. Even though it was sad we couldn’t be with our kids this week, it was nice to see other teachers in action and get ideas and meet their kids. I know God has a reason for everything, I might not fully see the reason here but I am trusting in Him.
We are hoping the teacher strike is resolved soon as it is only on hold for now. Please continue to pray for the strike, the teachers, and the students as they may be behind in their grades this term as a result. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lows and Highs


Today was a beautiful day. The sun was bright and warm and the wind blew to cool off the heat.
Over the weekend we went to Johannesburg and spent two days and a night there. We were there to pick up Alicia who had been in Cape Town with her parents last week. This was a rare opportunity to get to spend time in the city going to the market, out to eat, and the Mall. I found it hard to not miss home through all the driving in the city, and on the roads we traveled our very first night here when we arrived in South Africa for the very first time. I still had a good time and a lot of fun.
My homesickness has been coming and going for almost two weeks now but it has also been a growing experience in my relationship with God. He has been speaking a lot on my heart. He is helping my live for today and every moment without thinking so much about going back to the States in December. My heart still tries to wonder into the future and what I want to do next. I only have two and a half months left in South Africa and I need to finish strong.
Back to today, (my thoughts are so scattered!) Tuesday mornings are usually filled with classes, then an earlier lunch. After lunch we have BTS (Behind the scenes) work which is mostly in the office. Office work is defiantly not my calling, but surprisingly I got a lot accomplished today. My director has been working with me in setting goals that I didn’t think I could do but today proved I could! I think having Monday off and the short jog during lunch break helped. Mostly I thank God for giving me renewed strength and a clear mind.
To end the day Thrive staff has ultimate Frisbee planned every Monday and Tuesday evenings. I enjoy playing with them and today was especially fun! It has warmed up enough now to enjoy a whole hour in the warm sun.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Blessing or Blessed


Our visits with Lillian on Thursdays have continued to be my highlight of each week. We gave her a Bible a few weeks ago and have been reading some scriptures to her during our time with her. She has been so excited to own her own Bible! We were excited have an opportunity to bless her after feeling in dept to all the blessings she has given us. However, this last week she cooked us a whole meal of everything she thought we would really enjoy. (no chicken feet!) She cooked us rice, chicken and onion, and squash. It was really good. We know culturally that it isn’t polite to refuse anything that she would want to give us, but it is hard to eat such a meal knowing she can’t afford a meal like this for herself every day. Here is a quote from her that day:

‎"I may not be rich in money, but I am rich in God's Word and that is what matters and what will get me to Heaven."

She is an inspiration to us and I hope we are just as much a blessing and encouragement to her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teachers Strike

You might have heard about the teacher strike going on in South Africa. Thrive does a lot of its ministry in the schools so the teacher strike is having a big effect on the ministry. LaunchPad is one of the branches greatly affected this week since all the schools were unable to have class. The teachers are missing their students today but we are praying that the strike will end soon so that the ministry can continue to function next week. Our IMPACT and Hand in Hand conferences are coming up soon and in order to operate we need the teacher strike to end. IMPACT is on the 1st and everything is coming together with big plans! According to the news the strike will end no sooner than Friday and could possibly still continue on next week. We believe that our God is a big God and works all things out for His glory.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chicken Feet with Love


I am very grateful for the relationship we have been able to build with our friend Lillian in the fall (America’s spring) I have really enjoyed seeing her again after not seeing her over our busy winter. Earlier this year we shared a little with each other about our faith, understanding that we all believed and loved God. The past two weeks we went deeper into the Bible and found that her pastor didn’t teach off of everything in the Bible. Her pastor didn’t even want her to read the Bible on her own. We encouraged her to read the Bible and see what God had to say to her for herself. She knew that we told her this because we loved her. She told us we were like her children and she looked forward to our visit every week.
The last time we visited she started cooking a special pot of cabbage and chicken feet for us. Yes, I said chicken feet! Lillian loves to share whatever she has with us. Sometimes all she has is some tea and an orange. Having chicken around is a big treat for her and she is generous enough to share with us. I have to admit it was a bit difficult to try the chicken feet but now it makes a great story!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

B.W.I.T. (Basotho Wives In Training)


One of the interns, Alicia, is planning on getting married next year. With her excitement to be a wife soon and the rest of us planning on being a wife someday we’ve realized the need to learn some wife skills.

Before this year none us of knew much about cooking, baking, or sewing. When we told a friend we met in the village this she was shocked. “No man will ever want to marry you!” She said and went on to say that even if we did marry, he would soon leave because we couldn’t cook for him. She couldn’t understand how we never learned such vital skills in their culture. We explained that in America cooking isn’t a requirement to marry unlike her culture. Since this conversation we often joke whenever we try to cook for ourselves that we need to learn or we will never be good Basotho wives.

Since the beginning of July we took action and decided that every Saturday for the rest of the year we will cook a homemade meal. We call ourselves BWIT, (Basotho Wives In Training). We have been teaching ourselves how to make different things from scratch like apple pie, pizza crust, chicken pot pie, bread, Navajo frybread, and biscuits. I have discovered how much fun working in the kitchen can be!
In addition to cooking and baking, a lady on staff here who is also my second mother, June, is teaching us to sew. We all go up to her house once in a while and work on our own little sewing projects with her. I am surprised at how much I am enjoying the homekeeper lifestyle!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

LaunchPad


Our LaunchPad class was small this week with only 5 students because school let out earlier than usual. The rest were confused if LP class was still happening. I really enjoyed a smaller class because things went much smoother and quieter. We also had more time to chat with the kids. I had fun getting to know them a little more.

I really like our new curriculum this term, “Pressing In.” It is a study of the New Testament but doesn’t carry too much information, leaving room for me to add what I want and my favorites about the books. I really encouraged them to read the Bible on their own. I taught about the book of Mark today so I typed up a list of some stories from the book so they could look up what story they wanted to read about and read it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Assemblies

I remember when Jace first brought up the idea of doing a music video instead of a skit with words so that the message wouldn’t get lost without translation. I have been busy with a mission trip during most of the preparation but I did get to help brain storm some ideas and practice my part in the drama with Next Step a little bit.
It all came together at our first Assembly and I was impressed at how well everyone then performed in front of hundreds of kids throughout the week. Our actions in our drama spoke louder than words as our main character, Bob, went through life dealing with drugs, alcohol, relationships, and choosing Jesus or Satan. In the end Bob finally makes the right choice and lets Jesus Christ pull him up off the ground and out of his mess. The kid’s response to this showed that they did understand as they booed at the wrong choices he made and cheered when he reached for Jesus’ hand.
It was fun to see the kids we taught last term and I look forward to seeing them every week again and teaching them about God. Their excitement showed too at the assemblies and many told me they would come this week to LaunchPad!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Intabazwe – Day 4


We spent our morning with Thoko again. Soon she had the girls busy with making tea, dishes, and sweeping. Cole was sent outside to chop her wood. When the chores were done she told us we could rest in her living room and turned on the TV. We felt she was taking advantage of us, having us do the chores then sending us in another room to watch TV. She didn’t even join us in the living room. We thought about leaving but finally got her to sit down with us. She began to ask us questions about how we do weddings, then funerals, and soon we were talking about ancestrial worship. She told us how it was tradition for her to talk to her ancestors and slaghter a cow for them this week. We read scriptures in the Bible about what God has to say about that. At first it seemed helpless, but she slowly showed interest. She explained it would be hard for her to break her culture’s tradition. We left her with a list of the scripture we read to her so she could continue to read it and see what God wants her to do. We were happy we decided to stay a little longer with her and felt that God was really speaking to her heart.
My highlight of today was a moment during our Children’s Ministry this afternoon. After we finished our activities we just played around with the kids. A few girls came up to me and had me sit down so they could play with my hair. While I was surrounded with girls with my hair going every direction a little girl popped up right in front of me. She sat on my lap so I wrapped my arm around her and started rubbing her arm. She sank right into me and squeezed my hand close to her. She moved my hand to her face, then other places she wanted to be touched and loved. I was moved by her hunger for love and to be touched. The song playing at that moment was “Made to Love” by Toby Mac. I thought to myself, “I was made to love Jesus and loving this girl now is like loving my Lord.” I am so thankful that I can serve Him here and love like He wants me to!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Intabazwe – Day 3


Today we found ourselves in a house of someone whose business is selling beer. His name is Tsoso and his friend Hacosta was also there visiting. My interest was just to be friends and build a trust, however, Christianity soon popped into conversation. While the two of them shared a bottle of beer the question was asked, “Do you guys go to church?” We found out they both use to. Tsoso grew up in the church but then quit going when his pastor stole his wife. I worried about the walls that could have easily been built to Christians and the church. He was bitter to his church and pastor but open to us and what we had to say. Someone shared about how they had been hurt in their church and had to learn to forgive. The conversation moved to the beer they were drinking. I grew nervous again not wanting to offend them. By this time three or four more guys arrived and were listening. Tsoso introduced them as customers and friends. I’m thinking in my head about how bitter Tsoso could get towards us as well if we started sharing verses about what the Bible says about drinking. We would be taking away is business along with his entertainment. Verses were shared but the Holy Spirit was defiantly present and working in his life as well as the others! One of the guys, Nhlanhla, even said he was happy we were there and that they needed a revival. Hacosta asked if we could come visit again. Why do I worry? God had everything taken care of and had prepared their hearts before we even knocked on their door. He promised me before in Isaiah 55:11 that He would accomplish what He desired and the day after told me not to worry. Now my prayer is that He would help me step out of my flesh and into His Spirit more in times like these.

Intabazwe - Day 2



Today we had the opportunity to do a lot of chores again. We went back to visit our first friend we met Monday, Thoko. When we arrived she was in the middle of doing lots of laundry. We jumped right in and started helping! Ashley and I are in the top picture washing her laundry by hand in a bucket. Then someone else helped her rinse in another bucket and two more helped hang to dry. It is tradition that the men don’t do house chores, but Cole helped out with carrying the heavy buckets of water to dump.
The last house and person we met today was Cisilia. She was excited to teach us part of her culture by showing us how to make pap and start a fire in a wood burning stove. Carliegh is in the next picture sifting the pap to prepare it for cooking.
Even though most of today was spent doing chores, I’m reminded that God works in the small ways too. It is a big deal for a Basotho person just to get a visit from a white person. I know our interest in them and desire to become friends and help them out will make a lasting difference in their lives. Sometimes it’s not by words that we make God known, but through our actions.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Intabazwe - Day 1 with TST

Today was a good start to a fresh week in a new village. Well, new for the team but for the inters it’s very familiar. My day started with a walk with God while watching the sunrise and then encouragement from His Letters. I read Isaiah 52 and verse 7 says,

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

I know that is us now, in the mountains and visiting people and sharing about our God. I also was encouraged with chapter 55, verses 9 and 11,

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts… so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Before the Thrive trip arrived here I felt God preparing me for His big works He was going to do in this time. I’ve been afraid I will miss my opportunity to experience His great power but He says here that He will accomplish what He desires! His thoughts are greater and no matter what, I will see them happen.
Our first house turned out to be a lady that was a friend of the 24/7 interns last year. It was also relevant that she got a letter from one of them while we were there! We had fun talking while having tea, doing dishes, and singing songs together.
The second house we visited was filled with lots of children! We started out with chores. We helped do the dishes and clean the floor. After that Ashley led games with the kids and we also met a couple guys that were neighbors that came over to meet us.

Friday, July 16, 2010



Here is my cabin and ministry groups! They are the best!

Seeds to Fruit

This week we are ministering in Naledi where the four of us have ministered a few months before. Tuesday Alicia (24/7 intern) met a couple ladies on the road and recognized them from the time we were here before. The older lady was very excited to see Alicia again and told her that her daughter was healed now! We prayed for her daughter who was deathly sick at the time. Now she was up and walking down the roads with her mom! It is awesome to hear of how our time here a few months back has made a difference in people’s lives and is encouragement for us to get the opportunity to be in this village again. Even if we only see seeds planted now, we have faith that they will produce fruit.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On a Mission Trip!

The Thrive Student Trip arrived here last Saturday and we spent Sunday training and getting to know each other. There are 14 of them, 4 of us, and one staff, Matthew. Matt and the 4 of us are leading the TST. The ladies in my cabin are Hayley, Cassie, and Morgan. My ministry group is Cole, Ashley, Carliegh, and Ami. I have been having a good time spending time with these people!
It has been super cold here! It gets below freezing at night and during our first day of ministry it snowed a little on us. I did get to see the Drakensburg Mountains with snow on them for the first time! They were so pretty it was worth the cold.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Leratong Children’s Home


We have been taking a break from Hope House to work with Next Step at Leratong for about a month. Hope House is an orphanage or children’s home that we have been visiting weekly all year. Leratong is a children’s home in Qwa Qwa that we visit twice weekly and spend all day with the kids. Our big theme is, “You Are Special.” A couple projects is creating a book about them and decorating their own board for their room. Their rooms are plain brick wall lined with bunk beds with no color or personality. With these boards they will have a place to show who they are.
Our day with these kids is filled with games, stories, crafts, songs, and love. Before or after our day we have some time to hang out with each other. One of their favorites is having us sit on the ground so that they can play with our hair. Another favorite is getting their picture taken or taking pictures themselves.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lives are Changed

On our way down the rocky dirt road to Bongane’s house we found our friends waiting for us outside in the warming sun last Friday. We spent that whole morning with them learning more about each other, learning some Sesotho words, taking pictures, and singing songs! They sang more songs for us but we had to sing songs for them too. They soon learned we didn’t have as much talent as they did!
Saying goodbye was hard. Although I’ll be here for several months still, I might not see them again. We developed a great relationship with them and they became our buddies. One of our friends also said that it was hard to say goodbye and they all showed it. They walked with us to the church and after a few more minutes and pictures, we said our final bye.
Even though they didn’t promise that they would come to church, they showed up Sunday morning! It was a great blessing to see them show up and to praise God and dance together for a little bit.
During the service the pastor invited anyone up to the altar to receive Christ as their Savior. Thabo, our friend we talked with Tuesday, went up and prayed! I was so excited I began to cry. It’s amazing to me what God can do in someone’s life. God brought us to Thabo’s house for only one day and that brought Thabo to church which lead to him getting saved! After seeing this, my mind goes back to our conversation with him on Tuesday. Even though his words sounded insightful, he did seem troubled on his future. I told him God gives us a hope and a future and promises it in Jeremiah 29:11. I know now that God can be his hope and help him with his desire to do the right things in his life.

Chores, Dancing, and Games!


Thursday we were on our way to hang out with our friends, Nelson and his buddies, when neighbor called us over. He wanted us to help him with ideas for his new business. There wasn’t much we could help with and after offering a little help we told him we would pray over him and his business. We also invited him to church.
We continued on to Bongane’s house where we were told we would meet Nelson, Mokgati, Tshokolo, Masilo, and Motsamai. We found Bongane busy with his chores. Ashley and Kaityn helped with laundry, while the rest of us tried to learn how to split wood with a hammer and chisel. After the chores were done we met some more friends. We had fun dancing, playing, and learning more games with them!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Powerful Moments


Every day has been fun, but I would have to say that Wednesday was the most exciting and emotional for me so far. The first house we couldn’t stay at because the lady was leaving. We went on and found a group of people outside of their houses to warm up in the sun. After introducing ourselves and chatting a bit they soon learned that we came from the World Fellowship Church and had a children’s program there every afternoon. The lady we talked with said she would send her daughter there, but also wondered if she could go there to get prayer. Kaitlyn told her we could pray for her right now. She then had a conversation with Rabel in Sesotho. After a few short minutes we found ourselves following her to pray over a sick friend of hers. We arrived and discovered more people sitting out in the sun. They called out the sick lady and we prayed over her. As soon as we finished praying another jumped into our circle and wanted prayer for healing too! One after another they told us where their bodies hurt and we prayed for healing. Even a little girl wanted prayer so that she would do well in school. Although praying for people to receive healing was powerful, the touching moment for me was our conversation with a drunk man. He asked for prayer but we knew his problems resulted from his drinking. While we listened to the drunk man, I felt it was my job to bring up the spiritual battle going on in him. My heart hurt for him and when we walked away, I had a smile on my face but tears behind my sunglasses. We told him we would continue to pray for him and he said he would pray for us. He said we are doing a good thing and he will pray the Holy Spirit will give us more and more power. I told him he can have the Holy Spirit’s power. He told us he did and he preaches at a church but he has a hard time trying to quit drinking. He promised us he will quit someday, but kept drinking while we talked. We invited him to church and hope to see him again Sunday.
I feel like being a leader in my group has brought me to a new level in building relationships. Until now I looked to others to understand; now they are looking to me. Last week I couldn’t imagine myself in this position, and the thought of it made me nervous. I didn’t realize how much I have learned about this culture until I have been placed in a position to show it. I’m not struggling for words to say when conversation dies anymore. I know my team should have the chance to ask questions and I ask because I want to, not because I feel like I should.
After lunch we spent the rest of the day with Nelson and his friends. They taught us one of their games that they play. We call it Tic-Tac-Toe Extreme!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

First Snow!



We visited four houses today. The first was Charlie, but we couldn’t stay because he was just on his way out to go somewhere. We went on and met with Thabo, who lives with his mom, sister, and daughter. We stayed a while at his house and he shared his history and how he has made both bad and good choices in life. Now he is trying to do the right thing to succeed in life. We encouraged him and prayed over him and then invited him to church. He said he would see us again at church on Sunday!
We still had an hour before lunch so we visited with a 15 year old girl named Ebohang. She lives with her grandma and older sister but both were not home while we talked with her. We asked her many questions about her culture and life and she enjoyed sharing her answers with us.
After lunch we went back to Nelson’s house, where we visited yesterday. He wasn’t home at first so we visited with his mom, sister, and met his sister’s toddler, Palesa. Later Nelson arrived with four of his friends. While meeting and talking with them we heard someone yell, “It’s snowing!” We hurried outside to enjoy their first snow this year (also our first snow in Africa!) Then they sang some Sesotho songs for us with some dancing! Even though it was very cold outside we enjoyed watching their talent.
When we arrived back on base it was fun to see a little snow on the ground and stuck on buildings!
To see picture, go here: http://www.facebook.com/photos.php?id=1162453421#!/album.php?aid=2047001&id=1162453421

Monday, June 14, 2010

New Friends


This week we are joining with the Next Step interns to do Relationship Evangelism in Qwa Qwa! Along with visiting families in the village, we will have an opportunity to lead Children’s Ministry and visit children in the hospital. The 24/7 interns get to lead the groups of NS interns in our week of ministry.
My group was Ashley, Alicia, Kaitlyn, and Stephen. Rabel was our interpreter. Rabel lead us to our first house, which was a shack made out of metal. I was nervous as soon as we started to approach the house because I knew I have a hard time seeing people living in homes like these. I’ve only been in two other homes like this and both were very sad environments. However, a very nice lady welcomed us in and her son, who spoke very good English, talked with us the rest of the morning. The shack was very warm and homey inside. The son, Joseph, was very encouraging as he shared about his blessings from God and how good God is to him and his family! Hearing him say this was close to the last thing I expected to hear from a family living there.
After lunch we ventured further into the village and met Nelson who had a friend over watching a World Cup game. They were very friendly and interested in America, why we were here, and how we liked South Africa. Our two hours with them that afternoon went quickly and before leaving they asked us when we would be back, so we planned a time to meet with them tomorrow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let’s Worship Together!

Last Thursday we visited Lilian for the last time in these next couple months. We invited her and hoped she would come to church because we would be there and get to see her again this week. Today just before church we hurried to her house to see if she was coming. We were happy to see her all dressed up and ready to come with us!
We had fun dancing with her while praising and worshiping our God. Like most South African churches, worship went for over an hour and another hour of preaching followed. We also had the summer internship, Next Step, joining us. They will be here for two months and during these months our schedule has changed so that we can join them this summer/winter. It was a big blessing to worship with all of us together!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Graduation


Last Wednesday we had our final lesson and then celebrated our learner’s graduation! It was a fun and exciting day for all of us. Jenna and I were also very encouraged to hear them share of how these classes have impacted their lives too. We didn’t expect to hear anything from them since they have been a quiet class, however, most of them came up to share! One said that he use to be full of hate but now he is full of love. Another said that she goes to church with her family but didn’t care about God or know Who He really was until she started coming to our class.
We finished our party with snacks and sweets. We had our five graduates come over for their gift. Once the gifts were in sight their faces grew with excitement and lit up with wide smiles. As soon as they opened them up to find they now had their very own Bible, the room was filled with screams of joy!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Revelation in Relationship with God

During my journey (preparations and travel) to Africa, I knew God had something new for my life. Of course crossing over seas and moving into a whole new continent and culture for a year is a new experience, but I felt this change would be deeper than the physical and seep into the spiritual. I had expectations to experience God in a new way like previous events such as a good sermon or Christian concert would. God continued to confirm these expectations through others I have met here. However, I didn’t feel anything changing, but continued to believe that God was moving and our relationship was growing. As the weeks and months went by and nothing seemed to change, I wondered if they would. The other day I explained to someone on staff that I knew God was near and I could feel His presence, but I couldn’t hear His voice anymore. After talking about it a while she said maybe God doesn’t have anything to say, He just wants to hold me and spend time with me. I realized how true this was. I thought over how much God has been speaking to me and now He wanted to just spend time together. Again I have been busy being a Martha and haven’t sat down at Jesus’ feet like a Mary.
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20
I want to encourage you to take some time to rest in God! I will be going on a 2 hour retreat with Him this weekend. Pray that He will reveal Himself to me. Thank you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lunch with Rebecca


Thursday morning I woke up and thought to myself, “Thursday,…Thursday!!! I’ve been waiting for this day!” I didn’t think I would actually get excited about a Thursday. It’s hard to come out of my comfort zone every week and try to build relationships with the people in Intabazwe. But after meeting our two new friends and being invited back to share the Bible and eat some food our Thursday’s have turned around.
Our friend Rebecca wasn’t home when we came by for our planned Bible Study. A neighbor told us today was pay day and she went to buy what she needed for the month. We figured she didn’t realize that last week when we made our plans.
We went ahead and showed up early at Lilian’s house. She didn’t mind a bit and already had food cooking on the stove. We had tea until the food was ready, and then ate the traditional pap and spinach the traditional way. With our hands! Next week we hope to cook an American meal for her. We will see how that goes with our little experience cooking.

Game Fun


To start off our day at LaunchPad, we played a game of blind bean bag tossing! After putting the cover over their eyes they tried to toss the bean bag on the frisbee. They enjoyed the fun and we enjoyed the show.
Our lesson today was about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was a challenging topic since it isn’t preached about often and there are many different beliefs about it. It took some preparation and discussion. Jenna and I were both happy to have our pastor, Abram, interpreting for us since he would also help with any questions the students might have. At the end nobody did have questions but while driving back to base we found that a couple of the prayer requests were prayer for them to receive the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grand Friends



This week was very rewarding after our week before of wondering around to many families but all too busy to invite us in. A couple older ladies invited us back since they were busy at the time and one said she would cook for us and teach us how to sew. Even though most of us would be fasting at the time, we took her offer very excited that she wanted to spend this kind of time with us.
This week we returned to both of the ladies houses looking forward to the time we would get to spend with them. The first, Rebecca, was very excited to see us again and tickled that a group of young Americans wanted to be friends with her. Unlike most of the Basotho people we meet, she was very talkative and shared a lot about her family. She was especially proud of her nephew who is graduating today. After serving us with tea and bread, she brought out her Bible and we all shared our favorite verses at the time. Before leaving she invited us back next week and said she would have her friends over to hear the Bible too! I don’t know who was more thrilled! God is amazing and we were all very encouraged.
When we arrived at our next grand friend’s house, Lilian, we found that she had been distracted with other company and didn’t get to cook for us. In her group of visitors were her daughter and granddaughter. Jenna is holding Lilian’s granddaughter in the picture. Her friends left soon and she apologized and said she would cook for us next week. That worked out better since this week we were fasting. She also shared her excitement to become our friend and said she would be a grand friend to us. She then shared her tea with us in beautiful tea cups. After tea she showed us her bed comforter sets and traditional dresses she sewed. They were very beautiful and we all decided we wanted her to sew us a dress sometime. Our prayers changed our most challenging ministry to a very rewarding week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learning to Wait on Him

I am so grateful for God’s peace and comfort. Through all my discouragements He has remained faithful and reminded me I have no reason to be troubled. I am also grateful for an extraordinary friend who has encouraged me and spoke truth to me to put me back on my feet.

I sense God has something big for me and for this ministry. I am learning that sometimes we have to start over, or He has to tear down before He can build back up. However, even in the middle of a storm, I can find rest and peace in Him. I felt this truth assured when a tornado hit our base and took out some of our cabins. I was working in the office while it hit and even though I had no idea of the destruction going on outside, I do remember wondering if the wind would blow our roof off. I thought it was a silly thought, but not long after I discovered it did blow off several roofs as well as leaving a cabin in pieces. During all this I sat in the office I listened to worship music and soaked up God’s love. You can read more about the tornado here: http://thriveafrica.org/2010/04/looking-past-wreckage-to-his-promises/

These past few days I have been disciplining myself to not only read the Bible every day, but silencing myself to wait for the presence of God. I have felt my spirit renewed and rested as I wait on God and sit in His presence.

I have decided to do a juice fast May 3rd through May 9th and pray for the unreached people and missions. I also expect to grow in my faith and prayer life. You are welcomed to join me or pray for me during this time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trials and Highlights

This month has been the hardest so far for me with Jeremy leaving and now gone, taking a 2 week break from our normal schedule, and thinking so much about home. I’ve also thought a lot about what God wants me to do next year. This past week has been the week I have missed home the most, and that has made me rethink my future plans.
I planned on being a missionary after this year, but now I want to move back to Arizona and be close to home. There are a lot of ministry opportunities back home, but it doesn’t make sense to go back when I’ve wanted to be a missionary for so long. I don’t know if God might be calling me to something unexpected, or if my fears are getting in the way of my dreams.
I haven’t felt a strong connection with God for a while and my time with God has been kind of dry. But on Tuesday God shared a lot with me and that was my highlight for these past two weeks. I guess with so much on my mind I have been emotionally and spiritually drained. However, God gave me tons of encouragement on Tuesday with reminding me of how much He loves me and how He created me. He reminded me that He wants to spend time with me this year, and He has given me wealth of love. He said I have a lot inside to share, but I’ve let fear block its path. It was like a got lost in the race and fell because I was exhausted of trying to find the path, but God picked me up and showed me that the path was under my feet the whole time. I was just too blind with fear to see that He has lit my path for me. Please be praying for me as I continue to seek God’s will and His vision for my life. Also pray that I will trust in God for the strength I need to fulfill my responsibilities here, as they have grown to an overwhelming amount in these last few days.

…”Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God – my God – will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house [vision] of the Lord.” 1 Chronicles 28:20

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fall Break


These past two weeks most of the students have been off school for Easter weekend and fall break. Yes, it is fall in South Africa and we are preparing for winter! We have also been taking a break from our classes and regular events.
During this time Jeremy has decided to go home early due to personal stuff going on in his life. It has been hard for all of us knowing of Jeremy’s trials and moving on to an internship with four girls now.
Last week we went to Qwa Qwa and spent the whole week in a village there visiting and getting to know the Basotho people. This week we painted the rooms for the farm staff on base. The farm staff are all nationals who are constantly helping us with cooking, cleaning, maintenance, and whatever else that needs to be done. It was nice to do something for them and they were very excited to have their housing painted.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Visiting and a Pumpkin

While the schools take fall break and time off for Easter we are doing Relationship Evangelism all week. Today was our first day and I think we can all say we were nervous. It was a bit rough with the first couple houses but we did make plans to help them with chores tomorrow. And the last two were very encouraging!
We are a shy group so it was helpful that the lady we met before lunch was more outgoing and very excited to have us visiting. Rather than us having to bring up any conversation and only getting a simple yes and no for answers, she like to share with us about her and the culture. She even asked us questions about America and showed us a music video of Basotho songs. She enjoyed explaining what the songs were about, the traditional clothing they wore, and where the songs were filmed. Before we left she gave us a pumpkin from her garden.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Painting Fun


On Sunday we went to paint a house a lady has let us paint for her. They paint their houses using a traditional design that is known in their family. This design is passed down the generations. We learned one of these designs as she taught us what colors to put where. I can’t say we got it down perfectly the first time, but it was a fun skill to try!

Culture Village and Lesotho




For culture class on Thursday our teacher, Dave, took us to Cultural Village for a tour and experience in the Lesotho culture. There we got to see where the chief and his advisor live, along with the chief’s three wives. Jeremy was dressed up like the chief, even wearing his special hat that only the chief wears. I was dressed up as a Lesotho woman. We learned the differences between the way an unmarried woman wore and a married woman wore. In the picture to the side I am dressed as a married woman.

After the tour we left the country and went into Lesotho. Even though we never really left South Africa we did need our passports to leave SA and enter Lesotho, along with getting back in to SA. The day was very exciting and fun.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Normal LaunchPad Class?


This week I went to LaunchPad expecting anything. “What was going to happen that was unexpected this week.” I wondered. However, it all happened as planned! We arrived early and waited for the kids to get out of school. When all the kids moved out of the class room we went in with our LaunchPad students. We had a classroom, translator, and kids!
Jenna did a review and started this week’s lesson, and then I finished the lesson and transitioned them into small groups. We also collected prayer request from them. We haven’t been able to do small groups and prayer requests since we started this term, so it was a blessing. Reading their prayer request was precious and a great way to get to know them better. We received 21 prayer requests this week. Here are some quotes from their prayer request if you would like to join us in praying for them:
“… that my family will get along…”
“I would like you to pray for my school works to goes to university without any problems please!!! And for my dad to find a good job and my brother (Tselane) to find a good job…”
“I want to know about God and I want to know about Jesus” – Maseko
“I would like you guys to pray for me so that I could go to the USA some day. I’m totally nuts about the place. Thank you…” – Lephoto
“ I really need you to help me with the Bible so that I can walk through God’s ways and I want to make friendship with you…” – Sylvia
Also pray for us interns and staff as we build relationships with these children and point them to God. Pray that we can be a friend to them and that God’s love will flow through us. Thank you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday LaunchPad

This morning I woke up feeling dizzy. After breakfast my stomach was sick. I hoped it would go away as the day went on but it only grew worse. Despite my health, I went to help teach LaunchPad without telling anyone how I was feeling. My partner, Jenna, was just recovering from feeling sick so I didn’t want to leave her on her own.
This time we didn’t get a surprise of lots of students and games going on, but rather an empty school. We found out that school let out almost an hour before we arrived because the games were hosted at another school. Our classroom was also locked since the teachers were gone. However, we did find a handful of students waiting outside under a shade roof!
It was striking to see these children willing to wait an hour for us to arrive and teach them about God. We decided to start right then since they waited for so long already. We thought our translator would show up in the next ten minutes so we just did a game and attendance while we waited for her. However, she never did show. I wanted to give up. I was upset with the many other students that didn’t wait for our class and I wasn’t feeling well.
We were able to get another translator to help us. He arrived after I finished half of my lesson. I just hoped they were able to understand most of it. God allowed me to feel good while I taught. This was a big learning experience for me. I learned to not expect a “normal class.” So far every week has been very different. God is a very big God! I can’t try to shape Him, but I can fit into the shape He has for me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pray for Health

Please pray for the missionaries on base. We have had staff and interns getting sick. I have felt a little drowsy for a couple days last week but God has kept me healthy. Now I am feeling better but others are continuing to get sick. Please pray that the ones who are sick will get better, that their rest will give them strength, and that the healthy ones will remain healthy even with this sickness in the air. Thank you, I know God wants to heal us.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Paint and Tradition



Today during our Relationship Evangelism time we had a chance to go back and visit a family. They were just starting a painting project so we helped them paint the room they wanted painted. We were excited that we got the chance to do something for someone rather than just visit. Painting was a lot of fun even though we didn’t bring the right clothes. I tried to cover myself with a skirt, Jeremy wore his clothes inside out, and Jenna bravely painted with no protection. Of course I ended up the messiest.
Jeremy got sick in the middle of the job and got a ride back to base. There has been a sickness running around base. Alicia had to take the day off yesterday. The rest of us have just been extra tired and I have been waking up with a little sore throat. Some of the staff feels like it’s the flu. Whatever it is we are praying that God gives us health and strength for everyone.
After our fun painting, we visited a lady but she had to go to a funeral. She did let us pray for her since she has been sick. After we prayed she said she believed she would be healed.
On our way back to the vehicle, we met a young lady with her daughter on her way to work. After discovering that we were from America she wanted to show us where she worked since she made traditional clothes and beads. We decided we could take a quick visit. It was very neat to see all the ladies there hand making lots of traditional clothes and even uniforms for the children in school. The young lady who brought us there dressed up in the traditional skirt and beads that a Zulu woman would wear at her wedding.
Another lady took us upstairs to where they make beads. It was remarkable to see the process in making these beads! It was like a little field trip.

Rest at LaunchPad

When we arrived on Wednesday at Clubview to teach our LaunchPad class we discovered that there was a lot of games going on. Apparently other schools from around were here to compete in games like chess and soccer! It was neat to see the life-sized chess game going on right outside and all the teams in their different colored jerseys. However, this kept a lot of our students from showing up at class.
We decided to just talk with the children that did show up and get to know them better. We also asked questions from last week. It was very nice to relax with the kids. Even though I had prepared my part of the lesson and had a game ready, I didn’t feel ready to teach that day. Jenna, Amy, and I were all tired so getting the chance to hang out with the kids without teaching was a blessing.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ready to Teach

Wednesday Jenna and I taught our first LaunchPad class. We had to change curriculum. Instead of teaching Love, Sex, and Relationships we are teaching Foundations of Faith. It was kind of scary to switch over so soon with only a week to prepare but it turned out great! I think this is a better curriculum to start out with. We might teach Love, Sex, and Relationship next term.
Aims, our staff helper, said we did really good for our first time. It helps that Jenna and I have both taught before, but even before I wasn’t very good. And I also spoke well with the interpreter compared to last week when I was trying to explain the class and a whole paragraph came out before anything could get translated.
We talked about salvation and I illustrated God’s free gift with a little skit Jenna and I did. She gave me a free gift of a soccer ball. I also illustrated our failure to a pit we are stuck in, and God’s salvation with someone saving us by handing down a rope. I said Jesus came down to save us but it took more than a rope, He gave His life. I know God really helped, I couldn’t have done that all by myself for sure. Jenna taught the first part and I did the last half. I think it also helps when I’m teaching with someone (one at a time) rather than me doing the whole thing myself.
The children seem very excited about this class and are willing to learn. I got to talk with a girl after class who had a question about what was taught. I enjoy getting to have personal conversations with the students and making friends with them.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Note from Samukelisiwe


Last week at Hope House I received a lovely note from Samukelisiwe! She is so sweet and remembers my name every week. I have a hard time with hers though. It’s got to be the longest name of all the children. I’ve been practicing saying it every day, hopefully I’ll have it next time I see her.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

LaunchPad Starts

This week we start the first LaunchPad classes that will be every Tuesday and Wednesday. Since this week is our introductory week we will be introducing ourselves along with playing get-to-know-you games and go over what we will be teaching through this term. We are praying that this will be a good start and that the staff, interns, and interpreters will be able to connect with the kids so that they feel comfortable, safe, and have fun!

Monday, February 15, 2010

No More Sorrow, No More Pain


“…And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain…” – “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin
This song has been a favorite of mine for about half a year now. It’s one of those songs I can’t get tired of hearing and even after listening to it so many times God still talks to me through it. I wasn’t going to post anything about my discovery of my dog’s death, but I can’t go through it alone. Sometimes we go through sorrow and pain, but it passes by and good times come again. Sugar was old and I knew I shouldn’t expect her to make it till I got back home, but I still hoped.
Even though it hurts to know she is gone I am thankful that she is no longer in pain. I have grown closer to God during this time and really appreciate His comfort.
Please pray for me this week as it will be hard for me to focus on my new jobs here. Thank you for all your prayers.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day


Dear God, I love You and wrote this for You.

Sit at Your Feet

I wanna sit at Your feet
Drink Your water so sweet
I wanna sit at Your table
Eat Your bread from the Bible

I wanna walk at Your side
And lay down all my pride
I wanna sing You this song
As we go walking along

I wanna hear the sound of thunder
And know I’m not in danger
I wanna watch the clouds roll by
The mountain tops, so high

I see the rocks staring down
And know I’m on firm ground
It’s Your beauty all around
That reminds me You hold the crown

Rappelling


Last Saturday I had so much fun rappelling! We climbed up Mt. Everest, one of the mountains on base. Lucas, who has helped people rappel for ten years, set up the ropes for us and coached us on our way down.
The rock we went down didn’t look that big from the bottom, but when I looked down from the top it was very high. I grew nervous while Lucas tied all the ropes and showed us how to use them. However, I was the first to rappel down. It was scary to have to put all my trust in the harness and ropes. I learned that I had to let go of all my control, I couldn’t even hold on to the rock. All I had in my hands were ropes and all my weight was in the harness. I started slow and tried not to look down the first time. After I got to the bottom I hurried back up to do it again! The second time I enjoyed the scenery.
After all the fun I thought of how I must do the same for God. He is my Harness; I need to put all my trust in Him. And let go of all my control. He has blessed me so much! I didn’t expect to go rappelling while here in Africa! Missions aren’t all hard and filled with trials like some people (like me) have thought. It also isn’t perfect and always spiritual. Missionaries are still people.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Secret Tip on Great Hair!



Today at Hope House was so relaxing and peaceful. I really appreciated it after our big morning on visiting two schools for LaunchPad Assemblies.
During our activities the kids were much better behaved than the 2 weeks before. They got along better and even helped clean up quickly afterwards.
When we were all done we played outside for the remaining amount of time we had there. I got my hair done while lying out in the grass! I learned a secret to great hair! Here is what you do:
Don’t take a shower the morning you go to get it done
Go to a place with lots of kids, preferably Hope House
Find a small boy with a runny nose and dirty flip flop
Lay out in the grass
And that’s it! Great hair just like that!

Finishing LaunchPad Assemblies

Friday was our last day going into the schools to get the kids to come and be excited about LaunchPad classes. Again they got me very excited for LaunchPad too!

We went to two schools on our last day and I think they were the best from the whole week! But my friends have caught me saying that after every school. I think they just keep getting better! The kids really showed excitement and that they understood the drama. And we have improved after doing the drama so much all week. At our very last school Jace, who explains the drama and invites everyone to LaunchPad, felt that God wanted her to pray over the kids. After we finished she invited the kids to come up and get prayed over from us. We were surprised since we didn’t expect it but I was happy to get to pray for them. They were all so sweet and I loved praying for each of the kids that came to me. Most wanted prayer to help them pass their tests but one girl that walked up to me said she wanted a changed life!

When we left and shared our experience there we found out that all together we had 3 kids that we had prayed the prayer of salvation with them.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Excited for LaunchPad!

Today I think we did really good on our dramas. We did three today and the last one we did we got to stay a little bit afterwards and talk to the kids. They are so sweet and excited about seeing us. They made promises to come to our classes and said we were beautiful. Alaina had a singing part in the drama and one girl came up to her and said that when she heard her sing, it was so beautiful she wanted to cry! As much as we go trying to get the kids excited about LaunchPad, they make us excited! I'm so excited to build relationships with these precious kids!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LaunchPad Assemblies


All this week we are doing LaunchPad Assemblies, where we go into the schools and promote LaunchPad. (the classes we will be teaching) To get them excited to come we did a drama. I was nervous the first time but after that it has been fun. I like seeing all the kids and schools. We will be performing the same drama quite a bit this week. We went to three schools today and we will do three more tomorrow.

On Monday we went to Clubview, where Jenna and I will be teaching. We will be teaching from Thrive Africa curriculum and from the book, “Love, Sex, and Relationships”. I am excited since this is a subject I have learned lots from and know I’m called to. I hope and pray that God will make it clear on what I should share and that I will have the courage to share it. We are encouraged to put in our own personal testimonies and create a safe environment for the kids to share too.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hope House


On Friday we went to Hope House, an orphanage of about 30 kids. I have been looking forward to meeting these kids all week! When we drove up they came running out to meet us. They were excited to meet us too!
Most of them could speak enough English so that we could get to know each other without a translator. All we did with them this week was introduce ourselves, play, sing songs, a craft, and games. For the rest of the year we will also be teaching them a lesson about God. For the first four weeks it will be about love.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ministering in Intabazwe


Thursday we did Relationship Evangelism which was going into Intabazwe and visiting houses and building relationships with the people. We only did one house this week and talked to a 19 year old girl named Refilwe. She also had a son, Oratile, who she gets to see on weekends and sometimes during the week. Otherwise he lives with his grandma.
We talked for awhile just getting to know her, and then we asked if she went to church. She said she did sometimes but the pastor was boring. Marc shared that he didn’t like church either when he was a boy, but his parent made him. Soon he realized how much God loved him and liked going to church. Then we told her that God wants a relationship with us.
Alaina asked if she was interested in having a relationship with God, then gave the gospel starting with Adam and Eve. It was really neat. She didn’t make any decision but said she would think about it and we told her we would try to be back next week.
I think it is neat that we get to go into the village and make these friendships and have this time to spend with people. It’s a great way to minister.