Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Beginning of the End

This week has been filled with many painful "lasts".  I only have 12 days left and the goodbyes have started.

Friday was our last ALIVE youth meeting!

We had a formal dinner

And we wrapped up our relationships series with a wonderful lesson by BMW missionaries Brady and Candy Farr.

Then after our dinner at youth, all the girls went to the Meyer's house for a sleepover (or rather "stay-awake). We had tons of junk food and chick-flicks. Many laughs and memories!!

Sunday was my last Sunday at my local church. I had the privilege of writing and directing their annual Carols by Candlelight! I have been so blessed by the ministry at Sandton Bible Church and my heart is sore to leave their fellowship!

Tuesday was my last night at our Small Group Bible Study. A lady in our group is pregnant so we had a combined going-away/ baby shower party. 

Can't believe how quickly this year has gone by! As excited as I am to come home and be with dear family and friends, I am not to excited to leave my family and friends here. 


and at the moment, mostly bitter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Break-In

This morning at 5:15am we were woken up by a loud banging on our front door.  I brushed it off and went back to sleep. A couple minutes later, it sounded like everyone in the house was up. Again, I brushed it off and dozed back to sleep. When I did get out of bed, I was told that we had all slept through a robbery.

About 4am some guys jumped our fence. Luckily, the house was locked up tight, but they did pop two barred widows and stole stuff off the computer desk that was in arms reach. They broke into our shed and into two cars and stole coke out of our fridge in the back. No one heard anything. A couple security guards caught them toting our stuff a ways away. They confiscated the goods but had no idea who it all belonged too. Praise the Lord that the guys had taken our GPS because the security guards were able to punch in "home" and brought almost all that was stolen back!

Praise God that we are all safe and all but Chae's  iPod was returned.

Please keep us in prayer, tonight especially. Now it is known that our electric fence isn't working and there is a cloud of anxiety floating over our heads. We are taking extra precautions and we know that God is control! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

from my heart

I was planning on writing a post on the missions conference that we had at my church this past weekend.

 I am really needing to speak my heart. 

I am struggling today to comprehend the love of God. Not that, on any other day, my finite mind is able to understand the depths to which He loves me. But today seems exceptionally difficult. 

I have listened to the same song this morning probably 4 or 5 times. It's by Aaron Shust and it's called "Still You Love Me" Read these lyrics and weep with me. 

I've never felt, so undeserving
Then when You called out for me
I've never been, more unworthy
When You reached down for me
I'm lifting hands, stained and dirty
To touch my Savior's face
And I know now, I am touching grace

You see everything I do
And still You love me
'Cause You hear everything I say
And still You want me
'Cause You know all my darkest secrets
That I try so hard to hide
You know everything I am
And still You love me
Still You love me

Amazing love, how can it be
That You would die for me?
Amazing grace, oh the mystery
My blinded eyes now see
When I fall, when I stumble
I struggle to my feet
Just to find, grace is lifting me

You see everything I do
And still You love me
'Cause You hear everything I say
And still You want me
'Cause You know all my darkest secrets
That I try so hard to hide
You know everything I am
And still You love me
Still You love me

There's nothing I can say
To make You turn away
There's nowhere I can go
You're never far away

(You see everything I do
And still You love me
'Cause You hear everything I say
And still You want me)

You see everything I do
And still You love me
'Cause You hear everything I say
And still You want me
'Cause You know all my darkest secrets
That I try so hard to hide
You know everything I am
And still You love me
(Still You love me)
Still You love me
Still You love me

Don't get me wrong. I'm not dwelling in self-pity. I'm not writing this from my heart because of how unworthy I am and how much that bothers me. I sing this song and I am overwhelmed by the unconditional love of God. He knows everything I do, everything I say and think and He still loves me. I am sure if I sat here and revealed some of my darkest secrets, I would lose a couple friends. But the creator God, the Almighty, Infinite, Powerful God sees me live the life that He bought with His blood as if He doesn't exist. He hears my selfish thoughts and groans as I trample the grace He gives freely with my prideful, self-sufficient actions. All of this and so much more, and instead of turning His face, instead of walking away, instead of giving me what I deserve, He loves me. seriously. Is this not blowing your mind right now?

Why am I so content to live without acknowledging the love of God? 

A couple of minutes ago, a dear lady from my church, who recently lost her husband, just provided 3 dinners for the 20 people who live here at Word of Life. She is always looking for opportunities to be a blessing to people and I pray that God would give me the same love for serving as Mary has. I was thinking about the love that she has shown us and what an incredible blessing it is. I am truly overwhelmed by her example. 
Mary is a woman of God, and her act of love and service has me amazed. But God is God, His love is unconditional, His service is perfect. He is perfect. In comparison to what God has done for us, Mary's blessing pales. Why doesn't God's love for me evoke the same gratitude as the sacrifice of Mary?

Something is seriously wrong if I can go throughout a day, a moment, without living in gratitude for the love of my Savior.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time Flies

I am approaching  home stretch here with three months to go in my internship. It's hard to believe how fast this year has gone by and how in a blink of the eye I will be back in the states! 

These three months hold a lot for such a short amount of time. Summer is approaching quickly and that means camp! We have been meeting quite regularly to plan our end of year camps in December. We have camps over the next several weekends and in October we will be planning and putting on 2 Olympian Games Days. 

The 10 students that live here are on holiday for the next several weeks, so the house is quiet and empty. 

My parents are coming at the end of October to visit and we will take a trip to Cape Town then!

I am in the middle of my second to last semester with LU online! Please pray for me as I continue to work on school work in the midst of camp busyness. 

I am still struggling physically. Continuing to see doctors and get blood taken! They have pretty much ruled out the iron as the cause for my lack of strength and extreme fatigue. We've ruled out a lot of other things it could be and next step is a brain scan to rule out MS. The doctors are pretty sure it's not MS but need to rule it out before we can move on. I bought an energy tonic recommended by my doctor here today so hopefully that will mask the symptom of fatigue until we can figure out what is causing it. Prayers are appreciated greatly!!

Please also keep my in prayer as my heart is with my family. We are going through a rough time within the family and it's very hard to be so far away from them during this time. I know my presence would not change the situation but that knowledge doesn't make it much easier. I am learning (again!) how to trust the Lord with my family and it's a hard lesson to learn. Just pray that it doesn't distract me from what the Lord has for me here these last 3 months. 

Hebrews 12:1-4

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's been an exciting three weeks!!

The past three weeks have been an incredible blur of ministry. It's times like these that I am refreshed in my love for serving the Lord.

About three weeks ago, a small team of us went to South Coast to do a three day youth camp. We were told that the age range would be from 14 to 22 years old but it turned out that the age range was closer to 6mo. to 60year old. So our youth camp turned quickly into a family camp.That weekend is a bit hard to describe.
The first night that we were there, I found their charismatic worship sessions to be entertaining and exciting, but the deeper we got into the charismatic aspects of the different churches represented the more uncomfortable I became. We were faced with many doctrinal challenges that weekend, from speaking in tongues, to being judged for wearing pants as women. God really stretched me in those three days.

We arrived home on Monday evening and that next Friday night we were headed back out for a week of ministry. It was what WOL calls SMASH (Students Ministering and Serving Him) and it's a week of ministry where we take youth from our local churches and train them to serve. We were split into two teams, one team went to a primarily Zulu speaking church and the team I was on went to a multicultural church. We attended church on Sunday and then starting Monday we were directly involved with their Holiday Bible Club (VBS). After the morning of HBC we would then spend another couple hours training the youth and young adults of the church in spending time in God's Word and the command to evangelize. I was sick the majority of the week but God used that time to reaffirm the lesson I have been learning in relying on the Lord's strength completely. We had many salvation decisions and an awesome time training and learning together with the local churches we were with.

We arrived home from Durban on Saturday night and on Monday morning 6:30am we were at my local church in Jo-burg for their annual HBC. I was excited to be involved with the church I attend and again the Lord stretched me. 

I was asked on Sunday to be involved in their drama as one of the lead characters. If you know me you will understand my excitement. I also was a small group leader with a co-leader from a missions team (in SA for 2 weeks). Unfortunately, because of my extensive involvement with the drama, my time with the girls in my group was minimal. After the first couple days, I felt discouraged because I wasn't having a direct impact in the lives of these precious girls. But God, continuing to break me down, reminded me that I don't impact them anyways, it's God who is in control. My ministry this last week consisted of more prayer than anything else, and I praise God for getting my priorities realigned.  

This weekend, we have a team of American high school students coming to spend about 2 weeks with us in ministry. Please keep us in your prayers!

This past Monday, I had the awesome opportunity to experience a safari.  Here are a couple pictures...

This picture above is a male lion and the scary part is, we were standing in the open, if he had wanted to, he probably could have eaten us...yeah no big deal.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Health Update!

            Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement over the past month! So many of you sent me messages filled with great advice on how to fight IDA and I am so thankful God has placed so many wonderful people in my life!

   I have been making progress in my health, there are still bad days but they are fewer than previously. I picked up Iron Supplements and have been taking them twice daily and I can tell that they have been giving me more energy.

I also have made a lot of changes in my diet. I am learning how to make it easier and quicker to eat healthier. I can tell in the morning whether or not what I ate the day before was beneficial. I have a list of foods I know are rich in iron and I am incorporating them into every meal. I have trained my mind to think "spinach, spinach, spinach." and surprisingly you can put spinach in pretty much anything!!
I have yet worked up the courage to try the chicken liver sitting in the freezer...

I had my blood tested and my iron level is on the low side. I will continue on the supplements and diet and hopefully within the next few weeks I will feel healthy and energetic. My doctor has expressed concerns that if in the next 2 weeks I still get worn out easily and have little energy there may be something else wrong. So please keep praying!

God is teaching me a lot through this challenge. I am truly learning how to rely on him when I don't have anything else. I wake up in the morning and cry out to the Lord for strength and energy. My intimacy with the Lord has grown so much over the past couple months and I believe this is just another step closer to a beautiful relationship with God!!

2 Corinthians 2:9  "..but this happened that I might not rely on myself but on God who raises the dead."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Health Problems.

I am writing to ask for your prayers.

Over the last few weeks, my health has been slowly deteriorating. I have had Iron Deficiency Anemia for as long as I can remember, but it hasn't affected my daily life until just recently. 

What Iron Deficiency Anemia means is that basically I just lack the amount of iron my body needs for function properly. It didn't seem like a serious problem and I had kind of forgotten about it until I got my blood tested for Malaria in March. A doctor friend here in South Africa called me with the results of my blood test and told me that I was lacking a subsequent amount of iron and that I should consider iron supplements.

 It wasn't until I got back from Hungary that I started to see the change in my body. I began to feel incredibly weak and I lacked energy to do anything. I was fatigued and my body just didn't feel right. I began to look into Iron Deficiency Anemia more online and found that it could turn into a more serious health issue if I didn't take care of my body now. It is flaring up now due to the lack of iron in my diet. I assume it never effected me before because of my healthier diet.

I have begun to make as many dietary changes as possible in the circumstances I am in, and iron supplements are on my list to buy. But I am finding it to be a big challenge to eat properly as buying my own food is not in the support budget.

I am also getting discouraged! My body isn't responding yet to the dietary changes I have made and I am just so frustrated with feeling so weak and tired all the time. I know it will take time but it is really discouraging. 

Today is a bad day, and I guess that's what triggered me to ask for your prayers. Being in this state physically is draining, and it is having a direct affect on my ministry.

God has been growing me so much while I have been here, and I believe this is another trial in the process of me being shaped into the image of His son. I truly covet your prayers during this time!