The past 7 months have been a season of growth, and as we are recognizing; there is a whole lot of progress yet to happen. We were going to send you pictures of more of the precious children and tell you more of the success stories we are seeing here in Africa, you know-the typical marketing approach to “selling/convincing” everyone about the importance of what we are doing. No pretty newsletter this month, instead, I am going to be VERY vulnerable with you and share a real glimpse at what world missions can look like. We set out on this journey promising to be “real” with all that happens, and all that we are part of. We owe it to you to follow through on that promise.
I will say this; amazing things truly are happening here-but it MOST certainly is NOT because of us. New homes for abandoned orphans, new families arriving to serve, new CarePoints being started, more feeding programs paving the way for more CarePoints in the future, children experiencing love and hearing about Christ for the first time. And it is a delight to be a small part of it all.
Charlotte has adjusted so well. Her gentle spirit and patient demeanor have been a blessing to me and to all around her. Everyone adores her(how could they not?). She has been a rock and I most certainly would have returned home by now(absolute disobedience to Christ’s call) if it were not for Christ’s encouragement through her. How blessed I am!
I have come to realize that I have been subconsciously harboring feelings deep within myself that I am ashamed and appalled. I am now seeing my arrogance in nearly all that I do. This week I realized that I have been thinking of myself as superior to many around me. I have not been considering the local people as equals, or what they really are; people that are better than me. I have not trusted those around me, and it has resulted in fewer relationships and a much harder time adjusting to this new culture. We were cautioned that the first year while serving oversees is more about what GOD needs to do in our lives than it is about what we can do in others…I am starting to see that it is in fact quite true. Yes, ministry continues with thousands of kids, lives are truly transformed…and at the same time the deepness in which He needs to dig into us happens. It is a painful process(when God highlights your Sin), but truly one that we know we will one day be able to look back on as a defining moment in ministry and life. I have been harboring resentment that “it’s not fair” that everyone else gets to __________(fill in the blank) and build relationships, and I have to lead the organization and “be in charge”, making us both feel that we cannot be as close with everyone around us. The truth is: God called us to Africa; He did not say what it would look like, that it would be easy, or that it would look the way WE thought it would...He just asked us to go.
We are grateful that God is not finished with us yet, and that the work HE started in us continues.
I am grateful that HE is allowing these things to surface in my life to strengthen my relationship with Christ and with those around me. The process of striving to be in Christ’s image is not easy, not always fun, but is most certainly necessary. As He surfaces the “junk” in our lives-we have a choice; deal with it or ignore it. Dealing with it can mean that you humble yourself and share with EVERYONE that you know and love the error of your ways…this is what we believe to be the right thing to do, and I ask for your prayers, your patience and your accountability.
Bless you, thank you for PRAYING for us and thinking about us. We remain committed to lead the Children’s Cup organization here in Swaziland for GOD’s Glory-until HE tells us otherwise.
Power camps start in 3 weeks- a HUGE day at each CarePoint with a theme “keeping our eyes on Jesus”- we desire to have the ability to represent Christ well, that the team stays healthy, that lives are transformed
Discipleship team-they have been spending A LOT of time working to ensure that the teachers at each CarePoint are well equipped. This month-we incorporate tutoring and sports clubs into all of the Carepoints
Our relationship with Christ-that it would continue to be strengthened-and in so happening; that we would be better leaders-filled with compassion, grace and love
The Rodgers Family-as they adjust to life in the USA
The Prince Family-as they adjust to life here in Swaziland
Team season- the first of 12 teams start arriving in May-we are excited to have visitors-but need to stay strong and focused at the same time.