So, I'm getting ready for our Missions team report on this upcoming Sunday. I'm reminiscing over the entire Africa trip trying to figure out why God wanted me to go. What was His purpose? Did I really make a difference in such a short amount of time? The answers to these questions might always go unanswered until I get to heaven to see the results, but I do know a couple of things.
God has put it in my heart to do more... more with my life, more with missions, more with my prayer life, more with keeping in touch with friends that are far away, more with my giving... just more. He has put us on earth to worship Him and telling other's about him is one of those ways! I would love for my family to have a part in this overwhelming feeling I have to do more. I mean if you are always living to your full potential you will always feel overwhelmed with God's love for you and for others, and why does it take sending me half way around the world to figure that out?
And right now I want to encourage my readers to do more! Send an email or a phone call to a person that God has laid on your heart. You never know what your friends may be going through. I did learn that we are really Corey and Jenni's link to the world they knew before and fellowship and laughter can be hard to obtain when you are in a country where you don't know the language (or very little of it) and there are very few people that you can fellowship with and those you do are your coworkers that you might not have much in common with. Those little "Hi how are you" emails from friends at home show that they love you and did not forget about you.
Maybe, God sent me to Africa to see how much we really have here. We are really spoiled in the United States! The people of Mozambique are really happy with nothing...literally nothing. One of the village children that we saw at the Bible institute really stood out to me in this. He was wearing a pair of those footed pajamas, actually Kaitlyn had the same pair when she was little, it had been cut off at the waist and he was wearing just the top. It was tied at the waist and his midriff was showing, his sleeves came about a third of the way up his arm. And through all of this, he had the biggest smile on his face and they all were singing at the top of their lungs! Yet, they have nothing. We have everything that this world could offer, and yet we are still sad.
Everyday we see commercials on TV about the newest anti depression drug, and how you will just be happy if you buy this new product...and yet there is a new commercial for another new must have product that will turn your life around the very next day. I wonder if we were to SHED all of this stuff, just gave it all away if it would turn our lives around. Christ says in
Mark 10:21 "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Jesus was talking to a rich man in that passage, but I think that here in America we are more rich than so many people that we could give half of what we have away and still be considered rich. I think that we are weighed down by all of the stuff we have too. Now, I am not saying that everyone who is depressed should give their stuff away and then they wouldn't be, but I do think it is a contributing factor for some in our culture. I also think that we are so focused on acquiring more stuff for us that we forget to think about other's.
I have this passion to share Christ's love with everyone, and here in the United States I have this fear. I have a fear of rejection from people I know and love. I have a fear of being ridiculed, and I have a fear of confrontation...which I don't do well. I only had some of these fears in Africa before the TLW rally, but after that all fears were gone. I know that God has the powers to take these irrational fears away, but it isn't easy since I am not usually the type of person who likes to just put myself out there. In Acts 18:1-11 it says "One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision 'Do not be afriad; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.' So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God." Now Paul was persecuted for teaching and preaching the Gospel, but God said that no one was going to attack him in Corinth at that time...and he spent a year and a half there! But not only that Paul went to prison with a happy heart. God used that time to seal Paul's extreme faith and to get him ready for the persecution that was coming. I'm sure that Paul had his times of fear as I clearly see in Acts 18; but if God can do that from this man who was awful to Christians surely he is quietly trying to tell me the same thing. He can get me through the fear! Now if only I would listen and get out there and do it!
So, one more thing on Africa before I leave this topic for awhile and get on to my "real life". Capalana's...African skirts. I think they have the right idea on that one. They are very comfortable to wear, you don't need any sizes and they fit everyone. No more being worried about your weight. It is really a freeing experience to not have to worry about clothing fitting!
If any of you want to hear more Africa stories I encourage you to come to our share night this Sunday. It is at Holladay Baptist Church at 6pm. If you would like to come and need directions just send me an email!