Throughout the rest of the journey we will be periodically posting thoughts from the interns. We think it is important that you as their community hear straight from them about their experience with God. To start us off is Brandie and Samuel. Please continue to pray for the team as they are well into their time in the 2nd community!
It has been a crazy, joy-filled, and stretching past few weeks. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be back here after 3 years. I am amazed at how much God has moved in this country, as well as my heart, in such a short period of time. For example, the first time I visited a particular community, they were in a terrible drought; the terrain was similar to that of the Lion King - dry, dusty, and little to no vegetation. The community, as well as many of us back in America, were consistently praying for enough rain to cover the necessities. As we pulled onto the dirt roads this time, my mouth dropped. Not only had this community gotten rain, but they had gotten plenty of it (to the point that one of our projects this time was to help restructure a road that had been washed away by the downpour). Everywhere I looked was green and lush! For me not only was this a huge testament to God’s faithfulness in answering the prayers of His people, but it also served as a good illustration of God’s love for us. His love isn’t just “enough”; He pours His love out on us and provides for us beyond our wildest expectations or dreams - like when he sent His Son for us.
During this Journey the Lord has really been teaching me what it looks like to walk in grace daily. When you do, it seems to seep into every area of your life. I’ve been able to see the results of this in the friendships that have been built on the Journey team. Being apart of an encouraging, grace-filled community really starts to mold you into who God is calling you to be. So “hakuna matata” Mom and Dad, I’m missing and loving you lots already, but I’m eating well, staying safe, and doing really well. I can’t wait to see how Jesus blows us away with who He is and how He lavishes love on us. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
To be perfectly honest, there is no way to sum up everything that has happened these past few weeks in only a couple of paragraphs. The journey up to this point has been filled with tears and struggles as well as laughter and joy. God has moved in our hearts and we have responded in kind to His Will in our lives. When I started this experience, I thought that it would be mostly about Africa, but I have learned that Journey is so much more. It is about our own relationships with Christ and what that looks like in a community of grace and truth. It is about the impact we can have in a child’s life by teaching them about simple virtues such as wisdom. It is about what God is doing in East Africa, and in turn what he is doing in each of our hearts. God’s faithfulness and sovereignty has been evident from the very beginning of this chapter in our lives and we have all been wrestling with God just as Jacob did in the Old Testament. I have learned so much about myself, the character of God, and the way that He pursues each of us across the threads that are each of our stories. I have been shown God’s faithfulness in bringing each of our threads together in the community of grace that is Journey 2012. I have been blown away by the grace of God shown by every one of my brothers and sisters on this trip and the leaders that have been appointed over us to direct us in our pursuit of God and His Will for our lives. I would have to say that the most prominent part of my journey so far was the first time that we taught in the classroom. The joy on the kids faces was incredible and the evidence of God’s work through each of us on that first day was humbling. I am truly thankful for everything that the Lord is doing in me, the rest of the team, and in East Africa.
I know that every one of you back home have been praying fervently for each of us, and we are all extremely grateful for this. My prayer for myself and the team going forward is that God would continue to reveal His faithfulness through the work that we are doing and through the trials that we have been wrestling with. Know that the community we have been blessed with here is like nothing you could imagine. There is only grace and truth here. The Lord is moving in ways beyond our comprehension, and we are resting in Him with every passing moment. Pray for boldness in our encounters with others. Pray for depth in the relationships that we are building. Pray boldly against spiritual warfare and the complaints of our flesh. Pray for obedience for the day and spiritual discernment in the moment. Pray not for our safety, but that we will be so attuned to God’s Will that he will do a work in us and through us no matter what road that takes us down. Trust that we are in the hands of the Creator, and His Spirit is doing a work in our hearts and the East Africans’ that will change the course of all of our lives forever. God is good. He is faithful. We all wish to be home at times, but God’s work here in Africa and with us is not yet done. Pray big prayers. Pray for the impossible. Pray that God will move and that this country, as well as our hearts will never be the same. This is my prayer, and I pray that it will be yours as well.