Dear Family & Friends,
THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN
Just a week now before I fly for South Africa. HERE WE GO!!!I have to admit the pace of my heart has quickened as the time has gotten closer. This feels like a significant intersection for me. I often think of it in terms of my bungee jumping experience. The scariest part is just before you jump, after that it becomes an experience you never forget. It's funny that I think of myself as taking such a big risk, yet I forget there is One is who risks even greater, both with me and on me. This is really humbling and gives me greater courage to jump into the unknown. It is His perfect love that displaces my fear.
These past 2 weeks have been incredibly busy, between packing, planning, moving my things into my friend Noah's basement, running errands, buying things like shampoo, soap, and tooth paste. All adding to the quick pace of my heart. Along with the wide range of emotions that come along with packing your life into a couple of boxes and a suit case and saying bye to friends.
Since I'll be in South Africa for 3 months every moment of every day is not necessarily scheduled. There are some "unknowns". But the instead of fearing the unknowns, I must allow God the freedom to fill those places with Himself and not my fear. The "unknowns" are an opportunity. This is more than a mission. It is a pilgrimage, and I must take intentional steps to see that. This isn't just a short term mission trip for me. It is a life investment. Africa has my heart and if something has your heart it has everything else. God is worth it and the royal people of Africa are worth it.
NOW SOME DETAILS: (please don't stop reading)
I will do my best to post blogs while I'm there. Email is spotty at best, so please be patient. I plan on posting everything from the flight there to food to projects. My heart is to eliminate as much disconnect as possible, especially for those of you who are curious as to what Africa is like. So be on the look out! And if you're curious about anything please let me know I'd be glad to post something on it. Please no requests for up close photos of lions or their teeth, as I will probably end up in their bellies.
Also, I'll be will be passing on a new American number to all of you, if you'd like to give me a call. It will ring to my South African phone without international charges. I'll also pass on my South African number if it's easier for you. Just remember I'm 7 hours ahead of the East Coast Time.
One last thing...if any of you are interested in contributing financially to me please send your checks to: YWAM Tyler, Attn: Accounting P.O Box 3000, Garden Valley, TX, 75771 USA. Just put a note in the envelope with my name on it. MY NAME CANNOT APPEAR ON THE CHECK AT ALL.
If you'd like to give to Ten Thousand Homes and our projects, please contact me directly.
I say it over and over, but THANK YOU! It means the world to me how much all of you have contributed to me and this mission. I could not and would not do this without all of you. Some of you have given finances, cameras(Dave & Karen), your pledges to pray, some all of the above, but most of all you've given me your friendship and that is priceless. Thanks for believing in me.
Monday, June 04, 2007
We've survived another winter here in New England. Lots of cold and lots of snow... enough said. Sunshine and green grass are a very refreshing sight! Yes, that means spring for us. And with spring comes change. This includes yours truly.
BACK TO AFRICA
As of July 6, I will be heading back to South Africa for 3 months to continue working with our project - Ten Thousand Homes. My time there will be spent helping to shape and define the future of our mission there. I will also be spending a significant amount of time developing our network of relationships with our partners on the ground, as we look at the possibility of expanding and partnering into other African nations like Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique. Of course, I will continue to be a part of building homes and care centers for needy families and communities - specifically for those directly effected by HIV/AIDS.
This is just a continuation of the journey God has moved me towards in regard to the orphan and the widow, especially in the context of Africa. There are moments when the peace and confidence escape me, but I have come to the conclusion that peace and confidence are not criteria for guidance. The orphan and the widow is where God seems to be moving, so rather than invent my own "mission", I'd rather be found where God is already moving. Make no mistake, God is on the move among the orphan and widow. In the words of Mother Theresa, "We find Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor."
Upon my return in late September, I will be going on the road sharing about Ten Thousand Homes in churches, universities, and various other groups about what God is dreaming for Africa. Our prayer is that we will help to remove the disconnect between what is seen and what is done for Africa. Just the same we hope to be a significant doorway thru which people may have a meaningful effect on the lives of the children of Africa. If you are interested in having myself or one of our team members come and share about Ten Thousand Homes, please contact me.
I am still raising the funds for the plane ticket. If you are interested in giving toward this, please contact me. The total airfare is $2000 and all gifts are tax deductible.
I just want to tell each of you how much I appreciate your friendship, support, and prayers. Without a doubt, I could not do this you - nor would I want to. Thank you for believing in me, this mission, and the dream of God for Africa - giving a place for people to belong.