I recieved a letter this morning from my daughter, and I think this is the best way to "update" you on my kids experience in Africa! Enjoy! I know I did!
It’s me J
I miss you all like crazy! God has been soo good to me though, and there have only been a couple times where I’ve had that sad, miserable, longing ache to be back at home IMMEDIATELY. When I had malaria it was definitely a very tough four days. I don’t think that I’ll ever forget those days of being so, so, so sick. And not just sick, but sick and laying in a dirty mud hut in the middle of absolutely nowhere!I wouldn’t trade that time for anything, though. Because during that time God ministered to me, and I literally felt His presence stronger than I ever have in my life. He spoke to me and revealed so much to me... I don’t have enough time to explain it all by e-mail, but once I get home I will be able to tell you more about some things that happened spiritually during those four days.
This whole trip hasn’t been like a big “spiritual high”. There has been so much testing, so many challenges. There have been some reeaallly difficult days. Days when I would end up in tears at some point.Pure, raw tears from an overwhelmed heart. I think that before I left I had this expectation that this trip was going to be a little bit challenging, but that it was going to be so full of great emotional high points where God’s presence was always tangible, too. I was wrong. There have been many of those times where the Holy Spirit was so obviously near. But the majority of the time has been a testing, refining process. I have had to keep pressing on so many times when I so desperately want to give up. I have had to go without running water, electricity, a bed, sleep, etc.. I have had to deal with lots and lots of insects, animals where I’m trying to sleep, food that I am not familiar with, a language that I cannot understand. And the transportation…Oh my goodness!!! I have been in the back of a very tiny pickup, along with 25 other people! I have been in countless mini-buses with goats, chickens, plus 22 or 23 sweaty, filthy, smelly people! Yet, I am so very thankful for this! I have, at least somewhat, began to seek JESUS. Not the blessings He gives, not the fuzzy feelings He gives, not comfort, not ease, not familiarity. I have tasted and found that He alone is enough. It is a glorious freedom not to be bound by anything! I don’t need a shower every day, I don’t need American food, I don’t need a bed to sleep in, I don’t need female company. Jesus is enough, and nobody can take Him away from me! Nothing can separate me from His love and His presence.
As a white person (well…sort of white!! I have a very dark tan right now because of all the exposure I’ve had to the hot, African sun!) , I am the focus of all attention wherever I go, especially because I am a female!There aren’t really any female missionaries at all around here. I wake up in a house with three men in it. Then I go to prayer and intercession with anywhere from 10 to 20 men. Then Bible class is taught by different men, and I am the only female there. Then we will go and talk with some of the pastor’s and have lunch with five or six more men. Then we will go home and I will be cooking dinner and find out that a few men are coming over for dinner. In the villages women are not valued at all. Black women, that is. It’s so ingrained in their culture that at the church services, the men won’t even sit with their wives.White women are treated like queens. This also has an advantage.People are curious, and when I speak and teach, they listen.
Last night we went to the church service at Kalibu. It was spectacular. The worship was just incredible! It’s hard to describe, but to hear over 500 young African students joyfully, loudly, boldly praising God with everything in them...it was great. We sang and worshipped and danced and shouted and praised God for over an hour, but it seemed like less than five minutes. Pastor Mike preached, and boy does he preach with an anointing.
I sit here and try to cram everything that I’m learning and experiencing into a few paragraphs in an e-mail and it is not easy! I have tried, but I really can’t explain all that is going on, all that God is doing. At least not by e-mail.
Make sure that everyone who has supported us and is praying for us knows that we appreciate it! There have been many times where I can literally feel God’s protection and presenceand I just know that it’s the result of someone’s prayer at that moment. I’ve had this happen a few times in the middle of the night when I wake up and I am filled with the assurance that someone, somewhere is praying for me. I can’t tell you how much that means at that time.
Tell everyone that A---- says hi! I miss you guys!! And I will be home very soon!!