Sitting here on a cloudy day, the second day of a new year here in Rwanda, I am just reflecting on what God has shown me since I got back on December 1. It may be easier to read in list form:
1. Culture shock can and will happen at any time and even sneak up on you. I cane back for year three thinking it might be easier. The last few weeks I have been stretched in traffic, missing the routine of life that is easy to find in the states, and feeling so overwhelmed when I seem to not be able to accomplish what I want to. I have prayed more the last few weeks for God to just let me not give in to it but continue to walk out of this house and meet life here head on. I am seeing some light now. The Rwanda I love is still here.
2. Satan is an adversary that is going to fight to stop what God is wanting to do here. He hates the things God has put on my heart for ministry. He is attacking my room mates with the work they are doing, and just in general he is out to stop the kingdom advancing here. He has worked overtime on me the last several weeks. The power of Jesus, the standing we have in Him, and being alert and aware to the devil's schemes have helped me to stand firm. I may have been afflicted but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed! (2 Cor. 4: 8-9) Thank you to those who continue to pray for me!
3. Showing God's love is not always earth-shattering blog worthy stuff. It can be simply listening to a hurting mom, counseling wayward or confused young people, praying and encouraging friends who lose Dads in car wrecks, holding hands with disabled folks and laughing when they burp the orange Fanta you are helping them drink. It is researching soap making for a potential income-generating idea for women who want to get out of sex work or sharing a scripture verse with a bank security guard. It can be forgiving the man who swipes your bumper with his car instead of going postal on him. It can be giving money to some sisters to buy supplies or challenging so many of you to help children get an education here. I often want to measure things in the big moments and those happen here for sure. But the quiet, spirit-filled life where you stop to take someone to the airport in a change of plan can often be more challenging to me to be full of grace and stop MY thing for the sake of someone else.
4. My family, my close friends, my church family, and the people I have come to know in my circle of life in Mississippi have the biggest hearts ever! We sponsored all 45 children and even raised some for the extra feeding they will be doing this year. Thank you, team! I do nothing here that is not a direct result of the support that is coming from the place I call home there.
If you give God the space in this life, He WILL fill it. He is showing me what to empty out and get rid of and filling it with His sweet presence. I am a slow learner but He has grace, mercy, and patience with me. Please continue to pray for the next new endeavors I seek to undertake. I am hoping to get a Bible club started back for kids 3rd-5th grade, to assist with teaching English classes to DuHope ladies, and to learn how to make milk soap. Pray that I can find the best place to host the club, be effective as a teacher of basic English but yet infuse it with God and His Word, and that I do not blow anyone up using lye :)