For the last few weeks I have been attempting to update my blog. Honestly, I have had so much to say it has been overwhelming trying try to figure out what to say and how to say it. Today I received some letters from my Sunday School class. Madison asked me to respond on my website…
Yes Ma’am Madison I will respond! I miss these kids already. Hoping to Skype in with them soon.
I guess I’ll start by giving you a brief description of what a day may look like here at the farm (International Learning Center). I’ll use today as an example. Got up for some quiet time. Made it to breakfast at 7:00am. Went to large group to discuss Acts 9 (fyi probably one of my favorite passages- I’ll explain later). From 9:00 to noon we had a session on language and culture (it was awesome and learned a lot). Broke for lunch and then wrapped up session on language and culture. Then met with my small group and some others from my Sub-Saharan Affinity group to strategize on our upcoming Washington D.C. trip. Then played some bball followed by dinner followed by my first ever 18 holes of frisbee golf. Shot +7. My goal is even par before I leave training. It only took about 45 mins to play 18 holes (I hope my golf buddy’s wives don’t get any ideas from this).
That is a very brief description. I think I could write a book on everything else in between we are doing and everything I am learning. My brain is on overload and haven’t read this much in my entire life. All good stuff though! My favorite session was one on prayer last week. Made me look at prayer in a whole new way. Blew my mind! Also learning a lot about God’s word I never knew before which is really cool and interesting.
Back to Acts 9… About a month before my calling last year I volunteered at Set Free Church doing VBS. I did a monologue on first part of Acts 9…Paul’s conversion on road to Damascus. A month later with this fresh on my mind, I’m pretty sure this is why I asked God for him to be crystal clear on me moving to Africa. “As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him” Acts 9:3
Most have seen this pic I was able to take the night of my calling when I asked God for a sign. My own lightning storm. Like Paul, I saw and heard Jesus loud and clear! Hard to believe this was almost a year ago. Since that night I have battled with staying in that surrendered mindset. Though I told God… “yes, I will surrender and go” it hasn’t been easy. I think it’s all the unknowns. How long is this going to be? What exactly am I going to be doing there? Where am I going to live? What happens when I am done? What is this 2 month training deal on a farm in Virginia?
Then it hit me again this morning meditating on this passage. Jesus told Paul “…Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” He didn’t tell Paul what he was going to be doing and how everything was going to work. He just commanded him to go! And he went. Blinded by the way. I’m finally at training and feel like it’s one step closer to me being ready. I’ll never forget a quote I heard my first mission trip to SA five years ago. “It’s like jumping stones in a river. You don’t really know your next stone until you jump and then there’s always another stone there” I loved that visual of living in the present and totally dependent on God showing me my next jump!
So for the next 6 weeks I will be soaking up all that God wants me to be learning. I’m doing this with some incredible people. Out of about 40 quads here at the farm, we by far have the best “family”. Two really cool couples, 2 baby boys and one 2-year-old girl who is hysterical and 2 other single guys. We are all going to different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa (yeah, I don’t really know what that consists of either). There is about 200 of us here. We are all learning from each other. Praying for each other. Eating with each other. Laughing with each other. Reading God’s word with each other. Worshiping with each other. We are all from different backgrounds but we all have one thing in common.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possession and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” Acts 2: 42-47