Friday, October 29, 2010
Already on the drive there I told Rich how I already see ourselves driving the roads of Uganda - looking at it's very different landscape, feeling the heat, the different feel etc.
Lately, I constantly have the beautiful black faces before me - young and older - it's as real as my present reality in NZ... my heart is already there and it is bursting with LOVE!!!
It actually feels a lot like it felt just before giving birth to my babies. You can't see them yet, but you are constantly thinking of them, imagining how they'll look like etc and longing to hold them in your arms and tangibly show them your love.
So back to this morning's talent show:
As I was watching the progression of AMAZING performances of one child/young person after the other - some solo, some in groups - I was overcome with the contrast of what I was seeing to what is happening in Africa to most children of the same ages - right now!
CHILDREN ARE any country's TREASURE!!!
The children we saw this morning were being loved WELL - it showed in the performances. Dedicated mothers (and fathers) raising their children, pouring out day after day in care, feeding them, clothing them, training them, giving them an education at home, driving them to endless music, singing, sports, ballet, hip-hop classes, giving them the opportunity to learn instruments and become skillful in many areas, spending their free time researching next year's curriculum and ever working on improving the school (and parenting) experience, guiding them to know THE ONE who loves them even more than the parents ever can...
There was such a RICHNESS and BEAUTY demonstrated!
And all the while my thoughts couldn't help but drift to Africa - and from what I've read, seen and heard from a distance, Africa's children are just as much her TREASURE!
YET - and that's why I got messed up - they are not being well loved, the way they deserve it. Most mothers don't have the luxury to feed their children 3 meals a day - plus morning and afternoon tea (snacks), nor clothe them, let alone spend their days nurturing them, training them, teaching them, giving them an education, fostering the talents that God's laid inside of them by having them take this or that lessons, sport, whatever.
From what I understand, for the majority of people in Africa, daily life is purely about SURVIVAL.
Will I be able to find SOME food for my children today?
Will they survive this sickness?
What will happen to them when I die cuz I've got AIDS?
And then there are the millions of children who don't have parents at all, roaming the streets in search for something to eat, a shelter for the night, vulnerable, lonely, with NO ONE at all to wrap their arms around them, tell them that they're precious, beautiful, loved.
SOMEHOW - SOME.HOW. there's GOT to be a way of sharing some of the richness we've got in NZ (and other Western nations) - like the one with the 2 coats giving away 1 to the one with no coat... dunno how... (and yes, I do realize that even in our nations there are children who aren't well loved)
My heart is just breaking. I have no idea what will happen when I will actually be there.
Will there be enough tears??? It's not that I want to cry - believe me.
But I've asked God to break my heart with what breaks HIS ~ ~ ~ and I think he's answering...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I came across this article written by a fellow-YWAMer - just after coming back from a YWAM NZ staff gathering... and it really spoke to me...
By Tim Heathcote
In YWAM we rub shoulders with some courageous and heroic people. Earlier this year I sat alongside leaders from around the continent of Africa as they met in Bamako, Mali, for an annual time of prayer and decision-making. I heard stories of fantastic growth and beautiful fruit. It was inspiring. But I also heard of violence and enormous risk. Africa is changing fast; the world is changing.
How will I live in the face of the challenges resulting from this change?
Life is often difficult. This simple message was the theme of a time of devotion in Mali. It led to a long discussion and time of prayer – because in Africa over this last year, life has been really difficult for many of our YWAM staff. There’s been martyrdom and the death of several key leaders. Many of our workers face the risk of abduction and kidnapping; most face the daily struggle for finances. YWAM friends of ours have seen several hundred Christians murdered in recent months and scores of churches burnt in their city. Life is not getting easier. In fact it seems to be getting more difficult.
As part of that time of devotion, we heard a message originally spoken just over a year ago, by a true hero who was martyred soon afterwards. As we listened to his voice through the tinny laptop speaker, knowing how his life ended, we were shocked by the prophetic nature of his words.
He began by quoting Thomas Jefferson, who said, “only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible”. He also mentioned Moses, who “endured, seeing him who is invisible.” He then asked the simple question: “Is my life about this – He, who is invisible – or is it about what is visible? Will people write something about me one day? If so, my prayer is that they will say, ‘By faith he did this for the Lord.’ My concern is that instead they might say, ‘Because of fear he did not do this; because of complacency he did not do what he was called to do.’ Let’s live for Him who is invisible. Faith and fear cannot coexist… Let’s be strangers in this world, our citizenship is in heaven.”
Shortly after giving his message, this man was martyred in a nation far from his land of birth.
It is a sobering reality. Life is difficult and bad things happen, terrible things. So will I live for what is visible? Or will I live daily for what is invisible and eternal?
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Last week, I woke up with a feeling of "panic" one morning (not really, but the closest word to describing it).
It hit me that we were already October and our planned trip to Uganda was "just next month"!!!!!!!
How in the world was everything going to come together - from all the arrangements for childcare etc at home - to actually having the necessary finances to jump on that plane (or let's say 8 planes total?) - to making arrangements for our 2 weeks there.
Most of the time, I've been in total faith and peace about the whole thing.
But last Friday - NOT!
On the way to the Prayer Room, I just shot a short prayer up, telling the Lord that he needed to quiet my heart, speak to me and in some way confirm that we are actually REALLY supposed to go.
The first thought that hit me as I sat down in the Prayer Room, a Scripture:
"And here they were - overwhelmed with dread - when there was nothing to dread"
Thank you Lord!
After THOP, I went by our church office to make arrangements for a second book sale fundraiser. While I waited to see the person I needed, I ran into a man I'd never met before.
We got talking, and - believe it or not - he was from Africa (white Zimbabwean).
Long story short, I shared about our vision to help orphans in Africa and he said he will help us get there!
I came away SOOO encouraged!!! Who knows if he actually will help us (many times people promise things and don't keep them), but it doesn't matter.
The Lord had heard my cry, quieted my soul and confirmed that YES, we ARE meant to go.
Just the faith-booster I needed!
Lord, this was YOUR idea - YOU are the father to the fatherless, defender of orphans and widows! You put this passion in my heart - and gave the word to GO there - this year!
And go we will! YOU make the way! YOU provide! I LOVE YOUUUU!!!!