Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Library Update

Hey Y'all! Just wanted to send a quick update on the Library. Thank you to everyone who has already donated or has offered to donate their used books! I am so thankful that the Lord has stirred your heart for this library.

So far, I have collected about 175-200 books with more people still promising to give. A majority of those are children's books and they are AWESOME! I am still collecting books for all ages-children, teens, young adults, adults. I wish I could see the faces of the Destiny children when those first books arrive! I will try to send the first shipment some time next week.

Several people have asked me how many books I am planning to collect. Let me address this with: as many as you have to give. All of them will be used (as long as they pass the Stephdar (Steph radar).

So, thank you a million times over for giving my sweet Destiny children and the Matero community the opportunity for knowledge and books! Keep them coming!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Help Me Start a Library

While in Zambia, I frequently became overwhelmed by the need that surrounded me. Honestly, it becomes easy to focus on the need rather than the sufficiency of Christ, but with the Lord's grace I tried to keep a healthy balance.

But there is something that the Lord has laid on my heart. SOmething that will bring God glory and help the community of Matero. Matero is the community where the school that I work with calls home. The school is called Destiny. That school is also a church, of which my friend Peter is the pastor. The has no textbooks, which in itself is a problem. But Peter expressed a desire to start a library in the school.

The beautiful thing about the building serving as a school and a church is that the library will be beneficial to all-children of all ages, young adults, parents, elders. So I would like to start seeking resources to begin building a library. I will send books there as I make collections.

I know you are burning to know if the children read English. The answer is, some of them do. Some of them are learning, and some of them might learn if they had a library of something to read from. My hope is that this will serve as a resource for them to learn English, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

I am asking you to consider looking through your bookshelves. Maybe there are books you've never read or have just been sitting on your shelf for a while, untouched. Consider donating them to the Destiny library. Please don't give me your trashy romance novels or inappropriate material (not that any of you have those laying around). But let's make this a library that will not only deepen the knowledge that the Zambians have about God, but strengthen them in faith and hope of Christ.

I need:
1) Books for all school age children, including materials for teenagers.
2) Fun books
3) Books related to spiritual growth-for women or men.
4) Books on spiritual leadership

I appreciate any help that I can get, and I know it will be such a blessing for my Zambian friends. Books are a rarity and a great expense.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The City to Come

Thank you to everyone for all of your warm welcome homes! You are a beautiful gift from the Lord, and He really reminded me through each of you the love and care that He has for me. I can't describe the ways that I have been able to see His faithfulness and preparation in my life, but I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.

The last Sunday that I was in Zambia, I attended my favorite local church, pastor by my friend Peter Kaunda. During our singing worship time, my heart became so overwhelmed with thankfulness at all of the friendships and opportunities I had while in Zambia. My only response was to fall to my knees, and thank HIm for his faithfulness. To thank Him for the grace I receive every time I sin, that He reminds me I am forgiven and that I am a masterpiece in progress-everyday. And even if I never get it right, I am still forgiven, and that doesn't keep me from being used by God. I am always loved by my Jesus. The congregation prayed over us to send us home, as did Peter. At the very end of the service, one of my own girls (Dorothy) came up to pray over us as well as another church member. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. Not only to have a "church home" in Zambia, my second home-but to have one of my own that I love so much come and pray over me. I know the girls didn't want me to go, but they sent me well.

So I am home now experiencing all of the mixed emotions that one feels when they are not sure where they belong, except in heaven...one of these days. I have truly understood at a deep heart level Hebrews 13:14 which says, "For here we do not have and enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come." I praise God for the day I will have all of my friends in one place and we are sitting in the presence of I AM.

I am so thankful that the Lord has joined me with the Flenniken family, who I am now staying with in Georgetown. They have so warmly and deeply opened their home to me. After living in such close quarters in Africa, it feels so good to come home to a family that loves and seeks the Lord and shares the same passion for missions that I do. I am truly blessed. Patricia and Greg (mom and dad), Noah (2 years old) and Keilah, Kelsea and Krista (12th grade, 10th grade, and 8th grade) make up the Flenniken family. They have already been such a blessing to me, and for however long the Lord enables me to remain I am looking forward to this time with them.

I am in no rush to hurry back into a job which will distract me from seeking the Lord's next steps. I know without a doubt that He has given me a heart for Africa, for the people and culture. I'm not exactly sure what that looks like in the future, but I trust that God does and that He reveals when He is ready. So much of life is preparation, so I am resting in that and trying to learn all I can. I love you all! Thank you for your love, prayers, and believing in me!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Saying Goodbye

That sickness really took me to the ground, and very much put me behind on my blog. I feel like so much has happened that I'm not sure what subject to write about. There have been multiple visits to my kid's homes; fun times at camp with John, Paul, Erin and Elaine; not having a kitchen for a week and washing our dishes outside in the tap, and many other things.

I'm sorry that I have been quiet on the blog. I look forward to writing alot more when I return home and have more time (now that I am unemployed). I have been busy preparing to say goodbye to all of my wonderful friends here, who feel more like my family. The Lord has really showed His grace and goodness in the midst of goodbyes. Today was the last day of camp, when all of the Zambians encircle the Americans and sing and prayed for us. For the first time in four years, I didn't cry. And not because I wasn't sad, but because the Holy Spirit filled me with so much joy. I clearly heard the Lord telling me, "I am not done with you in this place yet." I felt so comforted that I could only smile and think of how I can see the Lord preparing me for bigger things. My friend Pastor Raphael found me today and said that he just really felt led to pray for the Lord's blessing over my life, and then he did. I can see so many ways in which the Lord has blessed me and I can't imagine what more He might have in store, but look forward to living it out.

So this weekend I will be visiting with many friends, and seeing my kids for one last hoorah. They are always sad to see me go, but I've asked them to pray for my return with God's blessing. It is always sad to say goodbye, and makes my heart long all the more for heaven where we will be together singing praises to our King. But some part of me is ready to come home too, in order to see where the Lord will take me next.

I am so thankful for my Saviour, who loves me more than I could have ever imagined. That He takes care of me, comforts me, strengthens me and leads me. This will be my last post from Zambia, but look forward to seeing you all again very soon and sharing with you in person. Thank you, a million times over for your prayers and support. I definitely could not have made it through the summer without you.