Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moving Forward, Remembering What's Behind

It's so incredibly good to be home. I was welcomed by family and perfect fall weather. Nothing beats that. Since getting home, I have filled my days spending time with loved ones who I missed so much while I was away, and am beginning to realize much of my time will soon be being spent on finalizing wedding plans. Business lies ahead, but I cannot move forward without reflecting on what I've just experienced, on the things God has taught me. It was such a stretching experience...

Leaving my students was extremely difficult. I was given an amazing farewell at a whole school assembly, where my second graders lead a special program for me. I was left speechless and in tears. When it was over, little Nonto, who I wrote about in my last update, was sobbing. The same tough little girl who never shows emotions fell apart, and it ripped my heart out. It wasn't like a normal teacher's goodbye with these children, I knew I'd probably never see them again. And these children are so special, so craving of love. Just like I had to learn to trust God in every other area of my life while I was there, I had to learn to trust Him to continue taking care of them. For as much as I love and adore them, I know He does so much more. I loved them with His love during the time I had with them; I pray they continue to carry it with them.

The Mayville girls also gave me a grand farewell, as they showered me with gifts and love. The time I had invested in these girls lives proved to be of so much value to them. That's what people need...purposeful time devoted to their lives for the glory of God. I was obedient to plant the seed into their lives and God has been so faithful to make it grow. I feel so blessed that God allowed me to witness the growth. They have such an eagerness to dig into their brand new Bibles and devote their lives to a relationship with their Savior. It's absolutely incredible.

Some of you may know that Brad, my fiance, came and spent my last week in South Africa with me. It was so unbelievably incredible to have him there beside me, ministering and exploring a new place. We spent a few days with the kids at the children's home, and my heart was once again captivated as I watched him with those kids. I feel so blessed to have him as my leader and teammate. God has made it so evident that Bradley is the man He created me to be with, because we can serve Him better together than we can apart. I tell you all of this so I can ask for prayer for our future together. God has heavily pressed both of our hearts to share His love with needy children, and we want to be faithful to answer His call whenever and wherever that may be. If there's one things I've learned more than anything from this experience it's that following God's will and living a life devoted to bringing Him glory is more satisfying than anything else this world can offer.

I want to leave by challenging each of you to put yourself in a situation where you are forced to totally depend on God. I know that is difficult in our comfortable lives here, but I can testify that learning what it means to truly rely on God is something that every follower of His should understand. God is so faithful and works in such indescribable ways, but how will you know if you've never allowed Him to truly reveal Himself? As stretching and as difficult as this experience was at times, I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity to see God in His loving power. Thank you all so much for you prayers and support; you made an impact in ways you could never imagine.

To God alone be the glory.

My Students

Never a shortage of love

Nonto <3

Mayville Girls

Painting shirts at the Children's Home

Loving each other, Loving our Savior