Monday, January 19, 2009

New Years Resolutions, God's Provision & Driving a Standard on the Right Hand Side of the Road...

Sawubona loved ones back at home!

I've been thinking of you often from my new little corner of the world and its time to write you another update. Hope this finds you all well, recovered from the busy-ness of the holidays, and being encouraged in the midst of New Years Resolutions. Yes, it can happen, haha.

Speaking of New Years Resolutions, I know that at home sometimes we're reluctant to make them because we believe, "whats the point? I'm going to break them anyway". But here in South Africa I've found the way they approach New Years Resolutions very refreshing. Yesterday in church, our pastor was talking about making goals and strategies on how to accomplish our goals over the next year. He asked us to discuss in small groups the question, "Pretend it is December 2009, what is your measure of success for your year? What have you accomplished? What is your level of spiritual competency?". It was great thinking about these things and it made me excited for Dec 2009. This year is going to be a good one!

Ok, off my soapbox and onto other things: This past week the responsibilities of my job were really layed out for me. Here at World Changers Academy, I have become the Human Resource Coordinator and am in charge of going to hear the Life Skills coordinators teach and coordinate and evaluate what they're doing, tell them what they can be doing better and what they're doing well and be there for them if they need someone to talk to about issues concerning them in their personal life. Some of them come from really tough backgrounds and have been radically saved by Jesus so its exciting to be able to help them grow and really be a part of challenging them in this growth as well. I'm also coordinating a program here called Ministry School of Excellence (MSE) that is teaching principles about the Kingdom of God to young people who are wanting to seriously grow in their spiritual walk. I'm really excited about this. Another task I've also been given is Administrator for our church community, Kingdom Life Center. They are all exciting opportunities. Opportunites which involve me driving here - on the opposite side of the road in a standard vehicle! - so they're very exciting!

So last week and this week I was/will be getting myself organized for these positions so that everything can get started up January 27th-31st. I'd love your prayers for this time. I'll def keep you informed as to how things are going.

I also covet your prayers for Mthoko and I as we plan our weddings. South African weddings can be huge (we're talking 500 people) so we're trying to cut down our guest list (to maybe 100 - 150) so that we can make this event happen. We're also looking at booking plane tickets right now. We need to buy a return ticket for Mthoko's trip to Canada and back to South Africa and then a one-way ticket for me, back from Canada to South Africa. We're astonished at the way God is providing for us and the way He has been taking care of every detail from my parent's consent to us being married, right down to Mthoko's ticket to Canada. Thats right! Mthoko and I were astonished to realize that God has given us nearly exactly the right amount of money for Mthoko's plane ticket. Its so encouraging! Right now we're just trusting God for my one way flight. My one way flight as Mrs. Shange. Doesn't that name bring music to your ears? Mthoko is also doing so well at his job. More details on this to come in the future but for now I'll just say that God is giving him so much favour and its another big blessing to us both.

Some things that God has already provided for us:
  1. Someone volunteered to pay for our wedding's venue location
  2. Someone volunteered to pay for the rental of the guys' tuxedos
  3. My mom and and dad bought my wedding dress
  4. Someone volunteered to help decorate and make the day beautiful
  5. Someone else who works for a big decorating company volunteered to help however he can with the resources availiable to him.
  6. We've got a chef that just needs to be confirmed that I actually think is wanting to cook for free!
  7. We're looking at delicous items for the menu at our wedding
  8. I am getting a small stipend here, my rent for free and my food free of charge as well.

So as I write this, I'm very encouraged. God is a good God and He loves and cares for his kids.

Some things we're trusting God for are:

  1. that God will provide my bridemaids' airfare - they are both flying in from Northern Ireland
  2. my flight back to South Africa after our Canadian wedding
  3. a honeymoon
  4. that we'll find the right little apartment to rent here in South Africa for after we're married
  5. a little car so we can get around instead of me needing to take the semi-dangerous public transport. I've been taking it while I've been here but I always need to have someone with me because I stand out like a sore thumb, but this isn't always possible & man, it would sure be nice just to feel some freedom to go out and do things I'm used to like a normal human being! :P
So thats all for an update from me. Thanks to everyone for their encouragement. I wrote in my last update that at times I've felt a little lonely and your letters and thoughts and prayers have been encouraging. I'm still not sure exactly where I fit in at times - White South Africans generally aren't so welcoming when they know who I'm engaged to and I don't speak the language of the Black South Africans and neither am I black so I find myself in this odd place somewhere in the middle. But as a young person, I have prayed and told God that I don't want to have just an ordinary life. I know I am called to live life to the full for Him who made me and this is what He has created me to do. My quiet times with Him have been incredible because He is taking time to affirm me and confirm in me that my identity is in Him and that in Him I am never alone and am always safe and secure. Some of your prayers have been about just this so I thank you so much for praying those prayers and for keeping me in your hearts.

Lots of love,

P.S. Please stay tuned to this place. I'll soon be putting up photos of where I live and work so you can get an idea of what life is like here.

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