Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Little Message From This Side of the World.

Hi everyone,
Just thought I would update this little blogspot. I haven't really gotten to any of the good stuff - the good news. Over my past few blogs I've told you about the challenges, the culture shock and shown pictures of the new apartment but I haven't told you about....

My new job. Although some of you may have heard.

So to fill you in, about a month ago my friend and pastor, Sizwe Mthembu came to me and asked me how things were going. I told him about the challenges I've been facing with adjusting to a new country, work challenges, church challenges, etc. Then he asked me about the wedding plans...

Haha, the plans for our wedding have also been challenging - try planning a wedding in a foreign country - but they are coming together bit by bit. After I spoke for a bit, Sizwe told me that a position had opened up in the business that he is apart of for a Personal Assistant for himself to call clients, book appointments, etc. He said that he would love it if I could help him and that in return he could help me out with wedding funds. It would also mean that I could move into the city of Durban and live a lot closer to Mthoko so that we could also be closer to work on plans for the wedding. It all came together rather quickly. I remember Sizwe spoke to me about all of this on a Monday and then already on a Wednesday I came into town to speak with the people at his office. I then participated in a staff training session on Thursday and got right to work! I've been here in the office for a month already and have been learning a lot.

And God has been speaking to me too. Initially when Sizwe offered this position I thought, "It doesn't really fit in line with my desire to work with kids or contribute to South African society" but the more I thought about it the more it just seemed to fit. Sizwe runs two churches, he is the president of World Changers Academy (which I was previously working with), he works as a team facilitator and motivational speaker and, is also a financial advisor. Working for him, for someone who has started an NGO, is an amazing opportunity because my long term vision is actually in line with this - one day I would like to start a little somethin' of my own. I've been a part of many organizations and orphanages in the past in several different countries. The more I pray about it, the more I feel like God has been preparing me to start something new and fresh and different at some point in the future. In a lot of orphanages I've seen, the orphanages themselves work as just a transition place and not neccessarily a home. I remember in Haiti, the nannies had their favorites, the other children were left to the side, and, as in many orphanages around the world, lost kids continued to remain.... well.... lost. The kids just had to learn how to survive - even at the age of say 15 months... and when kids are just thinking about surviving do you think that the process of healing from their past life and issues of abandonment is even a possibility? No way. And you know what? I know thats not the will of God.

In Ezekiel 34, God speaks about what it means to be a great leader. Part of what He says is that we need to go out and rescue the lost and take care of the weak and broken who can't take care of themselves. As I think about starting some sort of childrens home in the future, I want this home to be different - why can't a home be a place of healing for children? As I sit and dream about the future, I think it would be amazing to someday have a place where we could use music, drama, drawing, painting, dancing to help heal kids and let them be kids again. To bring in professionals to teach kids who would otherwise would not have the opportunity, how to do any of these art forms. Who knows what a project like this could look like... except maybe God? haha.

After I get married to Mtho and receive my Spousal Visa I'll be able to study here for the same price as a local. I've already looked into a few different possibilities that would help equip me for the dream I mentioned above. This is all a dream a few years in the making but I share it with you to show you that God is really in control. I am encouraged. I am where I am supposed to be for right now. God has placed me here. God is currently equipping me. And even right now, God is using me in ways I don't know... this is hard for me to remember sometimes but it is true.

And its true for you too. No matter where you are - you don't have to live overseas but can be at home. You have been placed by God in your particular task today for a reason. God has a plan and a purpose - bigger dreams than we have - for our lives. Its exciting, hey?

Thanks so much for your prayers. Thanks for your ongoing love and encouragement. I love you guys too ;).

Also, just to let you know about the wedding plans on this side, things are moving together. Mthoko and are continually blessed to see things coming together and how God is providing for us. I still need to do some things urgently (uh.. like make the invitations and the wedding is only 10 weeks away! Yipe!) but the venue, the cook, the decor... its all coming together. What I'm most excited about is my bridesmaids. I can't wait to see them and hug them at the airport. I hope we'll get to go on some little trip somewhere to show them the beauty thats in this country.

Alright, thats it for now. Lots of love out to you guys. Write when you can!