9/20/07 Thursday-We're in South Africa!

We only have one more flight before we're finally in Mozambique. We were greeted by an amazingly gorgeous sunrise upon landing here in J'burg. So far, so good...we're just hoping the same for our luggage! I thought I would share my journal from my flight to Paris on Wed. It kinda summarizes everything I'm feeling:

9/19/07-I sit here on a plane high above the Atlantic Ocean-smack in the middle. Everyone around me asleep, lights dimmed, all is quiet; but outside the plane's windows it is bright as day-clear blue sprinkled with white fluffy clouds. Then you called to me. I read through Philippians and as I do, I am amazed at your goodness, faithfulness, and perfect timing. This very weekend one year ago I told you I would not go to Africa and you brought me to my knee. After months of trying, patiently waiting for me to sit still in your presence and listen, you had had enough. Mute for 3 days we wrestled and in the end, you spared me. I walked away with only a limp. I conceded and fell at your feet. You restored me and continued sharing your vision with me-a vision I am carrying out in this moment as I am on my way to Africa. That semester in Inversion, we dove into Philippians and you spoke to me often through those words. Funny now, one year later to the date, as a body, Fellowship is studying these words again. As I read over it a few moments ago, I was reminded of how you spoke to my heart and how all these things have been fulfilled since then.

"And I am sure of THIS, that he who began a good work in you WILL bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
-Phil 1:6

"Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interest of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus...but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant...he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death...so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory tof God the Father."
-Phil 2:4-11

"For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do ALL things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you SHINE as lights in the wold, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be poud that I did NOT run in vain or labor in vain."
-Phil 2:13-16

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining foward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
-Phil 3:13b-14

"Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved."
-Phil 4:1

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say REJOICE. Let your reasonablesness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do NOT be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-Phil 4:4-7

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abudnance and need. I can do ALL things through him who strengthens me."
-Phil 4:11-13

"To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen."
-Phil 4:20

It is such wonderful reassurance to watch Him work out His plans for His glory and I know that many unimanginable riches are in store. I cannot explain the peace this has given me as I embark on this journey-truly giving my life wholly to Him!

"In hope he believed against hope...He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body...No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he has promised." -Romans 4:18-21

After true acceptance of His promises, I feel these verses sum up this past year of my walk. I feel and pray it will remain true for this coming season!


Just 12 days before leaving.....

"I once was fatherless, a stranger with no hope
Your kindness wakened me, wakened me from my sleep
Your love it beckons deeply, a call to come and die
By grace now I will come and take this life, take Your life
Sin has lost it's power, death has losts its sting
From the grave You've risen victoriously
Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame, by the cross
You are the truth, You are the life, You are the way"
-"Marvelous Light" by Charlie Hall

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. " -Isaiah 58:6-12

As I prepare to leave for Mozambique in 12 days I am completely filled with 15 different emotions. Now is the time to cling to Him and trust in Him for every good provision. This recent season has been dry and filled with spiritual warfare with my mind as the battle ground. I have often wondered if I'm loosing my footing, or possibly my entire sanity. Tonight I sat surrounded by a room full of women with unfamiliar faces there for the same reason and I my heart was warmed by the transformation He completes in all of us. I was reminded of the verse Ephesians 2:10 " For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." When I started this journey a year ago I was given the verses from Isaiah above as my promised land......what He was calling me to....to give of myself to the hungry, thirsty, poor, homeless, the naked, the motherless....to be their LIGHT completely protected by Him....to restore ruins of many generations and secure the foundations of the generations to come for those in Africa who can see no hope or future, completely forgotten.

Leigh and I are leaving both feeling completely vulnerable and broken at this moment in our lives but VERY assured that this is the place He has called us. We are willing and open to share His love with the children we encounter and we are overjoyed to have this opportunity. We both need ALL the prayer minutes you can afford. I especially am going into this and need direction to come from this experience. Is Iris the minstry I should join?...is this where I am to be? Pray for clarification. Pray for our safety, our health, for all our travels, for Iris Minstries and all their missionaries we will be working alongside, for us to yield to the Spirit and share His amazing love with His people. I cannot wait to return and post pics as well as stories.....