Isaiah 6:8

And then I heard the voice of the Lord say, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" I spoke up. "I'll go. Send me!"

~ Isaiah 6:8



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hello from Burundi

We are here!! We arrived to our hotel around 2:30pm, Burundi time, yesterday. The team is healthy and traveled well. We are a little tired from the travel but ready to work!

We are going to church this morning after enjoying breakfast consisting of sweet pineapple, omelets, and the best coffee in the world.

Excitement and eager expectation of what God is going to do not only in the lives of the Burundians, but our own as well.

More posts to come!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Remember Me

How quickly (and slowly) this year has gone by! I can scarcely believe that I’m leaving in roughly 27 hours. I wish I could put everything into words that I’ve learned thus far but probably best because this post would be FOREVER LONG so here are just a few things.

A few weeks ago I was driving home from a quick beach trip. During that four-hour drive I really took advantage of the alone time: true oneness with God. On the way there I belted loads of songs, but this ride home was completely different because of Remember Me by Mark Schultz:

Remember Me
In a Bible cracked and faded by the years.
Remember Me
In a sanctuary filled with silent prayer

And age to age
And heart to heart
Bound by grace and peace.
Child of wonder,
Child of God,
I’ve remembered you,
Remember Me.

Remember Me
When the color of the sunset fills the sky
Remember Me
When you pray and tears of joy fall from your eyes.

As I listened to this song I found myself feeling a fraction of the Lord’s pain. Abba, how often do you just cry out for us to remember you? Does it really take an old Bible to jog our memories? Is it truly necessary? Or can the day-to-day remind us (ahem, me) of your presence. You touch my heart, yet I forget. You grant me grace and peace and define me as a child of God (child of wonder). Remind me that this is my identity and do it daily…multiple times a day. I see how we all need it.

Then I read this:
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
Mark 10:25

I should have been working my new job by now. Ironically, I had prepared mentally for it to fall through. I don’t know if that was my grand idea or if the Lord planted it. As we age, I think we lose a significant amount of trust for other people, for the world in general. Thankfully I didn’t have to trust in a human for a job. I have great, great people helping me find a job, but I have the Creator of the Universe who is the mastermind of it all. If a job falls through, it just means that I will see his power even greater than before.  Since this I’ve interview twice at another company but never heard anything so I just assumed they were interested. So I interviewed elsewhere and we are waiting to hear from HR. Two roads- two roadblocks. Today I received a voicemail saying the RN training will be next Thursday – sorry Friends, I’m in Africa. I didn’t know you actually wanted me!! And the other is still waiting on HR. So with just a little over 24 hours I’ve no idea what is going to happen. Then I see this great thing:  my mother still speaks truth to me. And at 25 I’m still up to listen to it: “God knows.” Yup, profound words. That was all I needed to hear. I’m so glad I have my family! So glad I may –or may not- have cried about it.

(I apologize for jumping around.) Rewind to the song “when you pray and tears of joy fall from your eyes.” Man that just gets me. I’ve recently prayed and tears of joy started falling down my face. And yes, it has happened more than once. Then I smile and laugh…quite hilarious if you had seen me in my car during all this. Tears of joy have been for the women in my life group and seeing them at various stages in their lives; my sweet three children I nanny (I’m going to miss them while I’m gone); my doting grandmother who has showed me how much a fighter she is! (A few rounds of chemo is sure to show anyone that.) Family and friends who continue to support me as I get ready for Burundi. I know so many prayers have been thrown up and I’m sure I can’t even count them. Friends have donated to my trip – way more than I ever knew possible. I am so honored and blessed by my friends and family. I do not deserve it one bit! I just don’t know why I am so lucky as to call them part of my family. Some I talk to often and others every now and then, but the Lord never fails and He is still good to me, especially through these that have constantly sought after me.  I am forever grateful.

Now off to take my Malaraone to prevent Malaria!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bouts of Amnesia

Recently I began a new job, one that is exciting and challenging with a team of incredibly intelligent people - I am beyond thankful for the opportunity. This team at work is just getting started, we are working diligently to lay out plans and figure out how to start approaching our task. I have been working 12+ hours each day and while I have been frustrated on occasion - overall I am loving it. I love being challenged, feeling needed and useful at work, tackling issues...but lately my mind and heart are only on my job.

I cannot believe Burundi is two weeks away. Last night I was talking with my roommate about all I need to get done at work - how I feel bad leaving my team in crunch I will miss out on going on some of our first trips together. After listening to my complaints and struggles, she said, "but this is your team too."

I cannot believe that two weeks from tomorrow I will board a plane to Burundi with 11 incredible teammates. As I looked around tonight I realized I barely know some of them, but we are a team. I want to be intentional in my time with them, committed to the people we are serving, and most importantly I want to be mindful to remember who and why I serve.

Life so easily becomes a checklist. But my Father wants me to have life and have it abundantly. When I take up His yoke instead of mine, life becomes more joyous - I become more free. I tend to forget why I serve, why I am going - instead I focus on the how and what. What tactically needs to be done to get to the goal and how I am going to get there. The problem is - without keeping my eyes on why I am to do things...the goal always becomes convoluted, a cheap imitation of His intent.

I am not going to Burundi to teach children science lessons. I am not going to Burundi because they need some accounting help. I am not going to Burundi to see transformation or to have my heart broken. I am going to Burundi because I want to be obedient to my Lord. He sacrificed everything for me on a cross. As soon as I remember what He did all of a sudden my life checklist becomes a daily mission field - Burundi is part of His mission through my life. I cannot believe the creator of the universe is choosing to use me. I am glad I am not the boss - if I were, I would certainly not have hired me. Grace is amazing!

Our team had a cook out tonight and while I showed up in a suit and with my mind still at work...the Lord was working on my heart. I still can't believe Burundi is only 2 weeks away - but instead of worry, anxiety, and stress - I want to choose thankfulness. When feelings of doubt and fear creep in...Remember.